A Convenient Time of the Year to Make Changes

by Daniel Burton

I think we all deep down are scared of the phrase “New Year, New Me.”  Not because people are not making New Years resolutions and not because making resolutions are a bad thing.  This phrase makes us cringe a bit because of the countless times that people have said it and ended up being the same old them, falling back into the same old habits.  People resolve to go to the gym more but by February, they have learned that the gym is hard.  Very hard.

Still though, for some, the New Year is a great opportunity to take an honest look at our lives and see what we would like to improve or change.  I, myself, am no exception this.  While there isn’t any magic about January 1 that  makes things better to start then, it does provide with a very convenient time to dream and prepare for the future, to make plans, and to make improvements.  Furthermore, it is a known psychological phenomenon that writing things down and putting them on paper makes people more likely to follow them. This is due to the public nature of writing something down providing a level of accountability that wasn’t there before.  This researched idea was in no way a new idea either.

Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”

– Habakkuk 2:2

So here are my goals for 2017 both personally and for The Gospel Outpost presented in largely tongue in cheek fashion.

The Gospel Outpost Goals

For the Gospel Outpost, our goal has always been to equip and teach people to engage the world around them on a day to day basis.  The blog was just the first step.  That will keep going.  During 2017, there are a couple projects and goals coming up.

  • Books.  We were commissioned by the fine people at Redeemer Church to produce a book for their LifeGroups.  But we wanted to do so in a way that anyone could pick it up and discuss it with a friend.  Pick up the book in February, grab coffee with a friend and work through 1 and 2 Timothy together.
  • More Books.  Working on a couple of ideas for a couple different other books.  Hoping to have at least one more out by the end of the year.  Maybe some fiction in there too.
  • Podcasts.  We are launching our first podcast, Nobody Special this month.  This podcast is two generations taking a light hearted look at life, faith, and culture.  Be on the look out for that coming soon!

Personal Goals

2017 I am focusing on Spiritual and Physical renewal.  Getting in better shape physically is important but staying in shape spiritually is even more important.  One day in heaven we will exchange our earthly bodies for heavenly bodies and I want to focus on that future that I hope for.  But that doesn’t mean I have I drive a clunker before I get the Maserati.

  • Read through the Bible in a Year.  It’s been a while since I have read through the bible in a year and there is no time like the present.  Found a great plan to walk through from OwnIt365 on the YouVersion App.  Consequently, you should get that app and friend me.  Fantastic.
  • Wake Up Early/Go To Bed Like a Normal Person.  Sleeping habits are important for the physical body.  Staying up until past midnight is something I am trying to get out of the habit of doing.  Sure, for the important things it may require late nights, but watching funny videos on youtube don’t count.  The big reason here is to wake up early and jump straight into the bible to start my day and  build that healthy habit.
  • Cut Out Some Sins.  I sin. You sin. He/she/it sins.  With some gnawing sins, it’s time to take those out.  I’d tell you what they are but I have always been told “There is a difference between being honest about your sins and putting your business on the street.”  Rest assured, I have an accountability partner.  Accountability partners are fantastic.
  • #ProjectJoy2017 This was something I started a few years ago.  I have found that whatever you focus on is the thing that will grow.  I am trying to take at least one picture of a day of a moment that brought me joy. Even if its small, I want to be sure I am thankful for it and recognizing it.

2017 is shaping up to be a good year, not because of anything I am doing, but because of the things God is doing in our lives.  Let’s put our attention on our Heavenly Father and Creator, bringing the message of hope to the world we find ourselves in.  Happy New Year.

Leave a Reply