Bette's Box of Blessings - New Beginnings

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The start of a new year is a great time to start something new.  Many people write down their “New Year’s resolutions” with the hope of changing something in their life.  Many people start a diet, hoping to make amends for their holiday indulgences.  Still others start an exercise routine.  In many cases, the well-meaning changes are short-lived.

Today, I’m going to challenge you to look at the new year a little differently.  Instead of thinking about making drastic changes that are hard to maintain, I want to encourage you to simply think about a New Beginning.  In a moment you’ll see how this month’s Box of Blessings will help you start a New Beginning.  But first I want to share this month’s theme verse, which is the foundation for everything in the Box:

 “The earnest prayer of a righteous person
has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 (NLT)

Now keep this verse in mind as you review each item in this month’s Box.  You’ll find this Box is full of tools that will help you increase and improve your prayer life.  And you’ll be amazed at how easy it will be for you start a New Beginning.  So let’s get started…

 A new beginning should always start with our Holy God.  In the book of James, he instructs the Jewish believers what to do when a new beginning is needed.  “Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray.”  (James 5:13)  Now let’s take that verse and make it personal:  “Am I in trouble?  Then I should pray.”  Then James gives us this important truth (that’s right!  Our theme verse!):  “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.  To encourage you and to help you keep this verse in mind, I asked MaMa Thoughts to make a print with this Scripture.  Place it where you know you will see it several times a day.

 In the lovely journal titled 1,001 Prayers to Energize Your Prayer Life, you will find hundreds of uplifting and challenging prayer starters with space to journal your own heartfelt conversations with God.

 

Take a look at the beautiful devotional book titled, How God Grows a Woman of Prayer. This lovely devotional collection offers a powerful blend of inspiration, encouragement and motivation for every area of your prayer life.  It is a quality gift book with deep readings to draw you closer to God as you open your heart to Him.  It even has a ribbon page marker!

When the adverse winds of life begin to make life messy, I often can get encouragement from the book of Ruth.  I am so glad to include a 6-week Bible Study of the book of Ruth by Tessa Afshar titled, The Way Home – God’s invitation to New Beginnings.  When we think of a new beginning, sometimes it’s just a new direction, or a renewal of our minds.  That was exactly what Ruth did after the death of her husband.  Her mother-in-law Naomi had lost her husband and both of her sons so she heads toward her homeland Judah.  Naomi tries to send Ruth home to live with her mother in Moab so she would be provided for.  Instead, Ruth chooses a new beginning.  “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.  Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God.”  At the time, this choice seemed very risky, but the surprising outcome of her life is most definitely worth studying.  You will uncover timeless principles that guide your wandering heart home.  Truly a journey worth taking – a journey to a new life.

What an interesting gift idea:  The Palm Cross.  A simple idea of writing a specific prayer, rolling it up and placing it in the small metal cross that you can hold in your hand as you experience the powerful privilege of prayer.  This made me think about how both Jews and Christians today roll up small pieces of paper with their prayers on it and place it in the crevices of the Wailing Wall in Israel.  Such a sweet and meaningful tradition!

There are six beautiful Christian greeting cards that could be included with any gift, any time, in case you know someone who could use a little help with a new beginning. Giving one of these greeting cards is a very meaningful  and loving gesture…thank you for loving others and sharing in the many blessings He has given us.

Sometimes the hardest part of a New Beginning is the first step.  By opening this Box of Blessings, you’ve already taken that first step!  Start praying earnestly and you’ll be surprised at the great power and the wonderful results.