2015 has brought so many memories, both good and bad:
Just a few months ago, ISIS attacked Paris and Beirut. The news heightened the terror of citizens all across the world, many have become paranoid about what the next targets are.
APEC 2015 is also top of the news. Many Filipinos complained about the inconvenience and disturbance it created – from the traffic and road closures, down to suspension of classes and work, cancellation of flights, “exaggerated” security measures, and unrealistic press releases. Some even say that we are treated as ‚ “second-class citizens‚” in our own country. However, we know that it can potentially bring economic progress in our Nation.
Another is the shameful “Tanim Bala” scheme which turned the eyes of the whole world to our pitiful nation. The on-going investigation gathered condemnation, even among fellow Filipino people, blaming the government and the corruption circulating among the leadership in NAIA.image
Who will forget the defeat Manny Pacquiao had last May 2015, during his fight with Floyd Mayweather. The whole nation grieved, as if losing a national hero.
However, the year ended with a joyful celebration as Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo-Wurtzbach was crowned Miss Universe 2015 – for the third time after more than 40 years.

These are just some of the popular news circulating among print and broadcast, including social media. Albeit, there are unheard of stories happening at homes and in other little “communities” around us.
Imagine the pain and hurt one might be silently carrying due to relationship issues. Families that are broken. Businesses that went disastrous. Debts that continue to increase. Academic challenges that remains. Depression. Sinful behavioral patterns… and many more.

That might be 2015 for you. So what’s next?
New year always brings fresh hope to people. No matter how many ups and downs we have faced, there is always that desire for new things and fresh start, whenever new year comes.

The Bible speaks of what God is doing, even during the ancient times, until now. God is in the business of doing new things amidst us. In Isaiah (43:18-19) it is said, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
So how exactly can we claim this promise from the Lord in our lives?

This is a good time to search our hearts and evaluate. Do we have remaining offenses and bitterness against other people? How are we with our parents? Our children? Our friends? The people close to us? Our neighbors? What about our brothers and sisters in our church communities? Do we still pretend we are okay with people, but still thinking of them negatively; worst treat them wrongly? Then there are those people we need to ask forgiveness. The people we have wronged. The people we have neglected and assaulted at times. image

This is a time for us to take away the pride and reconcile with people. It’s not easy, but it is better than starting the year with a heaviness of heart. Set yourself free from that prison!

Everytime I hear these words, I will always have a mental picture of a baggage that one leaves behind. To let go means to make a deliberate, conscious decision to leave it behind. What shall we leave behind?
The pain of the past – You might be hurt. I might not totally understand what you’ve been through and how hard that was. But I know for certain that you can find Grace to leave it behind. This is based on a decision, not our emotion. The longer we carry it, the more we give ourselves a hard time to heal and get well.
The mistakes and wrong “moves” – I remember when I was in college – I was the leader of an organization. We had a major event that failed, and I blamed myself for it. Along the way, I’ve decided to eat (What a way to move on). I lined up, together with a multitude of couples, (It was Valentines’ week) waiting for their number to be called. Because I was so consumed by my mistake, little did I know that my number was already called and I missed my opportunity. When I went to the lady in front, she told me I need to start again (Fall in line again, next to the last person)

Imagine the many opportunities God is opening for us, but we keep on missing because we are stuck with and consumed by our mistakes. Imagine how many times we could have built more friends, reached more people, gained more skills, spent more time with people, improved with our studies, excelled at work, created lasting, sweet memories; but we missed all of that, simply because we chose to linger on our mistakes. Make a decision to let go! 2016 will surely open more doors for you to improve. Learn from your mistakes, and let go! Then move forward in life.
God reminded us in Isaiah to not stay or dwell in the past. Do not linger on something that is not producing life. If you are in a sinful behavior pattern, ask the Lord for grace to deliver you and start with a pure and clean heart and mind. Ask help from a trusted and Spiritually-mature person. Build that accountability once again. image
In target shooting, it is always harder to hit a moving target. Same is true with us. If we are moving forward, it will be harder for the enemy to hit us. Move on! Give the enemy a harder time hitting us.
Moving on should not just be from negative things, but also from positive ones. It is always good to recall the past and the joy it brings. But we cannot live from yesterday’s accomplishments alone. The Lord said He is “doing a new thing.” It can literally mean a new one, or an old one but with our brand new perspective. Got is not limited on that past victory… He can do greater things… In fact He wants to top your 2016 with greater ones! Much is in store for you this new year. dare to believe for the best!

If 2015 discouraged you a lot, It is time to DREAM AGAIN. It doesn’t matter how “few” your “checks” are in your faith goals last 2015. GOD IS NOT YET DONE!!! Dream again! Hope again! Do not stop!

I pray that your 2016 will be filled with faith. Trust in the Lord. Start anew. He is doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it?!

Happy new year!

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