17 Things to say NO to this New Year

17 Things to say NO to this New Year

Saying NoThere’s no true difference between 11:59 pm tonight and 00:01 tomorrow morning. For some it will be a moment to make noise and party. For first responders and emergency room workers it will be a time to be ready for extra injuries and accidents. For others it will be a night to once again try and put the past behind them and “turn over a new leaf.”

What will the New Year mean to you? None of us knows for certain. Only God does. But the biggest determinant of what kind of year you will have is YOU.

If you want anything to be different this year, this is the time to say NO to things that might be hindering you. Holding you back. They might even be good things, but they’re not the best things. Whatever is keeping you from giving your best to those you care about and to the world, and from doing your very best to fulfill what God has given you to do – it all has to go.

Paul encourages us to “lay aside everything that hinders” (Hebrews 12:1). What will you lay aside at the beginning of this New Year?

Here are some good things to say NO to:

  1. Worrying about what other people think. Who cares anyway – really? Will it really matter next year, or on your deathbed, what “they” thought?
  2. Doing things half way. Somebody will notice, even if that somebody is only you and God. Give it all you’ve got, until it’s done and done right.
  3. Criticizing other people. Playing Junior Holy Spirit is not a nice job. God didn’t give you that job, and it doesn’t help other people anyway.
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What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Reading the Bible

What To Do When You Don’t Feel Like Reading the Bible

There’s that little voice in your head that says, “Read the Bible!” Intellectually you accept the fact that as a Christian, reading the Bible would be a good thing to do. But you don’t feel like reading the Bible.

You’re tired. The Bible is too difficult to understand. You don’t know where to start. Last time you tried you got bogged down in a long list of names, dates, or numbers. It seems the Bible happened a long time ago, and it’s a real stretch to make it mean something for today. If you DID read the Bible, you might even find something in your lifestyle that you would have to change, and you’re not ready for that. And on top of it so many people disagree on what the Bible really means, so who’s to know?

Or maybe you’re one of those who has read and studied the Bible a great deal. You know a lot about the original writing of the Bible, and the circumstances behind each writer and book. But your soul is tired because every time you try reading, your mind kicks into high intellectual gear trying to figure out something new or thinking of something you need to study.

The Bible is a collection of stories, poems, and letters written by many authors over many years.

But it’s so much more than that as well. God means the Bible to be His letter directly to you. It’s a means by which He works to change you from the inside.

Here are a few thoughts on what to do at those moments when you just don’t feel like reading the Bible.

  1. Pray about it. Let God know how you feel – weary, guilty, nervous, frustrated, confused. Ask Him to guide you to where to read, and to make those verses mean something to your soul.

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10 Excuses That Won’t Work With God

10 Excuses That Won’t Work With God

No ExcusesHave you read something in the Bible that you sense God asking you to apply to your life? Do you hear His voice in your heart asking you to do something for Him that seems really big? Do you feel the Holy Spirit pulling you to make a change in your lifestyle? Are you waiting for God to fulfill something you believe He has promised you?

God is as eager to bless you, heal you, give you good things, or fulfill a big purpose in your life as a father or mother is to give good things to their children. (Matthew 7:11) Most of what He wants for you is bigger and more eternal than you could imagine for yourself.

But too often we humans are so short-sighted, selfish, or afraid that we don’t take advantage of what God offers. It’s like a child afraid to get onto a bicycle or jump into a swimming pool. The joy of swimming or riding a bike is waiting for you, but it takes being willing to risk, and trusting that your parent (God) will be there.

God has been dealing with excuses from us humans for a long time. Moses complained that he couldn’t speak well when God sent him on a big mission (Exodus 4:10-12). The children of Israel saw themselves as grasshoppers, and failed to enter the land of Canaan when they could (Numbers 13:33). God had to warn Jeremiah not to worry about his young age when God called him to speak for Him (Jeremiah 1:7). God certainly understands our human emotions, but He still expects us to step up and respond when He speaks.

Here are some excuses that won’t work with God when He asks something of you:

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The Ripple Effect: How One Lifestyle Change Creates Another

Young Happy Woman in AutumnMaking lifestyle change takes a lot of effort. And it can get discouraging at times. Setbacks are common. Your original motivation becomes cloudy. Is all that effort really worth it?

But when you start to notice benefits in other areas, it may be easier to find the motivation to stick with the change you know is important. Sometimes those secondary benefits become even more motivating than the initial reasons you made the change.

Here are a few ripples that are easy to understand:

  • Janice lost 25 pounds this past year through eating healthier, and now feels so much more energy to be the mother she wants to be. And her children are happier as she is more engaged with more of the things they need.
  • Daniel quit smoking just days ago, but he’s already noticed
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5 Things to be Angry About

5 Things to be Angry About

It’s good to be angry! There are some things to be angry about. If you are not angry at intolerable evil, you will never have the motivation to do something about it.

This past week many of us have been angry over the terrorist bombings in Boston. And rightfully so! Anger provides the emotional energy to push back against things that are wrong. Sometimes we push that anger away too quickly. Anger is our warning light that something needs to change. When the problem is outside of our ability to control we cannot always accomplish all the change we would like to. But we can do something! Paying attention to the anger is important.

Here are some things I hope each of us is angry about:

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