Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What is your plan for 2014?

This time of the year is a time for reflection and moving forward in a new year.  A lot of people make resolutions to change in the new year!  Mark Batterson in his new book, All In, writes, "You are only one decision away from a totally different life. Of course, it will probably be the toughest decision you’ll ever make. But if you have the courage to completely surrender yourself to the lordship of Jesus Christ, there is no telling what God will do. All bets are off because all bets are on God." What is that one decision you need to make? What is your plan to change?

In order to make the changes you need to make, you need a plan.  I'm not talking about a fad diet or a get rich quick scheme.  I'm talking about a intentional plan to change.

Here are some great resources to help you develop your plan to change.

This is a free e-book by Stephen Blandino to help you develop your personal growth plan.

Other Books:
Ready, Set, Grow! by Scott Wilson (Great book for leaders to teach them how to help their teams grow!)
Developing the Leader within you by John C. Maxwell - Classic book on personal development!

Healthy Living:
http://www.fitpastors.com - A brand new ministry by my friend, Ricky Van Pay, that assists pastors and others on their journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Make 2014 the best year it can be! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Best Christmas Gift You Can Give

Do you struggle finding the right gift for that special someone? Gift buying can be a frustrating experience unless you really pay attention to what those around you want or need. 

I love Christmas.  I love the sights and the sounds and the beauty of the season.  Most of all, I love it because it is the time of the year we celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus.  So, what do you give someone who has everything....who owns the cattle on a thousand hills....who created the world? Simply put, God desires that we give ourselves totally to him.

Recently, I read this journal entry from Jonathan Edwards in Mark Batterson's new book, All In.  On January, 12, 1723, Edwards wrote this profound dedication to the Lord in his diary.  I hope it challenges you to give God complete control of your life this holiday season.  It is the best gift you could give our Savior.  He fully gave his life for us so that we could fully give ourselves to Him.

"I made a solemn dedication of myself to God, and wrote it down; giving up myself, and all that I had to God; to be for the future, in no respect, my own; to act as one that had no right to himself, in any respect. And solemnly vowed, to take God for my whole portion and felicity; looking on nothing else, as any part of my happiness, nor acting as if it were." - Jonathan Edwards

Batterson, Mark (2013-09-24). All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life (Kindle Locations 2292-2295). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Making Tough Choices

This last month in youth, I have been speaking about the choices we make in life. Wouldn't it be great if we all had a personal Bible that told us exactly what to do and when to do it.  For example, in John 73:23, it would say that in the year 2009, you were to accept this job offer or go to this school  Unfortunately, we don't have that, but there are some questions that can help us in our decision making process.

1. What does the Bible say? The Bible is our guidebook for living.  It helps to discern what is sin and what is not.  It trains and corrects us.

2. What do we feel God speaking? The Holy Spirit gives us direction.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.”

3. What is the wise thing to do? Ephesians tells us to live as those who are wise, not as those who are unwise.  Andy Stanley has written an excellent book on this subject called "The Best Question Ever." In those times, we don't know what to do, ask what is the wise thing to do?

4. What do wise people say? There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors.  What do those who have made similar choices have to say? What do Godly people say? What do your Pastors or other church leaders say?
I hope this helps give you a filter for making tough decisions in life.