THE WORD FOR 2018

10 01 2018

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 For the past several years, because of a practice that I first picked up on from my daughter Abbie, I have chosen one specific Word to act as identifying my primary goal and hope for the New Year. In 2016, my word was Pray piggybacking on the powerful Movie, “War Room.” Last year, it was Contentment because I too wanted to learn like the Apostle Paul just how to be content no matter what the circumstances. This year it is Restore. I have been beseeching and begging the Lord for quite a while to help me find my way back out of the irritating fog caused by constant physical ailments and setbacks, paralyzing anxiety and fits of discouragement and depression.

 I have nothing to hide. I love the Lord, my wife and kids and grandkids, my call as a Pastor with all of my heart and I try to live life to its fullest extent. But I have had many obstacles in my path the last dozen years that have done its darndest to puncture my balloon of dreams! The enemy has been busy planting mine fields in my green pastures of grandeur. Life is good and certainly a gift but it isn’t easy!  It is much too safe to buy into the lie that our best days are behind us. I refuse to receive this as my mandate from Heaven. Habits are much too accommodating to form and even more difficult to break. I believe that we consciously need to retrain our brain so our minds can be renewed to think the way the Lord would want us to and never surrender to a platform of defeat.

 So I have picked the word, Restore! Restore the grounds the locusts have tried to destroy! Restore to me the pure joy of my salvation! Restore to me the mind that will trust and obey no matter what mountains might be standing in the way. Restore to me the energy to be on the offensive and not just get stuck playing daily in a prevent defense mode. Restore the faith that believes God loves me and is right by my side no matter where the adventure may take me. Restore the confidence, courage and consistency that I once knew as a devoted disciple of my Savior.

 Restoring old houses or vintage items is certainly popular these days in our culture. The whole concept of taking something old and making it look new again. I want God to overhaul the broken parts and pieces of my life and bring them back to their original classic glory. Several years ago I watched Paul Brant restore a 1972 Chevy Nova, which happens to be my all time favorite car, piece by piece. He did it as a labor of his love for that car. When Paul was done with all of his efforts; that Nova looked like it had just rolled off the assembly line in pristine condition. I want Jesus to do the same in me. Rescue me from the junk yard. Redeem me out of the pits of despair. Restore me to the place that God always intended me to be. Make me believe now what I was so sure of then.

 I am not going to wait very long to put this word into practice. This Friday, I am leading a Missions trip with twenty other individuals from The Lighthouse Church to Ecuador. When I was younger, traveling the world came so easy to me. I couldn’t wait for the next assignment. But that has not been the case lately. Traveling is very difficult for me. Anxiety comes too easy and the yearning to stay put has kept me homebound way too many times. If I could explain it, I could conquer it on my own but I know it is beyond my own ability. So I am humbly asking the Lord to restore to me the simple trust of following him wherever and whenever he leads, even if it takes me out of Cape May County. This is a pretty big step of faith and I am determined to take it. “Restore to me the childlike dependence upon you my Lord. I choose to believe that you will look out for me so that I can just be the man you created me to be. I can’t do it without you but I want to do it with you so here we go!”

 What is your word for 2018? I’d love to hear it and have you share it with me. Perhaps you can do it as a family, a small group or even as a church! All I know it that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and so words can be pretty powerful. The difference between Yes and No is life changing. Let the Word give you a word and when you have his word on it, you are ready to lay your life on it and a whole new story begins. It is so much better when the Author of Heaven writes our tales here on earth!  


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