New year brings clean slate

By Joan Clayton

2009 has come and gone with its challenges.

With so many issues in government, chaos in culture, economy and all kinds of personal situations life would seem to be the pits. Not so dear reader. We are living in the “meanwhiles.” Whatever our life span covers, the real life is “losing your life to find it.”

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:24 NIV).

God never abandons his child. One of my favorite Scriptures tells about his loyalty.

“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior” (2 Samuel 22:47 NIV).

God is my “Rock” and he is yours too.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7 NIV).

My husband had a large rock placed in our landscaping and I love it. I am reminded that Jehovah is my rock.

Our prayer group used to sing “I am under the Rock, the Rock that is higher than I. Jehovah hides me under the Rock.”

Jesus is our hope, our only hope, and while we are on this earth we are given a choice, to live, good or bad.

I believe God has given every one of us a purpose in life. Accomplishing that purpose is a blessing indeed. Despite everything around us we have a choice of how we live and that determines everything.

So let’s live a legacy of love. Each day is a gift. Enjoy life despite the many problems.

The new year brings a chance to begin again. It’s a time to start anew and resolve new resolutions. Here are some of mine:

I resolve to forgive those who have offended me, to refrain from criticizing and finding fault, to encourage, exhort and help those who are hurting, to pray, study and hide the word in my heart, to set no wicked thing before my eyes, to smile, laugh and spread sunshine, to sing more, hum more, giggle more, to treat everyone as if this might be the very last time I will see them on this earth, to pray silently for each person I talk to, to tell Jesus everyday how much I love him, to tell others of Jesus’ love, to see every person as one of great worth because Jesus died for them too, to praise God and receive every new day as a precious gift, to look at more blue skies, rainbows and snowflakes, to kiss more babies, to bury the past for I am a new creature, to live every day of this New Year leaving a precious memory in the lives of others, to have joy, to be grateful, to be full of cheer, to be happy for the joy of the Lord has filled me with an abundant hope for a wonderful life here and an eternal one hereafter.

Maybe you have a list of resolutions. Let’s try to make our resolutions last all year. If we miss it, let’s start again. It will make life easier and we will be happier.

Time wasted in reliving the past and time worrying about the future is counterproductive and a lesson of futility to say the least.

To be truly happy in the New Year, be constantly expressing appreciation. Make a new beginning and make someone else happy. You will find happiness returns to you.

Have hope for the New Year.

Feliz Ano Nuevo.

Portales resident Joan Clayton is a retired teacher and published author. Her e-mail address is: