A happy Monday morning to all my lovely friends.  Thank you for reading my blogs—I trust that they are encouraging and helpful to each one.

I was pondering how many times we set new goals at the beginning of each year and before the week is out we have forgotten them or failed in our resolution.

This year has been a special year for me as I celebrated my 60th birthday and Paul and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.  I have had a lot of time for reflection.  The other day someone asked me what my future goals were.  I didn't have to think for long before I responded: "Keep on doing what I am doing with a happy heart."  I decided a long time ago what my chief goal in life was and I want to stay committed to that goal with a heart filled with joy. 

I think one of the great challenges in life is to keep going at life day after day.  That can be extremely challenging, but it can also be most rewarding.  There are times in life when we want to throw in the towel.  But one of the most courageous decisions you make is to get up each morning and keep on keeping on.  The question is how do we keep on going when the going gets tough?  Here are a few helpful suggestions:

1.  Keep your eye on the goal:  Don't get distracted by the things around you.  Your circumstances may look pretty dismal, but your purpose should be to keep your eye on the goal. 

2.  Remember where your help comes from:  The psalmist put it beautifully when he said: My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and the earth.  We sometimes look for help in all the wrong places.  People will fail us, we cannot depend on circumstances, but we can put our complete trust in the Lord.

3.  Don't allow discouragement to steal your future:  How many times have people given up just before the answer was on its way?  Think of all the great inventors.  Most of them failed over and over and over, but they never stopped trying—that is how we got the telephone, electricity, and the list goes on. 

4.  If you fall get up and try again:  Someone once said: "If you fall ten times, get up ten times, just ensure that you keep falling towards your goal."  Failure doesn't spell the end.  Sometimes it is failing that gets us closer to our goal.

5.  Keep a happy heart:  Yes, even in the midst of failure you can get up with a smile. 

So to all my friends out there who are going through trying times, hear my words of advice today.  Keep going and never give up because eventually you will get to your goal even if it means falling towards your goal.  I want to encourage you to "Keep your eyes on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of your faith."  In the midst of trying times, He is working on the inside of you and He is making something beautiful of your life.  I know it might be painful now, but the end product will be something of amazing beauty and worth.  Don't give up!


I am and always will be,

recklessly abandoned, ruthless committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,