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Teens Did Someone Say "Fresh Start"?
By Jan Ross

Fresh-like fresh tomatoes ripened on the vine?

Fresh-as in fresh footprints in the snow?

Fresh-like the fresh smell of a newly painted room?

Or, Fresh-as in being fresh out of ideas?

Nope! Fresh Start! That's what I'm talking about. After all, it's a fresh new year. The old year has come and gone, and now we have an opportunity to improve on what we messed up last year-and, let me tell you, I need that! Truth be told, we probably ALL do.

Fresh Start Bible Reading Plan:

Beginning this new year, let's make a commitment to begin a concerted effort to read through the Bible in an entire year. You don't think you've got time? Be honest now-can you think of a better way to spend 20-30 minutes every day? What could possibly benefit you more? Surely not a fresh cup of coffee in front of the television each morning. Nope! Make a commitment, and kick off this new year with a plan-not last year's plan, but a fresh new plan to read through the Bible in 2007.

Fresh Start Prayer Plan:

You knew I would say that, didn't you? Well, along with reading our Bibles, prayer is an essential for a healthy Christian life. After all, if you can't talk to God, who can you talk to? Admit it-you feel that little prayer wheel turning often, but you ignore it. So, make a commitment to heed His call to prayer with a fresh, new and improved prayer life.

Fresh Start Family Call:

Huh? Not ministry first? Nope! I dare you! Take a look at how much time you spend in ministry activities and compare it to how much one-on-one time you spend with your spouse, your children, and your family. Remember, God gave us the family first, and then the church. When our families are strengthened by our ministry to them, the church becomes filled with strong families which make up a strong church.

Here's another commitment-make a plan to focus on family first, even if that means saying "no" to ministry opportunities. Now, that's a fresh idea!

Fresh Start Personal Commitments:

What's a personal commitment? Think hard-it won't take much! But think about those things you know you should do but have resisted doing for so long. Exercise. Diet. Nicotine. Neglecting responsibilities. Being a friend. Obeying traffic laws (you know-speed limits are laws, too). Visitation. Lending a helping hand. Cleaning the garage. Organizing your photographs. Oh! The list could go on and on.

Now's the time for a fresh start! Make a plan and KEEP IT! Get out your calendar and pick one day a month for visitation. Perhaps pick one day to visit with your neighbor. Set aside at least one day a month to clean, organize, sew buttons or whatever boring and mundane project needs to be done. One day-that's all it would take to make you feel like you've accomplished something.

Make an appointment with your local gym or fitness center and get started on an exercise regime. Start a reasonable diet program-one that you can live with. Regardless of what comes to mind-those things you've resisted for so long-make a personal commitment to follow through. Remember! Fresh New Year means a fresh new start! You can do it!

And, now I'm fresh out of ideas! But I bet you can come up with plenty of your own. My mission is complete-I got you thinking about the word "fresh" and how it applies to the "start" of this new year! Fresh Start! Don't miss out on all the opportunities it affords you.

We are mortals whose lives are measured in increments of time. Our major divisions of time are broken down into years. With this new year, we have a tremendous opportunity to make a Fresh Start!

I'm going to. Are you?

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Jan Ross is a writer, musician, and ordained minister. Jan has a burning passion for building and strengthening women through teaching, personal ministry, and speaking, both at home and on the mission field. Jan is President of Women of PASSIONS International Ministries (http://womenofpassions.com). If you would like to write to Jan, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.
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