One Step at a Time

Happy New Year. Welcome to 2014!

(The year is almost old by now, but oh well)

Though I don’t call the “resolutions”, I do have a few things that I’d like to work on this year; lifestyle changes – personal improvements – new habits/modifications to current habits. These are things that I’ve wanted/needed to do for a while. I do agree that a new year is a good time to take stock of one’s life and plan to take necessary action.

The thing about resolutions though, is that they often fail. We start the year off with a bang, then as time progresses, progress tends to fizzle away. This is probably especially true when you start the year with tons of grand plans to accomplish. It’s just overwhelming, and over time, most of us give up – intentionally or unintentially. Sometimes things just happen.

I’ve been reading the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (exerpt here) (listening to it actually – I have the audiobook). Really good book. I’m not done yet, but enjoying what I’ve heard so far. One of the points that I really enjoyed was the idea of keystone habits. The idea behind this is simple. Choose one area of your life to alter, and stick to it. As you work on this one area consistently, the habit begins to form, and as you continually exercise your “willpower muscle”, it begins to strengthen. The result is that persons who make consistent improvements in one area of their life tend to start seeing changes in other areas, without actively trying in some cases. “The keystone habit [creates] a structure that [helps] other habits to flourish.” It’s a great formula, I think.

Work on one area consistently ===> Increased willpower

Increased willpower ===> Ability to modify other areas more easily

I don’t truly capture the concept in totality. Read the book :) But that’s my plan for this year. I have a list of habits I need to work on some time in the upcoming months (right now it’s in my head, but I’m planning to write stuff down). These are things I’ve been planning to do and trying to improve on for AGES!!! So, I have chosen my keystone habit that I plan to focus on. Once I’ve developed that habit, I am hoping and praying and expecting that it will trickle down to other areas in my life.

What do you want to accomplish this year? I encourage you to pick one thing, be consistent, let the habit form and let it trickle down to the next habit, until one by one, you transform your life!

Now, enjoy one of my favorite songs, by Jordin Sparks, One Step at a Time!

Lord, I pray that I will be able to say, with confidence…

“You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing”
Ps. 17:3
 
Make me more like You!

I AM my brother’s keeper

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

Gen 4:9

In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus tells a story giving us a glimpse of what it will be like at His second coming. He also gives us some vital detail about living in the here and now. He talks of sheep (His faithful people) and goats (those that do not follow Him and His example).  There is an important principle introduced here in these verses. As Christians, reaching out and helping others is not just a good deed, something to expect praise for. But, it is our duty.

The word “Christian” means follower of Christ. When Jesus was on earth, He preached and taught, yes. But He spent much of His time with the people… healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, raising the dead. Jesus truly was a “people person”. I’d say He’s the very definition. If it’s our desire to be like Him, then we must be “people people” too.

Do you know someone who’s struggling? Can you see a need? Pray for them, yes. Of course. Prayer changes things. The power of prayer is immense. But ask yourself, “is there something more tangible that I can do as well?” Can you look after the child of a worn-out mother so she can have a moment to breathe? Can you cook a meal? Clean a yard? Donate some well-needed funds? Whatever you can do, remember, it’s not just a “nice thing”, or good deed. It’s your duty.

Am I my brother’s keeper? Are you?

 

‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matt 25:40

Different strokes for different folks…

Different strokes for different folks…

Lord, help me be content with my lot!

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Phil 4:11-13

Don’t Quit!

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are -
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit -
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

- by Author Unknown

Father, can you hear me?

“Father can you hear me? We need your love today
I know that you are listening. You hear men everyday
Father please hear us and we will be ok
Father we need you to heal families today.”

Father can you hear me?

It’s a question that we may sometimes ask as Christians. We go through stuff sometimes, and tend to wonder whether God is paying attention; whether He even sees. Sure, in theory we know that He is always there, but sometimes in practice we need a little reminder.

Ps. 19:3 is one such reminder.

“There is no speech, nor are there words whose voice is not heard.” Ps. 19:3 (ESV)

Whatever you say, whatever you do, whatever you are going through, God sees and He knows. And though you may not understand right this moment,

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…” Rom 8:28a (ESV)