Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Years Resolution

Over a year ago, way back in 2009, I decided to start a Blog. Now I have never been a big writer. I have never sat down and said I feel like writing today. I haven’t even been one to follow a ton of popular trends, and I would say blogging is a popular trend. However, I saw it as a good way to share some of my thoughts about life, ministry, and other topics with my congregation and those who wanted to read them. For the first half of 2010 I would say I succeeded very well at this blogging thing, but then something happened.

I have wrote several times that I do intend to continue blogging. I have even shared that I was working to recreate the blog. To be honest those were the thoughts in my mind at the time. What I really think it was … my well was dry. I had run out of ideas. Over the past several months I have done a poor job feeding myself. One of the things I have noticed in my life is when I am drained, dry, and even a little depressed, I am empty.

There are two ways for me to recharge my batteries so to speak. The first is on the spiritual side. I love to listen to sermons. But not just any sermons. I love to listen to good preachers present the Word of God. I am a preacher. I am a trained preacher. I attended Bible College, and have a degree in Bible and Theology. I also have a minor in preaching. That means I have a decent grasp and understanding of scripture. I also have been trained in preaching styles and techniques. Because of that, when I listen to a sermon I struggle to hear what the preacher is preaching and I focus on his exegesis, his sermon structure, his delivery quality, and many other technical aspects. I have to listen to a good preacher who I can forget about those details and actually hear what he is saying. I hate that, but most preachers I know struggle with the same problems.

Having said all that, there are good preachers out there that I can listen to and glean a lot of insight from. But I haven’t been feeding myself the way I should. Sometime over the summer I switched computers at home and have yet to sync my iPod with that new computer. Because of that, I haven’t put any new sermons on it. Now here at the office the church has purchased me a new computer. This new computer will allow me to have iTunes on it and allow it run while doing other things. I am excited to be able to listen to sermons once more.

But the sermon thing isn’t my only let down. I read the Bible a lot. But a lot of what I read is in preparation for a lesson, sermon, or some sort of devotion. While I am reading the Word, I am not feasting on the Word. I am reading it to prepare for something, not reading it to transform my life. This is something I have been warned about for a very long time, even before I went to Bible college. And even though I have been warned about it, I have fallen into the same trap.

Since I am not reading the Bible like I should, you can probably guess I am not having my prayer time with God the way I should. If that is what you did guess, then you would be correct. Isn’t it funny how all those things work together? God speaks to us through his Word (as well as other ways), but if we are not in his Word, then at times we can have nothing to share back with him. Its like the awkward silence you experience on the phone when no one has anything to say. Friends this is a great problem, and one I have to work to overcome.

Earlier I said I recharge in several ways. The second way I recharge is by doing something with my hands. If I can't work on physical projects I can get somewhat depressed. I think this is one of the things that has always scared me about ministry. I love what I do. I love being able to teach the truth of Scripture and inspire people to live lives that glorify God. But in that there isn’t always a lot of physical work to be done. A lot of it is at a desk, reading, writing, and preparing lessons. A lot of it is talking with people about their spiritual condition, their struggles in marriage, or some health issue. A lot of it is reading about, dreaming, and strategizing the future of God’s church here at West Side. A lot of it is going to the hospital and visiting those who are sick. A lot of it is much more than I care to share here. In no way am I complaining about my job. I love those aspects, but most of them do not require me to use my hands.

Even though I am not good at it, I love to build things. I love to mow grass. I love to care for landscaping. I love to tackle projects around the house. For the first year and two months living here in Lebanon, Crystal, Alivia, and I lived in a tiny apartment. Living in that apartment was horrible for me. If something broke or needed improving I had to call the complex to have a maintenance man come take of it. Now that I own a house, I am the one that gets to do those things. I am loving it. I also can tell that some of the spring in my step has returned. My batteries are being recharged.

I titled this post New Years Resolution. It is that time of year to make those things. While I have never been big on making a Resolution, I think this year I might. I am not going to make the proverbial resolution to loose weight (While I certainly need to do that). I am going to make the resolution to make sure I am recharging my batteries. My well has been empty for a while now. I need it refilled. I am making strides in the working with my hands department, but I have a long way to go in the spiritual department.

I plan to again use this blog as a place to share my thoughts. But for me to be able to do that, I need to be filling the well and charging the batteries. I am going to use this blog as a barometer of my spiritual health. If my well is dry then there won’t be any post on here, but if it is active, then you know I am recharging in many ways.

Over the next year you may also see this blog change. To be honest I do not know what I am want to accomplish here. It may just be a place where I journal. It may just be a place where I share my thoughts about church, life, and growth. Who knows, but I encourage you to help me keep accountable as you watch me recharge and fill my well over the next year.

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