Up and Running...or at least Walking...

This is almost as fun as getting up in the morning and putting on a new outfit. No. I take that back. It's definitely more fun. In case you didn't notice, Off the Beaten Path is sporting a brand new do!

Welcome to the new and improved Off the Beaten Path web site and blog. Thanks to my wonderful Design Diva, we're up and running, or at least walking 'cause we do still have a few little bugs to work out. Mainly she has to spend a little time on the phone with me this afternoon telling me how to keep from deleting the whole thing.

As is so typical of me, I got on here Saturday when she was still working on things and started poking around and all. Of course I deleted some stuff accidentally, but not permanently. Some of the text she had entered for me just took a little trip into cyberspace for a few minutes and then, by the sheer grace of God, it came back. But not before I'd e-mailed her and confessed my dilemma. (If I'd just waited a few minutes I wouldn't have needed to confess anything!) Fortunately, since the Design Diva has never met me and lives on the other side of the country I simply had to imagine the faces she was making and the terrible things she was saying about me. After doing that for a little while, I decided to imagine instead that she is a graciously forgiving and patient woman instead and that she simply shrugged her shoulders at my mistakes and said something like, "Oh that poor thing. She's so anxious to get her blog up and running, she just couldn't help herself. I just love people like that!"

At any rate, enough of my vain imaginations!

Don't you just love new? New anything! I'm the kind of woman who can't wait to wear a new article of clothing I just purchased. I go home from the store or receive the article of clothing in the mail via UPS and I immediately come up with some place to wear it. That's why I was so shocked when I visited my friend Kim a couple of weeks ago and learned that she had three perfectly beautiful suits in her closet that still had the tags on them after having purchased them not three days ago, not three months ago, but two years ago! How in the world? That just wouldn't happen in my closet. There are days I wish I could look in my closet and find something with a tag on it, but alas, that has never happened.

I might not be able to find anything brand new in my closet this morning, but I know where I can find some new duds every day. In Christ. In Him all things are new.

A New Spirit
In Ezekiel 11:19 God promised to give the children of the New Covenant, that's us believers, a new spirit. When we sport our new spirit we have the unlimited potential of living beyond the ordinary. Our flesh, which usually cries out and demands its own way, isn't as strong when we walk in this new spirit. When we walk in the spirit and feed the spirit, we are able to live victorious lives and do things we couldn't ordinarily do.

A New Strength
Isaiah 40:31 tells us that if we wait patiently for God to give it to us (instead of racing ahead like I did with the blog Saturday), He'll give us new strength. At my age I could use a little renewed strength. Why can God do this? Because verse 28 says that He never becomes weary or tired and His mind is always sharp. That's the God who's giving me new strength for every day, every trial, and every dilemma.

New Compassions
Fortunately for me and those of you who tend to be a little impetuous like me, God has new compassions and mercies available to us every day. Lamentations 3:22-23 says:

The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Thy faithfulness.

Great indeed!

New Plans
God is constantly doing new things in our lives. One of my favorite scriptures in recent years is Isaiah 43:18-19:
Do not call to mind the former things, 
Or ponder the things of the past.
Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.

It's a funny thing. When I want to do something new, I'm all over it. But when God wants to do something new in my life, I'm often resistant. I shouldn't be. I've learned that our God can be trusted. If He's doing something new in your life today, you can let go of the old with confidence and trust your God to do something great. Be aware of it, for pete's sake.

New Potential
Finally, we've got bookoodles of potential for all sorts of new things in our lives. Second Corinthians 5:17 reminds us that with Christ all things are new and the old has passed away. In Him we are new people. In Christ, I have new potential for holy living. In Him, I can indeed be a gentle mom, a loving wife, a thoughtful friend, a capable worker, a diligent student, a generous neighbor, and a godly woman.

I had the thrill of putting on a new web site and blog this morning. I'm thrilled with my new do. There was nothing new in my closet with tags still on it. Bless your sweet little weird heart if you're like my friend Kim and have new things just hanging in your closet. Get them out and wear them, for heaven's sake! But regardless of who you are and what's in your closet, you got some new stuff to put on today sweet friend. You've got you some new strength and new potential. You also have new compassions for each new offense. You have a new spirit to overcome those old ways. And you have a trustworthy God doing some new things in your life today.

Don't you just love new stuff?

Tell me what's new with you today? New hair do? New outfit? New favorite verse? New job or dilemma or diet or cereal? I'd love to hear all about it? It's so easy to leave a comment. Won't you indulge me, with today being a new blog do and all? I'd be ever so grateful!