Monday, December 31, 2012 The Land of Beginning Again IDEA: It's possible in the coming year to start over again. PURPOSE: To help listeners realize that they are not trapped in their past. Louise Tarkington wrote a poem called "The Land of Beginning Again." Does the title intrigue you? Why? We're coming into a new year. Do you think most people would like it to be a year of Beginning Again? Is it possible to start over? I. God can make the bitter sweet again. Naomi is a demonstration of what God can do in turning bitterness to sweetness. What do we know about the tragedy in her life? What do we know about how God changed life for her? Do you think God can do that today? Can you think of someone? II. God can introduce us into a totally new situation. Ruth is a demonstration of what God can do in changing our circumstances. Do you think God can do that for people today? CONCLUSION: The New Year can be a year of Beginning Again. It promises a new start with God as always a possibility. The Land of Beginning Again "I wish that there were some wonderful place In the Land of Beginning Again. Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches And all of our poor selfish grief Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door and never put on again. I wish we could come on it all unaware, Like the hunter who finds a lost trail; And I wish that the one whom our blindness had done The greatest injustice of all Could be there at the gates like an old friend that waits For the comrade he's gladdest to hail. We would find all the things we intended to do But forgot, and remembered too late, Little praises unspoken, little promises broken, And all the thousand and one Little duties neglected that might have perfected The day for one less fortunate. It wouldn't be possible not to be kind In the Land of Beginning Again, And the ones we misjudged and the ones whom we grudged their moments of victory here, Would find in the grasp of our loving hand-clasp More than penitent lips could explain... So I wish that there were some wonderful place Called the Land of Beginning Again, Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches, And all of our poor selfish grief Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door And never put on again." Author: Louise Fletcher Tarkington