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It's a new year and it may not seem like it but we have lots to be thankful about for 2020. We may also have some sorrow or regrets. However, the new year always comes with new hopes and aspirations.

I would like to make some suggestions as you begin to fill in the blank pages of this new year. First of all, do not dwell on looking backward. Do not linger too long with the hurts nor revel too long with the victories. It is easy to spend time looking back and saying to ourselves, "If only I had done this or that differently," or "if so-and-so had only been nicer to me" or even "if only I had been nicer to so-and-so." It can become a time of despair worrying about things that can't be changed. For good or ill, it is in the past and the best thing to do is let go and move forward.

Secondly, do not let the victories of 2020 hold you to the point of saying let's just hang in there and relish what we've done. Now is the time to take those victories and build upon them. We have a wonderful future ahead if we don't linger in the past. Paul (you remember Paul from the New Testament right?) said, "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13b-14).

It is okay to resolve to do better (who doesn't want to do better?) but do not live in the past. Our church is not the smallest church it could be and it is not the largest church it can be, but it will continue to be devoted to doing that which is pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. With this new year, we will be faithful and loyal and caring. Our numbers may not be the largest nor the smallest but the Spirit here will continue to support others and draw them to a greater understanding of God's love for each person that enters the presence of Highland Christian Church (DOC) of Bella Vista.

Peace,

Skip

Pastor James "Skip" French is the pastor of Highland Christian Church, 1500 Forest Hills Blvd., Bella Vista. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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