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creamer column A Year of Promise

Here we stand on the brink of a new year. It should be an interesting one, filled with politics.There should be plenty to keep our attention with all the unrest in the Middle East.
I am sure that immigration will continue to make headlines.
I also imagine being “green” and eco-friendly will continue to be a focus.
I am hoping for a change in the weather pattern so we can get some much needed rain to help our water situation. I am also hopeful for a big snowfall.
Many look back at the end of the year and take stock on what went right and what went wrong. We then make resolutions to improve ourselves, to exercise, lose some of that extra weight we put on during the holidays and develop new habits.
We enter the new year with energy and enthusiasm only to see the excitement wane by Valentine’s Day.
Some people enter a new year feeling much like they need to take a shower. Life’s grit and grime feels stuck to their skin and they just want to wash it away.
Sin’s stench can’t be covered by a sweet perfume. Sometimes, the truth is that life can be filled with problems that seem insurmountable and solutions unobtainable. The only solution is to begin fresh and to start anew.
How do you do it? How do you put life’s losses and failures behind you? Can you really wave the wand of a new year and see all of life’s problems disappear?
If that were possible there would be a lot of people standing in line waiting for their turn to be blessed by that kind of magic. I believe it’s possible to begin a new year fresh and clean.
I am talking about the redemptive power of God to change the circumstances of our everyday lives. I believe that God has the power to change our circumstances, to change our attitude about our circumstances, and to change the lives of those around us who may be affecting our circumstances in a negative way.
God teaches us in his word that his mercies are new every day. I don’t know about you, but I sin and fall short of God’s plan for my life every day and I need his cleansing, redemptive power to begin each new day.
I know I am an optimist, but I wake up every day and see the potential each day has for good. There are many opportunities every day to be a part of God’s plan for my life, to fulfill my life’s purpose where I am right now; doing what God has given me to do.
Sometimes, I’ve discovered that what God needs to change most about me is not my circumstances but my attitude about my circumstances. That’s the toughest thing to change because that requires me to lay down all my rights and to submit to his will. I can’t be angry, feel cheated or wronged because I have to believe that God is in control even when it feels like life has gotten totally out of control.
My attitude must be that I will serve God to the best of my ability where he has me, with a smile on my face.
I’ve learned that I have to receive the forgiveness and mercy of God in my life to be effective for his kingdom. I also have to let him change my attitude and understand that he is in control. Once those two things are in place, then God begins to work on the people around me. I believe they see something different in me, something that they want for themselves. That’s when God can begin to work in them, to change their hearts and attitudes and thereby the circumstances that I find myself in. I believe it’s the redemptive power of God working through me to touch the lives of those around me.
I want to encourage you to look at 2008 as a year with promise for your life. Allow God to wash away all the dirt from 2007 so you can enter 2008 fresh and ready.
I believe God wants to do great things in all our lives, but we need to believe that for ourselves, to see the potential for God to work in what seems like impossible circumstances. For that to happen, we have to change our attitude and perspective on God’s ability and power. I firmly believe that God puts us in places because he needs his redemptive light to shine through us.
I want you to enter 2008 with hope that with God, all things are possible, especially for you in whatever circumstances you find yourself.
Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. He writes a weekly column. His Web site is located at www.dougcreamer.com

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