Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.” But as it is you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.
New Years resolutions usually have to do with two things related to physical health: exercising more and eating less. Nothing wrong with wanting to be in better physical shape and trim some inches off the old waistline. But these promises to ourselves come and go and nothing changes. Why? One reason is because we have ungodly motives, or motives that focus not on the spiritual dimension. Why do you want to lose weight and get in better shape?
So you will feel and look better. Fine: nothing wrong with that. But this year think of it differently. Think of it in terms of what a more trim and healthy you will do for your spiritual life. When you are in better physical condition you sleep soundly and are thus able to start the day off with a good quiet time; you perform better at work, and in the evenings you are more alert to give attention to the Lord and others, instead of collapsing on the couch in a gorged stupor and wasting the evening watching the usual fare of so-called reality shows.
Seriously–think of your resolutions in terms of how they will impact your spiritual condition, and the benefit will be tremendous.
So in addition to losing this gut and getting back into my 36′ waist jeans I too am planning to push myself away from the table and have a seat on the recumbent cycle at the YMCA more regularly. Also to start the sit-ups and crunches again after a two-month layoff. No doubt about it, I want to look and feel better. But my motive is different this year. I want to be as alert and productive as possible in 2010 for the glory of the Lord. Anything can happen: I could die of cancer or be hit by a semi. Lord willing, though, here are my ministry goals for the upcoming year.
1. Promote the Swordroom site more aggressively to increase traffic. We have seen anywhere from 600-1000 hits per month over the past five months with almost no real work at promotion. Mostly word of mouth. That is about to change, and you can do your part by telling as many people as you can about the Swordroom. We hope to average at least twice as many hits per month next year.
2. Expand the Swordroom. More videos will be coming in the spring and summer of 2010. I hope to add a photo page to give you a visual of the Man Cave and the Fight Club gatherings. An expanded suggested reading page is also in the plans. Other possible ideas include guest bloggers, more links to other like-minded sites, and possibly some form of live interaction, such as a weekly chat time.
2. Increase the size of the weekly Fight Club. At this time we have 4-5 in attendance on average now, and I would like to see the Lord bring us two more men to round out the number to 6-7. Then maybe start another group after that. Also we want to see continued growth in the lives of the men participating.
3. Writing. This year we will (Lord willing) self publish a book on fighting the good fight of faith. I have not thought of a catchy title, so if one pops into your mind, please share it as a comment or via the contact link. This book is already in the works and we hope to make it available through this site and at Amazon by June 2010.
4. Local church. After over three decades in full time preaching ministry we are busier than ever in the ministry of this site and the fight club. With the writing and site promotion underway it promises to be a very busy year (20-30 hours weekly on top of my day job). We have found a great little church in our community where the Word is preached and the ministry is no-frills. We have spent so many years on the other end of the podium that it is a real lesson for us in what it’s like to be regular churchgoers sitting in the congregation week after week. Please pray for God’s grace as we grow in our ability to demonstrate genuine love for other believers in the context of the local church. To any from this little church who might be reading these words, thank you so much for welcoming us into the fellowship. Please be patient with us–we are so far from perfect.
As you make your plans and projections for the new year remember the glory and sovereignty of God. Hit the gym and lose that gut (or butt) for the glory of God. And when you plan be sure you submit your plans to the sovereignty of God, because unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.
Thanks be to God for bringing us through one of the darkest hours imaginable of attack from the enemy this past year. We wanted to drop out of the fight many times, but God provided the needed perseverance and has led us in triumph in Christ. Glory to His name. He makes all things beautiful in His time.