five challenges for the new year

I am a goal-oriented person.  My wife and kids will tell you I am obsessive/compulsive about my goals.  I admit it, they are right.

I am so weird about my goals that I even time myself cutting my yard each week.  My personal best for 2008 was 56:54 – that time includes cutting, weed eating and blowing the driveway.  Rather impressive, wouldn’t you say?

For those who like a good challenge, here are five challenges that will help you grow mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

1.    I challenge you to PRAY.
A few weeks ago I challenged my family of faith to spend one hour in prayer each day.  Today, I issue you the same challenge.
There are several ways to spend in an hour in prayer.  You can pray 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.  You can break the hour of prayer into three 20 minute segments throughout your day.  Or, you can set aside an hour in prayer for the morning or evening.  Whichever routine you accept, get ready!  God changes people who pray.

2.    I challenge you to READ.
A 2007 survey revealed that 25% of Americans did not read a book that year – not a novel, not a history book, not a single book, not even the Bible!  That same survey disclosed that the average person reads four books in one year, which means half read more while the other half read fewer.  For the year to come I challenge you to read at least six books – one every two months.

3.    I challenge you to READ THROUGH THE BIBLE.
When you go through God’s Word, God’s Word will go through you.  As with praying one hour a day, prepare yourself.  God will change you when you read His Word.

4.    I challenge you to EXERCISE.
Every year I have a goal to run so many miles and to compete in so many races.  For half of 2008 I logged more than 500 miles.  For the last half I of the year I pampered a pulled hamstring.  If the Lord is willing, I expect to reach or exceed my exercise goals for 2009.

Exercise improves your health, lowers your blood pressure, controls your weight, clears your mind and invigorates your body.

Get up.  Get dressed.  Get going.  Get busy.

5.    I challenge you to GIVE.
Two months ago, during our DEVOTED Series, we encouraged every CrossPoint family to establish their own foundation through which they serve and minister to others financially.  My family established the Whitley Foundation early in 2008.  We have had a ball giving money to those in need.

Establish a foundation fund through which you can minister to others.  Be generous.  Give your tithe.  Give above your tithe.  Give beyond your church.  Give to individuals.  Support a missionary.  Give away more money in the year to come than you have any other year of your life.

For those who like to comment, I would be curious to read some of your challenges.


4 Responses to “five challenges for the new year”

  1. January 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    This year I’m sticking to goals I can accomplish in January. I’m hoping this will kind of set the pace for the whole year.


  2. 2 Roxie
    January 5, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Well, Ryan, I don’t feel so bad now because I actually time myself on what I do too, i.e. I can unload the dishwasher in 8 minutes flat. LOL.
    Your challenges are doable for me and I am adding an extra one: to learn a new scripture verse every month. My resolutions are scripture verses that I need to incorporate into my life, verses that help me see my sin or a bad attitude and ask God to help me change that part of my life. He has been working on me for a long time.

  3. January 7, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Kevin, I have a friend who is now in heaven who use to keep a “Just for today” list. It was the two or three items of importance or priority that he kept for the day. I believe we would be much more effective if we just worked on the here and now rather than the there and later.

    Roxie, thanks for the challenge to memorize more Scripture. Did you notice where our One Year Bibles have a weekly memory verse? It is the bold hightlighted sentence each week.

  4. 4 Roxie
    January 8, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Thanks, Ryan, for letting me know that. I was wondering why certain verses were being highlighted. That will help tremendously to start learning more scripture.

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