Goodbye, 2010!


What. A. Year.


Gone already?  Really?

God is so good.  The first time I posted this year, I wrote out a list of things I hoped to accomplish in 2010.  What a marvel it is to see how God has used that list – changed, reshaped, remade – this year!  I couldn’t have planned what has happened, and I’m in complete awe of how the Lord used seemingly random events to continue writing His story of Redemption in this little slice of His world.  I can’t wait to see what 2011 will hold!  So (tradition!) here’s what the list looked like at the beginning of the year… with how things actually turned out. :-)

Themes for 2010

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

When I read Jeremiah 29 on January 1, 2010, I had no clue that it would become the central passage/theme for the Philadelphia Summer Medical Institute – or that I would be director of SMI Philly 2010.  I also had no idea that God would call me (personally) to live in the city of brotherly love after finishing SMI.  It’s certainly not how I would have written the story, but as I’m learning, God’s plans are always better.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

It’s amazing what I didn’t know 365 days ago.  For instance, I didn’t know that Dr. Ryken would spend the first six months of the year preaching Romans 8 from Tenth’s pulpit.  I had no idea my church as a whole would be faced with the grief of losing Dr. Ryken when he accepted the call to become Wheaton College‘s eighth president.  I came to understand the very real comfort of Paul’s words in Romans 8: “For I am sure that… [nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!” I would not have chosen this lesson, this year, but I find rest in the fact that “…for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

“Behold, I am making all things new!” (Revelation 21:5)

This one became the SMI Philly 2010 t-shirt (no, I didn’t plan or design it).  How marvelous to see God at work!  And right here in the neighborhood where I now live!  As Tim Keller put it in a recent tweet, “At Christmas God moved into a very bad neighborhood and began rehabilitating it.”  And now God is giving me the opportunity to join Him because He wants to make me like Him…  I would never have planned it this way.  (See the theme yet?!)

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Need I add more?  That is exactly what God did in my life – more than I could ask or think, because of His Spirit at work in my heart, for His glory now and forevermore.  Amen!

The 2010 List

  1. Read through the Bible. In English!  And on Dr. Ryken’s plan, which took me once through the entire Bible and twice through Psalms, Isaiah, Luke, and Romans.  Finished today in Job, Psalms, Isaiah, and Revelation.  What a way to end the year!
  2. See if the 100-Hours-of-Prayer “rule” really works – more than once. It works.  Pray and fast for something, and at about the 100-hour mark, the Lord brings incredible answers!  Even if the fasting wasn’t 100 consecutive hours, I found that the “rule” held true.
  3. Set aside time each month to fast.  I was good about this in the beginning of the year, but over the past few months (lots of reasons), I have slacked off and not fasted as much (if at all).
  4. Read at least 10 books.  Yup.  Favorites would be Preach and Heal, Crazy Love, Searching for God Knows What, and three that I’m still reading – Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands, A Praying Life, and On Being a Missionary.  Read lots of other interesting books as well. :-)
  5. Memorize 10 specific chapters of Scripture.  Why is Scripture memory always such a sticking point?!  Romans 8 is somewhat memorized, and part of Ephesians 6 is memorized, but I didn’t fulfill this one.
  6. Run several times a week.  My goal was to run two 5K races this year… I ran seven!  Although the weather is now cold enough to keep me inside, running kept me sane this year.  BTW, I love my Virbram running shoes…
  7. Learn to play the guitar. I don’t think I so much as held a guitar this year.  And I’ve now been four months in a residence without a piano!  It’s a bit odd. :-/
  8. Pursue going – whether that means short-term trips or actually figuring out the where of long-term…  Or both.  I went to South Africa in October for the 3rd Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, and throughout the year the Lord has confirmed where I now hope to be within nine months.  Central Asia it is!
  9. Continue learning – about Jesus, about missions, about midwifery, about public health, about ministry in cities. While I didn’t take any courses, I did a lot of reading, moved, lived, worked several jobs, and became a certified inpatient obstetrics nurse (I have no idea what that means, other than that I get to put a “C” after my “RN” now – whoop-dee-doo!)
  10. Simplify, organize, clean-out, purge –  I want it to be evident that my eyes and heart are fixed on an eternity with Jesus – not here with a lot of stuff. :-)  Moving always helps clean out!  I’ve also been learning what I like and don’t like – and have been taking care to avoid what I don’t like!  There are lots of ways to reduce junk – reduce inflow, increase outflow, monitor what’s in stock, etc.  Good lessons for life in general!

I think perhaps tomorrow I will begin to attempt a 2011 list…  Just so I can compare down the road.  I love these landmarks, because they make God’s hand so apparent!

May the blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you in the New Year!


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