Happy New Year!
Each one of us, regardless of income, education or privilege, has been given the gift of 366 brand new days (366 because it is a leap year).
At the stroke of midnight on December 31, a treasure so rich and so valuable was bestowed upon humanity that the angels gasp in wonder.
- 366 days to whine or to worship.
- 366 days to give or to hoard.
- 366 days to encourage or to criticize.
- 366 days to express hope, joy and power.
As you approach this year of 2016, perhaps like me you are jaded and discouraged when it comes to setting unrealistic New Year's resolutions. You may have set yearly goals in the past but have thrown in that infamous towel at day 11 ... or day 16 ... or day 21.
Rarely, if ever, has a New Year's resolution of mine survived to day 365 or day 366.
Perhaps you have resolved never to resolve again because it only makes you feel like an abysmal failure. I know that feeling so well.
Rather than set unreachable and self-centered goals this year, I have determined to embrace the gift of 366 with a passion unmatched by earthly standards. These are my determinates for 2016:
1. I will face every mountain that gets in my way with unrivaled tenacity and with defiant faith. I will.
2. I will bathe myself in the Word of God and when a storm dares to encroach on my life, I will use the Word as a shelter and as a weapon. I will.
3. I will pray the Word of God ... I will memorize the Word of God ... I will study the Word of God ... and I will declare the Word of God. I will.
4. I will be a generous giver, a lavish encourager and will remind myself daily that every blessing I have been given is not my own. I will sing my way through the wilderness of lack with my eyes set on my Provider. I will.
5. I will be a vessel of hope and I will splash the valuable treasure and glittering jewel of hope on every one I meet. I will.
6. I will use my tongue only as a beautiful instrument of worship and as a healing tool of encouragement. I will.
7. I will immerse myself in the joy of His presence on a daily basis. I will find extraordinary delight in all that He is and all that He does. I will.
8. I will view difficult people not as a hindrance to be endured but as an opportunity to exhibit the character of Christ. I will.
9. I will bask in the Father's love for me and I will fight off loneliness and feelings of inadequacy with the knowledge that I am never alone and that I can indeed do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I will.
10. And this will be my stirring motto and the song of my life every day of 2016, "More of Jesus and less of me." Indeed it will.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released on Aug. 1. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "A Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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