Happy new year friends!
Two thousand and fourteen has been a bittersweet year. There has been some good stuff and also some not so good stuff.
As I reflect over the past year, I am thankful for my amazing church, Faith Community Church and what God has been doing in our worship ministry. Some of the highlights include growing our team’s technical skills; an increasing sense of His presence in our worship; and an amazing leadership team who have together taken the ministry to a new level.
I’m grateful for the opportunity for our team to do new things, push boundaries and continuing to grow outside our comfort zone.
I’m also grateful for increasing fruitfulness in my work as a lawyer, both within my own firm and also in the broader profession and a personal re-orientation in what it means to be a marketplace minister.
But 2014 has also met with some personal and family health challenges. Towards the end of the year, I had a tear in the membrane at the back of my eye which led to some fluid leaking into the middle of my eye. Praise God that three injections later (directly into the eye which was pretty traumatic!), my vision is clear again.
In November, my father-in-law also had a major operation to install a heart pump. Most doctors have never heard of this in Australia, but in Singapore, they have been just under 50 cases of the procedure. Even though his heart was weak, the rest of his vitals were in order so he was able to receive the pump. Now, he is stronger than he has been all year! It did result in my wife being in Singapore for the last 2 and a half months, so I have had to fend for myself (whilst looking after Lucy our pug!). And just as I was leaving for Singapore last month, Lucy had a corneal ulcer which covered most of her eye. (We are really grateful to Cindy our vet who has been looking after Lucy in our absence).
Whatever season you went through, I am believing God for you that 2015 will bring in a new season in your faith.
When I’ve gone through difficult times, I would play this song “New Season” over and over again and declare the truths it presents over me. Here is a video I found of the song (as originally recorded) with Ps Michael Pitt’s powerful exhortation at the beginning:
Here are the lyrics:
It’s a new season, it’s a new day
Fresh anointing is flowing my way
It’s a season of power and prosperity
It’s a new season coming to me
The devil’s time is up no longer can he bother me,
‘Cause the Creator of the universe He fathers me,
and it’s transferable my children’s children shall be free;
it’s a new season
If you don’t know by now, you need to know it’s jubilee,
Where debts are cancelled and your children walk in victory.
It’s so available to you right now just taste and see,
it’s a new season
The new millennium presents a new horizon,
And no greater time for us to make a choice and take a stand.
All that we need, is resting in His hands;
it’s a new season
All that was stolen is returned to you a hundred fold,
Tried in the fire but you’re coming out gold.
Cling to His hand, yes, to every promise take a hold;
it’s a new season
May these promises hold true for you in 2015
I am declaring Deuteronomy 28:1-13 over my life and yours:
“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
“Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
“The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
“The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.
These blessings are available now to us because of Jesus’ perfect obedience and His righteousness imputed to us. He has taken the curses of the law that we might receive the blessings of obedience. We are blessed not because of our own merit and works, but because of Jesus’ finished work!
So whether 2014 was full of triumphs and victory or moments of discipline and recalibration, may 2015 be your best year yet as you step into your new season!