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I've given up on New Year's Resolutions . . . eat better, exercise more, lose weight, study more, be nicer . . . All resolutions do for me is make me feel like a failure. A former student of my posted on FaceBook last night that the gym was packed with people who didn't know what they were doing on the weight machines. Another friend responded, "Don't worry. They'll all be gone in a week."

There's something about the New Year that makes us take a new look at our life and think about what we'd like to change. But change, real change, takes plans, not resolutions.

I've tackled my biggest challenge for the new year with a plan, not a resolution. After two surgeries, and a lot of weight gain from all the steroids, and the fact that I just turned 59, I have to get serious about getting healthy again. This time I have a plan, and a partner to hold me accountable. I think this year I'll make it.

I'm praying at the moment about my spiritual life. I'm asking God to show me the area in my spiritual life that needs to be focused on for the year. And, I'm praying to see what He would have me do.

What about you? Do you have resolutions? Plans? Has God shown you an area in your life that you want to change, challenge, or strengthen?

Let us know what you're focusing on for this year so we can pray for each other. I cannot wait to see what God will do in 2012!

Margie Williamson

Community Manager

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Comment by Bryant LaFex on January 29, 2012 at 5:47am

Margie you have given some Excellent practical advise. CHANGE only comes from clear, focused THINKING-PLANNING and most important PRAYER to know where GOD wants that focus and change. We can not do everything even though there might be a lot of things we would like to do. So we need to figure out how to use our time and put our focus on those things. Hebrews 12:1 says to throw off the weights that slow us down. (NLT) Even l good things can hinder us from change because those things keep us from the important things.

Comment by Margie Williamson on January 6, 2012 at 8:02pm

Good for you, Jennifer. When I was on faculty, we spent a major amount of time evaluating ourselves and being evaluated, and then we were asked to set goals in the one area in which we wanted to focus for improvement. It's a great way of looking at the new year . . . your 5 people is a tangible goal. I'll be praying for your efforts this year!

Comment by Jennifer Zoch on January 6, 2012 at 9:00am

I went to a conference the last week of December and one of the speakers said something that really stuck with me. She asked something like this,"If you keep doing what you are doing right now, how much will you grow in the course of a year?" So this year I sat down and made ten simple resolutions, ones I could actually do if I tried.  Resolution number 5 is witness to five people. This one is going to be very hard for me. I struggle with talking to people I don't know. I tend to get wrapped up in my own life, hanging out with other believers, doing things with the church, and my circle of influence does not include many unbelievers. But God has been telling me that it isn't my job to save people, He'll take care of that. He just wants me to go and tell them. So I am going to find five people to share with. Even if it means going out of my way to spend time with them after work, or doing things with them that I don't really enjoy (for example, going to one of their cooking parties).

Comment by Margie Williamson on January 3, 2012 at 10:46am

Wow! What a wonderful calling. I watched a group of older ladies partner with a group of young moms for Bible study. Along the way, they gave cooking tips, organization tips, and a lot of one-on-one time that crossed generations. It was an amazing opportunity for both age groups.

Margie

Comment by David E. Houchin on January 3, 2012 at 10:25am

I have had an increasing concen about the young dad's in our congregation.  Having reached 62 this last year, I am praying that God will use me to help these men fulfill Ephesians 6:1-4.  To that end I have been praying Psalm 71:17-18 "O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood and I have constantly told others about the wonderful things you do.  Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God.  Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me." (NLT)  The greatest miracle of all is a transformed life.    Tonight I talk to the men of our men's ministry about this.

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