I am going to join the pack of bloggers who post something about the new year… yes, it will be the same ole  new years resolution stuff, trying to motivate so-and-so reader (one of the five that read this) to live intentionally in 2012, or maybe this blog is for me, to just put my plans for 2012 out there to be held accountable and responsible to these goals and hopes.  I posted a pretty lack-luster blog called, 2011 Faves, my hope is that by the end of 2012, I’ll have much more to report.   Anyway, I am interested to see what this blog looks like in December 2012 looking back, compared to what it reads like now, being January 2011 looking forward.  So, if you were looking for something deep, go on to another blog, but, now that you are here, here’s what I plan on doing:

  • Intentionality: Often times, when it comes to our devotional life, we can usually categorize it in the columns of: haphazard, last minute, or absent…sometimes, we can even land on the side of doing so much, that we are getting nothing out of it, rather we revert to just “getting it done” which is exactly what I did last year.  Last year, I took a team of guys through a one-year study; I had myown devotional stuff; went through something with my kids; and then my wife and I read through the Bible Chronologically last year.  Needless to say, I got a lot of information, but very little depth.  This year, I am planing one braid of devotionals with my family, that includes three different strands.  This is what I am doing with my family, and I’m not going to add anything different for someone else, in fact, I’ll be creating a DNA group of guys again this year, but we will either be gathering around what we are all doing separately and talking about how it informs our lives or they’ll be joining what I am already doing, which will be:
    • Operation World: Many people know Sarah and I have a heart for the nations.  In fact, the seedbed of our relationship was started in Morocco Africa on a mission trip.  When a relationships begins in that sort of environment, it is hard to ever feel completely settled in the US.  Many people also know, Sarah and I have talked about adopting for the past 5 years. So, we are going to use Operation World for the purpose of praying for the world and cultures that we love so dearly and pray that maybe as we read and pray through this, that God will open our eyes up to either a country God wants us to adopt from or even a country he wants us to be more involved in.
    • The History of Redemption: Last year, in order to read through the whole Bible in a year, we tackled several chapters a day, this time, we are going to read, concentrate, meditate, write about , and yes, maybe even memorize one passage a week, in congruence with The History of Redemption.
    • I Want to Live These Days with You: About a year ago, I felt God moving me to begin to study the writings of Bonhoeffer.  I ignored this prompting, but God didn’t let me get away from it, in fact, it seemed like any book this past year that even meant anything to me was from an author who was a student of Bonhoeffer… So I folded, I gave in, I started reading him in the fourth quarter of 2011 with Life Together, then Ethics, then I finished the year reading Metaxas’ biography on his life, Bonhoeffer.  I Want To Live These Days With You is about a half page reading each day from one of his works.  I think the three of these will go good together, and in our devotional life we will begin to move into depth, at least that’s my prayer.
  • Altars: Basics, beginnings – I think we all get this idea of altars.  I’ve dabbled in different sports, one of them being jiu jitsu.  One of the element that makes for a good jiu jitsu artist is not just knowing the basics, but returning to them time and time again, it is the foundation that everything else is built on – I think it is like this in life as well.  Going back to an altar is like going back to the basics.  The idea of alters is often times forgotten in our day and age, unless used for some abiblical idea of an “altar call”.  But in the Old Testament, the idea of altar is used often and in a very sacred way.  Before the ‘altar’ became a place of sacrifice, it often was a place where God met man in an obvious way, and an altar was built as a sort of icon for remembering.  A thing, place, item that reminded you of what God did in, through, and/or for you or spoke to you about something.  I’m not talking about those everyday things, but those times when something has been stained on your soul, an imprint in your mind, that can’t be forgotten.  That said, there seems to be one thing more rare than alters in our world today, and that is going back to them.  When God meets us, or to use Old Testament language, when an altar is established for us by God, we usually only move forward or beyond that, without ever going back to remember, to think, to hear his voice again there, in the same place he first spoke, but now as a different person.  I am in no way suggesting we go back and live in the past, no way, rather, I’m suggesting we intentionally remember rightly, we take time and go back to those altars and remember, and reflect, and seek.  I’m not even sure what this means for me, but I like many have a few altars, in my life – but I feel like in 2012, I need to go back and visit some altars in my life…
  • Centralizing: One of the last things I felt God telling me at the end of 2010, was to recenter, reorient my life, to “centralize” it, if you will.  If there is anything, that I completely disobeyed God on, it was this, it was obviously this.  I kept myself so spread out, that while I seemed to “do” a lot, my life feels more disconnected than it has ever been.  It’s time for the Hansens to begin to connect the dots again, to bring it all back together.  We aren’t sure, but we are praying about the following:
    • Moving: We are praying about, and thinking that one of the smartest moves we could make is to move from South Austin to East Downtown Austin. This would make it feasible for us to live where we do life, that alone will be a huge move in living deeper.  This will put us closer to UT and the kid’s school, and will help us move one more step into community development.
    • Community Living: This goes along with moving, and will start with really doing life right where we live, rather than driving all over the place to do all kinds of things and being “focused” on several different elements, which has kept us pretty detached from anything.  It’s time for us to begin to truly live back in community.  Our prayer is that this will lead into true community development.
    • Unmentioned: We have a couple of unmentioned requests, and as they are unmentioned, there isn’t much to say about them, but you can be sure as we know more, so will you.
There are some other things I plan on doing, that I would recommend.  I don’t recommend these exact things for you, but plan on “firsts“.  Do some things you’ve never done before, or as a friend of mine said, “clear your bucket list“.  Don’t play it safe, it would be much better to have some failure notches on your belt for 2012 than none at all, they at least shows you tried.   I don’t know what that looks like for your – visit a place or places in the world you’ve never been but want to go; going back to school; going to work at an orphanage overseas; running your first race; starting a new business or stepping out in faith and starting a new career; I’m not sure what it is, but do it.
I would challenge you to live in such a way, with such faith, that faith is the only thing that makes sense of your life in 2012 – in other words, if God stepped out of your life in 2012, would your life still work?  It shouldn’t.  Remember, the hard thing is, or should I say, the reality is, there are many things we haven’t done, simply due to fear, but for many of us, it is because we keep our lives too crowded, which means, to move into the realm I am speaking of means letting go of some of the current things that are presently in your life and walking into the fog, the unknown… no, no, charging into the fog…

So, we’ll see, here’s to 2012…

oh’ and here are a couple things I plan on doing in 2012:

  • Family Pilgrimage – I want to take my entire family for a 2-3 week trip this summer to experience a different people, a different culture, brokenness, and poverty like they’ve never seen – not just me, my entire family.
  • Community Development – I’ve been dreaming, writing, hoping, and talking about this for about four years, this year I plan to start this
  • Marathon – I would like to make 2012 the year for my first marathon.  This is not just a physical goal for me, though it is that, but those who know me, know running is a very spiritual thing to me.
  • Write – I want to write something that counts this year, I’ve wanted to since I was 17, it’s time I stop avoiding this.

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