Life Posts

Do You Have a New Year’s Resolution?

mustache resolution

This is the time of year where we all take a personal inventory and decide what things we want to change moving forward. As we all know, the odds of us actually following through with any of these throughout the year is about the same as everyone in America feeling good about our solution to the fiscal cliff. While we could debate the merits of resolutions, I do think there is merit in targeting one area in your life where you’d like to intentionally focus on seeing results.

My “resolution” for 2013 is to wake up earlier each day. I’ve always considered myself a night owl but I’d love to start changing that. I read a great article about it and here are a few things I’m going to intentionally do this year:

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What is the Right Response to the Shooting in Connecticut?

connecticut shooting

“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 35:3-10

Like the rest of you, I watched the news today with an incredible sadness. I held my kids close and sat with an uneasiness in the pit of my stomach. As a dad of three kids I cannot even begin to imagine what those parents are going through today. Like you, I want to know what I’m supposed to do with all of this. Turn on your TV or search the web and you’ll see all sorts of “solutions.”

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The Spiritual Nap

“Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.” John Ortberg

I’ve always loved the above quote from Ortberg. It reminds me that all of my doing ultimately has its limits. While I can recharge with God during things like Bible reading and prayer times, it also helps just to shut down for a bit. The picture above is a photo my wife took of me (she is standing on our stairs) after I fell asleep reading.

I’m in the midst of overseeing nineteen Christmas services at Central (after just doing Thanksgiving services a month ago) in addition to our every day and every weekend stuff we do. It’s easy to burn out. I’m sure you know the feeling this time of year. You are likely thinking through numerous things this December:

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Life’s Hardest Decisions

Circle K

Picture this: I’m standing in my local Circle K store at the soda fountain. It’s Thursday night after my Life Group. The store is just about empty save one night-shift employee and his friend. I’m in the process of getting a Diet Coke for Michelle and a Dr. Pepper—with a shot of vanilla syrup—for myself. This is standard protocol for this type of trip. While watching the forty-four ounces of sweet nectar pour into my cup I hear the employee on the other side of the store say something that catches my attention.

“That’s honestly one of the hardest decisions of my life right now…”

I’m immediately interested. Maybe this is a Holy Spirit created moment for me to get into a spontaneous discussion about Jesus in the middle of an empty convenience store. I glance (subtly, of course) over my shoulder to see the employee holding a bag of chips and looking at his friend. What could he be trying to decide? Does God exist? Could God love him? How can there be so much pain and evil in the world if God does exist? Any of these would be great launching points for a discussion.

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Quotes I Live By

I keep my growing collection of favorite quotes (more than 200) available to read on the top right of each page of my blog (one at a time). I’ve had a few people tell me that they’ve spent time refreshing page after page on my blog in order to read more of them. It always makes me smile. Of my collection, there are a few that I think of constantly and bring up in conversations on a regular basis. These are quotes that have shaped me in one way or another and that I live by. I thought that it would be worthwhile for myself, and for those of you that like a good quote, to put my top fifteen in a list.

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No Such Thing as a True Story

moleskine

I’ve always loved telling stories. In elementary school I got the best storyteller award and made my dad proud. I’ve worked diligently to refine my craft since then. My wife usually grows impatient of a story I’m telling in social settings because I take the time to meticulously setup the details—and the tension—for where I’m ultimately taking it. It’s an art really (and apparently somewhat of an acquired taste).

In his book Trying to Save Piggy Sneed, John Irving points out an important element of storytelling:

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