December 2015 Newsletter

MINISTRY AT A GLANCE

Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $ 7,100.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $7,074.00

Remaining Need:( +carryover need from previous months of $9,058.00) $9,084 .00

Current Ministry/ Ranch Projects:  Keeping the driveway usable in the winter is always a challenge and though we haven’t had much snow yet, the wind is still a big factor as far as drifting snow across the driveway. Kevin stays on top of the plowing!

Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month: We were very blessed by a donor that had a semi load of firewood logs delivered to the bottom of the driveway. This will supply MH with around 12-14 cords of firewood for the winter! Praise God for provision.

Top Prayer Requests: 1.) Pray that in 2016 believers will continue to put God first in their lives. 2.) Pray for idols to be broken down and lives restored.

Please consider MH for your end of year giving. We rely on the support of those who give generously to this ministry. You can find the DONATE button by going to the home page and clicking on the tab in the menu.

We are so grateful for all those who have helped support Mountain Haven!

 

Living New this year

So I’m sure you are stuffed and content from your Christmas feast, like a typical American ready for round two with the New Year’s Eve festivities. Perhaps you ate so much you would like a do over, or the chance to forget the gluttonous excess. Reimagine the last two weeks?

I bet you are already setting your New Year’s resolutions. But you know yourself better than anyone, and most of us know that the ability to keep a New Year’s resolution fails for a large percentage of people. But what if what you knew could actually change what you do? Not like a New Year’s resolution but the ability to see yourself as a new person based upon what you know about the old person? And further, the ability to forget who that person was and see a new person.

The freedom of self forgetfulness as Timothy Keller puts it. I know the bible is full of all sorts of promises and exhortations about being a new creature, and all sorts of ideas about newness in general. But, how many of us actually live in a way that we believe this? I don’t, that’s for sure. I live in a way that my old fears, my circumstances, my habits, and my mood often dictate my choices. I have heard many people in counseling tell me that they are trying to get happy, or they are aiming for a certain goal. I think goals are one of the greatest ideas ever. However, I often see goals standing in the way of living in the now.

The goal becomes the idol, the “must have”. Whether it’s a financial goal, a weight loss goal, or any other admirable achievement, I watch many people get wrapped up in the pursuit part, and along the way they become unbearable to live with, or the world around them feels the pressure of the other person’s striving. One way to achieve self­-forgetfulness and to embrace yourself as a new creature is to know yourself deeply. Spend time asking those closest to you to write out how they see you, what they perceive as your strengths and weaknesses, take their feedback to heart and explore their observations.

If you have unreconciled relationships in your life, examine your heart to see if you are holding anger and expectations of other people that have hurt you. Own your part in it. Self knowledge can be obtained through daily self reflection and daily times of being quiet and listening for the parts in your life that are screaming the loudest. Is there a friendship that is unmended? is there a child that you have hurt deeply and left to lick their own wounds instead of taking responsibility for your part in it? Is that child fully reconciled to you as the parent? Is there a colleague that you had a harmful interaction with that needs resolving? Is there an interaction in your marriage that has left a shadow? Have you stopped the behavior that led to the creating of this shadow? The path to self­forgetfulness and embracing the new person that you are, is through self knowledge.

A great way to continue to seek understanding of yourself is to listen to your words. If they are dark and doubtful, sad and grief filled; pay attention. You are on a journey, don’t be afraid of it. Don’t push that part of you away, share it with a trusted person or even a counselor. It doesn’t need to be a secret that leads to destructive and potentially damning choices. That part of you that struggles and that hurts, is just one facet to the deeper part of your whole person, and it must be known fully to understand and receive redemption fully.

Jesus fully participated in the experience of betrayal when he hung on a cross alone, abandoned and broken. You can never fully know yourself, that’s the job of the one that created you, but you can participate in the process of self knowledge by listening wholeheartedly to the feedback of those that love you, by journaling, by giving yourself freedom to live in the moment, and pay attention, rather than just in pursuit of the goal.

David Whyte puts it this way in his book, Consolations, “Half of what lies in the heart and mind is potentiality; resides in the darkness of the unspoken and unarticulated and has not yet come into being: this hidden unspoken half of the person will supplant and subvert any present understandings we have about ourselves. Human beings are always, and always will be, a frontier between what is known and what is not known…..what we are actually about to become or are afraid of becoming always trumps and rules over what we think we are already.”

Think about all of the potential that lies within you. Instead of focusing on that person you were, think about the person you are becoming and make choices to heal the past, change the bad habits, and reconcile those relationships based on who that person is that you imagine. For each of us that is different. Spend a moment and write out a page or two of what you know about yourself, and in that knowing, make choices for a new and better year.

It’s been a great 2015, now we press forward to an even grander 2016.

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