Old Testament Promise

Welcome back to a New Year and a new post! I hope you had a relaxing and fun filled holiday. We were on the go a lot (as usual!) but this year, I managed to set aside some time for just chillin’. It was a much needed “sabbath rest”. Perhaps I should post about that sometime.

However, it is not my intention to post about rest this post… in fact, quite the opposite. I’ve been thinking about power and wrath recently. Which seems far away from anything peaceful. I’ve been reflecting on some promises of God over the break, and in particular, this one:

“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.”

Nahum 1:3

It’s tucked away in one of those little books at the back of the old testament; tiny writings about the prophets and their respective prophecies. Nahum prophesied against the wicked Assyrian city of Nineveh and, in turn, comforts the people of Judah, that despite what looked like a dire situation, God was in control and would not allow evil to prevail forever. He is great in power, indeed!

We went with family and friends to see the latest Star Wars movie (The Rise of Skywalker) over the holiday. Now, you have to understand, I am a gracious mom and like a good action movie, so I obliged and got a ticket — but I really have no handle on the mega underworld of Star Wars junkies. I recognize some characters, and can appreciate good special effects, but when it comes to background story, character development, conspiracy theories and general folk lore of the Empire, I admit, I am a little lost. (That baby Yoda of the Mandalorian series is cute, though!) Sensing my loss in the discussion pending the above said movie, my middle Mitton summed it up for me: “Mom, you just need to know that the good guys won.” Profound, eh?

Any good movie, book or series always seems to have that delightful conclusion: Good defeats evil and the “good guys” always win… eventually. The plot twists and turns, and there seems to be no one coming to save the underdog… but eventually the people band together and save the day. Goodness prevails!

But I recognize that storybook happily ever afters are not always as evident as we hope. Perhaps your 2019 has been fraught with pain, heartache and deceit. Maybe you have been angry that God hasn’t answered your prayers. There has been no white-horsed cavalry to come save you from that thing that weighs heavy on your heart. Perhaps you are wishing for revenge. You have seen evil prospering and it is hard to watch as it festers and grows. The guilty seem to go unpunished. But then, we come back to our promise:

“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.”

Nahum 1:3

I’m claiming it today. I want to trust that God will take His vengeance on evil. That my mere fluff of anger at injustices will be but a puff of smoke compared to the storm clouds that God will conjure up. Will you join me? Will you be satisfied with knowing that “the good guys won?” Then I will raise my glass in victory with you, and toast to a new year, and an old, but comforting, promise.

2020 Vision

I have a friend who has a whole collection of those little drug store reader glasses. He needs them to read, but keeps leaving pairs behind when they were of no use to him. Then, he ends up purchasing a new pair because he can’t remember where the old pair are! I’m nearsighted, so wear my glasses to see distances and drive. I’ve hit that age, however, when I need to take off my glasses to read small print, or thread a needle. I’m afraid I might eventually have a collection of drug store readers of my own one day! The Mitton crew are prone to vision issues (apparently!) and 5 out of 6 of us have glasses.

Why do I mention our vision delinquencies? It’s what I’ve been musing about since “2020” is approaching soon… “2020”… of the Gregorian calendar, the 2020th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 20th year of the 3rd millennium, the 20th year of the 21st century, and the 1st year of the 2020s decade. Apparently, it will also be a leap year. All special, if you are into that kinda thing. Fireworks, champagne toasts and midnight kisses for you all! But when I hear 2020, I tend to think of vision. It’s actually “normal” vision according to the optometrists…not exactly “perfect”, but the most accurate when it comes to reading that little eye chart at the office.

Vision can mean more than just eyesight though. Think visions and dreams. Something you imagine. It could be literal or figurative. Vision as in great plans for the future. New Year resolutions? Goals? How interesting that it all comes together under this concept of what we call “vision”. A new year, a new decade even… and the internet will be all a buzz on the top 10’s of the past — with great predictions for the future. What will happen in this new year? How will our lives change? How will we change the lives of others?

Now, I am a big believer in goal setting. I’m not very good at always achieving the goals… but I love to have a plan. I love a good list and work best when checking off the steps. Unfortunately, life does not always work in perfect little check marked boxes. Our lives are influenced by others, by our circumstances, and all the tiny nuances that ebb and flow in our life journeys. Our visions are hampered by our own guilt, shame and sin. We do not have perfect vision. We cannot see, nor predict, what lies ahead. We are like my friend, and leave behind our readers when we don’t need them. Or maybe like me, who must purposefully put aside our glasses when we feel the need to focus on the tiny things in life, when we should be casting our eyes to a wider view of the world.

So, my dear reader, what will your vision be for this 2020 year? Will the Lord be your vision? Like the words of the ancient, Irish Hymn… “Be thou my Vision, oh Lord of my heart…” Will you seek His will and trust in His plans for your life? Will you be devoted to learning all you can to make Heaven’s joys your personal goals? Will you be seeking riches and empty praises of people, or will you dwell in the beauty of Heaven’s sun? Keeping your vision clear and unclouded by the world around us?

It won’t be as easy as reading all the letters on the eye chart. We will forget our specs and abandon them when we think we don’t need the help. We will take our eyes off the goals and focus on our own insecurities and narrow minded points of convergence. Some of us will grow weary of sight and need extra help. Perhaps bifocals, transitions or permanent laser surgery will be metaphors for our pruning and molding this next year. All necessary to improve our vision. But my wish for you in this new year, this new decade, this year with an extra day… is that you will be seeing 2020, and that whate’er befall… He will still be your vision, O Ruler of all…


Never heard of this ancient hymn mentioned above? Check out my facebook page… I’ll post the lyrics there! Like what you read? Join the adventure! I’d love to have you along as a subscriber and join me each week in 2020! (Click on the little follow button on the sidebar and enter your email address!)

What is Peace?

Peace. Joy. Love. Twinkle stars and green grinch hearts that grow. ‘Tis the season of spreading good wishes and warm fuzzies. But let’s get real for a second. Crowded parking lots, tired bodies, loneliness and pain often marr our Hallmark movie visions of what this season is supposed to look like. Tensions ride high and our often idealistic gatherings end in hurt feelings and anger. We are human — it happens.

Last week, I discovered that December 12th has been set aside by the United Nations as “International Day of Neutrality”. Which got me thinking about this whole idea of peace. Is it easier to just be “neutral” in order to keep the peace? To let things go? To simply sweep tensions under the rug rather than cause a scene? Maybe you’ve faced this delima at your last holiday gathering? A co-worker with whom you’ve had a disagreement? Or in-laws that have become out-laws? The holidays seem to bring out the best — and the worst — in some people. Let’s think about it a little more…

According to the Oxford dictionary, “neutrality” means:

Artwork symbolizing ‘peace in the world’ © United Nations
  1. the state of not supporting or helping either side in a conflict, disagreement, etc.; “impartiality.”
  2. absence of decided views, expression, or strong feeling.”the clinical neutrality of the description”
  3. the condition of being chemically or electrically neutral.

The UN extended this definition even further to: “the abstention of a state from all participation in a war between other states” while still maintaining “an attitude of impartiality toward the belligerents”. Try that at your next party. Belligerents indeed.

All of this sounds wonderful. No one wants war. World peace is a noble goal. But wait. Doesn’t the Bible talk about a time for peace and a time for war? It’s confusing isn’t it? And as much as I appreciate activists waging war on political leaders, and as much as I don’t want bomb threats and lock downs becoming realities at my children’s schools, I must narrow down this idea in my own little world. How do I, as a Jesus follower, take a stand for what is Biblically correct, and still be respected in my community?

I found some insightful views via Kaitlin Garrison and her post on The Barefoot Blog. She has outlined it much better than I can, so I encourage you to read it there. She explains that there is a significant difference between being peacekeepers and peacemakers. Peacekeepers would make the UN proud by avoiding all conflict and simply staying neutral. No opinions must be voiced, no thoughts shared. Peacemakers, on the other hand, are lovingly honest. They lay Biblical truths on the table and discuss the conflict at hand with hopes of resolution and true peace. Jesus was not one to back down from a fight. Yet, His birth is surrounded with this idea of peace. There’s gotta be some correlation.

I’m afraid I may not be making my views crystal clear on this one… and maybe it’s because I am struggling with the practicalities of this myself. I tend to avoid the conflict by keeping my mouth shut. Introverts peacekeep well this way. But maybe it’s time to open up a bit. To peace make instead of peace keep. Perhaps this season, we can be bold together… to be more honest with ourselves and others. To make our feelings known, yet still love our neighbours. It is no easy task. But I’ve got your back. And I wish you a season of true peace this Christmas!