5 S.M.A.R.T Strategies To Achieve Goals In 2017

A blessed 2017 to YOU!

One year in seminary I set a new year’s resolution to eat not

A memory from when we launched the mobilizing mission work among 20s across the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex in 2014.

A memory from when we launched the mobilizing mission work among 20s across the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex in 2014.

one single French fry for a whole year. Now, it’s funny to think about all of my friends thinking I was accomplishing an unbelievable feat. I made it a whole year but all it did was “resolve” that I could survive without a fry. All a resolution is is a decision to or not to do something. It’s really not that inspiring. But Dictionary.com defines a goal as “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed”! Wow that’s inspirational! It’s so inspirational that the Apostle Paul uses this term to describe a life purpose: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).”  Goals give you purpose. In fact, in 2017, let’s not just make a goal, let’s make a s.m.a.r.t. goal.

  1. Specific – General goals are not tangible such as I’m going to work out more. But the more details you put to the goal, it’ll come alive: I’m going to work out three days a week at 5:00 a.m. and I’m going to meet and build a friendship at the gym with one person to converse the Good News of Jesus with.
  2. Measurable – You can’t measure loving your neighbor more in 2017, but you can make a goal of ringing their doorbell once a week and asking them how you may pray for them. This also allows you to evaluate whether or not your goal is on track during the year.
  3. Attainable – I’m most likely not going to have a leading role in a Hollywood film this year even though I’m convinced my wife knows I’m better looking than Channing Tatum. Sorry, Channing. But, I’m blessed to be making disciples among twenties in our growing mission work and my goal will be speaking at twelve more events, in addition to our mission work, inspiring more people with my testimony than I did last year.
  4. Readjust – Let’s not be static and legalistic.  God might open doors or reveal new insights that may lead you to readjust the goal set. Be open to this and the newness that comes into your life: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it (‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:19‬)?” Be perceptive.
  5. Timeline – In 2014, my wife and I had a goal to launch this growing mission work among twenties in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex on November 1 that year. We did it! One hundred and twenty twenties have been equipped firsthand in this ministry since then. If your only deadline is January 2018, you’re not likely to get around to doing it during the year since it’s not imminent.
I want you to accomplish everything on your heart for 2017! Comment below and share what you use to set your goals that’s different than above. What are your goals for 2017? Comment below. Let’s pray for and encourage each other in our goals. I pray 2017 will be the best ever for you glorifying Jesus!
Will you jumpstart accomplishing goals today by helping our growing mission work reach our year end goal?:

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Thank you!  You’re partnership with us in this growing mission work will be a blessing to many!!!

4 Urgencies To Execute In Your Life

Marissa and I recently experienced the blessing of leading a

What a blessing it was to officiate this couple's wedding. Marriage portrays such a beautiful picture of the Good News of Jesus to the world!

What a blessing it was to officiate this couple’s wedding. Marriage portrays such a beautiful picture of the Good News of Jesus to the world!

sweet Godly couple in their premarital counseling. I officiated their wedding and it was impacting because they are the counter-cultural but Kingdom example of institutionalizing urgency in life by not waiting an extended amount of time to be married. God’s word directly states: “For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:2‬ ‭NLT).” It’s time for you and I to live daily with the return of Jesus on the forefront of our minds!

Here are four urgencies in my 20 years in ministry that I see followers of Jesus need to execute in life:

1. Give your dead friend life. How many friends do you have who do not have Jesus? The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1 calls them “dead”. Converse about the Good News of Jesus with them and ask them to trust Jesus! You know the One who can give your friends life! Jesus proclaims: “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life (‭John‬ ‭5‬:‭24‬ NIV).”

2. Ask her out today or marry her. Marriage is the most tangible way to experience the Good News of Jesus. The apostle Paul declares this: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault (Ephesians‬ ‭5:25, 27).”‭‬ ‭If you know the Godly lady you want to pursue, ask her out, get to know her heart and marry her. Learn from Ashtin (read picture caption). I’m available to officiate your wedding!

3. Start having children. This is a major way God’s Good News is passed on. I’m speaking to you married couples who have been married for awhile and are still waiting for the perfect American scenario. You don’t need that perfect salary, perfect car, perfect house and all your selfish good times before your start your family. That’s what the world thinks. This is extremely selfish and not Christ-centered. It’s not Kingdom living! This is: “Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up (Deuteronomy‬ ‭6:4-7‬ ‭NLT).”‬‬ Start passing down your faith and build your family in 2017! If you cannot physically have children, become foster parents and become a blessing to one or more of the thousands of children in the foster care system.

4. Give today. One of the callings each follower of Christ has is to give. We don’t give to get but we give to bless. But, when you give to bless, you receive blessings. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:7-8).”‬ ‭

One way you could start executing urgency in your life TODAY is by giving to this ministry, if you feel called to do so, in one or both of these ways:

* Click here and be one of the 40 new monthly partners we are praying for. Then click: “Make this a monthly gift” under our picture.

* Click here and give your best generous year-end tax deductible gift cheerfully to help reach our year end goal. Be sure and give under our picture after you click and not the banner. Thank you!

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Thank you!  You’re partnership with us in this growing mission work will be a blessing to many!!!

Are You Thankful For The Right Things?

How to shift your perspective.

fullsizerenderOne thing that I love about being the mom of a toddler is that I can get way more stuff done now than I could before I had a baby. Wait, you must have read that wrong. Nope, that’s what I wrote. Explanation? I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer, and now that I’m much busier with my family and have less time to “do” other things, I have more time to pray. And I know that the Holy Spirit can do much more through my prayer than I ever could do through works.

As I’ve been spending more time in prayer, God has been transforming both my prayer life and my outlook. In Matthew 16, right after Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ, the Bible says that Jesus began showing His disciples what His future held, including that He would be killed. When Peter responded by telling Jesus that would never happen to Him (Matthew 16:22), Jesus said:

“Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23

At first glance, that seems like a pretty dramatic response on Jesus’ part! All Peter said was that all the horrible things Jesus said would happen to Him would not happen. Was it so bad for Peter to hope that Jesus would not be killed? So bad as to be called Satan?? A lot is said in the last sentence of Matthew 16:23: “For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” The thing that made Peter’s seemingly innocent remark so wrong, was that he completely lost sight of eternity in his desire for Jesus not to suffer. Jesus went on to say:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-26

We’re called to take up our cross and lose our life in Matthew 16:24-25. And why? Because nothing on earth, not money, not a nice house, not even our health and safety or that of our family are more important than the state of our souls.

Around this time of year we talk a lot about being thankful and counting our blessings. Don’t get me wrong here… there is nothing wrong with being thankful for earthly things that you have been blessed with. All blessings are from the Lord (James 1:17). And as a parent myself, I know God loves to see His children happy when that happiness isn’t putting our souls, or the souls of others, in jeopardy. However, I do think it is possible that we can lose sight of eternity if all we daily thank God for are earthly blessings.

For example, I often hear people talk about being thankful for each day you wake up and for every breath God gives you, and saying things like “I woke up today, so it’s a good day.” But my question is, if you hadn’t woken up today, if instead of opening your eyes today and taking your first morning breath in this fallen world, if you had instead opened your eyes and seen the face of Jesus in all His majesty in Heaven, would it have been a bad day?

What if instead of the majority of our prayers being about the earthly health and comfort of ourselves and those we love, we pray for the eternal standing of those around us? What if we recognized that this life we’re living right now is just the 30 second intro to our real life that begins after death?

To help with this shift in perspective, consider waking up tomorrow and instead of thanking God that you’re alive to live another day, thank God for your promised future of one day opening your eyes and being in Heaven instead of in this fallen world. And if you’re a parent, especially if you struggle with fear when it comes to the earthly wellbeing of your children, focus on thanking God that one day your children will experience His majesty in Heaven rather than focusing your prayers on them being safe and healthy.

Let’s take Matthew 16:24-26 very seriously by recognizing that we and those we love will experience pain in this life, but that it’s nothing to fear because we only spend a short time on this earth and we have the promise of an incredible eternity. Take some time to ask God to transform your outlook into His and for the freedom that comes from making God’s focus your focus.

Are your prayers in line with God’s heart for you and for the world?

Are you praying out of a place of trust, or out of fear?

What has God put on your heart to pray for that we can be praying alongside you for?

We’d love to continue this conversation with you in the comments below!


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10 Things You’re Thankful For Today?

As the first class starts at 8:00 a.m., the teacher gives the assignment: “Write down 10 things

These two special ones would be in my top three today under Jesus :)

These two special ones would be in my top three today under Jesus 🙂

you’re  thankful for so far today.”  Do What?! I just woke up. I have not had my coffee yet.  I’m just trying not to fall out of my wheelchair.  After weeks of doing this back in seminary, my morning perspective changed:

  1. I’m thankful woke up this morning.
  2. I’m thankful ate breakfast on my way out the door.
  3. I’m thankful I have a lightweight wheelchair so i’m not slowed down.
  4. I’m thankful I  got to drive to class.
  5. I’m thankful I have a jeep that i drove here.
Wow, this black and white verse came alive: “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭NLT).”  Not only is this a great positive thinking exercise.  Thriving in thankfulness is God’s will for you and me!  Then, I was on a “roll”:
  1. I am able to throw my wheelchair in the back of the jeep!
  2. I am able to walk around my jeep!
  3. I am blessed to be in seminary.
  4. I have clothes and shoes to wear.
  5. I do not HAVE to be anxious about anything, now!
If I’m tempted to be anxious or to worry, I write the list above today.   In fact, God’s Living Word says this: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NIV).”  I love what comes after this big “but”… “with thanksgiving”!  
Stop reading this right now.  I encourage you to write down ten things you’re thankful for today! Go!
We’re thankful for you! Will you become one of the remaining 31 monthly supporters we are praying for in the Fall40Campaign?  Will you make a sacrificial year-end gift to meet our goal of $21,000 in year end giving?  Click here and make your tax-deductible ministry financial partnership with us and propel this growing ministry to thrive! There is no extra online giving fee taken out of your donation from today through December 31st. You can help us reach our goal today!