Resolutions for the New Year

In the past I made, like so many do, annual resolutions. They would begin to come together right after the Thanksgiving Day feeding frenzy. My aims were always based on becoming someone other than… well, me. It was my annual self loathing and desires for others to see my value as a person, you know, be admired. Resolutions, as I reflect back, should have been named, “planned failures for the upcoming year.” I failed annually, which gave me the loser complex, helping me fail at other ambitions as well.

Today I have a clearer view as to why the many failures. No resolve, no plans on the how to, no book on Resolutions for Dummies. The understanding came to me slowly, but it did come as I came into recovery from alcoholism. “The best I could be is out of me,” I learned in AA meetings. Those past me-gotistical aims I once had each year were about me getting what I wanted. Today helping others get what they need and want is more satisfying, far above personal gain.

I still want to improve annually, but now to improve my serve, putting God, then others ahead of yours truly. I don’t want that to sound like I’m such a swell person, (that false humility garbage). Humiliation from my past taught me real humility which I must continue to work on. That opened my eyes to discover serving is far more valuable than being unique and being admired.

I do want to become better in 2019. I want to be a better husband, father, friend, worker, helper to those still suffering with addictions. That takes me to look for the know-how to hit those noble goals. Honesty, loyalty, kindness, courage, diligence, are virtues to strive for, under-girding me to accomplish those resolutions. But more importantly I must Trust God, continue to help others, and keep my side of the street clean. Prayer daily, even day-long prayer is key to the success and discovery of the above virtues.

God is faithful as you and I aim above all else to please Him. He then gives us a purpose and passion to improve ourselves and experience wonder, which is far greater than personal desires.

I’ll finish this post with thoughts we could seriously consider as resolutions for 2019:
Choose patriotism over political parties.
Choose friendship over isolation.
Choose to know for yourself about everything, not what someone told you.
Choose carefully who you admire, admire values above things.
Choose to be a part of something worthwhile, then you won’t fall apart.

Blessings to all for 2019… far beyond happiness that fades!


Looking Ahead


2012 is nearly in the history books and I can say, goodbye. I think that this past year has been the most challenging year for me personally, great in many ways, and disappointing in others. Things I planned to do remain to do because of time, mainly. In ways, I feel that I have been able to have an effect on some in a positive way, in others I have more than likely disappointed them…there’s just not enough time. People can be gracious, thank God. If they have a hurt feeling as a result of my lack of attention toward them, I apologize sincerely.

The Plan
2013 looks like a carbon copy of 2012 from a natural standpoint. But I don’t care to view the “natural standpoint” as normal for me personally. I want to attain a higher quality of service to those in recovery from addictions, spend more time with my wife, my aging parents, the children and grandchildren, writing, promoting my book through speaking engagements, and keeping spiritually fit. This is a tall order when you add 40+ hours per week on the job that is shift work. None of what I am saying is an excuse if I do not accomplish these things. I know whoever is reading this probably are thinking about their busy life, and how they can self-improve as well.

How is this possible?
The fact is, this is not an attainable goal. Too much on the plate can cause one to overeat. Overeating makes one lethargic and seeing how much they need to choke down. Less will be accomplished. My head says, I can do it, my family needs me, there are people to help…for crying out loud, “Lord how do I do all of this?” He is silent. He knows the exact answer to this dilemma.

“Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of his father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters-yes, even one’s own self!-can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27 MSG

This statement by Jesus cause many to think the cost is too great to get serious about following him too closely. God wants us to take care of what he has entrusted us with, be a good steward, they think. This gives us the excuse we need to not do his will because we are busy doing his will. A bigger dilemma. Most of us have an issue with this passage, because we don’t understand what Jesus is saying. His statement here is the answer we are looking for.

Willingness, Attitude, Surrender
He is saying this: You just be willing, surrender trying to hang on to the controls, and please change your hopeless attitude. Those things that overwhelm you, impossible lists of things to do, and trying to please everyone, blinds you to the most important thing you need to pay attention to…time with me. I have to respond to him…yes you are absolutely right. All of the insane attempts to serve the world of problems of others and my own, must be put to death in my mind, surrendered. I have to be willing to ignore the important things in my head, change my attitude completely about being “there” for everyone. I need to only be “there” for One…Christ Jesus. My long list of improvements, my concerns about 2013, must come second to Him. So I die daily to my ambitions, to know Him in the power of His resurrection, and in the fellowship of His sufferings…not my sufferings.

The funny thing is this: Those things placed at his feet get accomplished with less effort on my part. He finds the way to their fulfillment when you and I place our focus on Him. So spending more time in communion with Him is the goal for the upcoming year, at least for me.

Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all!