So a new year is upon us, and I thought it right that both in terms of my personal growth and also the development of this site there are some thoughts I should share.
1)'James Prescott' in 2009
This site will continue to exist, for sure. I will continue to be posting my thoughts and reflections on everyday life within today's culture, as Jesus speaks to me about how to live the Christian life through the things I encounter within my own cultural context, church and Bible study, and I will still be posting those reflections here, though probably not as many as 2008 because of my other site (see below).
2) Evolving Church in 2009
In terms of my other site, www.jamespressgang.wordpress.com , the plan really is to continue developing my ideas about church. That site will be where I post my visions, thoughts and reflections on what church is and how it needs to evolve, adapt, grow and re-define itself for today's world while keeping Jesus at the centre. I'd encourage all of you to regularly check that site as well, as I will be posting there regularly.
I hope to visit some churches this year of many different types, and hopefully around autumn time I'll be writing a piece (probably in two or three parts) with my reflections and conclusions from these visits. I may report on individual visits if something really stands out, but the real benefits of these visits will come out in this series. I also hope to keep posting here my thoughts, vision and reflections on what God wants of church in this coming generation, what church is and isn't and how we can move forward and evolve as a church both locally, nationally and internationally.
I'm doing a church mission called 'Flow'. Essentially this is a mission into my own life and re-ordering my everyday life around Jesus, with daily prayers and bible study, giving, serving and discovering more about myself. I hope to use this to hear more clearly what God is speaking to me about, more about church and also to get into good spiritual disciplines I can continue with after the mission has finished. For me its the perfect way to start the new year, and it begins this Wednesday (7th January) for 40 days.
4)A more disciplined life
The real area I am being challenged and need to grow in this year is my self-discipline, and getting into good disciplined habits. This covers the area of my diet, health and personal fitness, as well as Bible study, prayer and general reading. These are areas God really is challenging me about and I hope to tackle these this year, and have already set some goals in these areas. Living a more disciplined life around the values of Jesus is a key part of anyone's spiritual development and growth to become more like Jesus, and in particular as a leader I feel responsible to get these areas of my life re-ordered this year and develop good habits which will hopefully stand me in good stead for the future and give me a deeper perspective in terms of envisioning and realising the vision of an evolving church.
These are the challenges that face me this year and areas I hope to grow this year. We are all on a journey with God, and this is I think the journey Jesus has for me - and this site - this year. I would appreciate all your prayers and I hope simply the act of writing them down makes them real for me, and will allow me to keep hoping and believing when I'm feeling weak and not up to the challenge.
People may seem to be very despondent in the current climate, and those issues are very real and need to be faced and acknowledged. But life is like that. We face problems and challenges all the time.
There is a very real God who is always with us and equips us with all we need, and gives us strength to persevere. A God on whom we can depend on, who loves us and accepts us as we are, who shows us a better way to live and a new kind of culture to live by.
A God who gives us hope.
As I, this site and all of you enter this year, let us do so acknowledging the challenges ahead, but positive that with the help of our Saviour anything is possible.
Have a great year.