2009: The Contrarian Resolution

As many of you know Kelly writes for HomeWord, a ministry that “seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches to build God-honoring families from generation to generation.”

On Jan 1, 2009, they published one of Kelly’s devotionals – “The Harder You Try”.  I was reminded that so often the things we try to do or vow to do are not actually the things we should be doing.  Check out her devotional and you’ll see what I mean…

The Harder You Try

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.—Ephesians 2:8-10

A few years ago, I was given an old set of golf clubs and told to learn the sport.  I’m an average golfer, some good shots and some bad.  There was a day, a few months ago, where if you had been watching me play you would have thought I had never picked up a club in my life.  I kept trying harder and harder.  Sadly, like almost every shot that day, each swing seemed to send the ball in the wrong direction.  The harder I tried the worse I got.

The book of Luke records an encounter with Jesus and two sisters, Mary and Martha.  Jesus was visiting their home and Martha was busy doing chores and preparing dinner in order to serve her guest.  While she did this, her sister Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to all Jesus taught.  The more Martha worked, the harder she tried, the more frustrated and angry she became until she couldn’t take it anymore!  She pointed out her sister’s laziness, hoping Jesus would tell Mary to get up and help, only to be disappointed when he commended Mary calling her choice worthy.

What are you doing to please the Lord in your life?  Putting up the appearance of a perfect home?  Volunteering at the local soup kitchen?  Buying gifts for those in need?  These are wonderful ways to give of ourselves and serve the Lord, but don’t get caught in the trap of always trying to do things for God only to miss out on the opportunities to be with him.  We plan, work, and create trying to “do more”, yet only to be disappointed. God cares more about your devotion than about your resumé.  He cares more about your attitude than all the gold stars you have earned. Trying too hard to work for the Lord will only result in frustration.

As this New Year dawns and you make resolutions of all you want to accomplish, be sure to pray and evaluate where you are in life and what He would have you to do.  Be sure to take time this year to sit at His feet.  Commit to stop doing simply for doing’s sake.  Realize that before you can do God’s work, you must first be His person. There’s no better way to become all God intends for you than to spend time with Him. Make this your highest priority, and everything else will fall into place.

GOING DEEPER:
1. Mary and Martha both loved Jesus.  When you think through their story, what was Jesus really trying to show Martha?

2. Who are you more like, Mary or Martha? Why?

FURTHER READING:
John 6:27-19; Luke 10:38-42; Romans 9:31-33

I hope you enjoyed.  If you want to receive the daily devotionals in your inbox just sign up here.

McFadden ’08 Update

Campbell and Santa

2008 brought with it the greatest gift we could have asked for, our son Campbell. He arrived in late January and has been an absolute joy. We know it is cliche, but it is amazing how fast he has grown. He loves to pull himself up to standing, climb up stairs, play peek-a-boo, wrestle with daddy, and open drawers and take everything out of them. Now to teach him to put things away. His first word, officially, is “uh oh.” We have loved the addition of Campbell into our home. Truly he is a blessing.


YouTube DirectUh Oh

While having Campbell was a change in our life, another big one we had this year was moving to Colorado. It has been wonderful to reconnect with friends and family in Colorado, but we definitely miss our California crew. Of course, we have been able to sneak back a few times since we moved, and that has been really nice. Especially when our first nephew was born in October. Kristen and Rob gave birth to one of the cutest little guys you’ve ever seen, James Robert Venick. We are really looking forward to seeing him over the holidays…and the rest of the family too.

Now, back to our move. A big part of the move, revolved around Mike’s company TheSociety.com. It has been great for him to be working in the office instead of remotely (as you might remember from last year’s Christmas card, we had an office/nursery.). TheSociety has a lot of exciting things going on right now and are planning on spending 2009 really focusing not just on renting luxury homes, but giving them away. They have an awesome charity arm (www.VacationHomesForCharity.org) that helped raise over $20,000 for charities last year. They hope to raise much more next year!!

As for me, I am working for HomeWord. It has been such a blessing to work for them. I help do writing and research for their website and radio program. Campbell and I seem to have found our work/play/nap schedule that allows me to meet all my deadlines!

We hope all is well with you, especially over the holidays. We wish you all a very, merry Christmas and a New Year filled with blessings.

Hugs and love, the McFaddens