mily way of starsThe message below was written by a very dear friend of mine, Al Donley. He is a true brother in Christ and is always willing to share his faith. He wrote this article many years ago but it is truly fitting for today. It is a message of hope through Jesus Christ.

As you begin this new year, let it be the year of your surrender to Christ. It will be the beginning of a new life which can never be destroyed. You will know that you have a future with promise no matter what struggles you face. You will understand that your life is now in the hands of the Master and he will not fail you.

Throughout this year, I will be praying for all of you who visit this site. Please know that you are loved and that God will never leave you alone to fight your battles. You now have hope because Christ lives!

A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION – Which plan will you choose?
By Allen Donley

As we awaken each new day and reality replaces the night dreams, do we find ourselves still imprisoned and enslaved? But you say we are free to move about and do as we please, so how could we possibly be slaves or prisoners? Yet in the deep recesses of our minds we are not totally sure and we ask the age-old question, why?

Are we indeed imprisoned by our own thoughts and desires? Do
we have no hope? Why do the mistakes of yesterday or even of
years gone by still plague us? We seem to dwell on them all of our
waking moments. Is there no answer, no solution? Doesn’t this
world always offer instant gratification? There must be those who
have the answers, the keys to all of life’s problems. These people
are all around us. We have seen them. They have broad smiles, a
quick handshake, and a pat on the back. Some even call themselves
Christians. We have all heard them brag about their tried and proven plans, for many of them have written volumes on their one formula that fits all problems. I have to admit that it certainly has worked for many of them, so I don’t see any reason it won’t work for me.

Perhaps I will be one of the enlightened ones that will be able to expound on the subject and make my fortune. I have to admit I’m a little anxious, even at times skeptical, but I have been assured not to fear. If the plan doesn’t work right away, I just have to work harder.

I might even have to try a different approach, but it is guaranteed to work! Really, I ask, guaranteed? By whom? Why it’s guaranteed to work by you, the user. You just have to keep trying. How long do I have to keep trying? Don’t you get it? You keep trying until it works. It’s guaranteed!

That’s good enough for me. I’ll just read the book, study it, map out my plan, write it down, visualize it, then, pour my whole being into it.

What’s that old saying? Body, mind, and soul? I never have quite
figured out the soul part, but it sounds good. It just takes self-confidence and time, and I’m still young so I have plenty of time to develop it; but I do have to admit my parent’s were right, time does seem to go quicker with each passing year. But then why should I worry about that, that’s for people my dad’s age to worry about. You know I have been working this plan for quite some time now and I have to admit that I don’t quite understand why I still wake up each morning with the same old anxieties and worries. Somehow I still feel like a slave to the system. I guess I’ll just have to work harder because I Know this plan is guaranteed to work. I probably just haven’t recognized it yet. That’s strange, the time is passing rather quickly and I’m getting overwhelmed. Maybe if I tell others about the plan, even teach them what I know to be true, then I can master it.

I’m getting more anxious by the day because the time is passing
faster and faster. This plan must work; it’s guaranteed! Time is
running out and the plan still isn’t working. I don’t understand this.

I’m in a state of shock. This cannot be happening. I refuse to
believe it. I have spent my entire adult life pursing this plan. It’s guaranteed! I’m getting desperate. Could there be another plan? One that doesn’t take so long to develop, because the sands of time have taken its toll, and the last grains are about to pass through the narrow opening. The narrow opening, the narrow opening, why is that important?

Let me analyze this thought. Is the phrase the narrow opening significant or even an awareness to a bigger and better plan? Or is my mind just desperately searching for a plan that doesn’t exist?

Is there perhaps another part of my being that I have refused to
acknowledge? The soul? Is there a real soul in each person? I
remember as a small child hearing of a plan, a very simple plan; but it seems too simple, and how could something so simple really work?

The sand is still draining through the narrow opening, and it’s nearly finished. All I can do is stare at the hour-glass in total disbelief. I know I have only moments left and my mind is reeling in total shock. I’m scared, even terrified. What was that plan, the simple plan? Oh God, if you are real, please hear my desperate cry for help. I can’t remember the simple plan. A prayer; but from my heart? Yes, God!

Just ask for forgiveness and accept the finished work on the cross by the carpenter – the carpenter from Nazareth. Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God who has the Perfect Plan. He died in my place and took all of my sins upon Himself so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, for if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. Lord Jesus, I believe, and accept your free gift of salvation. Thank you Lord Jesus for revealing Your Perfect Plan to me – as the last grain of sand passes through the narrow opening!