07 January 2011

thoughts for 2011

There is a lot to think about as 2011 opens. I am sure that this year is going to bring many changes and new experiences and I've been looking for ways to filter my ideas and opportunities in the most effective and fruitful way. I want my life to honor God in all of its particulars and I am trying to wrap my brain and heart around the life purpose that he helped me to articulate late last year.

Life purpose: To create shalom in my community through teaching and hospitality.

Vision for the next few years: prepare for and then acquire a PhD in English Literature so that I can teach at a college or university where I can pursue my purpose with those who have a Christian identity but lack intimacy with Christ

I expect that there will be much to consider but right now I have a few articles that are worth thoughtful consideration:
  • This post from Ravi Zacharias includes a story that I have heard before, but its truth pierced me anew: " ...The primary purpose of a home is to reflect and to distribute the love of Christ. Anything that usurps that is idolatrous. ..."
  • The Art House America blog had a reflective piece on seeing reality and this quote was also a good reminder as I consider the reality of hospitality and shalom in the life of the city: "...He spoke of Jesus’ mandate to let the wheat and the chaff grow together and let God have control in the end — God who is not threatened by the presence of chaff. If we took it upon ourselves to start weeding the field, we would get it wrong. We would proceed by making false distinctions, in groups and out groups, positions of advantage and of humiliation. We would grab power and disenfranchise anyone who didn’t fit the controlling narrative we created; we would pluck out wheat and call it chaff...."
2010 saw the end of a long-term relationship, the change of homes, change of church homes, and a renewal of my commitment to live in the city for at least the next 5 yrs. With a clearly articulated purpose, an ambitious debt-payment plan, and preparations underway to start graduate school in the fall there is a much on my mind and my heart. If there are still any readers of this blog, please pray for me as I seek to use the next 8 months as preparation for the next big step. There are far more things that I want to do, understand and experience than I can fit in that short time. I need Holy Spirit-guided discernment to make the best choices. Saturday is our Household Summit. I hope to come out of it with a better grasp on the next 12 months and hopefully some attainable goals for the next 3/6/9 months. I will share more as it becomes known.

photo is from Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland from our trip in Nov 2010