The Turn of the Calendar

You’ve probably heard it said, “new year new me.”  People say it when they plan to turn the calendar of their life and make changes.  What is it about a new year that gives people motivation to make changes in their lives?  Why is it that people can wake up just like any other day but feel as if they can suddenly conquer the world because it’s the start of a new year?  Maybe the better question is, why does it take the start of a new year to make people evaluate their lives and see what they need to change?

There’s something about the change from December 31st to January 1st that brings excitement, joy, and optimism to a person.  A new year means new adventures, opportunities and a fresh start.

But did you know that of all the people that make resolutions at the beginning of a new year, only 8% of these resolutions actually last?  I think this is because we believe we are self-reliant.  But as humans, we are bound to fail eventually.

Of the top ten resolutions from 2014, only one was focused on helping others instead of self.  What if we changed our resolutions?  What if we made them about Christ instead of us?  Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  In a culture where it seems nothing is ever certain, Christ is.  What if we made our resolutions less about pampering ourselves and more about serving others?  “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35b).  What if we asked God to stretch us instead of bless us?

I recently read a blog analyzing the popular Christian song “Oceans” by Hillsong.  The bridge of the song has these lyrics:

~Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior~

The writer urged the reader to seriously consider what he was saying when he sang this song.  Do we really mean the words we say when we sing a song asking God to lead us where our trust is without borders and where our feet could never wander?

I’ve never been a person to set resolutions.  Mainly because when I see things I need to change, I try to do it immediately, instead of waiting until January 1st.  But this year I am setting a resolution.  in 2015 I want to live outside my borders and inside God’s plans.

But just like any goal, I have to have a plan.  It’s one thing to think of making changes, but it’s another to make the changes.  As I look at this 2015 year, I’m excited to see where God is taking me.

This spring break, the Moody basketball team will be traveling to Kenya to serve Christ and His people for two weeks.  In this trip we will be working alongside missionaries to encourage and train Kenyan people in the Word of God, using basketball as a ministry.  We will be running clinics, leading Bible studies, and serving in various ministries around Kenya.

Having never been to Africa, I’m excited and nervous all at the same time.  I can’t wait to see how God grows our team and how He uses us in impacting lives for the Gospel in a needy country.

Also, this summer I will be spending seven weeks in Bangkok, Thailand serving with EFCA’s (Evangelical Free Church of America) Reach Global summer mission group for college students.  Thailand is known as the sex-trafficking capital of the world.  Because of this, the focus of this trip is reaching people in the red light districts, giving those caught in prostitution and sex-trafficking an opportunity to change their way of income and their entire life through the Gospel.  We will be teaching English, leading Bible devotionals and teaching life skills that they can implement to make a living.

I’m humbled by the opportunities to serve and am excited to see how God provides to get me to and through these trips.

I’m writing this for three reasons.  First, I want you to think about what you can do.  I don’t mean go to Thailand or Kenya (although that is a good option 🙂 ).  But I’m asking you to pray that God will let God stretch you outside your comfort zone.  This doesn’t promise security, safety or even comfort, but I can promise that Christ will prove faithful to His promises and you will not regret surrendering to His plan.

Second, I would appreciate more than anything your prayers.  Preparing for both of these trips takes a lot of details and preparation.  Pray for peace, direction and funds to make these trips possible.

And lastly, I would ask that you would prayerfully consider helping me in these trips.  I need to raise $5,000 to go to Thailand and am praying that God will provide all the funds I need to go.

If you are considering giving, there are two ways to give.  You may give online at https://my.efca.org/NetCommunity/SSLPage.aspx?pid=359 (Under designation click “other” and put my name in the box below).  You may also send a check made out to “EFCA Reach Global” with “Grant Klinefelter TREK7” in the memo section to:

c/o  TREK7- Grant Klinefelter

901 E 78th St

Minneapolis, MN 55420

If you have any questions, I would love to talk with you and answer what I can.  I’m beyond thrilled for this 2015 year and I hope that you too are looking forward with expectation for God to do big things in your life. to keep learning and growing through these trips and I pray that God will stretch you as He is stretching me this year and that you will embrace the challenge and make the most of the opportunities He gives you.

~Sources:

http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ ~

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