This Is Your Year by Sonya

 

 

 

This is your year, 2017, to shine and show your light to others. But how do you do that when there are days where your light is dim and just can’t seem to shine? Do we let the struggles of this world and the challenges we face let us down? It is easy to just throw in the towel and extinguish the light that God has in us.

We can change that thinking and let 2017 be our best year yet! How can we change? By allowing God to work in us to change our minds and attitudes is what will help us through the trials we face. Each of us will have obstacles and challenges in life that we need to overcome but it is how we choose to handle it that makes the difference. Having the right mind and attitude will change the way we look at life and our self. We won’t let our past define who we are if we look to Jesus and what He did for us and that He will make our paths straight. “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:6. It is so easy to look at our shortcomings or our past mistakes but if we are held back by those things then they can rob us from fully being all that God wants us to be in this new year. We are our worst critics and we want to change and fix things that we have no control of. Allow God to do the fixing and fully focus on Him by allowing Him to work in us. “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its own purpose” Proverbs 16:3.

He has big plans for you in 2017 so don’t miss out by focusing on the past or things that aren’t working in your life. Choose the challenging path or unpopular path that God is leading you to because God created you and knows all about you and has your best interest in mind! Start today to make that change to growing spiritually by reading your bible, finding a mentor or devoting quiet time each day to God. This starts in your mind and attitude to want to make that first step and don’t put the blame on anyone else, but make the decision to serve God deeper this year. 2017 is your year so start believing God’s best for you! You can do it and begin to let your light shine!

 

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New Year, New You by Kenika

 

 

 

ID 48660933 © Gpointstudio | Dreamstime.com            Before you jump to thinking you’ve already figured out exactly what I’m going to say, give me a chance to explain.  I saw a meme the other day that said, “My new year is actually starting February 1st.  January was just a warm up.”  I chuckled at it, but then I said to myself, “That sounds good to me!”  At the end of the year we make our resolutions, resolves and promises, but January is that month that’s like a make or break.  We get a good start and eventually stop around February or March, or it becomes apparent that we aren’t ever going to get started at all.

After all the declarations we’ve made, the end of January can make us feel like unproductive failures all over again.  That’s because a new year doesn’t automatically mean a “new you”, you’re still you, and nothing is going to change until you change.  If 2016 rolled in and we are all still doing the same things we were doing in 2015, that’s not the year’s fault or responsibility, it’s ours.  We have to change our habits and do all that we can do combat our usual proclivities.

This year can be different for you, but you have to work on changing you. Adjusting the way you go about doing things, learning and growing from past mistakes.  The very well known definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  Don’t let this year be a repeat of all the years you promised to change in the past, let this season be the one where you make the adjustments to get desired results. Do something new so that you can reasonably expect results that are different. Let’s go!

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Committed To Joy by Trish

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As a new year approaches I have several friends who have chosen a “word for the year” and to them that word represents what their area of growth or encouragement is for the next 12 months. I’ve adopted this same tradition and before 2015 came to a close, I thought carefully about the area where I need to grow in and maintain.  For me that word is JOY.

For the most part I’m known to be the encourager in a group, always smiling, always eager to be a resource of joy to and for others. However there are many times when my joy “tank” is empty and in those moments, I feel depleted and defeated and why is that? The joy of the Lord is my strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) Joy is not only essential for the benefit of serving and sharing with others, it is your personal source of strength!

Having a heart full of joy means you choose to look at life through a different set of lenses. Not the “rose colored” ones where everything is perfect but rather, vision to see beyond your present circumstance and find the faithfulness of God woven through your life’s story. I believe this is why according to Hebrews 12:2 Jesus was able to endure the cross.  It was the joy that was set BEFORE Him. This tells me that joy has vision and it sees into the future!

As ladies let’s be aware of what can steal our joy. Now if you’re like me, when I get up in the morning I have my coffee and in those first few moments of a brand new day, all is well with the world. I have joy in my heart and then throughout the day the JK’s show up. JOY KILLERS!

I don’t know what your JK’s are maybe it’s slow moving drivers in rush hour traffic, perhaps it’s the “honey-do” list that continues to grow and those being “small” things, we know that people are facing even bigger Joy Killers like a loss of a loved one, failed relationship, financial pressure. Whatever is trying to rob you of your joy, recognize it, confront it and fight for your right to live your life with God’s joy!

My fiancé and I have been preparing for our wedding in less than 6 months and there was a scenario recently that completely stole my joy. In that moment, I didn’t even want my joy back and I wanted to be upset.  Ever felt that way, before? My incredible fiancé had to remind me that I was not facing a disaster and I had an opportunity to choose how I would allow the “imperfect” to influence me. What a blessing to know we have a choice in how we respond to life’s situations!

I have decided to be committed to joy this year.  This means I have the ability to access joy at any time. I heard a great scenario while visiting a church recently. The pastor stated that he hates it when his vehicle runs out of gas and here’s the reason why. When he runs out of gas it’s not because he has not passed by filling stations that could supply him with what he needed or that he didn’t have the resources in his account to access the fuel, it has been a matter of him being negligent in not accessing appropriately what was made available to him. He said it’s the same concept with our joy and peace.  Jesus has provided access for us to tap into His joy and His peace but we have to make time and effort to obtain what He’s already provided. This was good news to me. This means I have the ability to access joy no matter what. Now, I may need a moment or two or fifty to remind myself but it doesn’t negate the fact that I have access to joy in my life at any given moment.

The Bible tells us that in the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy!  (Psalm 16:11) So while my situation may be less than glamorous, convenient or even fair, as I invite and acknowledge the presence of God throughout my day, I not only have the benefit of having God right there with me as my present help but He comes bearing gifts and joy happens to be just one of them.

Let’s start the New Year off with a commitment to joy and as we keep our joy tank filled, we’ll be a greater blessing to those around us as we freely share what we’re filled with!

 

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