Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year . . .

Today marks the first day of a new year . . . a year that holds within it many new things to be discovered and learned and to be experienced. It always is exciting to me to begin a new year for it seems to be turning a page in a book, and so many things lie on the new page to be discovered and learned.

Throughout my life, the Lord will often bring verses or thoughts to my mind of things that He desires to teach me. This morning was one of those times as I was thinking about the new year and other things. While I went about the daily morning tasks, a verse from Joshua kept coming to mind:


“. . . choose for yourselves today whom you will serve . . .”
Joshua 24:15


This was what Joshua spoke to Israel when he presented to them the choice to either serve the gods of this world or the one and only true God. He continued with declaring “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15.)


For those who have believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, we can know that we are secure in Him . . . our salvation in Christ is eternal (1 John 5:13.) Yet there is still the choice of obedience . . . the choice is there moment by moment . . . hourly, daily, and yearly. Choices are made continually, and these choices will be between following in obedience to the Lord and His word or following in obedience to the world and its lusts and pride (1 John 2:15-16.)


While thinking about this, I was reminded of a verse in Romans that instructs us to “not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13.) As different circumstances arise, what will we present ourselves to? Will we choose to follow the path of sin? Or the path of righteousness?


As I pondered these verses and thoughts, how my heart was convicted! There are so many times that I see in my life that I had made the choice to follow the path of the world instead of walking in obedience to Christ. In recognizing this, I am looking forward to each new day . . . each day that will prayerfully, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, hold with it growth in the Lord.


And that is my prayer for each one of you also who love and follow the Lord . . . may this coming year be one of growth, learning and blessing from the Lord to you. May you continue to grow in His Word in knowledge and obedience to Him. May all of us learn to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” (Colossians 1:10-12)

14 comments:

  1. What a great post!

    ~blessings

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  2. I have to say amen as well. I may have to save this one. Thank you, sister. May you have a very blessed year!

    ((hugs))

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  3. Amen! A new year and a fresh opportunity to serve the Lord.
    Anna

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  4. Hello, Sarah:

    I have followed your blog for some time, having learned of it through Amy's blog. We have been friends of their family for years. My teenage daughter and I have enjoyed reading your blog(s) very much and look forward to reading and growing with you in 2009.

    I am curious to know how your family celebrated Christmas this year. Do you have any special family traditions?

    In Christ ~ Betsy O.

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  5. Sarah and Leah,
    The box is now in the hands of UPS. Should be a couple days till you receive it. I am sure there will be tea items in there you won't know what to do with. I wanted to write out a detailed explaination but I've been sick the last few days and I really wanted to get the box sent. So as soon as you open the box email me and I will go through everything for you.

    You lifted my spirits so much today Sarah, thank you. You just don't know how much your blog means to me. I hope the box and its humble contents will show you how much you and your wonderful family lift me up.

    I sent the pattern and material for the aprons. I would also like for you to make napkins for your tea party that match the tea cozy, I sent that too. then make the aprons too. If you have enough material you could make another apron to serve at the Tea Party with.Does that make sense? LOL

    Ilana, 5 and Sadie 3 helped me wrap so you'll understand when things are a little shall we say "fit to be tied" LOL

    Love to you and your family,
    Miss Lila in Atlanta

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  6. I too enjoy the beginning of the new year! It's clean, fresh, and full of new opportunities.

    Thank you for the reminder about the daily, hourly, and moment by moment choice that we have to obey the Lord. That was a real blessing.

    Sawyer says Hi! :o)
    ~Ashley

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  7. Thank you, Heart 4 My Home! :) It was something that was really on my heart lately . . .

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  8. I am so glad that it was a blessing to you, Mrs. Hester! May this year be one of blessing for you also!

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  9. Thank you for sharing that, Anna! :)

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  10. Welcome to my blog, Betsy, and thank you for your encouraging comment! It is always nice to know who is reading this little place on the web. :)

    To answer your question, a number of years ago our family came to a decision to not celebrate Christmas any longer, and this for a number of reasons. I hope this brief response answers your question! :)

    Thank you again for commenting!

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  11. Thank you so much for letting us know, Miss Lila! We are eagerly looking forward to receiving it! How sweet that Ilana and Sadie helped wrap things up with you. I am sure they enjoyed that!

    I am so sorry that you have not been well! Hopefully you will start feeling better soon.

    It will be fun to sew the aprons for you and your grandchildren. And yes, I did understand what you were sharing about the napkins and apron. :) Thank you!!!

    Thank you for your encouraging and sweet words! They meant a great deal to us. And thank you again for your thoughtfulness in sharing the tea items with the girls in our little group! They will love it!

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  12. I would agree with you, Ashley, that a new year is clean, fresh and full of new opportunities! It is always exciting to see what the next year holds. :)

    I am glad that the post was a blessing to you!

    Please tell Sawyer that I said “hi” back! What a sweetie! :)

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  13. Actually, Sarah, your response surprises me. I know from reading your blog that you are followers of Christ, so I'm curious as to why you do not celebrate His birthday. Would you be willing to elaborate more on your reasons? Is it the commercialization of Christmas that troubles your family?

    ~ Respectfully, Betsy O.

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  14. I can well understand why my response would be a surprise to you, Betsy! As it would seem rather unusual. :) Thank you so much for the gracious manner in which you asked your questions! I appreciated that greatly!! :)

    Yes, my family does love the Lord and desires to grow in obedience to Him in all areas of our lives. It was with this heart and through much prayer, study, and examination of Scripture that we came to the decision several years ago about Christmas. And I can assure you that it was not an easy decision at first!

    As followers of Christ, we are to examine all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21) including ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5), and my Dad recognized that Christmas was one of these areas that needed to be examined. There were a number of reasons that led us to our decision which I will briefly share here. As we studied about the holiday of Christmas, we found that the origins of this holiday were not Christian, but were in fact pagan. Another reason was indeed the commercialization of the holiday. But the reason that was perhaps the greatest factor in our decision was the fact that no where in Scripture does God instruct us to celebrate Christ’s birth or even suggest such a celebration (in Scripture the account of the birth of Christ is only given in two of the four gospels, and indirectly alluded to a few times in all of the other New Testament books.) Instead, we are commanded to celebrate and proclaim His death and resurrection through the Lord’s Supper (communion.)

    Those are our reasons in a nutshell, and while quite brief, I hope that they help to provide some insight into our reasons. If you have any more questions or would like something clarified, please feel free to contact me using the contact form on the left side of my blog page (just follow the link). I would be more than happy to elaborate further on this topic if you would desire that! :)

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Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)