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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN




Have A Good Year

There is an old story about a happy little boy who went out into a field wearing a baseball cap. In one hand he carried a baseball and in the other a baseball bat. His face bore a look of tremendous confidence. Cocking his bat, he tossed the ball into the air, saying, "I'm the greatest batter in the world!" Then he swung and missed. "Strike one!" he said.

He picked up the ball, examined it, and then threw it up into the air again. As he swung, he repeated, "I'm the greatest batter in the world." Once again he missed. "Strike two," he said. This time, he stopped to examine his bat to make sure there wasn't a hole in it. The he picked the ball up, adjusted his cap, and tossed the ball into the air for the third time.

He repeated again, "I'm the greatest batter in the world." And swung with all his might and missed for the third time. "Wow!" he cried, "What a pitcher. I'm the greatest pitcher in the world!"

Today is the first Sunday of 2011 and as we look back over the previous 12 months, I'm not sure whether most of us would be considered pitchers or batters. One thing for sure, at times we have all struck out. So, I guess it's good to be able to start over afresh. Boys and girls are starting back to school Tuesday. Young people will be heading back to college. And most of us have recovered from the holiday season and are well into doing our jobs and the activities of the new year.

What do you anticipate for this year? Are you full of enthusiasm, looking forward eagerly to what each day will bring? Or are you filled with dread, worried that 2011 will be worse than 2010 for you? Like the little boy with the bat, may I suggest that your attitude, your frame of mind, your reaction to its events will largely determine whether it is a year of victory or defeat? The Apostle Paul was never one to let circumstances conquer him. Rather, with the help of God, he was determined to win the victor's crown. Listen as his attitudes, dedication, and determination shine through in these words found in Philippians 3:12-14: "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward