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Posts Tagged ‘#newyear’

“Forgetting what is behind
and straining toward what is ahead”
Philippians 3:13

When one considers a new year, the verse (above) is a good place to start.

As we begin a new year, “forgetting what is behind” can be so helpful. We need to forget the frustrations, the failures, the events that caused us hurt, anger or sorrow.

It is a good time to forgive those who “trespassed against us” … leave those offences in the past, so that they do not follow us into the new year. If the trespasses are ours, it might be beneficial to make apologies, restitutions. Do something that can close the door on the indiscretions of the past year. If it is to forgive, then forgive. If it is to apologize, then do that … and move on from the past.

To “strain toward what is ahead” is all about momentum.

Momentum is “the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes” (Merriam Dictionary) and that is exactly what we need as we move, forward, into a new year, new week, new day.

To grow stronger, to move faster means face forward, feet forward, moving forward … straining toward what is ahead. Straining like a runner in a race, not looking back, not checking to see where we are in the pack, but moving forward, determined to make it to the finish …

As we move forward, there will be times when we are in unfamiliar territory, when the demons of the past whisper discouragements into our souls, when it is simply a struggle to keep pursuing our path. It is then that we need the reminder of the next verse in Philippians 3:

“I press on toward the goal
to win the prize
of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus”

Philippians 3:14

The reminder of this verse is that our pursuit is for a goal which has been seeded by God himself, and if he places the seed within us, well, it will grow … come hell or high water.

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Walking into the new year is kind of like standing at the mouth of a cave. You cannot see how deep it is, for the darkness hides it’s path.Though your voice comes back to you in echoes, it is never discernible as to how far or through how many twists and turns into the cave it has travelled.

There is only one way to move through the cave … take a first step.

When we are faced with a long trek, with little knowledge of where we might end up, or what we might encounter on our way, we can be temporarily paralyzed by our fear of the unknown.

I was introduced to a poem, recently, that touched my experience of fear of the unknown, fear of making a mistake.

Written by Minnie Louise Haskins, it was read by King George VI in his Christmas Day message in 1939, as the world feared the beginning of another war. Though Ms. Haskins titled it, “God Knows” it has become more commonly known as “The Gate of the Year.”

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied,
“Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!”

I know that, for me, I can be so cautious that I do not move forward at all. Yet, I live with the certainty that I never take a step alone, that I always have the support, the protection and the companionship of God himself.

As we move into the uncertainties of a new year, may be put our hands into the hand of God.

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There’s barely yet time to have made any mistakes.

The new year has arrived in the midst of festive partiers, snoring grampas, stormy seas, soft fallen snow …

It has arrived. With it comes the temptation to make plans and promises, vows and verdicts, restorations and resolutions.

We make lists, and choose a word, and make dedications and say prayers … all in the act of making promises for this new year.

What if we just start with today,
followed by tomorrow,
each day vowing to
live the opportunities
that we are given?

What if we get to know the name of our daily barista, cashier, janitor or garbage man, our neighbour? and say it when we speak to them.

What if, rather than rant on social network about how the government treats refugees, veterans, women, homeless … we roll up our sleeves and do what we want the government to do?

What if, rather than complain about our jobs, we look our co-workers, our boss in the eye and say I am so thankful for you, for this place to earn my living?

What if, rather than complain about how little is done around the house by our kids, our spouse, we look them in the eyes and say thanks when we catch them doing something?

What if, rather than complain about men, women, millennial, seniors or children, we just treat all people as we would like to be treated?

What if we just live this year with one goal, a one-item list, and re-live it each day of the year, as each day provides us opportunities to fulfill it?

“In everything,
treat others as you would want them to treat you”
Matthew 7:12

There can be no greater goal, no better rule, than that which is gold.

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IMG_2954

It has been happening again …

the obvious sense of God’s intentional stalking of my heart and thoughts, reaching into my very being, taking me on a journey that will test my preconceived notions beyond anything I could ever imagine.

God has been leading me to a variety of teachings, on a specific topic, but he keeps bringing me back to Hebrews 12.

And it all starts with nudity choosing freedom.

“let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles”

I’ve gotta admit … I am not so comfortable talking about my sin. I can talk about the sin of others, or the sins of my past, but … present sins (yes, sins, as in plural) … kinda gives me the heebie jeebies.

It kinda makes me feel … naked, exposed, stripped down.

when sin is exposed, and we feel exposed

It is as if the sin becomes us, we become the sin.  As if the light that illuminates our wrong way of living, shines a spotlight on our very selves, our very souls …

But, to “throw off” our life-hindering sin, it has to come to light, so that we can live.

dark to death
light to life

So, we are to throw off this hindering sin. It is hindering because it becomes like heavy baggage, resulting in bitterness, sorrow and feeling stretched and weighed down. To throw it off means to move on, 

And to move on … well, isn’t that what we need to do? Isn’t that what New Year’s resolutions are all about? moving on from the old, and toward the new?

This stalking by God, that I have been sensing … it is all about moving on, it is all about throwing off the sins that are hindering,

but first, I have to call a spade a spade,
and admit that I sin,
so that I can strip it from my life.

Day one, the journey has begun.

 

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New year chapter one, new start concept

This day begins with it’s end in view … with the start of tomorrow, a new year is also in view.

This change of a year in a day causes our thoughts to drift back, to drift forward in a constant hither and thither movement.

We look back, over the past twelve months, and smile at the times that have left an eternity of warm and pleasant memories for us to live the rest of our lives. We also look back and sights we remember what we wish we could forget, what we wish had not been part of the narrative of this past year.

But we also look forward, with the hope of Anne of Green Gables, who stated:

“Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.”

So, as we prepare to bid adieu to 2017, let us hope and dream, let us love and squeeze every bit of opportunity to do well to our fellow Earth travellers, to inhale the wonder of each new day, and to not waste a breath we have been so graciously given.

The Year
(Ella Wheeler Wilcox)

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That’s not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our brides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that’s the burden of the year.

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