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Summary: Rarely does anyone stumble into success! Success comes when one plans, prepares and is persistent about it! Learn how to be personally prosperous in your walk with God!

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Tomorrow night at 11:59 pm, over one billion people all across the world will be watching as the “ball” drops in New York City’s Times Square. That got me to wondering about the history of the New Year’s Eve “ball” and what I discovered was intriguing:

• The 1st “time-ball” was installed on top of England’s Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833.

• After the success of that event, approximately 150 such time-balls were installed around the world.

• New York actually held a New Years celebration in 1904, but it wasn’t until 1907 that they dropped an iron and wood ball and adorned with a hundred 25-watt light bulbs. It was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds

• From that date until today, the ball has dropped every year except 1942 and 1943 during WWII. Crowds still gathered in Times Square during those years and greeted the New Year with a moment of silence followed by chimes ringing out from One Times Square.

• Over the years, the “time-ball” has undergone about 4 re-designs - the most recent one was created for the Millennial celebration in 2000 by Waterford Crystal. It’s six feet in diameter, and weighing approximately 1,070 pounds. It’s covered with a total of 504 crystal triangles. The name of the ball is “The Star of Hope”. SLIDE

• And each of those triangles has a special designation: Hope for Fellowship, Hope for Peace, Hope for Unity, Hope for Courage, Hope for Healing, etc.

I read an recent article recently that listed the five most popular resolutions made every year...

• The 5th was to take up a new hobby.

• The 4th - to make more money.

• The 3rd - to improve relationships.

• The 2nd - to stop smoking.

• And the most popular New Years resolution - losing weight.

A woman walked into her bathroom at home. As she did, she saw her husband weighing himself on the bathroom scales, sucking in his stomach. The woman thought to herself, “He thinks that he will weigh less by sucking in his stomach.” So, the woman rather sarcastically said to her husband, “That’s not going to help.” Her husband said, “Sure it will. It’s the only way I can see the numbers.”

3 John 2 “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

10 Principles For Personal Prosperity in 2008: (Set in couplets)

1. Conviction Over God’s Word. Vs. 1,2

Joshua 1:8 “Study this Book continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed.” NLT

Rarely does anyone stumble into success! Success comes when one plans, prepares and is persistent about it!

Jeremiah 20:9 “His word is in my heart, a fire shut up in my bones, I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.” NLT

2. Cloth Yourself With Mercy And Truth. Vs. 3,4

The idea here is to let mercy, love and truth become a visible part of your life! Bind them around your neck is a picture of being constant companions - never apart from each other!

Psalm 25:10 “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.”

Proverbs 16:6 “By mercy and truth, iniquity is purged, and by the fear of the Lord men turn away from evil.”

Proverbs 22:11 “He who loves pureness of heart, grace is on his lips...”

LifePoint: Outward integrity is only expressed by an inward purity!

3. Challenge Your Level of Trust. Vs. 5,6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.” NLT

Ever seen the bumper sticker…“God is my co-pilot”? May I say that this is not a good way to experience God in your life! If you are His child, then God does not need you to be a co-pilot! He wants to be given the controls of your life! Why? Because He knows your life better than you will ever know it! It’s that simple! Think about it…what can you tell God about your life that He doesn’t already know? Nothing!

Psalm 32:8 “I will guide you along the best pathways for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” NLT

I love the story about the naval officer who was made captain of a battleship and was in command of it for the very first time. Filled with pride he stood on the deck, barking out orders. Late into the night he was still standing proudly on the bridge. He was the captain and the crew obeyed his every command. The Captain and his crew were in a hurry to get to port before Christmas!

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