31 December 2010

when a new year explodes into the present

God gave the marvelous, amazing gift of His Son ~ which we should celebrate year round, but which we specifically remember at Christmas...

And then immediately gives us the gift of a year closing - full of lessons learned
and things He is working out in our lives...

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:10-11 (NIV)

Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
 Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

He also presents us with a new year, a re-beginning, a fresh start,
and almost infinite opportunities to learn of Him, to become more like Him...

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 (NLT)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!"
Lamentations 3:22-24 (NASB)

Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
Psalm 37:7 (NLT)

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised... Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.
2 Cor 5: 14, 15, 20a (ESV)

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)

This bright New Year is given to you 
to live each day with zest,
to daily grow...
to try and be, by God's grace,
your highest and your best!

Our family
wishes you a joyous and blessed New Year!

(A very tiny disclaimer - These photos were taken by Tim, but not here in Niger... rather at the 4th of July celebration he attended with several of the gang, just days before we flew back to our desert home. We always hear backyard fireworks going off as well as rumors of some sort of organized display, as each new year begins. We've never actually seen anything. However, I thought Tim got some pretty "soo - pair' cool" - said with your best French accent -  photos, and I wanted to show them off use them. Since I didn't do so right away... New Year's has been my next reasonable opportunity! New Year's greeting/quote attributed to William Arthur Ward.) 

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