New Year, New Resolve

With the new year, fresh energy and renewed interest in self-discipline and self-improvement always come. January 1 came with the perennial commitments to working out, eating healthy, watching less TV, and reading more. I also woke up to January 1 with a counter full of leftover Christmas cookies, a fridge full of soda, a wintry day begging to be enjoyed from inside with hot chocolate, and a shelf full of new superhero movies begging to be watched from my pajamas. Inertia is a powerful force.

And this blog has been an incredible source of accountability and incentive to write regularly, to read deeply, to continue. The last few months I have focused on my new call as a solo pastor, and have chosen to let this be one of the commitments that goes in order to commit fully to my work as a pastor. The last three months have been incredibly rewarding, and exciting, and challenging, and with this new year’s arrival, I recognize that my blogging has been a source of re-creation for me, a place where I can develop and hone my thinking, share my reading, and continue to grow in the gifts that God has given me. Blogging is an essential part of my rule of life, my program of life-giving spiritual disciplines. So is reading.

So, knowing this is aspirational, I have set the personal goal to read 35 books this year. And in order to continue learning what I need to know for ministry, I picked out books in a few major categories: worship & preaching, mission, leadership, Reformed faith and practice, and personal devotions.

shelf2Worship

worship

Mission

mission

Leadership

leadership

Reformed Faith and Practice

reformed

Personal Devotions

Last year I set out – ambitiously – to read 45 books, and I managed it: partially because I was finishing up seminary, and reading was a great deal of my workload, and partially because I discovered the public library’s comic book shelf, and those apparently count as books now. I reined the goal back for this year, and I recognize that 35 is still an ambitious goal, but my hope is that aiming high means I strive high. And posting this here is my way of giving myself accountability.

I will most likely quote and comment on what I’m reading here, hopefully fairly regularly, so stay tuned. Thanks! and Happy New Year!

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7 thoughts on “New Year, New Resolve

  1. Great Commitment!! If you run out of reading or want a little something different may I recommend “Center Church” by Timothy Keller (its one of those books that you’d pick off a little bit at a time cause that’s all you can handle) and “Covenant and Kingdom” by Mike Breen. Both are great!! Rocking my world!

    • Thanks for the recommendations, Jon! Center Church has been on my list for a while, so I’ll have to check it out soon. Covenant and Kingdom also sounds particularly good. I’m working through a loose theme of “The King and His Kingdom” for this year with Emmanuel, and a lot of the books I chose were chosen with that in mind.

  2. Wonderful resolve and a wonderful selection of books Cody!!! Just a thought – perhaps just add some fiction or more than a few books that are non-fiction but not necessarily front and center religious or churchy! Lots of value in those ‘other tomes’ as I know you are aware of! Good Luck – and keep us posted – always enjoy your blogs even though I may not comment! +Blessings, mh

    • Yes, Mary, absolutely. I didn’t include the fiction, because I haven’t picked out what I’ll read for the year. Not quite, anyway. Thanks for the reminder! And I struggle to read non-fiction, so I’ll take your recommendation seriously. Thanks!

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