Online edition!

Goals and a prayer for 2019, with Dr. Todd Shupe

Setting Goals For 2019



As the new year approaches so does a surge in membership applications to local fitness centers.  Many of us make a new year’s resolution to lose weight, and this is a great resolution.  Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are to honor God with our bodies (1 Cor. 6:19-20).


At this time of the year, I like to reflect on Isaiah 43:19. “See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  The prophet Isaiah is referring to the past deliverance of the Jews from Egypt and giving assurance that He will return them from captivity by the Babylonians.  I wonder what “new thing” God wants to do in my life.  I look forward to each new year with joyful anticipation to see how God is going to move in my life and those around me.


So, what new thing do you have planned for 2019?  Researchers have found that 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions will fail by February.   This begs the question of why?  I would like to offer up the following possible reasons for your consideration.

  1. No plan. If you do not make a plan to succeed, by default you have made a plan to fail. The Word teaches us in Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”
  2. Not realistic. A foolish person does begin by seeking first “His kingdom and His righteousness” as we are encouraged to do in Matthew 6:33. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15).
  3. Not known. We must be in community with others.  If we disclose our goals to our small groups, they can help us refine them and keep us from going astray.  Matthew 18:20 teaches us, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
  4. No reward. Many of us are not motivated if there is not a reward.  There is no true reward on this earth.   Our real reward awaits us in heaven and is described in Matthew 6:19-21.  Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”


I try to avoid the typical New Year trap by prayerfully setting goals that I know will bring honor to God and therefore He will honor in His way and in His time.


As you set your goals and resolutions for 2019, I ask you to consider the following guidelines.

  1. Find a secluded quiet place and ask God what do you need to prune to become more like Him?
  2. Talk with your pastor and share the results of your time of prayer and listening.Do not be discouraged if you are unable to discern His will.  Be open and honest with your pastor, and God will speak through him or her to you.
  3. Find a small support group at your local church to keep you on track with your goals.
  4. Check in with your pastor as often as you are moved by the Spirit.


Prayer for 2019.


Numbers 6:24-26 New International Version (NIV)

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you
 and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”




Todd Shupe is a native of Carrollton, IL, a small rural town in west central Illinois.  He is most proud of his son Kyle (age 16) and Emma (age 18).  He earned his BS and MS in Wood Science from the University of Illinois and a PhD in Wood Science from Louisiana State University.  He has a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma and is a Green Associate in LEED.  He worked as a Professor and ISO 17025 Lab Director for 20 years and now works as a wood science consultant at to continue to help companies bring new building products and wood preservatives to market, conduct in house training, improve product quality and production, and serve as an expert witness.  Todd is currently in training to be a Men’s Ministry Specialist under the direction of the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is concurrently in training to become a Lay Minister under the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.  He enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, fishing, and writing inspirational Christian blogs at and

Online edition!

Testimony of a Fresh Start, by Pamela Gauthier

Testimony of A Fresh Start…..

Everyone likes a fresh start, a chance to start over and begin again. For some of us its’ called a do over or even a make over, but the whole point is getting a chance to get it right. We all can attest to this.

As we finish the Christmas season of celebrating Good Tidings of great joy, these “Tidings” assure us of a fresh start, : “And the Angel said unto them, Fear not for behold I bring you Good Tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.

For unto us is born this day in the city of David a Saviour…” Luke 2:10, 11 (KJV)

The Good News is available to us everyday as we are invited to partake of His Mercies that are new every morning. Lamentations 3:23 (KJV). There is a fresh start awaiting each one of us daily for whosoever will come. We’ve but to peep into the hope of “goodwill toward men” as we move into 2019, and let our joy be full by the reception of a New Year. We get a do over.

If any man be in Christ old things have passed away behold all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

We are called to a spiritual do-over as in John 3:3(KJV), when Jesus invites us to be born-again. This do-over is a repentance of past sins, so that we can start our lives afresh in Christ in exchange for our sinful state.

For some of us, this fresh start may be first time acceptance of Christ, for others a re-dedication and still for others it may be repentance for something God has called us to that is yet to be completed.

In the story of Jonah, he was ask to go to a city an pronounce judgment against it. Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord because He didn’t want God to give that city a mercy he felt that was undeserved. Jonah 1:2, 3(NLT).

Jonah’s disobedience landed him in the belly of a fish for three days and three nights . Jesus referred to this scripture in Matthew 12:40 as He said, “For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so would the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth”. This was in reference to His death on the cross.

Because Jonah repented, he was given a fresh start (God’s Mercy), to complete his assignment, and his story was used hundreds of years later by Jesus as a testimony of this repentance.

We all need a fresh start, whether that be an unfinished goal, a relationship issue, a chance to dream again, or an awaited expectation, we can all appreciate knowing we have another chance to celebrate a New Year.

As we hold on to God’s Mercies that are new every morning, let us rejoice in the fact that a New Year is something to be Happy about!

HeARTune Creations Poetry, LLC., is owned by Pamela Gauthier. Pamela is a writer and poet, who has been writing for over 20 years. She formally started her poetry as a business in October of 2013.

Her poetry has been at several boutiques and stores in the Baton Rouge area.
Pamela is a native Baton Rougean, who has lived here all of her life. She is the wife of Ronnie Gauthier, and the mother of four: Mrs. Jamie Baham, Mrs. Jessica Chatman, Joshua and Joseph Gauthier. She is also the proud Grandmother of Five.

Pamela started her writing journey by writing poetry as a way to uplift the spirits of those in nursing homes and the like. This is still the goal today, to touch hearts and lives wherever encouragement is needed.