New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 30, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
Saturday, December 30, 2000 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 7 AReligion
Resolve to be a bar of soap
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Meaningless and shallow goal setting gets old. Every year it’s the same thing: decide what I want to change or do differently and resolve to be more than I was or do more than I’ve done. Where’s the excitement in that?
The goals I set are generally noble and praiseworthy but lack pizzazz or depth. Traditional New Year’s goals include good things like weight loss, temper control, family prioritization, godliness and general philanthropy. As admirable as these are, they lack creativity.
Personally, I prefer to make resolutions rather than goals. Goals are finite and limiting. Resolutions are more demanding even if they are more difficult to measure. I would rather resolve to be a generous person, for example, than make a goal of giving a specific amount of money to the charity of my choice. Granted, if I don’t give more money to charity,
I doubt I am accomplishing my resolution. If I do accomplish my resolution, however, more charities will receive more of my money during my lifetime than would happen if I simply doled out an amount for this year.
Instead of making a list of petty goals to accomplish in 2001, may I suggest something more challenging? Resolve this year to be a bar of soap. By making this your aim, you can become more than you could have otherwise imagined.
Consider what it means to be a bar of soap. First, soap has a specific purpose. It is not manufactured only to be placed on a shelf and admired Rather, it is designed to be used by regularly facing the challenges of dirty bodies everywhere.
Second, soap does not discriminate between attractive or unattractive bodies or their respective parts. Soap goes where it is directed and does its job wherever applied. It functions as soap no matter where it slides.
Third, and perhaps most noteworthy, soap that does its job never stays the same. Applied soap inevitably changes and is a different shape the next time it is used. Soap finds its worth in being altered to the point of invisibility.
For a Christian to be a bar of soap, it means that he needs to start being what he was designed to be. Christianity is to be applied in the dirty world by those of us who claim to be Christ’s followers. Christianity on the shelf is worthless in scrubbing away dirt.
Furthermore, a Christian bar of soap does not discriminate its application. It will lather up any dirty area and will work even harder in areas that demand more attention. There is no room in God’s Kingdom for luxury gels and scented beads.
Finally, Christian soap bars are constantly altered as they apply themselves to the dirt around them. They are changed, and, in many ways, they disappear in fulfilling their God-designed task. Becoming a sliver is a mark of maturity. They rejoice in becoming less while Christ and his Kingdom become more.
Applied Christianity alters both the applicator and the area to which it is applied.
(Tim Judkins will be speaking on “The Ultimate Resolution ” this Sunday at the Contemporary Worship celebration of First Protestant Church.)
Spiritual growth tops many New Year’s resolutions lists
By J.L. MCMICHAEL Staff Writer
While weight loss and healthier living are often high on the list of New Year’s resolutions, spiritual growth remains the No. I goal of many people for the year 2001.
The same rush that has propelled holiday preppers out of healthy activities such as regular exercise and planned meals also has cramped spiritually healthy activities such as devotional time. With New Year’s two days away, local pastors commented on spiritual resolutions and offer tips on how to keep them throughout the year.
“It’s good to re-evaluate our lives,” said Pastor Gary Lange of Peace Lutheran Church. “Often at the first of the year, it’s a time when we take stock of life once again, what’s happened in the past, and we set some goals for the future.”
Ricky Gobert, youth and recreation minister at First Baptist Church, has found that most Christians have a similar resolution, or commitment for the new year.
“It’s setting aside time, making it a priority, of setting aside a personal time in the Word of God, in prayer with the Lord. In doing that, you will be drawn closer to God and God will be drawn closer to you,” he said.
Lange also noted the common desire.
“I think probably for most Christians, (their resolution is) more time for prayer and giving God time, in terms of studying what the Scriptures say. I think those are some of the major ones that I hear. Our devotional life is sometimes short-changed because we’re such busy people.”
Monsignor Edward Bily of Sts. Peter and Paul Church suggested
a regular family prayer time as a New Year’s resolution worth keeping.
“I’m always mentioning about families praying together because the slogan is, ‘The family that prays together stays together,” Bily said. “Read a portion of the Bible daily, pray daily to keep your soul from evil, pray for peace to keep the world from violence and crime, pray, and also work, for justice and peace in the world. Give daily gratitude to God for his blessings.”
For some, the holidays are a time to be reminded of the faith of childhood, which can hold pleasant memories.
“Around Christmas time people touch base with the faith,” Lange said. “Many times it’s around those key events within the Christian faith, like Christmas and Easter, that people who still
Students honored at lunch for Care-A-Thon efforts
As part of the Care-A-Thon community service project and fund-raiser at New Braunfels Christian Academy this year, the class with the most sponsor forms turned in per student received an award. Nancy Zinkgrafs sixth-grade homeroom class placed first and received lunch for the class sponsored by Mr. Gatti’s.
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