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Old 12-30-2017, 10:24 AM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - December 30

If this is to be a Happy New Year, a year of usefulness, a year in which we shall live to make this earth better, it is because God will direct our pathway. How important then, to feel our dependence upon Him! --Matthew Simpson

As we grow older in life, years somehow seem to shorten and New Year's Day approaches with an ever increasing tempo. The more mature we get, the more we realize that time is only relative; how we live means more than how long we live. Haply also we do not live by years, but by days. In His wisdom God does not show us all that lies ahead. So we enter a new year to live it day by day. What is past is past. Today we start anew, and what we do today will make our life for tomorrow. Chin up, shoulders straight, eyes agleam, let us salute the New Year, and each day let us follow more faithfully, more courageously, more daringly the lead of our great Captain who bids us follow Him. --William Thomson Hanzsche

Never be afraid to entrust the unknown future to the all-knowing God." --unknown

Do not be afraid to face life. This New Year has a lot of promises for us. Trust God and everything will be fine. Happy New Year!

Don’t forget God in your New Years Resolutions.

Let God help to bring a solution into your New Years resolution.

Make it a point to start each day of this New Year with a prayer. It works wonders. Happy New Year!

Let your new beginning begin with JESUS!

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New Year's is a time to learn to rely more heavily on the grace of God. Now I've met a few self-made men and women and so have you, but so often these people seem proud and driven. There is another way: beginning to trust in God's help. One more secret from the Apostle Paul: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength," he said (Phil 4:13, NIV). And God's strength saw him through a lot--through pain, through joy, and through accomplishment.
If this last year you didn't practice relying on the Lord as much as you should have, there is no time like the present to make a New Year's resolution. In fact, why don't you say a short prayer right now--use these words if you like: "Dear God, I want the new year to be different for me." Now spell out in prayer some of the changes you'd like to see. And close this way: "Lord Jesus, I know that I'm going to need a lot of help for this. So right now I place myself in your hands. Help me to receive Your strength. Amen." Good. Now you've got a much better chance of a Happy New Year.
--Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

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The Ongoing Feast by Lynne Phipps
Psalm 119:11 – I have thought much about your words and stored them in my heart so that they would hold me back from sin. (TLB)
The roast turkey that we enjoyed so much on Christmas day just keeps going and going. Saturday was hot turkey sandwiches, Sunday was turkey salad, and today will find me standing at the counter picking its meaty bones. Picking the bones of a turkey is not my favorite task, but the turkey pot pie that will result from my labor is certainly one of my favorite dishes.
As I thought about these meals, I was reminded of how the Word of God also keeps going and going in regard to feeding us. Verses that I memorized as a child or have studied as an adult are forever nourishing me. They guide and direct, comfort and uplift, admonish and strengthen through good times and bad. And even after years and years of understanding a certain verse in one way, I am most delighted and amazed when the Holy Spirit opens my eyes to a greater depth of meaning as it applies to a new situation that I encounter.
Indeed, the manna of God's Word is eternally sweet and filling, definitely one of my favorite meals.
How about you: Have you eaten today?
Prayer: Father God, thank You so much for the precious gift of the Scriptures. Thank You for all the men and women who have dedicated their lives to making sure that Your Word could go forth worldwide to everyone and anyone who seeks to feast upon it. Continue to encourage our hearts to enjoy this marvellous meal that You have prepared for us, each and every day. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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One Day At A Time by Richard Frith
Last year was a very difficult year for our family. There were so many things to worry about and so many things to do that it was hard to decide what to do next. I wondered: What will next year bring?
During this time, I happened to read this passage:
Matthew 6:34 – Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (NIV)
Following its advice, I started every day by asking the question "What do I have to do today?" I found that if I concentrated on facing life one day at a time, problems became manageable.
I remember reading an interview with a person who was a recovering alcoholic. He said, "When I think about the past, I become resentful. When I think about the future, I get scared. Any day when I think about today is a good day." We can't change the past, and the future is very hard to predict. But if we concentrate on doing the best we can, day by day, there is much that we can accomplish with God's help. It is a wonderful way to decrease our anxiety.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of today. Help us to live this day the best that we can, releasing the past to You and trusting You for the future. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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Times Gone By By Missey Butler
Every New Year’s Eve, one of the most common English-speaking songs people sing is a song called Auld Lang Syne. Isn’t it funny how it’s possible to sing a song all your life and have no idea what it means?
It turns out that Auld Lang Syne is a 17th century Scottish song written by a man named Robert Byrns. His transcription of the words "auld lang syne" means times gone by. So when we sing this song, we are saying, “We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet for the times gone by.”
The other day I was thinking about this well known song, and I couldn’t help but begin to do a little reminiscing myself.
I got to thinking about just how awesome it is to finally reach a place in life when you can honestly be thankful for everything.
I mean everything. All the good, the bad and the ugly. The whole shah bang! Everything that has ever had the fortune or misfortune of passing through the curtains of my life!
I am more and more convinced, that until we truly believe that God really does work out everything in conformity with the purpose of his own will, (Ephesians 1:11) we will never be ready for the next round of the growth process.
A very well known scripture in the book of Romans articulates this remarkable truth very well when it says:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28)
If you count yourself as being numbered among the “called out” ones, who also happen to be head over heels in love with God (which by faith, we all can be), you will soon find yourself beginning to see things in a new and marvelous light.
It’s part of that promise given to us in Matthew:
If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. (Matthew 6:22)
Then when we ultimately come to the realization that God is after one thing, and that one thing is us giving Him EVERYTHING, then (and only then) will we gladly, without hesitation, partake of that cup of kindness … yet for the times gone by!
As Dame Julian of Norwich said so well, "The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything."
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (I Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

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Excuses And Priorities by Rosemary Hagedorn
A new year is about to begin, and I wonder: How many of us have made New Year's resolutions?
A couple of resolutions of mine are to attend church regularly and to try and donate more of my time to worthwhile projects or actions that will involve making this world a better place to live in. Last year, I found that I neglected and forgot what I had promised to do, and my resolutions were swept under the carpet, yet once again, by making excuses and putting my priorities in the wrong place.
We do our own thing during the week. We are busy cleaning our houses until they are spotless, and then, we yell at our children and husband when they walk in with dirty shoes. We reward ourselves with that piece of cake when we are frustrated, and we think to ourselves, You deserve it! Then we drive to places where we can exercise in order to lose a few pounds!
On Sunday, we go to church, sing a few songs, listen to a sermon, throw some of our money into the offering plate, and look at our watch, hoping that the service won't be too much longer, because we have things to do at home or people to visit. And we wonder why God is not blessing us! We think that the one hour a week at the church is sufficient for God, and yet, we expect God to be there for us 24/7, don't we?!
We look into the newspapers to find out what our day has in store for us; we can actually have our daily horoscope downloaded into our incoming e-mail or cellphone. Why is it that we look to the stars when we can look to the One Who created them in the first place?
Psalm 86:5 – For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You. (NKJV)
Lamentations 3:40 – Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord. (NRSV)
Today, let us return to our God and obey His voice, because He is merciful.
Prayer: Merciful God, You must become very tired of hearing our broken promises and the vows that we can't seem to stick to. Help us to stay on the straight and narrow road and to remove anything that is not glorifying to Your holy name. We surrender ourselves to do what You want us to do. Amen.

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A New Year’s Devotion By Samuel
“After this Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.” (Job 42:16-17)
The book of Job ends on a note of contentment and peace. Job was probably about seventy when the book opens, so he is an old man. What a picture of peace, a contented man. God had greatly blessed him.
Before us stretches a new year, a new beginning. The old is past, put away forever. God invites us always to forget about all the distrust and fears, all the anxieties of the past, all the resentments we have been holding against others, all the grudges, all the criticisms–to put them away and begin again.
The question that hovers over us as we close this book (and I feel it deeply in my own heart) is, “On what basis am I going to live in this new year? Will it be on the old basis of it-all-depends-on-me, do-it-yourself goodness before God, trying my best to be pleasing to God and meaning it with all my heart but never realizing the depths of evil with which I have to deal?” Or will I accept the gift of God that is waiting for me every day, fresh from His hand, a gift of forgiveness, of righteousness already mine, of a relationship in which He is my dear Father and I am his cherished, beloved son, and in which I therefore have provided for me all I need, all day long, so that I may say no to evil and yes to truth and right?
Will it be on that basis? If it is, this will be a year in which my life will be characterized by peace, fragrance, and beauty. And so will yours. Or, if we insist on living it on the same old basis, we will find ourselves like these friends of Job, arousing the anger and the wrath of God. Though He is patient and merciful, our only escape will be to repent of our evil and rest upon the righteousness of our perfect substitute and return to God for the blessing that He is waiting to give. That is the choice before us, every one of us. How are we going to live in this new year?
Lord, thank You for this new year that lies before me. I choose You. I choose to depend on You, trust You, and accept from Your hand all that You would give me.

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Wishing You a Happy New Year
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:4-7, NIV).
"A legend tells the story of a fisherman called Aaron. Aaron lived on the banks of a river. Walking home with his eyes half-closed one evening after a hard day's work, he was dreaming of what he could do if he were rich. As he walked his foot struck against a leather pouch filled with what seemed to him to be small stones.
"Absentmindedly he picked up the pouch and began throwing the pebbles into the water. 'When I am a rich man,' he said to himself, 'I'll have a large house.' And he threw another pebble into the river. He threw another one and thought, 'My wife and I will have servants and rich food, and many fine things.' And this went on until just one stone was left. As Aaron held it in his hand, a ray of light caught it and made it sparkle. He then realized that it was a valuable gem. He had been throwing away the real riches in his hand, while he dreamed of unreal riches in the future."
As we start a fresh New Year, let us remember all the riches we have in Christ Jesus, and all the blessings from God that we do have and not overlook these because of all the things we don't have—many of which for many of us we don't even need in order to live a contented and happy life.
As Charles Dickens once said, "Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some."
Contentment and happiness come from within and not from circumstances without. They come from changing the things we can and need to change, from accepting and learning to live with the things we cannot change—and having the wisdom to know the difference. They come from the attitude of one's heart and mind, and learning to trust God in everything.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for all the blessings that I have in Christ Jesus and the manifold blessings I receive at your hand every day. Open the eyes of my understanding so that I can see these, thank you for them, and rejoice always in them. I commit and trust my life and way to you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen." --Daily Encounter

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I Start Here…
I Start Here…
Lord, time is so precious.
Time to heal and be healed,
time to sort myself out, to understand,
to get it all together, to see your hand.
Where does each day go?
So fast, like a mountain stream,
so past, like a distant dream,
so lost, before we know, so time seems to flow.
So there’s no time to be lost,
I start here, this very moment,
I begin my prayer for healing here and now.
I lay the foundations with renewed heart
as stone by stone a wall is laid,
so prayer by prayer my hope is made
for a fresh start with you, Lord.

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Poem For The New Year
God grant us this year a wider view,
So we see others' faults through the eyes of You;
Teach us to judge not with hasty tongue,
Neither the adult ... nor the young.
Give us patience and grace to endure
And a stronger faith so we feel secure;
And instead of remembering, help us forget
The irritations that caused us to fret.
Freely forgiving for some offense
And finding each day a rich recompense,
In offering a friendly, helping hand
And trying in all ways to understand,
That all of us whoever we are ...
Are trying to reach "an unreachable star."
For the great and small ... the good and bad,
The young and old ... the sad and glad,
Are asking today, "Is life worth living?"
And the answer is only in "loving" and "giving."
For only "Love" can make us kind
And Kindness of Heart brings Peace of Mind,
And by giving love we can start this year
To lift the clouds of hate and fear.
--Helen Steiner Rice

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EACH NEW DAY - Author Unknown
Greet each new year
Without any fear.
Jesus will guide you,
Walking beside you.
Greet each new day
In the joyful way.
Jesus is dearer
And one day nearer.
Greet each new face
Full of God's free grace.
Tell them that Jesus
Yearns to receive us.
So greet each new day,
The victory way.
You keep abiding;
God keeps providing.
Updated December 21,2002

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The New Year stands just before us.
We will decide what to do each day.
God will direct our footsteps.
He will be with us all the way.
Our desires should be to please Him.
He invites us to let Him lead.
He can see far into the future.
His plan is for Him to intercede.
He sets a pattern before us.
He opens and closes each door.
He wants complete obedience.
He has told us all that before.
If we really want joy and peace,
We need to stay close by His side.
His grace will always be sufficient.
In our hearts, He will abide.
The days will be complete
If we start each one in His care.
May our lives shine with His glory.
We must stay in His Word with prayer.
We dedicate this New Year to Him.
May He find us faithful each day.
May we strive to be more Christ-like
And plan to please Him in every way.
Evelyn D. Putnam

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Another Year for Thee by Dale Crowley
Another year is dawning!
Dear Master, let it be,
In working or in waiting,
Another year with Thee!
Another year of leaning
Upon Thy loving breast,
Of even deeper trusting,
Of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of mercies,
Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness,
In the shining of Thy face.
Another year of progress,
Another year of praise;
Another year of proving
Thy presence "all the days."
Another year of service,
Of witness to Thy love;
Another year of training
For holier work above.
Another year is dawning!
Dear Master, let it be,
On earth, or else in heaven,
Another year for Thee!

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11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

18 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose. Psalm 20:4

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Psalm 51:10, 12

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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Your Last Words by Tom
Within a few days we will say farewell and goodby to another year. As we end a year and welcome a new one many will spend at least some time developing plans and making resolutions for the coming year. There will be news stories about the first baby born in the hospitals. There will likely be stories about to the first couples to be married. Over the next week we will be experiencing and talking about all kinds of firsts that occur as the first days of the new year pass.
Instead of focusing on the first things, I would like to spend the space of this last A Norvell Note of 2015 to think about the last thing. What is the last thing you will talk about this year? It is a fairly common tendency among families and friends to share some of the most important and meaningful information during the last few minutes of our time together. We may chit chat throughout the visit. We may spend much of our time on trivialities until we are ready to walk out the door.
Parents will often end their visit with their children with words like, “Be careful.” “Call us when you get home.” “Do you have enough cash?” In our family we have always tried to say, “I love you” before we leave, even if it is for a trip to the grocery store.
So, these are the words I want to leave you with as the year comes to an end.
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, NIV)
This is my desire for you. That you know the only true God, and Jesus Christ. My goal for A Norvell Note is to help you know Jesus. It is not my desire to tell you about heaven or how wonderful it will be. It is not my desire to tell you about how important it is for you go to and be involved in a church or spiritual community. It is not my goal to help you get it right with how you worship. It is my desire to help you know Jesus.
I know of no more important question that I can ask you than these: Do you know Jesus? Do you understand that Jesus came to earth, lived on earth, died, and rose again so that you could be forgiven of all your sins? Do you know that if you know Jesus, you have eternal life, because He is eternal life.
My last words to you in 2015: Do you know Jesus? What are your last words?

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A New Year Prayer
Holy Father, God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows. We praise You for Your unequaled greatness. Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead. Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more. To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them. To teach others to love by loving them. Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us. So that Love could be with us, and we could know You. That we could share Love with others. Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise, in the chriping of sparrows in our backyards, in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children. Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs, so that we may know You better and better. We rejoice in the world You loved into being. Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day. We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others. Forgive us for falling short this past year. We leave
the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us. We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what's ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want. I say it again, we rejoice! In Jesus name, Amen. Author Unknown

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Prayer for the New Year
O God of new beginnings and wonderful surprises, thank you for the gift of a new year. May it be a time of grace for me, a time to grow in faith and love, a time to renew my commitment to following Your Son, Jesus. May it be a year of blessing for me, a time to cherish my family and friends, a time to renew my efforts at work, a time to embrace my faith more fully. Walk with me, please, in every day and every hour of this new year, that the light of Christ might shine through me, in spite of my weaknesses and failings. Above all, may I remember this year that I am a pilgrim on the sacred path to You. Amen --Author Unknown

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Read Through The Bible
Psalm 84
1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. 3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God. 4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. 5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. 6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. 8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. 9 Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. 10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

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A Prayer for the New Year
Come, Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Risen Christ, be with us today and always. Be our Light, our Guide, and our Comforter. Be our Strength, our Courage, and our Sanctifier. May this new year be a time of deep spiritual growth for us, A time of welcoming your graces and gifts, A time for forgiving freely and unconditionally, A time for growing in virtue and goodness. Come, Holy Spirit. Be with us today and always. Amen.

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A NEW YEAR'S PRAYER by Emily Boeve
Another year is ending, quickly coming to a close.
I want to thank You Father,
For taking me down the paths, You chose.
The road wasn't always smooth,
And a lot of times it went uphill.
But You always cleared the way for me,
As long as I stayed in Your will.
Sometimes, I faltered, as I walked along life's way.
Yet You were there to give me strength,
To see me through each day.
When I was ill, Your healing power came through.
Oh, my God, my Father, How I love You.
So, as this year closes and another year begins...
Father please forgive me, of my daily sins.
Let me walk bravely, on that rough and uphill road.
Let me be aware of Your strength,
That's always there to lighten my load.
When I'm in doubt, Father, calm my fears.
And if I should cry, please kiss away my tears.
If I falter, as I walk along life's way,
Dear God, give me strength,
To see me through each day.
As this night and this year ends...
And my heart is still,
My prayer for each day of the new year,
Is to walk steadfastly, in Your will.

Wherever you are in life, whatever you've done, you can begin again. If you do not have Jesus in your life and wish to ask Jesus into your life please go to this link now to do so: .
Jesus is calling you to live a life that matters.
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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