Last year, I shared a 5-part series of messages at Bayside Church in Melbourne around the theme of THRIVE. As we entered the year, our intention wasn’t to merely SURVIVE another year, but to THRIVE. The English word ‘thrive’ means: to flourish, bloom, or prosper. It comes from an Old Norse root worth that means to grow or increase. It’s about a certain vitality and excitement, a sense of joy and enjoyment, a burst of energy, strength, and resilience for the inevitable challenges and pressures of the territory, and an increasing passion and enthusiasm.

In life, “everything belongs”. Everything is connected. This series looked at 5 vital relationships or connections within your world. Like an eco-system, each part contributes to the health and well-being of the whole and the whole contributes to each part. Each aspect has a vital part to play in our overall flourishing.

1. You and God. Each person’s spiritual journey begins with an awareness of God, which can occur early or later in life, and in a variety of different ways. Once we embrace the reality of God, knowing who this God is becomes vital. Thankfully, the God of the Universe is revealed as LOVE and we can learn to live each day as the ‘beloved’. This is a life of grace not one of performance-based acceptance. How freeing and transformational this can be! You can listen to the audio of this message now.

2. You and Your Calling. In this message, I shared some insights for discovering your life purpose, which includes a sense of identity (who you are) and contribution (what you do). Your mission is at the intersection of (1) what you are good at, (2) what you care about, and (3) the needs of the world. You can listen to the audio of this message now.

3. You and Yourself. To thrive in life, we need a healthy relationship with the person we look at in the mirror each day – ourselves. In this message, I shared about the importance of self-acceptance, how to develop personal confidence, the vital quality of integrity, and how to become a more optimistic person. You can listen to the audio of this message now.

4. You and People. Life for people of faith is about loving God and loving people. The first task is often easier than the second! After all, ‘everyone is normal until you get to know them’! In this message, I shared 7 relational principles from the life of Jesus then focused on the 3 BIG relational Cs – handling Criticism, resolving Conflict, and learning to Confront appropriately when necessary. You can listen to the audio of this message now.

5. You and Your Work. In this message, I exposed the myth of sacred/secular dualistic thinking, presented a ‘theology of work’, and shared some insights for finding meaningful work and a job to love. I finished up by acknowledging that there is more to life than work and shared a few thoughts about ‘retirement’. You can listen to the audio of this message now.

As you listen to these messages and reflect on your own life, I hope that you will THRIVE in this new year.

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