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Southland Christian Ministry Training

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Deal With The Past…Plan For The Future

As I look back over 2009 it seems rather messy and disjointed. I suppose spending more of it in the MEAO than here at Richmond wouldn’t help! As I reviewed a list of aims and goals for the year it seems that I didn’t achieve much, but maybe that is a bit simplistic. I have worked long and hard in difficult situations, met and worked with a wide range of interesting people confronted with diverse problems. I have shared with people in grief and loss, experienced the pain of relationship breakdowns and felt the inadequacy of not being able to fix things. But hopefully I have been able to make a difference. What about you?

It is all too easy to be hard on ourselves and focus on the negatives. Pause now and consider the other side of the coin. What have you learnt? What new relationships have you established? Is the world a better place because of what you have done? Yes, we may have some baggage from 2009, but here are a few hints to balance that with some planning for 2010:

  • Balance! Remember BOTH the good and the bad from this year and be thankful for that you have learnt something from each, which has helped mould you into who you are today!
  • Exercise! Maybe you think that you now deserve a break, but increased indulgence in fool and alcohol will require some sensible activities to burn off those extra calories!
  • Laugh! As I look back over my own life I suspect that too often I have been too serious, allowing the weight of events and situations to take the fun out of life – so lighten up and plan some fun!
  • Initiative! Don’t wait for someone else to set your agenda, after an honest look at 2009, set some realistic goals for what you want to do and become in the coming year – even if it means getting out of the rut you are in!
  • Expect the best! Don’t allow the pessimists to get the upper hand, you have what it takes to achieve excellence, so aim high and give it all you’ve got!
  • Friendship! Maybe you have begun to take some of those closest to you for granted, so as you conclude the year take some time to say thanks, and show you are – even as you enlist their support for the new year!


What holds all that together? BELIEF! Faith that God is in control and cares about you, no matter what your history is. As we near the end of another year, my prayer is that this Christmas, Jesus might reveal himself to you, helping you to deal with your past and plan for your future!

Chaplain Ian Whitley

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