It’s been a while since I’ve written a “regular” blog post. Thanks to our Project 3:45, this has actually been my most prolific blogging month since October 2006 — the month that my Cardinals squeaked into the playoffs only to win the whole thing! And I’ve enjoyed that project immensely, spending time reflecting on one chapter of Scripture each weekday. I’ve been posting my thoughts here, mainly because I want to file them away in an easily accessible location. But I want this space to be more than Bible study material. So it’s time for an update on a few fronts.
- I spent last week on the campus of Abilene Christian University in Texas. I haven’t written much about this here, but I’m working on my doctorate right now — and boy, is it time consuming! I enjoy it, but I’m also thankful that Sunny is so willing to hold the fort down while I’m in class. She did a lot of that as I was working through my Masters of Divinity degree a few years back and the work load has only intensified at the terminal level. My degree emphasizes ministerial leadership at the congregational level and it couldn’t be more practical and beneficial to my current context. For that, I’m grateful.
- Now that the holidays are behind us, Sunny and I are both making a renewed commitment to working out. We’ve had a membership to the YMCA for the past few months and we’ve used it quite a bit. This summer, I was hitting the treadmill and counting calories — so much so that I lost 25 lbs. by mid-June. Thanks to holiday snacking and overeating, I’ve put on about 5 of those pounds, but this week we’ve already put in two good workouts at the Y (devil, thy name is elliptical!). And we also made the decision to swap a few Christmas gifts at Best Buy in exchange for a Wii Fit. So we’re also getting in some good workouts at home, too. Our commitment is to some kind of movement & activity each day. So far, we’re doing pretty good, I think.
- I picked up a copy of the latest David Crowder Band album last week, a sprawling 34-track opus entitled, “Give Us Rest or (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys!]). I’ve been a huge fan of DCB for several years and I still contend that “A Collision” is one of the most brilliant records of the previous decade. So you can imagine how disappointed I was to hear that this would be DCB’s final recording. Now, I haven’t had a chance to fully absorb all 34 tracks — several of which play a bit like a killer rock opera — but I will say this: the guys are definitely choosing to go out in style, giving us a swan song with plenty to digest. The contemporary Christian genre has been devoid of much artistry in the past decade or so; a lot of mainstream acts follow the same predictably derivative lyric and chord progression, even down to the prerequisite hair frosting and thrift store attire. But DCB has always stood out among modern CCM acts, more for their artistic approach than anything else. The past few years have been pretty hard on the band, and I understand the reasons for their exit from the stage. But it’ll be our loss. I’m looking forward to unpacking this one more fully in the next few weeks.
- I’m reading through Stephen King’s “The Stand” right now. It’s pretty stout, checking in at well over 900 pages. But I can’t put it down. It’s rare that a work of fiction draws me in like this one has. I’m only about halfway through; I’m hoping the balance is as satisfying as the beginning so far.
- Guess who’ll be seeing Coldplay in Atlanta on July 3rd? Yep. I guess that gives me time to develop a greater appreciation for their latest offering, which checked in at #12 on my Best Albums of 2011 list.
- I’m not usually big on New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve only had a few that have ever amounted to much of anything. But I’ve made a general resolution this year to be more overtly joyful. At one point last year, a friend commented that it takes a lot for me to laugh out loud. I started thinking about it and I realized this was more true than I would like to admit. (Sunny confirmed this. Specifically, she said I do the fake ha-ha-that’s-funny laugh WAY more than I laugh one of those laughing-so-hard-I’m-crying laughs.) So this year, I’m seeking to be intentionally joyful. For me, I think this means balancing the severity of what I hear from others — those who share with me their struggles, their prayer requests, their doubts — with a personal recognition of the goodness of God and, consequently, life itself. My favorite refrain in Scripture is “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever.” I want to live more fully into this verse in 2012, specifically allowing His enduring love to spill out in joyful, exuberant ways in my life.
That’s enough of an update for now. Looking forward to making some more regular posts like this soon.