Thursday, January 10, 2008

My most important new year goal

I have written pages in my diary about things I'd like to do this year. I would like to learn to . .

- clean each room once a week
- praise God in song through learning hymns
- clean windows
- make cusions
- create web pages (learn html)
- recognise the capital cities and key political leaders of each country in the world
- bottle food
- and much more!

I'd like to read about . . .

- biblical communication
- South African history
- environmental issues, especially individual and household consuption rates
- and much more!

I don't expect to achieve every one of my goals, but I am aware that having them written down and clear makes it much more likely that they will happen. Amongst all these goals, it is necessary to prioritise. I've decided that my most important goal is to learn to praise God in song as I go about my daily tasks. The Bible is full of examples of people who prioritised praise, and of exhortations to praise God. Yet I do not even know many songs of praise, let alone make a habit of singing them. Western Christians can learn much from African Christians in this regard. Many Christians in Africa commonly sing joyously as they go about their work. I want to ensure that I create an atmosphere of praise in our home. Learning to sing myself is also an important step toward teaching any children God gives us to praise Him.

To help me towards this goal, I've taken a few steps.

1. I wrote out a list 29 of hymns I'd like to learn. This is not a magic number, it just happened to be what filled 1 1/2 pages of my diary. At that point, I decided that this was a large enough goal for now!

2. I purchased a display book, and have begun to get the words of songs from cyberhymnal to print out and put into it.

3. I sing as I prepare meals, wash up, etc., and quickly learn the words.

Some of the hymns I've chosen are . . .

  • Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
  • Blessed Assurance
  • I heard the Voice of Jesus
  • A Mighty Fortress
  • I Need Thee Every Hour
  • Tell Out, My Soul
  • Great is Thy Faithfulness
I hope to make this the year when I learn to praise God more than I've ever done before. I'd love it if you'd join with me! Perhaps hymns are not your style, and you prefer modern tunes.
Whatever your preferences are, make it a priority to praise God. This is one way we can fulfill the commandment to love God with all our hearts and minds. As we focus upon His many wonderful characteristics, it will be impossible to keep from loving Him more!


  1. For learning html, I totally recommend this Sitepoint book - that's what I used to learn :). If you ever need tips, feel free to drop me an email :)

  2. Thanks very much, Natasha! I'll be sure to take you up on your offer if the books I have out of the library, and the book you recommend, are not enough!

  3. A couple of questions . . .

    Did you get both the hard copy and the PDF? Where did you order it from? A bookstore or over the Internet?

  4. Some really great hymns on that list -- good old cyberhymnal!

  5. Sherrin: what great goals! And every single hymn you listed I had to learn as a child. I am not kidding! First, I had to learn them because I was a young teen volunteer at a nursing home and I had to play the piano once a month there. These are the very hymns many of the patients requested month after month. Now we sing some of them (with a contemporary twist) at my church. but I still prefer the traditional way of singing them!
    And your goal of cleaning one room a week is so doable! I began my own married life in a small apt and adopted this cleaning style once we moved into our house. It works for me! I even have certain days I do certain rooms! The only room I do more than once a week are the bathrooms (I clean the sinks every other day although my 14 year old will be taking on this task come spring!) God bless you in your endeavors!

  6. Dear Sherrin,

    It is lovely seeing you settle into married life and growing in God's grace.

    I thought of a couple of things that might help you in your tasks:

    1. Are you familiar with Flylady? I am a total convert to her way of cleaning and organising and can definitely recommend her.

    2. Have you thought about learning the psalms? Coming from a church that only sings psalms, whatever your theological standpoint is on that, I have found it a wonderful way to learn the book of psalms. If I can send you over some CDs (including one I'm singing on), just let me know!

    Keziah x

  7. Thanks for the tips, Keziah, I've been thinking of getting into Fly Lady. I am sure it would help.

    I am excited about what you wrote about Psalms. I've often thought of learning Psalms, and have tried to find out how to, but have never been able to find the right materials to do so! I'd love it if you could send me a CD or two to help me in my quest to praise God more! Thanks so much for the offer! I'll email you about it. I might also need the words to learn them successfully, as I know that usually the songs are adaptations of Psalms, rather than specific wording from any particular Bible version.

  8. Faith, it is really encouraging to me that you've found cleaning each room once a week an achieveable goal! Thanks for sharing.

  9. reading about: "South African history"

    I'm going to recommend a book called "Are We There Yet?"

    admittedly I'm only part way through myself, it's a novel but a true story based on an emigrant (is that the right word?) perspectives of growing up there, living elsewhere and then returning as an adult and seeing how things have changed.

    I'm not sure however where you'd find it as I sourced mine from and opp shop!

    also re. HTML, make sure you learn CSS alongside it as html is now the basic underlying structure of web pages with CSS defining how it all looks. I find the best way to learn is to play.
    For learning CSS get into your blog template and play (if you can with Blogger - I can't remember too well) or open a Wordpress account and see how CSS is structured etc. It's good fun when you start understanding what does what.

  10. Thanks for the info, Bec! I have so many helpful blog friends :). I am most interested in how things look, so I'll be sure to find out what CSS is and how it works!