In six months we will be watching fireworks, drinking lemonade and eating watermelon!  It is a cold, January 4th in Dallas – and thinking about the Fourth of July makes me smile!  I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions because I don’t think I ever kept one.  I’ve also never been a huge fan of January.  It is cold, gray and six months before July 4th!  Every other commercial right now is a movie star talking about how I could be wearing a bikini by June.  Guess what…I’m 54 years old and even if I lost every ounce of fat – that bikini is NOT going to happen!  (My children just breathed an enormous sigh of relief!)  I read an article in USA Today that said people with a little extra weight actually live longer.  I’m looking forward to heaven, but I’m okay if I take my time getting there!  Enjoy life, even if you are not a size 6!  Maybe the problem with resolutions is that we don’t really want to be resolved to attain the lesser goals of earthly life.  So, I am blogging today about a resolution that you might actually want to be resolved to keep.  What if I could promise you a closer walk with God by July 4th?

Next Tuesday when my blog arrives, it will be situated on a new webpage.  It will look similar to my old one – but new and improved.  I was fine with that other look, but apparently it has grown old and expired.  (Don’t we all!!!)  There is a new feature coming that I want everyone to consider.  I am actually very excited about the potential!  It will be located at the bottom of the home page and labeled “Keep in Step.”  Last Fall I taught a Bible study on the book of James.  On the last day of the study I heard myself say something I had not thought of before or planned to say.  I always pay attention to those kind of moments – because often it is something God wanted to say, through me.  (The Holy Spirit has a way of getting his word in edge-wise!)  I told the ladies that as I thought about all that James emphasized, I realized that choosing to make the epistle a standard for our spiritual life – would strengthen and equip us to walk more closely with God.  Then we discussed a commitment to read through the book each week or once a month.  That conversation is why I chose to write a new devotion that I would love for you to have.

I’ve taken the book of James and written a short thought for each day of the month, using the key verses from the epistle.  You will be able to read it on the new webpage or print it out at home.  I’m convinced that learning the book of James, and choosing to obey his direction would drastically change the character of God’s people and therefore, the character of our culture.   In other words, if you would like to develop a closer walk with God – walk with James, he will lead you on a straight path!

I’m excited about this new year, my new web page and a new resolve for my spiritual life.  i can do a better job sharing Christ with those around me.  That is why James wrote his epistle in the first century and it’s why his words are still relevant today.  Between now and next Tuesday, find time to read the book of James.  Next Tuesday look for the spot on my website labeled “Keep in Step” and then join me in this spiritual resolution: to live like James taught – and walk more closely with God.  One of my favorite “life verses” is Galatians 5:25.  “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”  Now I’m looking forward to July 4th even more than before!  Happy New Year and may your 2013 be filled with God’s word, strengthened by God’s power and improved by God’s people – as we learn to “keep in step with God’s Spirit.”

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