Tuesday, January 01, 2013

A New Year, a New Focus

Welcome to 2013!

For the past two weeks I've prayed for words to write this first blog of 2013 - the first one outside the focus I've had for 2012, which was praying through Operation World. I'm so blessed that God called me to that journey, but as it drew to a close I had a distinct sense of disorientation, like "what do I do with myself now?" It's not unlike a long trip you might make with your family - once you get home, do all the laundry, check the mail, and restock the fridge, you look around and try to remember what your normal life entails.

My feelings of disorientation have been enhanced because in addition to wrapping up this prayer  emphasis, my Bible read-through just ended yesterday (I don't read through in a year, so I rarely finish at the end of a calendar cycle), and I also completed the Bible study I was doing. The past two weeks of my vacation have been filled with busy-ness and fun and rest, as well as prayers asking God "what next"? While He's clearly guided me in some areas, others are still developing. I look forward to seeing what He wants to teach me this year.

One of the final video sessions of the study I just completed challenged us not to decide ahead of time what we're going to learn from Him next. I've taken that challenge, and will begin my Bible read-through today with that mindset. I will begin a study of Matthew as well, trusting God to guide me in how that should look. On the global prayer front, my 2013 focus will be the persecuted church - I'll be using the daily calendar and other resources from Open Doors.

[Update: Be careful when you commit not to decide ahead of time what you'll learn. God completely changed my study and I'm actually doing something I've never done before. I started with Genesis 1 and reading through one chapter a day. In the morning, I seek God for a devotional thought. In the evening, I go back through and read the NET Translator's Notes, highlighting what stands out and jotting down enough to help me go back and find it if I need to. I then create and outline of the chapter. It's cool to think in 3 years I will have outlines of every chapter in the Bible!] 

I honestly don't know where this blog fits in to the big picture of my life in 2013. I'll blog as God leads me, on topics He lays on my heart. I hope our paths will cross here from time to time, and as always, feel free to comment. I love dialogue!

May God bless you as you seek His face this year.