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Friday, January 1, 2010

A new year, new beginnings, new starts,

Happy New Year!

Today I started a new devotional -- "I Want to Live These Days with You" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2/4/1906 - 4/9/1945).

Today's reading discussed good intentions -- the changes we think we will make in this new year of new beginnings.

Change, I find, is an interesting word. I doubt I ever thought about change quite the same way that Mr. Bonhoeffer illustrates it. He says it is not us who makes the change, the new beginning. It is not us who says, "This is what I am going to do." "This is what I will do."

It is only where God is that there can be change, a new beginning, a new start.

We can pray for change - for ourselves, our loved ones, our co-workers and neighbors, even our enemies, but we ourselves can not bring it about. That is all up to God and His will.

We can think we are wholly in His word, wholly immersed in all of Him, but when we continue to think and vocalize, "Why can't I make this work?!" "Why can't I say no?" that we are still following the belief we ourselves can do something to make it all better. And we cannot.

Diet and losing weight seems to be the perpetual change many of us want to make. I have gained weight this past year. Five years ago with God's blessing I rid myself of over 100 pounds.

But what now? I think it is up to me, yet for all my "good intentions," I have failed, I am failing. I tell myself, "say no." Yet I do not.

It is just as Paul says in Romans 7, starting with verse 15, "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do."

We do not truly live according to God's standard. We think we are, but even when a small part is to ourselves, we fail.

Mr. Bonhoeffer says we are to pray to God for a new beginning, that new start we so desire. But we must come to the realization that we alone cannot do anything, that we by ourselves have reached our limit, that someone else (meaning God) must make that new beginning for us.

Let God be in control of the reins. We must follow His lead, only Him.

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6