My Resolve

Dear Folks,

Here we find ourselves in 2023, a New Year has launched itself upon us, ready or not. I know that there are those who make resolutions every New Year. This can be a good time to rethink the path you’ve been following and reset yourself. Some may make new goals, perhaps even embark on a new course. Yes, there could be a total reset. Others will remain on the same path by choice while making slight corrections as needed to find success. And then there are those that are just stuck, unable to make any significant improvement to their lot.

Of course, I’m just generalizing here. But, what if there was a way to not only survive, but to thrive? No matter your circumstances. No matter whether you’re rich or poor, slave or free. No matter whether you come from a successful family or have no family. And the answer is not what most people might think. For in this world too many are trying to base their ideas of success on the Hollywood model.

What do I mean by the Hollywood model? In the 20th century the Hollywood model would have been mainly limited to movies and television, for that is where people were looking for entertainment and news. And for meaning.

We are now twenty-three years into the 21st Century, and the influence of the Hollywood model is stronger than ever, for now anyone with a smart phone and a twitter account can be a social media influencer. I do not need to make a case to prove this, for you all know what you follow and who you follow. Whether it’s on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram, etc., etc., what’s app with that? Pun intended!

The thing is that much, even most of what is “followed” is what I am calling the “Hollywood Model.” Yes, I include sports within that paradigm. It’s the ways of the world to want to be rich, to want to be famous, to want to be “followed” and adored by others. But are the ways of the world, the world’s ideas of success, the world’s ideas of what it means to thrive, are those ways the only ways to thrive? Or could it be that is a false narrative that was laid out long ago to divert humans away from God’s plan of salvation?

What if God has a better plan than Hollywood? What if He has a better plan than most of what the world has to offer. Better than being rich? Better than being a famous actor or sports star. Better than having thousands of followers on social media. Better than… You name it.

So, what is my resolve? My resolve is to thrive. How can I do that, you ask? I follow Jesus. If you accept Jesus and follow His teachings and His laws you will not only survive, you, like me, will learn what it really means to thrive. For I know that the only way to really thrive, no matter your lot in life, rich or poor, slave or free, young or old, healthy or sick, yes, and no matter your family circumstances, there is way that you, like me, can thrive.

Think about this for a moment. When someone becomes a champion athlete, even a world record holder, they may thrive in their sport. They may be at the top of their game. But, how long does that last? Only for a short period of time. Then as the champion ages, and is removed from his prime, someone else, another champion comes to take their place. The star athletes of yesterday are no longer in the spotlight. This is also true of famous actors, famous models, famous rich people, and famous social media influencers. To thrive according to the Hollywood model only lasts for a brief moment in the grand scheme of eternity.

“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”

Proverbs 4:18

To be continued…

Published by Dean C. Read

I am a follower of Jesus Christ who seeks to make Him known to those who do not yet know Him, and to make Him better known to those who do. Thus, God has led me throughout my life of now over 6 decades. I have been married to and in love with the same woman for over 38 years and we have children and grandchildren whom I also love. That does not mean my family has not been through trials. We human beings certainly know how to test and even hurt those we love. But, God Himself also knows the challenges, the trials and even the fickleness of human love. Yet, Jesus has demonstrated that God's love is sure and secure, faithful to the very end. So, yes, I love because God is love. And, I seek to make the love of God known as it should be. I am a pastor, a preacher and a teacher of God's word, the Bible. Before I became a preacher, I was a public school teacher, and before that I worked at various jobs including, painting, construction, ambulance EMT, parts assembler, and even a paperboy back in the day. In school I played trumpet in the band, was a track and cross country runner, enjoyed most subjects including History, English and Science, and yet, after graduating from high school, I struggled to find my path. Perhaps you can identify? I did not graduate with my Bachelor's degree until I was 26 years old. And yet, from an early age I knew that God was a God of love, and that He had a plan for me, if I would just be open to His leading. God has brought me through many trials, and has always been there to pick me up when I had fallen or been discouraged. And now, I hope to write in such a way to attract others to this God of love. By the way, I also enjoy camping, reading and outdoor activities, especially strolls on the beach, or hiking a mountain trail. My favorite places on earth are Sequoia National Park because of the Giant Sequoia trees, Yosemite National Park, and the jewel of Georgia known as Jekyll Island. I could tell you more; but hopefully, as you read my posts you will learn more about the God whom I love.

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