Welcome, 2016

1 Jan

It is a new year. I’m sitting here in my favorite chair. Everyone else in my house soundly asleep. That’s a good thing. The quiet gives me time to reflect.
I am 46 years old. Someone said this was the downhill slide of life. I think whoever sent that was out of their minds. I am honestly at the happiest I have been since high school.
No, 2015 was not without its troubles. I’ve never known a year to not have its problems. Most of the hardship in the past year seems to have been in the parenting department. There have been times that my wife and I have questioned whether or not we have made the right decision. And there have been times, even recent, that our hearts have been broken by our children. Yet as I sit here thinking about both of them, I have nothing but love for them. I would step in front of a bullet for them.
Just outside my door is an amazing church. The church has put up with me for 14 years as their pastor . They have seen me literally grow in this position. They have nurtured me and now they allow me to nurture them. When I look back on who I was when I first got here, I realize how much of a roller coaster this time. It has been interesting. It has been a journey. And it has been one I’m glad that I took.
One of the most valuable things in my life has been my friendships. I earnestly believe that every friendship you have is important. And that you should never ever discard a single one. Relationships matter. The past year has enabled me to renew some friendships, strengthen current ones, and make new ones. I am very blessed in that area. I know and love some really incredible people. 
Speaking of which, just across the house from me, my best friend sleeps soundly. My wife is the most amazing person and I don’t know where I will be without her. She has taught me so much and I never would’ve thought it was possible to love someone as much as I love her. 
I am one of the few people who actually believe in New Year’s resolutions. And this year, I have put a lot of thought into it. 
I resolve to make more time for my family. I have only a year and a half left before my teenager ventures out into the adult world. I am very fearful for her right now. And I find myself thinking that as a father, I haven’t done enough. I resolve to make more time for her and to make sure she knows that I love her unconditionally. My nine-year-old is growing more and more every day. Sometimes, she wants to play and I simply can’t be available. I want to make those times less and less. And finally, my wife needs to always know that she has a husband who would do anything in the world to make her happy. I vow to make that more evident on a daily basis.
Concerning my church, I need to spend more time on sermon preparation. They come each week expecting to hear something from the word of God. I vow and resolve to spend more time in the Word and more time in my preparation.
I also feel like my schedule has sometimes gotten the way of relating personally with many of my membership. I need to spend time just visiting with them. I resolve to be in each one of their homes before the years over.
As a teacher, I want to spend more time instilling in my students the incredible value of an education. I want them to understand that nothing is being taught them just because we are working on the paycheck. I want them to have a passion for learning that they will carry with him for the rest of their lives. For that reason, I resolve to enter the classroom each day more prepared than I have been in years past. That’s going to mean extra time at home preparing lessons but I will give it the time necessary.
As an American, I want to become more actively involved in turning my country back in the direction it needs to go. I have complaint, I have posted, I have preached, but I have the little else to help change the situation. This year, I resolve to become more active as a conservative Christian Republican and get involved in the process. I I encourage others to do the same. Unless, of course, you are a liberal Democrat. Then I encourage you to do nothing.
Finally, I started the journey last year to being in better shape and in better health that I have been in a long time. I have become actively involved in Camp Gladiator. I absolutely love it. I resolve to become more committed to it and to now begin on changing my eating habits. I want my body to bring glory to God. It is supposed to be a temple, not a fast food restaurant.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I post it for only one reason. I have found that making things public helps to increase accountability. If you’re reading this, I want to encourage you to remind me of the things I have promised from time to time


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