Welcome to the best year of your life. Starting out a new year with that thought is the definition of faith. Regardless of circumstances, walking with God daily will bring about the plans He has for you. I haven’t always believed that, but I certainly prefer to walk in that level of faith. By God’s grace and constantly renewing my mind in His Word, I now believe it. That’s faith.

At first I was going to include in today’s headline “rear view mirror,” and honestly, space shrank the phrase. However, it is not just holding onto grudges, remembering the past with longing for it to return — except to learn from it, be comforted by it and enjoy the memories. Too much focus on the past can be detrimental to your health. Bitterness is poison. I know, I’ve learned the difference between forgiveness and holding a grudge. Seek the Lord for wisdom on your own behalf. It’s amazing what insight He will give when we bother to ask.

Then I realized, some people need to stop looking in the mirror at themselves. We can be our own worst enemy, pouring shame and condemnation on ourselves to the point we never accomplish anything Godly in our lives. We don’t believe we can — and we can’t, alone. That’s a trick of the enemy to keep us bound up and nonproductive.

Vanity is another reason to stop looking in the mirror. Don’t puff yourself up with false pride either. And believe it or not, people notice when you always look at yourself in mirrors rather than in their face when talking. Not a good idea.

Helping me as the year ended was discovering — again — the beauty in the Psalms. As translated from the Septuagint, Psalms 146-150 are called “Hallelujah Psalms” because they all begin in Hebrew with the words “Hallelujah, praise the Lord.” Reading them is a great way to start the new year. Here’s a beginning for you from The Passion Translation.

“Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

My innermost being will praise you, Lord! I will spend my life praising you and

singing high praises to you, my God, every day of my life! We can never look to men for help; no matter who they are, they can’t save us, for even our great leaders fail and fall. They too are just mortals who will one day die.

At death the spirits of all depart and their bodies return to dust. In the day of their death all their projects and plans are over. But those who hope in the Lord will be happy and pleased!

Our help comes from the God of Jacob! You keep all your promises.

You are the Creator of heaven’s glory, earth’s grandeur and ocean’s greatness. The oppressed get justice with you. The hungry are satisfied with you. Prisoners find their freedom with you. You open the eyes of the blind

and you fully restore those bent over with shame. You love those who love and honor you. You watch over strangers and immigrants and support the fatherless and widows. But you subvert the plans of the ungodly.

Lord, you will reign forever! Zion’s God will rule throughout time and eternity!

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!”

Happy New Year, all.

Vicky Branton is the Teche Life editor at The Daily Iberian.

Vicky Branton is Teche Life editor for The Daily Iberian. You can reach her at techelife.editor@daily-iberian.com.

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