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Every year seems to pass more quickly than the last…a by-product of aging.  Reading the posts and texts wishing Happy New Year to family, close friends, Facebook friends, and such, I started thinking about the different events we’ve all experienced over the course of a year and yet all that we have in common as we close out 2013 and ring in 2014.

Lessons learned is a common theme.  Whether good or bad has occurred, we’ve all learned something about ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, our actions, reactions and behaviors, the people in our lives and our relationships with them.  We’ve learned what we can and can’t live with, what we will and won’t tolerate, what we choose and deny, and how it affects both us and others.  Be the lessons hard or filled with pleasant surprise, we’ve grown closer to knowing who we really are and how that knowledge can help us become who we want to be.  Our faith may have been tested, honed, and strengthened through trials we didn’t expect and we may still be in murky waters but somehow able to push through, moment by moment relying on God.

Hope for something better is another commonality.  The numbers that change the year whisper in our ears, “maybe this is the year…”  Hope renews and rises as we think through the possible paths and goals, the milestones we want to accomplish even if that means walking through a minefield.  Our dreams are suddenly more reachable than they were a few short hours ago and we’re energized to keep on moving forward, knowing it’s three steps backwards for every half step forward.  Alive with hope, we press on into the new year as if against a strong wind…determined, focused, our eyes squinted purposefully on the prize.

Renewed commitment to the Lord Jesus is another common theme for Christians.  We know that with God nothing is impossible and with Him we can do all things. I love these promises and believe them with my whole heart.  If it weren’t for my faith in Jesus, well, I just can’t imagine the whats and wheres and ifs.  This life is hard enough as it is…can’t imagine going through it without knowing God.

Wishing all who read this a 2014 filled with reliance on God’s promises…and if you are one who doesn’t know a relationship with the Lord as opposed to religion made up of rules and regulations and criticisms and judgments, I pray you find that this year and feel the freedoms that come with knowing Jesus as a your Father, Friend, Savior, Provider and Comforter.  This could be your best year yet.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”  Matthew 19:26  

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

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