2013 resolutionHappy New Year!

I pulled up my resolutions post from 2012 to see how I did, and I wasn’t completely disappointed. Allow me to review.

A friend of mine gave me a mandolin to use, and I set to work learning some chords. I still have a lot of work to do, but I’ve really enjoyed learning the instrument. I’ve used it mostly with our bluegrass/southern gospel group on Sunday mornings, but I’d like to work it in at other times.

I still haven’t learned much Spanish. In fact, I forgot a little more of what I used to know. In 2013, this will be a high priority. I put it on a goals list a few years ago, and I feel strongly that if my family and I ever return to our home state of Arizona, I’d like to be able to speak with Mexicans who only know Spanish. I don’t want the language to be a barrier in making friends and sharing the gospel. I’ve also thought of the possibility of leading worship at a Spanish-only service. Maybe even preach?

Let’s see, I mentioned something about losing weight. Well, the good news: I haven’t gained any. I spent half my summer on my bicycle, riding to and from the office. I worked in some long-distance rides, peaking at 50 miles. I started using the mapmyride app on July 30, logging 643.6 miles by the time I finished on October 24. Could I break a thousand this year? I put away the bike because I need to learn to breathe through my nose. I messed up my throat for a few days by breathing through my mouth one night when temperatures dropped below 50 degrees. So I’m learning to breathe while taking a weekly spin class.

Last year, when I resolved to write some fiction in 2012, I didn’t know I’d set out to write a memoir of sorts. Of course, it’s not a work of fiction, but it consumed a lot of my creativity in 2012. I’m excited to have just submitted nearly 25,000 words to my sort-of editor. I’ve worked and re-worked the opening, and I feel good about the first six chapters. I probably won’t touch any fiction this year, but I’d like to finish the memoir and work on publishing contacts, if the Lord wills.

I wrote last year about wanting to become better at receiving correction and reproof. I can’t say I made much progress with that, but then, Cindy and I are still married, so I couldn’t be doing that bad. Or perhaps she’s just becoming more patient.

Something I do feel good about is my progress in becoming a better pastor/shepherd for my family, particularly with our girls. We read through The Story last year, as well as a devotional for Lent. Now, we’re currently reading through the book of Romans. I want to keep teaching them how to study God’s Word and model for them a commitment to the Scriptures. This year, I’d like to get better at spiritually leading my wife.

As far as new resolutions, I’d like to reconnect with family members. I feel I’ve neglected staying in touch with my brothers and sister, as well as Mom, back home in Arizona. It shouldn’t be too difficult given today’s technologies. I’d also like to make a new connection, but more on that for a future post.

Also, I want to become a discipler. Certainly, I want to become a closer, more committed disciple of Jesus, but also I want to make other disciples. A couple months ago, I began meeting for breakfast every Saturday with four guys a little older than myself, of varying levels of spiritual maturity. I want to pour into them, as well as into some other guys, two in particular that are a little younger than myself. I’ll share a little more on this in the future.

So, here’s to a new year of following Jesus and leading my family closer to Christ. I pray God’s will for you here in 2013. I’ll be checking in about once a week.