“Battle Plans for the New Year”

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“F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything and Run’ or ‘Face Everything and Rise.’ The choice is yours.”
Zig Ziglar

We have crossed the threshold into a brand new year. I am so excited about this new year, as I know it is going to be my family’s best year yet!

On January 1st, when I woke up that morning, the first words my eyes read was the scripture, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭43‬:‭19‬ NLT)
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This year is the NEW year for me; it is going to be an EPIC one for my family and everything we put our hands to will prosper. To add to this, my pastor has been teaching on the subject, “Welcome to the New”. So here we are and again, I AM PUMPED!

I personally started this new year off a little differently than normal. Typical tradition is to make a New Year’s resolution. With 50% of people failing at their resolutions by the end of January and 9 out of 10 people quitting by March, it’s obvious this ritual does not work very well. I recently read a devotional on the topic of having a word for the year instead of the typical resolution. I took time and prayed on this, because I wanted God’s word for me and my life. My word for 2015 is “Simplify,” but I chose to put that word into action back in November instead of waiting for the new year to begin.

Finding the word for the new year is not the answer to all things, BUT it helps bring focus to our lives and choose the path we take to reach our goals. My word was very clear and I knew the depth of it in my life.

Here are a few things I recommend to help you once you have your word:
1. Research the definition of your word.
2. Keep your word before you at all times and post it clearly in areas where you will see it throughout the day.
3. Tell your friends and family members your word and what you are doing, so they can help support you.

These three steps will go a long way in helping you take your word and make this year the best year ever!

As you look at this new year, I encourage you to find your word and decide what the word FEAR means to you. Now it’s time to take action!

SO WELCOME TO THE NEW!

Merry Christmas

merry christmas

From our family to yours, we pray that you have the most blessed Christmas ever. We also pray that your time with family and friends is truly blessed BUT that the true reason for the season is not forgotten. Jesus and His life, death and resurrection. I want to encourage you to take time and reflect on ALL He has done for you.

Blessings,
Keith, Debbie & family (Josh & Ashley Underwood, Ricky & Megan Spanberger, Parker Spanberger, Suzy Cate and the whole zoo of furry family members)

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Rejoice this Season & Every Season, You are a Conqueror

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Years from our family to yours =)

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you “Be of good cheer”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all”
Andy Williams – It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It truly is a beautiful time of the year with all of the decorations, lights and festivities all around, but to say it’s the happiest season of all, is not so true for many. The holiday seasons are an emotional roller coaster for so many. Some are stressed by countless hours of decorating, cooking and cleaning, while others are stressed with getting the perfect gifts and making sure everyone on their list is happy with what they are getting. Some are lonely, while some are already focusing on the next year so much, that they lose the remaining days in the present year. We see many walking around defeated while others walk around joyful and yet both are hearing and singing the same Christmas songs like the one I opened this post with.

So many have lost what the meaning of the season is about. You know where I am going with this, BUT that’s not where I’m stopping. You see, I’m a Christian and YES, I celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior. However, I don’t just reserve that for this time of year; but instead, I make it my lifestyle. I don’t think God expected us to stop at seeing Jesus as a baby in the manger, but instead, to see the fullness of His life all around us. When I think about the birth of Jesus, I think about the greatest gift ever given and a showing of love for one another (me and you) that is beyond our comprehension.

The greatest way to make this season the “hap-happiest season of all” is by taking our eyes off of us and putting them on Him first and then on others. We need to look for ways to spread joy that goes beyond the traditional gifts and such. Please don’t think I’m being harsh by what I’m writing. I have loved ones that have gone on to be with the Lord that I miss dearly and also dreams that have not YET come true. I have had struggles and setbacks, BUT none of them change who I am or who I belong to! According to Romans 8:37, “We are more than conquerors” and so that is who I am, a conqueror. You’re bigger than your situations! You are mightier than whatever obstacle is before you! If you know Jesus, then YOU have something in you greater than what is coming against you, according to 1 John4:4. As a Christian life can only be lived from the inside out, then, and only then, will life be truly fulfilling and the emotional roller coaster will come to an end and it will truly be the hap-happiest season of all!

Debbie and I and all of our family want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

The End To The Beginning

The end to the beginning

It’s hard to believe that 2014 is almost over. Take notice of one word in my last sentence, “ALMOST”! That word identifies things to come or not yet attained. So many are already looking at next year and not even thinking about the remainder of this year. Joseph’s life changed in a second when he stood before Pharaoh and I believe God wants to do the same for each one of us. God gives us each day to live and love to the fullest, but we lose it by thinking about what’s next and not about what’s happening now. I love this time of year; I love the fall colors and winter weather and as Christmas draws near, I love the lights and festive atmosphere that’s all around. I love the time with my family and friends, but most of all, I love what it represents – the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I firmly believe that a thankful heart lives in the NOW, because that is what we are thankful for. A hopeful heart lives in the future and for what is to come next. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as the greater focus is now and living the life God has given us to the fullest with purpose and on purpose.

Sometimes, the fewest words speak the loudest message, so I am ending this post with a link to one of my favorite writers. His name is Michael Hyatt and after hearing his first podcast I was hooked! I have learned most of what I know about blogging and Podcasting among many other topics from him. He has a site – http://bestyearever.me/ which I would recommend to all that is geared towards making 2015 your best year yet. BUT again, I believe taking what he is saying and applying it to TODAY will help you greatly. Remember that 2014 is not over until the last second of the very last day, SO it’s not time to quit!

QUESTION: What could you do NOW to make the greatest impact on these last days of this year? I believe how you finish sets the stage to how we start, so it’s time to press in and give it ALL you’ve got.

I would love to hear what your goals are for the remainder of 2014 and then for 2015, so please share them below.