Endings

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
-Matthew 9:17

My wife and I have been getting rid of old books.  We got a bunch of new books for Christmas.  I saw Lance Wallnau, yesterday, on Facebook live, talking about this very thing, and then quoting from Henry Cloud's book, Necessary Endings.

Yesterday, I got out a tool, that has been been broken for about 5 or 6 years.  It was finally time to fix it, because I need it for a project. 

For half the afternoon, I tried to fix it. 

I finally gave up, and made plans to go to the store, and buy a new and improved version of the same tool.

This was a necessary ending.

Lance said that a key for many of us, as we enter 2019, is to let go of the past. 

We have to end something in order to start or participate in something new.  It is like when a person goes out with a new person, but they are still thinking and talking about their previous relationship.

I have seen this with Christians and churches or churching.  They can not join something new, because they have not ended the old.  We are either bitter or nostalgic and both hinder our entering into the new.

With everything we do when we get married.  From the engagement, the period of time before the wedding, with all the prep and perhaps some counseling.  Then everything about the wedding.  And finally, the vows, made before friends, family, and God.

All that is not just a beginning, but an ending.  It culminates in the line, spoken at some weddings, "forsaking all others."

As we move into 2019, it is very applicable now to consider endings.  New wine needs new wineskins.

Here are some quotes from Henry Cloud's book:

“Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they are meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them.”
“In the language of Ecclesiastes, are there situations in business or in life where you are trying to birth things that should be dying? Trying to heal something that should be killed off? Laughing at something that you should be weeping about? Embracing something (or someone) you should shun? Searching for an answer for something when it is time to give up? Continuing to try to love something or someone when it is time to talk about what you hate?”
“Pruning is strategic. It is directional and forward-looking. It is intentional toward a vision, desires, and objectives that have been clearly defined and are measurable. If you have that, you know what a rose is, and pruning will help you get one of true beauty.”
“Failing well means ending something that is not working and choosing to do something else better.”
“There is a difference between helping someone who is disabled, incapable, or otherwise infirm versus helping someone who is resisting growing up and taking care of what every adult (or child, for that matter) has to be responsible for: herself or himself. When you find yourself in any way paying for someone else’s responsibilities, not only are you stuck with a delayed ending, but you are probably harming that person.”
“You can’t prune toward anything if you don’t know what you want. You have to figure out what you are trying to be or build and then define what the pruning standards are going to be. That definition and those standards will bring you to the pruning moments, wherein you either own the vision or you don’t.”
“first, accept life cycles and seasons; second, accept that life produces too much life, and third, accept that incurable illness and sometimes evil are part of life too. Taken together, these three principles will help you to make peace with endings, so that when their time has come, you will be able to do what you need to do.”
“Many people wish for a different universe than the one in which we live. They want one where every day is harvest time and there are no long laborious summer months to go through in order to get there. And when the harvest is ripe and they are thriving, they want no approaching winters where they see that the harvest is over and a cold death is looming.”
“Sometimes there is bleeding when you cut out a cancer.”
“Great is the art of the beginning, but greater is the art of ending. —HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW”
“If we accept the premise that pruning is necessary but still notice that we have an emotional misalignment with that premise, we will struggle to realize our vision of the future and our potential. But if you can become aware of your resistances and internal conflicts now, then you can begin to face them and work them through.”
“So if you feel resistance about executing a certain ending, figure out what two or more desires are in conflict, admit to yourself that you can have only one, and then ask yourself this question: Which one am I willing to give up to have the other one?”
You have to break through the comfort level that you are in, where you are settling for living in hell just because you know the names of all the streets. Remember, you were not designed to cope but to thrive. But just like a rosebush, you can’t thrive without pruning, which means your necessary endings truly are urgent. Let’s look at how to get there.”
I found all these quotes, from Henry Cloud's, Necessary Endings book, on Good Reads.  Over 1000 5 star reviews.  Many people said it was their best book of that year.

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