6 Jan 2021

New Podcast Episode – #59 How I am Putting God First in 2021

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Long time no see (or hear) as the case may be with a podcast. After a long soul searching process a little over a year ago, I decided to take a sabbath from producing most content during 2020. Instead, I spent the past year focused on cleansing. Here’s the quick backstory before getting into today’s podcast.

The Backstory

Specifically, this past year I focused on cleaning up:

  1. Health by cleaning up my diet and exercise norms. This has been awesome. I’ve lost over 20 pounds and 7 inches off of my waist. I have brought my health back to a level it was prior to developing A-fib about three years ago. And…I’m not actually done yet. While I’m only a few pounds away from my initial goal of 195 lbs. I’m setting a new goal to lose 10 more after that. Woohoo!
  2. Finances, by putting a stop to financial bleeding and renew tithing. We had been carrying two mortgages unexpectedly for almost two years. Then, truly by the grace of God we sold our former home in July. We have to recuperate from the toll that took on us, but we can do that now that we are not leaking financially.
  3. Physical space, by cleaning up my garage mainly. When we moved three years go our oversized garage became a dumping ground. I’m not quite done organizing, but I’m actually giving myself to the end of the month to finalize this and other goals.
  4. Routines, by nailing down a couple habits to manage my desk clutter. I’m not there yet. I’ve figure out what works for me but haven’t fully lived into this enough yet to call it a win. I’ll get there though.

Okay, so all of that said. I am now feeling creative bandwidth and energy opening up to begin producing podcasts, videos, posts, etc.

I’ll be honest, I have not discerned or decided yet frequency. I don’t see me jumping full on the weekly podcast wagon just yet. But, we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ll have a clearer picture by the end of January. I’ve decided that rather than nail down my goals by December 31 just to meet that totally subjective though poignant deadline, I’m going to use January for establishing goals.

Why? As a pastor December is a month of meaningful mayhem and demand. That is not the space for discerning and making commitments. I’m too distracted and depleted. January, however, offers a lull in activity and the perfect productive pause to give God my full time and attention for listening. To that end I’ve adopted a practice of dedicating the first 30 minutes of the first 30 days of 2021 to honoring God and listening. That practice is the focus of today’s episode.

About today’s episode…

In today’s podcast I lay out step-by-step how I spend my 30 minutes. In short the core elements are:

  • Light a candle as I declare, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Opening actions like this are always good for devotional times. They draw a line in the sand from other activity and become a trigger for you to be full present.
  • 5 minutes of listening. I breath relax and at any time my mind wanders I just mentally say “Jesus” to draw my attention and intention back into being in God’s presence. I’m essentially doing 5 minutes of centering prayer.
  • Sing a hymn (optional) but so far I have done this everyday.
  • Read the word and a devotional. I am using the 2021 Moravian Daily Text as my guide for that.
  • Journal. This writing time is focused praising and honoring God, as well as, processing anything from my Bible reading that begs for attention. I keep the focus of this distinct from my normal daily journaling which is more focused around my goals and gratitude.

That’s it. For more details listen to the full podcast. Please like, share, subscribe and all that good stuff. It feels good to be back and I’m looking forward to connecting more with you in 2021.

4 Responses

  1. Alex Sandra

    Happy to see you back with this resolution, John! 🙂
    Cheers and Happy New Year with the Lord and your loved ones <3

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