Dig deeper into theology
When I say “theology”, I mean “studying and knowing God”. I’m not talking about memorizing more facts or studying university books. I want to have the view of God that the Bible holds. Therefore, I want to study the Bible ruthlessly to know Him better and more rightly than I do now. There are a million different things I could focus on, but this year I have chosen three.
Here is what each one means:
There are many who would strip the power and Spirit out of the Bible, explaining it away as something reserved for biblical times and not for the present age we live in. I wholeheartily reject that notion. The life of a believer is a supernatural one full of things that our minds can’t explain (although we ought to attempt to in a biblical way). Sadly, many of the great Bible teachers today are missing this piece. Their theology of God is sound and biblical, but when it comes to the Spirit’s empowerment, it becomes too much for their mind to rationalize. I yearn to find the balance.
While I am not a 5-point Calvinist neither am I an Arminian. As I have been studying and meditating on the Bible, I realized that a good part of the Calvinist viewpoint is highly credible and worth digging into. I want to see God as sovereign over all things, good or bad. There are some hard questions to ask and harder answers to hear. There are tough arguments on both sides and neither are perfect in and of themselves. Again, I yearn to find the balance.
I have realized this year that gender and their roles, whether in a sexual sense or a spiritual sense, is becoming a big issue and will continue to be a big issue in 2013. My focus on it though is for personal reasons. If I truly believe that men and women are equal but created different for different purposes then it is in my best interest to study these things to know how I ought to live and serve.
I waste much time watching TV; time that could be used reading the Bible and other books. I have no excuse. I have realized this past year that I can’t have a desire for that much TV and reading. I have to choose. Currently, I have no passion to read. None. That needs to change. For the most part, TV gives me nothing substanially good for all the time I invest in it. Reading books though can. While I plan on reading multiple books this year, here are a few that I have at the top of my list.
- The Hole In Our Holiness – Kevin DeYoung
- Center Church – Tim Keller
- Creatures of the Word – Matt Chandler
- Gospel-Centered Discipleship – Jonathan Dodson
- C.S. Lewis’s fictional works (Space Trilogy/Great Divorce/etc)
I don’t mean more. If I only write 3-5 posts in the next year, I will consider it a success if they are:
- Well written
- Incredibly biblical and Jesus-centric
- Needed and well timed
For reasons I’ve already written about, blogging continues to help me master the art of communication through text.
Become a better leader
This upcoming year will be a big leadership training year for me, both in my work, church, and personal life. I give updates on what’s going on in my life periodically, so I’ll do that here.
This year I’ve been accepted into a leadership training program that my workplace holds every year. Only 9 to 11 people are picked each year and I was blessed to have been chosen. I highly look up to my workplace leaders and think they do an excellent job leading. I’m excited to learn the the foundational elements of leadership that they know.
This past year has been a drastic change in my church life. I started teaching a high school Sunday School class (which I love) and I help lead the worship ministry with a handful of close friends. While I’ve always helped and led in some capacity, now I am responsible for leaders and other volunteers. Gone are the days of serving however hard I wanted to at the time. Now there are people and projects that rely on my fellow leaders and me. We have a great church staff who is helping us and we are learning how to lead and direct like Jesus would. We have far to go but I’m happy to see how far we’ve already come.
This past year has been crazy. We had our first child, Lily, and life hasn’t been the same. It’s been great, maddening, frustrating, joyful, tiring, memorable, faith-filled, and full of love. That said, we are welcoming our second baby girl, Anastasia, in a few months. We know that, while it’s going to be tough, it will be rewarding, so we are looking forward to her birth. I have always dreamed about having a wife and a few kids and building a family altar in our home complete with devotions and family prayer time. Alas, due to my own spiritual laziness, these things are not a part of our house. This must and will change this year. More than work and church, I must become a better leader of my home.