What are Your Plans for the New Year?

This is a post that is several years old. The first paragraph would give that away. That oldest daughter is now 25 and getting married this year. The youngest is 23. Thought I would repost it though. Happy New Year, friend!

What are your plans for the year?  The beginning of the year is always the time when we think about what our goals are and what the new year might hold.  It’s a great time to plan on how to reach those goals. Maybe like us you have some big events coming this year such as our oldest daughter’s high school graduation and our youngest daughter starting to drive.  Maybe you have a trip planned. I will be touring Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales with a group of outstanding high school folks.

As Christians what about our top priority:  what will we do for Christ? God has been speaking to me recently and his goals for me seem to be the following:

  1. My greatest gift that He wants is my time.
  2. I am to intentionally be on mission for Him every day.
  3. I am to fast and pray more earnestly and watch God do miracles.
  4. Humble myself; more of Him, less of me.  I am sick of myself and my selfish motives, so this may be easy.

There is a definite theme running through all of this:  Get intentional for Christ NOW. So, what am I doing to reach these goals?  How am I doing? I am trying to intentionally do something unselfish for someone every day.   So far I have given a blanket, food and water to a homeless man, taken magazines by a nursing home, given each time those people at the checkout stand have said, “Would you like to give…?”, and other acts that are between God and me.  I only mention these to encourage you, and remind me as I write this, to keep it up. Since I am a high school teacher, my days get busy and I tend to have to remind myself that my day is not about getting caught up or staying on top of things.    Get intentional for Christ—now!

I have been praying and fasting for God to do things only He can do.  I have been very specific, and God has been faithful to answer. One area is that He will show me how to be intentional with my students within the limits I am given in public school.  God inspired me to put more books on my shelf at school that have the message of Christ in them. Three students asked if they could borrow certain books that I have and take them home to read.  Guess what they were? Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Rescued by the Cross by Ken Freeman and Quiet Strength, the story of Tony Dungey.  Amazing. That’s just one example of how God is moving and teaching me to be obedient.  

I write all of this because I feel God wants me to share this with you.  I believe we should all have as our goal to be intentional for Christ this year.  Watch for ways to show Him to someone every day with random acts of kindness. Buy a stranger’s lunch.  Go visit someone at the nursing home, or take your old magazines to them. Help someone struggling with groceries.  Help a single mom with small children get those kids in the church or offer to help load them afterwards.

I believe all Christians should consider seriously fasting and praying.  I think if we mean business we must be willing to sacrifice and desperately seek God.  As Dr Tony Evans says, “We don’t mean business until we fast and pray.” I am also seeing that we can truly experience God’s power like never before when we fast, and He will answer prayer.  Recently I prayed for $500.00 because we had a couple of bills that needed to be covered, and I have never been more shocked when one of my administrators knocked at my classroom door and delivered a check for $500.00.  Of course God doesn’t always answer like that, but something happens that cannot be explained when we begin to fast and pray like never before.

Consider your goals this year and what God’s plan for you is.  Make Him your top priority.

Happy New Year!


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