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Musings and Memories

Happy New Year!

Doug Dezotell
Posted 12/31/22

Well, here it is! The last Saturday of 2022. And it’s my last Musings and Memories column of the year. Hopefully, I will have a brand new column for the first Saturday of 2023.

Oh, …

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Musings and Memories

Happy New Year!

Posted

Well, here it is! The last Saturday of 2022. And it’s my last Musings and Memories column of the year. Hopefully, I will have a brand new column for the first Saturday of 2023.

Oh, well… Happy New Year! May 2023 be the Best Year Ever!

Now for my musings………….

There’s an old “Peanuts” comic strip where Lucy is walking along the road with Charlie Brown.

Charlie Brown asks her: “Lucy, are you going to make any New Year’s resolutions?”

Lucy hollers back at him, knocking him off his feet: “What? What for? What’s wrong with me now? I like myself the way I am! Why should I change? What in the world is the matter with you, Charlie Brown? I’m all right the way I am! I don’t have to improve. How could I improve? How, I ask you? How?”

I’ve known a few Lucys in my time, but most of us are aware that we need to make some improvements in our lives.

Pastor Calvin Miller tells a story about when he was just a 20 year-old pastor, just starting out. He about visiting with an old parishioner named Ralph. The man was near death.

Walking into his room, Miller asked this sick old patriarch, rather bluntly. “Do you think you will die, Ralph?”

Looking a bit surprised at the question, with no ‘hello’ or ‘how are you; Ralph replied, “Yes but more important than that, I think you’ll die too.”

This remark stunned Miller, after all he was just 20 years old, and the old man was 78.

“As a matter of fact,” the old man said, “I’m pretty convinced that everybody who is living is going to die—some sooner, some later. And the only people who will really matter, when the dying is done with, are those who were good stewards of the time they have lived.”

Then Ralph asked the young pastor, “Do you know what Psalm 90:12 says?”

Miller shook his head and answered, “No, I’m sorry, but I don’t.”

At this, the old man recited Psalm 90:12, “Lord,” he said, “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.”

Then the old man added, “There’s not a New Year’s Day that goes by that I don’t quote that to myself.”

“Teach us to number our days . . .”

Time is passing for all of us. For some of us, it seems to be moving more quickly than for others.

What are we doing with the time we have?

John the Apostle writes in 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

The Apostle also wrote these words at the close of the Book of Revelation…. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I Am Coming Quickly.’ Amen. Even So, Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

The New Year, 2023, could very well be the year in which Christ returns on the Clouds, accompanied by a Trumpet Blowing Angel, and an innumerable host of Angels and Saints.

We are standing at ‘the Gate of a New Year.’

In 1908, Minnie Louise Haskins published a poem that she wrote called “God Knows.”

In 1939, then Princess Elizabeth, gave her father, King George VI, a copy of this poem, and he liked it so much that he read it to the people of Great Britain in his Christmas Day Radio Broadcast.

Great Britain was engaged in the early days of World War II, and King George knew his people needed to be offered some Hope.

The preamble to the poem goes like this: And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied: “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.” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

I love this poem, especially the words: “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.”

As we go forward into the New Year, a year of the unknown, we need to make sure that we are going forward being led by God.

Walking with our hand in God’s hand.

Minnie Haskins wrote: “And I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year…”

Minnie Haskins was a Christian woman. In fact she served as a missionary at a Methodist Mission in India. And she knew that the Man who stood at “the Gate of the Year” was a Messenger of God.

The Psalmist King, David, wrote the following in Psalm 118:19-20…Open to me the Gates of Righteousness; I will go through them, And I will Praise the LORD. This is the Gate of the LORD, Through which the Righteous shall enter.

In Isaiah 26:1-4, the Prophet and Priest Isaiah wrote: “We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAHWEH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.”

As all of us enter the Gates of a New Year, I challenge you to do these 4 things: 1) Put your hand in the Hand of God; 2) Commit yourself to a deeper study of God’s Word; 3) Commit yourself to a deeper life of prayer; and 4) Commit yourself to a greater life of service.

Now: May the LORD bless you and keep you; May the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; May the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.

Happy New Year!

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