New Year’s Resolutions: 2015
It’s hard to believe that it is already 2015. This means that it was 4 years ago that I graduated college, and 8 years ago that I graduated high school. I also celebrate my second year of marriage. Each new year causes us to think about years past. We think about how long it has been and how old we have become. Some of us make resolutions each year. Many of us fail these resolutions after a couple of weeks at best. Personally, I did not create any resolutions this year. Instead, I created a list of 100 things that I would like to accomplish this year. I have already begun some of the things on my list and still plan to accomplish all of them. One of the things that I put on my list was to create a weekly blog post. This may serve to be harder than I thought because I am already a week behind. Sounds like I am part of the failed resolutions already. To some extent it was not really in my control. I spent the first week of the year with family in Indiana. I did not turn my computer on for about two weeks during that time. Then, when I got back home I immediately had to start working on the sermon that I am going to preach this Sunday. I’ll be sure to post a link when it is available for online listening.
Keeping up with resolutions and goals is not something that is easy for most people. For me, I have organized my list of 100 things into various categories. I then put this list on my phone in check list format. I have reminders set up to do some of the things at various times in the year. I am definitely excited to push myself to accomplish all the things on my list. I think it will be a fun challenge that will help to develop me as a person as well as put my time to mostly good use. Having this personal accountability and reminders set up is something that I think is going to help me out quite a bit.
Reading the Bible in a Year Resolutions
These kinds of resolutions are very common among Christians. They are also resolutions that I have seen very few people accomplish. I have actually made this a goal for myself a couple of times. One time I got very close to reading the entire Bible in a year, but by December I was quite behind and never did finish the end of Malachi and Revelation. This year I am trying something a little different that has worked out so far in the first nine days of 2015.
YouVersion is the most popular Bible app that I can think of on mobile devices. They offer tons of different reading plans. Some of them use different translations, some are chronological, others divide the Bible up into ways that but boring parts next to exciting parts. I think that this is the current plan that I am using. I believe that it is just called the ESV Study Bible. The reading program so far has had an exciting Old Testament reading, a boring (sorry Chronicles) Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, and a reading from the Wisdom literature. For me this has worked great because I was dreading having to read through Leviticus and Numbers again. The interesting passages in there are few and far between (not to say there are not good things there. See this post.).
In the past I have tried a reading plan through YouVersion but quickly fell behind. However, they have made advancements in their programming and they have a reminder system that seems to work well. I now get a notification every day that reminds me to read. So far so good.
There is one more thing I would like to say about reading the Bible in a year. Do not make this the only reading that you do. When you are trying to read the entire Bible in a year you are doing it for that reason. I do not think that the Bible is exactly meant to be read like this all the time. Many passages are meant to be studied with more depth than the speed reading that we are doing to get through the Bible. I think that it is good for us to breeze through the Bible every year, but I also think that it is important to slow down and take a couple moments and reflect and pray about what we are reading.
Losing Weight Resolutions
Once upon a time I was a star cross-country runner. Seriously, I made all-stars three times in high school. This is no small achievement. My miles were consistently under six minutes and often under 5:30. Today, I might be able to get under nine minutes . . . maybe. While I have not directly made losing weight one of my resolutions like so many other people, I have made it a goal to try to fit into clothes that I have out grown. Some of the things on my list will help me to achieve this goal but nothing focuses on losing a set number of pounds. When I was running miles in under six minutes I was about 55 pounds lighter. This is hard to believe. While I am sure some of this is muscle and maturing, being healthy is something that I have never had to think about. Now, as I am getting older, being healthy is something that I must think about or I am only going to continue to deteriorate.
One of the things that I have been doing the last couple of days is a daily ab workout. I have only done a small amount a day, but it is enough that my abs are still burning a few hours later (this is a good kind of burn). Below is a link to the app that I have been using. There are some nice videos that go along with each exercise and it is easy and simple to use. I was lucky enough to get this one when it was Amazon’s free app of the day, but it is only .99 cents normally anyway.