Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

The beginning of the new year is usually the time when people start making their New Year's resolutions. I was watching a morning news show and they were saying how the majority of people do not keep their resolutions because they try to make too big a change or jump start into something that really needs to be started out slow and small. I know in past years I have made New Year's resolutions like not eating sugar for a month or exercising an hour every day six days a week. Of course this never lasted very long. I was trying to think of what would be three good resolutions for this year. I wanted to have three things that were very small and doable so that way I wouldn't get burned out.

A couple weeks ago I was reading a book by Elizabeth George and she mentioned how if you were to read 15 minutes a day for an entire year you would then have read about 25 books. I really liked that idea, plus 15 minutes a day is not too much at all! So I made a list of 25 books I have never read.

Next I was thinking about my spiritual life. I wanted to do something which would really help me to spend more time with the Lord. I have been convicted lately that I don't spend time every day just praising and thanking the Lord for all He has done for me. I do praise and thank Him but sadly it is not as much as I should. I don't think we can ever praise God enough. So I decided that I am going to spend 5 minutes a day praising the Lord. I read a quote from Charles Spurgeon where he refers to praising the Lord like a string of pearls laying on a table and when you lift one pearl up the rest will follow. Just like with thankfulness to the Lord once you start it will be very hard to stop. So I am sure the 5 minutes I am going to take will naturally start to last a lot longer.

And last but not least I have decided to memorize one verse a week to memorize 52 verses in a year. Last year I probably only memorized 10 verses which is not nearly enough. I so much want the Word of God to be filling up my mind.

I think these resolutions are very doable and they will create some great habits in my life. The first verse I am memorizing is: "...forgetting the things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

Here is the list of books I am going to read this year. They are not necessarily in the order I am going to read them.

  • The Power of Prayer in a Believer's Life --Charles Spurgeon
  • The Glory of Heaven --John MacArthur
  • What Jesus Demands of the World -- John Piper
  • Suffering and the Sovereignty of God -- John Piper
  • Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands --Paul David Tripp
  • All of Grace -- Charles Spurgeon
  • Contending for All -- John Piper
  • Overcoming Sin and Temptation -- John Owen
  • Communion with God -- John Owen
  • The Glory of Christ -- John Owen
  • Becoming a Titus 2 Woman -- Martha Peace
  • Beautiful in God's Eyes -- Elizabeth George
  • The School of Evangelism -- Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron
  • Scientific Facts in the Bible -- Ray Comfort
  • How to Bring your Children to Christ -- Ray Comfort
  • Whatever Happened to the American Dream -- Larry Burkett
  • Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East will Change your Future -- Joel Rosenburg
  • The Truth About Hillary -- Edward Klein
  • John Wesley (Library of Protestant Thought) -- John Wesley
  • The Religious Affections -- Jonathan Edwards
  • The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards -- Jonathan Edwards
  • Twelve Extraordinary Women -- John MacArthur
  • How to Survive in a World of Unbelievers -- John MacArthur
  • The Life of Faith -- Thomas Manton
The book I have started with is "The Life of Faith" by Thomas Manton. He was a Puritan preacher from the 1600's. This is a book of his sermons. We did read this book for Bible Study but I wanted to read it again to help soak it all up. The writing is from that time period so I really have to concentrate in order to really understand. Here is the excerpt from the back of the book.

"We sometimes look at the lives of Christians in history with something approaching despair, the lived such fruitful Christian lives. How can we live lives that reflect Christ working in us, what are the practicalities involved? Fortunately the Puritans didn't just lived spiritual lives, they wrote about it too. Here is advice from one of the liveliest periods of church history that is relevant today as ever. Thomas Manton (1620-1677), one third of the wave of great Puritan writers, was born in Somerset and educated at Wadham College, Oxford. He regularly preached before Parliament and was chosen to write the preface for the Westminster Confession of Faith. After the Act of Uniformity, he was deprived of his church and was imprisoned; this did not stop him from preaching as he continued to speak to inmates and visitors."

So these are my New Year's Resolutions. I am looking forward to getting this next year started! :)


Ruhiyyih Rose said...

You go girl! Great idea on the book list...I really need to come up with a similar read all of the ones on my shelf already! :)

bonita said...

I know what I'm going to make for you! Bookmarkers!

Sally said...

Annie thanks for sharing! I love New Year because I love to challenge myself. I also made set goals for three "personal victories" as Stephen Covey would say which is basically just another way of saying you kept a commitment that you made to yourself.

My goals were to consistently follow my morning routine (which involves getting up pretty early so that I have time for exercise and reading the bible and praying); to keep a food journal; and to develop a habit of kindness in word and deed consistently.

Have a wonderful year of growth! I hope we can have some good discussion of things we are reading.