Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy New Year!

I know this is premature, but I am leaving town for a few days. It's that time of year to work on our New Year resolutions. For some reason this is the time of year when we join health clubs, take up exercise and make resolutions to change that which do not like about ourselves.

So here is my list.

1. To become more accepting of my Christian brothers and sisters who worship in a different manner than me.

I have yet to make good on my goal of attending an Orthodox church service, though I still intend to do so. God has been speaking to me about finding common ground with other denominations. It's not like the Holiness movement is the ONLY way to worship, build the kingdom, and get to heaven. Richard Foster's "Streams of Living Water" has been a great help for me to understand how the other branches of Christianity function. If you haven't read that book, please do so.

While purchasing my wife's Christmas present from my children and myself, we had an enlightening discussion with an Armenian Orthodox Christian jewelry sales clerk. I was trying to explain the Orthodox church to my children and she overheard us talking. We had a nice discussion of the church and the Armenian genocide in 1915. I am grateful that I had just taken church history and was up on the Orthodox church. And the young lady was encouraged that someone not from her faith understood a little about it and the tragedy that the Armenian people have endured. I say that not to boast, but to thank God for putting me in that place at that time.

I intend to learn more about the other denominations and find areas where my belief system intersects with theirs. There is much to be learned from each other's tradition and practices. This is my year to act on it.

2. To become more intentional about supporting others in need of encouragement.

It is very easy for me to overlook those in need of encouragement when I am over committed, busy and focused on my own needs. This year I resolve to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit more closely to reach out to my brothers and sisters who are hurting.

3. To be completely surrendered to whatever God wants me to do.

I have been struggling a little with my call to ministry. Some of it is probably normal seminary turbulence. Some of it is that I do not like what I think God may be calling me to do. But this year I resolve to say "Yes Lord" to whatever He wants me to do. I say that with some trembling, but with complete faith in the One who calls me.

4. To increase my level of participation in my children's spiritual development.

It is too easy to back off on this because our children attend a parochial school and church. But since going to the Dundee church, we have been convicted that we were allowing our former church, which is much larger, to do what is our job. The sheer amount of activity coupled with the biblical teaching at school made me lax in this area. This year I will continue to teach my children the tenets of the faith.

1 comment:

john rister said...

I enjoyed reading your blog on the New Years resolutions. To me it looks like it was mostly spiritual inward resolutions you was making. I will pray that you will keep your focus this year on these and that you and your family will grow together in the Lord. God Bless, John