Review Next Year Now

    You’ve probably seen the specials on television news programs on the highlights of 2010 in national and international news. There was the Hatian earthquake and the terrible loss of 250,000 lives, the eruption of Mount Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland which sent 330,000,000 cubic yards of volcanic ash into the atmsosphere and grounding over 100,000 flights in Europe. Who will forget the BP offshore oil rig explosion and the ensuing spill that continued to flow for three months? Then there were the 33 Chillian miners who were rescued on live TV after having been trapped 2,300 feet underground for nine weeks. In America, there was the health care bill fiasco, the tea party express and then the huge congressional overhaul midterm election (probably a result of the previous two).
    What stands out for you in 2010? Maybe its a highlight: a new baby, a wedding or engagement or a new job. Maybe its a challenge or series of challenges: the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, onset of health struggles or failure of a relationship. In our family, we experienced both the highlights and the struggles.
    As I have heard from a number of you at The Bridge, many came to know Christ in a personal way this year, and a number of you found The Bridge in 2010. I hope you have all grown closer to Christ this past year, and closer to your church family.
    As a new year begins, we tend to get nostalgic in looking back over the events of the past year. Some are glad to see 2010 go. But for all of us, I hope we can learn from both positives and negatives. Nothing happens to us by chance and it is all part of God’s design for His glory and our good, if we are committed to pleasing Him with our lives. So then, what lessons can you take from this past year? What mistakes did you make that you do not want to repeat? What victories did you enjoy that you can thank God for in a special way? What new initiatives began in your life that you will want to continue through the rest of your days?
    But I think it’s even better to review next year, now, then this year. That is, plan out 2011 as though you are at its end and looking back at what you would like to have done this year. You know there will be the same mix of blessings and difficulties, many of them unforeseen. How will you respond to both? What goals do you have for this next year and what are you doing to reach those goals? When 2011 comes to an end, what will you be looking back on then? And will you be able to say that you grew this year in your relationship with Christ?
    You have a precious gift handed to you. The gift of a new year….more time to fulfill your purpose. Make the most of it! Honor God! Please Him! Love people! Serve others! If you do that, 2011 may be your best year yet!

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