Pushing the Limit in 2011

“Transitions” by Israeli painter, Yoram Raanan

Catch Phrases for the year or for product, etc. express the spirit of the something. Over the years, we have  marched to the beat of

“Blue Bell: We eat all we can and sell the rest”

“L’Oreal: Because you are worth it.”

“Meow Mix: Tastes so good cats ask for it by name”

“Nike: Just Do it”

“Yahoo:  Do you… Yahoo!?”

“LG: Life’s Good”

“Sony: Like. no. other”

“General Electric: Imagination at Work”

“May the force be with you”

“Houston we have a problem”

Although the road is unknown before us, still we sense the spirit of it before it unfolds. And I love the clean slate of a new year! As Ann Shirley said in Ann of Green Gables, “It is fresh with no mistakes.” It also hold endless possibility.

For this year, I like “Pushing the Limit in 2011.” It fits me, and I think it fits the season with political strain and shadowy uncertainty under the administration of Obama, economic downturn, and a sense of unrest throughout the world. It is time to push the limit to get to the other side.

In just a few days, we will begin our yearly trek to the other side of the world. I am pushing the limit as I go.. still eager to meet old friends and make new ones, yet part of me wants to stay comfortable here. I am also hungry for great Mediterranean cuisine and change of culture and landscape. It is so good for the soul and strengthens for the spirit. I will need to press through the discomfort to get there.

I complain about travel, but it is really is flying and the tight security hoops that are connected to it that bother me. In reality, if I had to stay in one spot all the time, I would really be bored. I am born to wander… it is very rewarding, educational, and challenging.

As I contemplate the clean, fresh slate before me as a new journey begins in travel and in the season, this scripture comes to mind:

“Behold what manner of love has the Father given us that we should become the sons of God… ” ~ I John 3:1.

As I prayed over this verse, it illuminated my heart with wonder and inspiration. I asked myself, “What kind of love HAS the Father given us?” As I waited, this answer came to me: Isaiah 53 — an account of the suffering Messiah.

Indeed, it is through his blood shed and atonement that I have become a child of God. I want to magnify the depth of God’s indescribable gift to me so that I may fully understand “what kind of love has been given.”

Prophets, teachers, and pastors as calling 2011 a transition year — something between 10 and 12… a year of decision that could take us up or down… a touch down year as we press on into victory. All of these are good, but what comes to mind for me is that this is a new decade. A New. Set. Of. Ten. In a way, it is a clean slate, if you look at the years in decades, which many do. In a way, we are already into a new season, transitioning as we go…

Child birth is a transition. And it is a time to push the limit. The mother decreases as the child increases. She has to give all to get to the next level. God is calling me to give all as never before.

In the progression, I must decrease, and He must increase in my life. I must push the limit on this to the max. Keeping my eyes focused on Jesus as the key. I can push the limit and go way beyond my norm when I am in awe of his love and passionately serving him because of it.

Exploring the price he paid for me, will help me press outside of my comfort zone in 2011… It is the only thing that will enable the transition before me.

Isaiah 53:1: “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?”

A deeper look the first verse on the suffering servanthood of Jesus asks the question, “Who has believed his message and to whom was it revealed?”

John 1:11 tells us that Jesus came to the Jews, his very own, and they did not receive him. John 7:4 says that the rulers of Israel at the time did not believe on him, yet John 1: 29 makes it clear that some called him the “Lamb of God.”

“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?… in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him… God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1Co 1:20-29).

The world, through its wisdom, did not know him. Jesus the Messiah of Israel and the nations was revealed to some and not to others. God reigns and he has made bare his holy arm of salvation… What made the difference that some saw and some didn’t?

Jesus himself told the disciples that the pure in heart would see God. He came against the endless laws or the religious when he made the statement. He underscored that seeing the revelation of God comes from a pure heart attitude toward him, not an action or duty.

My prayer today is that I would see a new revelation of God great gift to me in 2011 that is rooted from within with pure motive to know him and love him more.

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