2011? Nothing like I expected when I made this list last year. Obviously, Gideon being born and work were tremendous. I continued with my minimalism lifestyle, which has been an insightful journey. The Verizon iPhone was everything I hoped it would be. This year? Where will God lead? Well, let’s see what happens. I have a few ideas…
12. Stage of Life – I’m 35, and closing in on 40. Am I looking forward to this? I’m not sure that’s the right wording. I am embracing it. I realize my fleeting youth. Well, I should say I realize my youth has fleeted. What does that mean now? How can I be purposeful? (You can substitute the word “missional” or “intentional” if you prefer.) What fills my life? This concept is laced throughout a lot of my blog posts from the past year or two, and you will see it in this list as well. As an overall idea, though, it’s something I think about. As I leave behind the 18-34 demographic, and enter into a new stage of life, what will come?
11. Soccer – My interest in professional sports has started to wane. I’ve abandoned the NFL, and don’t pay much attention to the NBA. I still like baseball, but the playoffs are a crapshoot. So why soccer? I enjoy the pace of the action, the flashes of artistry, the sounds of the game, the lack of breaks and more. One thing that has added to my enjoyment is the regular season mattering in the top flight leagues, like the English Premier League (EPL). I’ve followed the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) for a long time, and enjoy watching matches between top clubs, but I’m wondering if I’ll actually pick up a club to follow closely. I loosely keep up with Barcelona, due to Messi, but…just curious to see what happens. Plus, one of my favorite podcasts, Men In Blazers, discusses all things EPL and USMNT.
10. Downton Abbey – My favorite show since Lost. One reason I like it? It’s nothing like Lost. I get tired of shows trying to mimic Lost, or leveraging it as a way to gain traction. Downton Abbey is a period show with great stories. The acting is, well, the show is produced by Masterpiece Classics so the acting will be second to none. Phenomenal ensemble cast. No filler with the episodes. A wonderful show.
9. Project 4:4 – This is a project we are doing at Christ Community Church. We are reading through the Bible, chronologically, throughout 2012. I’ve enjoyed going through it as a family. Jana and I read to the boys, in the morning, from a Daily Children’s Bible. We’ve had some fun discussions with the boys. I like how it is another thing bringing our family closer together, not to mention how it’s rewarding for Jana and I to reread and study parts of the Bible we don’t read often.
8. Summer Films – There are the summer tentpoles like The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Brave, The Amazing Spider-Man. And then there is the lesser known fare like The Bourne Legacy, Dark Shadows, Prometheus, G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Yes, I want to see this even though I didn’t see the first film.), Snow White and the Huntsman, Jack the Giant Killer, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and more. It’s going to be good. (And then The Hobbit looms.)
7. Unknown – So much of the year seems laid out already with work and family, but there will always be something that surprises. It’s life. Maybe it’s just a nice way of saying, “I’m looking forward to life happening.” A lot of the good things that happened in my life were surprises.
6. Franklin Elementary – It all started with Leadership Summit 2011 and a piece of pottery. Through The Partnership for our Kids, I got involved at Franklin Elementary. Since then, my volunteering there has played a part in getting five others to join in and serve there alongside me. I’m excited to see how this involvement grows. (A post is forthcoming about this project.)
5. Minimalism/The RID Project – I don’t know what my goal is with this, but it’s fun. It’s a lifestyle for me at this point. It seems like something where there will be an end, since I am blogging every week for a year about something I’m getting rid of, but it’ll continue in some form. What’s been cool has been people coming up to me and sharing how the posts have inspired and/or challenged them. What else will I get rid of in 2012? I don’t know, but it’ll continue to be a fun ride.
4. Silicon Prairie/Omaha YP communities – I have a lot of friendships deepening within these various communities in the Omaha area. It’s been rewarding to be involved in varying degrees with Silicon Prairie and Omaha Young Professionals. I’m trying to be more intentional about my involvement with both. Like I said, it is rewarding, but it is more than that. If I’m called to serve in my community, and to be a Christ-like presence, how can that happen by always being within the walls of the church? There’s always this pull to be within the walls of the church, directly and indirectly. I find myself fighting it. There will always be meetings. There will always be events. There will always be something that seemingly pulls at Christians to stay within the walls of the church. Christians can’t do that. I don’t want that. We are called to go out into the world, to serve and to be a light. I want to do that here in the Omaha area within those two networks.
3. Provision (of a Van) – Some would say I’m a bit of a simpleton with this, but I believe in the provision of God. We need a new vehicle, a van, and my prayer is that God will provide this in some way. I’m aware that God can provide it in a myriad of ways, but it’s my prayer that he will provide it. God will provide other things as well, but the thing we’ve been praying for, as a family, is for a new van. I am excited and curious to see how it will happen.
2. Online Campus – I’ve blogged a bit about this, and I’ll keep it up throughout 2012. What lays ahead? I have no idea, but it will be fun. It will be a challenge. It will be everything in-between the two.
1. Family – In one sense, this seems fairly obvious. You’d think that a husband and father would look forward to new experiences with his family. And, I am. Throughout the past few months, as I’ve prepped for the Online Campus launch, I’ve sensed another call from God. A call to my family. Had I been neglecting them? No, but it was something I sensed. I needed to focus in on them during this time. I needed to establish good patterns and routines with my family in the midst of the craziness of launching the Online Campus. Is it for something greater? What’s your definition of “greater”? In my mind, it is greater to have a healthy, strong family. Ministry/work is secondary. I’ve seen others sacrifice their families for work. I won’t do that, but the pull is there. There were times during the past few months where I felt the pressure to do so. I’d think, “It’ll only be one time.” “I know it’s the Sabbath, but this will be quick.” “The boys will be asleep soon, so why does it matter to get home now?” “This project is pressing and I can’t be distracted!” I know there are busy seasons. Heck, I’m in the midst of one, but God has been clear with me about this. I’m not to neglect, in any way, my family during this time. No excuses. Why? I guess we’ll find out. And if it’s nothing more than having a loving, healthy family? Amen. I would be beyond happy.