Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Well, I say that -and I do mean it, but honestly, I’m sentimental and sentimental people aren’t necessarily the most festive type you’ll find when it comes to New Year’s celebrations. It’s always been a bittersweet time for me, even as a child. Sure I had lots of New Year’s fun with friends as a teen and young adult, but underneath I’m always feeling a touch of melancholy. Regardless of the type of year it was time waits for no man and change is inevitable. As a Christian, I always have Hope when looking ahead, and for good reason, but moving on past certain blessings leaves a bit of longing in the heart. Nevertheless, the freshness of a crisp, new year is something to build on and I certainly hope to do just that.

The fall of 2013 brought my fiftieth birthday. That’s 5-0 for us visual types and it’s a lot to take in when you’re on the receiving end. It’s a lot to receive, and for that I’m grateful. I’m also hopeful it’s just marking a halfway point for me.

Big ‘H’ Hope is sufficient {Hope in Christ}, but small ‘h’ hope needs back up in terms of planning and execution. It requires dedication, discipline, and determination, or it becomes an empty hope in short order. In seasonal terms, small ‘h’ hope takes ‘resolution‘, accompanied by prayer, if it’s going to stand a chance at materializing.

In practical terms, say you hope to acquire more wealth or shed some weight in the year/s ahead; ‘hope‘ alone is not going to cut it. Get in prayer, consult with God and His Word regularly, develop a realistic yet challenging plan, pray some more, and stay the course. A year from now you’ll be thankful to God, to some encouraging folks along the way, and to yourself for a hope fulfilled. You can also look forward to acquiring some wisdom worth sharing and a few surprises along the way.




  1. a firm decision to do or not do something.
  2. the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
  3. the process of reducing or separating something into its components.
  4. the smallest interval measurable by a scientific (esp. optical) instrument; the resolving power.

Resolved for 2014

I haven’t completed my list of resolutions for 2014 just yet, but I thought I’d share what I’ve put together thus far. I started small, soon, and practical, added general items to further develop important habits I’ve been working to strengthen, and will be adding some specific personal goals prayerfully hammered out in the coming few days -or as God leads… One of my persistent goals not mentioned below is to not step on His toes, “He leads, I follow,” is a daily challenge. For you too?

  1. Pack-up Christmas decorations, at my leisure, between Dec. 31-Jan 2
  2. Compile notes regarding next Christmas & set phone reminder to look at them next fall (more of this/less of that, schedule/timeline, gift ideas, savings plan & spending budget, etc.)
  3. Continue to remind myself via calendar reminders, sticky notes & whatever else it takes:
    • more Bible
    • more prayer
    • more water during day, less food in evening
    • ask, answer & act on introspective/retrospective questions about my life roles and lifestyle
    • routinely tweak lifestyle for sake of  love, life, longevity & the Lord
  4. Prayerfully set specific goals that will challenge without disrupting overall balance

I’ll be sharing my strategy and experiences regarding some of my specific goals over the course of the year. I’ll probably be asking for some kind of advice along the way too. Let’s face it, at 50, if you haven’t accomplished a particular goal yet there’s probably a reason why and a good chance that you’ll benefit from wise advice and fellowship as you see it to fruition.

I hope you’re taking advantage of a fresh start too and I wish you the joy and satisfaction of hopes-fulfilled in the coming new year!

12 Verses to Inspire

  • “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6
  • “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9
  • “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”  Psalm 20:4
  • “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31
  • “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  Ecclesiastes 3:11
  • “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  2 Corinthians 5:17
  • “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”  Psalm 90:12
  • “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  1 Peter 1:3
  • “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind 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.”  Philippians 3:13-14
  • “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.  Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,…”  1 Chronicles 16:11-12
  • “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17
  • “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”  James 1:17-18

Questions: What is your process for setting goals and resolutions? What are your resolutions for 2014? What is your plan for accomplishing them? How do you address setbacks?

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