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A New Way of Thinking for a New Year

January 1, 2019
I am a Systems Theorist. I believe that all systems are designed to produce what they are currently producing, not what we hope they will produce. Your life is a system and so is mine. We each have inputs that produce very specific outcomes. Over time, the relationship between these inputs and outcomes becomes highly predicable.
In my case, if I eat what I want when I want and don’t exercise, I gain weight.  I have this particular cause and effect sequence clearly established and it should not come as a surprise to me.  Ever.
If your outcomes from 2018 consisted of peace, passion, purpose and power, then rock on!  If you are consistently getting the outcomes you desire, you are clearly doing what it takes to produce those outcomes. But if your life in 2018 was filled with dejection, drama, despair and disappointment, then your life was designed to produce those outcomes.
Systems theory states that if you want different outcomes in 2019, you will need different inputs than the ones you had in 2018.  It is really that simple.
Despite “easily made and quick to fade” resolutions, most people will do in 2019 exactly what they did in 2018…and hope for different results. That my friends, is a life strategy that befits a definition for insanity.
Today is a good day to ask what different outcomes you would like to see in 2019 but it is an even better day to decide upon specific changes you are going to make to bring about those outcomes.
Too much to tackle? I get it.  Then just tackle one sector.
I am a firm believer that when the “God piece” is right, everything else starts getting right. Since we can’t realistically sustain change in all our inputs at once; a firm commitment to grow in our relationship with God is the perfect place to begin. 
How?  Just take the next step!  You probably know what that next step is already!  It can be as simple as weekly church attendance, giving, daily Bible reading, finding a small group or discovering a place to serve. 
When you engage new and positive inputs into your life; you have every reason to believe a great 2019 is coming your way!  
2019 Mantra: Do the right things the right way and you will get the right results in the right time!
2019 Verse: Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.  -Matthew 6:33
2019 Big Idea: Put God first and everything else will find its proper place.
SHANE Valley of the Doves
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop has been the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois since 1997.
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