New Beginnings

New Beginnings

New Year - New Plan.  I love the opportunity to begin again—on whatever it was that I stumbled over, or left forgotten, or just ignored. Or even to continue with routines that I have been faithful to but just need to take a fresh approach with. Here are some things that I do anew every year:

 I buy a new journal (or get on as a gift) and start out the new year with a plan to spend time in the Scriptures. I date each day as a way to keep track of my reading schedule and I note anything that sticks out to me as I read. I sometimes do word studies using Strong’s Concordance and keep those notes on the page/date that I am working on.

 I read through the Bible yearly. I use a chronological reading guide for my Bible reading because I need the whole picture in order to fit the parts into it. That’s called a whole-to-parts learning style. I begin in Genesis every January and end with Revelations every December. If I miss a day or two of reading, and I’m not too busy, I try to catch up; if several days go by and I get behind, I just jump ahead and read the portion for the day rather than become overwhelmed and give up.

I plan to memorize one verse from every book of the Bible this year. I haven’t done that before, so I’m kind of excited about that approach. I think it is part of my need to grasp the whole story. Over the years I have memorized many verses (mostly in King James) that have come to be very important to me personally. The Word is powerful, and once written on your heart, can work miracles in your thinking, feeling, and choices.

 I add people to my prayer list. Several months ago, I sectioned off several pages in my journal and began to sort the people in my life into groups: family, friends, business associates, casual contacts, former classmates, etc. Then I began to pray for them, sometimes individually and sometimes as a group. As my list grew, I began to see that the Lord was asking me to “stretch my tent curtains wide” (Isaiah 54:2) over the people in my circle of influence and consider them His gift to me. It has been an amazing experience. For instance, my husband and I were shopping in Penny’s several months ago, and we ended up talking with a salesperson there who had lost his job as an accountant and was working nights in retail. My heart hurt for him, so he ended up in my “tent.” His name is John and I’m still praying for him.

 My encouragement to you is that you spend specific time in the Word, that you journal what the Lord is saying to you from it, that you hide the Word in your heart—you will need it one day—, and that you consider who the Lord would have you pray for. Approaching the next year with a heart for something new could be an amazing new beginning for you.