The New Year is here and brings hope for resolutions for new habits that are happier and healthier. I’m definitely ready for a new start. After a year of Covid-19 and the crazy circumstances of 2020, getting some healthy habits back into our lives will definitely bring happiness and joy.

Getting into better shape is always top of the list for many of us. Getting into shape physically is proven to lift our spirits and guarantees a more positive demeanor.

As I have pondered the word resolution and think about the year ahead I have researched a little more what it means. A resolution by definition is a firm decision to do or not to do something. I’ve found that over the years sticking to an exercise routine has been one of my best habits.

I began running for exercise back in high school and over time, I have developed strong endurance as I trained. I can run any course now and have found that with the years of persistent training I have become strong and can tackle most terrain whether hills or flats. It was a gradual building of strength and stamina that developed over many miles. Consistent training and making a firm decision to stick with it were the keys to my running success. Besides, being in good physical shape is always a great goal. I want to use this analogy to propose a different kind of training that is more beneficial.

I have thought a lot about resolutions for 2021 and hope to encourage and inspire you to get in shape this year but a different kind of getting into shape: spiritual shape. The New Years resolution that I am committing to is one that involves training but is a bit different than getting into physical shape. I am convinced that for this world and the life we live with all its uncertainties and twists and turns we need a different kind of training and I hope you will join with me this year.

I have found that by training spiritually in the truths of the Lord, I am better equipped to encounter what life brings with perseverance, strength, endurance and joy.

As a runner, it was a gradual building of strength and stamina that developed over many miles.

I want to make a firm decision to take time to train in God’s word daily and hope you will join me. It is a habit that has benefits that far outweigh many others. As I spend time in God’s word, I find a kind of strength that equips me to face life and its ups and downs and challenges with a whole new stamina and demeanor.

I received my first Bible when I was 12 years old shortly after I had heard the greatest news of my life about having a relationship with Jesus. I began that very night, determined to read it cover to cover, reading a little bit each day. I also began to read a devotional daily. It was my own little “spiritual workout”. I would dream about what it would look like to be strong in my faith and I pondered that it might take years!

Well, after 45 years of training most days it has truly made the BIGGEST difference for my life. Training in the truths of Jesus I have slowly but most surely become stronger and prepared to run this course called life. It’s the most extreme racecourse at times but through Him, I am able to meet the challenges and storms that have come my way. Trained and ready, I can press on and endure confident in the truths that hold me fast.

Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs

Several years ago my twin sister attended a coaching conference at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. There she learned the real facts on efficient training and she shared them with me. I saw the significant correlation and similarity between training physically and spiritually. A calendar was given to each athlete with a specific goal of time spent training each week and specific work out plans for each day. I was inspired.

I took the blank calendar and started making spiritual calendar workouts. I figured that if it worked for Olympic athletes, it would most definitely work for spiritual training. Deciding to make these workouts part of my life began to make a difference. It is a proven fact you WILL get into shape when you have the commitment and discipline to do the workouts.

So below I have included a spiritual training work out calendar for you to begin this month. I have learned that to train most efficiently you need to devote yourself to diligent time with the Lord. There will be hard, more challenging workouts and short workouts and rest days overall providing a plethora of training exercises that will strengthen and develop your spiritual muscles for running your race well in this life. We all have different life courses but when properly trained and equipped with God’s word and ways we will be ready to meet whatever comes our way!

So as we start this New Year together let’s make a new resolution and firmly decide and encourage each other to get in to the best spiritual shape! As we take the time to work out in God’s word and train in the truths of Jesus we will be ready to face each day with a renewed spirit and strength. The verse that says it so clearly is:

“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather TRAIN yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promises for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7-8 )

With hope and light,

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