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It’s time to look ahead

I imagine that by the time you read this column you will have completed the task of putting Christmas away for another year.
I love to get the Christmas things out, but I hate to put it all away. We gradually get things out in December, starting with the outside and working to the inside. That is also the way we put things away.
I work on getting the outside stuff picked up on New Year’s Day, and then we work inside over the next week to get things back to normal on the inside.
Sadly, the other thing that will return to normal is our diet. All the delicious food that goes with the holidays has been consumed and added to our midsections, now we have to get back to our regular meals.
We will all probably be working on reducing our midsections through diet and exercise as we will be planning for our summer beach trips.
It’s fun to celebrate a month of holiday meals and treats, but it takes several months of hard work and dedication to get the weight back off.
It can also be difficult to maintain our quiet times when we are going through the holiday season.
It seems that there are so many family functions, parties, and even church programs to attend that quiet times can be reduced and sometimes even eliminated.
So now as the new year begins we can get ourselves back in the routine of seeking the Lord.
Last week I wrote about the importance of looking back on the year that has passed. This week I want to focus on looking ahead at the year that is set before us.
We are standing on the doorstep of a brand new year that is full of wonderful possibilities. This year will take us all through new stages of growth that will include great victories and possibly some moments of struggle and failure.
We have a choice in how we view the upcoming year. We can look at it and only see the problems and the difficulties that lie ahead.
I assure you that 2014 will have some bumps for all of us. There will be some difficult moments filled with trials and struggles.
But if that is all we can imagine in the new year we are crossing the threshold with the wrong attitude.
I believe in looking for the good. I don’t ignore the negative or bad things; I just choose to focus on the good. I believe that God has good things for us in the upcoming year.
My God says he has plans to prosper and bless me. My God wants to bring good things into my life.
When the enemy wants to rain on my parade, my God says he can turn all things to good for those who love him and are call according to his purposes.
I believe we should enter the new year with hope. We should enter the year with optimism, believing that good will happen for us.
We should enter the year with the feeling and eager expectation that God is going to bring about something good in our lives.
We should place our hope in the Lord because he is the source of all the goodness that comes into our lives.
I believe it is also important to enter a new year with faith. We have to place our trust and confidence in God. God sees our beginning and He knows our end. Our lives and future are in His hands and we have to have unwavering confidence that He is going to do what is best for us.
God knows us better than we know ourselves so we have to have faith that He will bring about good things in 2014.
An important ingredient that will make 2014 a great year is love. We all need to be loved and to love God and each other.
We need love’s tender affection to help us through the tough times and brotherly or sisterly support to encourage and challenge us to walk closer with God. God is love and we need to walk in His love in 2014 if we hope to win people for Christ.
I want to encourage you to live and breathe faith, hope, and love. They are the three ingredients that will make any year a great year.
It is our choice; we have the power to enter the year believing God for good things and seeing everything that happens through the eyes of faith, hope and love.
I hope 2014 is a wonder-filled year for you and your family.
Doug Creamer lives in Faith. Contact him at doug@dougcreamer.com

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