Monday, January 2, 2012

New year = new opportunities

The start of a new year always brings with it the hope of new beginnings.  One poll I read last week showed that most Americans believe 2012 will be a better year than recent ones.  While that can be true, it will not happen by accident, and it probably won't happen because we made some new year's resolutions that sound quite similar to the ones we made last year about this time.  If we want things to be better we need to take specific steps to make that happen.  The mistakes of 2011 are now behind us, and it is time to look for the new opportunities for personal and ministerial growth that 2012 will offer.  Let's look at some of those opportunities.

You have the opportunity to get your finances in order.  Debt is destroying our nation and too many of our households.  It's time to stop talking about our financial problems and doing something about them.  Some of you need to do plastic surgery and cut up your credit cards.  It's time to get serious about paying off your debt which may mean a big change in lifestyle for a time.  Dave Ramsey says that we need to live like no one else right now so we can live like no one else later.  What a great thought!  His books and radio program can help you develop a strategy to get out of debt, and his Financial Peace University can be a great ministry your church can offer your congregation and the community.

You have the opportunity to create wonderful memories with your family.  I don't want to be morbid, but one day those memories will be all your family will have of you.  I, for one, do not want those memories to consist of me always leaving the house to attend another committee meeting or some other function that really doesn't demand my time.  I want them to remember the times I sat in the gym for their basketball games or in the stands for a baseball game or track event.  I want them to remember a holiday dinner where we all sat around the table laughing at the stories we were telling.  I want them to remember the times I held them in my arms when I had no words to offer for their pain or grief.  I want them to remember vacations we took where my focus was on them and not on checking e-mails.

You have the opportunity to improve your health, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Frankly, I spent too many years not giving my well-being much thought, and I regret that now.  To live life to the fullest it's important that we care for ourselves.  As I say in some workshops, self-care is not selfishness; it is stewardship of a resource God has given each of us.  Life and ministry is for the long haul, and the better care we take of ourselves the better we will enjoy both life and ministry.

You have the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives.  You will encounter many people in 2012 who are seeking a transformed life.  They are tired of the life they are living but do not know what to do about it.  As a Christian, you have a message of hope and transformation, but that message does no one any good if you never share it.  Look for the opportunities God opens up for you to share a word that might change someone's life forever.

If you are ready to take advantage of the opportunities the new year brings you but are not sure how to begin, that may be an indication you are ready for coach to help you.  The best investment you will ever make is in yourself.  Having a life coach to assist you in your desire to change your life is not an expense; it is an investment in your life and your future.  If you think it is time to get a coach to assist you in making the changes you want to make in your life, please feel free to contact me.  I can only coach up to five people at a time, but I would be glad to work with you if you are ready to take advantages of the opportunities 2012 is bringing you.

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