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New Year's advice for success - Jim Bell

About this time of the year, some people are thinking of resolutions they will make to insure success in the new year.

Some may be thinking of things they need to quit -- smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages and, perhaps, using bad language. Others may think of things they need to do to have a better year, to be more successful in life and on the job, or even of the dream job they would like to have.

Some may be hoping and praying they are able to pay their mortgage this coming year, or their rent during this depression.

We are having a severe recession, if not a full-blown depression, but there are some things we can do to make things better, even in times like these.

One important decision to make is to determine to live within your means this next year. Unlike our government leaders, who seem to think they can spend their way out of economic problems, this is not a solution for us -- more and more credit is not the answer!

So, make a budget of how much you make each month and balance that against how much you spend. If you spend more than you make, sooner or later, you will be in big trouble.

Decide that you will not use those credit cards. Cut them up or put them in the freezer. Don't use them. How does one do that? You must decide which things in your budget are "wants" and which are "needs." Then, you must discipline your self to buy only the needs of your life, and only if you can pay cash for them.

Write down the things you must have: food, home, clothes, etc., and be sure you can pay for them. If you have money left, then add other needs, but don't go over the amount you can't pay cash for.

No credit! None! If you will really work at doing just these things, you will have a better year.

Of course, the most important thing we can do to insure having a better 2010 is to be sure to include Jesus Christ in all our decisions. The very first decision is to accept God's gift of eternal life, to put our faith in Him and to follow His teachings.

You may ask, "Why is this so important? It seems to me that having a job and being able to pay my bills is very important." Yes, being able to pay your own way is important, but did you know that everything God wants you to have in life is free; you don't have to pay a cent?

In fact, you can't pay for it. You can't buy it, even if you are very rich!

Your salvation is a gift paid for by Christ's death on the cross. All we must do is believe in Him, that He died on the cross, was buried and then, rose again to life, and that He lives today!

After we cross this threshold, then we receive the Holy Spirit in our life and He begins to guide us in the ways we should live for Him. Being saved -- accepting Christ as our savior -- is just the beginning of our lives.

As we learn His Holy Word, He teaches us to become more and more like His Son, Jesus. We find that the things we once loved, we now hate, and the things we thought we hated, we now love. Many of the things we thought we could not live without, we don't even want them now.

As we live for Christ, He leads us to success and happiness. Look up in your Bible, Jeremiah 29:11, and see for yourself how God plans for your life. God is all powerful. He can do anything for us He wants to do, and He loves us (John 3:16) and wants us to be the very best we can be.

No one could ever have a better counselor. Isn't it foolish to ignore God and not put our faith and belief in Him and His Son, Jesus Christ?

Isn't it wonderful that we have the choice of loving Him and receiving His gift of Eternal life? Consider becoming a Christian in this new year.

I pray you will!