Yes, this is my New Year's post. Yes, I realize it's over a week late.... but.... you know what they say. Better late than never! I think 2012 has a nice ring to it, don't you?
I don't make New Year's resolutions. I think they are a waste of time, because most often they aren't kept. What's the point if you're not going to do it? Besides, the Bible says this:
Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay (Ec. 5:5).
If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth (Num. 30:2).
It looks like it's a pretty serious thing to say something and then not do it! So, perhaps it is wise not to make resolutions rather than run the risk of not being able to do all that proceedeth out of our mouths. However, I do think it's worthwhile to take time at the beginning of a new year to reflect on the past and think about the future. Re-evaluation of how we are living can be a good thing. I don't think there's anything wrong with making goals. I just don't think we should be making promises we can't keep.
First of all, reflection on the past year. My 2011 had a lot of positives, and it had some negatives too. My niece was born in 2011 :). I reached the one year mark of running my business. I got to do go my first TSO concert with my best friend. I had my first car accident, and subsequently bought a new car :). By the way, I REALLY like my new car :) :).
Spiritually, 2011 was kind of an up and down year. For the past couple of years, I've read through my entire Bible twice! I wanted to do that again in 2011, but didn't make it :(. Although, I must say, I get so much encouragement and strength out of reading my Bible, and even if I didn't make it through two times, I still read it, and I was still blessed GREATLY! Camp YES was also a blessing. I had such a good time there and was refreshed spiritually. Sadly, another family left our church in 2011. This is SO discouraging! I'm not sure if people realize how their actions impact others? I'm sure they don't understand how grieved and saddened this made all of us. It's heartbreaking and emotionally draining to face the reality that relationships you have had for years are over! Completely over. As in, you'll probably never see those people ever again, and you thought they were your good friends. I don't think they know how much they hurt others. Thankfully, my faith is not in human relationships, but in Jesus Christ. People will let us down, but Jesus will always be faithful. God has brought new people to my church too, and this is a blessing! There's always something to praise Him for even in the trials. The trials are good, because they remind me to pray. They force me to depend on God and not on people.
The most amazing spiritual thing that happened in 2011 was hearing that my friend Esdras got saved!!!! Esdras is someone I've never met in person. We're friends on facebook. He lives in Brazil. My parent's met his brother when they went on their mission trip to Brazil in January 2011. Esdras emailed me this past fall to tell me about his salvation. Many circumstances in his life led him to accept Christ as his Saviour, and one of those things was a blog post I wrote about Camp YES. I was SO excited! I will probably never meet Esdras during my life, but one day I will see him in heaven. How cool is that?!
Now for the goals for the new year, 2012. First, read through my Bible twice ;)! I'm pretty sure I'll make it this year. Second, pray more. I really believe that prayer changes things. I've also noticed that the more I pray, the better my spiritual health is. I don't get discouraged as easily when I'm praying. I have a lot of things I want to pray for. One really big thing I'm praying for is for Christians that I know to be led more into the truth. There's so much false teaching in churches today, and I see many Christians being captivated by the deception. I'm convinced this is because they have no grounding in the Scriptures. They've never been taught. I'm no theologian, but I'm very thankful for the good biblical teaching I received as a child and young person and continue to receive. It's a scary world out there in mainstream Christianity! Believe me!!!! And it's getting scarier. I'm convinced that if Christians just read their Bibles and forgot about who the most popular pastor is, or what the most popular Bible study is, or what the latest best-selling book is, we'd be a lot better off! The Bible is where it's at!!!
Other goals for 2012. Work hard at my business. Hopefully take a trip this summer. Try to be healthier. I need a lot more motivation in that area :P. Spend time with family. Be a good witness. Work on some character traits that I need to strengthen. Be honest. Be sincere. Be an encouragement. I'm sure there's more goals that I should have, but that list will give me plenty to work on for now!