Are You Ready for Something New?

 Are You Ready for Something New?

Lucinda Secrest McDowell

newfireLast year hundreds of thousands of acres of western land burned in forest fires. At tremendous cost – lives, homes, forests, and entire communities.

So many people have been forced to start over, though not by choice.

A new life and a new dwelling. The comment I heard most from the new homeless? “At least we are alive.”

Sometimes the new is forced upon us and sometimes we choose to start fresh.

As New Year 2016 begins, are you also longing for newness in some area of your life – a new ‘dwelling place?’

newcleanhandInstead of despair, hope; instead of chaos, calm; instead of busy, intentional?

So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived! All of these new things are from God. 2 Corinthians 5.17-18 CEB

What needs to be destroyed in your life before you can fully embrace the new?

Many Southeast Native Americans, including the Cherokees, actually chose the purging by fire in their annual ‘Busk’ ceremony. Villagers would first make new clothes and home utensils and place them all outside the village. Then a sort of spring cleaning commenced.

newcherokeeEvery corner of each Indian home was scrubbed. All the furniture was thrown out, and even children’s toys were placed on the communal garbage heap. The dirt paths were swept, and the weeds were plucked up. Even the food left over from winter was thrown out. When all of the refuse in the village was gathered together into a pile in the center of the village, the chief set it on fire. As they watched it burn, they took off their clothes and tossed them into the fire as well.

Then the entire village washed and dressed in their new clothes. Gathering together, the chief started a new fire and from those flames each family took burning sticks home to start their own fires. The old was gone, new life was beginning again!

I wish that new could come without loss. But, isn’t it worth it to release the old so that we can follow Christ more closely? “Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too can walk in newness of life.” Romans 6.4 CEB

newcleanslateI guess we have to want new more than we want safety

Finish, then, Thy new creation; Pure and spotless let us be. Let us see Thy great salvation, Perfectly restored in Thee; Changed from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place, Till we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love, and praise.” (hymn, “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” Charles Wesley, 1747)

under the mercy, Cindy

©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

under the mercy, Cindy

©2015 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

dwellingplacescoverabingdon-excerpt from the “Renew” season of Dwelling Places – Words to Live in Every Season by Lucinda Secrest McDowell, Abingdon Press, June 2016. Available in Paperback and Hardcover.

Preorder from Amazon HERE

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Preorder from AbingdonPress HERE

Website/Blog www.EncouragingWords.net
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2 Responses to Are You Ready for Something New?

  1. Elaine J. Bauder says:

    Thank you, Lucy, for writing, “Live These Words!” I saw you at a women’s conference and we talked and I bought this book! I am using it for the second time in my devotional time with the Lord! The Holy Spirit has used the words, Scriptures, prayers and stories to inspire and encourage me during my adjustment to our new life as retired pastor and wife, in a new location and away from the dear church family we served in for 37 years! God richly bless you as you continue to serve Him and share with us!

    Love, Elaine Baudet

  2. maggierowe says:

    The Cherokee ceremony is fascinating – I had never heard of that before. I hang onto things, even some relationships, far longer than is needful. Thanks for this thoughtful reminder, Cindy.

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