We have just begun a new year. I was thinking of all the new beginnings we can have in our lives. When I taught school I began each week with a challenge to each student that this week is a new beginning, a new start. Even now I begin the day with a fresh start, a new beginning.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read that If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, “the old has passed away, behold, a new life has begun.”
I’ve been thinking about how many new beginnings our B2H moms experience. When they enter our B2H program, it is a new experience for them, with an apartment and surroundings new to them. Even before they enter, many of them have begun to experience a new life, free from the power and control of drugs.
They begin attending a new church with their church team, often this may be the first time they have attended church. They meet new friends through their mentoring team to encourage them. All of these give the opportunity for experiencing new beginnings in their lives.
Many of them experience a new educational experience by obtaining an education, enabling them for the first time to have a skill or the ability to get a job and support themselves.
Each new job is a new beginning in their lives. Sometimes just being held accountable is a new beginning of self discipline.
For their children it is a new beginning of having a safe, secure home free from the fear of not having their own bed or enough to eat. Starting a new school is a new beginning.
Sometimes, after a new beginning there is a relapse, a regression to their old lifestyles, and one has to start over again. It is so wonderful that our God has made provisions for us to start over and have new beginnings over and over. In Philippians 3:13 the Apostle Paul tells us that he is “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” That is a new beginning.
Lamentations 3: 22, 23 tell us that “God’s compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” We encourage our B2H moms to start every day as a new beginning. We rejoice when they’ve had a good day, but when is hasn’t been as good as they had hoped for, they can still continue to begin each new day to live for Him and trust in His faithfulness.
If you would like to be a part of helping a young mother have a new beginning restoring their hope and future centered on Christ, contact The Bridge to Hope today.
Written by Evogene Stephens, mentor from Bethany Bible Church
This poem was written by my Great Aunt Peg who was one of my spiritual mentors and a well-known poet (she published many books of her poetry). She passed away several years ago, but her voice carries on, providing hope and reminding me to always walk in step with Thee.
Peg Penry, an accomplished poet, more importantly my Great Aunt Peg, a woman who taught me to love and trust our Lord and to love the person He created me to be.
In Step With Thee
In my daily life, Lord, let me be
Side-by side, in step with Thee;
The sun will shine, and clouds will flee,
Walking, Lord, in step with Thee.
Instead of gloom, let there be glee,
Peace and Hope and Harmony,
Beauty and Love beyond degree,
Hand-in hand, my Lord, with Thee.
Sin and strife my soul will free
When my footsteps follow Thee;
So hear, O Lord, my earnest plea
To always walk in step with Thee.
Serving at The Bridge to Hope can be filled with highs, lifting your hands in praise of the Lord. And lows, where the only thing you can do in hit your knees in prayer.
If we attempt to serve others on our own it is easy to become discouraged and disheartened. However, this simple poem written by my Great Aunt Peg, helps me to remember when I allow God to be by my side and walk in step with Him, He will help me not to get bogged down or discouraged. I am prayerful you will gain strength from these words as I do, and your day will be brightened.
For at The Bridge to Hope our prayer is Instead of gloom, let there be glee. We invite your to join us.
Written by B2H Staff Sallie Jarboe
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Let Your Light Shine
Matthew 5:16 states:
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
What does that mean for us?
We were created to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in every one of us. All of us were created and called to reflect God’s light.
The question we are faced with is – – how?
Unfortunately, everything in our society seems to teach us to use our time and talents for ourselves – to make money, to be comfortable and eventually retire so we can live as we choose. That is not what God teaches us in His word.
However, there are many ways to reflect the light of Jesus. God challenges us to get involved in His work and with His people. We are also to grow and mature in Him and that growth is to be a lifelong one.
Embracing this knowledge, we must seek to know what our contribution will be in this life for the kingdom of God.
The Bible says God has given each of us some special abilities. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1Peter 4:10
Volunteering helps us. Studies have shown that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression. But I was surprised to also learn that volunteering has positive implications that go beyond mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan. But my guess God already knew that.
Whenever I work a charity event—which I try to do with some regularity—I often get more out of it than I give. Our Bridge mother, Rebecca, is an incredible joy, who has already brought more to me than I can possibly give to her.
How do you become involved at The Bridge to Hope? First, check the website, www.b2hope.org Then ask yourself, what am I interested in doing as a volunteer?
Where can I best use my talents? Where could I make a difference? Do I want to volunteer in an area related to my job? How much time do I have available to volunteer? Do I have an area of expertise that would benefit The Bridge to Hope?
Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, we together can serve the hurting and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people.
There are many ways to let the light of Christ shine thru you in 2015; make The Bridge to Hope the place where you shine your light.
Written by B2H volunteer, Jane Kilburn