Friday, December 30, 2016

Starting Over

 So it's been a while since I've done anything with my blog... life. Life happened.

 Another year has passed, and a new one is right around the corner. I hate "new year's resolutions" because it seems they only last a month or so and that's the end of them. For the most part they are pretty impossible anyway.
 This year however, I am making an attempt at setting achievable goals. I wouldn't do it at the beginning of the new year... but you know, there's no time like the present... and that happens to be the beginning of a new year. So here goes. (y'all are most certainly welcome to join in on any/all of these)

 Let's begin with Attitude:

 Psalm 118:24 says "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
 Notice, it doesn't say "we should rejoice and be glad", it says "we will rejoice". That's not future, and it's not dependent upon circumstances. It's present tense, and simply because this is the day the Lord has made, and we have no reason not to rejoice.

 What does it mean to rejoice?  Is rejoicing being giddy and silly, denying that there's anything bad in this world, and that things go wrong? I think not.  It's not a state of denial, but rather always choosing to give thanks to the Almighty, Who saw fit to give us life here and now - and for a purpose (mostly) unknown to us.

 According to Webster, Rejoice means: "To experience joy and gladness in a high degree; to be exhilarated with lively and pleasurable sensations; to exult."

 How do we "experience joy" when it seems everything is crashing down around us?
 Even when things are not the ideal - or even remotely "okay" let alone "ideal", there is one reason to always rejoice: God and His salvation of us wretched sinners (Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation). He didn't have to save any of us - but He chose to. How then can we not rejoice?

 Part of rejoicing is being thankful.  So what if we started each day by finding five things to be thankful for. They can be the same things every day - just so long as there is a real thankful heart behind that list.  Ideally, the list will be different every day.  Stretch yourself, find things to be thankful for. If nothing good comes to mind, find ways to be thankful for/in the things you're not particularly happy about, because Paul said: "...we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."

 Along with rejoicing, we have learning to put others ahead of self. This is what Christ did when He died on the cross to save others, and as we are to follow in His footsteps, I believe this is something worthy of our focus.

 What if each day we chose five people, and pray for them that day. If you don't know what to pray for them, try asking; I'm sure they'd know a few things they could use prayer for.

 Next, we have Fitness:

 Aside from altering my attitude, it wouldn't be so bad to alter my shape. *giggles*

 What if each day began like this:
 List five things for which we are thankful - and for each thing do a push-up.
 Pray for five people every morning. While praying for the first, do jumping-jacks. For the second, do crunches. Third, stretch. Fourth, run in place. Fifth, bounce on a rebounder.

 For the first month try cutting out all grains, and processed sugar.  After that, of course re-introduce them - in moderation.

 Finally Mental Health:

 Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

 Start each morning by reading as many chapters of the Bible as fits your needs/schedule, then read one chapter from any good, educational book.
 Every evening before bed, read a chapter of Psalms, or Proverbs, and if time permits, one chapter of your favorite book of any genre.   Challenge your mind.  If necessary, write a book report when you finish, just to help retain what you learned.  Or, even, keep as journal as you read, and jot down the things that stand out to you most, or things you want to remember later. Writing helps to retain any knowledge gained.

 I guess that's about it.  Those are my main areas of focus this year, and easily attainable, realistic goals.

 What are your goals for the coming year? What are things you need done for the future that you can start today?

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