Happy New Year!
Yes, I know it is February 1st but the truth is as 2013 was coming to a close and 2014 was quickly approaching, something deep inside of me began to rebel. I did not want to be among the gazillion other New Years posts making resolutions, setting goals, etc. So why would I be sharing mine now? Because each new year for me truly is a time of prayer and reflecting on what area of my life God wants me to focus on through His word.
In 2012, the Lord brought me through a personal in-depth bible study in Philippians. I read and re-read the book as God poured and revealed His desire for me to know Him. The result was To Know Him More. I spent the first part of 2013 reading and studying 1 Peter and 2 Peter landing in the gospels for the later part of the year. Reading and rereading the gospels along with the 31-day writing challenge resulted in Dying to Live. It is hard to put into words what those two years have meant to me as I have experienced God in ways I would never imagine. So when during the last few weeks of December as I began praying about where the Lord wanted to take me in 2014 and His still small voice began to whisper in my ear, I was uncertain as to whether or not I really wanted to obey. The words were simple:
The Year of Christ
Knowing God would not be telling me when He is returning, despite my prayers of Lord come quickly, I began to really consider what does the Year of Christ mean? As we spent time with some friends during New Years, God led me to Colossians 3. After reading and praying I believe God is telling me He wants me to live my daily life in such a manner that when I come to the end of my day I can reflect back on it and ask,
“How did my life show Christ today?”
Not only that, but I believe when I come to the end of the year, God wants to be able to say:
This was the year of Christ in Alicia’s life.
Whoa!! It is almost too much to even type.
How in the world is Christ going to be seen in my life?
The Lord allowed me the special privilege of sharing what I believe is part of how God wants to see Christ in my life with the ladies at Silver Springs Baptist Church. If you would like a copy of the study guide we went through together please click here: Is Christ My Life January Study Guide
Scripture very clearly tells me that Christ is my life. If He is going to be visible to those around me then
I must spend time in His word.
I must spend time in prayer.
I must hid His word in my heart.
I must be thankful.
The God who raised Jesus back to life
is the great I Am.
He lives in me.
I am hidden in Christ.
May this be the Year of Christ in Me.
Today I had the opportunity to share just one, tiny portion with our church body of what God began to do in Haiti two weeks ago in regards to the Discovery Bible Study. I also was able to share a short video of some of the things the team was able to do while we were there.
You can click here Haiti Mission Trip to watch it.
Since being state side once again, my heart has been heavy with the multitude of prayer opportunities we have Christians are given yet ignore. There are so many things and people to pray for that it can be overwhelming. As you enter into the 2014 year I encourage you to join me and many others in praying over the following requests as the Lord leads.
For the spiritual stronghold of Voodoo so prevalent in Haiti to be broken
For the altar of voodooism to be replaced with the altar of God
For God to begin to soften the hearts of the Haitian people to receive the Gospel of Christ in their lives and their families
For Pastor Nahum to recover from the severe stroke he had in March 2013
For Pastor Franz and the congregation in Haiti to embrace fully the work God has entrusted to their hands
For Clief to embrace the work God desires to do through him as a result of his Papa’s stroke
For Mama and the children to continue seeking God’s provision for their every need over anything else
For God to begin to direct the hearts of the members of Silver Springs Baptist Church as to where He wants them to spread the gospel in 2014
“Immediately Jesus spoke to them. ‘Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’
‘Lord, if it is You,’ Peter answered Him, ‘command me to come to You on the water.’
‘Come!‘ He said.
And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’
Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said,
‘Truly You are the Son of God!’”
Christmas has come and gone and another year is about to conclude. I intentionally tried to stay off of Facebook and the internet this Christmas so that I could cherish the time with family. Needless to say this Christmas was a first ever for our family to be alone. The flu hit our house the day after I returned from Haiti and stayed long enough to contaminate the house so that no one could come and celebrate with us. However, despite missing family at this special time of year, the seven of us had a blessed time together as a family.
Our Christmas really began the week before I left for Haiti as we began building triple bunk beds for the boys room.
Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning has always been a tradition for our family. As of last year, homemade cinnamon rolls are the top of the list. This Christmas was no different even if the children were recovering from the flu. :)
Next our family had a special time of prayer and blessing over one another before opening gifts. The prayers far outweighed any gift given on Christmas. After treasuring the children’s hearts and their gratitude for their gifts, we began the Christmas dinner preparations. Keep in mind that everyone was suppose to come to our house for dinner. I had already purchased everything and had begun the cooking process before the children really got sick. Therefore, Christmas dinner plans continued despite only the six of us eating. The spread was amazing and the fellowship was divine.
We all enjoyed a great meal if I do say so myself, but the real icing on the cake or should I say meringue on the pie, was when I attempted for the first time ever to make a coconut cream pie. And not just any coconut cream pie, but my Mema Larrabee’s coconut cream pie. Yes, I have her recipe that she wrote for me close to two years ago. I have been so intimidated just thinking about attempting to make it. But this Christmas I decided I would try just to have a part of her here with us. I gathered everything together, staged it all and read over the directions at least five times (no kidding) before beginning. I will let you decide how it turned out…
The next day we finished the bunk beds and MamMaw and Papa Larrabee came over for leftovers and Christmas. We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed our time together.
Even though we did not get to spend as much time together with our extended family this year, we enjoyed our time as a family and reflected on many wonderful memories. Merry Christmas to all and have a wonderful New Year!!