Sunday, January 2, 2022

New Year Expectations

Optimism runs high as the New Year unfolds!  Another chance to
start fresh!  What will you do to make this year a year of "new beginnings"?

Did you make a New Year's resolution?

Some of the more popular Top 10 Resolutions that we make are:

~ Spend more time with family and friends
~ Commit to a new diet and eating choices
~ Give more to charity – time and money
~ Learn something new
~ Make time for fitness
~ Get out of debt
~ Get organized

Most people resist change, but I say, "Change is good!"  

Isaiah 43:18-19 says this: “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

As Christians, we are new creatures in Christ. We have a new beginning. We can establish new habits that are godly and useful. We can find new inspiration and a fresh new revelation as we read and study God’s Word. Who doesn't like the idea of a clean slate – a chance to start over?

The Apostle Paul instructs us to know Christ in a new intimate way.  That kind of spiritual intimacy caused him to, “…press on and lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (Philippians 3:10-12). We have a revelation from Christ that brings a fresh, spiritual comprehension, which in turn gives us apprehension to live out our Christianity with boldness. 

Our confidence cannot be in our flesh, but in the power of God. Look to Him with the expectation of what He can do in us and through us. As Paul states in verse 13-14, “but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

In the book of Revelation, John tells us that those worshiping before the throne of the Lamb will sing a new song. In his vision he gazed upon a new heaven and a new earth.

What a great lesson for the "new YOU" and our new life resolutions. 
Look forward, not backwards. 

Keep your eye on Jesus and the heavenly goal. Pattern your new ideas and habits on what the Word teaches. Model yourself after your Maker and Master. Fix your gaze upon Jesus…He is all you need to walk in the newness of life.

Even in these days of the unknown and unchartered we have confidence in this: that God is in control... We can live without fear and anxiety because God is sovereign and uses everything to bring good out of even the worst circumstances for our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)

So - take this new year ahead with a grain of salt...  Look it square in the eye and face it with boldness and great faith that your Creator has a plan in place for you and yours...

Frances Ridley Havergal wrote the hymn Another Year Is Dawning in 1860 as a celebration of 
New Year’s Eve and looking forward in faith to God’s blessings. 
What a beautiful tribute to what a New Year can hold in store for us…

Another Year Is Dawning

Another year is dawning:
Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with Thee;
Another year of progress,
Another year of praise,
Another year of proving
Thy presence all the days.

 Another year of mercies
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness
In the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning
Upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting,
Of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of service,
Of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training
For holier work above.
Another year is dawning:
Dear Father, let it be,
On earth or else in heaven,
Another year for Thee.

What are you facing this year?  Do you wrestle with a looming financial situation?  Are you dreading a changing family dynamic? Do you anxiously await a medical report or future surgery? Is your marriage looking like something out of a horror movie? Take heart... Jesus specializes in new beginnings!

Here’s to a new year full of hope and anticipation in what 
God has in store for you!

The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. 
(Numbers 6:24-26)

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Thanksgiving All Year Long

 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him (Psalm 34:8).

During this Thanksgiving season - what are you most thankful for? Is it something to do with your family, your workplace, or maybe your place of worship? Do you express thanksgiving for big things as well as the little things?  Do you vocalize what you are thankful for to your family, friends and most importantly, to God Himself?

As Christians, we are to develop and display a grateful heart.

We are told in Psalm 100:4 “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”

Thanksgiving is likely based on the traditional “first thanksgiving” harvest meal shared in 1621 at the Plymouth Colony Plantation by the Pilgrims and a group of Native Americans.

The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days providing enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 native Americans. The feast consisted of fowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. William Bradford noted that, "besides waterfowl, there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many”, probably gave rise to the American tradition of eating turkey at Thanksgiving.”

Thanksgiving is generally observed on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. This holiday provides a valuable opportunity for the strengthening of family bonds, expressions of gratitude, and a reminder of God’s rich blessings.

As Christians, we acknowledge God’s goodness and provision in our expression of Thanksgiving. 

God’s Word implores us to give thanks to Him. Both Old and New Testament books of the Bible encourage us to have an attitude of gratitude. Psalm 50:14 tells us to, “Offer to God thanksgiving.”  Psalm 95:2 says, “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving...”  In Philippians 4:6 the Apostle Paul declares, “…in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” 

One of my favorite psalms is 136.  It begins with verses 1-3 - thanking God for His Goodness.  "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever.  Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever."  So much we have to be thankful for!  

Thank Jesus for your salvation.  If we had nothing else to be thankful for, that would be sufficient!

Oh, how we thank Him for rescuing us from certain destruction and eternal doom!  In II Corinthians 9:15 Paul says this, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 

This Thanksgiving, make it a priority to focus on faith, family, and giving.  The blessing we receive from meeting the needs of someone else is huge.  Give to your local shelter, or volunteer your time.  Do something different as a family, and make a memory by serving others in your community.  Help distribute gift baskets at church to the needy, or invite a co-worker who doesn't have immediate family nearby for a home-cooked meal and fellowship.  

                                         Enjoy one of the greatest praise songs ever sung 
                                           Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart 

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.  



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