POSITIVE WRITTEN SERMON – This Year Is Fresh and New

This Year Is Fresh and New

Time Sensitivity: New Year – (Insert Date)


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There are some wonderful stories from Public Broadcasting about a mythical village Lake Wobegon.

Let me share with you a little bit from Lake Wobegon.

This is a story of Mr. Bowser who worked at the Post Office. He hated his old Chevy, but he still had to drive it because it just wouldn’t break down. It was still running, so, he had to hang onto it. It was all rusted out along the sides and the floorboard was rusted out. He had a piece of three-quarter inch plywood on the floor so he would have somewhere to put his feet. The Chevy’s name was Henry, after his late father. His father taught him never to throw away something if it was still working.

He couldn’t get rid of it, because after fifteen years, even on the coldest mornings, all he would have to do is point at the ignition and it would start. He drove the thing around and hated it for ten of the fifteen years that he owned it.

The heater didn’t work so it was freezing cold inside, but Mr. Bowser was brought up to endure suffering and be cheerful. So, he drove around cheerfully in this horrible car, even though it depressed the life out of him. He hung onto it until a year ago last January.

He was sitting in the Chatterbox Cafe, and someone said to him, “Well, that old Chevy of yours is amazing. It’s quite a starter, isn’t it? What do you ever do with that thing?”

Well, he never did anything. Lack of maintenance seemed to encourage that car. It thrived on neglect. He hadn’t changed the oil in five years, but the car didn’t seem to notice.

They said, “Lordy, we have never seen anything like it. We’ve never had any kind of luck with a Chevy like you have.” In that moment, something seemed to snap inside of Mr. Bowser. He drove that car out to the hill by Haberson’s farm. He stopped, put it into neutral, got out and gave it a push. It ended its life near the second telephone pole it ran into.

He put that car out of its misery.

It was a happy man who walked nearly two miles back to town. He now has a new Chevrolet he calls Betty.

It doesn’t start all the time, and he’s had problems with it. But when it does start, the heater works well. But, better than that, there is still that new car smell. It smells fresh.

You get that fresh feeling when you sit in Betty. That’s all he wanted.

It’s kind of a Christian feeling – a fresh start, a fresh hope for the world, a fresh inspiration of wonder and joy, a spark to touch us and to start us.

How many times have we held on to things we no longer wanted because we were told we had to? We do, you know. Many of us are walking into tomorrow all hunched over, carrying the baggage of many, many years of our past. We stand proudly at the doorway like we would at the doorway of a Holiday Inn, waiting to check into the future. But the problem is we have carried all our old junk with us, all the things we have disliked, our habits and the terrible afflictions we have afflicted on ourselves.

We just don’t know how to un-pry our fingers from the suitcase of the past. So, we carry it along with us, all the time getting heavier and heavier. Pretty soon we can no longer pick it up, so we just drag it along. Wherever we go, we carry that burden. We carry the weight of our world on our shoulders. What a burden it is!

God says to us, “Take my yoke upon you for my yoke is easy.” We don’t hear that. We have gone through so many empty yesterdays, still carrying all our stuff. All the time it gets heavier and heavier.

Dennis Wheatley, the motivational speaker, tells us what we should do.

#1. We should focus on where we want to go – rather than where we’re coming from. We focus more on where we’ve been than where we’re going. We focus on the mistakes we’ve made in the past, the failures we’ve had, and we think it binds us. That limits us. That puts us in a cage. We hold the keys to the cage, but we stay inside anyway.

#2. Learn from your mistakes – as well as your successes. You can use your mistakes and transcend them. What you are here today to do is find out how to transcend your own biography. We all have a biography. It’s in our mind. We’ve written it from day one.

The minute we came out of mamma’s womb, we decided who and what we are. Then we hold those opinions tightly. Now, possibly, it’s time to rewrite our biography. It may be time to write a new chapter, or even to close the old book and begin a whole new book.

There was a man who was very distressed. He said, “Do you think it is possible for a human being to do a redo?” These were his exact words. He said, “I just don’t think I can. I have made so many mistakes, mistake upon mistake. I don’t even know why I’m alive, because some of my mistakes have been with drugs and alcohol.” He was telling about how much he had taken at one time. It was physically impossible for a human being to live through a poisoning like that. But he did. He said, “Because I lived, I must be here for a purpose.

Do you think it’s possible for a human being to do a redo?”

That was the whole message of Christianity. You get a redo – a start over.

Back in 1974, a man wanted a car. He had a great desire for this car. The reason I’m telling you this story is because the man saw this car the other day. It was a 1974 car – the exact car he wanted. He looked at it and it had big rust holes in it. He thought, “How could I have invested so much time and energy desiring this car?”

There is one thing about a car – you can’t do a redo. Once it starts to rust, it just keeps on rusting. You can patch it and a new rust hole will emerge. It’s what past material objects often do; they decay like Mr. Bowser’s old Chevy Henry. But a human being is always going through a redo phase.

Every cell is continuously being replaced and made new.

The only thing we are carrying, that is old in us, may be the opinion of who we think we are, what we think we can do, how far we think we can succeed, or not. We carry those with us in our luggage. We all carry the baggage of the past, and we are constantly finding baggage and being surprised by it, and hopefully unpacking it.

Unpacking useless baggage in the mind continues daily. It is a going beyond yourself – not to expect the worst in the future, but to expect the best, to know that God is really with you, and you can expect the best. You have the right to expect the best. You are a child of God.

But then, that old voice comes up and says, “Yes, but remember what you’ve done in the past or how you haven’t lived up to being a child of God.” BUT today is a brand-new day of a brand-new year! You can transcend your own biography of who you have been. It’s redo time.

I was listening to a minister of a television church the other day. He was telling a story to the Sunday School children.

Let me tell you the story.

The devil had an auction in which he was auctioning off all of his tools. People were looking around at all the tools, and they came to one tool that said, “Not for Sale.” The devil said, “I can’t sell you that tool, because that one tool is one that I can’t be without.”

The people were fascinated by this. They wanted to know what that one tool was, so they looked on the back of it and saw a label that said, “Tool for Discouragement.”

You see, that is one tool that once it’s inside of us, it’s hard to overcome.

It’s hard for us to remember God. It’s hard for us to do what we want to do because we get discouraged. We think that we just aren’t what we need to be.

Well, I have another tool that WILL really help us. When thinking the down thoughts about ourselves.

Remember who is talking to you. It’s NOT God. It’s your lower mind. You are giving yourself messages. That is the time you need to correct yourself, stop talking and listen to God.

God will never give you a message like that.
God will never talk to you in a discouraging way.
God will never tell you what you can’t do.
God always whispers in your ear and tells you what you can do and accomplish.
God is the great giver of ideas, not generic ideas, but ideas for you on how you can use the idea in your own life. God is all good, endless good inside of you, and love.
You will never hear a negative thought or word from God.

So, when you pray, if you’re beginning to get negative messages, that is the human part of you that should be quiet.

Listen to the all-positive voice of God.

Sometimes, as we carry our luggage of the past into tomorrow, we carry it for a reason.

Many people might prefer known hells to unknown heavens.

Let me tell you a true story. There was a man some years ago who a prisoner of war. It was decided to do a psychological study on him. So, he was offered two options.

The first option was that he could have a firing squad. They took him into the room and showed him where the men stood with the rifles and where he would stand against the wall. They told him about the command and about the bullets that would destroy his body.

His second option was a closed door. They told him he could walk through the door. He asked them what was through the door and the leader said, “Unknown hells.” The man then chose the firing squad. He died. Through the door was freedom.

It’s a true story. Not only is it true of the gentleman whose story is told; it is true in our lives. So many times we stay in a hellish existence, a hellish habit or a hellish frame of mind – because through the door are unknown hells (or so we think). How much better it would be if we could walk towards that door and say, “Dear God, I’m going in a new direction and I’m frightened. But I’m going to walk with You, God. I know that You are walking before me and I know You are going to bring unbelievable good to me and my life.

I’m going to walk with You and I’m going to believe with a deep, deep faith.” Some say that they have failed so many times before.

Let me tell you, if you don’t at first succeed, you’re running about average. It’s true. Occasional failure is the price of improvement. If you were to start a career of being a great painter, you would have several paintings that would not be up to the quality that you would want. But that would lead you to the direction of the masterpiece. Everything you have done leads you to the masterpiece that is you. Thank God for your failures because they will lead you in the direction of success.

The story of Abraham Lincoln:
He failed in business at 22 years of age.
When he was 23, he ran for the legislature and was defeated.
When he was 24, he failed at business and went bankrupt.
When he was 25, he was elected to the legislature.
When he was 26, his sweetheart died.
This so destroyed him that at 27, he had a nervous breakdown.
When he was 29, he ran for Speaker and was defeated.
When he was 31, he ran for Elector and was defeated.
When he was 34, he ran for Congress and was defeated.
When he was 37, he was elected to Congress.
When he was 39, he ran for re-election to Congress and was defeated.
When he was 46, he ran for the Senate and was defeated.
When he was 47, he ran for Vice President and was defeated.
When he was 49, he ran for the Senate and was defeated.
And when he was 51, he was elected President of the United States.

It’s a good story, because no one would have blamed him if he had given up at any one of those times.

Of course, if he had, you would never have heard his name. There are tens of millions of people whose names you’ve never heard because they had given up TOO SOON.

A wonderful story is told of a minister who had a dream. In it he had a sledgehammer and every day he cracked it against a huge granite monument. Finally, he gave up. He said, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m not making any difference.”

Then he heard a voice that said, “Hit it one more time.” With the next blow, the rock cracked in half.

That’s the way life is. Yes, we’ve all had many failures, but we have to keep on keeping on. The only time we get discouraged is when we think we are doing it alone and we don’t know how we’re going to go any further. We don’t know how we can overcome the great problems that are facing us.

It’s that moment we need to hold the hand of God and say, “I can’t do it alone. I am walking with You.

Take me one extra step.” After that step we ask God to take us another step. That way we can go on and get our energy back. We then have the strength not only to endure, but to transform our lives.

You have that God-given strength inside of you. There is not one person here who doesn’t have that connectedness with God. Whether you believe it or not, you now have it. Every once in a while, everyone needs a pep talk to remind us of the power and the strength of God.

Let me tell you, within the lower human mind we have a prison that imprisons us. It forgets about the great unlocker of the door, the great power and strength of God that will flow through at any moment.

It doesn’t matter where you hear the pep talk, either. There is a wonderful story about Notre Dame.

In 1924 Knute Rockney had laryngitis so bad that he couldn’t speak a word. Yet, he had to give a pep talk to his players. So, he decided that he would take his team to a room that was next to the room where the opposing team was. Their coach was one of the best pep-talkers in the world. He told his players that he couldn’t talk, but he told them to listen to the other coach’s message because it was true for them, too. After this, they went on to win the game.

Well, I invite you to listen to other ministers of other religions because the pep talk is the same.

Sometimes you have to change some words to make it vital and alive for you, but the Truth is the same about an all-present, good God that is available to you right where you are, a God that will make your moments so very special right now and make tomorrow better than ever before.

We often say that with the problems we’re experiencing we’re not sure if life is worth living today. We wish we could go back to the good old days. We might feel that the weight of our problems is so great, and the weight of future problems is so great; we don’t know how we’re ever going to overcome them.

Well, in your present mind you can’t. It takes a greater Mind to overcome these problems. That’s one of the reasons we have problems. Problems are opportunities for us to expand our limited thinking to the limitless Mind of God.

God is bigger than any of your problems. No matter what you’re facing, GOD IS BIGGER.

God can figure out a way when to your human mind there seems to be no way. God can work out a solution, too, but you have to do your part. You have to consent and allow that Mind of God to work through your mind. Then you have to go out and work as God directs.

Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Truly it is. You go to God first, and then you work and work and work as He directs. By holding the hand of God, you can overcome anything.

Edgar Allen Poe once said, “Those who dream by day are aware of many things that escape those who only dream at night.”

Become a daydreamer, but not in your human mind. Become a daydreamer who realizes there is no lack but a lack of faith in God. There is no sickness in the soul, but a sense of separation from God.

Become the kind of dreamer who knows that you can go beyond where you have been, where you think you’re going and become something great for humanity and for yourself.

Some people die at the age of 21, but they’re not buried until they’re 91. Don’t you be that way.

Have a “past thinking” funeral in your life. Bury the words “I can’t” and “but.” The word “but” usually has a chain attached to it, and this chain is attached to your past, your baggage.

With God, you can go beyond even your best yesterdays. With God, you can have the greatest gift of all, and that is a fresh start.

I pray that each one of you gets a fresh start in the best tomorrows of your life.

It’s a fresh and new time!

God Bless You! Happy New Year!

PRAYER / MEDITATION_________________________

Rest in the silence of prayer.

Feel the silence of God’s peace enfold your very being. Enfold yourself in the silence that is God’s strength. There are two kinds of strength: strength to endure, and strength to overcome. We pray for strength, for the strength to see us through every experience during the grandest days of our lives in (Insert the New Year).

We see ourselves being supported and upheld by God. We are strengthened, sustained and carried through any difficulty by the very strength of our faith in God and our certainty that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble in (Insert the New Year).

I pray today for you to have God-given strength. I pray for God’s strength to manifest through you. I pray for a new strength to come forth inside of you, strengthening every cell of your physical being and your mind, a strength that knows not to look to outer appearances but holds on firmly to the power of God.

(Insert the New Year) is the year of our Lord.

Rest in the silence of prayer.

God is your strength. Through God, your enthusiasm for life is renewed. You are happy.

You are peaceful. You are strong. Through God, you have an enthusiasm as never before, an enthusiasm based on hope and the firm foundation that you are one with God.

In God you live and move and have your being all of (Insert the New Year).

You know that your life can be renewed. It is being renewed now. Every area of your life is seeing the light of day. The light of God is shining in and through it. It is an attitude that comes to you now, an attitude that allows you the privilege of being happy.

You are happy, not because of outer things, but because of what God is doing inside of you in (Insert the New Year).

You have a strength that brings peace, a peace that does not rely on outer conditions or worldly events, but a peace that is from the silence within you. You are strong. You stand upright and walk into the face of adversity because you know you are not alone. You know you are going to overcome anything that is in the outer.

You are going to endure in (Insert the New Year) with God’s direct help and guidance.

Rest now in the silence. In the silence of prayer.

To endure is worthy. It is a mark of character. The enduring quality of the soul is to be praised. But we do not let the word endure be the keynote of our thoughts. Instead, we think of tomorrow, not as a time to endure, but as a time of spiritual transformation.

We think of the word transform.

We see in our lives those things that are negative as transitory. Only God is real and only God is enduring. We know that God’s transforming power can bring a miracle of change, a miracle of good, anywhere, anytime in any circumstance in (Insert the New Year).


We know that the transforming power of God comes to uplift and is the way to our greater strength. We have the strength to know and believe that there is nothing hopeless or incapable of change in our lives. We have the strength to wait on God and to believe in God’s power as present. This Power is transforming and translating every experience into something new and wonderful in God’s day multiplied by 365 in (Insert the New Year).

“They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not be faint.”

Here is your strength – not just to endure, but to soar. You now have the secret of soaring strength – to wait on the Lord.

We pray. We turn to the Presence of God with us, knowing that God is our strength, our light, our joy, and our peace. We wait upon the Lord, and we are given, not just the strength to endure, but a new surge of life and energy to enter our tomorrows, a strength from the Infinite, a strength that lifts up and gives us wings of faith, a strength that fills us with enthusiasm, abundant life, and exhilarating joy in (Insert the New Year).

Rest in the silence of prayer.

God is your strength. Through God, your enthusiasm for life is renewed. You are happy, peaceful and strong. You are strong in the Lord and in the power of God’s might. You have the strength to endure. You have the strength to overcome. You have the strength for joy and for happiness. You have the strength to realize the power of Spirit.

Through you, God transforms your very being and your very own world in the great year of our Lord (Insert the New Year).

In Jesus Christ’s name we so dedicate ourselves for the best tomorrows of our life in (Insert the New Year)!


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