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December 2011

Posts from November 2011

Seven Things I Want To Do Every Day

Fall 2011

Psalm 145:2 ~ "Every Day I Will Bless You And Praise Your Name Forever And Ever"

I've been enjoying a class on Leadership at California Christian College this semester. The professor made a comment recently that left an impression on me. He said that if he had his ministry to do all over, he would celebrate more and show appreciation more. I completely agree with his observation, but his statement caused me to think about things I might reflect on later in my ministry and wish I had done more often. I quickly jotted down a few of them...

  • Start And End My Day Talking To God
  • Spend Time In God's Word (I Want To Hear From Him)
  • Celebrate A Victory (Big Or Small)
  • Praise God For Something Beautiful (See Photograph ~ LOL)
  • Share God With Someone
  • Express Appreciation To Someone
  • Give Something Away (Love, Forgiveness, Mercy, Compassion, Understanding, Money)

Today, I stopped on the side of the road outside Farmersville and made good on item number four, Praise God For Something Beautiful...Even in this cold, wet, and foggy November, I love where God has placed me! It is so very beautiful here!


Setting Some Goals For 2012

Thumbnail.aspxIt's hard to believe that 2011 is almost history. I'm very quickly becoming a believer in the notion that time moves swifter the older we get. I'm not sure it's so much our age that makes time seem to fly. Maybe it's a busy schedule or our ability to focus on the tasks in our life and forget about time. Regardless, the year is quicly approaching a close and it's time to start setting some goals for 2012.

Webster defines a goal as the final purpose or aim; the end to which a design tends, or which a person aims to reach or attain.

I've always been a person to set goals. I'm pretty sure that I've not always reached the goals I've set but I'm alright with that. I'm sure I've accomplished more by setting goals than I ever would have without setting them. God has also given us the gift of time which provides us with plenty opportunities to adjust goals and set new goals. We have new years, new months, new weeks, new days, new hours, new minutes, and the truth is every second is an opportunity to start fresh. So I'll be taking some time in the next few weeks to set some goals for 2012.

I'm setting goals in several areas of my life...

  • Spiritual Growth ~ How will I grow in the Lord in the coming year? What will my scripture reading be like? How much time will I spend in prayer? Who will I seek to influence for Christ? Where will I spend my time in ministry?
  • Physical / Health ~ I'd sure love start a year with a goal to maintain my weight. This will not be that year. LOL I am setting a goal to lose weight this year, again. I'm also setting some goals in relation to excercise. How many days a week will I work out? I'm going to add weight training to my workout agenda. And of course, being a cyclist, I'll be setting some mileage goals for me and the bike.
  • Family ~ God has blessed me with a wonderful wife and three beautiful daughters. I'd be a fool not to work on being a better husband and a father. I'm working on some goals in this area.
  • Career ~ I hesistate to call my life as a pastor a career. But I think it's important that we set goals in whatever we do in life. What do I want to accomplish this year at Farmersville Free Will Baptist Church? Setting goals now, allows me to measure my progress along the way.
  • Education ~ I've always held to the saying "Leaders Are Readers" and I'm pretty sure "Leaders Are Learners" would be accurate too. I'll be setting some goals for my continuing education. I want to be better equipped to do my very best for the Master.
  • Financial ~ Is it possible to win the lottery without playing? Is it possible to hit the jack-pot without playing? (LOL) Probably not! So I guess my goals will be aimed at living with what God provides me with and being content with that. I have a couple debts I'd like to retire in 2012 and I have some savings goals in mind.
  • Personal Stuff ~ I want to set aside some time for my photography, which could almost fit into my spiritual growth goals since I enjoy spending time alone with God while photographing his creation. I also need to take a vacation this year, it's been a while.

I'm just starting to put my goals together. I'll work through them during the next few weeks, refine them, and then record them in my Moleskine Journal so that I can refer back to them throughout the coming months. Maybe my list has inspired you to think about setting your own goals for the coming year.

Have you set any goals for 2012 yet? What are they? Care to share?

Mike

 


Candy Bar Cravings ~ Leadership Lessons

Reeses-peanut-butter-cups

I woke up in the middle of the night with the thought, "Just Be Yourself" and I guess the midnight munchies were involved because my thoughts involved candy bars. There are lot's of good candy bars. My faves would include Snickers, Milky Way, Almond Joy...Come to think of it ALL candy bars are good. They're all a little different but they're all good. They each carry the same delicious message to your mouth, "YUM!". They each do it in their own special way. Some with chocolate, some with nougat (What exactly is nougat?), some with nuts, some with caramel, but the end result is always "YUM!". They're ALL good, but there is only one GREAT candy bar...The Reese's Peanut Butter Cup! 

So here's what I was thinking last night... half asleep, craving some Reese's goodness... a few thoughts running through my mind. Leadership lessons from my candy bar cravings.

  • Be Yourself ~ I hate it when a classic candy bar tries to be something other than itself. Reese's should stick to cups, we don't need sticks, bars, pieces, and stuff from Reece's. They are just fine the way they are. And we don't need to be anything other than what God created us to be. Be yourself. Can you imagine how boring a candy aisle would be if there was only one kind of candy bar? Can you imagine how boring life would be if we were all exactly alike?
  • Work Together ~ The absolute best candy bar of all time is the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. It's simple, elegant, and delicious. And in reality, it is the result of two great treats working together. Remember the old commercials? Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter! No, you got peanut butter on my chocolate! Two great tastes! (Now my mouth is watering) Seriously! Chocolate and Peanut Butter working together for candy bar greatness, and the end result? The whole world says "YUM!". The best candies are those that "work together". I'm pretty sure the world would be a better place if we would learn to work together in the church.
  • Avoid Isolation ~ Great candy bars work in pairs. Peanut Butter Cups, along with Almond Joys, Mounds, Baby Ruths, and a few others come packaged in two's. Who wouldn't want two rather than one? Jesus sent his disciples out in two's for a reason. Why do we try to be Lone Rangers? The work is better when we work in two's. "Two are better than one"...Didn't a wise man say that somewhere?
  • Teamwork ~ A bag of Reese's miniatures means more people get to walk away saying, "YUM!" (Or, one person gets to walk away with a tummy-ache). M&M's come in teams, they even have different colors to distinguish the players. Skittles, Lifesavers, and others have come to the realization that more people can share the joy when they work together in multi-member teams. Perhaps that's why Reese's came out with Pieces? I don't know. But I do believe we can accomplish so much more with a team than we can by ourselves.

I know! Goofy! But Hey! You didn't have to read the whole thing. Are you hungry yet? Have a candy bar and think about it for a while...

 


Spending Time

Looking forward to spending the day at the zoo doing research with Michaela. We've been taking a biology class together at California Christian College and it's been pretty awesome. The best part of the whole semester...spending time with my daughter.

I ran across this article today and thought it was worth sharing...

There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.

This line is from Jim Croce’s song, “Time In a Bottle,” in which he also writes:

If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day till eternity passes away, just to spend them with you.

Jim wrote this in 1972 for his 1 year-old son. Jim knew he didn’t have an eternity with his boy. But he had less than he knew. On September 21, 1973, Jim died in a plane crash. He was 30 years old.

We know time is short. But it’s shorter than we know. We don’t have time to waste.

That’s why Moses wrote Psalm 90. Our lives are “like grass that is renewed in the morning [and] in the evening it fades and withers” (Psalm 90:5-6). Even if we reach old age,

The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. (Psalm 90:10)

You Can Read The Entire Article Here

Have an awesome day today!