New Beginnings

Sunday, January 19, 2014
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord This Day Thy Children Meet"1 (Lyrics)

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. (KJV)

As a little girl, for a time, I kept a journal. In it, I would write about the ups and downs of my days, scoldings I didn't deserve, maybe, or picking strawberries down the road at our neighbour's house. Each day was a new beginning, an opportunity to experience life and record my particular view of it. As I grew, I found journaling to be childish, and I stopped. I had no idea that I would start again several years later as I embarked on a new beginning.

In 1995, as a new Christian, I struggled with prayer. Keeping focused was a constant, uphill battle. As soon as I would begin, I would get distracted by thirst, a noise, a fly, the sun filtering in the window, anything and everything. It seemed inevitable that something would invade my peace and intentions. Off I would wander, thinking that God didn't have time for me.

In an effort to focus, I once again began to journal. This was my own personal way of pouring out my heart to Christ. Handing over my challenges, thoughts, and feelings one by one, in brutal honesty, I wrote to God. The occasional entry became more regular and grew into a daily passion to spend time with God and to know more of Him and of myself, in Him. I liked who I was becoming in Christ, and I was surprised to learn that it didn't mean that I had to be solemn, or boring, or perfect, or any other label that I had associated with being a follower of Christ. Spending time with God opened my eyes to the lies that I had believed and never questioned, and brought a new joy into my life. A freedom to be me. A new beginning. This ministry of reconciliation was mine to receive and share.

Every now and then, I will pull out an old journal and read some entries from the past. It amazes me to see how vividly and faithfully God meets us wherever we may be at. God cannot and will not lie, and He promises to meet us.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 – "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me." (NLT)

We can all benefit from asking ourselves if we are seeking the Lord wholeheartedly.

Prayer: Dear loving Father, we offer up praise to You for new beginnings and for Your mercy and grace that You so freely give to us new each day. We lift up our hearts to You from Whom nothing is hidden. Meet us where we are at today, Lord. We seek You wholeheartedly. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lisa McLaughlin-Kent <>
Scotland, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Excellent Devotion.

    Good thought for today Lisa.

    Thank you Lisa.
    May your year ahead be a great one.

    My daughter is a journeler.

    Dear Lisa,
    I really enjoy your story “New Beginnings”.
    Thank you.

    Dear Lisa,
    Thank you for the devotional that keeps getting richer as it comes to its climax at the end.
    Keep writing the truth of God and his way with us humans.

    Dear Lisa;
    A most timely devotional. I used to journal and one day, decided to put all my journal entries into the computer; there are pages and pages. But, for some strange reason, I can’t bring myself to sit in front of the computer and write down my thoughts and happenings that had occurred during the day or days. I think I shall return to writing by hand just before I go to sleep; when it is all quiet and there are no distractions. Amen to your prayer!

    Rarely have I read of anyone praying with her pen. That is what I have done. I write down what I am glad and sad about. Doing so helps me focus to discover clearly what is in my heart and mind. I started doing this long ago when I was having sleepless nights. I found myself repeating prayers, and that the words were vague. Then I tried writing what I meant and discovered that it took time to find the exact words. After I did I could put down my paper and pen and go to sleep in peace. In the many years since, whenever I am wakeful I write my prayers. I also ask what the Lord wants me to learn. Almost immediately a hymn comes to mind, usually one I have not heard for many years, and I realize it has a timely message for me.

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