Thursday, December 31, 2015


At the end of a year and the beginning of a fresh, new year, I have always found it spiritually fruitful to look back on the previous year to check my progress (or regress) and count God's blessings to give Him thanks. It is time to do that again.

In recent years I have prayed and waited upon the Lord for Him to impress upon me a specific, literal "word" of His choice that would give me a trajectory for what He wanted to do in and through my life in the following twelve months. For instance, five years ago my "word" was BALANCE. The next year it was WISDOM. After that it was LEGACY. Last year it was FLOURISH. For the coming year 2016 I have chosen the "word" REDEEM. (A close second choice seemed to be LEFTOVER ABUNDANCE, so I have melded the two together.)

I discovered next year's word during my evaluation as I looked back on my New Year's blog post at the beginning of 2015. (See my blog Archive for January 2015.) In all honesty, I'm disappointed that my spiritual progress wasn't better. I fell short of the progress I could have made, and I have determined that with God's help I will be a better disciple. I would pick up the pieces and press on in a more disciplined manner to REDEEM the bonus time God might still give me as I navigate my nineties into the new year.

On God's side, He certainly didn't disappoint or fail me! He is an “over-blesser.” Whatever He does is lavish, munificent, bounteous, unsparing, and abundant. God has an unparalleled record of faithfulness in providing for the needs of His own people. Beyond that, He outdoes Himself in generously giving us far more than we need, even to granting the desires of our hearts if they are in accord with His perfect plan for our lives and when we delight ourselves in Him. (Psalm 37:4) I face the new year with LEFTOVER ABUNDANCE for which God expects me to be a good steward "as long as He lends me breath."

After the biblical record of His multiplying the available few loaves and fishes to miraculously feed thousands of people, Jesus expressed concern about the leftovers. I really can't figure why, although they were still part of what He had blessed. Building on past years of my walk with the Lord, I too have FLOURISHED with LEFTOVER ABUNDANCE which I should REDEEM with WISDOM for a LEGACY to honor Him.
Sometimes I'm inclined to feel like "a leftover" since I'm a widow living in my advanced years with increasing limitations. Nevertheless, God has His eye on leftovers such as me--and you too, if you are living and breathing and reading these words. His plan is still in action for us. God doesn't put any expiration date on His generosity that would exclude His children when they reach certain accumulated calendar years.

Unimaginable blessings are stored up and prepared by God for me and for all of His children from before the foundation of the world. Such blessings aren't meager or skimpy, "just a little bite" to assuage my hunger pains. I don’t have to beg God for His blessings; He promised life abundant even in our years on earth. God's provision is pressed down, shaken together, and running over just waiting for me to simply ask for and receive it (1 Cor. 2:9; James 4:2).

With the history of God’s faithfulness to me in the past, I am eager to trust Him more readily during this coming year of the summit season of my life. I know He will continue to be incredibly generous and copiously satisfy my every need beyond all I can ask or think according to His riches in Glory (Phil. 4:19). I only need to ask for my provision, thank Him that the supply is on the way, confidently expect it in whatever shape or form He chooses to deliver it. And then to receive it with joy and gratitude when it arrives in God's perfect time. 
Having received God's munificent goodness and mercy and love and provision heretofore in my ninety years, I'm eager to continue my "Barnabas ministry" of encouragement and prayer for all whom He brings into my life ad majorem Dei gloriam, "for the greater glory of God."

I anticipate that God has good plans for me as one of His "leftover children" to share my LEFTOVER ABUNDANCE with others in 2016 through my blog, my published works, and my friendships, and in whatever ways He chooses.

 My rest-of-my-life motto is:  
“Until further notice, celebrate everything!”

Here I am, Lord
at the approach of another year
on Planet Earth. How can it be
that You’ve favored me so generously
with ninety years?

And blessed me to experience life
with my children into their adult years
even as grandparents themselves
and to enjoy my children’s children
and their children
while I myself am still Your child.

Why am I still here on earth
and not rejoicing in Your presence There?
Do You still have work for me to do?
More of Your life to be lived through me?
More fruit to bear for Your pleasure?
More treasure to send ahead?

I offer the rest of my days
as a living sacrifice to do Your will
heart and soul under Your control
until Your plan is fulfilled in me.

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