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The New Leaf

Every Spring I
watch for the buds on the crab apple trees in the back yard, the new blades of
iris that slowly emerge from the ground, the brilliant yellow of Daffodils and
Forsythia that announce Spring.  Somehow
God paints the earth in brilliant colors. Each Spring is like a chorus of trumpets
sounding the song of newness.  Each new
leaf and flower is a grace note in the Melody of Spring.  It is a time of celebration.
I think back on
all the ‘news’ of my life.  They are the
‘firsts’ that made changes, such as learning to read, singing a solo, first
piano recital, learning to swim and learning to milk a cow and bake a chocolate
cake.  Looking back, I can see God’s hand
guiding me.
Then there was
marriage and the newness of a close relationship that has lasted 63 years and
the babies that followed.  I glory in
their achievements and seeing them grow and then the grandchildren arrive –
more joy.    
What happens when we no longer see the new of life, but see only
the old?  The old way and the mistakes we
have made with its bitterness.  Our life
becomes drudgery, pain and a wall of weariness blocks our joy. When Spring
comes, we can’t see growth or God’s joyous creation surround us.  We become blind and close our ears to life
and dread the next calamity, for there is no longer joy.
My mother and I visited one day.  She told me her secret for joy and enthusiasm
for life.  Each morning as she opened her
eyes she greets her Lord Jesus, saying, Lord,
I give you today.  Place those in my path
that you want me to speak to and serve
. 
Let these hands do your
bidding. 
Mom moved to a new town, a new home, a new church, leaving
the old when she was in her eighty’s. 
Her enthusiasm and joy for life with her Lord simply turns a new leaf
each day, a new page, and a new season of life. 
 Mom loves Psalm 37, and verse 23
says —
The Lord directs
the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives.
Mom loved nothing better than to write poetry, write prose
and write music that praised God.  She
taught me to play the piano and many songs. 
When she learned a new song, it was with her whole heart. Music was her
love language to God just as it was for King David.  Though she is gone from this earth now, I
know her faulty alto voice has blossomed into a lovely contralto.  Her arthritic fingers have moved to a harp
without losing a beat.
Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful
deeds.
  His
right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving
power!  Psalm 98:1
A new song…what better way to tell of God’s mighty deeds
than through a song….
Publish his glorious deeds among the
nations.
  Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. 
Psalm 96:3. 
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies
are dying, our spirits are
 being renewed every day. For our
present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a
glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we
fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon
be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever
.  I Corinthians 4:16-18
When I
read this scripture, I can hear music. 
Do you hear it?  Our song…no
rests…just singing.
We never give up, we never give up,
we never give up.
Our spirits are being renewed every
day.
For our present troubles are small
and won’t last long
Yet they produce glory that lasts
forever and always.
How can we begin the renewal of
seeing the things that last forever? 
Do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you
may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and
perfect.  Romans 12:2
Because of that cross, my
interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has
also died. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What
counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s
peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people
of God.
Galatians 6:14b – 16
Or have
you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined
him in his death? For we died and were buried with
Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious
power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  Since we have been united with him in his
death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that
our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its
power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.
 For when we died with Christ we were set free
from the power of sin.
 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live
with him.
 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead,
and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him.
  When he died, he died once to break the power of
sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.
  So you also should consider yourselves to be
dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.  Romans 6:3-11

We fix our eyes and our hope on the One and Only who
is Life.  Greater is the One in us, We
will never give up. 

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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