I vowed to take more Friday's off and spend more time at home. I think I did better at spending time at home especially towards the end of the year. It's a mentality change for me, but one I think is scriptural and beneficial as I wrote about in the recap of our church's leadership retreat in Dillard a few weeks back. I could do a little better I'm sure and so I'll try again this year.
I vowed to write a book last year. I didn't make it. I got closer though. I'm close to 60 pages into a book I'm working on, so I'll definitely plan to finish it this year. If I get really motivated and can find time, maybe I'll finish two!
Last year was a big year for us in terms of paying off things. We are going into 2013 with only a house payment, one car payment, and our student loans. Our goal for this year is to get the car paid off and to start paying off some of the student loans while we're in college. Speaking of college, if everything goes as planned, I should be graduating with my Masters degree in pastoral counseling from Liberty University in December. That will be one big goal down!
I also plan to do my reading goal again this year. In 2011, I finished 52 books with the goal of reading one per week. Last year, I finished 54 books having the same goal or reading one per week. My Uncle Stan took up the challenge two years ago as well and has read 54 and 64. He's shooting for 65 which is his age. My goal is definitely to do the 52 again, but to also up the ante and shoot for 60 books this year.
My other resolutions have more to do with my ministry and the church. I want this year to be the year we finally start getting our plans together for a new sanctuary building. I want to see us open a daycare and to develop a focus for a sports outreach. I won't be able to accomplish this on my own. I'm well aware of that. My prayer during this fast is that God would put the pieces in place for ministry to expand at our church in our community. I have so many things I want to do and see done, and I want to take a big step forward towards those visions and goals in 2013.
So I guess to concretely identify my resolutions: (1) Lose weight and be between 185 - 200 lbs, (2) Finish up my first book, (3) Spend more time at home and with family, (4) Pay off our car, (5) Graduate from Liberty University with my Masters, (6) read 60 books during the year, and (7) take new strides in ministry and with the church.
What are your resolutions? Some don't make them and get really philosophical and religious about saying things like, "Don't make New Year's changes. Make New Life decisions." True, most resolutions fade into oblivion before February rolls around, but January 1st offers a distinctive and decisive opportunity to begin the changes we all could afford to make. Seriously, whether you start on January 1st or if you start later on, when change needs to be made, there's never a bad time to start it.
I hope you're 2013 is the best year yet for you. Resolve to make God first in your life this year. Resolve to make the Bible a daily part of your life. (For more information how, check out www.freepointchurch.com/read-initiative.html.) Resolve to make daily prayer a part of your life. Whatever may come in 2013, good or bad, you can have peace in knowing you are in God's hand as you find yourself led by His Word and His Spirit through prayer and fasting. Resolve to make church an important part of your life. Instead of scheduling things that get in the way of church involvement, bump church involvement up on your list of important commitments and learns to say no to things that would pull you away. In these last days, we need each other and the church offers a gathering place for ministry, serving, communion, relationship, discipleship, and worship. The promise for 2013 is the same as it's always been. James 4:8, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."
Happy New Year and may God bless you and keep you and yours in 2013!