How Are You Going to Spend the Next 30 Days?
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Buckle Up for the Ride!

As the year draws to a close, for me it is ending with a whimper so that, and I believe it with all my heart, the New Year will begin with a BANG! I am fighting off something and as one of my fellow coaches, Ric Terrell, who is also fighting something off said, "Yes Rich, feeling better thanks for asking. Woke up before the sun and hammered out Day 1 of Combat this morning. Kids had an 8 am dentist appointment so had to get it done. Rested well and ate well yesterday. My goal is to keep my body healthy enough that when the common cold tries to visit it decides it doesn't want to stay long because its too uncomfortable with of all of the working out that I do and the Shakeology that I drink."

Eveready BunnyMy key to successfully keeping going in the most stressful 3 years of my life has been working out and Shakeology, too. Staying healthy enough to always be able to work and not letting stress crush me has been remarkable and I honestly attribute that to all of the earth based ingredients in Shakeology. I get it every month on home direct because that is the most cost effective way to get it and I keep going like the Eveready Bunny!

But enough of the year going out like a whimper. We had the Girl Scouts Noon Year's Eve party today and that is about the extent of the celebrating that I will be doing.. I want you to know how much I appreciate each and every one of you and want to share this message with you from my pastor's weekly email. It is entitled, "Reach Out!" His advice from Scripture applies to all aspects of our lives. Read it. Think about it. Enjoy it. Have a Happy New Year and a safe and joyous evening tonight!

Reach Out!

One time, a friend asked me to speak at his church in California. Lenya and I flew to Los Angeles International Airport, and as we waited for him by the curb she told me, "He is not coming. You're not speaking here this weekend." And then she pulled out some tickets to Hawaii and explained that she'd had him invite me because she knew she couldn't get me to go on a vacation any other way. It was a pretty cool surprise.

Where are you going this next year? You might have plans already made, but God might have some surprises for you. He might be saying, "You're not going to do that. You're going to do this. I have a whole new life, a whole new future in store for you."

In the New Year, we can either "veg out" or we can reach out. "Vegging out" is when we stop and just look back on what God has done. And that way we eventually become irrelevant. Instead, we should reach out and say, "Thank You for what You've done, but Lord, please do more in the future!"

Here are four principles from Philippians 3 that you can use in navigating the New Year.

Principle 1: "Don't settle down, buckle up." By that I mean, anticipate great things in this next year from the hand of a great God! Even Paul the apostle said there was still room for him to grow (see vv. 12-13). So we'll never reach perfection this side of heaven. And it's our sense of imperfection that drives us upward and onward. A growing Christian is never satisfied with his or her present spiritual state.

Principle 2: Don't do everything; choose one thing. Narrow your focus. Note the phrase "but one thing I do" in verse 13. Jesus called the rich young ruler to do the one thing that was missing from his life (Mark 10:17-21), and He pointed Martha to the one thing that was needed (Luke 10:38-42). So "keep the main thing, the main thing." Concentrate on what God has specifically for you. Say yes to the right things and don't get distracted by everything else.

Principle 3: Don't look backward, move forward. "Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead" in verse 13 reminds me that some Christians are spiritual cripples who have been paralyzed by past hurts, bitterness, and grudges that they hold. Letting the past dominate the present puts a stranglehold on the future. So let it all go!

Principle 4: "Don't travel alone, walk together." In verse 16, Paul says, "let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind." In other words, don't isolate yourself, move forward together. Runners do better in packs; they encourage one another. And we as Christians do better when we move forward together.

If you're just sitting in the bleachers: Be a participant, not just an observer! The church needs all of us. If you're not utilizing your gifts within the church body, you're robbing the rest of us of your participation! God wants you to be engaged in the process, with everything in you. So surrender your will to God and simply ask, "Where are we going, Lord? What do you want me to do?"

The expression "reaching forward" in verse 13 depicts an athlete straining to reach the finish line, putting everything into the race. If you were to put as much effort into pressing on in your spiritual life as you do on your hobbies, what would your life look like a year from now?

So walk boldly into the future, allowing Him to do something wonderful in and through you. Let Him give you the ticket to a new destination, a whole new adventure you never thought of and never planned on. Be open, and be excited to see what He will do!

Thanks for reading the newsletter and have a truly blessed day!

Do Everything for His Glory,

Rich Dafter
Independent Team Beachbody Coach Howtobefit
Head Coach of Team Howtobefit
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