2013.

2013 was quite a year, here are some of the big things I learned:

God’s grace is big, wild, uncontainable, and unrelenting. 

God’s grace is so much bigger than our mistakes, sin, and shame. There’s nothing you or I can do to go outside of it. His love is deep.

I can’t fix my myself, or others. 

God’s time is not my time, He doesn’t work according to my wisdom, but His wisdom.

I have influence. 

For some reason God has granted me with the power to influence the lives of others. This is wild to me but it’s reality, I can love people deeply, I can bring life into situations. Not because I’m great but because God is great. Deep down, the truth is that we all have influence, we should share this love that we have been given, shouldn’t we?

Life is full of surprises. 

God is always bringing newness into our lives. He is always shaking things up, keeping us on our toes. Special thanks to Zack and Paul for this one.

Life is messy. 

It’s more like receiving overflowing beef stew for dinner rather than something fresh on a silver platter.

Cell phones can hurt our ability to connect with the life right in front of us. 

I’m not against cell phones. They’re great, they help us learn info, stay in touch, communicate, and get stuff done. But, I think that if we let them, they can hurt us and our relationships. Too many times have cell phones interrupted my face to face conversation, or taken away someone’s ability to be present with what is happening in front of them. I am not perfect in this, but I hope you’ll join me in trying to be better at taking control of our cell phones in 2014, let’s leave them in our pockets more often.

Knowledge does not equal experience. 

Just because somebody knows everything there is to know about something doesn’t mean that they are experiencing it. I have been raised in the church and know a heck of a lot about God and Christianity, but my knowledge doesn’t mean that I have experienced it, experiencing is on God’s terms. A relationship with God is an experience, not a trivia contest, and there is still much more to experience with God.

Friends bring life.

I’m blessed to have friends who jump off cliffs with me. Who sit in a house and watch The Hobbit and all 3 Lord of the Rings in one day while eating all 6 Hobbit meals. Who come to camp with me. Who support each other when one of us falls off a 60 foot waterfall. Who loves me and each other so deeply and so well.

I need my family. 

I already knew this, but learned it in a new way. I need my family so much. I need to be able to call my mom or dad when I’m freaking out. I need to laugh with my family, I need to be with them. Living within a reasonable driving distance from my family will be a main priority in the longterm of my life.

2013 was a fast, fun, hard, and new. Here comes 2014.

We can fold our arms in judgment, or throw our arms wide open in love. Be as extravagant with acceptance as God was with grace.

Bob Goff

Mark

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