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We may experience things that seem as though we're 'finished' -- we may think that nothing good could possibly come from whatever is happening, whatever we're going through, from whatever way we've failed or whatever is happening with our children, our work -- our seeming fruitless lives. But in the Hand of the Potter we may see great usefulness, great restoration, great faith may be shaped, great purpose may be presented... for His glory and our good. "The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel." Philippians 1.12

Surveying The Year

Surveying the Year — (a reprint of a message from 12-31-2001)

Happy day to you as you work in your home.  I trust the LORD has been working in your heart and home creating in you the woman He designed you to be. As we come to the close of another year, it sure is interesting to look back over the months to review and rehearse the ways of the LORD in the year(s) past.  Are you pleased with the ways the LORD has been preparing for you?  Are you thankful for the paths on which He’s taken you? Did this year go the way you thought it would go?  Surveying the year… that’s what I want to share with you today.

 A year ago, I prepared a message for the New Year and in it I shared with you thoughts for the year ahead… ideas for plans, suggestions for schedules, and prayers that the Hand of the LORD would be with you.  I shared how the new year was laid out before us as a clean slate, an unpainted canvas stretched out as it were, for miles and miles. Well, much has transpired between then and now—much indeed!  There are likely very few who would say that the year went as planned or that few events of the year were memorable—on the contrary, most would say that at least in our lifetime, 2001 would be a year to remember, pivotal in our personal, not just national, history.  It will likely be a year never forgotten—especially as images of the events of September 11th are quickly brought to mind.  The images are indelibly imprinted on our hearts… images of shear terror, images of grief and loss, images of despair, images of pride, images of joy and images of unspeakable sorrow.  But the year 2001 will also hold images of laughter and success, of tears and defeat as we each one recall the different events that occurred in our personal lives and in the lives of family and friends.  We will look back and recall that there were births and deaths, weddings and funerals, financial advances and financial adversities.  There were long days and tearful nights.  There were joys and sorrows of varying degrees.  We will look back—and through all the days, if we look through the lens of Spiritual things, seeking Him, we will find that the LORD was there…every step of the way—the loving LORD—the Author and Finisher of our faith.

 This will be a year for which I will always be grateful—grateful for the God who goes before us, the God who sees, the God who is present with us: Jehovah-shammah.  O, had I not known this, I don’t know what I’d have done in the times of despair, frustration, grief, disappointment.  How grateful I am that He *has* gone before me—gone before you, too, and that in His Hands we are secure.  Do you *know* that?  Are you secure in that fact?

You know, as I wrote to you a few weeks ago, God does go before us, He does prepare our way.  He is not mean; our light and momentary troubles are for our good.  We read in the Word “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;  while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen for the things with are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  [2Cor.4.17-18]

God, who is ever present with us knows our frame, knows we are but dust… isn’t it incredible that it is of this dust that He created us and *uses* us!?!?  Why?  Even in our low estate, the God of the Universe fairly swoops down to scoop us up, to cradle us in His loving Hand and with the testings and trials of life, fashions us into vessels: “…earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us [!]”   This is astounding, this is awe-inspiring—incredible that the God of all creation, the God, who was and is and is to come, thinks on us.  He loves us as no other.  It matters to Him who we are, what we’re doing and where we’re going—it matters so much, in fact, that He will not leave us as we are, but rather, He continually works in us, fashioning us into the women He has created and designed us to be.

 I hope you will not look back on this year with regrets.  I hope that you will not resent the workings and dealings of the LORD in your life.  I hope that you will rejoice in God your Savior and that you will thank Him for loving you so much that He allowed difficulties in your life this past year and then I hope you will praise Him for His marvelous works—even if you don’t know or understand the purposes for which you underwent various trials.

 If there are things you regret not doing, things you meant to do but didn’t, things you planned but never accomplished, then I pray that you will —*today*— get before the LORD, share those burdens with Him and seek His provision to do those things that are necessary and important and then I pray that you will leave off with things that are not important—frets that are trivial, disappointments that are petty, thoughts that are insignificant—you don’t need to carry those weights and afflictions into the clean new year.  I pray that you will record them in your journal and that you will, with open hands give them over to the Lord Jesus.  You know He loves you, and you know He will walk beside you—your gentle Shepherd.

 The new year is before us… stretched out for miles… an unpainted canvas waiting for the brush strokes of the Master… I pray that you will allow Him to paint you a beautiful picture and that you will rejoice when He etches and shades and highlights the landscape of your life.  God bless you.

 —many blessings,  pamela

may the LORD bless your day & your home with His love

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Thank you for joining me here today, may the Lord bless you and your home.