Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year, New Decade!

Jeff and I have a tradition to go on a date on NYE and talk about our past year and the things we're thankful to God for. As we've added more children to our family and moved away from handy grandparent babysitters, we've found this harder to keep up. This NYE is the first we've spent apart in our marriage, though. Jeff spent it in Albany with the two little ones visiting Granny and Gramps and I spent it here in Perth with the two big kiddies, taking them to swimming lessons and celebrating with bubbly apple cider (non-alcoholic!) with dinner. Jeff gets back today, so I spent most of yesterday evening (with the kids' help, and then on my own after they went to bed) cleaning & tidying the house. But New Year's always brings the itch for change in me, and I decided to move the furniture around in the lounge room late into the night. I wonder if Jeff'll notice the difference when he gets home?
This morning I finished the job, sorting all our CDs out in the CD drawer of our coffee table. I found a CD by eli, called "Things I prayed For", that I haven't listened to for ages, and slipped it in the player while the kids and I had lunch. The first two songs bought tears to my eyes (they always do, that's why I bought the CD in the first place). The second song in particular shall provide food for thought as you enter your New Year and New Decade, I hope:

The Lumber Song

Said a friend to a friend one day:
Was a man who passed away
St. Peter met him at the gate
Pete said: Walk with me if you will
I'll take you to the house you built
Man said: I can't wait
passed a mansion made of stone
But with each new house he's shown
They get smaller by degrees
Stopped in front of a two room shack
Peter said: Hope you're happy with that
Man said: How can this be? Pete say:

That's all the lumber - that's all the lumber
That's all the lumber you sent
Looks like the builder - man, He's got your number
That's all the lumber you sent

Man didn't know what to say
Poor guy was blown away
Said: you mean this is what I deserve?
Pete said: I'm afraid it's so
It's too late but now you know
Shoulda done better work
Said: you mean not lie and cheat
And helpin' old ladies across the street?
Pete says: Well, that's a start
Remember that man back in that great big house?
He found out early what it's all about
Built that house with his heart - as for you

That's all the lumber - that's all the lumber
That's all the lumber you sent
Looks like the builder - man, He's got your number
That's all the lumber you sent

What if that man was me
And all failed that miserably
You're showin' me things I don't wanna see
St. Peter if you can
Send me back to earth again
Is that somethin' you can do?
Peter said: It ain't up to me
If it was I'd like to see
How you plan to improve
Said: I'd love God and fellow man
Take a wife and make a stand
Be the givin'est guy I can be
And when I get back to this neighbourhood
There'd be a gigantic pile of wood
And I'd say: What's this I see? - and you tell me

That's all the lumber - that's all your lumber
That's all the lumber you sent
Big Boss'll help you - hammer it all together
That's all the lumber you sent

What lumber are you sending on ahead of you?

1 Corinthians 3:5-15 says this:
"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe - as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labour. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on his foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through flames."

We don't buy our salvation - no one can build a foundation other than the one already laid, the foundational work of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross in our place, so that we might live rightly with God. But we shall all be rewarded for the work we do for Him now, on this earth, before that Day of Judgement.

Matthew 6:19-21 records Jesus' words:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Are you storing up treasure in heaven?


Meredith said...

Hi Sharon,

Happy new year.

Thanks for this post. It is indeed a great reminder. I am the same. I find myself dusting myself off and starting afresh in the new year with all sorts of plans to do more, do better, do differently... good to have this wonderful reminder to put all these plans in their Right Place.

And all the more for me as 2010 is the year when our youngest goes to Kindy for two days a week - and I suddenly have an amazing stretch of time that I need to fill with discipline - discipline to not over fill it or to squander it.

I'm going to copy those words out and keep them nearby.

God bless you richly in 2010.

Mrs. Edwards said...

I have never heard of this singer; is he Australian? What a song. These lyrics did indeed provide food for thought as I look ahead to a new year. Thank you!

Sharon said...

I'm not sure. I just heard his song "Things I prayed for" heaps on the Christian radio station in Darwin in the summer before we left Darwin. In the end, I got very attached to the song. Part of the refrain is "there's no time for my regrets." It reminds me a lot of one of my favourite songs from my childhood, "Cat's in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin, but written as a prayer, and looking back on life from the child's perspective. Just in case you're not familiar with "Cat's in the Cradle", here is the original on YouTube, here is a cover by Ugly Kid Joe on YouTube (missing the last few seconds) and here are the lyrics.

Anyway, I liked "Things I Prayed For" so much I rang up the radio station and asked for the album name and went out and bought it. That might not sound so significant until you realise that I have purchased less than two dozen albums in my entire life. In the last decade, since I became a Christian, I've bought less than one album a year. In 2009, I was decadent and bought three - thanks to your recommendation for "Songs for the Cross Centred Life"!

You can listen to most of "Things I Prayed For" here on YouTube. And you can get the CD on Amazon here.


~ Sharon

Alison Lacey said...

What a great idea having a date on New year to reflect on the year. Pete and I did something similiar. We decided New Year's Eve would be just us and we had some great chats particularly about things we as a couple and individually hope to achieve in 2010. Hope to catch up some time soon.

Gayathri said...

Great song. Nice lyrics. Hope you enjoy this new year in a good way. Keep blogging. Thanks for sharing.