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If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

It’s time to take inventory of this past year. . . what you accomplished that you promised yourself you would do – and what you didn’t accomplish. As you take inventory, you may find that you’ve made some progress but are still “in process” on some of the things you had promised you’d do this year. And, honestly, you may find that you need to ask God for forgiveness for not responding to things the Holy Spirit had prompted you earlier to change during this year.

Each year at a meeting that kicks off our New Year’s holiday, our Moscow team gathers for a wonderful afternoon celebration together, where we rejoice over the victories of the past year and share our vision for the upcoming year. Over the years, we also developed a tradition of handing out paper and envelopes — and we ask people to write down what they want God to do in their lives in the upcoming year. We’ve done this for so many years that everyone now comes prepared for what he or she is going to write on that piece of paper.

After the team members write down their goals, they insert that piece of paper into the envelope. I stand before all of our employees with my hands laid on those envelopes, and as a group, we pray over them. Afterward, all the envelopes are placed in a “safe” where they are not touched for a year — until the next New Year’s team celebration.

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In a world that is fast-paced, demanding, and stressful, and in a society that demands quick fixes and easy solutions, it is difficult to take the time to just think.

I mean, what is the point of just thinking? Well, learning to be alone with our thoughts is actually quite important, especially when it comes to our mental and physical well-being! Adopting a thinker mindset is actually an important key for achieving meaningful success in school, work, and life!

We need down time to function optimally. We need down time for our brain to function optimally! To cope with the demands of life, our minds and brains need to internally “reboot,” which can only happen when we are alone with our thoughts, in what I call “thinker” moments.

We literally need to switch off all external stimuli, giving our thoughts some quality “me time,” or your mind and brain will just not function at the level needed for success!

Contrary to popular belief, the mind does not grind to a halt when you are doing nothing. Spontaneous thought processes, including mind-wandering, creative thinking, and daydreaming, arise when thoughts are relatively free from focused thinking and external influences. When we take time to switch off to what’s going on around us and just think, we improve our ability to focus, which in turn increases creativity.

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“I am the LORD, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6)

God does not change—man does. Not only is change a part of everyone's life, it is a necessary part. God never allowed any believer in the Bible to remain in one place for very long. He kept each one moving for spiritual reasons. For instance, after Elijah declared there would be no rain, God told him to move from the presence of King Ahab to the brook Cherith, where he fed him by ravens. When the brook dried up, God told him to go to Zerephath to be fed by a widow. When Elijah wanted to camp at the cave at Horeb, God asked him twice, "What are you doing here?" Each place was intended to only be a temporary stop on the way to God’s fulfillment of Elijah's life and ministry: Change, change, change.

Israel followed the cloud of God during the day and remained under the fire each night. The nation was told quite often to change direction because they had camped in one place too long (Deut. 1:6, 2:2). If we try to settle in one place in our Christian walk, we become stagnant. Change is an important and necessary part of our lives.

We are surrounded by ever increasing changes in technology, music, and education. Yet, in the Christian life, as well as the church, we fight change. God's plan not only includes change—it is change. “But we all, with open face looking as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18).

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

At cfaith, you can strengthen your faith and deepen your understanding of the Word of God by digging into the vast collection of teaching articles, streaming audio and video messages, and daily devotionals. No other website offers such a unique and extensive collection of spiritual-growth resources aimed at helping you grow in your knowledge of the Word.

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