It Has Begun, My Rising Sun

(Chopin's Etude Op 25 No.1, performed by the amazingly talented pianist, Valentina Lisitsa. Please show her support by viewing more of her videos and subscribing.)

My loves, and others, this beautiful piece by Chopin is, to me, a great theme for this month. It represents my feeling of an optimistic beginning. This piece is remarkable and complex, like the Lord, like this year. Twenty-fourteen is my rising sun. The new dawn. As Nina Simone once sang, "It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life. For me. And I'm feeling good."

Things are going to change this year. All of it for the better, as the Lord is constantly growing me to prosperity and victory, and I'm excited. For a long time, I've struggled with peace. The previous years, I had Jesus, but my mind was not always where Jesus wanted me to be. The door was not always open so that He could bring me peace, and invitations were not sent. Slowly, over time, there came a mindset and an understanding, a growing of faith. I saw that through constant faith, hope, prayer, and love in the Lord there are no limits. I am destined for victory in Christ. My inheritance is secured by His grace and love.

This year, with your help, and by His will, I will pour out more of that love on to others as He has into my life and heart. It would be nice to begin with those closer to me and spread out to the community. If not, I already have community initiatives in mind to increase my productive and positive influence in the world. Unlike last year, where my cognitive, emotional, spiritual, and temporal resources were tied up by a variety of complications soon to resolve themselves, this tree will bear many good fruits. The stressors that perpetuated discomfort will be dissolved, defeated, and left behind. Love will prevail.

I said "with your help" with the understanding that, though some of you are strangers, voyeurs, and perhaps even stalkers, those of you who personally know me, and have honest and pure intentions, will give me an opportunity to make a more positive impact in your life on a personal level. Personal level means one-on-one, in a private place, and about personal matters.

There will also be travel in store for me. You wonder where I will go. I'll let you know when I'm there. (laughs) I'm vague. You know this (and you know why). If you honestly want to know, you have to be trustworthy, a friend, and get on board. Cause honey, this ship is sailing.

My suggestions for things to do this year:

1. Come closer to God through prayer, reading and comprehending the Word, praise, meditation (with the Lord at the center-point of your focus), and an active presence and function within the body of Christ, the church.

2. Walk, jog, skip, run, or skate a mile a day. If you have a bike, make it two miles. Yes, there will be days when your schedule will be complicated. However, strive, push, and tell yourself you can do it. You can. If you miss a mile one day, add that mile to the next. Push yourself on days you have energy. And give yourself respite on days you're stretched and exhausted. Seven miles a week. Twenty-eight to thirty-one miles a month. Three hundred sixty-five miles a year. You can do it! We can do it!

3. We can do ten push-ups, sit-ups, and leg rises a day. That's ten. Some will say, "That's it?" Others will say, "TEN?!" Ten. Yes. Because you'll start out with ten. Then, you'll be like, "I didn't feel anything. I should do more." And it'll work your body. At minimum, that's 3,650 push-ups, sit-ups, and leg rises a year. And, because I believe in you, I know you'll double or triple that.

4. Jumping jacks. (Yes. Yes. This is the last workout item I'll mention.) I want to say fifty a day. It's something. It's an ideal start. Do it to music.

5. Embrace your constructive, positive talents. We have all been blessed with talents. Practice on and remaster a musical instrument. Sing if you have the pipes for it, loves. Enjoy crafts like sewing or sculpting. If you have an eye and steady hand for it, draw or paint, or capture beauty with a camera. Cook and refine your culinary arts, then share the tastiness. We were all gifted with an ability that we alone can focus our minds on away from the riff-raff of the world.

6. Read. Please. I beg you. If you don't read, please try. You know who you are (hopefully). You know what you like (hopefully). People say they don't have time to read, but they talk about the TV show they watched. (clears his throat) Ah hem. That's time you could have been reading. If you like sports, there are books about sports. If you like romance, read a book on romance and relationships. If you enjoyed a specific movie, read the book the movie was based off of. You'd be amazed how more elaborate and detailed the stories are. There is always so much more in the books than the films. Books can travel with you now. You can load them on your smartphones and read them in an elevator, or when waiting in line at the grocery store. You can read them anywhere you're waiting. I don't count Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other social networking as reading. Exercise your mind. Don't let the world, TV, and social media mush your brains.

7. Give more love. Love comes in many different forms, and fits many different people. Some people like love to be shown to them through acts. Others like to hear that love. Do both. Tell people how much they mean to you and then show them. It's easy to tell yourself the person knows. It's easy to remind yourself of all the things you've done. However, time passes. Memories are imperfect. Life stresses people. With all the negative influences bombarding us in the world, what we need is a refreshing reminder that we are wanted, appreciated, needed, accepted, and loved.

There is a proven study on parenting involving the health and survival of babies. Babies need touch. Babies need to be held. They need emotional and physical affection in order for complete and healthy physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Whether we admit to it or not, we are giant babies. Those needs never die. We may not need to be held as much, but it's necessary. Give more love.

May the love of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus fill, empower, and sustain you. Pray and rest all weariness, doubt or fear, and the Lord will revitalize you.

Happy New Year.


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