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New Year, New Outlook

Dear Church,
Happy New Year! It’s 2019 now and with the new year comes the idea of fresh determination, inspired goals, and a resolve to get things done. In years past I have determined to eat healthier, to exercise more, and to clear the house of all clutter. While I started out excited and consistent, my resolve eventually faded by spring, every single time! My determination grew stale, my inspiration dissolved, my resolve gone. 
Why? Why after so many promises to myself, and the effort that initially went in, would I give up? So many plans and dreams of what my life would look like 6 months down the road, gone by the 3 month mark!

In December I began thinking of all the things I wanted to do in 2019, the goals and the plans to accomplish them. And I thought, as maybe you did, what’s the point? Who am I fooling? I know there is no point, I will fail! And I would have. I would have failed if I kept my goals focused on me, and looked to meet them in my own strength. I would have failed if my inspiration was from anyone other than the Lord. I will fail every time if that is my formula.  But God! I love these two, seemingly simple, words. But God! I have now set this as my goal for 2019: To delight in the Lord, and seek ways to bring Him glory in every single situation I face. Easier said than done. This has already been tested in these first 8 days of 2019. My New Year’s Eve was spent in urgent care after falling and hurting my wrist. I rang in the New Year on the couch, on pain meds, icing my sore muscles and feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was worried, I was in pain, frustrated, and overwhelmed. And was not delighting in the Lord.  But God. Those two simple words helped pull me out of my negative mindset. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love for me, in spite of my sin, made me alive by grace, through Christ! (Ephesians 2:3-5) There is no better reason to delight! So I began to try to find ways to thank Him even in the midst of my confusion and hurt, I tried to see ways to bring glory to Him, instead of focusing on me.  In the last 8 days, I have had 4 sets of x-rays, seen a specialist, heard best and worst case scenarios, and have been very overwhelmed. But I have tried to find ways to delight in the Lord. Four sets of x-rays, BUT GOD provided! I only had to pay for one as my insurance paid the first 3! Saw a specialist, BUT GOD made a way! I had a reasonable co-pay and the doctor spent a lot of time explaining things. Heard the possibilities, including potential surgery, BUT GOD is in control. So overwhelmed, BUT GOD comforts. I have had many family and friends praying for me, and encouraging me, and parents who have dropped everything to help me! When I choose to delight in the Lord, my outlook on everything else is aligned with delighting in Him. In 2019, will you make your primary goal to delight in the Lord? I believe that if you do, your other goals will be more easily accomplished as your inspiration will never expire. Here’s to delighting in the Lord in 2019! Happy New Year! Many Blessings, Pastor Sarah