Fresh Start

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Alive and Active Life
Fresh Start
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I remember a season a couple decades ago when I felt things were falling apart. By that time in my life, I’d already noticed an interesting development. Despite a lot of hard work, regardless of best intentions, even after applying good counsel and working to apply Scripture – things don’t always turn out. That’s when you discover the value of a fresh start.

Starting Point

Every day, everything has a starting point. Beginnings fill our lives. Sometimes we look forward to them, and other times we don’t. Still, with each new start is the possibility for something fresh and productive to build into. Even sufferings, losses, and other hard things bring opportunities to learn and grow. A fresh start is always welcome!

Everything has a starting point – except God, Himself.

  • All created beings
  • Our galaxy and solar system
  • Each star and space phenomenon (You know, I’ve had troubles saying that word in past episodes! My sound tech guy put one of those awkward “get-it-right-pronunciation-moments” at the beginning of a podcast!  – God’s Dimension: Very Real And Near)
  • Time has a starting point
  • A competition or car race (some of you love sports and cars)
  • A cup of coffee (Lots of you look for your first cuppa to start your day)
  • Vacation trips
  • Planting a new garden
  • A sunrise
  • Education endeavors
  • Illness
  • Relationships
  • Character development
  • Career jobs
  • A new way of doing something
  • And so on.

 

Even our salvation has a starting point. Interestingly, however, salvation has no end point! Fascinating!

Fresh Start

Where would we be if we never got a fresh start? New beginnings allow us to plant good seeds for tomorrow. A fresh starting point opens doors that lead to surprising developments. A fresh start also gives hope.

Life is a vibrant pulsating existence. New beginnings benchmark what is normal. Still, we often get blindsided by a loss. Many times it takes years to pull out of some losses. And often there are no good answers.

In these challenging times, call on God who brings miraculous fresh starts.

The Value Of A Fresh Start

One thing I’ve experienced in hard seasons – God’s ever-watchful, loving involvement carries you through. But for that observation to bring fruit, one must look to Him with a receptive heart. I’ve also learned – holding tightly to God is when hope is fulfilled. But it always looks differently than you picture.

Uniquely, a fresh start takes on value every day. Each moment can bring something new – even if only a changed perspective. Blessed is the person who has eyes to see and ears to hear. Even sin, failure, or unhealthy patterns can bring a fresh start for change.

Jesus joyfully said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!” (Mt. 19:26) Life is filled with opportunity and new beginnings.

I want to go back to something I talked about early in this article. I said, “Despite a lot of hard work, regardless of best intentions, even after applying good counsel – things don’t always turn out. That’s when you discover the value of a fresh start.”

Let’s take that thought and explore another idea with rich hope and creative options.

Milk It

OK, first I have another memory to share with you. When I was a little girl, we lived in a farming community. My family often visited farm families in the area. One time, a friend was in the barn milking cows. This was before milking machines.

I was given opportunity to try milking a cow. Oh, brother! I had troubles. You have to pull and squeeze a certain way. I just couldn’t get it to work. I think I got a couple drops of milk. But as I remember the story now, I actually feel sorry for the cow who patiently put up with my under-par skills.

So, I concluded as a young girl – milking takes hard work! I was right – but not just about cows. Learning how to milk it in life is also hard work, but it’s both practical and satisfying once you learn how. Why?

Because it has rich hope and creative options.

Milk it is a concept that helps redeem difficult seasons or tragic developments. It’s a personal management tool. When things don’t go well when you’ve done all you know to do, when you’ve prayed, and even gone the extra mile – the next thing you do is – milk it! You learn to pull every drop of good out of your situation. Drop by drop.

God will train you how to milk it – to see any trickle of good. This training develops excellent character – integrity, patience, kindness, discipline, faith, obedience, perseverance, and so on. In fact, I would now say – decades later – my tough seasons provided the very territory for life training and developing maturity in Christ. I would not trade what I’ve learned – how God taught me to milk it – for anything!

Learning how to milk it gives you treasure that you can never gain any other way!

Why Are Beginnings Important?

Beginnings establish everything – even your very life. Some are big and really stand out. Many are smaller, but you need them to make a difference. Because that difference is often unnoticed at the time, we often don’t think of regular activities as starting points. But they are! This is where –

  1. Perspective is learned.
  2. Wisdom is cultivated.
  3. Discernment is developed.
  4. Attitudes are corrected.
  5. Alertness becomes a normal practice.
  6. Desire to please God gets rooted.
  7. Caring for others’ gets priority.

 

All from fresh starts.

Beginnings also provide second chances. Everyone needs those.

Fresh Start Tools

To choose well – is something you adopt. Looking at starting points a certain way not only states facts about life. It also completely changes your course and gives you power as you live.

The above list of tools nurtures a fresh start.

1. Perspective 

Perspective is the ability to keenly see, understand, and line your thinking and choices up with what’s best in the big picture. Interestingly, perspective shapes everything. With just a slight tweek in perspective, life looks completely different. In fact, this is a quick “off-ramp” into a fresh start.

2. Wisdom 

Wisdom is a quality of knowing what is true or right “married to” the insight to apply the action. A wise person listens more, speaks less, pays attention, is alert to their surroundings and the state of the world, and is gracious. They are “God-and-other-person-focused” rather than “self-focused.” Consequently, a wise person makes less mistakes.

3. Discernment

Discernment is the ability to develop and apply life responses. It uses discipline, physical and spiritual senses, skillsets, healthy patterns, and knowledge of truth. This person can distinguish the difference between good and bad. They have an uncanny ability to differentiate what is healthy and helpful – and what is unhealthy and detrimental.

Consequently, having discernment, because of its very nature, means you are also open and receptive to God.

4. Attitudes

Attitudes help shape the essence of who you are. Just watch people. You can learn a lot about someone by noticing their attitudes – a visible peek into someone’s heart.

The person who aligns attitudes with Scripture has learned how to be mature, disciplined, and relevant – with powerful insight.

5. Alertness

Alertness becomes a normal practice when you stop looking inward and start looking outward. Self-focus is a slow, painful kind of “self-death.” Being God-focused and then other-focused breathes fresh life into your soul. Look around. Notice starting points and data points that go into issues.

6. Desire to Please God

Desire to please God stabilizes you as you choose God as your First, Most, and Best – AND by adopting His principles. When you choose to trust and obey God completely, life makes more sense and relationships with others are enhanced.

Jer. 29:11-13 says, ” ‘ For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.‘ “

The person who trusts God’s intentions are good and loving – and settles into His love – finds a deep, satisfying relationship with God. It can’t be explained to mockers. And it seems like foolishness to the natural man because a natural man doesn’t have the ability to spiritually discern. (1 Cor. 2:14)

7. Caring For Others

When you find yourself consciously caring for others’ needs, you can know your priorities have shifted to run closer alongside God’s priorities. Eph. 4:29b says to speak “only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” So, care for others.

 

Application Thoughts and Questions

  1. Do you need a fresh start?
  2. What are some of your daily starting points?
  3. Do you believe that with God all things are possible?
  4. Have you learned how to milk it?
  5. What should you change to gain better perspective, wisdom, discernment, godly attitudes, alertness, and a desire to please God?

 

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Visit our website for resources to get into God’s Word and live an Alive and Active Life.

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