Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I've decided to make some resolutions for the New Year in hopes that, by God's grace, I might see some of them come to pass. And let me be clear: I really do believe that for most of these, a large measure of God's grace is required for success. I'm simply not self-controlled enough to accomplish them by sheer discipline, nor enough of a legalist to believe that success without God's Spirit counts for very much of anything. Anyway, with those caveats in mind, here's my hopes for 2010:
  1. Increased Prayerfulness: I'm a pastor. I pray, preach, and shepherd for a living. Yet it's easy to slip into the habit of praying for your family and your church regarding the crisis du jour and not for much else. I want to remember to pray for the important things, not just the urgent ones.
  2. Renewed Hunger for God's Word: I've studied the Bible for 30 years, including 4 as a seminarian and 8 as a pastor. Along the way, it becomes easy for the Bible to become familiar and for a pastor to lose his sense of wonder and awe with respect to the Scriptures. I want to sense afresh the power of the Spirit's speech to me through the Word.
  3. Fresh Perspective: 2009 was a hard year for me on multiple levels. As I look back, I find that I finished the year more cynical, tired, and generally crabby and grumpy than I started it. Which is unfortunate, because even in the midst of the pain, there was a lot to be joyful about which I did not experience to the fullest. A new year brings fresh opportunities to remember that, if we are going to rejoice, it is going to have to be in this day, for it's the only one currently in our possession.
  4. More Romance with Karen: This year we will celebrate 14 years of marriage. We're a long way from our wedding day. But the fact that we're no longer newlyweds doesn't mean I can't bless my wife. I still long to know her more fully, to spend time alone with her, to talk, play, and walk through life at her side. I can write more notes, give more time and attention, and treat her with a higher degree of honor. I can plan more weekends away and evenings out. I can still make her feel the truth that she is my greatest treasure.
  5. Weigh less: I have weighed more than 200 pounds for the last 7 years. I'm sick and tired of being tired and heavy and at 36 I'm not getting any younger. Moreover, since I'm not going to get any taller, this needs to be the year when I get my weight in line with my height. This means adding aerobics to the weightlifting, writing down what I eat, and ceasing to eat when I've used up my calories for the day.
Here's hoping that some of you who read this blog will check in on me from time to time, just to see how I'm doing with these. I'll need your prayers and encouragement to make good on them all. And may God bless you all in 2010!

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