Making a list
By Gil Hanke
My wife and I exchange lists of specific items we want for Christmas. We do this because I grew tired of giving her something I wanted her to have, wear, or use which was never seen again.
As most of you, we place a limit on what we will spend on each other. If you add up the cost of everything on her list or on my list, it far exceeds the financial ceiling to which we agreed. So, we don’t know exactly what we are getting for Christmas, but we know we are giving and receiving things that we both want or need.
While I have made a Christmas list, I’m not making a list of resolutions for 2017.
In past years I made resolutions which I did not keep.
I then made resolutions that are impossible not to keep:
- “I resolve to end my figure skating career” (I can’t skate).
- “I resolve not to go sky diving this year” (I would only jump out of a plane only after the pilots have jumped out of the plane).
Instead of a list of resolutions, I am making a prayer list. I invite you to do the same.
In addition to prayers for peace and health in our homes, church, country, and world, I have some specific prayers that will be posted where I do my devotions each morning:
- A prayer of thanksgiving for family and friends, and for the work I get to do.
- A prayer that the men of this church will have a transforming, on-growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Prayers for Haiti––that they could enjoy a stable government, that they could have seeds to plant and crops to harvest after the disastrous hurricane, prayers for the children we serve through the Hope of Hearing, and that the people of Haiti could experience a future bright with hope.
- A prayer that each of our local churches could be known for its welcome, passionate worship and its service to its community and the world.
- And a prayer that when I pray, I will listen more than I talk.
So, what’s on your list?
Striving to be a servant,
Gil Hanke, general secretary
General Commission on UM Men