A New Bag of Spiritual Trail Mix for 2013! - The following is an excerpt from the diary of James Smith. [Note to my Baptist Board Brothers and sisters - this certainly humbled me, I pray it does the same for you as we begin not just another day but yet a new year]. Selah! Dated December 31, 1855 by James Smith, "Marvelous Mercy!" 1862 . . .The last day of the year 1855--a year characterized by . . . many severe trials, many sore temptations, and innumerable mercies. In some things, it closes differently to what I expected--but how differently it may have closed! I might have been in Hell! O terrible thought! I might have been on a sick bed, tormented with excruciating pain, or reduced to a state of infantile weakness. I might have been in great and sore troubles, tossed with tempests, and not comforted. I might have been without a pastorate--and without a loving people. Or I might have been guilty of some heinous sin, lost my character, and been a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth! Blessed, forever blessed be the Lord--that such is not my case! My health is good, my hope in Christ is steady, my congregation good, and I trust the Lord will yet work a great work by me. And now, Lord, I desire to confess before you the sins of this past year: I have sinned with my tongue--and with my temper. I have sinned in my heart--and in my life. I have omitted duties. I have committed sins. My motives have often been impure. My aims have not been sufficiently high and holy. I have been impatient, fretful, irritable, rash, jealous, envious, discontented, and ungrateful. O may the blood of Jesus wash out every stain! I renounce all hope but what centers in Jesus! I have no refuge, no hiding-place, no strong tower, no place of safety--but Jesus. Christ in His person, Christ in His finished work, Christ in His glorious intercession is all my hope, all my confidence, all my joy! I am His servant and wish to serve Him alone. I am His subject and wish to be ruled by Him alone. I am His purchased property and wish to be consecrated entirely, eternally, and altogether to Him! Remain humble as you make your life long trek along the Narrow Path. Jesus told us the path would have its difficulties [I know mine has had more than its share of difficulties], but we should never forget that He walks right next to us, all the way. Shalom!