This blog is an experiment in joy. My ambition is for these posts to be full of hope and gladness. Quoting C.S. Lewis, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” We should share what we enjoy; I may be the worst at this craft, so this blog is practice for me.
The name is from the famous resolutions, there were actually 70 of them, that Pastor Jonathan Edwards penned in early 1720’s. It may seem odd to find so much pleasure in reading someone else’s resolutions, but these are not the vain resolutions that we give up on by February every year, these are a brilliant man’s commitments to holiness, repentance, ministry, stewardship, right standing with men and God, and not being wasteful or ineffective in a gracious and gospel intended way of life.
I am resolved to write this blog as how I believe Johnny Edwards would have me: in a gracious pursuit to live out a life to the highest means, or as the Westminster Confession of Faith puts it, the chief end of man. What is the chief end of man? Glorify God by enjoying him forever. Quite simply, I am resolved to write this blog to dwell on the ways God is good and the ways I am joyful in him (neither in amount or complete explanation but in my current experiences).
This is not a “power of positive thinking” blog or prosperity blog, however I will commit to 99% of the time only writing about things that I am enjoying, and will not let this become where I grumble. (I leave 1% when I may have to shoot a wolf.)
I also would like to follow a format consisting of: 1st: A resolution of Jonathan Edwards or another puritan work (like Valley of Vision). 2nd: Common Grace, something that we all are privileged to enjoy regardless of almost any scenario. 3rd: Beeline to the Gospel, I’m going to go from Common Grace and make a beeline to the gospel because I believe that this Common Grace is ultimately pointing us to, the gospel 4th: Hometown Praise for Mineral Wells, Texas – for those who read who might live around here or for those who don’t, maybe this might encourage you to value your area’s offerings. And 5th: Recommendations, again, this is an experiment in joy; joy is more potent when we share it.
I will wrap up this post with the format of how the next blog posts will follow:
Resolution: #55 Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do if I had already seen the happiness of heaven and the torments of hell.
Common Grace: conversation, specifically a greeting, but with the intentionality of speaking someone’s name. For example, walking around Wal-Mart, at work, etc. and you come upon someone you know and you say, “What’s up man?”, “hey, girl!”, or I am old-school and would say, “How ya doing, bud?” Instead, try “Good Morning, Brandon” or “Hello Kelly”. A calling out of someone’s name can signify a connection and an identifying of a relationship that could in a simple but profound way benefit someone.
Beeline to Gospel: Not only does God call those who believe, and of course he knows our name, but upon professing faith in the name of Jesus and the work done at the cross, we are no longer under the name of Adam, as in the fallen state of man in sin and separation with God, but under the name of Jesus, we are adopted and have a new identity, as children of God. Names are important to God, are important in the bible, there is no other name under which men can be saved, and your neighbor’s name is important too.
Hometown: I spent about 4 hours yesterday with my family at the Mineral Wells Lake & State Park. Wonderful trails to hike, bike, or ride horses. Nice beach, picnic areas, and little cabins. I also hear there are good fishing and camping spots. It was already high 80’s in mid-March in Mineral Wells, so we got some sun and a little workout but it was beautiful and a great experience that I look forward to sharing more frequently with my wife and kids. Go find a park or lake.
Recommendation: Rest. I’m preaching to myself here. Get some rest! Not just zoning out, which can be helpful, but I am talking about sleep. I recently had to go to the doctor because after a busy season of life, I experienced some intense anxiety, and I believe a large contributor of my anxiousness was a pattern of “running on” about 5-6 hours of sleep, caffeine, and simple carbs. This all came crashing down on me pretty hard, and when I went to the doctor, I was “prescribed” sleep. I then considered it my job to get 8-9 hours of sleep, which I know is not always possible, but as often as you can, get some rest, specifically sleep. This is not an excuse to be a bum. Work hard, but you can also try to go to bed by 10 and wake up at 6, or whatever time fits you best. I actually had to repent of not resting, so my recommendation to you: rest. Spring Break is over this week for us, time to get back in one of my favorite things, a routine.
I will not make any promises but should be posting at least once a week, probably Sunday evenings.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.