Saturday, May 31, 2014

More Than Words

As I wrote yesterday, I have an understanding of the power of words and also see tremendous value in the right words being spoken at the right time. I saw this in action today as I was able to do one of my favorite things as a pastor, and officiate the wedding of a wonderful couple.

It was a day marked by their desire to enter into a covenant relationship and affirm their love for each other. The ceremony was brief and filled with words that spoke of great promise. These were words that were carefully chosen to represent their love for each other and the vows they were sharing. There was added power and accountability to these words as they had selected a group of friends and family to bear witness to what was said over them. The depth of this commitment was in what was spoken, but most importantly in the intent of what was shared.

This is a time in life when words are extremely important. Not only are they a reflection of deep love, but also a promise for a great unknown future and a commitment to endure. I'm grateful for a chance to play a small part in days like this as a front row witness and guide even as I'm reminded of the depth of our verbal promises.

Friday, May 30, 2014


A large part of what I do involves written and spoken word. I communicate daily through my blog and have significant conversations each week with people in need. Of course I also have the tremendous opportunity to teach hundreds of people frequently on Sundays as well. Fortunately, I understand how powerful those words are and the incredible trust I have been given to share them in the most influential way.

Recognizing that I need to be careful with my use of words has taken time. It's been a difficult lesson that has been taught through failure and collateral damage. I still don't always get it right, but my respect for the immense power of my speech and written word has increased tremendously as I have matured. Imagine the positive difference we would see in our culture if would carefully weigh each opportunity to communicate.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Defining Moments

I have heard some people say that they don't want to be defined by one moment in their lives. Unfortunately, I don't believe that we can deny the truth of that principle. We will be defined by the moments in our lives that are filled with joy and success as well as those described by sorrow and failure. It is up to each of us, however, to decide what that definition will be. It is in the choices we make after these events that our true definition is shaped.

Will we allow these sentinel events to condemn us for the future or be the impetus to change our course for the better?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What's Left?

Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, "Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!" Job 2:8-9  

Job is an iconic man of suffering from the Bible. He was blessed with livestock, children, a large home, possessions, good health, and his wife. In one quick afternoon he lost all of it except for his loving wife. Even though I have tended to be a little harsh in my assessment of her, I need to remember that she had suffered great loss as well. She and Job were now at the point where everything that had once been important to them both was gone. Mrs. Job speaks out of frustration when she wonders why her husband is clinging to his integrity.

The thought occurred to me this morning: maybe he's hanging on to his integrity because it's all that he has left. Isn't that true for all of us though? We might surround ourselves with other things and even inflate our own ego with possessions, talent, and influence. If all of those things are stripped away however, there should be something that is stable and unchanging. When everything else is removed our character should still stand strong. It's in these desperate moments when we find out if our integrity has the value we think it does.

When all of our "stuff" is gone-who are we? If we can't answer that with confident authority we might need to start working on reshaping our character.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Start & Stop

If your resume described you as someone who starts and stops things, it wouldn't necessarily be seen as a positive character trait. The perception would be of someone who isn't capable of seeing a project to completion or who lacks focus. When channeled properly, however, I believe it would be a valuable asset to say you are an expert at starting and stopping.

There are two key components to making this a positive attribute:

1. Recognizing you can't effectively start something unless you stop something else
2. Developing enough self-awareness to see what must be stopped for you to grow

What do you need to start and stop in your life? Your capacity is limited by the finite number of connectors you possess for relationships, mental energy, productivity, leadership, and serving. To mature we need to have the courage to stop something that might be good so that you can start what is best.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Looking for Something Different

I like new things. That may be hard to believe if you examined my life and the things around me. I drive a 1993 Volvo and my wife drives our 2003 Dodge Caravan. My closet and dresser contain clothes that (for the most part) I have had for several years. In fact, there are clothes that I wear that are still in good shape and are at least a decade old. My favorite chair in our house is an old rose-colored recliner that was given to us by a close friend over 15 years ago. It's obvious that I find things that I like and hang on them.

Even though that is true about my personal belongings I am still enthralled by something new. I love to stumble across a new musical artist or discover an unknown, talented author. I get great pleasure from a new restaurant or a new way of cooking something familiar. I love the newness of adjusting to the homes we have moved into over the last five years. As an extrovert (and pastor) I like to meet new people and learn new things about people I've known for a long time. I am eager to hear new ideas and discover something that might stretch my own thought processes.

There is just something attractive about the concept of newness. I think we all need some of this in our life to bring freshness to our routines and expand our minds. Hang on to some things, but learn to find enjoyment in the discovery of something new.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Can't Earn It

I struggle with the idea of my own worth. I often feel as I have to win people's approval and that the positive things I do have to outweigh the negative. It's a mindset that leads me to try to live up to the nice things people do for me. I feel as if I have to earn their respect and cooperation and if I don't then I am unworthy of this favor. It doesn't just relate to personal circumstances either. It spills over into my career where I falsely believe that I am measured solely by the latest message or most recent successful initiative. It's a trap of performance that negates the gift of grace.

I'm sure that I am not alone in this trap. Too many of us believe in the concept of grace and yet live as if we are defined solely by our works. It's a faulty understanding of God that causes us to believe that our entire life is a ledger filled with debits and credits. It's an error that has us believing that other people are staring at us and asking the question, "What have you done for me lately?" While that thought might be true of some people (who obviously don't fully understand grace either), the incredibly good news is that God doesn't treat us this way. An obedient, serving life reflects devotion to God, but it isn't necessary to gain His approval. His grace truly cannot be earned, but can only be humbly accepted. It's the freedom found in accepting it that I struggle so often to comprehend. Fortunately, as I grow to understand God's generously loving character I find it easier to grab on to what He offers.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Settling In

We have just completed our fourth move in the last five years. It reflects our decision to rent a home instead of buying one (which is a topic for another blog post.) We have become experts at the science of the move and know what works best for us in terms of getting things done quickly. We painted the house last week, but began the move in earnest yesterday and finished this afternoon with the last box being unpacked. We are blessed with friends that are generous in spirit (and muscle) and our entire family worked hard to make this place right.

It's important for us to quickly set up our home for our family's comfort. The process of moving tends to disrupt the patterns we are accustomed to and we are looking for a quick homeostatic return to normalcy. It's not just about physical convenience either. It's about our home being a place for new memories to be made and a desire for things to make sense. It's about carving out our new space and looking forward to the new phase of life ahead of us. As much as I enjoy change (contrary to what some might believe) I am looking forward to the stability of this next season and the life we will continue to build here together. Now that we are (mostly) settled we can move ahead together as we grow.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Movement

Things have to change. We continue to talk about the same problems without seeing the desired results and yet don't adjust our strategies. We recognize that there is a gap that is desperate to be filled and now we need to attack with an intentional intensity to find lasting success. It's not just about providing information, but it's instead about motivating people to see that there is another way of life. 

We don't have to be trapped in old cycles of behavior and thinking, but we can be transformed in a way that impacts our community. This involves the principles of social justice, education, and compassion and yet supersedes them at the same time. It's fueled by the indomitable will of people who won't stand for anything less, but persevere through resistance and commit to investing in the people around them. 

It's a movement marked by our desire to enter into the neighborhoods around us and fight for people who have either forgotten or never learned how to fight for themselves. It's a movement marked by genuine life transformation that doesn't come easily, but is much sweeter and longer lasting because it has taken tremendous effort. It resuscitates communities, obliterates prejudices of all kinds, and unites people in a common bond of brotherhood. It's the movement that God has been calling all of His children to take part in-the one that He designed us to lead. He promises to give us the strength, guidance, and resources to make it come alive. Will we take the initiative to make it a reality?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hidden Meaning

I love to learn. I like to learn how to do new things, to read about new ideas, and to hear different perspectives. I have also developed the skill of learning things in unexpected environments. It's the lessons we pick up out of unplanned places that sometimes provide the most poignantly powerful meaning. These are found in movies, current events, brief conversations, and by simply listening to the people around you. It's a reminder that all of life is available for us to learn from if we are willing to pay attention. We learn to shift our perception of the things happening around us and glean nuggets of valuable information that help us to mature. In fact, this is absolutely essential if we want to be successful. 

Leaders who don't learn won't grow and eventually won't be leading.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Chip Off the Old Block(s)

My wife and I were able to attend a musical that all three of our girls performed in last night. Outside of church events this was the first serious theater performance that they have been involved in. I am a little biased, but I thought that our girls did a great job on their first real stage. We had heard so much of the musical as they practiced together (isn't that always the case?) and were very proud of their efforts under the lights. They come by their enthusiasm for the stage honestly as their mother and I met while doing theater in college. It has always been a passion of mine from a very young age and I still have a yearning to take part in local theater at some point.

It's a good feeling to know that we have passed on this love for the stage to our girls. It makes me happy to see the appreciation for good things that we have shared with our daughters. The truth is that we are going to influence their lives in many ways and not all of them will be positive ones. My prayer is that in the middle of our sometimes fumbling ways of parenting we end up sharing more of the positive with them than negative. We certainly are far from perfect, but hopefully they will see our desire to show them what is good and be able to give their parents grace for when we show them something that isn't.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Completion Percentage

See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord. Colossians 4:17

I wrote yesterday about the importance of doing the right work, but there's another important element to true success: finishing what we've started. 

There is a part of my Type A personality that thrives on the "check mark" in my planner. It's the satisfaction found in marking off tasks and goals and knowing that I accomplished something. At the same time, I have a list of projects that have not been finished and sit waiting for my focused attention. I don't enjoy the fact that things are not done, but it does make me reevaluate the necessity of including them on my agenda. If I'm focused on doing the right thing then I should also be focused on finishing what God has asked me to do. 

There is a great deal of obedience that is found in seeing something through to completion. Not only does it reflect our work ethic and character when we see things through, but it reveals our understanding of our purpose as God has given it to us. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Good vs. Right

See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord. Colossians 4:17

I can do a lot of things. That's not my ego talking about how much I am capable of accomplishing, but rather a statement of fact about the number of things that I can write on my to-do list. I can find ways to keep my day (month, year) busy and even feel good about what I was able to achieve. The problem is that I don't always do what God has asked me to do, but instead do what I want to do.

Of course for me to do what God has asked, I have to listen to what He tells me. This isn't always easy as I get caught up in best practices, advice from other leaders, and my own personal brand of wisdom. I see situations and develop solutions that I think will work best. While innovation can be healthy it can also distract me from what God is directly trying to share with me. If I want to find true success and personal satisfaction I need to be about the business God has given me and not just my own ambitions.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Let Them Lead

We had our youth worship band lead for the adult service this morning at Northridge and they did a
phenomenal job. It's obvious that all of them are talented and that others have taken the time to invest in them. All they needed for us to know what they were capable of is a chance to show us.

There are young leaders in all of our churches, schools, and communities that are waiting for a chance to lead. If we truly place a value on helping them mature and developing them then we have to provide an opportunity to do something. There will be speed bumps along the way and sometimes a very steep learning curve, but if we don't step aside to let young leaders lead they won't ever discover what they are really capable of. It's the only way for them to believe in themselves and have the courage to keep using what God has given them.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Prep Time

I wrote yesterday about how much I enjoy painting and the satisfaction that it brings me. The problem with painting (if you want to do it well) is that there has to be some preparation before you can begin. The tedious task of taping off door & window frames, baseboards, light switches, and outlets is not enjoyable. It seems to take much longer than you think it should, but it is necessary. Without doing the prep work you end up making a bigger mess of things. A lack of tape means that the paint will spill into unintended places and the final product will look sloppy.

What prep work should be done in other areas of our life before we jump into the main task? What do we normally do that would benefit from a little advance thinking? I believe we would be much more effective overall if we would consider what we're trying to accomplish and then work on some simple preparatory steps to make us more successful.

That will look different for each part of our life: marriage, parenting, financial endeavors, home projects, leading in industry, and our faith journey. There is one common theme that will be more beneficial than almost anything else we do however. As a Christ follower, I know that prayer should be a major focus of all that I do, but will admit that I sometimes fail to do this. This is the preparation that changes my focus from selfish ambition to Christ-fueled impact. It might seem tedious and unproductive at first, but it will make the end result more satisfying and complete when we commit to it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Short Term Payoff

We spent the whole day painting in the house we are moving into next week. It's a tedious task, but a necessary one to get the rooms prepped before we move. The truth is that I enjoy painting because it's a way to see the immediate results of my work.

I don't realistically expect that everything I put my effort into will immediately produce results. In fact, there are many worthwhile things that can only be seen through consistent efforts and regular focus. When all of your efforts are invested in producing long-term results however, it's important to find something that brings an immediate payoff of satisfaction. It can be found in the simplicity of mowing a lawn, pressure washing a sidewalk, or painting a room. These are tasks with a quick return on investment. They are important ways to find a short term reward while keeping your focus on producing the long-term results that need patience over the long haul.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Find a Rhythm

I have a few pet peeves and several of them tend to come up while traveling on the highway. One of my biggest irritations is when drivers constantly change pressure on the gas pedal. It causes the car to lurch forward in speed, drop back, and then jump forward again. It creates a jerking motion that can be a bit unsettling to the stomach and causes me to chafe. It isn't pleasant for those that are riding along and it is very inefficient from a fuel and travel perspective.

It's not a whole lot different when this happens in leadership. It happens when leaders are constantly pushing ahead with tremendous energy only to fall back to the pack before accelerating again. It prevents a steady rhythm that helps the team move forward at a unified pace and frankly, exhausts everyone on the team. This doesn't discount the need to speed ahead in certain seasons. Instead it's about finding a cruising speed that allows teams to develop personally, invest in new leaders, and gather resources in preparation of a season of forging ahead. Constantly fluctuating speeds diminish our available resources and result in organizational whiplash. It's better to gather steady momentum and accelerate when the time is right instead of constantly shifting gears.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Embracing or Resistant?

How do you react to change? I don't know that I can respond with one firm answer to that question. There are some things that I want to remain constant as part of my normal routines. I also deeply desire change in other areas so that I don't fall into completely predictable patterns. I believe (and preach) that we need to change or we become stagnant yet I have had to learn to accept and even seek out that change.

It hasn't always come easy to me because I took that change far too personally. I would react in a defensive way to anything that adjusted my way of thinking (especially when it altered one of my ideas!) and resist the necessary moves to embrace it. My aversion was only applied to those things that were not my original idea and still affected me in big ways. It has only been through tough-love mentoring and mature personal adjustments that I have learned to not only accept this process, but look forward to it. If I am going to continue to lead in a positive, growing direction, I don't really have a choice. I'm reminded of a quote that I use often: "If you don't like change you're going to like irrelevance even less."

How much resistance do you give to changes in your life? Are you approaching it with an insightful perspective that reveals needed areas of growth or are you stubbornly refusing to allow a necessary shift out of fear?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Regularly Scheduled Tradition

I love our family dinners. My wife works hard to make sure we eat good food and the only way you leave the table hungry is by choice. We strive to make this a part of our routine as much as possible (depending on the schedule) because we believe in the importance of it. It's just not about eating together, but it's about what we are building while we are there.

The table is the place to talk about what matters most, how to handle tough situations, and dreams for our future. It's not always an intense teaching moment, in fact, it's often filled with silly comments, inside jokes, and loud laugh-filled exclamations as we all push for the top voice. It's not always perfect either. There are times of tension and difficulties (aren't there in any family?) but the good dinners always outnumber the tough ones. I believe it's a fundamental part of our family culture and hopefully it is building something in them that lasts. I know it will for my wife and I.

Monday, May 12, 2014

In Passionate Pursuit

"True passion demands something from us. 
Sacrifice & submission." Mark Sanborn

Can you identify what you are most passionate about? While most of us have answers ready for that
question, it's not necessarily what we think it is. It isn't always the activity that we get most excited about or what we convince ourselves is most important. It may not even be the thing that have held up as our personal standard of devotion. That doesn't mean that these other desires are unimportant to us either. They just don't qualify as passions unless they cost us more to pursue them than anything else we do.

When we are passionate about something we willingly pay that price and humble ourselves to the process of attaining it. We get to decide if that is focused in lasting, worthwhile ventures or in fulfilling our need for self-gratification and entitlement.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Word for Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day and I am reminded again that I am a fortunate man. I am married to a loving, faithful wife and mother to our three children. My own mother persevered for many years to take care  of all of her children. I am also lucky enough to have a wonderful mother-in-law who has been part of my life for almost 23 years now. It's more than one man deserves and certainly a greater blessing than anything I have done to earn it. I wanted to pay homage to these three women today and wondered what to write that would encapsulate them all. It didn't take long for one word to come to mind that fit all three: brave.

In their own respective ways they have stared down cancer time & time again, overcome horrible circumstances, sacrificed emotion, money, and tears, fought through overwhelming adversity, endured the shadow of death, and found new life. Their bravery doesn't mean that they understand everything they endure or that situations don't sometimes overwhelm them. It simply reflects their passionate perseverance through adversity and their indomitable will that refuses to cave in when others would quit. Their courage is shown in the way that they continue to love and push ahead even when it isn't easy. These are three of the bravest women I know and I am honored to love them all.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Earning It

The NFL draft is wrapping up this week and the months of predictive analysis will now continue with months of event analysis. Everyone will want to know if the experts were able to correctly predict a player's NFL success based on his college work.

I was thinking about the college players who were drafted this morning and the high level of success they experienced at the collegiate level. Some of them have won Heisman trophies, player of the year awards, All-American honors, conference championships, and national championships. Those are all impressive accolades, but they don't guarantee anything professionally. All of their college accomplishments have only earned them an opportunity to succeed at the next level. Now that the draft is over no one cares about what they have done in their past, but only want to see what they will do next.

I don't know that's quite as cut and dry for the rest of us, but there is some truth to that principle. Our past leadership decisions don't guarantee our future success, but they do provide us the opportunity to make the next right decision. Even with an impressive pedigree we still have to be disciplined and focused enough to bring our best for the future. We might buy ourselves a bit of grace with our history, but at some point we'll need to step up our game enough to make a difference at the next level.

Friday, May 9, 2014

She's 14

Our Olivia turned 14 today. She has changed so much in the last year or so and I sometimes forget how different she is from the little girl she was not that long ago. I have watched her consciously make choices about her actions and words that she would not have made two years ago. She is definitely growing up and becoming more mature even though her parents are not quite ready for that (and admittedly, neither is she.)

She has always been a passionate person and will express her enthusiasm without hesitation. She has a tremendous power of words and can speak great truth and love. She is energetic (crossing the line into hyper every now & then!) and funny and you will never doubt where you stand with her. Even though it is sometimes a challenge, I love her strong will and focus on what matters most to her. She is fiercely loyal and will fight tooth and nail for those that she cares about. Her indomitable will is one of her greatest strengths and also the greatest challenge for her to master. I have no doubt that she will, but I know that it will be done in her timing and not mine.

I love this beautiful, red-haired, passionate girl that is becoming a young woman. I continue to pray daily for her (and her sisters) as we do the best we can to lead them into adulthood. This day reminds me of how far she has come and also of the dwindling days of childhood we have left. Happy birthday my Wee.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Telling Time

There's an opportune time to do things, 
a right time for everything on the earth. Ecclesiastes 3:1

I struggled learning to tell time when I was very young. There are a lot of reasons why it was so difficult, but I distinctly remember how hard it was at that age. Of course this was before the age of digital watches and clocks. In fact, we used to be able to call a phone number that would tell you what time it was. It was one of the best ways of making sure that your clocks were accurate and that you weren't terribly off base.

I don't have the same issues anymore (thankfully!) but I don't think that reading a clock is the biggest problem for most people either. We are able to accurately determine what time it is with the technology that is readily available. Sadly, some of us still aren't very good at telling time. I'm not talking about the hours and minutes of the day, but our ability to determine the right moment for thoughts, actions, and words.

There is a time that is right for us to do something and there is a time when it is best for us to be patient. There is a time when we should speak and a time when we should remain silent. There are times that demand immediate action and others that require careful consideration and strategic movements. Our struggle is that we sometimes have a difficult time determining when that season is right and instead handle varying situations with identical solutions. When we treat every season the same way we alienate people around us and become ill-equipped to handle change. Learning to accurately tell what time it is comes from a willingness to be corrected, a desire to learn, and the humility to admit your mistakes. Healthy, maturing people are willing to learn this valuable skill and hopefully get better at it over time.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

In Action

What's your story? We all have them and they are powerful because they belong to us. Can you tell it and do you recognize the moving details in it?

Our story can't just be a history lesson but it needs to be ongoing. We need to be adding new parts to it every day. Each new chapter won't necessarily be filled with plot twists and dramatic events (although it may often feel like this!) but there should be some signs of maturity and personal impact. If you are a Christ follower there should be evidence of God's current work in your life and not just an outdated tale of a spiritual interaction from 10 years ago.

If our God is alive and thriving then our relationship with Him should be as well. If your story feels stagnant then perhaps it's time to change something up.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Not Enough Change

When God changes us, we don’t control how much change we go through. God does. David Lomas

I write quite often about the process of change and how necessary it is. I'm certain that I am influenced by the people I am called to work with and help through the process of genuine transformation. I think part of it is my recognition of the changes that are absolutely essential in my own life.

I see where I have come from in so many areas of maturity yet I also realize that I am far from complete. It's a life journey that can't be accomplished in a short period of time. Even if I see positive direction in my physical, relational, and spiritual life I know there is still so much room for growth. I think it can be a natural tendency to see some level of improvement and then stop moving forward at the same pace. We can become complacent because we aren't "the person we used to be" when the truth is that we are nowhere near where we need to be. It's a good thing that God doesn't stop when we are "better". He is actively working in us so that we can find what is "best".

Keep moving forward and trust that God will bring things to completion. If we're still here, we aren't done yet.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Set It

He (King Rehoboam) did evil because he had not set 
his heart on seeking the LORD.     2 Chronicles 12:14

I don't think that I am an evil person. I am far from perfect (ask anyone who knows me even a little bit), but I don't believe that I am inherently awful and ill-willed. The scary thing however, is that the slippery slope from "not bad" to evil isn't that far of a journey. Decisions made with a lack of conscience will certainly expedite that progression, but that isn't the root of the problem. When we choose to passionately seek out anything except God we are on a dangerous pathway. Our desire for satisfying personal ambitions, pleasing other people, or finding personal happiness can be toxic when we remove a desire for God from the heart of our search.

I don't believe that all of my decisions will be right or work out perfectly, but I do believe that my motives will be more pure when I search for God above all else. This isn't always easy, but by regularly questioning my desires and intentionally striving to honor God I can feel more secure in the outcome of my decisions.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Unable to See

I wrote yesterday about the need to picture your preferred future to be able to attain it. What do you do if you can't imagine something because you've never experienced anything similar to it? What do you do when your life circumstances haven't allowed you to see anything beyond your present condition? I have seen people in our community here in Georgia, in my hometown of Daytona Beach, and on the mission field in Arizona who are unable to picture a preferred future because they don't believe that anything else exists beyond their present life.

How do you get someone to hope for something better when they don't understand the concept? When you've always been saturated in hopelessness and futility you tend to believe that's all there is.

How can you convince someone to trust you when they have never been able to trust anyone in authority in their life? When the people that are closest to you are constantly abandoning you for their own gratification it makes it impossible to believe anyone who attempts to help you.

How do you get someone to accept unconditional love when that concept is completely foreign to them? When people in your life only reward you for what you do for them you tend to believe that you have to earn each person's devotion.

How do we convince people that they can break free from generational cycles and improve their standing when they have never been rewarded for good decisions? When you are constantly being berated and insulted, you start to believe these lies and refuse to rise above your circumstances.

These are the people who desperately need a vision of something greater and persistent investment from people who are able to see a better future. If we aren't willing to wade into the difficult mess of these firmly held falsehoods we are condemning people to a drowning life of desperation while refusing to throw them a life preserver.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

See It

Part of having a dream is being able to mentally picture what you desire. We may not be able to see all of the steps along the way, but we need to have some concept of where we are going. It's the vision of a preferred future that drives us to make personal changes and keeps us moving forward when we encounter difficulties. If we aren't able to see part of a different possibility, then we face extremely difficult odds on facilitating change. If it's inconceivable, it's imperceivable. If you can't think about it, you won't see it.

What preferred future do you see for yourself? What is possible for you physically, relationally, spiritually, and financially? Take time to meditate on "what could be" and write those potential paths down. Keeping that vision in front of you and reflecting on it often will help ensure success.

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Little Excitement

What excites you about each day? 

I'm not expecting every day to be one big party or for everything that I do to be fantastically satisfying. I understand that there are mundane parts to everything we do, but daily passion and fulfillment should be a key ingredient. There has to be some joy in what you do or the pace of it all can become dreary and overwhelming. There is comfort in the routine, but there has to be some deep satisfaction in what we do or we lose our sense of contentment.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

What Are You Doing?

Do you know what you're doing? I can rattle off a quick list of the things that I am doing without a ton of introspective thought. I know the things I need to do each day and what projects I'm working on. I know where I am investing my mental capital and where I am shifting my energies (at least attempting to). I think often about my roles as Christ follower, husband, father, and pastor and how to be better at them. 

These are all important things, but I still wonder if I really know what I'm doing. In all of those important things do I see God's specific purpose for me? If I can begin to glimpse His sovereign plan for my individual life, then everything I do makes sense in the perspective of a much bigger purpose. I am no longer consumed only with personal productivity or a happy, healthy family. Instead I am able to pursue all of these potentially positive things through the lens of fulfilling God's exact mission for me. Some may not be able to see the difference, but it completely changes my motivation for fulfillment.