Endings & Beginnings

Looking at the end of another year reminds me, once again, that something ending is the beginning of something new. I guess you could call it the circle of life. So with that it mind I wrote the following several years ago.

A NEW BEGINNING

For a farmer and his family, each year is a new beginning.
Whatever happened to the crop the year before is history.
If the harvest was good, there is money to buy new machinery,
to put in the bank and to buy new clothes.
If the crop is destroyed by flood, drought or insects
everything is put on hold and the family has to live off their savings
and borrow money for next years crop.
They mourn their loss for a time and life is hard.
But they have learned some new lessons about farming
and about themselves.
They are made aware, once again, of the circle of life
and they begin to look ahead to the new year.
The farmer starts planning what he’s going to plant,
orders his seed and prepares the soil,
knowing full well that the future is uncertain
and no harvest is guaranteed.
Hope
that the next year will be better,
is what gives them the will to go on.

Each year can be a new beginning for us as well.
Whether we have had great happiness and success
or much hurt and heart ache,
we get a chance to put the past behind us and look ahead.
We can make plans, prepare the soil and plant seeds
of gentleness, kindness and forgiveness,
and where,once,
there was pride or bitterness and envy.
we can expect a crop of love, joy and peace to grow.
And, we too, can face the future
with great
hope.

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Not alone

I was looking for something special for this Christmas season and came across this little quote. We will have all of our family with us for Christmas except our daughter who lives in Germany. We will miss her but it helps to know she’s not alone.

Not Alone at All

“I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.”
– Taylor Caldwell

    “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)

gratitude revisited

I want to live life like I worked for it but at the same remember that it’s a gift and always be grateful for it.

Gratitude … goes beyond the “mine” and “thine” and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. Henri J. M. Nouwen

judging

There was a children’s chorus that our kids used to sing which included the words

“Be careful little mouth what you say.
The Father up above is looking down in love.
So, be careful little mouth what you say.”

I know I need that reminder so I am putting the thought for this week on this side as a reminder


It’s not what enters ones mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one. Matt 15:11


Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law(of love) and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4: 11-12