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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Past and Present

Wouldn't it be great if the past year could magically disappear along with debts, pain, hurt and illness?

At the time I had ccomposed this, the "New Year" still felt like a million years away, but in the blink of an eye, it is here before we know it.

For many, this turning of the calendar is waited for with baited breath; a start to"a whole new year!" We begin fresh, though really, when we look at it with honesty, it's just a turning of the calendar; when we look in the mirror, we still are who we are.

(Well, unless we use plastic surgery, a box of hair dye and a closet full of new clothes.)

We are still going to have to deal with the same issues that existed 12 hours before midnight. While we wake up with a fresh new date and a new year, the person waking up is still, well, us.



If we had several more helpings of "Granny's" favorite pie, than we probably wouldn't be feeling as great as we should, but if we have faith and trust in our Heavenly Father, be it in the new year, the last year, or the next year, we have every reason to have hope and faith in new beginnings.

2 Corinthians 5:17,"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold, new things have come."

The hardest part is allowing ourselves to have that faith and trust and asking our Heavenly Father to give us that new beginning that He promises. The beginning that came in the reality of the cost His Son had paid. We are still who we are, but just different in the fact, though we may have to still get up in the morning (or evening if you work the graveyard shift), life goes on.

Psalm 22:3-5," Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not disappointed."

For us, the New Year is greeted not with a big party or lavish clothes.

Instead, it's in the midst of a wild herd of dachshunds, children sleeping on the couches and chairs, while adults battle it out over a good game of Scrabble (and yes I think it's cheating when someone uses a foreign language to play Scrabble; If we are going to allow the use of a language no one else can understand then I'm learning Klingon to level the playing field.)

For us, everyday is a New Year!

From the moment we wake up, to the moment we go to bed, we greet each day as the blessing it is from Our Heavenly Father.

Hebrews 4:12,"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

When we wake up in the morning, we are still going to be who we are; The dishes will need to be put away and the stack of bills will be waiting for us on the counter, but the source of the hope isn't in the passing of a year or the changing of a calendar to make things better, but rather in the hope, faith and salvation in our Heavenly Father first and foremost.

Our Christmas tree dried up, a trail of pine needles to announce it's departure to a sand dune somewhere out there. The decorations are going to be put away to gather dust for another year, and I'm hiding that Scrabble board in a better place! As I seek God's never changing words and I lift my voice and heart in prayer to Him, I know that He is always there, never changing, always consistent and always faithful to us.

Psalm 22:22-24,"I will tell of your name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: You who fear the LORD, praise him! all you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel! For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him."

The irony of all this is that I couldn't be here, if I hadn't been there. There in the midst of sorrow, joy, pain, gain, of good times and bad, if all of that was really gone; Wiped away by the New Year, I fear what type of relationship that would have mean having with our Heavenly Father.

As much as I wish we didn't have to suffer, hurt, be ill, or experience earthly loss, at the same time would we really know strength, good health, love, happiness, joy and more than anything, a real, living relationship with Jesus Christ?

Would our relationship be sincere or superficial?


I need to use that word for Scrabble.

How many points will that gain me?

Maybe not as many blessings I pray to gain from Our Heavenly Father by just being in His presence and praising Him through good times, but particularly through the worst times of the old year. He drew me closer to Him and my relationship with Him, grew just a little bit stronger rather than weaker.

As much as it's great to greet the New Year, I don't want to forgot the old year either and the blessings He gave, both visible and invisible.

Psalm 22:25-31,"From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him. The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live for ever! All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him. For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. Yea, to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive. Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation, nd proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, that he has wrought it. "

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the blessings of the past year and there were many times I felt like I couldn't just make that extra mile, but You didn't give up on me and you pulled me through when I didn't feel like I could be pulled through. Thank You for Your NEVER changing love and hope and faith You offer to all of us. I pray Lord, in this New Year, we seek You more not less.

Though we make mistakes, though we feel like broken vessels, You show us and use us to show the world through and in us, who You are and I thank You Lord. Lord, don't give me a perfect year, but give me a year where I am forever reminded why You are Lord, Our God.

  • Many of us have had a tough year. We make choices we later regret; We suffer moments that leave us doubting; Read Psalm 22 ~ how does it remind us that we have to let go of the anchors and allow God to lead us to a new tomorrow?
  • One of the things we've learned this past year in homeschooling was the in the lesson of the seasons and the changes that occur. Thinking of the different seasons and how life is constantly renewed, how has God shown Himself to you in life? How has He reminded you that there is always a new beginning to every ending?
  • Count up the blessings God has blessed you with and how have they changed/not changed you?

God bless you, Gentle Readers and I look forward to hearing from you.

Join Twinkle Mom daily at, Sunflower Faith, where she journals about homeschooling and her personal reflections of her walk with our Heavenly Father.

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Blogger Betsy Markman said...

Like you said, New Year's isn't really a new beginning...any more than any other day is. The good news is that every morning IS a new beginning, because His mercies are new every morning! So while I can't get the least bit excited about New Year's Day, I do need to learn to count on those new mercies every morning (and every moment)! Thanks for the reminder.

(And by the way, I think only a petakh would use Klingon in a Scrabble game!) :)

January 3, 2009 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Lots of wisdom here. Happy non-superficial New Year!

January 3, 2009 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

You are very wise my riend.

January 7, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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