Looking forward to the New Year

As we say goodbye to 2006 and look ahead to 2007 I am reminded of the prayer found in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions. May our hearts have the same desire in the year to come:

"O Lord, length of days does not profit me
except the days are passed in thy presence, in thy service, to thy glory.

Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctifies, aides every hour,
that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
but may rely on thy Spirit to supply every thought,
speak in every word,
direct every step,
prosper every work,
build up every mote of faith,
and give me a desire to show forth thy praise,
testify thy love,
advance thy kingdom.

I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
thee, O Son, at my helm,
thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.

Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to your calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free.

Give me grace to sanctify me,
thy comfort to cheer,
thy wisdom to teach,
thy right hand to guide,
thy counsel to instruct,
thy law to judge,
thy presence to stabilize,

May thy fear be my awe,

thy triumphs my joy."



Michelle and I returned home last night from a trip to Wallins Creek to spend time with family during Christmas. We had a wonderful time, albeit too short, and spent some quality time with our families.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. The weeks leading up to Christmas Day are filled with anticipation and excitement. Not about the gifts I will receive, but because of all the activities such as Christmas plays and cantatas and family get togethers. I would have liked a little bit of snow though.

Also, it is nice to watch Christmas classics such as It's A Wonderful Life, or my personal favorite... A Charlie Brown Christmas. Who isn't filled with emotion as Linus tells Charlie and the rest of the gang, including us, what the true meaning of Christmas is? You ever notice that when Linus gets to "Fear not..." he drops his security blanket? Amazing!!!

It is the incarnation of Jesus, God in the form of man, that gives real meaning to this time of year. As great as the other traditions can be, I am humbled when I think that the perfect Son of God came as a lowly baby and would grow up to be crucified in my place. The one who knew no sin came to bare the wrath I justly deserved. That, to me, is the true miracle of Christmas.


New Look

Well, I updated to the 'new and improved' Blogger and am very happy with the changes! They have addressed/improved the editing & posting problems I shared in my previous post.

I have changed the look and title of my blog and will now begin using it often. Also, I'm sure you have noticed but I have increased the font size to make it easier to read. As the title suggests, I will be providing my biblically based thoughts on issues related to upholding sound doctrine in our churches and in our individual Christian lives.

Some of you may be visiting from www.mike-michelle.com so you'll no doubt read much of the same thoughts as you've seen in the past, and others may be visiting for the first time. Either way, I pray you will find my posts thought-provoking, edifying, & encouraging. There may also be times when you may not leave with a 'warm & fuzzy' feeling, but that is okay as long as I've been faithful to Scripture. The most important thing is that God be glorified in all that I write.

I look forward to your honest and respectful feedback!