Saturday, August 01, 2009

Month In, Month Out

So there we go. Month in, month out. End of July and the beginning of August is upon us. August is an interesting month isn’t it. Thankfully now I’ve finished academia and have done for ten years this month I can look at August differently. Back in the academic days August was the black hole of academic months as there was no education to be had. Rather I recall this month being about work placements. Now it’s more a case of negotiating around others who use this month to take their vacations. I have no plans to do so this month, there are quite a number of things to attend to. Before I hint more on that a word on July.

As I stated at the beginning of the month the previous three months had not been that prolific in terms of blog entries, especially ones with just me written word. I wasn’t too pleased about that, but it was understandable from the perspective of settling into the new home and the trauma that caused in the context of making some clear life decisions as well. So to put in 20 entries over a 31-day month and all of them to be original dmcd material with no reference to video clips or the like is a fair outing.

You’ll note that I inch ever closer to the record number of blog entries I’ve put in a year already and it’s fair to say I should exceed that this month leaving the remaining four months to set a proper reflective record of entries to this here blog. July has been a good month in many ways including getting a clearer direction at work and also completing some writing assignments for which I was excited. It contributes to the feeling I have that the clarity of purpose is allowing me to invest the time appropriately in pursuits in line with the purpose at the same time ditching other things that don’t match the call. I’m still very much in the early stages of the process so this is by no means a final hurrah to all the issues, but it is a progress report to thank God that so far His grace has seen me accomplish a bit more in July.

Understandably I am hoping those developments will act as a platform for more consistent outputs and even further accomplishments in certain areas this month. Moving onto that subject August presents its own quirks and challenges in being a holiday month overall. Thankfully football is back on this month so there’s that to get me teeth into, but to all intents and purposes things are running on a skeleton basis where I work and stuff like that. This means August is a month to commit to some listening. Yes that’s right, listening. Indeed I hope to be doing a special blog entry, perhaps on the StokeCOG Life one, about new series that’s been launched in our church circles about Audio August based on the premise of listening.

I’m aware that often I can be activity driven and to some extent that makes me ill. I gather, my temperament is more suited to a more contemplative and thoughtful approach than with all the hectic to-ing and fro-ing for this project or event. One thing I discover about the concept of being responsible is that there is something implicit about listening to someone and responding in kind. This is something we can do because we are able to respond – hence being responsible. The trouble comes in though when I’m not listening to that to which I’m meant to be responding. So how can I respond when I’m not listening? This question naturally leads to another about how can I listen? To whom do I listen?

Well on that last question I’m on safer ground because I’m ultimately listening to God. Primarily my purpose is to be pleasing to Him and it does not matter if I endeavour to be a good husband, father, employee, brother and friend if my relationship and ability to listen to God is seriously impaired then things go awry. So the premise for Audio August in a world that gets too noisy for its own good, is to settle meself, reflect on those things that lead me to hearing the voice of God and learning to treasure and passionately pursue the practice of listening to God in an even greater way by His grace.

Even today whilst at church there was a number of things that happened that gave me the impression that me ears were cleaned out proper and I heard the Word with a clarity I had not heard before. I’d love to share what I learned, and maybe I will, but for the time being here’s a clue as to one thing that’s been bugging me. Luke 1 records the miraculous story of how two old biddies got themselves a child for the first time. Also in the middle of it is how some virgin gets a special call from Gabriel as well. The focus is back on the old couple and my question is about Zechariah. Is he deaf as well as dumb after his encounter with Gabriel? Imagine not being able to speak for at least nine months and all you’ve got to work on is the last word you heard? That should sharpen your listening skills considerably and by listening I mean internal listening – that of pondering the word you’ve heard for the benefit of a clearer life.

Anyhow that and plenty of other stuff are to come in the next 30 days and hopefully I’ll be blogging with as much if not more consistency as July not because I feel obliged to, but because I love to and offer it as my effort for growing in the knowledge and grace of Christ! I won’t be as prohibitive about video blogs as I was last month so don’t be surprised to see one or two pop up now and then, but with the fasting series to conclude and the audio August series to look at, there’s enough to keep me writing! Just pray that I will let the words of this blog and the thoughts behind it to be acceptable in the sight of my Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.

For His Name's Sake



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