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Resolution #1–Persistence

This morning I picked up a book off a pile of unwanted books in the workout room in our house. It was a vague title by an unknown author (probably the reason it was headed to Goodwill!)

I flipped through the pages between my benchpress set and curls set (Yes, physical conditioning is one of my new year’s resolutions…) Then I set the book back down.

I realized this was a parable so many of my new year’s resolutions. The book was a fine thing to pick up, but all too easy to drop.

How does your resolution list look my mid-February? Does it look like a box of abandoned books? How is it doing in June? Here’s the deal: Your best resolution will profit little if your resolve wanes before the fruit is borne.

This something the writer of Ecclesiastes saw clearly as well.

“Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

Ecclesiastes 7:8 

We all get excited about the new year. And it’s great to have a fresh start. But a fresh start to what? What if the end of the year were just as exciting, or better yet, more exciting?

Summit (Credit)

Let’s join Steven Covey and “begin with the end in mind.” What do you want the end of this year to look like? Don’t just think about the new year, think about the whole year. The key to a successful year is not how keen your resolutions are but how strong your resolve is. Persistence, slow and steady, day by day, will turn the flywheel of you life.

The key to a successful year is not how keen your resolutions are but how real your resolve is. #persistence

So take that list, and figure out which items you are committed to doing. Then make plans to work on your plans by answering these questions:

  • How are you going to make this resolution measurable?
  • What do you need to change or remove to make room for this?
  • How will you keep this resolution/goal in front of you?
  • What friend have you enlisted to hold you accountable?

I hope you will have a year marked by persistence! Leave me a comment and let me know how you plan to be resolved about your resolutions.



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12 Days of Emmanuel (Day 12!)

Hail the King” is a re-tuning (new music to a previous song) of Gentle Mary Laid Her Child — a lesser known Christmas Carol. What’s wonderful about this carol is that it has many of the elements of Luke’s account neatly tucked into a poetic song that covers so much of the story: the manger, the angels, the wise men, the shepherds, and of course, Mary.

In addition, the inclusio of verse one and three that he is the undefiled–once a stranger, now no longer a stranger.

The refrain, “Hail the King of glory” lifted from verse three, was a development to the song and became the new name for Sarah’s version on the album.

1 Gentle Mary laid her Child
Lowly in a manger;
There He lay, the undefiled,
To the world a stranger:
Such a Babe in such a place,
Can He be the Savior?
Ask the saved of all the race
Who have found His favor.

Refrain: Hail the King of Glory! (3x) Hail!

2 Angels sang about His birth;
Wise men sought and found Him;
Heaven’s star shone brightly forth,
Glory all around Him:
Shepherds saw the wondrous sight,
Heard the angels singing;
All the plains were lit that night,
All the hills were ringing.

3 Gentle Mary laid her Child
Lowly in a manger;
He is still the undefiled,
But no more a stranger:
Son of God, of humble birth,
Beautiful the story;
Praise His name in all the earth,
Hail the King of glory!

Listen to the whole album on one of the following:

Thanks again for reading this series! More to come in 2020! Topics include: goals, refugees, reconciliation and blessing others. Stay tuned!

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12 Days of Emmanuel (Day 11)

Today is the Feast of Stephen, also known as Boxing Day. It is the second day of Christmas, December 26, and the occasion of the song, “Good King Wenceslas.”

This narrative carol tells of a Catholic Bohemian Duke, Vaclav the Good, who sees a poor man gathering wood. He recruits his unnamed page to help him bring a gift of meat, wine and pine logs. As the page weakens due to the cruel wintery weather, God helps them prevail by a small miracle. The conclusion of the matter? “You who will not help the poor, shall yourselves find blessing!” This is a very biblical theme and a good reminder.

2Cor. 9:10   He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 

Published in 1853 by J.M. Neele, this song is a family favorite. Since the performance on Emmanuel is piano and no words, I’ll place them here.

Good King Wenceslas looked out 
On the feast of Stephen, 
When the snow lay round about 
Deep and crisp and even;

Brightly shone the moon that night 
Though the frost was cruel, 
When a poor man came in sight, 
Gath’ring winter fuel.

‘Hither, page, and stand by me, 
If thou know’st it, telling 
Yonder peasant, who is he? 
Where and what his dwelling?’

‘Sire, he lives a good league hence, 
Underneath the mountain, 
Right against the forest fence, 
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.’

‘Bring me flesh and bring me wine, 
Bring me pine logs hither, 
Thou and I will see him dine 
When we bear them thither.’

Page and monarch forth they went, 
Forth they went together, 
Through the rude wind’s wild lament 
And the bitter weather.

‘Sire, the night is darker now 
And the wind blows stronger; 
Fails my heart, I know not how, 
I can go no longer.’

‘Mark my footsteps, good my page, 
Tread thou in them boldly: 
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage 
Freeze thy blood less coldly.’

In his master’s steps he trod, 
Where the snow lay dinted; 
Heat was in the very sod 
Which the Saint had printed.

Therefore, Christian men, be sure 
Wealth or rank possessing, 
Ye who now will bless the poor 
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Merry Christmas! One more day left of “12 Days of Emmanuel.” Thanks for tuning in.

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12 Days of Emmanuel (Day 10)

Merry Christmas! Here’s a charming medley for your Christmas cheer.

Sarah’s Christmas Medley is nine minutes of Christmas tunes to bring contemplation, grace and joy!


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12 Days of Emmanuel (Day 9)

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is a theologically rich song. It’s perfect for Christmas Eve, the night in which the angels visited the shepherds.

Luke records the event:

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” – Luke 2:13-14

Merry Christmas! and enjoy the song.

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