My maternal grandmother had a huge influence on my childhood. Widowed young she raised seven children by herself and was the first person in my family who became a Christian. She came to live with us when I was about three years old and at the age of four, I knelt next to her bed to commit my life to Jesus.
Ivy Francke just had that kind of influence on everyone around her and she taught me much.
She was renowned for her prayer life and my brother and I spent many an hour half asleep waiting for the end of prayers that never seem to come. This was especially frustrating at mealtimes when she just had to pray for this cousin or that uncle who was facing a difficult challenge. No prayer was ever just the mere repetition of words. It came from her heart with passion and faith and no gathering of people were complete without a moment focused on her Lord.
Every New Year Celebration was a special occasion in her company. We lived on a bit of a hill in Hillary, Durban and at midnight we could see fireworks all over the place, as far out as the sea. Sitting outside we would wait for midnight and then pray for everyone we loved or, as it felt to me, everyone we knew or knew of.
Ushering in the new year in this way has remained a part of my life into adulthood. I prefer not to do church or a party at that time. This year will be a special New Year. It is the start of a new year and a new decade. In this series of blogs (starting today), I want to encourage you to prepare well for this new year and new decade. I hope you will join me on this short journey as I am convinced that these strategies will have a profound impact on your 2020 and beyond.
However, I need to say this…
Your life will not change just because of a change in the date.
Your calendar does not have the power to change you, your circumstances or your life. Everything that is true on 31 December 2019 will still be true on 1 January 2020. I believe with all my heart that change is possible. And that things can improve for you and me.
I believe you can rise above your circumstances and overcome every one of the disadvantages of your past and present.
But NOT through the magic of a calendar being flipped over to a new date…
2020 can be an amazing year in your life, maybe the best yet. This coming decade can be a time of great joy and fulfilment for you and I hope it is. However, 2020 and the decade beyond will not be different because there is a different date on the calendar.
There is nothing inherently great about the date on the calendar but there is greatness in you. And if you prepare well, the sky is the limit. Just imagine a new year and a new decade but nothing else is new. It would be sad but is very likely if you do not act now.
I invite you to join me in this series. It could be the most important thing you do in 2019!
You can subscribe to the mailing list and receive each instalment in your inbox as they are published. Or you can just check in here every so often. The whole series will be published by the end of November.