Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New Year and a New Start

Happy New Year everyone! I pray that God will bless your new year and that you will grow closer to Him this year than you ever have been before.

I have a lot of goals for the new year and I realize that I might not reach them all. My number one goal is to grow closer to God than I ever have been before. That's a goal that I intend and hope and pray to reach this year.

Last year I made a goal to read the Bible every day of the year [2007]. I did miss a couple of days, but God definitely helped me to read His Word almost every day of the year. Another goal was to get closer to God. I was reading my journal entries in my journal from last year and I realized that I have changed so much since the beginning of 2007. I really believe that that is a good thing, and I am so thankful to God that He has changed me and used me for His glory in 2007.

This year, 2008, I've made more goals than I ever have for the new year. I hope that I don't get overwhelmed with them, and I know with God's strength and perseverance I won't. I just need to realize that if I do mess up, it's okay. I just need to let go of that and move on and continue to try to reach my goals. I'm going to be putting my goals on here [monthly goals and yearly goals] so please read them if you want to. And don't be afraid to check up on me and see how I'm doing with them!

"I need a new life, a new start
Life just isn't the same anymore.
Pressure, to be someone you don't wanna see
in yourself
Lies, chasing you down; what's fake and
what's reality?
Choices, make the wrong one and suddenly your
life is broken.
Loneliness, like a disease it attacks when
you least expect it.
Worries, swarming around in your mind with
nowhere to go.
Forgiveness, is there such a thing
Changes, they are inescapable and
Regrets, everyone has them but only a few
let them go.
Life, it isn't easy; but there is Someone Who
Promises a better way.
He leads, He protects, He comforts, He loves,
God guides me all the days of my life.
And suddenly, the things of this world
don't matter anymore.
For I have seen the beauty of the Lord
and my heart has been made new!"

Just a poem I wrote the other day. It's nothing great, just something I wanted to write to get my feelings out on paper. I wanted to write something to go along with the new year and having a new start and I thought I'd share it with you.

I want to encourage you to make goals for this year. If you feel you've already failed, don't give up. Make new goals and start out fresh - even if it's the middle of the year or the end of the year! Continue to set goals for yourself and for your life that line up with what God wants for you and your life. I read something once that says something like this, "Think positive and you will have positive results. Think negative and you will have negative results. Don't think at all and you will have no results." I really want to encourage you to set effective goals for yourself that line up with what God wants for your life. Answer the questions on one of my previous posts [called "Effective Goals for the New Year"] to make goals for yourself. I did, and it really helped me to set goals and know what I want to do this year in my life with Christ.

Here are some ideas for goals that you can make for yourself:
-Read the Bible in 90 days. Sounds like a lot of reading, but it's all planned out for you. Just click this link: http://www.haventoday.org/schedule.pdf
-Make a prayer file. "Write down various prayer requests on index cards, using one card per request and noting: the nature of the request, the date, and where the request came from. File each request in the appropriate section of your file: things you intend to pray about daily, weekly, and monthly (divide the monthly section into 30 slots so you can pray about a different request each day of the month). Whenever you discover how God has answered a certain prayer request, record the answer on the corresponding card and move the card to a new file -- one for answered prayers." [from Crosswalk]
-Read a chapter of Proverbs every day. For example, read Proverbs 1 on the first of the month, Proverbs 2 on the second, etc. [And don't feel like you have to start at the beginning!]
-Write in a journal everyday. Write down your thoughts, your feelings, your hurts, disappointments, discouragements, joys, etc. that you have experienced throughout the day. Write them out as a prayer to God in a journal every night and evaluate your day and think about what you could've done differently or better and ask for forgiveness for the things that you know you have done wrong that you didn't ask for forgiveness for earlier in the day.

Or here's some more simple goals:
-Read the Bible everyday. Just read it - it doesn't matter how much or how little, just try to get in the Word every day.
-Pray everyday. Set aside a time everyday to just talk to God. Whether that's at night when you're going to sleep or throughout the day, just talk to God. And if you really want to set aside part of your day to spend with your Father, I encourage you to do that, too.
-Do something that you wouldn't have done last year. Get out of your comfort zone this year. Do something new and scary for God that last year you would never have thought of doing.
-Meet a new friend. Reach out to someone and make a new friend.

So there's some goals that you can maybe think about doing. I'll be doing them [or at least trying to do them], too, so if you need any encouragement, you know who to talk to!

One more thing: I really encourage you to right now go to God and ask Him to cleanse your heart from all of the wrong things that you have done last year. It's 2008 - a new year and I pray, a new start. I hope you have a really great new year and again, I encourage you to make some good goals and try to get closer to God this year!

And remember:
"A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps."
-Proverbs 14:15

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."
-Proverbs 16:9

1 comment:

Emily said...

Hey! I love your goals! I may have to steal a few! Great post and a good way to start out the new year!!

I've went out of my comfort zone a little. By talking to Matt. I don't usually just randomly talk to guys, especially about God, but he makes it so normal to talk about God! It's so amazing what the Lord can do in simple situations! I just need to remember to keep my focus on God!