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Who were you 20 years ago, 10 or even 5?  I know for me the farther back I go the more I desire to be less like who I was in the past.   Not that the girl of twenty years ago was all bad.  Twenty years ago I was a junior in college working toward my B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Journalism at the University of Northern Iowa.  My future was wide open; it was a very exciting time of my life. I lived on my own, and loved being independent from my parents.  The problem was I had a huge drinking problem.  Binge drinking; I was able to sustain great grades, 3.7 GPA , but Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights were spent drinking to get drunk.  When I think of the dangerous situations I put myself in, my faith grows ever wider and deeper.  God truly protected me through my college years.  God was far from my thoughts and actions.  Thank goodness He didn't recipracate the act.  We can never truly escape our past and who we have been but we are in control of who we are today.  I am in control of how I handle the stresses this world demands of me.  My insecurities are no longer in control of the direction of my life.  Don't get me wrong I still have insecurities but with God's help I am committed to keeping them in check.   I believe we need to embrace our past.    My past is a vital part of who I am today and in some respects it is what motivates me.  There are many things from my past that cause a great deal of shame but knowing and understanding this, helps me when I am faced with similar situations and choices I need to make.  I know that I will make mistakes today, tomorrow and next week but by the grace of God I hope I keep my eyes open to my failures and hold tight to the assurance God offers me, that I am His and my sins and past have been paid in full.    Recently, I heard someone described learning from our past like this..."being in a row boat, on a lake facing our past but rowing away from it, looking at it straight on but moving away from it to open, uncharted waters."  My tendency has been to turn away from my past.  To try and hide it behind me, giving it a good swift kick when it would try to peek out and expose itself.  Today I am committed to turn and face it, embrace it but not glorify it.    Where is your past? Behind you for sure, but are you looking at it as you row into new uncharted waters?    

Acts 13: 38 (NIV) “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you."    

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A few highlights from the year 1990!!! . January 31 – Cold War: The first McDonald’s in Moscow, Russia opens. February 11 – Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison, near Cape Town, South Africa, after 27 years behind bars. March 26 – The 62nd Academy Awards, hosted by Billy Crystal, are held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, withDriving Miss Daisy winning Best Picture April 24 – The Space Shuttle Discovery places the Hubble Space Telescope into orbit May 22 – Microsoft releases Windows 3.0. June 7 – Universal Studios Florida opens to the public July 7 – In Rome, the Three Tenors sing together for the first time. August 2 – Gulf War: Iraq invades Kuwait, eventually leading to the Gulf War.  September 18 – The International Olympic Committee awards the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta,Georgia October 3 – Cold War: East Germany and West Germany reunify into a single Germany. November 12 – Tim Berners-Lee publishes a more formal proposal for the World Wide Web.

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