As we ring out the old year and ring in the new, we do so with much anticipation. We have hopes and dreams that the new year will be better for us, that we will make it through another year with good health and peace and happiness.
Those are all good hopes and dreams. But I am a firm believer that our lives are what we make them. In other words, if we want good health, we must choose a healthy lifestyle. If we want peace and happiness, we must first exhibit the peace and happiness we seek.
In my own life, I have learned to make the most of what I have been given. It hasn't always been easy. Take for instance, being a single mom was not the life I had chosen for myself. Even so, there I was, left with two little boys to raise. While some days were difficult, the journey turned out to be a great blessing. I learned so much from my sons. For example, I learned how to enjoy the little moments with them and I learned patience. And when the time came for them to leave the nest, I learned how to do it gracefully and how to find peace within myself.
So, on the eve of another year, I am taking a look back over my life. Yes, there are some things I would have done differently, but as my mom used to say, “No use in crying over spilled milk, just mop up the floor and move on.”
Mom was right. When we make mistakes the right thing to do is to take a good look at why we chose that route in the first place, and try to learn from our mistake. Then, we simply move on.
By the same token, whenever someone hurts you, it can really sting. But one of the things I have learned over these 70-plus years I have lived, is to know how to forgive. I have learned that the person who hurt me often goes on with living his or her life, while I am left to sulk. It took the words of one of my goddaughters to tell me what a difference it would make in my life to just to know how to forgive the person or persons who hurt me, and then just do it. That was years ago, but I have never forgotten her words to me.
She said, “Goddie (that's what she calls me), you have got to forgive them and let it go. That's the only way you can be completely healed. When you hold back on forgiving those who hurt you, you are only hurting yourself.”
As she spoke, I was thinking, “Where did all this wisdom come from? I am at least 26 years her senior.” But what she said made sense. All the while, I thought I had forgiven. But truth be told, I was holding on to the hurt and therefore, could not really forgive.
It was a wonderful awakening, when I truly learned how to forgive those who hurt me. I became spiritually as well as physically more healthy. Over the years, I have had to call on that conversation with my goddaughter many times. It has always helped me.
So, friends, I happily pass it on to you on these last days of 2015. I don't know anyone who hasn't been stung by some hateful words or deeds from another person. Sometime the hurt comes from someone who is very close to us — a sibling, parent or child. But I believe one of the keys to inner peace and happiness in the new year is to learn how to forgive. You will be a better person for it.
Happy New Year!
NEW SENIOR MINISTER TO BE INSTALLED
The installation service for the Rev. Charles Taylor, new senior minister at The Universal Truth Center for Better Living, will be 10 a.m. Jan. 10 at the church, 21310 NW 37th Ave. in Miami Gardens.
The service will be officiated by the Rev. Shelia McKeithen, president of Universal Foundation For Better Living. The community is invited to the service.
‘AHA MOMENTS THAT HEAL’
You are invited to hear Chet Manchester at 2 p.m. Jan. 17 when he speaks on “Aha Moments that Heal.”
According to Manchester, we've all had aha moments of sudden illumination and clarity. An international speaker, Manchester will present a one-hour talk on how such moments can help heal you. “The greatest aha moments are about discovering God's infinite love for us,” he said. “We'll explore what Jesus taught about how this love can transform our lives.”
Manchester is a former creative director for The Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston. He said his talk is inspired by Eddy's “groundbreaking discovery of how Jesus healed spiritually. Her aha moment was realizing his remarkable practice of healing was 'not supernatural ... but divinely natural.' The book she wrote about this, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, explains how natural it is to understand and practice prayer-based healing.”
The event sponsored by First Church of Christ, Scientist, Coral Gables, is free and will be at the Courtyard Marriott, 2051 LeJeune Rd. in Coral Gables. For more information, call lecture chair Leigh Marion at 305- 569-9188.
ST. JAMES BAPTIST CHURCH IS 100
Don't forget the 100th anniversary of St. James Baptist Church in Coconut Grove, and the month-long celebration of the occasion.
The celebration will kick off at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 with a praise and worship service, followed at 5 p.m. Jan. 9 with a Youth Explosion with Channel 10 meteorologist Betty Davis as the mistress of ceremonies.
The Rev. Alphonso Jackson Jr. of Greater New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church will be the guest speaker at the 7:30 a.m. service on Jan 10.
Celebration services will continue throughout the following week with services at 7:30 p.m.:
▪ Jan 13, the Rev. Willie F. Ford, Jr. and the congregation from St. Matthews Community Baptist Church will lead the services.
▪ Jan. 14, the Rev. Robert Brooks Jr. and congregation from St. Peters Missionary Baptist will be in charge of the service.
▪ Jan. 15, the Rev. Vincent Brown and the congregation from St. Matthew Missionary Baptist will the the guests.
▪ Jan. 17, the Rev. Hannah Brooks of True Life Faith Tabernacle will be in charge of the worship service, followed at 4 p.m. by the Rev. W. J. Gaskins and the congregation from St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church.
▪ Jan. 20 with the Rev. Alphonso Jackson, Sr. and the congregation from Second Baptist Church of Richmond Heights in charge of the service.
The celebration will conclude with a 3:30 p.m. service on Jan 31, with the Rev. Cardinal Guy Nesbitt and the congregation of the Lake Worth Church of God as guests.
The community is welcome to all services. For more information call chairwoman Betty Kinsey at 786-712-9697 or Sherrill Martin at 305-301-3256.
Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Religion Notes, c/o Neighbors, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172 or email email@example.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.