Happy New Year!

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“Happy New Year!”

 

What’s happy about the new year?

Well, I’m sure there are a few happy thoughts, if I think hard enough.

I got a new sweatshirt,… for sleeping! No big deal? It is still winter here where I live and the temperature drastically dipped early last week. A high school get-together was cancelled, thanks to sub-zero temps! So, yes, my warm sweatshirt by American Eagle is great news! I got it for free, too – Christmas present!!

Also, last Wednesday, my daughter returned $40 of the money I gave her as Christmas gift. I told her to buy the shoes she needed and she did but she told me she got such a good bargain online that she was returning $40 to me! Yay! What blessing! Money that I thought I already lost just came back!!

Also, on that Wednesday night I had gone for my routine shopping at our local pharmacy and I got a total of $19 in coupons in one receipt, which I immediately used for more purchases! I can’t remember ever getting that much “extrabucks” rebate in one receipt before?!

Then on Thursday morning my credit card company finally finished investigating on my online purchase dispute with Amazon and they had returned the $13.42 Amazon or BookNack wouldn’t give me back in cash. I was actually contemplating whether I should change my credit card company and dump Amazon and BooKnack for all my future online purchases, for badly handling my last returned purchase. (I wrote about it in my last blog, “Boxing Day.”) Well, now I know I can stick to my credit card company. They said because I am a valued customer they shouldered the loss themselves. Well, another happy thought for me! My credit card company just put some hope back for reliable customer service in online shopping for me!

So much blessings of cash from God in one day? How did it happen? Well, I can relate it to only one thing that happened to me just before this string of money blessings happened. My special needs daughter and I were having our usual walk in the park on Wednesday evening and it was getting dark but I saw something glittering on the pathway so I checked it out. It was a penny – yes, a one cent coin. I picked it up. No, I never throw money away nor leave it lying around for people to step on. I always believe any amount of money is a blessing and I had been raised to treat money (or bread / rice / food) with respect because it is a blessing from God. Then I declared, “Yes, Lord, You’re going to provide for me and my family just like this – as effortless as picking up money along the pathways! There is no lack in Heaven and as God’s chosen, peculiar people, You are providing for us out of Your abundance in Heaven, as You provided for Your priests – without a sweat! You are our Shalom – our peace, our provision, our good health, our peaceful dwelling place, our safety, our welfare, our abundance, our completion, Lord!”

Finally, on that same day Thursday, I received the book I ordered from another company (Christianbook.com), to replace the wrong one I returned. 5 years ago I had to give away my first two personally-acquired Bibles, a New American Standard Bible (NASB) that had colored pictures in it, and a King James Version (KJV) Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. So, this time I got an NASB Thompson Chain-Reference Bible to replace both Bibles I lost and it came just a few days after I ordered it! It is also $6 cheaper than Amazon’s price for exactly the same item, even though they charge less for shipping. (The wrong one I returned to BooKnack was a 2011 NIV Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. I got attracted to it because of the “2011” year. I thought the newest version would be best, until I realized there are no changes to the chain reference system but rather, this is the infamous 2011 NIV, the “gender-ambiguous version.” That is the reason I was adamant on returning it.) My new Bible has an 8-point font and I thought it would be very small but it turned out to be just fine. I also have a giant-print KJV Bible already. So, having missed the two Bibles I lost for 5 years now, this Christmas present for myself is truly one happy thought! The thought of finally having both Bible versions back literally makes me smile when I wake up in the morning! I am certain it will keep the smile on my lips for a long, long time!

So, yeah, so much blessings from God! It’s truly a “Happy New Year!”

I had given up making new year resolutions a long time ago. Have you, too? Tsk, tsk, maybe it’s time to re-think. Statistics show “people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Statistics. But that’s for average people, you say. Yeah, right. We’re not average! We’re outliers!! (Not “right-out liars.”)

Well then,  let’s look at how our fellow humans who are average look like then:

 

These are the top ten new year resolutions for 2015:

1

Lose Weight

2

Getting Organized

3

Spend Less, Save More

4

Enjoy Life to the Fullest

5

Staying Fit and Healthy

6

Learn Something Exciting

7

Quit Smoking

8

Help Others in Their Dreams

9

Fall in Love

10

Spend More Time with Family

*Statistics data taken from statisticbrain.com

 

Ugh, “lose weight.” That is why I don’t make new year resolutions! It’s like getting punched in the face – “the fact is, you’re fat!” “Get organized”… ugh, that sounds like my spouse talking. Another reason I dumped new year resolutions a long time ago! “Spend less, save more”… that’s not even “new” !! I’m already doing that and am not sure that actually makes my year/s better! “Enjoy life to the fullest” – that contradicts no. 3. “Staying fit and healthy” – sounds like no. 1. “Learn something exciting” – doing that already. “Quit smoking” – N.A. “Quit computer games” once applied to me but thank God, I’m over that. And no, I licked it not due to a new year resolution but because I prayed for God to replace it with something more exciting. “Help others in their dreams” – I’m doing that big time with my kids – like 90% of my time? Maybe that’s one thing I need to ease on instead. “Fall in love” – really? That’s a new year resolution? I thought you only do changes with things you can do something about! Maybe “fight to stay in love” would be a better way of putting it? Falling in love will depend on the other person to make that happen, doesn’t it?  He / she will have to work hard to make you fall in love with him / her! “Spend more time with family “ – N.A. That’s nothing new to me, I guess, another place to slack on.

 

So, what resolutions actually apply and / or appeal to me, if ever? I came across this article like three weeks back and I guess this one appeals to me. I call it “The Way of Mary.” For some people groups here in America, including Christians, Hispanics, African-Americans and older Americans, faith trumps health goals for the new year. People want to get closer with God! (They are catching on on the secret of happiness!) Getting close to God brings joy and happiness which makes us stronger in our resolutions to get healthy, too, right? In this sense, it is truly the only one thing that is needed.

I call it “The Way of Mary” because in the Bible, Jesus commended Mary of Bethany for choosing to sit at His feet and learn from Him as He taught, rather than be bothered with the elaborate food preparations:

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things.

42 But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10

 

I love Sid Roth’s tv show, “It’s Supernatural,” and I guess his interview on his guest, Beni Johnson, couldn’t have aired at a better time (it was shown last Sunday, 3rd January). I’m sure many people want to do new year resolution no. 1! She addressed just that, but with a twist. She is basically saying, “Partner with God so you can succeed on this one.” I can’t agree more with her! A few years back  I was addicted to “Bejewelled Blitz” (a kind of computer game similar to “Candy Crush”) and I told the Lord He would have to come up with something more “compelling” to get me out of it. He got me back to studying my Bible again! So, it was because I partnered with God, I prayed. That is why I succeeded. You can watch Beni Johnson’s interview here

As to keeping my weight down I was more concerned about keeping fit (no. 5). Two years ago I joined a fitness group that meets every Saturday morning and that was effective in keeping me fit and challenged, besides keeping the challenge fun. But losing weight itself came as a surprise, again, from God. He brought challenges into my life that prompted me to go back to fasting again. As Derek Prince points out in his book on fasting, Jesus said, “when you fast,” not “if you fast.” That means fasting is a given for all followers of Christ. Yes, the one thing that keeps the pounds off is really fasting. I can’t “diet!” Many people can testify it does not work anyway. Even Beni Johnson says so. But when I decide to fast because I am praying for something, it comes as a bonus. How do you keep the pounds continually off? You just continue fasting. Not fun? Well, who said new year resolutions, or change in general, is fun? No, fasting can mean tummy aches and headaches. But hey, you get closer to God and you keep the weight off!

So, are we going to be happy this year? Well, we’ve got to partner with God and we’ll get the happy results! Meanwhile, did you enjoy New Year’s Eve fireworks? Well, here’s a spectacular one I found on youtube – last year’s fireworks in Manila!  Enjoy!

 

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New Year’s Eve Party

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All Scripture references are from the 1984 New International Version Bible, unless otherwise specified. Emphases in bold letters are mine.

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If you wish to cite this blog, citation is as follows: PureJoyLand. (2016, Jan. 11). Happy New Year! [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://purejoyland.com/2016/01/hny16/

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