Normally, I get these “looking ahead” posts out at the end of the year, but the end of 2012 was not a little crazy.
In fact, most of 2012 was crazy. God was moving in all kinds of ways and getting into areas of my life that I would rather He not have touched. But His hand is gentle, His discipline is sweet, and His ways are perfect. 2012 was a year in which, as a latter 20th century poet once said, “my life got flip-turned upside down.”
Low on the list if things that were affected was the blog, which saw it’s greatest period of activity in 2011 and has been in long limbo between posts much of 2012. looking back, I think I can trace much of the difficulties of 2012 to one thing, lack of consistent time with the Lord. And no, I do not believe in some kind of Christian Karma, where my lack of reading the Bible and prayer leads to God’s angry retaliation. What I mean is that because my spiritual life was dry, my whole existence was unfocused and malnourished. And my ability to write well (or at all) was significantly affected.
Needless to say, I will not be experimenting with any sort of unstructured devotional plan this year. I need to accountability of daily reminders to dive deep into the well of God’s grace. I am hungry for God. So I am taking Him up on His invitation from Isaiah 55:
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
Very appropriately, I think, the Bible reading plan that I’ll be using this year (and in subsequent years if I find it helpful) is called the Bible Eater reading plan. The heart behind the plan is to provide a balance diet of New and Old Testament, short and long readings, and a clear view of God’s redemptive plan for salvation in Jesus. It also allows 4 days grace per month, so if you’re late in the game, you can catch up pretty quickly simply by reading Jan and Feb with no breaks.
I’m also doing a Bible in three year plan put out by my church. This one I’ll read each evening with Jess before bed. It’s been sweet so far, and I’m looking forward to what 3 years in the Scriptures daily together will do for our marriage.
Along with this, I’m committing to using the fighter verse app for weekly scripture memory, and I’m making time for more devotional study in specific books of the Bible (currently in Isaiah with Ray Ortlund’s excellent commentary – currently 6 bucks at crossway, along with every other ebook on their site).
All this accompanied with prayer each morning before being inundated by my world of noise.
What should all this mean for the blog?
Well, I have several post ideas on back log at the moment, currently waiting to for some time and attention. They include:
True Religion: Hospitality and Holiness – a look at James 1:26-27
Jesus’ Faulty Discipleship Model – what we can learn about Jesus from the fall of Judas (coming in time for Easter)
Explaining Big Concepts to Small People – As a father of three I need to get really good at this.
Lonely At The Top – What happens after celebrities (and all of us) achieve everything they’ve dreamed of.
Conditional Grace? – what are the conditions that Scripture lays out for God’s free gift of grace to be received.
This will accompany my regular Observing the Interweb posts.
My continually growing list of movie reviews.
A return to book and music reviews.
And a return to more purposeful posting on Twitter and Facebook.
I’m looking forward to a fruitful 2013 and I hope all dozen or so of you will join me!