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A lot of us start the new year making resolutions to improve our lives, such as improving health, habits or relationships. As you pursue resolutions in the coming year, don’t forget to pray, asking for God’s support and sharing your struggles along the journey.

God desires for you to be whole and well, and God smiles on many of these resolutions. God also uses the people around us to help us accomplish them.

In your list of resolutions, don’t forget to include spending time with God. Commit to attending worship with a church more often or find a church home. Try a Bible study or other class you’ve never attended to help you grow in your relationship with God.

You might try spending the first five minutes of your day in prayer. Download a prayer or Bible reading app for your phone or sign up for daily devotions in your email inbox.

Pray for the changes you hope to see in our community, nation and world, and watch for God to use these prayers to guide you into being part of the change you seek. If nothing else, make a resolution to check in with God before picking up your smartphone the next time you have to wait some place.

Realistically, the chances of us following through on all of our resolutions for the duration of 2020 are slim, unless you are much more realistic in your goals than I am. Know that it’s OK. But know, too, that you don’t have to wait for 2021 to start again.

God purposefully built new beginnings into life so that we could start over again and again — every year, every season, every week and every day. Jesus didn’t rise from the dead only so that we could go to heaven. Through death and resurrection, God showed that we could admit defeat, pick up the pieces and have another go at it with God at our side.

May God bless your progress toward your goals in the year ahead.

Mike Kern is pastor of Hosanna! Lutheran Church. He wrote this column on behalf of the Liberty-Area Ministerial Alliance.

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