A Brand New Year

Happy New Year, My Dear, Dear Siestas!

This morning I slipped out of bed while Keith and Beanie were still sound asleep and snoring. (Yes, both of them and both were under the covers.) I threw on my robe and slippers then did what I do almost every morning: I went over and pet (nearly shook) my trusty Sunny Dog to make sure my 15 year buddy was still alive and with me. I mostly have to touch her to communicate with her because she can hardly hear anymore. Praise God, she stirred immediately and jumped to her post right beside my feet. A northern had blown in during the night and the house was as cold as ice. I turned on the coffee maker, made a fire, grabbed my Bible, devotional book and cracked open a brand new prayer journal. (I’ve used the same one for years. I absolutely love the lay-out and the way it organizes your petitions and intercessions. It’s by Debbie Williams of Hill Country Ministries here in Texas.)

As I rubbed the clean pages I wondered what kinds of records and requests would fill them before the year ended. I thought how thankful I was to be a follower of Christ and not have to fear the future. I’ve lived long enough to know there will be pain, perhaps even suffering, but I also know that God will see us through and show us – not only His faithfulness but – His GLORY. A far more priceless gift than painlessness. I also know we will laugh (because that’s what our family does) and learn (because that’s a high priority to this bunch of book-junkies). I pray continually for God to grant my loved ones and me a Spirit of wisdom and revelation and I pray that for you, my dear Siestas, as well through the year ahead. To see Christ revealed then know what to do with that revelation is the highest mortal experience.

I told God this morning how thankful I was for His penchant for new beginnings. Just think about it. He’s the one who came up with New Years so we could have an annual new start. But we don’t have to wait that long. He also came up with 12 different months, 4 seasons, and 7-day increments we call weeks. But we don’t even have to wait that long. Every single evening the sun goes down and calls it a day then greets us the very next morning with a whole new start. Let’s face it. Sometimes a day’s so tanked, it just needs to end. Aren’t you glad a bad day always does? But, then again, we don’t even have to wait till morning. Because of Christ, we can have a new beginning any old time.

We are never further than about 18 inches from the next new start. All we have to do is hit our knees, repent, and ask God sincerely if we could just begin again. When secular psychology talks us out of taking personal responsibility for some of the messes we’re in, they inadvertently talk us out of repentance. And nothing is easier than repentance if we’re a willing soul. I told God this morning several things I just don’t like about myself. I told Him that I was sure He had His own list of things He wanted to work in me through 2008 but that I wanted to put some things out on the table, too. I have a feeling based on the conviction of the Holy Spirit that our lists are fairly similar. I jotted down four major things I’d really like to see change in me this year and I wrote them in the front of my new prayer journal so I can check with God on our progress here and there throughout the year. From the look of things, God and I are liable to be busy this year but that’s okay as long as we’re close. I love Him so. And want to love Him so much more. I know you do, too.

Oddly, in a way that only someone who knows Christ can experience, I didn’t feel condemned by my list. I felt free. Relieved. Not long ago someone I love said that he didn’t want anything to do with Christianity because of all the guilt it imposes. I was mystified. Guilt is the very thing Jesus has freed me from. Somehow, they just don’t get it. After I made my list today, I felt a release of hope and joy because I know without a shadow of a doubt that, if I’ll trust Christ and let Him help me every single day my feet hit the pavement, I have the victory. I am more than a conqueror. I’m not left to my own devices. I have divine power from the Throne of Grace and the indwelling Presence of Christ. So do you. Beloved, those are reasons to look forward to the coming year with a heart of celebration and expectancy. The plans God has for you in Christ are GOOD. And PROFOUND. We don’t want to miss them for the world.

I just want you to know that I look so forward to sojourning with you through the year ahead. God is already looking at our future as if it’s past. He has it planned to a “t”. Not one ounce of pain will be purposeless and not one inch of progress has to be joyless. There will be laughter. And there will be lessons. Guaranteed. If we will let there be. As my devotional reading pointed out this morning, God has Promised Land He wants each of us to possess this year. It is “a land the Lord your God looks after. He is constantly attentive to it from the beginning to the end of the year.” (Deut. 11:12) That means today all the way to next December 31st. He will be with us, Siestas. Every single one of us. WE CAN DO THIS. And, glory to His gracious Name, we can do much of it together.

May the beauty of the Lord your God be upon you, Darling One, and may He establish the work of your hands for you. Happy New Year with love.


160 Responses to “A Brand New Year”

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  1. 151
    Leanne from Canada says:

    Just back from a wonderful family skiing holiday and read your post. Loved it! This thought of new beginnings is a blessed one. A song by our friend Carolyn Arends , “New Years Day” captures this theme beautifully. “Everyday is New Year’s Day” she sings!! Amen to that!! (Carolyn is a Christian recording artist and author from the Vancouver, B.C. area….she writes some amazing lyrics. Has anybody heard “Seize the Day”?). Thankfully His mercies are new every morning…if only I could extend the same mercy to others when needed! I’m so looking foreward to ’08 and a year of walking with the Lord together with family and friends. Bless you all at LPM. You are an amazing group of women!! Can’t wait to see you again in Vancouver.

  2. 152
    Chris says:

    I had to stop mid-sentence and switch to Amazon to buy the prayer journal by Debbie Williams. It’s on its sweet little way. I didn’t think you’d mind, Beth, if I skipped out to do a little shopping right in the middle of your blog. You’d understand, right? Been there…possibly?

    Every word of this post was speaking to me, and delivering me from a place of fear to one of hope. Your closing line was precious, and I’m going to write it in the first page of my new prayer journal: “May He establish the work of your hands for you.”

    Oh, I think He has something in mind this year, and it’s going to be good. I’m not sure how to get there from here, but I’ll stick close so He can show me.

    Happy New Year, Beth and Siestas.

  3. 153
    Anonymous says:

    Beth, I know I am reading this 7 days later, so I don’t even know if you will read this, but I needed these words today. Thank you. linda gibbons

  4. 154
    Megs says:

    Amen. Blessings, Friend.

  5. 155
    Rena says:

    As you can see I am already behind but what a wonderful idea to put down what I would like to see God do in me this year. Thank you and have a blessed year.

  6. 156
    salli says:

    I just checked out the prayer journal you mentioned and it looks terrific! I’m so excited! I still have to go back and read the rest of your post…after I order a new prayer journal. YAY!

  7. 157
    Laura says:

    Beth, I am so excited to have discovered this little blessing tonight! You have been such a blessing to me over the years. You have changed my life. Thank you for your passion and your courage. Blessings to you in this Newest Year.
    Laura B.

  8. 158
    Brenda says:

    Happy New Year and prayers for you and yours! I read your comment about the Promised Land. As always, this was confirmation for me from the Holy Spirit. I mailed to you the first of the week a package explaining what God has been doing in the life of me and my Grandmother. Through my Grandmother’s book, Pilgrimage to the Promised Land – An Experience in Spiritual Journaling, God led me to my Promised Land. You have a great influence in the book I am writing which was inspired by my 100 year old grandmother. Through your blog of 1/1/08 God confirmed that I indeed am standing at the border of my Promised Land. Hope you enjoy the reading I mailed – it has the Beth Moore flavors all through it! In Christ, Brenda

  9. 159
    Brenda says:

    Prayers to you and yours! God stays relative and active in all ages! Through your 1/1 blog, in talking about our Promised Land the Holy Spirit confirmed what my Father had already led me to. Thanks to the inspiration of my 100year grandmother whose book I just finished having published I have been brought to my border of the Promised Land. Her book is called Pilgrimage to the Promised Land – An Experience In Spiritual Journaling which has propelled me to write my own book regarding the experience of finishing her book after God promised it to her over 50 years ago. The book I am writing has “flavors” of Beth Moore splashed all over the place! Thanks for all of your inspiration and to God give the glory! In Christ, Brenda

  10. 160
    marce says:

    Thank you for those wonderful words to begin the new year and a new journal. You are always so inspiring, and get me motivated to learn more, believe more, and increase my faith.

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