Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009-The year that we must Pass The Flame

John Elefante Lyrics
Pass The Flame Lyrics

Hey gang!

I’ve been working on this since Wednesday. I’m never good with resolutions. I seem to always break them by the end of January and just bungle through the rest of the year thinking wait till next year. This past year’s biggest casualty became my waistline. I had lost weight for the past three years and I was really proud of myself, but this year came the wall. I hit 220 and seemed to struggle to get any lower. It was like my body was fighting me.

In December, I got an insulin pump and while I am doing better with my glucose monitoring numbers, I seem to be joining those on the Seefood Diet, you know, I see it, I eat it. I’m back up to my marriage weight of 235. That’s not so horrible, but I did start buying a wardrobe for my 220 weight and now it’s a stretch to get into those clothes.

Anyhow, the point is that I struggle with resolutions. So for three days, I’ve been thinking. For those of you that live near me, yes that’s what the big black cloud of smoke is, my brain is on fire. I don’t particularly want to just write resolutions, so I’ve decided to set some goals and hopes for the year. I’ll share them with you now and hope that some of these will stick for 2009 and hopefully longer.

The first goal is obvious. I need to get that 15 pounds back off. So friends, please try to help me. If you see me eating poorly, politely try to point me toward better food or to at least share the goodies with you or others. I may growl at first, but trust me, I’ll realize this is for my own good and will attempt to behave. You may have to speak the demon of gluttony out of me. I do like my chocolate.

Another thing I really want to get by is wasting time. I am the worst procrastinator in the world, but I fill my time with nonsense every once in a while. Sometimes I watch TV programs to get a handle on what some of the kids and adults are watching so that I’ll have something to say when they talk about their favorite shows, but some of these shows are just trash. Another of my excuses on this is tiredness and the fact that I don’t have to think, just watch. But you guys know, that is dangerous. I’ve started praying that God just prompt me when I am being lazy and watching this garbage to get up out of the chair and grab a book. It’s a hobby that I am trying to encourage my kids to do as well.

Speaking of books, I am formally making a goal here. I want to read through the entire Bible in 2009. I may not do it with some calendar made up by someone else, but I want to finally read the books I am so lacking in. I spoke on a blog earlier that I have struggled with parts of the Old Testament. This is the year I get through it. I may not start at Genesis like all the calendars say, but I think I’m going to start with Psalms and Proverbs and go from there.

This is also the year I get serious about spending time reading some of the Bible stories to the kids. I love the job the nursery does with the kids, especially Megan. Megan sits in the car and tells us what she has learned. She may not remember all of it clearly, but she is getting pieces of what is being taught and then we fill in the blanks as a regroup on the way home. But they need more. I admit, by bedtime, I am close to wiped out and I get lazy on reading to Megan and James. I need to do better.

While I give credit to the nursery for my kids, I have to give the rest of the church credit for helping Mindy and I refocus on our marriage. I’ll be honest when I say that no marriage is perfect, but we needed to reassess where we were and what we needed to work on. It’s still difficult to get out together and have a date night with no family here. I think I stunned the marriage class when I said our last date was probably before Megan was born. Since then, my mom made sure that we had a date night by going to dinner once while she was in town for nine days in December. I’ve already put in the works for another night or two while we’re vacationing in Florida in March.

One of the other areas that I give the marriage ministry credit for was to get us to think about reading together and spending prayer time together. I know I do better individually because I don’t have to have anyone to pray, but to put the power together is something that has been missing. One of the things said in class is that when you pray together you get an idea if your spouse is struggling in an area that you may not be thinking about. All of us married people think about our spouses, but do we pray for their struggles without complaining. I mean like this, “Lord, please change our spouse because they are annoying me when they act like or do this.” We may not say it like that, but that’s what we really are saying in prayer sometimes. If we pray with our spouse, we might actually pray in the way we should, FOR THEM.

The rest of my goals and hopes can be lumped into a major category. I call it what John Elefante sings about in the video above, passing the flame. I’ve said in previous blogs that we have been here in Effingham for six years in May 2009. Truthfully, we haven’t made a lot of contacts or friends. Why? There are too many reasons/excuses to share. So first, I want to make a goal of making more friends and contacts this year. We have many acquaintances, but few friends. When I think friends here in Effingham, unfortunately, I don’t need a full hand to count them. That needs to change.

I think a good first step in that is to take January and go back to New Hope 101, then join the church as members. Then, in March, get back into a marriage class and begin making friends with some of the couples that are at least near what our lives are. I do realize that most couples that are my age (39) already have kids that are near high school and some that are near Mindy’s age (31) are closer to middle school, but I see, by the ones still working in the nursery, that there are plenty of couples that will still be caring toward our kids even though there might be an age difference. In October, we were visiting a couple outside the church and I thought how cool that the teenagers of their family took in and played with my little ones so well. It was just new and neat to see.

I also would like to take our commitment to the next level too. I’m not sure if I’ve shared recently how much home groups mean to me. In 1994, when I got saved and began my walk with Christ, it was really spending time at Tom Zawacki’s house in his home group that helped most in my early growth. Yes, those Wednesday nights weren’t that great for my waistline, but they were great times of fellowship and study. They were the most valuable two to three hours of my week because I was spending time with fellow Christians in real life dealings of our walks.

I’ve talked about it in every church setting that our family has been in, but I think this might finally be the one where I will open my home to a study. The church already has home groups in their setup, called GIG groups. I think I’d like to see either a men’s group or a couples group or both, for that matter. We’ll pray and see where it goes.

The last area of resolutions, goals and hopes is with this writing. Earlier in the week, I talked of three areas that I plan on writing about in 2009 so I won’t repeat that here. What I will say is that so far, I’ve been relatively inconsistently consistent. I’ve written when I’ve had time and that has been good so far. I told Peter Brown a couple weeks ago that the format has been good even though I want to get to a point that I am writing on a daily basis. What I mean is that so far people have had time to read and think about what I’ve said rather than moving on each day. So for 2009, I am trying to set three to four times a week to write as a goal and see where God leads me with it. As I’ve said, I would love to write daily and maybe that means that other projects may open up or that God is going to use those days for me to be able to read other material or other peoples’ blogs to give you guys other sources to look at.

In either case, I want to make these contacts count. For now, I know most of you that are reading what I write. That hopefully won’t always be the case. Hopefully, God will show favor on this ministry of writing and open it to more people on the internet. That’s the goal. God gave the Great Commission to go into all the world and preach and teach the Gospel. With three children and a wife, my laptop is about as far as I can go physically. However, the internet is a great way to reach people around the globe. I do have a few readers from the other side of the planet and I’m grateful for that.

So what are some of your plans, goals, resolutions, whatever you want to call them for the year 2009? Please feel free to share and pass the flame.

I love you guys!

1 comment:

L.L. Barkat said...

Resolutions. I passed on them this year in exchange for dreams. We'll see what next year brings. :)

And, hey, welcome again to High Calling Blogs.