Monday, January 16, 2012

Not Resolutions - Projects!

Resolutions are things that were invented to make us feel bad about ourselves!  Probably invented by the chocolate manufacturers of the world to sell more chocolate.  See...this is how it works - first you make a resolution, say, to start excersizing more.  Now if you are normal, this is vague and hard to do and by February you have given up and are depressed and are eating chocolate for the emotional comfort!!!  I'm tellin ya, I think it's a conspiracy!  
This year I am going to beat the bad guys.  This year I'm making a list of projects - not resolutions.  I am pretty good at projects and organizing for projects, I suck at resolutions, so I will play to my strengths.  I have also found that I can trick myself, or as I call it 'playing head games with myself and winning', which probably says something sad about my mind (but that is another topic).  So for the next few days I will be coming up with my lists and organizing my projects.

The first thing to make sure that I always keep the Lord in the lead, sometimes I get to thinking I'm in the lead and have ended up in some bogs and marshes in my life!  (and yes I do look sheepish when I say that, I do know better!)

So my first project is to increase my Bible study time.  This last year the Lord helped me break through my issue with forgetting my daily devotions.  My Bible and devotional book sit on the kitchen table all the time and whenever I get to the table and sit down be it 7am or noon I do my devotional reading and read some in my 'reading through the Bible continuously'  project. First part of the project - I feel the need for more than simply reading the Bible now though, I need individual study time.  Church Bible study is wonderful and important but I want to look at things that are individual for me.  The second part of the project is to become more organized in my prayer life.  To my great shame I find that my heart is in the right place  "of course I will keep you in prayer"  but my mind fails me and several days later it comes to my mind again and I feel terrible.  While I may have 'a prayer on my lips' many times during the day, that is for the immediate need or praise.  Like so many areas of my life my prayer life needs organizing.

The next step then is to break it down and decide what methods will work for me.  Since leaving my Bible and devotional on the kitchen table worked for the daily devotional project, maybe the same technique in a different room will work for this.  I have picked a study that I want to do, I have had the book and workbook for years (something I was going to do and know).  It is "The Pursuit of Holiness" by Jerry Bridges.  I read in the evening at my desk in my home office, the small table beside the desk is where I lay my Bible when I get home from church.  Two Bibles, one in the kitchen one in my room.  One of the advantages to growing up in a Christian home is that you have a collection of Bibles to choose from when you get to be my age!  I am currently reading out of the New American Standard and will study out of the Scoffield KJV that I carry to church.  Bible study time will come in the evening, after dinner.  I like pretty, purposed tools and comforting processes - the feel of the leather on the Bible cover, teapots with matching cups, my lovely Bible cover with pockets and zipper and now hopefully my prayer book.  A dear lady in our last church Pat, was the leader of the womens Bible study and made each of us a covered prayer book with our names on them, yes she is a quilter and seamstress.  When we moved, it got packed and forgotten.  I have found it and am ready to use it to help me.

Isn't this just fun to think about using?

I now have the goal articulated, a list of the needed tools and a plan of action.
- Each evening I will work on Bible study and an organized prayer time
- In my Bible, next to my phones and in my purse are pretty notepads dedicated to writing down prayer requests from others
- Each week will have a page for requests - added to daily if needed
- Saturday night when I'm laying out things for church on Sunday I will flip to the next weeks page in the prayer book
Set up and ready to go!
- I will try to never say flippantly that I will pray for someone without writing it down, I don't think they will mind
-If a 'rabbit trail' in my Bible study throws me off target I will embrace it and enjoy the side trip
-If I miss a day, fall asleep in my chair or can't keep my eyes open I will understand that these things happen and give myself a break

I will not be perfect and I am ok with that - So is God by the way, he too wants to see me keep striving, even knowing as he does perfect isn't in the picture - better certainly is!


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