January brings in a brand new year,
gives all a blank slate, fresh start will appear.
So, if last year did not end very well --
in time, there will be a new tale to tell.
Put another log on the nesting fire,
kick back for some time with your heart's desire.
Cold days, colder nights make family
huddle inside, sipping cocoa with glee.
The morning sun seems a lot brighter now,
glistening through the ice on ev'ry tree bough.
Winter's wonderland inspires awe in view --
savor the mem'ry 'afore melted through.
Those who like the cold relish winter's beau,
missing the beauty before it moves fro --
making way for springs flowery brow.
The start of a New Year is traditionally a time for New Beginnings. Resolutions are made with the specific intent of changing behaviors that hinder us from being the best person we can be. The custom dates to ancient days in many countries and cultures. It is often tied to religious customs designed to acknowledge wrongdoing of the past year, seek forgiveness and determine not to repeat the forgiven offense. This year, complicating matters involving resolutions for 2020 is the beginning of a New Decade as well. Many will be setting long-term goals for the decade in both business and personal endeavors.
Resolutions are meant to strengthen our resolve in attaining specific goals. The problem is, more than half are unable to maintain the expected behavior modification. It is important to resolve changes that are small steps toward an intended goal. Keep the expected change small enough to be attainable.
Designating behavioral change above that which one is able to attain often leads to self-deprecation due to the difficulty of achieving the desired goal — so it is lost even before it is begun. If you embrace the custom of resolving change as each new year begins, be kind to yourself. Don’t expect too much. Set an attainable goal, because then you can be pleased with the progress you have made — and you can truly celebrate the end of a good year when New Years’s Day 2021 comes ’round. Above all, as some wise person once said — Live, Laugh, Love!!!
As winter closes in, nights turn from cool to cold; wind chimes echo season’s sweet carol. Cyclone snowstorms circle a northern realm dumping snow and ice — Old Man Winter’s helm. A deep, silent blanket quiets all and frees a wonderland of miniature trees mingled with houses dwarfed by such depths of icy precipitation and street troughs now cleared deep ‘mongst the puffy white blanket mounds draped across the frigid landscape net. Living in winter’s wonderland of snow hinders all daily movement to and fro; no designs from Jack Frost on the window for it only reveals cold, bleak, white snow blanketing all, piled high to that tree bough — Winter’s Wonderland reels all motion — Slow!
Photo Above: Snow and Ice Covered Walls by Amanda Vick @ Unsplash.com.
Source: Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)
Lydia Becomes a Christian
11 — “Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samo-thrace, and the next day came to Neapolis,”
12 — “and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days.”
13 — “And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.”
14 — “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.”
15 — “And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ So she persuaded us.”
Lydia was a businesswoman who met with a group of women to make prayer on the Sabbath day by the riverside in Philippi of Macedonia. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira.
Paul and his party, who had just recently arrived in Philippi, joined the women. There, Paul met Lydia. “And the Lord opened her [Lydia’s] heart to heed the things spoken by Paul,” (Acts 16:14 NKJV). Thus, God had seen Lydia’s heart and had deemed her prayers worthy of being heard. He answered her prayers by sending Paul to speak with her.
Lydia and her household saw the truth in Paul’s teachings and were baptized into Christ’s church. Afterward, she begged of Paul and his team that they stay in her house if they judged her heart to be faithful to God. Paul said she persuaded them.
What this says is, even before she became a Christian, Lydia’s prayers were fervent enough to be heard by God and Jesus Christ. Her prayers were recognized as those of a woman who was truly searching for the truth, and He answered her prayers.
Typically, When the prayers uttered before becoming a Christian are referenced as being ‘heard’, it is those of Cornelius that are mentioned and studied.
Perhaps, as encouragement to devout women of faith, we should make an effort to show the same virtue and righteous recognition are given to Lydia’s prayers. Thus, when a woman of ‘faith’ prays, God hears and answers.
Lydia continued to support efforts to grow the church in Philippi.