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Happy New Year 2012 –– May God Bless you! - Jim Bell

I want to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year! Now we have a fresh new start in a brand new year!

What will we do with this New Year, this time in our lives?

I would like to suggest a few things that would be profitable for all of us. First, each of us should take some time to evaluate where we are at this time. How did you do in reaching goals you set last year? I hope you did set some goals for yourself to accomplish during 2011, for this is a constructive way to put some order and discipline into your life.

Setting goals works for me. One of my goals for 2012 is to have a time of prayer and Bible reading every day of the year. I will use the Baptist devotional book, “Open Windows,” and choose to read the Bible through this year. This book makes the effort easy, because it gives the chapters one must read daily to finish the whole Bible in a year.

One should set personal achievement goals to maintain and improve his or her health. For many years, I have had a goal of exercising five days a week, walking 3 miles a day. This worked well, but since I had a knee replacement, I’ve not been able to exercise as much as I want, but I hope to get up to 2 miles a day soon.

Goals should be flexible so we can alter them easily and still carry out our plan. Everyone, from small children to elderly adults, should have exercise routines for regular workouts. As we get older, we do not need to do such strenuous exercises. I believe walking or riding a stationary bike is very good and safe.

One of the areas in life where goal-setting is so important is during the teen years. I was talking with my grandson recently and he was telling me how he wanted to be a successful real estate salesman one day and make lots of money! My advice for him was to prepare now for his later success.

I suggested he should be sure to attend school every day and to work hard to make good grades, for the things he is learning now are the foundations of his college courses, and of his major in real estate. I said he should establish good study and work habits, and if he would discipline himself, now, to set reachable goals each year, then when he started college or got that real estate job, he would enjoy success.

Christians should set goals as well. God has shown me new ways of witnessing to people around me. I have been in the “Faith” Program in our church for many years and felt it was a very good way to carry out God’s command of witnessing to the lost people of our community, and it is, but He has shown me I should expand my witness to people outside the program.

Several years ago, He led me to begin a ministry at Atlanta’s airport, where I seek to share Christ with soldiers going to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has blessed this ministry immensely, and I’m so thankful! Now that the war in Iraq is over, we will still witness to soldiers going to Afghanistan. However, there will be fewer of them.

Let’s pray for the war in Afghanistan to be over soon, as well. Then, all of our soldiers could come home. We should never underestimate God, for nothing is impossible for Him! Praise His Holy Name!

If you are not a Christian, please set your goal to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ this year! It will change your life and open exciting and rewarding opportunities for you! May God bless you!