Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 in Review, Part One

2014 has been a breath of fresh air for us.  Its the first year since the beginning of our marriage that has not been trial after trial after trail.  Which is not to say that its been all easy, but compared to years past, much more so than we are used to.  So here is a peak at certain areas of our lives this past year and how God has been working in us, specifically in the area of our faith.

*Repenting of sin. As Martin Luther said, "The whole of a Christian's life is one of repentance".  So its not that repentance is new or different this year but that by God's grace, he's still convicting me of sin and I'm still repenting of sin.  Among other things, I have been convicted of a lot of fears this year, fears that keep me from taking steps of faith, especially in ministry.  I have been convicted of a lot of pride, especially since we are at a new church and in a new town and making new friends... I have spent way too much energy thinking about how I want people to think of me and how I want to be respected by others.  There are many more, but these are two that come to mind that God has been working on in me.

*Boldness.  God has been using some people in my life who are very bold about sharing the gospel to encourage me to be bolder in speaking up on spiritual matters (here is one example, and here is another).  The main thing that keeps me from being bold is fearing what people will think of me.  But God continues to press on me that life is short and eternity is long, and if I keep quiet I'm not changing anyone's eternity, just making my short life here on earth a bit easier.  And even if at times I err on the side of being too bold, I would rather fail in the right direction than fail in the wrong direction of constantly fearing people and never speaking up about what I believe.

*Humility.  Along with repentance, shouldn't this be a constant theme in every Christian's life?  By God's grace it is in mine, but especially this year.  I have been learning so much being surrounded by so many older, more mature Christians at our church, which has really been humbling, especially coming from different churches and groups in the past where I was usually more mature than the average person.  But its nice to just sit back and learn from others and not have to have all the answers to questions all of the time.  I think this is part of the reason I haven't been blogging as much of late... I feel like I'm just soaking a lot in and don't have so much to pour out at the moment.
Photo credit: Ryk Neethling on Flickr
*Bible reading.  Sigh.  I hate setting goals that I don't accomplish.  Its really humbling (see above).  This is the fourth year I have attempted the M'Cheyene bible in a year plan and the fourth time I have failed.  (Although in my defense for good reasons... each time I have failed its always been because of a new birth or foster placement gets me off track until I'm so far behind that I eventually give up).  This time I have decided to finish no matter how long it takes (I have about 1/3 of the OT left, so not really that much to go.  I decided to only read the NT once, though the M'Cheyene plan has two full readings of the NT) and I don't think I'm going to attempt the Bible in a year again, at least not for a long time.  Reading that much every day feels like a burden and doesn't play on my strengths: I much more prefer to read shorter passages and study them in depth.  I read the bible most days of the week (I love being up before the kids and getting to read and pray for a bit!) but 4 chapters per day is unrealistic, especially for how slow of a reader I am.  So I'm going to finish up the OT so that I can say I have read the whole Bible, but I plan to do a different kind of study after that this year.

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