You and I have arrived safely at the first Monday of a new year. 2015 is in our grasp and in our opportunity folder. Now, it is our choice what we are going to do with it and all that comes our way.
I am excited to say that this is going to be a new year full of things that only God can do. That is the stuff He does that will blow our minds and fill our hearts. If we are looking for those miracles, we will see them, experience them and share them with others.
Let’s start this year and this week with some of the habits that I believe make me stronger and my new year better. These are suggestions that have blessed my life.
Daily Bible Reading
Psalm 119:11 NLT
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
My Bible of choice is an application on my phone that syncs with my computer. It is called YouVersion.com (or the Bible App). Within it are reading plans and lots of different translations of the Bible. I enjoy choosing one of those reading plans that allows me to read through the Bible in one year.
This year’s reading plan has me starting in Genesis and also reading the Epistles of Paul. 365 days of reading. It also helps me catch up when I get behind.
I am doing one piece of this a little different. Several years ago I heard Mark Batterson talk about his habit of reading the Bible and using a different translation of the Bible. Often we get comfortable with our translation and will quickly read or even miss some of the best pieces. He would use a different translation far from the norm. I am doing this and asking God to open up some great insight and times with him.
But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.
I have always enjoyed writing notes to people on my mind or someone who has a need or who had done something extraordinary. This year I choose to do this more and in a new pattern. I will keep the pattern to myself, but what I will share with you is that I want to write three times as many hand written notes than I wrote last year.
Why? Email is great. Facebook is helpful. But people are greatly encouraged by taking your time to do something doesn’t happen very often. A note in the mailbox may be something that will make someone know how important they are.
Proverbs 22:6 NLT
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
This is not out of the norm for us, but it is important to renew our commitment to making sure this happens. One of the things that Julie and I have to make sure of is that our time as a family doesn’t become too common.
Pouring Into Other’s lives
1 Peter 4:10 NLT
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
When I was in my later teen years, I knew that God had a call my life, but one of the things that I wanted desperately was to learn from men who had spent their lives in ministry. It was hard to find pastors who would spend time with a preacher boy. God put this on my heart some time ago, but this year once again I am going to pick up the mantle and begin meeting with some guys who have expressed an interest in ministry.
This is not a casual talk every now and then. This will be a calculated time of reading, sharing, praying and studying together with the intent of helping guys serve stronger and with confidence in the areas God calls in. I am excited about this.
Ephesians 5:29 NLT
No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.
I started going to a local CrossFit a couple months ago, and I am enjoying this different kind of exercise. But it is time for another step up to continue a couple times each week as well as add some other pieces that will make me more healthy.
There you have just a few of the areas that have my attention for the New Year. I pray that our family will experience God in fresh ways. I pray that our church will be able to impact many more people as well as move forward with our new campus.
There’s more to come as we seek God and share Him with others!