Thursday, December 31, 2009

How To Have A Happy New Year

Today as I have been out running some errands people have been wishing me a "Happy New Year". No one has wished me a "Bad New Year" or even an "Average New Year". All of this got me thinking about what it would take to actually have a Happy New Year and to make 2010 better than 2009.

Normally people will make resolutions as a New Year approaches about what they want to change and areas they want to make improvements in. Often the initial commitment does not last and this can lead to an Average New Year or even a Bad New Year because of the disappointment and lack of change or improvement that actually happens compared to what the desired result was. One suggestion I have for a Happy New Year is to make realistic commitments to things that really matter and stick with it. Making a commitment to things like growing and developing spiritually, getting more involved in your local church, being sure you are an asset and not a liability to the place you work, and even working on relationships with family and friends to do what you can to make those relationships better; all of these would be good things to make commitments about and to stay with in 2010.

Another thing that really hinders people from having a Happy New Year is that people go into the New Year while looking back at problems and failures that they might have had in the last year. We can never really move forward when we are always looking backward. If some things did not work the way you wanted them to or you made some mistakes last year then plan on doing better in 2010 and make any necessary adjustments to make sure you don't run into the same problem again. Don't hang on to the problems of the past, let them go and look forward to something better.

Finally, another thing we can do to make it a Happy New Year is to take action for yourself and not just wait for everything to happen to you. What I mean is that so many people are waiting for something to happen in their life without them doing anything about it themselves. We need to do what we can, when we can, to make the difference in our own life and not just expect someone or something else to do everything for us as we just passively sit back and wait. Too many people miss an opportunity because they fail to act when they have the ability and possibility to do so.

So as we enter into another New Year my wish would be for everyone to have a really Happy New Year and to make 2010 a far better year than 2009. I have some high expectations for the coming year and I look forward to some great things happening in 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas With Family And Friends

First of all I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! This is always a great time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There are many people and things that try to take away from the significance of what Christmas is all about but we should not let anything change our own point of view. No matter what others may say Jesus was born and He came to restore the lost relationship between God and man. I for one am so glad that He died on the cross for my sin!

One thing about being a missionary is that this normally means you move away from family and friends. When holidays like Christmas come around those exact things of family and friends are what can make the holiday so special. Today I was thinking about just this when I had another thought about all of the people that God has brought into my life, the people who are a part of my spiritual family.

We all have a natural family that we are born into and when we become a Christian we are "born again" into another family. Currently I live in Germany and while I have a wonderful natural family back in the USA that I love God has also connected me with so many people here that form a sort of second family. This will be a unique Christmas for me as I will be with my spiritual family tomorrow for our church service and afterward I will leave to fly to the USA where I will spend some time with my natural family.

The people that I work with at RHEMA Germany are like family to me, as are the people in our church and in our Bible schools. There are so many wonderful connections and relationships that God has blessed me with over the years that I now have friends all over the world who are a part of my spiritual family. I am grateful for my natural family and I certainly look forward to spending some time with them during the holidays. But, I am also very thankful for all of the people that God has connected me with that make up my spiritual family.