Merry Christmas everyone! 🙂

Dear friends, we find ourselves at the end of 2020. Books and movies will chronicle the events of this past year, but each of us has our own unique record in our hearts and minds. A new year is around the corner, filled with hopes? Fears? Or the unknown?

But also filled with God’s unchanging, unending love, mercy, and grace. Our Lord will never leave us nor forsake us, and that includes during 2021.

Proverbs 16:33 tells us, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” And James 4:13-17 reminds us that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, and therefore should commit all our plans to God’s will.

With that understanding, I’d like to share some of my goals for next year, to encourage all of us to wisely use the time God has given us. We cannot determine what happens to us, but God has given us the ability to respond.

At the macro level, with God’s help I intend to keep serving Grace as her husband, keep teaching my junior high and high school students at VCS, and keep integrating at our local church, Hillside Church in San Jose.

At the micro level, here are some more specific objectives:

  1. Complete my dissertation. I began my first doctoral class in June 2018 and am now entering the dissertation phase of my degree. Lord willing, by the end of 2021 I will have completed my EdD in Organizational Leadership at Grand Canyon University.
  2. Memorize Psalm 119. The plan is to memorize 16 verses per month, with the other days of the month being review days. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
  3. Read The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Pilgrim’s Progress, and Brave New World. One of my ongoing personal quests is to read major literary works that are “gaps” in my personal reading. In 2020 I read Anna Karenina, Augustine’s Confessions, and The Aeneid.
  4. Learn French. One of Grace’s and my dreams is to travel to Europe, and so I’d like to attain at least a basic conversational level.

Friends, God brought us through 2020, with all its losses, challenges, and heartbreak, for a reason. There is still much need for salt and light, much need for workers in God’s harvest field, much need for the feet of messengers to bring the good news of God’s salvation.

What are some of your goals for 2021? We’d love to read them in the comments below.

Let us enter the new year gratefully, humbly, trusting God to keep His promises and enact His will in our lives.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.'”

(Lamentations 3:22-24)

4 thoughts on “The Roaring 2020’s

  1. My major goal for 2021 is to resolve a personal dilemma that needs addressing. In a lesser manner, I want to continue writing poems or publish my novel that has languished for a year or so. It needs polish and a publisher to make that happen. I also want to learn Spanish at a higher level than a beginner. My daughter-in-law from Bolivia speaks Spanish and English with such ease!

    Your goals for 2021 are epic and I know the Lord will give you discipline and direction as you seek to accomplish all you desire. I trust that others will encourage you onward to meet these expectations and find the joy of completion.

    God bless you both in this season of joy. Kathy Scott


  2. I love your goal challenge, Ivan, and watching you every day put forth the effort and discipline it takes is constantly inspiring. My goals for 2021 are as follows: finish each of the multiple books I am reading or have purchased to read. You inspired me last year to make reading a priority and to read more than one book at once. I want to continue that path for the coming year. I also want to work on improving my knowledge base and hands on skills in the kitchen. 2020 allowed a lot of new and great opportunities in the kitchen and I want to continue the journey.


  3. I always love seeing posts from both you and Grace……….yes 2020 has been nothing but interesting to say the least. It is great to see you both. Please take care of yourselves and have a great xmas. Hope that things can get back to normal soon for ALL of us……..


  4. Such a blessing to read your blog for this day Ivan. I pray the Lord gives you and Grace all the desires of your heart this year and that His healing and protection grow ever more evident. Miss you always,


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