New beginnings!

Happy New Year to you all!

Wow, where did 2017 go? My mum used to say as you get older time goes so fast.  Well my husband and I celebrated the big 6 0 last year, life seems to be flying past.  For me, 2017, was a great year.  As I said, I celebrated a big birthday, my two great nieces celebrated their 1st birthdays, just starting out in life, and I had the privilege of spending three weeks in the Rockies in Canada where I witnessed the awesome splendour of God’s creation.

I got my bus pass and it’s time for the bucket list to be drawn up! Time to do all the things that I want to do while I can. A time for new beginnings and new things!

The month of January can be dull. After celebrating Christmas and enjoying fun with family and friends, it seems uneventful.  The weather can be severe, and it feels like our next salary seems to take forever to reach our bank account. For me it’s a special month, I committed my life to Christ 40 years ago on 1 January 1978. Each year I am challenged to look back to see how I have grown as a Christian over those years.

Do you make New Year resolutions? I don’t because I tend not to keep them.  I have a little practical exercise for you, can I challenge you to write some resolutions down, and put them in an envelope, seal it, and open on 1 January 2019.

Here are a few suggestions:

To reach someone who does not know Christ – are we tempted to spend most of our time with fellow Christians? God commands us to be salt and light in the world; that will not happen if we spend all our time with believers.  Reaching out feels scary, but when you take the risk, you will see God work through you in exciting ways.

To become a grateful person – do we awake in the morning thinking of all the things we have to do?  Start meditating on one of God’s character traits the moment you wake.  Think about how awesome God is, and your perspective on the day will change.

To spend more quality time with ???? (maybe husband, friends, family).  Are we too busy to spend time with our families and friends?  For those of you who will become wives and mothers in the future, learn when you are young to nurture relationships. Why don’t we all think of one person who deserves more of our time in 2018? 

To say, ‘NO’ to something – too many demands, choices, too little time.  Be careful how much you get involved with and learn to prioritize.

To pursue Christ with fresh vigour – do you sometimes feel as though your relationship with Christ is stale? I know I do!  When it happens, pray King David’s prayer, ” Restore to me the joy of my salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.  As this new year begins, resolve to recapture that joy.

So those are things we can do, but what about God?

Isaiah 43: 18-19 (The Message) says this, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new! It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?  There it is!  I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.”

God is always doing a new thing! Our part is to see and hear what God is doing and go with him. The new things God does are always exciting. As I said earlier if you feel a bit stale or mouldy, it’s time to ask God what he’s saying and go for it. Or you may need to get a new perspective on what God’s already doing. One thing is true – God’s timing and all his ways are perfect. If you,  “Come near to God, and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8). And remember, Proverbs 3: 5-6 Pray this over your life – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

So as we all begin this New Year serving God in Girls’ Brigade, let it be a year of hopes and possibilities.  They are yours for the taking.  They are yours for the doing. Are you ready?

Ann Fittis

GBNI Shop Assistant

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