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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4 Things To Do While Waiting

WaitingNobody likes to wait. It’s frustrating. It feels cold. And it’s easy to let a seeming delay mess with your faith.

God sees time differently than we do. When He promises something, He will fulfill it – on His timetable. I believe God understands our frustration perfectly well. But somehow He never lets that interfere with His plans.

“Then why does He promise me something and make me wait? That’s even more painful than if He had not promised me anything at all!”

Perhaps Abraham felt that way when God promised him a son, and he had to wait 25 years before Isaac was born. (Genesis 15:5-6, 21:1-2) Perhaps David felt that way when God anointed him king, but it was about 17 years in coming. (1 Samuel 16:13, 2 Samuel 5:3-4) Perhaps the children of Israel felt that way in Egypt – for 400 years! (Genesis 15:18, Exodus 12:40)

Why does God promise us things, and then make us wait? And more importantly, what are we supposed to do while waiting?

I especially like the story of David in thinking about that question. David didn’t only get older during those years between the time Samuel anointed him and when he was crowned king of Israel. It was during those waiting years that he BECAME a king. It was the running from Saul, the writing of Psalms, the learning to lead his band of followers, and the trusting in God that made David what he was.

God does not promise us things so that we can sit back and wait. God promises us things to give us the faith and motivation necessary to develop into someone who can receive that promise!     Tweet that.

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Does God Say Things Will Get Better or Worse?

Does God Say Things Will Get Better or Worse?

Are things betting better or worse?

If you listen to the evening news, read much on the internet, or have many friends on Facebook you probably have heard a lot of bad news lately. It’s probably always been that way, but with a bad economy, ISIS, and Ebola making headlines right now, anyone would appropriately get nervous. Doomsayers certainly have plenty of material to fuel their angst.

And then you hear some people saying, “Everything’s going to be alright.” You hear that from some politicians, some preachers, and others. “We’ve overcome worse things than this before. God’s on our side! It will all work out.”

So who’s right? Is our country, our economy, our institutions, our church, our world on the brink of collapse? Or are bad people just using bad news to try and keep everybody in line? Are our brightest days behind us? Or are they still ahead?

For example, do we know what to do about the Ebola epidemic, and are we able to do it? Or are we on the brink of a worldwide health catastrophe – from Ebola and a vast array of other threats?

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5 Regrets You Can Completely Prevent

5 Regrets You Can Completely Prevent

The Top Five RegretsIt’s a blessed person indeed who can look back at his or her life without regrets. Very few, if any, can truly say, “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

When looking back at one’s life from near its end, priorities often look quite different. Things that caused worry, and things you worked so hard for may not mean much at all. Things you neglected may become extremely important.

But why not prevent those regrets? Why not live in such a way that if you are blessed to have a long life you will be able to say, “I finished well!”

Here are 5 regrets that are completely preventable.

  1. “I wish I had taken better care of my health.” Once your health is gone, it may be difficult or impossible to get it back. Breaking a bad habit is hard work. But I’ve never heard anyone say, “I wish I had kept on smoking,” or “I regret losing my extra weight.” You may think your unhealthy lifestyle won’t catch up with you, but it will. Your investment in breaking an addiction, eating healthy, or physical exercise will never be wasted.
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Why You Should Want To Go To Heaven

Why You Should Want To Go To Heaven

Do you really want to go to heaven? Really?

Or are you hoping Jesus won’t come back for a while? After all, there are things you want to do, experiences you want to enjoy, challenges you want to win, places you want to see.

This world, with all its problems and opportunities, is so real. And heaven seems so, well, unreal.

If you’re dying of Ebola in Liberia, you probably want to go to heaven. If you’re six-year-old Jenny running from her crazed father (remember Forrest Gump?), you want to go to heaven. If you’re sick and tired and old and sad, you may well want to go to heaven.

But for many of the rest of us, even those who believe in heaven, we may not really be that sure we’d be happier in heaven than we are here. Intellectually we may say we believe heaven will be happy. But when it comes right down to it, do you sometimes feel like you would miss a lot if you went to heaven right now?

Even the Apostle Paul struggled a little with weather he wanted to go to heaven or stay here and do more of what God had given him to do: “If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Phil. 1:22-24)

It’s human nature to prefer a difficult known to even a hopefully perfect unknown. But as Corrie ten Boom said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God!”

To help put some “skin” on the future God has prepared for those who love Him, here are some things we can be certain of about heaven:

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