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posted: 10/16/2013 10:48 AM

Have you ever thought about improving yourself?

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By Annettee Budzban

"Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."

-- John 5:8 NIV

Driving down the highway, I noticed a church with a sign board in front. Since one of my husband's vocations is painting signs, they catch my attention. It read: Improvement starts with "I." ( Many of you may have noticed this one too!)

I thank the church for inspiring us. Have you ever thought about improving yourself? Have you wondered where and how to begin?

As a life coach, I try to help others to improve and grow spiritually and personally; to overcome health challenges; to meet career or other goals. Self-improvement starts with examining our thoughts.

Jesus asked the lame beggar laying at the gate of the city, "Do you want to get well?" (John 5:6 NIV) I pondered why Jesus would ask such a question. I figured it was only normal that the man would desire to be healed.

However, God understands we have inner motives. Jesus was challenging this man to delve deeper into his mind and motives. He understood healing would bring a major lifestyle change for him. He didn't want to pull the mat from under him until he was ready.

Changing meant he would have to get a new career. He'd be able to walk and get around; begging would no longer suit him. How would that affect his life? He might not get as much attention as he did laying at the city gate. Or he might enjoy the life of a couch potato.

He'd also have to change some friends. He'd have to take an honest look at himself.

Have you ever thought about improving yourself? What area would you start with? Try asking a few questions, because questions lead to awareness.

Ask God to enlighten you to know what changes are necessary for you to make in order to improve.

Here's some help: What desire is being fulfilled? What do I value most in life? Am I displaying good character and behavior? How does what I do affect others? Am I escaping pain by avoiding my issues? What keeps me from changing? What are my aspirations?

You're off to a great start!

Jesus, as the great life coach, is ready to work with you. Good coaches know the heart and mind must be ready.

Are you ready for a life-altering change?

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. She is speaking from 3-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Panera Bread Round Lake Beach. Due to limited space, registration is recommended. Contact her at

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