Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Bold and The Promised

I'm going to cram a lot of different thoughts into this blog, some I know I've blogged about before so... Get ready!

I started a 1 year Bible reading plan on the first of the year, and I'm excited about it! I've managed to do my reading every day and hopefully that continues. Although doing the reading on my smart phone which I get a daily reminder is helpful. (A smart phone which the beautiful soon-to-be Mrs Patton got me for Christmas. Thanks baby!)

There was a great story on NPR the other day about linguistics in babies and how we learn to speak. It was fascinating. One part of the story they talked about how even as babies learning to speak we have this connection with animals and our animal vocabulary is quite large when we're young. As parents, aunts, uncles, babysitters, we always say things like "look at the birdie" or "look at the squirrel." And, having just started going through Genesis, I couldn't help that this connection goes all the way back to the creation of the world and God charging man over the animals. Super interesting how this "unexplainable" mystery really probably goes back to how God created us and has linked us together. Just completely fascinating.

This, I know I've blogged about before, but it's worth noting again. In addition to doing a one year Bible reading plan, I also have set out to read more this year. Because I think I only read Love Does and The Hunger Games last year. That's just pathetic.

*I did read more than just those two books but I have a flair for the dramatic. 

So I started with The Circle Maker and thanks to being sick and not working, I finished it. Yay!

The idea of praying bold prayers isn't new but I'm not very god at it for long. I tend to be bold and then don't want to put too much pressure on God so I back off. But reading the story of Abraham and his requests before God concerning Sodom and Gomorrah, you can't help but love that boldness.

"Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare[e] the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
“If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.” Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.” Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.” Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” ~ Genesis 18: 23-32

Abraham was no holds barred. And as he gets going going, his boldness increases. I feel challenged this morning to come boldly before the throne of God and present my requests and stick to my guns. Not back down and shy away and worry that I'm asking to much of God... Because I can't ask to much. Nothing is impossible for God. 

The other thing I've obviously struck by is God's faithfulness to that which he has promised and set apart. When you think about Abraham's story, even taking away the fact that the first dozen plus generations in the bible lived for a long long time, it's ridiculous to think about a man and woman in their 90's having a baby. It's crazy. But God makes a promise with Abraham that he will be the father of a nation and has crazy and ridiculous and absurd as it seems, God delivers. Because, as stated, nothing is impossible for God and he is always faithful!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012: Adventure Is Out There

To be honest 2012 was probably the worst year of my life. Nothing excited happened and there's really nothing to share. I just hope 2013 is 110% percent better than 2012.

Or you know... The exact opposite of that.

2012 was pretty awesome. Best year yet? I think so.

It was a year full of adventures and firsts. Some hardships but mostly 2012 was full of joy and growth.

I think the most obvious and most awesome happening in 2012 was... I GOT ENGAGED!
I knew pretty on in 2012 that I was going to ask Amanda to marry me and in October, I did! Stoked about starting a new life with Amanda in 2013. She's been the most amazingly supportive woman I've ever known. It's been a tremendous blessing getting to do life with her this past year and getting to fall deeper and deeper in love with her!

Second best moment on 2012? This little guy being born!
How flipping cute is he!!!! That's my nephew Brody! He's so cute! I love this little guy!

2012 was full of lots of adventures and firsts as well.

Amanda and I did tons of stuff.

My beautiful wife-tobe surprised me when we went to Alabama in September with tickets to see the Braves at Turner Field!!!
One of my life goals was to see the Braves in Atlanta and my baby made that happen! And it was Chipper's final home game!!! And the Braves won!!! It was an absolutely amazing experience!

We also took a sailing lesson (and was pretty good at it, I think). My obsession with ships and sailing led to Amanda getting this lesson and it was so much fun!

We took a great trip to Boston in August. A weekend crammed full which included touring the Sam Adam's Brewery and Fenway Park!

And tons more. Honestly, if there was something to do in 2012, we probably did it. Or attempted to do it. Lots of wine tastings, 5K's, a trip to the beach, canoeing, Octoberfest and much, much more! We had a fun year together. A solid start to a lifetime together!

I got to do some cool stuff musically in 2012.

A co-wrote a song that was released this year and I played guitar on another track. I got to play drums on the National Mall in front of the Washington Monument and played on the ellipse in front of the White House!
I feel like my musical skills as a drummer, bassist, and guitarist were all greatly improved this year.

Honestly, I think more than anything else this year I just learned to love life and be myself. I relied a lot on God to come through and answer prayers. And he did. Not the way I wanted them answered always, but always on time. God's faithfulness was all around me. There were some tough moments where my faith and strength wavered... But he never did.

2012 was an amazing year and I'm stoked for 2013!!!