Happy New Year! Whether this first week of 2019 has brought joy or sorrow (or a little of both), I hope you’ve been finding your strength in God.
I thought I’d stop by here and give you a glimpse into what this year is going to look like for me.
I’m very excited that I’ll shortly be starting a ministry apprenticeship at my church, through MTS (Ministry Training Strategy). I’ll be working part-time for the next two years, particularly seeking to disciple women in my congregation and our local community. I’m so thankful for the privilege of being able to devote so much time and energy to ministry.
I’m hoping that this apprenticeship will help me discern whether I want to go into vocational ministry. I’m also excited to learn new ministry skills, grow in my knowledge of God’s Word and ability to teach it, and get an understanding of my strengths and weaknesses in ministry. There’s a curriculum component to MTS, so I’ll get to read, reflect on, and apply some great books too.
My reading goal this year is 52 books, so one book a week. I’m using my holidays to get a head-start, so I’ve already finished two and got another few on the go.
After finally finishing Calvin’s Institutes, I’m looking forward to a new challenge. My plan is to read Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology over this coming year. That works out to just over a chapter a week, which should be manageable. He includes practical elements like reflection questions, a Scripture memory verse, and a relevant hymn. I’m hoping it will transform my heart as well as informing my mind.
I’m keen to devote more time to fiction this year. I want to re-read the whole Chronicles of Narnia series, and at the moment I’m halfway through one of my favourite books from my teen years, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Earlier in the week I finished Jane Austen’s Persuasion, which I’d started in November.
The main category of books I read is Christian non-fiction. I’d like to make a good dent in the huge pile of books I own but haven’t read yet. And as part of the MTS curriculum I get to read a bunch of great books too. I’m particularly looking forward to rereading The Cross of Christ by John Stott. I read it during my university years, and it was life-changing!
You can expect the same schedule on this blog in the coming year. All going well, I’ll post a new article each Monday and occasional bonus posts on Thursdays (like this one!).
I’m really excited for the year of writing ahead. One thing that keeps me on track is my accountability group in the Young Writer’s Workshop. They’re an amazing bunch of people who encourage me every week to make time for writing (or to take a break if I need it). I’m so grateful to God for them!
Of course, I don’t know what this year is actually going to look like. These are a few of my plans, but I’m not really in control. But I trust my good God who is in control. I know that whatever happens, he will be with me this year. He’ll use my joy and my suffering to make me more like Jesus.
More than anything else this year, I want to trust God more and express that in constant, steadfast, zealous prayer.
What are your plans and hopes for 2019?