Each year brings its own changes and challenges... it seems that no two years are the same and we should probably be grateful for that. If you're anything like me you've either: A) Already blown any New Year's resolutions you thought about or B) Learned by now to not even bother making them.
As I thought about what to offer you for the year ahead I realized I could do no better then to give you the same words that have meant so much to me over the last several years in the expectation that God would use them to encourage you:
For many of us, our New Year's excitement is tempered by either the remembrance of last year's failures or our fear for what this year may hold. Oswald Chambers writes these words that I have come to take to heart...
"At the end of the year, we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God's grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday's sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for the future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present."
Chambers goes on to remind the reader of God's promise in Isaiah 52:12...the Lord will go before you and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. (NKJV)
Speaking of that verse, Chambers goes on to say:
"This is a gracious revelation - that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures... [a]nd God's hand reaches back to the past, settling all claims against our conscience.
"As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ."
Chambers concludes with these words which I have found to be a special comfort:
"Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him." My Utmost for His Highest - Dec 31.
I will leave you with this last thought from Charles Spurgeon, the last sentence of which I personally have found to be my new watch phrase for the year:
"O sweet Lord Jesus, Thou art the present portion of Thy people, favour us this year with such a sense of Thy preciousness, that from its first to its last day we may be glad and rejoice in Thee. Let January open with joy in the Lord and December close with gladness in Jesus." Charles Spurgeon Evening Devotional - Jan 01.
My God bless you as you embark on this New Year according to His will...
Art: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ by Ron DiCianni
Posted on January 9, 2012 8:53 PM
For those of you who are on our email list or part of our Artist’s Circle you received a Christmas Email earlier this month where we profiled an incredible ministry called “King’s Castle”. Don and Terri Triplett are long time friends and incredible missionaries that God is working through mightily to not merely win the next generation of El Salvadorians to Christ but, by and large, much of Latin America. In fact, the Triplett’s are my answer whenever I am asked “why isn’t God moving any more” – I usually just read the person an excerpt from the latest King’s Castle Newsletter which reads like a modern day book of Acts.
In James Chapter 4 the Message translation phrases James’ charge to the complacent Church in these words: “The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious”. As many of you know James was writing to complacent Christians, the kind with little fruit in their life and some basic head knowledge of Christ. The point made is that it’s not a matter of either “believing” or “doing” but that mature true Christianity looks at the things of God, believes them and acts upon them.
Which bring me back to the King’s Castle and something I talk about every chance I get, namely that participation in the Great Commission (Go therefore into all the world making disciples of every nation and baptizing them… Matt. 28:19) is not optional. It’s not one of those things that we can take or leave at our option. Another missionary friend put it this way. “In regard to missions you do have a choice! You can go yourself or you can send someone”. It’s not a choice to opt in or opt out… it’s merely a choice of what your participation looks like, as God allows.
Only a very few argue this point when I raise it and for most Christians the attitude is “yeah… missions is great!”. But if pressed to point to how they are fulfilling the Great Commission few can point to much beyond having thrown a $20 in the plate a few years ago when a missionary came to speak. Now, I know full well that for many and for a variety of reasons going on the mission’s field overseas as a full time missionary may not feasible right now. Physical limitations, health issues, family concerns, etc make it difficult or impossible at present. I understand and in fact can relate. But we do still have a responsibility to execute on this command and it is unchanged by our limitations. We still must participate in God’s call. And if we can’t do that physically then we still have an option…namely to help send (that means $) and support (that means prayer) those missionaries who are going. And it’s high time we get serious about it.
I would ask then, with the authority of Christ, that if you are not currently involved in direct missions work, that you find engaged called missionaries of God to financially partner with. And I strongly offer that King’s Castle is one of the few missionary endeavors that has proven itself more then worthy of such support. (For the record, they have no idea that we are posting this).
As the year wraps to a close I urge you to support the incredible work that God is doing at King’s Castle with a financial gift. And to even go beyond that in partnering with them monthly in both finances and prayer, as we do both personally and corporately here at Tapestry.
You can access their website at www.kingscastle.org to learn about this incredible ministry and to make a secure online contribution through the “Give to Castle” link at the top of the page.
We also wanted to share a recent video from the Ministry. Here's a recent video from Wisconsin.
May God bless you as this year closes!
Posted on December 29, 2011 10:51 PM
Looking for more ways to save in the New Year? We are here to help.
We know that it's always best to begin each year with a renewed sense of your love for Christ. Let our products serve as a reminder of His precious gift each day in 2012.
Tapestry is offering you a 20% discount to start the New Year. Enter the discount code NEWYEAR20 in your cart during the checkout process to save.
Offer is valid until January 15, 2012!
Not valid with any other offers. Must enter discount coupon into shopping cart. Discount does not include shipping. For international and express shipping, please call 877-TAP-PROD.
Posted on December 28, 2011 10:51 AM
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
Merry Christmas from Tapestry Productions!
We are so thankful to all of you who have helped spread God's word to this world.
We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas full of love, peace, and fellowship.
Posted on December 25, 2011 1:53 AM
Every year we hear from a few of you that you wished that you would have purchased that special gift from Tapestry.
We want to offer this special tip.
1. Purchase a print as a gift for a loved one.
2. Print out the page with the painting on it.
3. Put it in a envelope or box and top with a bow.
4. Add a special message and present it as a gift.
5. Let your loved one know that a one of a kind present it on its way!
Your gift will arrive in the new year and is sure to be hit!
We hope that your Christmas is full of love, happiness and fellowship! What a joyous time of year!
Image: The Promise by Ron DiCianni
Posted on December 23, 2011 11:01 AM
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