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DOUG CREAMER COLUMN: A brand new year

I think that most people are glad to see 2020 come to a close. It was a tough year by most standards. We watched the famous ball drop in Times Square, and welcomed 2021. My wife and I rejoiced to see the New Year born. We are hoping and believing for a better year.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

I woke up New Year’s Day hoping to see the Rose Bowl Parade. The floats are always stunning and the work that goes into them unbelievable. I wasn’t totally surprised when the parade didn’t happen. But I was pleased that the networks put together a program that celebrated the Rose Bowl tradition. It was nice to see how the floats are created. Then they showed some beautiful ones from previous years. It was a good beginning to the new year.

One of my least favorite tasks of the new year is taking down all the Christmas decorations. I love putting them up, and hate taking them down. I usually begin outside and pack all the boxes and get them back up in the attic. It is a nice feeling to get all the boxes out of the garage and have everything all cleaned up again.

My pastor asked the congregation on Sunday if we had made any new year’s resolutions. It was at that moment that I realized that I hadn’t even thought about it. I am not suggesting that there aren’t things that I need to improve and change. I just hadn’t given it much thought at that point.

I did start something new this year. I am reading a new version of the Bible. Sometime in early December I decided that I wanted to try a new translation. It makes me consider God’s word and what it means in my personal life. Over the years I have read several different translations. While my standard is the NIV, this year I am giving the Passion Translation a shot. It already has my attention as it contains many footnotes. It explains why a particular word was chosen and the meaning of that word. These details really grab me and help to deepen my understanding of God and my faith.

When you stop and think about it, a goal or resolution we should always have is to deepen our faith. I believe it is very important that our faith grows from year to year. That means we have to invest time and energy into our Christian walk. That can include many things, from Bible study to reading books, and especially, engaging with other believers, who will encourage and challenge us to a deeper walk with Christ.

Besides growing our faith, we ought to plant some seeds of hope in our lives. I always enter a new year believing that good things are going to happen. I believe that God is going to bring good things into my life because He is a good Father. I also believe that if I am looking for the good I will find it. The reverse is true, too, if we are looking for bad, we will find it. I make a conscious choice to stir my faith and base my hope on the goodness of God. God does not and will not disappoint me.

When we think about the future, there is a bit of mystery. We have a blank canvas set before us and I choose to see that as exciting. While the year is a mystery to me, it’s not to God. He is not bound by time and He already knows what is going to happen. I am not naïve in thinking that nothing bad will happen. I do believe that God can work all things out and bring good into my life. He is planning and working on it. My job will be to listen and follow His guidance and to place all my trust in Him. Then at the end of this year, I will be able to look back and see His fingerprints all over my life.

I want to encourage you to walk with me in faith, believing that God is planning good things for our lives. He is a creative and wonderful Father. He wants what is best for us. No situation we encounter is too big for Him. So if I put my hand in His and hold on tight, I will have a spectacular ride. 2021 is going to be a great adventure.

Let’s keep our faith, hope and trust stirred up for all the good things God has in store for us.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.