Save Time and Preach Like Never Before. Try the new

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ILL. There is an old story about a happy little boy who went out into the field wearing a baseball cap. In one hand he carried a baseball, & in the other a baseball bat. His face bore a look of tremendous confidence.

Cocking his bat, he tossed the ball into the air, saying, "Iím the greatest batter in the world!" Then he swung & missed. "Strike one," he said.

He picked up the ball, examined it, & then threw it into the air again. As he swung, he repeated, "Iím the greatest batter in the world." Once again he missed. "Strike two," he said.

This time, he stopped to examine his bat to make sure there wasnít a hole in it. Then he picked up the ball, adjusted his cap, & tossed the ball into the air for the 3rd time.

He repeated again, "Iím the greatest batter in the world," & swung with all his might & missed for the 3rd straight time. "Wow" he cried, "What a pitcher. Iím the greatest pitcher in the world!"

A. Today is the 1st Sunday of a new year, & as we look back over the last 12 months, Iím not sure whether most of us would be considered pitchers or batters. One thing for sure, at times we have all struck out.

So I guess itís good to be able to start over afresh. This week most boys & girls will have returned to their school classrooms. A lot of young people will be heading off to college. And most of us are recovering from the activities of the Christmas season & are well into doing our jobs & the activities of the new year.

What do you anticipate for this year? Are you full of enthusiasm, looking forward eagerly to what each day will bring? Or are you filled with a sense of dread, worried that this year will be worse than last year was for you?

B. Like the little boy with the bat, may I suggest that your attitude, your frame of mind, your reaction to its events will largely determine whether this year is a year of victory or a year of defeat.

The Apostle Paul was never one to let circumstances conquer him. Rather, with the help of God, he was determined to win the victorís crown. Listen as his attitude, dedication, determination shine through in these words found in Philippians 3:12 14.

"I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.

ďBut one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind & straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

PROP. With Paulís words fresh in our minds, here are some suggestions to help us be all that we can be this year.


A. First of all, recognize the value of time.

ILL How do we value ONE YEAR? Ask a student who failed a grade.
Dwayne Lemmon
December 29, 2012
Very inspiring message.