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Touche’ 2010 — En gard! 2011

January 1, 2011

A few years ago, I was attending a liberal arts college in Kentucky, (Berea), and working in an office where I was often privy to some light but philosophical discussions.  One day, a professor that many assumed to be an atheist, was having a conversation with the secretary, who was as extreme with her conservative, legalistic views as he was with his liberal views.  I truly don’t remember how the conversation began, but I know that the gist of it was centered around the  past, the failures, regrets and sins, and then of course new beginnings,  and suddenly God and Jesus got worked into the conversation.

The professor, a witty and critical thinker, who mostly seemed to prod the secretary with these emotional type conversations, tried to end and thus win the debate with this statement:  “Bottom line … even God can’t change the past.”

It was quiet for a moment.  I had not contributed anything to the conversation as I was just listening and enjoying what I deemed as banter.  I had not intended to contribute anything to their exchange … but from somewhere deep within, these words came forth,

 “No Sir … but He can redeem it.”

The professor looked at me, smiled, nodded his head and said, “Touche!”

So as we sit here letting our black-eyed peas simmer, and our hearts and minds simmer on days gone by, perhaps we should simply say, “Touche … and move on.”

George Santayana once said that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. If we must dwell on the past, then by all means, let’s find and take note of those watermark moments that were hard lessons to learn but certainly should have made us better people — and not go there again.

In addition to “the past”  being made up of  experiences and memories, basically it’s just “time spent.”   Whether you feel it was wasted or invested, it is time that you cannot recapture … you cannot re-do.  But as I pointed out to the professor, it can be redeemed through the GRACE and MERCY and HOPE of life lived with Jesus Christ as Savior.

In recent years, couponing and redemption offers have become the practice for many consumers.  Newspapers and websites are chocked full of cents off or buy-one-get-one gimmicks.  Some stores and businesses will even “double your coupon” for an even greater redemption value.   It’s a craft that you have to learn and practice to get the full benefits but many live and breathe by it and have saved a good deal of money.

Perhaps that’s the way we should approach the new year.  The experiences of the past are like “coupons of knowledge and wisdom” that we can use toward better “consumption” (living) in 2011.

My favorite life verse has always been 2 Corinthians 5:17,

“If any man (or woman) be in Christ, he/she is a new creation. Old things are passed away … behold, all things become new.”

Here we are at the beginning of 2011. With sword in hand after fighting the battles of 2010, we say “Touche!”  Armed with the knowledge and wisdom gleaned from the experiences of the past, our new charge is , “En Guard” to 2011.

We are  facing it with new confidence and a renewed spirit that these times, (present and future), will not be wasted, but invested in conversations, activities and relationships that will provide strong defense and armour throughout the year to come.

Joel 2:25 says, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” 

That promise, combined with 2 Corinthinians 5:17, and of course, John 3:16,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” — gives us the best redemption offer I know of.

My prayer is that 2011 is a year of GRACE and REDEMPTION … that we not only receive from God, but that we can also show and share with others in this world.  My prayer is that we will not focus on the wasted days of the past, but seek God’s direction and leading on how we can invest in the present and future.

Clearly, we cannot bring about our own redemption.  It only comes from a loving/trusting/living relationship with Jesus Christ.  But we can experience and share the hope of redemption with everyone around us. Afterall, “REDEMPTION is what the world is longing for! “http://sermonspice.com/product/3888/redemption (check it out!)

Father God, as we embark upon this new year, help us to recognize your tender mercies that are new everyday. Help us, Lord, to know that each moment, each day, each season and each year is a gift from You and purposed for Your Kingdom not ours.

Thank you, Father, for the blessings and the lessons of 2010. Thank you for the reminders that YOU are in control.  Your Word says  in 1 Chronicles 29: 11-12,

11 Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to You. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all. (A)12 Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything. (B) In Your hand are power and might, and it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all.

Father, help us in 2011 to KNOW OUR PLACE.  Help us to serve YOU and stop trying to BE YOU.  My prayer is that Your Son will be magnified in me this year and for always.  Thank You for your ever-present love, and Your Grace and Mercy to us all.

In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kaye McGuffey :) permalink
    January 2, 2011 1:49 am

    Carole,

    This is good– better than black-eyed peas.
    Thanks for sharing your heart.

    ❤ U 🙂

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