Embracing a New Year
To celebrate our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, my husband surprised me with a magnificent gift—a cruise to the Bahamas. On an icy January day we left our Tennessee home to board the cruise ship in Miami and spend five days in the glorious sunshine and breath-taking blue waters of the Caribbean.
Sponsored by a Christian organization, the cruise provided not only incredible cuisine for which cruises are renowned but also spiritual nourishment served by noted Christian speakers from throughout America.
During an afternoon seminar, a popular marriage speaker discussed communication, presenting a series of steps to meaningful dialog. Having ears open to sound marriage advice, I scribbled notes furiously until weariness overtook me. All this great information! But I’ll never be able to remember it!
The Lord whispered in my heart: Just walk in the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).
That’s what walking in the Spirit looks like. Walking in love. Walking in joy. Walking in peace…patience…kindness…goodness…faithfulness…gentleness…self-control.
One huge decision takes care of many smaller ones: walk in the Spirit. He produces those qualities when I surrender all to follow Christ. I call this the maximum life. Only two essentials are required:
- A conviction that he has a standard of conduct for my life.
- A desire to live that way.
“So shall you heartily accept my commandments and conform your life and conduct to them. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 22:31 Amplified).
Bestselling author Dianne Barker has written eleven books, including Cabbages and Kings—Reflections on Living Abundantly in Christ, (2012); I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life (2014); Twice Pardoned (with Harold Morris); Living Proof (with Clebe McClary). A popular speaker, she teaches with passion about marriage, parenting, relationships, and abundant living. She hosts a weekly program on the Christian station WHCB-FM, Bristol, Tennessee. She’s a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and Christian Authors Network (CAN).