Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 9:35 a.m. CDT

(Continued from Page 1)

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

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

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

These three verses remind us that always a new beginning and new experiences. One experience we can say goodbye to would be the shortest day year for Iowa this past week. Now we start anew toward the longest day. I like that idea.

Let the light shine as I leave the house and come to the house in the evening. You get a brighter start everyday.

From teaching and coaching, I always looked forward to the new year or new season. After teaching many years, I could not sleep the night before school started. I was too excited about the new opportunities and new adventure the year would bring.

While coaching, I enjoyed the excitement of seeing athletes get better as the season went forward. There is great thrill in the your heart when a player says to you, “Coach, I did it. I caught the second fly ball in this game!”

In the new year 2014 we have new adventures awaiting us. Yes, some moments will be heartbreaking and sad. We know that is going to happen.

There are also going to be exciting moments that we did not expect to see. It may be the beauty of flowers, strawberries, corn coming up and wonderful sunrises and sunsets.

All of those are going to happen just as new moments. Long-lasting experiences with our families will be the moments to treasure. I am excited for my grandchildren growing up.

You know the same is true with God and us. He is giving us a new year to grow and mature in our faith journey of life. He will be there beside us, encouraging us to take the moments to leap forward. He will be there if we stumble and give us a providing hand to step up again.

As we accept this new year arriving in our lives, it is up to us to take the action to grow and mature in our faith journey.

However, this will not happen for any of us if we take a passive action, sit back and say, “God, you teach me.”

I had a student say that once to me while coming into my classroom.

If we want to know and experience God in this new year, then we need to mark our calendar for some quality time spent with Him.

Let us all remember that God will hear our prayers, meditations and be with us in worship and praise of Him.

Let me suggest to you that reading new books, watching good entertainment and being involved in our faith group and with our friends is important part of growing in this new year on our faith journey.

It is our choice what we do with this new year. We can try to maintain status quote.

Or, we encounter “God’s Moments” and take leap forward in our personal life. As we encounter the “God Moments” of the new year, let us not let them slip by us without reacting to the “God Moments.”

I define "God Moments" as instead of thinking "well, that just happened," we see God in a new friend appearing, new book and the church or society calling upon me when I never thought of that happening.

God is encouraging all us to come to 2014 with wonderful new experiences moving us in our faith journey.

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