2013 and Nerdville

It never fails, as soon as we enter December I start thinking about my must-have New Year’s resolution list. It’s not a dreaded thing for me. I like doing it. And this year, I am going to attempt at making my list a possible thing (sometimes I go way over board and make item #5 a trip to Italy, Rome and Paris). Anyway, here’s this year’s list:

1) Books. For the past several years I have given myself of number of books to finish. This year I’m just going to make a list of my must-reads. I think that’s more fun.

Count of Monte Cristo
Tess of the d’Urbervilles
-St. Augustine’s Confessions
The Habit of Being
Madame Bovary
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
-Chronicles of Narnia
-Washington: A Life
Informed Consent

2) Piano. Practice five days a week. Scales everyday. That’s pretty cut and dry. BTW, I have been practicing so much my thumb is raw. I’ve never been happier.

3) Bible. I just started a new Bible plan on YouVersion. It’s a one year plan. Like everyone else, I usually find myself defeated by a year plan and just end up reading Psalm and multiple NT books. This year I’m doing a few things differently…1) Reading the passages first thing when I get to work. I have the ability to do this at my job, and I’m going to take advantage. 2) Robert is going to read as well. I am also going to invite my small group starting in February to join in. A good dose of accountability never hurt. (3) Sunday will be my catch up day if I have fallen behind any days. 4) I’m going to keep a simple journal, for meditation purposes, on the things I am reading.

4) Writing. Post on this blog once a week. That’s 52 posts. Surely I can come up with 52 topics. I have a lot of aspirations for myself as far as writing goes. I know from experience that inspiration doesn’t usually come in a sudden burst and bam you have a great piece. It’s a like a daily muscle that needs to be exercised. Sometimes though, a never ending space with a blinking cursor can be very daunting, so I may use my journal for Bible reading as a writing place as well. I have done this before and remember how beneficial it was.

5) Trip to…just kidding. But really.

Clearly, the most important thing to me is becoming a nerd.

Happy New Year!

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Missing the Heart of God

You know what’s really neat? When you hear the same lesson in multiple places. This is how God works sometimes. He uses a mentor, a sermon, a daily devotion to speak the same message. I’m so glad he does this for me, because clearly I am hard of hearing.

A few Sundays ago, the celebration of Advent started and my church began a series called, “Return to Wonder.” You can listen to the whole series here. Here’s a brief overview: all children have a sense of wonder and amazement over everything. Babies go nuts when mom makes a silly face. Children can’t believe a plane just flew over their heads. First dates, first kisses. All these things bring wonder, excitement and thrill.

The same thing happens in our relationship with God. We are amazed at the new knowledge that the Creator of the universe knows about ME. He doesn’t just know, He loves us more than we could ever comprehend. This incredible news changes our lives. And with that change, we burn with passion to know God more. But what happens? We lose the wonder of who He is and what our salvation means. Pastor Chris has spurred us on to “reverse the slow fade.”

We are some forgetful people, you know? That’s why I had to hear the same thing in five different conversations.

I’m missing the heart of God.

Twice, Revelation 2 was brought to my attention in one week. Apparently, the Church in Ephesus had the same problem that I am having. Revelation 2:1-5 reveals a church that had lost their wonder in God.

I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.

I get these people. They worked endlessly for good, for the spreading of the truth. They racked their brains day and night to stop heresy from spreading.  After all this work, they forgot the heart of God.  I guess they were so zealous in ambition they stopped focusing on their personal relationship with Him. Perhaps, they just outright stopped caring about it.  Either way, they had forgotten, and God took this very seriously. If they did not return to loving God there were serious consequences ahead.

How do I miss the heart of God? I do not make his heart my priority. There is nothing wrong with spending time on hobbies, with friends, or volunteering at church (obviously). But, if I do all these things for several weeks and do not praise God for how wonderful he is or confess my sin to him, that’s a huge problem. I don’t know about your sin, but mine tends to leak over into most of my life if I don’t guard against it. Prayer helps me guard. His Word helps me guard. These two things keep me sensitive to God’s leading. I miss his heart because I am not listening to him.  And then I become a wonderless child of God.

What’s Going on:

Here’s what’s going on in my world:

Long awaited decision: It’s been 13 years since I last took one. Stopping is the biggest regret I have in life. What is it? PIANO LESSONS. I’m starting back the piano this week. I’m so excited I can hardly sleep. Finally, I can cross it off my New Year’s resolution list. I’m sure I’ll be talking about this endeavor much in the future.

Speaking of sleep: I had two nightmares last night… one that caused me to wake up crying. In this particular one, my entire family was hacked to death. Yep. Hacked. And no I haven’t been watching Criminal Minds or any of that mess. I have had a problem with nightmares for as long as I can remember. They are always the most horrific thing that can happen in life, and it always takes me days to get over them.  Dreams are so weird.

Small Group: My small group at church has one more meeting left before the semester ends. This was my third group to lead, and we studied The Beloved Disciple by Beth Moore. It wasn’t the best video series she has ever done (actually, I think it’s the worst) but I still learned a lot and had a great time with some great girls!  I am especially thankful for the group of friends I made this time around. Making new friends in small group is my favorite part, and it makes me really look forward to the new semester.

Spiritual: The past couple of weeks I have really struggled with making my time with the Lord a priority. There is nothing that frustrates me more about myself than this seasonal cycle I find myself in it year after year. Starting right before Thanksgiving, my routine got all crazy and my prayer time went right down the proverbial drain. If all it takes is a holiday for my time with the Lord to get disrupted, then maybe it’s not as high on my priority list as I thought. This matter may need some more exploration. Hmm…

So, what’s going on in your world?