Doug Creamer: A fresh start

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 2, 2016

Some of my readers will be reading my column on New Year’s Eve while others will be reading it just inside of 2016. To be honest, it is hard to believe that 2015 is gone.

This year, like most as I get older, seemed to fly by. It had its good days, like those spent on vacation or spending time with friends and family. And sadly, we can point to days that were rough or sad, the kind of days we would all like to forget. If 2016 is like every other year, we will have some good days and some bad ones.

One thing I can predict is that TV will not be very enjoyable this year…well the commercial part of TV. I imagine we will be inundated with political ads. We will all be sick and tired of hearing how bad the world will be if “the other guy or woman” gets elected to office. I have never been one to wish a year away, but I am not looking forward to the political circus we face in 2016.

The important thing is that we will get to choose our leaders in November. We live in a free society that many around the world envy. We have the power to change leaders in our country in a peaceful manner. So this will be a very important year for our country as we choose which direction we will go politically.

This year, like most years, will also contain some weather challenges. El Nino has certainly brought plenty of rain to our area, especially after such a long, dry summer. The warm weather for the holiday season is also a gift of El Nino. My concern is what happens if you bring big storms and mix cold air with them. I think we might see some winter tornadoes, big ice storms, and maybe some epic snowstorms in our country. I know whatever happens, we Americans will pull together and help the affected parts of our country out.

Every year contains tragic events, some of human origin, others from nature. My hope is that in the middle of those horrible times, Christians will rise up and show the compassion and love that is so critical in those moments. Tragedies can create great opportunities for us to reach out with hope, grace, and love.

Every year also contains joyous moments. I hope in those times we will turn our eyes toward heaven and thank the Good Lord for His favor. God is the author of everything good in our lives and I hope that in the good times we will be a people who give Him thanks and praise.

When it comes down to it every year contains a number of unknowns. But the good news is that we know the one who holds everything in His hands. If we have faith in God and trust his goodness towards us, we can be assured that we will make it through whatever comes our way. God is faithful and He will bring something good out of every situation. I am not implying that tragedy and sad times will be averted, but I am promising that God will be with us through those times and in the end will bring goodness into our lives.

So with the birth of 2016 we have an important choice to make. We can choose to trust ourselves and depend on our wit and experience to pull us through, or we can trust in an eternal God who knows the beginning and the end to lead us in the paths of righteousness. I don’t know about you, but I have discovered that I would rather depend on my loving heavenly Father to guide me through each day.

We need to make sure we don’t make that choice lightly. When we agree to walk with God for 2016, we are agreeing to His agenda. I have often found that His agenda calls for me to sacrifice the things I want to do for what He is asking me to do. That means taking time listen, to put other people’s needs ahead of mine, and to be willing to pray and intercede at all hours. That also means that God will want me to drop my agenda to accomplish His. Living for Him comes at a cost. We are told to count the cost.

I want to encourage you to enter 2016 having God’s agenda at heart. God has good plans for your life. He has planned an awesome adventure for 2016. It may cost us some of our routines to experience God in a new and powerful way. If we want to step out of the normal and experience God in a new way, it will require a greater sensitivity to the leading of His Spirit. I believe God’s plans are good and exciting so I am going to put my hand in His and go along for the adventure.

Doug Creamer’s books can be found at the Literary Bookpost. Contact him at doug@dougcreamer.com

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