Saturday, January 21, 2012

Now These Three Remain...



This was originally published at Provoketive Magazine's website as part of the January "Synchroblog" on the subject of "Hope."

Oh, January. The turning of a page, the start of a chapter, and the beginning of a journey into undiscovered country. A time of pledging to not repeat the same mistakes or failings that the preceding twelve months brought time and again. Looking at the world with fresh, clear eyes and the chance for a new start. A hope in the unseen.

The irony that “hope” is a four-letter word is not lost on me. And like other four-letter words, this one can cut with its sharpness.

For such a simple word, “hope” carries a world of power behind it. It instills something inside of us. We can use it to project a sensation into others. As a verb, it is full of action, but never unfocused intensity. “Hope” always directly correlates to someone or something. Is it any surprise that “Hope” is a relatively popular name to give baby girls? Like the individual who would bear the name, “hope” implies strength, inspiration, and a sense of wonder.

Perhaps the passage we are most familiar with in the Bible where “hope” occurs is found in the oft-quoted verse “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love” (I Corinthians 13:13, NIV). It’s interesting that “hope” falls between “faith” and “love,” because there is something to be said about how important “hope” can and should be when linking these three idea together. …and yes: I know that “the greatest of these [three] is love,” but hope is the bridge we must cross in order to transition between the three.

Click here to read the rest of the story, and then check out the other (and way more talented) writers' takes on the subject:

The Trouble With HopeJohn Ptacek

Sunday, January 01, 2012

One Word 2012



Sometimes, I don't let my "yes" be my "yes" and my "no" be my "no." I try and try to add to, subtract from, or even ignore parts of what I have promised to do and be.

That's why this year, I have felt the pull towards my One Word for 2012 to be vow.

More than just a reminder to live up to a promise or a pledge, this has three distinct aspects for me to work on, adapted from one of the more common vows used in society:

- I will vow to love. To love my family and friends, and so show them this love in more than just lip service. And let me tell you: coming off a holiday season, sometimes this might be the hardest thing I can do. 

- I will vow to honor. To honor my time and intentional interactions with Ashley and Kai. To honor the commitment of what it means to be a husband and dad. 

- I will vow to cherish. To cherish my relationship with God. At the end of the day, after I feel like I have given all I can give, I feel like I slight this relationship the most. And if something is important to you - family, friends, spouse, child - you take care of it and make it a priority.

And in the end, I hope that I find myself obeying this vow.