New Every Morning (great is your faithfulness)

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

web_13Today I’m doing some advance prep work for the four speaking trips I’m committed to (so far) over the next three months.

Each experience will be unique, and I’ll prepare for all four engagement differently; but I want to bring all the trips under the unity of one broad idea, and to pour everything I say through the same filter.

SAME OLD SAME OLD: One reason I do this every year is to guard against repeating myself. I never want to be that guy who always trundles out the same story, or tells the same joke, over and over.

Sometimes, of course, it doesn’t matter. In Florida I was invited to an ecumenical men’s breakfast every February for eight years; last year I couldn’t find my notes from 2012. (The guy called again me this week – he had no idea we’d moved to North Carolina!)

“I don’t remember what I spoke about last year,” I told the group. “Please forgive me if I repeat myself.”

“Young man,” one elderly gentleman called out (there were 50 there and 48 of them were well over 75); “most of us don’t even remember what the preacher talked about Sunday! You could give the same talk every year and we’d never know it!”

That was generous of him. But I never want to be like the religion professor I knew who taught from notes that looked the same as the way he presented his faith – brittle and yellowed with age.

NEW STORIES! This year I am very conscious of the testimony a man shared with me in a letter that I refer back to often (and, yes, I have told this story in a blog-post before). “I became aware,” he wrote, “that the stories I was telling were getting older and older.”

If I am wide open to the moving of the Spirit in my life; if I read the scriptures faithfully; if I “live into” my faith instead of simply writing about it… then I don’t think I’m going to have to worry about repeating myself, or about becoming trapped in old stories.

Maybe that’s the lens through which I should be looking, consciously, as I prepare to share encouragement with various groups of Jesus-Followers over the next few months.

photo-3For one group, it’ll be my first visit in seven years The others are all new contacts.

But it really shouldn’t matter. I believe I could have something new to share every week, every day, because The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is [God’s] faithfulness….

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

New every morning – DEREK

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