Tag Archives: New Year

Sore Muscles

My shoulders have been sore for the last couple of days. I know what you’re thinking, the sore muscles are from a New Year’s resolution? And you’d be right, except it’s probably not the resolution you’d naturally be thinking. It has nothing to do with being more healthy, at least physically anyway. It is the result of exercise though, that is, exercising my faith and building spiritual muscle.

So what does that have to do with my shoulders? As a way of deepening my walk with God, I am trying to raise the fervency and energy of my worship time. In so doing, I threw my arms up in the air as usual on Sunday but when they started to get tired, I pushed them up higher. And when the muscles began to burn, I praised right through it. I have no idea what Christ’s arms must have felt like when He hung on the cross but I know that for His sacrifice, I am grateful. Sore arms are the least I could do to show my gratitude. No pain, no gain!

Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. ~ Psalm 103:1

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD. ~ Psalm 134:2

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Less Is More

If I had to describe my New Year’s resolutions for this year in one word, it would be “constructive.” I want the things that I do to serve a useful purpose. That’s not to say that I’ve been useless in previous years, it’s just that I haven’t been as effective as I’d like to be (welcome to the club, right?). This year, I want that to change. I desire to be more productive in the things that matter. I want to love more, give more, save more, lose more, and just plain accomplish more. Oh, and did I mention that I want to do it all with less? “More for less”––sounds like a TJ Maxx ad. Here’s what I mean:

Less impatience, more restraint

Goal: Too subjective to measure so get off my back already! (Sorry, I guess I got my work cut out for me.)

Less calories taken in, more pounds taken off

Goal: Me minus 20 lbs. (or 5 slices of pizza per week, same thing)

Less spending, more saving

Goal: Cut my specialty coffee / dining out expense in half (my belt size too)

Less debt, more freedom

Goal: A slave to lender no longer (except for mortgage)

Less TV, more time (for God, family, and my dream)

Goal: Read through entire Bible, do not neglect my family, post blog three times weekly, and write a book to have ready for publication

Less of me, more of Him

Goal: Take up my cross daily. (And two aspirin ‘cause I’m already getting overwhelmed.)

WOW! Sounds like less leisure, more exhaustion. What about you? Are your goals for 2009 big or small . . . audacious or cautious . . . lofty or puny . . . ambitious or attainable . . . more or less?

Here’ s some inspiration from Pastor Steven Furtick:

I’m sorry to say that your dreams are too small too. You serve the God of inexhaustible, all sufficient, overflowing resource. Whatever you might imagine God wants to do through your life in your most faith-filled, bold, reckless moments, multiply it by 10. Take it to the 100th power. Double it again. Now you’re starting to uncover a fraction of the blueprint God has already drawn up.

Sometimes, under the guise of getting wiser, growing deeper, or waiting on God, we let our audacity atrophy and set the stuff that made us special on the shelf. That must really insult God.  After we’ve already seen Him part seas, kill giants, and multiply fish and loaves, we should be more inclined to push our chips to the center of the table, not less!

It turns out God isn’t intimidated by my big requests. He is insulted by my puny ones.

Out With the Old, In With the New

For many of us, a new year tends to be a time to think about some of the things in our lives that need a change or improvement. Years ago during my stint in dialysis (I did it for 7 years so I guess it was a little more than just a “stint”), we received thirty brand-new hi-tech machines at the bargain basement price of $14,000 each. Picture an ATM machine with many fancy buttons and features on them used to cleanse the blood of people with kidney failure. The life-saving nature of the machine with its electronic features make it both very valuable and fairly fragile. As you can imagine then, they are shipped in huge, sturdy boxes with plywood bases and fitted with large pieces of styrofoam. They were such that it required a large construction dumpster to dispose of them. During the process, the employees used the dumpster as an opportunity to rid themselves of some old, unused, and unneeded junk that was just cluttering up the facility.

The new year is a similar time in our lives. A time to open the box that holds new possibilities. A time to rid ourselves of the “junk” that clutters our lives and often bogs us down from our true potential. Do you find yourself holding onto the past? Do you have a difficult time trying new things or trying things a new way? Do you carry around extra “baggage” that weighs you down? Do you like your cheese right where it is (Read “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson, M.D.)? Do you have ideas in that untapped potential of yours that you have not acted upon? The start of the new year is the perfect  time to fill up a “construction dumpster” with your problems and make room for your potential. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Like Tony Little says, “You can do it!” (Think obnoxious exercise equipment infomercial.)