Thoughts From The Hill…

Dear Friends:

I love January and celebrating the start of a new year.  Beginnings are empowering, but I’m not big on resolutions.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to be in shape, live with less stress, and have organized closets as much as the next person.  I even took the first week of January to clean, throw out and organize, which included sitting to ponder what I should do with odd pillowcases and books I will never read.
Although I’m not a fan of resolutions, I may have one for this year.  At our Christmas party in early December I was invited into a circle of girls.  A glob of whipping cream was squirted on top of my hand which I was supposed to catapult in the air and then catch in my mouth.  After several unsuccessful attempts and eager coaching, I performed some contortionist-worthy moves, and the white fluffy stuff finally landed somewhere on my face.  Then for the next three or four days I walked around feeling like I had whiplash and I resolved I would never play that game again—not in 2020, not ever.  And I’m sticking to it.
Resolutions may not be my thing but I do believe hitting the reset button, looking forward to what lies ahead and releasing the past is quite rewarding.  “Good-bye closet clutter and boxes that have lived in my house way too long.”  Clutter doesn’t only happen in our homes.  It also crowds our minds when we listen for too long to what the world tells us about ourselves and who God is.  When we let others and experiences define how we think about ourselves the result is often the exact opposite of who our Father tells us we are.
One evening not long ago a young friend and I began talking about her childhood at my kitchen counter.  “I was really difficult,” she said.  I laughed in agreement because we both remember her escapades growing up.
“I could be quite manipulative.  That’s just who I am by nature.”
“Hang on a minute,” I said, “let’s talk about that last statement.  Think about what you’re saying.”
This young friend grew up hearing and knowing that when she invited Jesus to come into her life she became a new creation in Christ; her old nature was eradicated.  She knew that with His life indwelling she was forgiven, beautiful, loved, and a partaker of the divine nature.
“Right,” she said, a minute later, the light coming on in her eyes, “That’s not really who I am.”
It’s easy to recognize and point out when someone else has a mixed up or cluttered view of himself or herself. It’s much harder to catch it in ourselves.  While we are on earth we will sin and have lingering bad habits but that does not define who we are by nature.  It’s important to recognize the difference.  I, for one, need daily reminding.
Jesus died and was raised to life to give us that brand new nature.  January is a great time to hit the rest button by asking God to help us remember that at our core, He has made us righteous.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may know the things freely given to us by God…  1 Corinthians 2:12
The Hill is committed to telling and reinforcing this message of grace and new life.  We love providing opportunities to gather throughout the year for the purpose of encouraging one another, and invite you to be a part.  We also hope to provide a solid biblical foundation through the materials and resources offered through this ministry.  What a great time of year to gain a fresh perspective.