I know it's been way too long since I've blogged - it's one of those things I think about but don't seem to get around to and for that I am sorry. Life in Afghanistan is going fine - we have been fortunate so far that none of my soldiers have been seriously wounded so keep up the prayers.
I've started a daily email devotion that I send out to about 30 of my soldiers and thought I would share with you today's devotion.
Deuteronomy 30:11-14; 19-20
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. . . . This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.
Life is full of choices, of decisions - some are more important than others yet they all have consequences attached to them. As we come to the end of 2010 and look to welcome the New Year, let us think about what we hope for this year. We always talk about New Year's resolutions - a new start - a new beginning - we set goals to do something we feel we should and yet how many of us have ever seen our New Year's resolutions through till the end of the year? I know I haven't - I'm usually lucky if I make it till 2 January!! So I decided to give up on them and yet what if it would be a choice to live a different way; though relying on God's strength not my own to see them through. I realized that the reason I failed is I failed to see the One who will give me the strength to receive the blessing of a life lived for God.
In the passage above the people are being given the opportunity to start anew - Too often we say that we can't know what God wants of us . . . I know I've always told Him if He would just skywrite what He wants me to do it would make life so much easier. I think God needs to learn to text us His desires and yet in many ways He has; He's made it plain if we are willing to listen, to see what He's shown us - through other people, through scripture, through our own conscious - He then leaves the choice up to us. He asks: What kind of person do you want to be? How do you want your life to be remembered? And so each day He sets before us a choice of how we are going to live. He has set before us "life and death, blessing and curses" which do we choose? Moses is talking to the Israelites who struggled over and over with choosing the blessing and yet still God returned to say again - choose life, choose the blessing because that is what He ultimately desires for His children.
Songs especially the lyrics have a strong impact on me as I often get tunes stuck in my head. I have the tune "The Blessing" by John Waller as my ringtone (in my other life that is) and I do because it reminds me to choose again the blessing & life God has to offer so I might in some small way be a blessing to someone else. The lyrics point out the reality of the Deuteronomy passage that the choice is ours.
Let it be said of us, while we walked among the living,
Let it be said of us, by the ones we leave behind,
Let it be said of us, that we lived to be a blessing for life.
And let it be said of us, that we gave to reach the dying,
Let it be said of us, by the fruit we leave behind,
Let it be said of us, that our legacy is blessing for life.
This day, you set life, you set death right before us,
This day, every blessing and curse is a choice now,
And we will choose to be a blessing for life.
Let it be said of us, that our hearts belonged to Jesus,
Let it be said of us, that we spoke the words of life,
Let it be said of us, that our heritage is blessing for life.
'Cause our blessings and curses are choices
'Cause our blessings and curses are choices
Will we build up, tear down, the moment of truth
So as we come to the dawn of a new year (the year we go home!!) let our resolution be to see the choices that God has placed before us and to choose life - to choose Him and then allow Him to show you how that will play out in your life.
God bless and Happy New Year