#firstthen How to Have The Best 2015

Posted: January 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

Welcome to 2015! You somehow survived 2014….for the most part.

OK, how many of you MADE New Year’s resolutions?
What kind of resolutions did you make? weight loss, working out, reading Bible, stop doing something, start doing something.
In the last 7 days…how many of you have already BROKEN your New Year’s resolution?

Well, let’s look back on 2014 a little bit, shall we?
The year that it was … lots of things happened in the year that is now referred to as “LAST YEAR”.
And it seems like when January 1 comes around, we call get a chance to RESET. “Last year” is gone. The current year is just starting. Things seem fresh.
Year 2014 – Music/Entertainment/Celebrity/Hollywood Info
New Dance Craze? – “Nae Nae”
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Dies
Jay Leno Leaves “Tonight Show” For Last Time 
Jimmy Fallon Debuts On Tonight Show
Colbert Named To Replace David Letterman Next Year
Viral Video Of The Year (So Far) – Cat Saves Boy!
Barbara Walters Retires
Michael Jackson Performs Again (Hologram)
Kanye West & Kim Kardashian Marry
Actor James Garner Passes At 86
Sharknado 2 – Bigger Ratings Than Predecessor
Lady Gaga In Oxygen Mask Photo
Comedian/Actor Robin Williams Dead At 63
Trend Of The Year – Ice Water Bucket Challenge
Legendary Comedian Joan Rivers Dies
George Clooney Gets Married
Bill Cosby Shut Down
Year 2014 In News Headlines And Information
Colorado Begins Selling Pot Legally In Shops 
California In Drought
Winter Storms Pounds Georgia – Then Northeast
Another Fort Hood Shooting Rampage
Providence Circus Accident
Turkey Mining Accident Kills Hundreds
Bounce House Tossed In Wind With Children
Militants Take Two More Cities In Iraq
ISIS Terrorists Much Bolder
Ebola Outbreak Strengthens
Two Police Officers Gunned Down In New York City
Another Asian Airliner Disaster
Year 2014  In Technology News And Information 
Facebook Buys “WhatsApp” For $16 Billion
Samsung Launches S5 Smartphone
Xbox Declared A Spy Tool By British Authorities
Google Glasses For Everyone
Flappy Bird Returns
Google Comes Out With “Right To Be Forgotten” Form
Amazon Launches Smartphone
Internet Slows Down Due To Outdated Routers
Apple Launches iPhone 6
Year 2014 In Sports News And Other Fascinating Facts
Winter Olympics/Sochi Games Begin
Sochi Games End – Medal Count
Washington Redskins Name Can No Longer Be Trademarked
NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart Hits/Kills Driver During Race
Yankee Derek Jeter Retires

That’s a ton of stuff that happened last year. Some of it was good. Some of it was bad, somethings were stupid.

When I was reflecting on 2014 this past week, I started to think about the fun memories with my friends, and the death of my dad, the good times and difficult times, the challenges and successes and failures. We’ve all had our share of them.
I think about journeys and adventures I got to take with friends and family. And I think about the scars that sometimes leave their mark on us each year, too.

How you view last year, this year and the rest of your life depends on your attitude and perspective. Everyone of us here tonight sees life from where we are.

Tonight, my hope is to challenge you to have your best year ever. I guessing that this year you will probably laugh a ton, take lots of selfies… and, let’s be honest, you’re going to get hurt somewhere along the way. That’s normal.

I want to ask you to do something that might seem a little different. I want to ask you to dream about being different. To consider seriously what it might look like in your life if you became a standout.

New York Times bestselling author Bob Goff puts it this way: No on ever aims to be typical. As some point, most people vow to themselves, when they are about your age not to be typical. But for some reason still, most people just kind of loop back to the safe place of being normal. Year after year… resolutions pass… and people become the same person they were at the start of the previous year… normal.

For the next 3 weeks, we’re going to look at 3 ways that I’ve learned how to be different. I stole these from the Bible.
Would you take this challenge with me? To escape from being typical.

3 Ways to Have the Best Year Ever

<> Start the New Year with forgiveness

When you don’t forgive it’s like you go to prison and find that the prison only has one inmate there… it’s you.
The lack of forgiveness chains you to a normal life and keeps you living beneath the life God created you to live.

Maybe it’s a family member, a best friend, a coach, a teacher, whoever – but if you want to have a great new year, I want to challenge you to follow the teachings of Jesus and actually let go of some of the hurt someone has caused you.

When I said the words “forgive someone” chances are that person popped into your head immediately. You know who I’m talking about.

It’s that person you love to hate, that person you still check in on them on Instagram every so often just to compare their Friday night and friends to yours. You won’t forgive them, and you don’t like them so much that you won’t even forgive the ones who liked their Instagram pictures. That lack of forgiveness has its grip on you.

If you have resentment in your heart, you quietly stalk them and hate them and pray that 2015 is the worst year ever for them.

Let me show you what Jesus says:

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Mark 11:25-26

Notice in the very own words of Jesus it says to “first forgive.” In the second half of the verse it says, “so that your Father will.” Jesus—the greatest to ever live—says you need to forgive that person first… and then God will show you the same forgiveness. It’s so radical. That’s Jesus… not boring… but radical, revolutionary, ready to give you a great new year.
*first forgive…so that…
Jesus is saying that in order to get forgiveness we so badly need from God… we must FIRST forgive. Maybe write those words off to the side: FIRST FORGIVE. So if you want to have the best year ever, you HAVE to forgive.

I’m not going to pretend this is going to be easy. Jesus never said it’s going to be easy, but it’s necessary to move forward.
I know way too many adults who lost their relationship with their parents as a teenager. They never got it back. They lived in the prison of un-forgiveness too long. What a terrible way to live. What a huge thing to give up—your relationship with parents–because of a grudge.

Don’t allow that person to be you! Let me give you a new years relationship to consider. I know that’s weird… you can give me one if you want… I’m already planning on getting thinner… so you, might want to think of something else for me… like be less sexy. I’ll try.

Here’s what I want for you…

2015 NEW YEARS RESOLUTION: Repair relationships

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

Not easy… so important to having a great new year.

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