Can you do a favor for me? Can we all just forget for the next few moments as you read this that we are already three weeks into 2017? Because if you don’t do this for me, it will seem pretty lame that I am just now writing a post about my goals for the new year. (Maybe goal #1 should be to get to things in a more timely fashion…)
Before I tell you about my vision for 2017, let me review the goals I had set for 2016. You can read my 2016 New Year’s post which spells those out by clicking here.
My first 2016 goal was to become a prayer warrior. While I wouldn’t classify myself as a “warrior” just yet, my prayer life has become more consistent and intense. I saw God answer prayer in some pretty powerful ways in 2016. And I have gotten into the daily habit of starting my day by writing down a page long prayer and praying it. This has really been a game changer in giving me meaningful and consistent time with the Lord.
Second, I wanted to read more consistently. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly how many books I made it through in 2016, but the major thing that happened was I finally starting listening to audiobooks during my daily commute. I know I am late to this, but it has definitely given me the chance to get through more books than I otherwise could. The only drawback is that I would often like to write some notes down and that’s pretty hard to do while driving. If you are interested in audiobooks, check out two sites/apps: Hoopla and Overdrive. If you have a library card from a local library (and if you don’t, go get one!) you can download a wide selection of audiobooks from these two sources for free.
My third goal was to improve my music and share it with more people. Although I had set a goal in the beginning of the year to release two EPs, after I released “Victorious” in the spring, I decided to take a break from writing and recording to focus on getting better at playing both the bass guitar and the acoustic guitar. As I started leading worship more and more, it became evident to me that I needed to increase my abilities so that I could do a better job in that area. I was happy with the album I released and appreciate all the positive comments I received.
Finally, I wanted to blog more consistently. I’m happy to report that there were only a few weeks in 2016 where I didn’t post some content. Hopefully, most of it was worth reading.
Looking forward to 2017, I’m surprised to say that I had a lot of trouble coming up with concrete goals for the year. I have a sense that God has not yet shown me where He wants me to go and what He wants me to do and is making me wait patiently for instructions. Waiting is difficult for me because I always feel like I need to be working on a project or task but I want to be ready when the right opportunity presents itself. I have had discussions about another mission trip to Jamaica or a possible trip to the Philippines, or getting involved in another local ministry, but none of these have really stuck out to me as the direction I need to go.
I continue to read (and listen to) a lot of books. I just finished reading David Platt’s “Radical” and “Follow Me;” two great books that both drive home the point that the core of everything we do in ministry should be focused on making disciples. So I wait to see where God can most effectively use me to make disciples – not just evangelism, but helping others to grow in their walk with Christ. Whether that involves a trip or teaching more or something else, I don’t know quite yet.
What I do know is that God’s Word tells me to “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3) My wish for your 2017 is Psalm 20:4: “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”