image via flickr creative commons

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It’s the first day of a new year!
I say goodbye to the old and hello to the new!
I am grateful for the windows of opportunity opened in the past year–
But, I don’t want to spend my time looking backward–
Gazing at what was…
Glancing over my shoulder at what could have been.
Today I choose to look ahead.
I look through panes of promised hope,
And I see there are good things on the horizon.
The view is not completely clear
However, the One who leads offers assurance that if I follow Him it can be a year:
To be propelled to a new strength!
Those whose strength is in the Lord: They go from strength to strength, (Psalm 84:7 NIV)
To reflect a new glory!
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.
(2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV)
It’s a brand new year!
It’s a brand new window of opportunity!
©Brenda Pace, 2011

from istockphoto.com

Lately, I’ve described my life as characterized by having a lot of things going on. It feels like there are many loose ends flying all around me.  There’s not enough information or accomplishment for any one thing to close a loop, so the loose ends dangle.
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Last week I received an email from a friend who sensed what I described above: I had a lot of things going on. She mentioned that she had been impressed to pray for me, and was further impressed to send me some Scriptures she had been reading that morning.
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Her message and the Scripture were such encouragement! Here are the Scriptures and some thoughts they generated:
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He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17).
All the things that feel like loose ends are not loose at all. He is holding ‘all things’ together! There’s a plan and in His time it will unfold. I took such comfort from these words!
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Whoever speaks, is to do as one who is speaking the utterances of God whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:11).
My desire is to have a ‘so that’ story at the end of this journey.  “So that in ALL THINGS God may be glorified!” Amen!
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I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
Loose ends can be exhausting. Sometimes it feels like I’m spinning my wheels and not making any progress on any of the ‘things.’ Thank God for His strength!
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For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).
Many of the loose ends hanging around me have to do with building a house. This Scripture made me chuckle. Yes, God has a sense of humor!
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My friends, be encouraged to know that He is holding all your loose ends and He will make sense of it all in His time.
(Thanks Ginger for the encouraging word from THE Word!)

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p.s. Sweet Caroline just sent me a link to a video that “ties” into the words above. You have to watch it! Click on the phrase/link below and it will take you to the YouTube video. Amazing!

Laminin by Louie Gigleo

©Brenda Pace, 2010

I came across this hymn by William Cowper this morning and decided to post it. I thought someone else, besides me, may be feeling some insecurity about the future. I found this ‘Hymn 15′ from the Olney Hymnal (published in 1779) to be of great comfort. The word picture of the ‘fearful cloud’ breaking into ‘blessings on your head’ was especially meaningful. What ‘fearful clouds’ are hanging over you today? Be encouraged by these faith-filled words:

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform;

He plants His footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines of never failing skill

He treasures up His bright designs and works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace;

Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding every hour.

The bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain;

God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.

Spring arrived in Georgia in mid-April. I had the joy of seeing fresh blossoms again in Alaska in late April. It was such a surprise to view spring blooms yet again in Germany just last week. During my stay I took a couple of walks into the German village close to the conference hotel. Here are some of the sites of my third spring this year:

Every spring is the only spring--a perpetual astonishment. ~Ellis Peters

Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil. ~Bishop Reginald Heber

Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn. ~Hal Borland

Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring will come again. ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

Hope has two beautiful daughters Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.  ~Augustine
Enjoy this creative message of HOPE!