Happy New Year!

I was born to celebrate—birthdays, holidays, and major or minor accomplishments.  I celebrate New Year’s Day like many other Americans and make a list of Yew Year’s resolutions, but in my heart I’ve always felt a sense of new beginnings in September.  So many things in my life have transitioned or begun in the month of September.  Several years back I contemplated why I value September as a season of new beginnings.  I concluded that it was owing to the school schedule that I’d followed for so many years, first as student, then as public school teacher, and more recently as homeschooling mom. This year our family was privileged to join a local celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the Jewish New Year, known in the Bible as the Feast of Trumpets.  I was riveted as I heard about the celebration of the birthday of the world, as Jewish tradition calls it.  Though we had studied Jewish feasts a few years back, it was as if I had never heard the traditions and meanings connected with the Old Testament celebration.

I was especially drawn to the tradition of “casting off the sins of the previous year.”  I love the idea of a time of cleansing and starting anew.  It was an epiphany moment for me.  God had planned this season to celebrate new beginnings, which confirmed what my heart has felt for years.

I appreciate my heritage as one “grafted in”, but I also recognize that we are no longer under the law.    When Jesus came to this earth in the form of a man, everything changed.  Through His blood we can “cast off our sins” any day of the year. Praise God we don’t have to wait a whole year to be forgiven!

May this fall be a time of new beginnings for your family—a time to renew your passion for your Father, the Lord and Savior who has bought you with His blood.  And, as the Hebrew greeting says, “May you be inscribed and sealed in the book of life for a good new year.”

Whiter Than Snow

As I finish details on February’s newsletter, I’m gazing on a winter wonderland.  Nearly 4 inches of snow cover our green lawn and snow continues to fall steadily.  Forecasters are predicting eight inches—an absolute anomaly in an area that receives an average of less than an inch for the entire winter.  We haven’t seen this much snow in the last twenty years. Underneath the white blanket in our yard you’ll find a barren garden lacking attention, vacant flower beds waiting for tenants, and a few small grassless islands in the midst of a mostly green sea.  The sparkling white powder covers the imperfections and transforms an otherwise mediocre piece of land into a captivating scene.

Gazing on the purity of the snow reminds me of my Savior who has made us pure.  The Bible tells us that the blood of Jesus covers our sins, making us as pure as snow--not accounting for pollution (grin). (Psalm 51:7)  Through our confession and faith, we receive the forgiveness of sins which purifies us and removes the stain of our sin.  (I John 1:7-9)  Thankfully God does not just cover our impurities; He removes them as far as the east is from the west.  (Psalm 103:12)  Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price so we can be whiter than snow.

Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

“Jesus Paid It All” (by: Elvina Hall and John Grape) Public Domain.  To view the complete lyrics and hear the hymn in its entirety, click here.

If you want Jesus to take the imperfections of your life and give you a life of purity, I would love to talk with you.  You can call me at 757.472.1897 or visit this site.