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Monday, November 28, 2011

Looking Ahead - 2012 Here I Come

I can't believe that we're just about done with 2011. Wow! Each year this is a time when I reflect over the year personally to see what plans I accomplished, where have I grown, what do I still need to work on, who have I wronged, who do I need to forgive, and who do I need to ask for forgiveness.

Needless to say, nothing went as I hoped for, planned for, wished for... well you get the picture. And I mean nothing!

It is true when the bible says "Only God knows the plans for a person's life."

There is so much I can complain about as it relates to what didn't go right. But unfortunately to complain would be the direct opposite of trusting God no matter what cards life deals to me.

Therefore, I don't want to focus on what didn't go right, instead I want to focus on what I've learned and what I need to do become the man, husband, father, and preacher/pastor God desires me to be.

I will write this in sections because there is a lot for me to say as I look back over 2011.

Life's Adjustments -

There has been so many adjustments this year beginning with walking away from what I love to do the most...pastoring, to getting a new job, to changing churches, to developing new friendships, and praying for old relationships that have become distant for so many reasons. What I've learned is that adjustments are inevitable in life! I (we) will always experience adjustments whether we like them or not. How we handle adjustments is key to our spiritual development. How we respond to adjustments will dictate and determine how effective we are in our ministry service for God. Paul explained to the church at Corinth that he had plans to come visit but kept getting detoured. He also explains to the church at Philippi while in prison that his life adjustment turned out for the furtherance of the gospel (Philippians 1). When reflecting on Paul's statement of what happened to him turned out for the furtherance of gospel, I ask myself, has my life's adjustments furthered the gospel in any way, shape, or form? I answer honestly.... I don't know! Personally, I say know because I don't see any fruit. On the other hand, I don't know because what I see is not what I really see. God works out the details which we don't always see physically with our eyes.

Staying focused in life's adjustments is staying focused on furthering the gospel. Detours will happen but it can't stop the gospel from moving forward and drawing someone to Christ. The best sharing of the gospel is not preached but lived through each of our lives.

These adjustments are teaching me to be patient with myself, others, and circumstances. I have a tendency to want to move things quickly ahead before its tome if i can. So much for that now. I have no choice but to wait on God.

I hear all the cliches...
"Waited time on God is never wasted time on God".
"Time heals all wounds!" "Recovery/forgiveness is a process!"
"It just takes time!"

Yea, ok!

Let's just be true to ourselves, it's hard waiting on God when you want/need immediate deliverance.


Here's what I have learned so far, waited time is necessary and needed time!

We need waited time....

- To grow
- To forgive others
- To regain trust
- To discover and/or re-discover God's will for your life
- To re-adjust priorities
- To seek God for direction
- To correct a wrong
- To establish boundaries
- To re-focus
- To spend time with family (children, husband, wife, mother, father, brothers, sisters, etc).
- To prepare yourself for the next assignment. I know my calling in ministry as being a pastor. Why because after all I've been through, I still have a desire and burden to shepherd God's people.
- To develop a financial plan.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Will To Live

Recently I've been intrigued with the stories on TvOne's documentary show entitled: "Will To Live". It is true stories of survival against all odds. The only way I can describe each story is by using one word...AMAZING!

As I watched an episode this weekend sitting on the couch my sermon brain began to kick in because their were a number of people with a Will To Live against (and in the midst) of impossible situations. It led me to a preaching/teaching outline that I pray to share some day soon (hopefully in my next pastorate).

- Will To Live With Determination - Mark 5:24-34

- Will To Live With Dependency - Proverbs 3:5-6

- Will To Live With Dedication - Romans 8:35-39

- Will To Live With Direction - 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

- Will To Live With Decision-Making- Joel 3:14

Pray God blesses my study time and presentation!