Monthly Archives: February 2014

Sovereign

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          The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines sovereign as “one possessing or held to possess supreme political power…one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere…an acknowledged leader.”  It is a noun, a person, place or thing that is tangible and able to be located.  A dominant component of this word is the word reign.  Also a noun, it refers to a period of time during which a sovereign is in charge of something such as a group, organization, or country…”resembling that of a monarch.”  The word supreme is an adjective describing the sovereign as being “highest in rank or authority…degree or quality.”

             I can’t express in words how many times I have been comforted by simply repeating the thought silently, or even audibly, “God is sovereign.  God is sovereign.  God is sovereign.”  I cannot see all of the twists and turns that lay ahead.  I cannot fully understand things like illness, suffering, stress, and certainly not the delicate intricacies of the cosmos that the Lord God holds together.  I can, however, know with full confidence that He sees everything and has a perfect design for it all.  Suffering is not a commentary on God’s approval or disapproval, but is a direct result of sin.  Sin is simply anything that separates us from God.  When a body is separated from nourishment, it will inevitably begin to decay.  Humans have willfully separated themselves from God, and there is only one way back to a relationship with Him.  There is only one medicine that has an eternal significance, and it is free!  Jesus, sinless and perfect, sovereign for all time and beyond, paid the debt for my sins that I could never afford.  He then reappeared in the flesh after three days to prove once and for all that there is not only life after death, but that He is sovereign even over death!  There is nothing that this world could throw my way that will alter the magnitude of His power, and if I’m on His team, then why should I ever fear or worry over anything?  Even in times of distress, He reminds us, “Be strong and courageous!  Do not fear or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who is going with you.  He will not fail you or abandon you! (Deuteronomy 31:6 NET).

             Many will acknowledge His reign and even His rank, but will balk at describing Him as sovereign.  Why?  Because to describe Him as sovereign indicates that we are not trying to edit Him to fit our desires, but instead editing our lives to fit His plan.  The more surrendered I am to His sovereignty, the more fulfilled, hopeful and at peace I am – regardless of the size of the storm, because I am a servant of the One who controls the rain.  Will you surrender to Him? 

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ReSolution

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I started thinking in early January about the word “Resolution.”  Does the word in-and-of-itself not imply that there was an original solution that is being rethought, reconstituted, or reapplied?  I considered this in light of the time I’ve spent looking at the life of the biblical Nehemiah – master servant who produced and directed the clearing out of an incredible amount of rubble in order to orchestrate the rebuilding of an entire city wall (Jerusalem) in just 52 days – and thought to myself….hmmm…. a year is roughly made up of 7 sets of 52 days.  Is it possible for me to tackle and conquer seven different projects this year?  I don’t have the same set of resources or man-power, but certainly I could take on the necessary amendments to my home that will allow it to be more functional (for starters).  So that’s where I’ve been…I’ve already remodeled my master bathroom (for a whopping $125), created a sports corner and reactivated my tendinitis while rearranging the shelving in our multi-purpose study/music room.  My target date is February 21st for having the remainder of the house taken care of (new library, sprucing up the dining room and rearranging the kids rooms).  I’ve been frequently calling to mind the quote by Les Brown, “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” 

So here are the projects that I’m working on/considering for the remainder of 2014:

1. Practical Solutions for my home.

2. ReSolution of the online TESOL certification that I started months ago.

3. Physical Solutions to increase overall health and vitality (so that I can get my 5K time somewhere in the 30 minute range)

4. Solutions for how to set up my website and market the stuff I’m inspired to write.

5. Solutions for learning to communicate effectively in at least one foreign language – Russian.  

6. Solutions for certain gluten, dairy and egg-free entrees and deserts that I’ve not yet attempted.

7. ReSolution of the research, prayers, and efforts for my second book…title to be disclosed at a later date 🙂

I do have an additional year-long pursuit.  I’m reading through the Bible in chronological order thanks to http://www.YouVersion.com.  As a family, we’ve also decided to pursue memorizing the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  I’ll keep you posted!

By tackling different categories of things to accomplish in 52 day cycles, it promotes a greater sense of urgency while also being forgiving to those whose New Year’s Resolutions faltered by the end of January.  Each Solution is a practical step toward something beyond itself in the future.  For example, you could resolve to lose 10, 20, or even 30 pounds this year, but to what end?  It helps to have an additional motivating end result attached.  Hey – you could make the Chinese Lunar New Year your starting point.  It was just a few days ago!