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How close are you to being ready for a new year? I’m always excited for new year. Its always a new start. A chance to chase my dreams. How about you? Do you have dreams to chase? Do you set goals? I’m not talking about New Year’s Resolutions. Those aren’t dreams, and they’re not rooted in anything. Mostly, NYR are just ideas or pipe dreams. Wishful thinking. And they don’t last a week.
I’m talking about things you want to accomplish. Things you want to be. Places you want to go. Things you want to achieve. Do you have them? Would you like to?
I’ve found that over 90% of people don’t. They just let life happen to them. Some people are happy, or at least content with that. But millions, actually, billions, of people, end the year disappointed with what they’ve accomplished for the year. Are you one of the 90%.
You know that secretly, you have dreams. Sometimes you’re afraid to chase them, because of a fear of failure. Or of what people will say. Or of the work it will take.
I say, 2019 is going to be the year some of you break free from your chains of fear and begin to see your life and circumstances change.
My wife and I were just talking yesterday about the fact that she has a secret dream of playing the cello. She played it as a girl, and did pretty well, but just dropped it. Then a few years ago, she thought she would do it. I bought here a cello. Surprised her with it at Christmas one year. She cried. But, she didn’t play it. The next year I sold it. See, I mistook her longing for a dream. Was I mad. Of course not. She just wasn’t ready. Now she’s thinking about getting one and learning. She’s just deciding whether or not its just nostalgia or if it’s something she wants to turn into a goal.
Earlier this year, she decided she wanted to go back to University and get her bachelor’s degree. She’s thought that several times before. But this time, she did her research, set goals, financially, time, and classes, and she got signed up. She’s finished several classes already and is on a tremendous pace. The difference is, she turned it into a goal. I remember a few years ago, when she wanted to start a business, making and selling soap and candles. She worked so hard, she set goals, and paid the price and was extremely successful. A local magazine even came out to our farm in Georgia and did an article on her. She and her soap became the cover story. All because, she was willing to face the risks, do the work, and set the goals. She’s awesome.
As for me, I always have goals for the beginning of the year. Sometimes I set too many. And I accomplish about half of them.
This year I have about 5. I have them written down. I know that if I don’t write them down, then they aren’t goals, they’re wishes. Ideas. Passing fancies. But when I write them down. And have a way to measure them. Things change.
Here’s an example. I absolutely need to lose 100 lbs. I’m not making that up. 100 lbs is a lot of weight. I want to lose it because last year I had 3 small strokes, a heart attack and had to have open heart surgery. I assure you, that will get your attention. If I had lost the weight before, I might not have had the health emergencies. But if I say, I’m going to lose weight in 2019. That’s not a goal. But if I say, I’m going to lose 52 lbs in 2019, I’ve got to lose 1 lb a week. Then I have to find out how I’m going to lose it. Am I going to go on Weight Watchers, or another diet program. Am I going to the gym? How often will I weigh myself.
See, once you’ve set your goal, a bunch of how questions start. It’s fun to answer them. I do have an entire plan. And I’m going to keep you all in the loop on how I’m doing. I do plan to lose 52 lbs in 2019. It’s a goal. Its written down.
Now, what about you? What have you been thinking about? You want to lose weight? Run a marathon? Learn a musical instrument? Start a business? Write a book? Get out of debt? Read the Bible? Start attending Church? Buy a house? A new car? The sky’s the limit. It’s your life. It’s your dream. It can be anything you want it to be. Obviously, write it down. Make it big enough to force some effort. Make it measurable. Set a date. You can decide whether or not to tell anyone about it. Some of mine, I talk about. Some of them are between God and me.
If you want to get out of debt, for example. There are some things you need to do. You need to assess your debt verses your income. You will need a budget. You’ll need to know all that information before you set a time table on how long it will take you. You’ll need to do some paper work. I recommend, and I think I told you about this recently, a book I wrote a few year ago, called I Owe You No More. It’s now only available on Amazon as a kindle e-book. It costs about 2 quid. It will really help you if you’re serious about getting out of debt. And if you do get the book, I’ll help you by giving you a complete set of the forms you’ll need absolutely free. You can make as many copies as you need. And if there is enough interest, I’ll host a Budget Boot Camp later in the spring. Again the camp will be free. Just let me know if you are interested. Email me. Or use the comments on the website or the Facebook page.
If you want to read the Bible, write me and let me know. I’ll send you a step by step plan on the best way to read the Bible. Here’s a hint. Don’t start with Genesis. Seriously. Read the New Testament first. You’ll get so much more out of it. Anyway, I’ll send you the whole plan absolutely free. I’ve sent out about 15 of them in the last week. It’s incredible.
Now, I want to talk to you just a minute about attending Church. I know that some of you are faithful Church attenders here in Buckie, other parts of the U.K. And in America. Y’all can go get a sandwich while I’m talking. I also know that some of you can’t get to Church. You’ve written to tell me your stories. Thank you so much. It is such an honor to know you’re out there. But there are some of you who listen, who don’t attend Church anywhere. For a number of reasons. Perhaps because you’re afraid of what friends or family would say or think. Perhaps because you’re a casualty of a bad experience somewhere. I get it. In a place like Buckie there are no secrets. Word will get out. People will know. Guess, what. They already know you don’t go. And they know why.
Church is not like it used to be. Yes, we still sing songs. Yes, we still take communion, the Lord’s Supper. And yes, people still have to sit through a sermon. But like at our Church, some of us include some really nice videos. The sound is better than it used to be. And people aren’t expected to dress to the nines any more. You can come as you are. Sure, I want you to visit us at the Church of Christ on West Church and Pringle Streets. But mostly, I want you to go somewhere. I want you to get the support and encouragement that you can only get at Church. And if one of the reasons you don’t go, is because you didn’t receive support when you needed it, I’m sorry. I can’t change that. But I can assure you, that we’ll treat you with respect. You need to be in Church. Make it a goal. Come on, you can do it.
There, sermon over. I’ll stop begging.
Next week we’ll get back to looking at the Gospel of John. I hope you’ll tune it. It’s going to be fun and hopefully, you’ll get some insights you didn’t have. In the meantime, don’t miss your opportunity to think about this new year and all of the opportunities a New Year, and a new start can bring.
I want you to start making life happen for you rather than letting it happen to you. And you get started on that road by setting a few goals. I will help you any way I can. Just write me and let me know how you want help.
Have a great hogmanay. Have a great New Year. Be careful out there. I’ll talk to you next week. But that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m out.