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Happy New Year!
We wish you a Happy New Year!
There are people who do not believe that we have a right to be happy because there is so much misery in the world.
Everyday in our community, we read of violence and death.
- Untold numbers of human beings in our world go to bed hungry every night.
- There are victims of automobile accidents.
- There is sickness and death.
- There are nations which are suffering devastation from war and hostilities.
There is so much unkindness and plain selfishness.
How can we dare to be happy?
No one should make happiness his or her goal in life.
- Happiness is never experienced by seeking it directly.
- Happiness is a by-product.
"These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full."
- Jesus knew the sad, weary miserable side of life.
- Jesus went about doing good only to be killed by those He wanted to help.
- Jesus was a person of joy.
He talked much about His joy, and said that
He wanted His joy to be complete in those who followed Him.
With Christ in you and in me, this coming year can be really happy.
We must be grateful for what we have now.
- If you have had food on the table...
- If you have enjoyed good health...
- If you have escaped those close calls while driving without accidents...
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him,
and bless his name." (Psalm 100:4)
"If we could have a second chance
To live the days once more,
And rectify mistakes we've made
To even up the score.
If we could have a second choice
To use the knowledge gained
Perhaps, we might become at last
As fine as God ordained.
But though we can't retrace our steps,
However stands the score,
Tomorrow brings another chance
For us to try once more."
We should be so grateful to have a second chance.
Most of us have had many second chances.
Someone was asked, "If you had your life to live over, would you change anything?"
The individual answered, "No!"
But after thinking it over, here are some changes that came to mind.
"If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner, even if the carpet was stained and the sofa was faded.
I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room
and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have burned the pink candle sculptured like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my spouse.
There would have been more 'I love you,' and more, 'I'm sorry.'
But if I was given another shot at life, I would be more grateful and seize every minute of everyday.
I would live everyday with gratitude."
If you had a bank that credited to your account each morning, $86,400, that carried over no balance from day to day.
And if, at the end of every day, whatever balance you had in your account was canceled.
You must spend your days allotment because every evening your balance would be zero.
What would you do?
You would spend every last penny -- wouldn't you?
Well, you have such a bank account, and it is entitled, "Time."
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night you lose whatever of those seconds you failed to invest for good purposes.
No balances are carried over to the next day.
No overdrafts are allowed.
Each day opens with a new account for you.
East night all of the seconds are gone.
If you fail to use today's deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no going back!
There is no drawing against "tomorrow."
You must live on today's deposits.
You must invest it, so as to get from it, the utmost in health, happiness, and relationships.
"Only one life
Twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ
We must look to God for help in mastering our thoughts.
You say, "I can't!"
You can -- with God's help!
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so it is he."
We need to start each day as the small girl said she did.
When her mother asked her why she had enjoyed such a happy day, she answered,
"Well, yesterday I let my thoughts push me around, and today I pushed my thoughts around."
The old year will soon be gone, and will close the books we have written on.
Fresh in our hands will be a clean, new book.
- Stained with tears are the well-thumbed volumes of other years.
- Soiled by blunders and sickened with regret are the pages which are wet with our tears.
- Closed in our hearts is the record of passions that flared and burned.
As the leaves are turned, the memories of panics and sorrows and the ghosts that look out from the pages of the dying year.
The pages are unmarred and contain 12 new chapters which are fresh and clean.
Are you willing...
Think of someone else first in this coming year.
- To close your book of complaints and open the book of praise?
- To believe other people are as sincere as you, and treat them with respect?
- To ignore what life owes you, and consider what you owe life?
- To stop looking for friendships, and start being friendly?
- To be content with such things we have, and stop wishing for things we do not have?
- To cease looking for someone to help you, and devote yourself to helping others?
Thank God for what you have, whether it be great or small!
- Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
- Gladden the heart of a child.
- Welcome a stranger!
- Mend fences of broken relationships.
- Give a soft answer.
- Seek out a forgotten friend.
- Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust.
- Keep a promise.
- Forgive an enemy.
- Apologize, if you were wrong.
- Try to understand.
- Examine your demands on others.
- Appreciate your family and friends.
- Be kind and gentle.
- Laugh a little more.
These are simple things.
- Deserve the confidence of others.
- Express your gratitude to others.
- Pray for peace!
- Love completely!
You have heard them all before, but their influence has never been measured.
This year, these things can change your life!
Walk with God Through This New Year!
We are aware of the dangers.
- Life is a risk!
- Life is filled with challenges.
If you are afraid to die:
So, do not go anywhere or do anything for a multitude of miscellaneous accidents may waylay you.
- Do not ride in or get in the way of automobiles, as they are the cause of 20 percent of all accidents.
- Do not stay at home, as 17 percent of all accidents happen inside the home, so stay outside.
- Do not walk on the street if you can avoid it, as 14 percent of all accidents occur to pedestrians.
- Do not travel by air, or water because six percent of all accidents are the result of traveling.
- Do not indulge in sports or recreation under any circumstances, for 20 percent of all accidents result from these.
But, you can believe in the eternal God of holy and righteous love, who loves you forever.
Place your trust in God!
- You can rest in God's care and love, so commit yourself to His keeping.
- You are safe in the arms of Jesus. (Romans 8:28)
Proverbs 16:20: "... to so trusteth in the Lord, happy is he."
Simply ask God to bring your life into a perfect harmony with His will, so that you may live as He would have you live.
How will this new year come out?
"And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
- We don't know!
- We don't know the future, but God does, and He will guide us through each and every day of the year ahead.
'Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown.'"
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."
"Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it."
(Isaiah 30: 21)
As we reflect on the past year, the few victories we achieved seem to be far outshadowed by the mistakes.
But that's the way it will always be when we review our works and not God's.
Reflect on the victories -- were they not all accomplished when we submitted ourselves to God?
Contemplate the failures -- did they not occur when we tried to do it our way?
An unknown poet has captured this spirit.
"He came to my desk with quivering lip;
The lesson was done.
' Have you a new leaf for me, dear teacher?
I have spoiled this one! '
I took his leaf, all soiled and blotted
And gave him a new one, all unspotted,
Then into his tired heart I smiled:
' Do better now, my child. '
I went to the throne with trembling heart;
The year was done.
' Have you a new year for me, dear Master?
I have spoiled this one! '
He took my year, all soiled and blotted
And gave me a new one, all unspotted,
Then into my tired heart, He smiled:
' Do better now, my child.' "
God has given us a new leaf -- a New Year, and with it, new opportunities.
Let us commit ourselves to the work of God so that the victories of this coming year may far outnumber the defeats.
"Do better now, my child!"
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org