Monday, September 22, 2014

90 Day Focus

I first heard about the idea of “Focus” from Jeff Henderson, when he introduced me to the “90 Day Focus” from Tommy Newberry and “The 1% Club.” I believe focus is such a big idea in life…daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.

To focus means to…concentrate, to focus one’s thoughts on a central point, to have a point of concentration. Synonyms are: bull’s eye, center, core or target.  So the question is, what will you focus or concentrate on today, this week, this month, and this quarter?

The following are some questions that can help you focus on, “The Big Five” or the things that really matter in your LIFE, MARRIAGE, FAMILY, WORK AND CHURCH.

What would make the next 90 days excellent in these areas?

1. LIFE: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

A.   Heart (Spiritually) – In what ways do you hope to grow in your “Intimacy with God & Jesus” this quarter?

B.    Soul (Emotionally) - What will you do to assure you live full of love, joy, peace and free from anger, guilt, jealousy and other?

C.    Mind (Mentally) - What will you do to renew and sharpen your mind daily?

D.   Strength (Physically) - What are your plans to care for your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit?
2. MARRIAGE: Love your wife as Christ loves the Church

A.   What will you do to make sure your spouse knows he/she is the #1 relationship on the planet?

B.    How will you grow as ONE in your spirits, souls and bodies?

C.    What are your financial plans to:

1)    Give generously
2)    Save appropriately,
3)    Invest proportionately and
4)    Spend moderately?

3. FAMILY: Raise a godly generation in your children and grandchildren

A.   What “etched memories” are planned for this next quarter?

B.    What truths or life principles will you teach and model this year for your children?

C.    In what ways will you honor your father, your mother and other family members?

4. WORK: Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord

A.   In what ways will you honor and serve those in authority over you?

B.    What are the top 3 things you would like to see in the next 90 days?

C.    Where should you take the low place and trust God for His appointments and exaltation in His time?

5. CHURCH: Participate with Christ as He builds His Church

A.   Where will you enjoy community with insiders?

B.    Who will you invest and invite in the next 90 days?

C.    Where will you strategically serve in the church this year?
Hope these questions stimulate good thinking, conversations and plans.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Apostles Creed

As I was copying 1 Peter 1. 3-4 this morning, some words from the Apostles Creed came into my mind. I use to recite this every Sunday at the American Church in London, when we lived there from 1965-1972.

These words and truths are such a great summary of the Christian faith. Recite this and see how these truths will change your thinking, lift your heart and refocus your attention. Enjoy.

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

5. The third day he rose again from the dead:

6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:

9. I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

10. The forgiveness of sins:

1l. The resurrection of the body:

12. And the life everlasting. Amen.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Wife of Noble Character - Proverbs 31.10-31

Today Debbie and I celebrate our 39th anniversary. As I think of her today, my mind goes to Proverbs 31, which describes a wife of noble character. I love the word noble. It means, “Great; elevated; dignified; being above every thing that can dishonor reputation; exalted; elevated; magnificent; stately; splendid…”

Here are a few thoughts about her from Proverbs:

1.     A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. I love how this speaks of Debbie’s worth…far more than rubies. Do I treat her as someone with great worth? I want to treat her with love, respect, honor and worth for the rest of our lives.

2.     Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. I have full confidence in Debbie. She has earned my trust over and over again. She communicates and has an open and teachable heart when we have differences.

3.     She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. I cannot think of a time when I felt harmed by Debbie. She has brought good to our family all 39 years so far.

4.     She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. Debbie is one of the most diligent women I know and eagerly works with her hands. She is an amazing artist and loves doing business. It has been awesome to see her flourish.

5.     She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. As an artist, she often gets up early and stays up late when she is working on a painting or project. She cares not only for her family but for many other people. She has more energy than most people I know.

6.     In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. Debbie holds a paintbrush in her hand and creates the most amazing works of art. I love seeing God’s gift in her speak to the world.

7.     She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Debbie has one of the most caring and generous hearts for so many. She cares, not only for our family, but for many poor and needy people. I learn from her heart all the time.

8.     When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Debbie has to wrestle with fear and insecurities about the future, like many other women. Her nature and nurture play into this but she is always calling me to higher ground in terms of wise stewardship and preparation for the future.

9.     Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. I cannot imagine a man who could feel more respect from a woman and wife. Debbie loves and respects me so much and it blows wind in my sails every day. Because of her love and respect, I feel I can go into every day and do battle at the city gate and in the land.

10.  She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. Debbie makes paintings and renderings and murals and sells them. Our friend, Fran Lamattina, called Debbie, “a transactional female.” I love that term as it describes her as an excellent businesswoman.

11.   She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. I love these words and description…strength and dignity…I love Debbie being strong with dignity. She knows how to handle her strength. She uses it with grace, discernment, discretion and proper judgment.

12.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. I refer to Debbie as my, “Lady of Wisdom.” She is one of the wisest women I know. She seeks the Lord, is prayerful and careful as she offers her wisdom and instruction.

13.  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Debbie is one of the most diligent people I know. There is no idleness in her. She is constantly watching over all aspects of our home and domain. I feel very safe with her.

14.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Debbie has raised four amazing children and I believe they would bless her in spite of all of our differences. I praise her because she is a woman of God who is seeking to walk in all of His ways.

15.  “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Debbie is a woman who fears the LORD. I praise her and give her the reward she has earned. She has worked hard for all of her life to be and become a woman and wife of noble character. I love you Debbie. Thanks for being, MY WIFE!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

On Turning 60

On 04.04.14, I turned 60. I leave the season and stage of "Domination" and move into the season of "Consolidation." Needless to say, I have many thoughts, feelings, dreams and desires still. As I think about this transition into the "Winter Season" of life, or as some called, "the 4th quarter," I am thankful for many things:

I am grateful for all the way my Savior has led me from the time He saved me on 11.03.1968 to present. He has led us on the mountain tops and through the valleys of life…and all the way He has been with us and comforted us.

He gave me a love for His Word. I have loved reading, writing, studying, applying and teaching His Word for nearly 46 years. Psalm 1 has caused me to delight in and meditate on His Word day and night.

Over the years, I have come to enjoy the "Great Dance" with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Until my last breath, I want to DELIGHT in the the Father and His Word, REMAIN in the Son and bear much fruit, and WALK in the Spirit and not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. The rest is details.

I am grateful for the love and respect of Debbie for close to 40 years. She is indeed the wife of my youth, my friend, my lover, my counselor and so much more. I love that our marriage and relationship has become deeper and richer and sweeter over time.

I am grateful for our 4 children who became 8. They each married amazing mates that we learn from all the time. Yes, we are all growing and fighting for oneness in our relationships, but they are an indescribable joy.

They gave us 11 beautiful grandchildren. I cannot hold them enough and tell them how much Pops loves them and is crazy about them. These words of love and life are so necessary in the minds, hearts and souls of all boys and girls. Never stop speaking words of love and life.

I am grateful for my 84 year old mother who has loved and prayed for me for 60 years of my life. She and her husband, Wayne, pray for us daily these days. What else could a man ask for?

I have been a pastor in three different churches over the last 38 years with a short 7 year run in business. I am getting crystal clear these days that my burden, vision, calling and passion is to love, serve and lead men…"Restoring man to his original design." I want to spend the rest of my life on earth  leading men to become better men.

If there is a big idea that I have observed and learned from my friend, Craig Butler,  it is this…LIFE is all about RELATIONSHIPS. It is about our relationships with our God and Christ, our spouse, our children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, co-workers, neighbors and so many more. Keep investing in people and relationships. They last and matter.

So…as I "round third base," I give deep thanks to God for His amazing grace in my life and look forward with great anticipation to the future…a future full of life, love, hope, eternity and the glorious presence of our great God and King, Jesus.

Until then, giving thanks with a very grateful heart.