After our last get-together, our small group decided to think through the ramifications of 1 Thessalonians 4 by asking this question: “What will we do to out-live the world in 2015?” After much thought, here are my thoughts, in New Year’s resolution form…

Resolved…

    SPIRITUALLY

1) To spend time in dedicated prayer applying helps I learned from Timothy Keller’s book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.

2) To observe a true Sabbath from 9PM Thursday to 9PM Friday with insights from my friend Barry Jones’ book Dwell: Life with God for the World.

3) To study through the Gospels all year using J. Dwight Pentecost’s The Words and Works of Jesus Christ.

It seems to me that it will be impossible to outlive the world without being connected to God in deeper, more meaningful ways in 2015. I found Keller’s book to be practical (especially in the latter half) and Barry’s book is excellent in entirety but the chapter on Sabbath gave me rationale for applying that in our modern suburban context. Dr. Pentecost’s book is one I loved from seminary and I’ll work through my study using that as a guide.

    PHYSICALLY

4) Lose 10 pounds.

I lost 15 this year (and 35 the year before that) and I’d I’ll continue using my LoseIt app as well as the workout regimen I’ve been on to get this far.

    MENTALLY

5) Read better books.

I read 56 books last year and most of them are forgettable. I intend to read free classics and such from great works of the past rather than newer releases. Granted, there will still be some of those, but I’ll try to read 2 classics for every one of the newbies.

    OTHER ODDS AND ENDS

6) Get to know the neighbors. All of them.

Read The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door, by Pathak and Runyon as well as God Next Door: Spirituality and Mission in the Neighborhood, by Simon Carey Holt for why I think this is paramout for myself and suburban Christ-following.

7) Exercising the writing muscle. Work on the book I’ve already outlined and stay disciplined about writing via the blog.

I’ve already sent my first chapter to several folks and the insights they’ve given have been good, but primariy they’ve been encouraging in that I’m on to something helpful. And, I think being more disciplined in writing here at the Diner will be good for all of us. Mostly, it’ll keep me in the habit. I’m thinking two to three times per week.

Well, kids, there you have it! Feel free to ask me what I’m learning or how it’s going!

Oh, and happy new year, patrons!