Setting a New Course


Yesterday, after several days of binging on great food, I looked forward to walking back into the gym to begin the process of reversing the damage done in the last few months of holiday eating.

As I walked up to the cardio section, I was shocked that not a single treadmill was available.
In the last year of visiting the gym at the same time for 6 days a week, there has never, I mean never been a shortage of treadmills.

It was clear that the “resolutions” season had begun and I can expect a packed gym for about 6 weeks…then everything will go back to normal.
It always does.

That’s what I hate about shallow resolutions…they don’t tend to last.


This time of year is a great opportunity for something that most of us long for, a fresh start and perhaps, a new course.

I want to encourage you that you can have a fresh start by making some meaningful changes to your daily routine.
It will benefit you whether you are looking to find more fulfillment, a better job, more energy, or more hope.

Most of all it will help you grow closer to Jesus which is really what makes all this possible.

The following are some of the new patterns that I instituted in 2017 and 1 more I am adding for 2018.

WARNING: They key to new patterns is prioritizing possibilities so that you only add a few at a time. Trying to totally revamp your life will usually lead to failure. Start with 1 or 2 and then add more after those become a manageable pattern.

  1. Spend at least 30 minutes reading scripture every day. Either start with a reading plan from or another plan or you can just start reading until you meet your time goal. Read for content but don’t get caught up on having to catch every single detail at first. By creating a pattern, you are guaranteeing you will go deeper the more you read. I find that setting a specific time of day makes keeping the pattern easier, especially if you do it in the morning before you start your day.
  2. Pray as you read scripture. Prayer is often the most missed spiritual discipline in Christians’ lives.
  3. Get 8 hours of sleep every night. If you are not doing this, you will be amazed at how much clearer life becomes with a pattern of being rested. You won’t get as stressed out as quickly, hard decisions won’t seem as overwhelming, and you will generally have more energy to keep these new patterns. You will also probably see your relationships growing and becoming healthier because you are rested and are healthier, yourself.
  4. Take care of your temple. Scripture tells us that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Eat better, go to the gym, and consume as little alcohol as possible. Like sleep, as your body gets healthier, your mind and soul do as well.
  5. Meditate on God. This is one I am adding for 2018. I don’t mean do yoga, chant or hum, or to just think about life. Meditate on what you are learning about God and what God wants to say to you. As you begin to understand Him more through your reading of scripture, you will begin to have inner conflict in adjusting some of your assumptions that don’t match God’s Word. Mediation is time to be still and quiet before Him, allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to you and work in your life. This is not just prayer time, though prayer is an important part of meditation. It is time to ponder, daydream about God, and to think deeply about what you are reading in scripture.

What new patterns do you have planned for 2018? Do they include God? I hope so, because those are the patterns that really matter and can truly chart a new course in your life.

Mark Love
Lead Pastor

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