Goals for 2017

At the start of every year, each person in my Bible study group sets goals for the year. We use the Personal Growth Plan (pdf) provided by Park Community Church’s small groups curriculum.

Spiritual goals are an odd thing for me. I’ve blogged about my struggle with the concept at length a few years ago. Nevertheless, it’s good to try to do the things you love and need to do.

We have six areas that we cover every year:

  • Spiritual: relationship with God, Bible reading, prayer, discipling/mentoring, obedience to God
  • Community: relationships with spouse, dating, friends
  • Work/Home: integrity, purpose, and intention in work and home life
  • Physical: being a good steward with your body
  • Serve/Renew: your personal ministry with work, school, church, family
  • Give: spending your money wisely and giving generously

My goals from each of the areas:

Spiritual: Study lectionary the week before every Sunday

Every week, many denominational churches read the exact same passages from the Bible. Did you know that? Every Sunday, Catholics read the same verses as the Lutherans, Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches.

In 1994, they all agreed to the  Revised Common Lectionary. The readings for each Sunday includes a passage from each of these four areas of the Bible:

  • the Old Testament and Apocrypha (Lutherans  swap out the Apocrypha verses)
  • the Psalms
  • the Epistles or the Book of Revelation
  • the Gospels

Very cool that all these churches use the same readings! If you ever feel like you want to read more of your Bible, but within a group. Well, you have thousands of churches reading the same verses every week. Just follow along in the lectionary.

Community: Prayer using books with Sarah (my wife)

My wife and I pray before every email. Half the time we do a freestyle prayer thanking God for various things in our life, and to bring requests before our Lord. The other half we do our standard Catholic or Lutheran prayer.

  • The Catholic standard prayer: Bless us oh Lord, and these they gifts which we are about to receive from they bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
  • The Lutheran standard prayer: Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let thy gifts to use be blessed. Amen.

Lutheran Book of PrayerAll these prayers are wonderful prayers. Sometimes I feel like they get a bit too routine. I enjoy reading prayers from books to mix things up. Prayers from books introduce new aspects of God to praise him, new verbs to use, and new requests. I find praying from books gives a new depth to my prayers.

Five years ago I prayed from a Lutheran Prayer book at home every morning before I left for work. I’d like to start using this book more with Sarah before our meals.

Work/Home: Read Psalms to baby Julia 1/week

Snuggle Time PsalmsMy wife and I love reading books to our nine-month-old baby. Even better would be to read Bible passages to our baby. We have a couple bible books on our shelf. One that I really enjoy is Snuggle Time Psalms. Each spread is includes a verse from the Psalms. Underneath the Psalms verse is a cute little poem based on that Psalm. It’s an adorable book.

Little babies aren’t always patient for you to read the entire page. It’s tempting to skip over the actual verse and read just the poem. The poems rhyme, appealing to babies’ love of rhyming. But first I try to make sure to read the actual verse on every spread.

I’ll also try reading an an entire chapter of Psalms to her every now and then. I believe it’s important to read the original Scripture. Pages of text aren’t exactly the most appealing to babies, but sometimes she’ll sit for the reading.

Physical: Go to 4 doctors (regular doctor, dentist, eye, and dermatologist)

Same goal as last year. In 2016, I made it to the regular doctor and dentist. I didn’t get to the eye doctor or dermatologist. Thankfully to my wife, we already have an appointment to the dentist in February.

Ministry: Find a place

This is my same goal every year.

Give: Figure out finances for buying a house, include percentage for tithing

We currently live in a two-room condo in Oak Park. We hope to move into a house in the same neighborhood.

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