I've put together nine resolutions for this New Year. I've included a few of the steps I'm taking to make them happen along aside each resolution.
I’m resolved to spend more time communing with God and others in his creation. Too much of last year was spent under a roof in front of a computer or television screen. This year I want to get out under the great blue with my family and friends. There is something incredibly refreshing from spending time exploring nature. Perhaps, it is the constant reminder of the beauty of our Trinitarian God that injects us with a booster shot of joy? A Few Steps: Renewing our Cincinnati Zoo and Hamilton County Park passes, start planning three camping trips for the summer/fall, and join a flag football or an ultimate Frisbee league, etc
I’m resolved to up my “romance game” with my wife. 2008 wasn’t the year of the Don Juan in the Foster household. I let the church plant mixed with adapting to life with children led me astray from romancing my wife. We did make ground in getting back to a regular almost weekly date night. However, my beautiful wife deserves more. This year I’m hoping to up my game from a 2 to a 5 on a scale of ten. Rome wasn't built in a year. A Few Steps: A dress-up date once a month, quarterly overnight get-a-ways, lots of little loves notes, etc
I’m resolved to get as close as possible to being a certified Social Sciences teacher. I need to nail down a good tent-making job before I get back to church planting. It is not only naïve but also reckless to assume that the church you plant will be able to support you. Paul’s support status ranged any where from “full-time” to “part-time” to bi-vocational during his church planting endeavors. School teaching would seem to be a vocation that would work well with my preferred church-planting model. A Few Steps: Finish my History/English BA at NKU this summer, start a post BA program at Western Governors, etc…
I’m resolved to complete Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s Bible reading plan. I’ve never finished a Bible-in-a-year plan. I tend to read a whole book at a time instead of a chapter from here and there. Nevertheless, I want to follow through on one of these plans that virtually every godly Christian from history recommends. A Few Steps: Download Plan to my iPhone, wake up earlier to read, etc
I’m resolved to make drastic improvements to my health starting with dropping fifty pounds. I know there is more to health than just your weight. However, I’ve gain 100 pounds in the last decade and 65 of them have been packed on in the last 4 years. Weight is definitely a massive problem in my life. This year I’m going to start taking seriously the stewardship of my body. It is a gospel issue. A Few Steps: Complete the Master Cleanse in January, start a modified version of Body for Life in February, swear off red meat and milk products except for very rare occasions, etc
I’m resolved to living off as little as possible regardless how much money God sends our way this year. We made some huge adjustments last year to cut back our cost of living. I want this trend to continue the rest of my life but I’m hoping that this year will stand as a milestone of when made “living thrifty” into an art. A Few Steps: Memorize and Believe Matt 6:33 & Phil 4:12-13, Budget for absolutely everything, dumpster diving, etc…
I’m resolved to reading only 24 books this year (one fiction, one non-fiction per month). I read too many books. Wait…scratch that. I skim too many books. I want to yield to the counsel of Charles Spurgeon:
“Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and reread them, masticate and digest them. Let them go unto your very self. Peruse a good book several times and make notes and analyses of it. A student will find that has his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books he has merely skimmed. Little learning and much pride comes of hasty reading. Some men are disabled from thinking by their putting meditations away for the sake of much reading. In reading let your motto be “much, not many.”
A Few Steps: Reject the cult of the newest is the coolest, Map out the year’s reading ahead of time, leave a few spots open for surprise must-reads, etc
I’m resolved to blog consistently this year. My blog fell to the wayside this past year. This time around I’m aiming at doing two posts a week that amount to something more than linking to someone else’s blog. A Few Steps: type down thoughts on the books I’m reading as material for posts, read and engage in current “blog conversations” (e.g. the Kimball-Keller-Cole exchange), etc
I’m resolved to improving our family discipleship this year. Our family discipleship has lacked a plan. It is haphazard and all over the place. This year I want to create a simple family discipleship plan and follow it. I’m thinking just 20-30 minutes of prayer, bible reading, and discussion per night would go a long way. A Few Steps: Repent of not making this as dire as it should be, Map our reading out by quarter, Keep it simple so it is easy to maintain, etc
There you have them. I'll keep you updated on my progress.