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Archive for January, 2016

“Do not call to mind the former things,

Or ponder things of the past.

Behold, I will do something new,

Now it will spring forth;

Will you not be aware of it?

will even make a roadway in the wilderness,

Rivers in the desert.”

Isaiah 43:18,19

The beauty of these words goes beyond its flow and poetry; these words hold out God’s incredible promise to His people that things will not stay the same, and that Redemption will look different and new.  Biblical scholars point out that to the ancient people of Israel, the coming Christ and the radical impact that the Gospel would make on their world as they knew it would be both new and different.

These verses above also point out that there comes a time when we are called to forget what is behind and to eagerly look forward.  We are encouraged to embrace change, even when it isn’t completely understood by our finite minds.  We are advised to “behold” the Lord’s mighty hand at work, as He paves our way in to new adventures with Him, and as He nourishes new opportunities with His power.

In this year of 2016, we at Given the Time have been called exactly to this place. Since 2010 we have strived to obediently listen to the Spirit of God and to encourage Real Women, existing in Real Life, with Real Truth. Each year God has faithfully led, and this year is no different.  God has clearly led each member of our editing team to set aside our previous pattern and to watch eagerly as He does something new and different. We do look back on the unity and joy we experienced as a blogging team with pleasure. And the many thousands of views this blog has enjoyed, we think of these with gratitude to God and awe because they represent real people who God has allowed us to interact with, but we won’t get stuck in former things. We plan to seek out the promises God has made us in His Word, and if He leads us to do so, we will post our insights, but no longer will be posting blogs on any type of schedule.

This is New!  Really different! A little scary!  Yet, so very exciting! May God bless your 2016 as you also seek out and claim His promises for you!

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Editor’s Note: 2016! WOW! Are you ready for a new year?! Did you start the year with New Years’ resolutions? Perhaps, you are starting this year wondering how 2015 disappeared so quickly. 2016 begins a new adventure for Given the Time. This will be a year of focusing on who we are because of the Cross of Christ. There are more than 7000 promises God made to us through His Word, the Holy Bible. We hope you will take time to study and consider what God has promised you for 2016, and who you are because of those promises.

One of the ever increasing concerns in our world today is identity theft and having our personal identity compromised by one who wants to use it to perpetuate a crime. While we are bombarded with messages urging us to be vigilant to protect our identity from such manipulations, how many of us take the same precautions to protect our identification from the negative labels that run through our own minds or that bombard us about who we are as women? For example, perhaps you were called clumsy as a child so now believe you are hopelessly uncoordinated, or you were told your nose was crooked, so now you look in the mirror and believe you aren’t pretty, or you look in the mirror and don’t see a face that would grace a cover of a swim suit publication so you think of yourself as ugly, unworthy, or unattractive.

The Enemy seeks daily to steal our identity. Not through the misuse of a driver’s license or a credit card scam, but by planting negative comparisons of ourselves through words and images that bombard us through social media, television, radio and even from those we associate with daily. John 10: 10 reminds us that the purpose of the Enemy is to steal, kill and destroy. We alone can remind the Enemy who we are because of Jesus Christ. We alone can take the more than 7000 promises God gave us in His Word and remind the Enemy that He doesn’t get to steal our identity, our peace, our joy, our hope.

Our Heavenly Father, God Himself, gives us hope, peace, and assurance through the Holy Spirit as we trust in His Truth (Romans 15:13). Let’s choose 2016 to be confident and full of assurance, because God knows our name—He has our name written on His Hand! (Isaiah 49:15), God loves us, even with all of our flaws and quirks—He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Furthermore, we can know that God leaps for joy over us and sings a happy song over us (Zephaniah 3:17).

The words of He Knows My Name, by Francesca Battistelli, are resonating through my head as I bring this year to a close. I am grateful that while the world around me may not protect my identity, or even know my name, I can enter 2016 with the confidence that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, wants His best for me, and knows my Name.

Oh, Holy God, thank you. There is just nothing else to say, but thank you–for knowing who I am and who I can be; who the best me is. Thank you Lord God, that I don’t have to question my identity in You. You know me, and love me just as I am. Help me be bold to stand confident before the world, assured that because You love me, all things are possible and that never will You give me more than You can handle in my life. I trust You, Lord God, with 2016 and will stand each day in awe of Your amazing grace. Amen

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