Thursday Quote Day: G.K. Chesterton

For this week’s Thursday Quote Day, here is a quote from writer G.K. Chesterton.

“The opposite of ‘funny’ is not ‘serious’. The opposite of ‘funny’ is ‘not funny.'” (G.K. Chesterton)

2013 Year In Review

2013 is coming to the end.  If there was any year that I’m glad to see go away it is 2013.  This has to be one of the worst years in my life.  There were a few highlights but mostly lowlights.  We all have those kinda years at some point and for me 2013 was that year.  I hope that your year was better.  If it wasn’t, I feel for you and hope that 2014 is better for you like I hope 2014 is better for me.  Like in my last blog, I liked to look back and review the year and I’ll do that here.  Here is the year in review starting with the final book list of books I’ve read this year (which in coinciding with how rough a year it was, it was the fewest amount of books I’ve read since I started keeping count in 2005).

Final reading list for 2013:

“Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton

“In Hines Sight:  The Ups, Downs and Rebounds of 40 Years of Sports Broadcasting” by Hope Hines

“Deep and Wide:  Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend” by Andy Stanley

“Multiply:  Disciples Making Disciples” by Francis Chan & Mark Beuving

“Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal:  A Boy, Cancer & God” by Michael Kelley

“Gospel:  Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary” by J.D. Greear

“Who Do You Think You Are?:  Finding Your True Identity in Christ” by Mark Driscoll

“Toughness” by Jay Bilas

“Let Hope In” by Pete Wilson

This is the 9th year of keeping track of books I’ve read. Here’s the number breakdown:
2005: 19
2006: 20
2007: 18
2008: 22
2009: 29
2010: 24
2011: 15
2012: 14
2013: 9

2013 Year in Review

Highlight of each month:

There wasn’t much to highlight from each month.  I will say the highlights were the following:  my church family in Spartanburg (Hub City Church), guys nights with Bryan, Clay & Mike, my trip to Cincinnati, being able to write a weekly column for website and guest on a podcast.

Five things that 2013 taught me:
1) Ministry is hard but worth it and I miss it when I’m not a part of it
2) Forgiveness is not cheap but it is worth it regardless if the other person is sorry
3) God is still in control, even when things in my life feel out of control
4) I’m still a long way away from being patient
5) Don’t quit on someone even when they quit on you

*Five personally significant events of 2013: (really there weren’t 5 positive events so end up with only 2)
1) I moved from South Carolina
2) I began a weekly column on a website
3) ——————————————–
4) ——————————————–
5) ——————————————–

Ten things I want to do in 2014 (in no particular order):
1) Continue to grow in my walk with the Lord
2) Find a full time job involving campus/college ministry (hopefully)
3) Hopefully find and be in a relationship with a girl that is honoring God
4) Continue to pray for my friends around the world
5) Be content with where and what God has in front of me
6) Find time for recreational reading
7) Travel to see friends
8) Be an encouragement to those around me
9) Learn as much as I can from the experiences I have
10) Smile every day

Five things I don’t want to do in 2014:
1) Grow weary in doing good
2) Feel like I’m all alone in what I’m doing
3) Forget where God has brought me and where he’s taking me
4) Hurt people and lose friendships because of my actions
5) Grow angry and bitter about circumstances

Five things I love beyond all reason currently:
1) God
2) My family and friends
3) Opportunities for the future
4) Reading
5) Writing

Five things I hate with good reason currently:
1) My sinful nature
2) Frustration about circumstances beyond my control
3) Being lonely
4) Being hurt
5) Bad attitudes

May the new year of 2014 be a better year than 2013.  That is my prayer for me and for you.

Keeping Patience

As I’ve said before, I’m not a patient person normally.  It is hard for me to wait.  I’m the type of person that wants things to happen.  So it’s not a surprise that right now in this season it is a test of patience.  It is not easy being patient.  It takes a lot of work to keep patience.  But it comes with the territory of trusting God.  His timing is not my timing that is for sure.  However, His timing is the right time.  So even though months may go by in waiting, to God it is but a moment.

The fact that I have the patience I do have comes from God.  He has grown my patience (and continues to do so).  I am ready to move on to the next season of life but I know that in the meantime God is working on me.  He knows I had to heal and prepare me for what is coming next.  So while I’m ready (and feel like I have been ready for awhile now), He knows best for what that next step is and will use this time of waiting like he will use all the good moments and the bad moments of my life for His glory.

Just Write It

I like to write.  Writing is something that I like to do.  Well, I should say creative writing is something I like to do.  I never was a big fan of writing research papers in high school, college or grad school.  Granted, I could write them and did pretty well if I put my mind to it.  Even if I didn’t, I usually ended up with a pretty good grade.  Regardless, writing is something that I enjoy doing and am decent at it.

Writing is an outlet for me to express myself.  Growing up I would write poems or short stories.  Some of those I still have in some notebook that is stored away.  Some have been lost.  I even wrote a novel that I started in high school and worked on for years.  I eventually “finished” it and maybe someday might get around to publishing it.  Then a little over 10 years ago (wow, 10 years) I started blogging.  That was a way to express myself and to keep track of my journey.  This led through several different blogs (LiveJournal and Xanga) and several different states and even a summer overseas.  Through rough times and good times, i blogged about them.

Last year and early into this year, my writing tailed off.  I wasn’t inspired to write anything and wasn’t motivated to write.  I think it was the season of life I was in (and I guess somewhat I’m still in at the moment).  Creatively, I was in a writer’s block.  Blogging wise, there was a lot of things that I was trying to processes outside of blogging and so I wasn’t writing.

Then about the time I started this new blog, I read an article (which the author’s name now escapes me).  But the author was talking about writing and sometimes you have to just write whether you’re inspired or not.  And I thought about how when I was going through rough times in ministry and how writing was a way for me to process things.  I knew I needed to get back to that.  So taking off of the Nike slogan “Just Do It”, I’m trying to “Just Write It”.  Whether it’s this blog or creative writing that I will try to do again, I know I just need to write.

I would encourage you (those who may read this) to find your creative outlet.  Whether it’s writing (like me) or singing or painting or whatever it is, find that thing were you can process and express yourself.  Use it as a means to share your life with others and glorify God as well.