While looking back on this year I can honestly say its been one of the best years of my life. It hasn’t been the easiest year either, but it has been great. I actually feel like I’m growing up and becoming an adult and as funny as that might sound to you, I kinda like it…

In January I finished up nearly 3 years of serving at Yuba City Nazarene before my life changed forever. Yes, in February I was married to the love of my life and the months after that have been amazingly wonderful. We had a great honeymoon in Kauai and we’ve gone on trips to San Fran, Santa Cruz and Monterey. We’ve created lots of memories, and I’ve actually fallen more madly in love with her then when we first met. I subbed at local schools when I had the chance and spoke at camps and such this summer. In November I took a job as the Student Ministries Pastor at Riverside Wesleyan Church and we’ve both been really enjoying the last several weeks there and the change it has brought us.

Psalm 100:3 says, “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” In this Psalm David is reminding us that the Lord really is God. When you look back at 2009, have the things you’ve said and done reflect this truth?

God is our Creator but so many of us live like we are the creator, like we are the center of life. Having this attitude and heart will only get us into trouble. But when we realize that God created us AND WE LIVE LIKE A CREATION OF GOD…when we realize this and that God has given us all that we have, we will want to give to others as God has given to us.

Verse 4 of Ps. 100 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” God alone is worthy of being worshipped. God alone is worthy of being the focus of your praise and thanks. What has your attitude towards worshiping, praising and thanking God been like this last year? Do you willing and joyfully come into God’s presence, or are you just going through the motions?

There is no substitute for the joy that can be found in God. And it is this God that deserves all of our praise and celebration. For celebration is at the heart of the way of Christ. He entered the world on a high note of joy: “I bring you good news of great joy” said the angel in Luke 2:10 and He left the world giving his joy to the disciples: “These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

Regardless of how you spent 2009, I want to encourage you on how to live your life in 2010…with the joy of the Lord. Let the joy of God produce in you energy. Let His joy make you strong. Don’t settle for second best this year. Make a decision to make a difference with your life this year. Don’t stop dreaming, but set goals that come from your dreams and honor these self-promises. Learn from your past experiences and work on making this next year of your life one where you choose to draw closer to the Lord and to understand His plan for your life.

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