Facing 2023 with Resolve

Good Afternoon Church,                                                                 End of December ‘22

As the year turns over, a lot of people are thinking about how they’d like 2023 to be just a little bit better than 2022.  Maybe you’re one of those people.  Well, as you’re probably awash with suggestions about ‘less sugar’ and ‘more abdominal work’ from the internet or your spouse, I’ll leave you alone to sort out those sorts of things.  But I did want to put in my .02 cents with ten ideas in 2023 for improvements ‘in the Lord’:

  1. Make it your aim to have one or some brothers or sisters in Christ into your home once/month.  And what will you do once you’re together?  Eat and talk!  Just remember to thank the Lord for the food before you eat.  
  2. Each time you gather on Sundays, make it your aim to approach one or two people and ask her/them how their week was.  If they blow you off with ‘fine, thanks,’ have a follow-up question prepared that might move them to offer a few more details: What are your challenges at work at the moment?  How’s your health been?  Are the kids busy at school?  Then, afterwards during the week, lift up in prayer any things that might have come out of your conversation.  
  3. Reach out to a _________ or __________ with whom you have little or no contact, and attempt to renew/strengthen that relationship.  Pray beforehand about this, that God would lead you to one in particular.  This will probably start with a phone call, with one to follow in six weeks or so.
  4. For you younger crowd: once every one or two months, plan a coffee get-together with a senior saint.  You could meet at LuAnn’s or in either one of your homes.  There’s a lot to learn from these folks, if we’ll have ears to hear (and questions to ask and lips to close!).  Yes, it’s instructive and encouraging…consoling to hear stories of their childhood and employments and walk with God.  
  5. Try to make better use of the weekly prayer list.  Since there are almost always things to pray for, be diligent to submit those to the church as prayer requests.  Keep “copying and pasting” that same request every week until God has acted on those prayers.  Ignore that niggling and false voice that says you’re asking for prayer too often – you’re just following the Apostle Paul’s example in continually asking for prayer! IN TURN, form a plan for praying through the requests for which your brothers and sisters in Christ have asked for prayer.  While you’re at it, make a plan for praying for other items too.  “You have not because you ask not,” is what the brother of our Lord says!
  6. DON’T DON’T DON’T let another year go by without knowing the name of your neighbors.  With plate of cookies in hand, ring the doorbell: Hey neighbor, my name is _________.  I hate the fact that I’ve never met you/ forgotten your name.  {Small talk etc}. Can I give you my number in case there’s ever an emergency?  {More small talk etc}  {Finally Goodbye..Let’s get together for a coffee over my house sometime.  Colin’s Law: apart from extraordinary circumstances   Looney Tunes Hello GIF by Looney Tunes World of Mayhem , every one of your immediate neighbors should have your cell phone number.
  7. Since our Christ has called us “to do with all our might” whatever we’ve been given to do, consider how you can improve at your employment in 2023.  Is there an online course you can take?  A certification to go after?  Perhaps read a book that will sharpen some aspect of your skills?  (Leadership book?  Biography?  Even a good novel can be helpful.)  Is there a promotion to go after where your gifts will be better used?  Do something EXTRA.  
  8. There are good reasons to officially become a member of a Bible-believing church.  2023 is your year to take the plunge!  I’ll send out a video about this in a week or two – Standby…
  9. Whatever else Proverbs 8: 34 means – Blessed is the man who listens to me/ Watching daily at my gates/ Waiting at my doorposts – I’m willing to bet that it includes a habit of daily Bible reading.  And there are no shortages of daily reading plans that you can access with a quick Google search.  (Find a sample here.)  You could also make use of the weekly reading prompts that are emailed weekly.  But whatever; just read.  And importantly: read the Bible in some sort of sequence.  Don’t skip around chapters and verses.  You wouldn’t do that with any other book!  Let me close with a louder font: Just Get to Reading in 2023.     
  10. Parents of all ages, if you’re not doing it already, in 2023 commit to spending individual, one-on-one time with your kids.  Once every 6-8 weeks, go to coffee or lunch or out for a walk with just one of ‘em.  And what do you do once you’re out?  Shoot the breeze.  Ask them questions.  Work on a project together.  Listen.  If necessary and the situation allows, weigh in gently with some advice.  If your kid is 6 or 56, spend some alone time with him/her.  
  11. And a bonus one: please pray regularly for your pastor. 

Dear friends, all of the above will take some planning.  Good intentions are just that!

With warm regards in Jesus Christ, and best wishes for a fabulous year,


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