I am trying to throw a party together at the last minute! A few friends that I sing with plus my son and daughter-in-law are coming over tonight at 7:00 p.m.
I really didn't want to go anywhere tonight so the next best thing is to have friends over to my house.
I pray all of you have a blessed night ringing in the New Year. I won't have much time today or tomorrow for blogging so
"Happy New Year to you all".
Please be safe and smart tonight.
"See" you in the New Year!
December 31, 2006
My thoughts on New Year's Resolutions
I have heard many people say "I never make New Year's Resolutions, anymore," or they say "I never keep them, anyway." I can remember all too many resolutions I've made and let slip away, too. But I believe New Year's resolutions are worth making. Let me tell you why.
I posted yesterday how I was going to ponder through the weekend some changes that I want to make for 2007. I remember last year around this time of year, I was at a friend's house and another friend asked us what our New Year's resolution was going to be. I froze, I couldn't think of anything I wanted to change or try to change in the New Year. This year I have pondered for several days the changes I want to try and make in my life.
First, we all need changes. Some we find very hard to admit to ourselves. I've heard people say, "I have no regrets about my life. If I had it to do over, I'd do it the same way again." But that attitude is way too blind and self-serving as far as I'm concerned. There is great power in confession--to ourselves, to God, to others. Owning up to our failures is the first, painful step on the road to something better.
I have so many regrets in my life, so many things I would change if I could. I look back over my life and I see pain I have brought on others, I have said things to offend people, sinned and fallen short of God's glory. Yet, He is always there to forgive me. I want to make changes for a God like that.
Second, I think when we change calendars we should look to see how we can make changes in ourselves. How did last year go? What do I want to do differently this year? This time of year always reminds me of a passage of scripture: "Break up your unplowed ground, and do not sow among thorns" (Jer 4:3). It makes sense. The more land you put into production, the more prosperous you'll be. But some of us are stupid enough to try to sow seeds in land overrun by star thistle without breaking up the soil and taking care to root out the thorns as they come up. Call it laziness. Call it stupidity. Call it whatever you wish but changes can be made and lessons learned if we take a look at what things we did or didn't do last year.
Third, New Year's is an excellent time to think about and change things in our lives that we see needing our attention. Sure, we might fail in what we set out to do, but if we fail to plan, then we plan to fail. We can't be fearful of failure or how will we e grow. Failure is not the end. For the person who determines to learn from it, failure is a friend. I don't take failure well but I really do try to learn from my failures and do something about them.
I like to look at the Apostle Paul; Talk about failure! Throughout his life he was opposed, persecuted, shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, deserted by trusted co-workers, slandered, and scorned. Sometimes it seemed that projects to which he had devoted years were turning to dust before his eyes. But during from one of his stints in prison, we can see from one of his letters an unwillingness to quit. "Forgetting what is behind," he wrote, "and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:13-14, NIV) No wonder he made a mark on his world. He stopped looking back, and looked forward instead. He didn't let the fear of failure keep him from trying again.
Fourth, New Year's is a time to learn to rely more heavily on the grace of God. I have to admit I am very independent and don't turn to many people for help. I think I can do things all by myself and don't even turn to the Master as often as I should. I am too proud and driven for that. There is another way: I need to begin to trust in God's help. One more secret from the Apostle Paul: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength," he said (Phil 4:13, NIV). And God's strength saw him through a lot--through pain, through joy, and through accomplishment.
If this last year, you didn't practice relying on the Lord as much as you should have, there is no time like the present to make a New Year's resolution. In fact, I am going to say a short prayer right now-"Dear God, I want the new year to be different for me." I want to turn to you more for the things in my life that need changing. "Lord Jesus, I know that I'm going to need a lot of help for this. So right now I place myself in your hands. Help me to receive Your strength. Amen."
Happy New Year