Discover Just One Word To Give You Focus In 2019

(updated for 2019)

Below is the same post I wrote a year ago. Why? Because as I was praying/pondering what my ONE WORD might be for the New Year I quickly realized that my word for 2018 needs a second year to run strong. So, I’ve modified this post for 2019. I hope it inspires you to discover your word.

During the time of the New Year, many of us ponder things we would like to BEGIN doing versus those things we desperately want to STOP. Those things have historically been referred to as resolutions.

The problem with resolutions, as you know, is they tend to only last a few short weeks or months before we fail and ultimately forget them for the remainder of the year.

For this reason I gave up completely on New Year resolutions. About seven years ago I discovered a much better replacement.

OneWord365

OneWord365 is both a CONCEPT and COMMUNITY. It is simple and powerful. The idea is to come up with just one single word that will ultimately be your theme for the entire next year. One word to focus on, to offer regular direction and reflection for your priorities. And there is an ever-growing Facebook Community where you can share your struggles, victories, and dreams around your one word.

That said, I’d like to expand on MY one word for 2019.

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Yep, MOMENTS! Not allowing those seemingly insignificant daily interactions and experiences to pass by unnoticed. Things like taking note of special, quiet moments with Jesus. Fully being in the ‘moment’ when with my family.

When I’m at the gym I’m focused on exercise. I’m not taking phone calls or replying to texts or emails.

I listen to music through my earbuds when having my quiet time. Our home often has a lot going on. Putting my earbuds in accomplishes two things. 1) It keeps me from being distracted by all that is going on around me, and 2) It is also a subtle way of letting my family know that I don’t want to be disturbed.

So, I simply want to be dedicated in the MOMENT of whatever I’m doing. In the past, I’ve learned that being too busy creates distractions. At the end of the day I could think back over my day and literally have no memory of 40 – 60 percent of what I actually did!

That’s a problem.

Here’s to a 2019 with focus that is also memorable.¬† How about you?

Comments and questions are welcome below.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

 

 

 

 

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2 Benefits of Keeping our Blessings in Mind

I’m creating a Praise Challenge for the entire month of December. ¬†Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to stay in the know each week.

I don’t know about you, but I have a TON to be thankful for. ¬†The majority of 2016 has been extremely challenging for me. ¬†The Lord, however, has his hands in all of our ‘challenges,’ usually in ways we are not immediately aware of.

Take a quick look at these two scripture passages:

My soul, praise the Lord,
and do not forget all His benefits. – Psalm 103:2
and
Rejoice always!
Pray constantly.
Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Р1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The issue of Praising Him in everything has been on my mind lately. ¬†It’s been in my devotion time, and it was the topic of our Chapel time at work this past Friday.

Here are just 2 benefits to keeping our blessings in mind every day.

  1. Our challenges and needs become less pronounced as we go about our day when we intentionally try to identify all the different blessings that we do have.
  2. It can change our attitudes.  Our entire outlook on life can do a 180 turnaround when we realize that we really do have many more blessings in our life than we do hardships.

So, do you want to experience less anxiety caused by the things that worry you?  Would you like to have more of an optimistic outlook on life?  If so, start counting your blessings and praise the one who is the true source of all that you and I have to be thankful for.

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If you are interested, here’s the Praise Challenge for all of December. ¬†Every Monday identify 5 blessings in your life. ¬†Then, simply pray over them and praise Jesus for them each day of the week. ¬†If you want, you can even post them on social media to encourage others to jump in too. ¬†If you do, please remember to use #PraiseChallenge on each post. ¬†Each Monday we will identify and share 5 new blessings to praise Him for.

How does that sound?

This December, may you be blessed in your search for all the ways Jesus really is actively taking care of you.

Don’t miss another post on this blog! ¬†Click HERE to subscribe. ¬†Thanks so much for stopping by today.

 

From Pastor to Barista

Well, it’s been 28 days since my last post. ¬†I hate that. ¬†But that’s what transition tends to do, right? ¬†It can throw our daily routines and normal practices off track. ¬†If we’re not careful those things will not realign. ¬†This can lead you and I to a place of¬†unhealth and confusion.

I want to share with you 3 discoveries I have made since transitioning from a Campus Pastor to a Barista…and since moving from GA to Colorado Springs just 9 days ago.

Routines are easily disrupted during transitions | Before we moved, I had a solid morning routine with God and my wife (Cailey). ¬†I would have my coffee, spend really good time in God’s word and prayer, and then pray with Cailey as she headed out the door for work. ¬†I was also going to the gym regularly. ¬†We enjoyed doing life with an amazing community group on Friday nights. ¬†We had a crazy-awesome church. ¬†All of that has been tossed in the air and fallen in scattered pieces all over the floor. ¬†I’ve had to be very intentional about locating all those pieces and reorganizing them to fit the new life I’m in now.

Transitions will almost always make you question your identity | I think there is proof of this in a previous post I wrote as part of my processing journey. ¬†Nearly 6 years ago I left a spiritually-devastating situation at a church and moved across the country (yep, we’ve done this before) as Cailely became the Children’s Pastor at an incredible church in GA. ¬†I wallowed in my own pain and pity from the prior church hurt for seven months. ¬†Shortly after that, I started working at LifeWay bookstore. ¬†After being in full-time ministry for the majority of my adult life, working in retail again really challenged my integrity. ¬†By that, I mean my identity was placed under a high powered microscope. ¬†I didn’t know it at the time, but God was doing a work in me. ¬†He was preparing me for my next season in ministry (even though I had already told him I was done). ¬†This time I was more prepared. ¬†I’m much more confident in my identity. ¬†I’m still a pastor (at heart and in calling), but I happen to also be a Barista at Starbucks. ¬†Leadership is influence…and I simply know that God has me where I am to be an influence and reflect him. ¬†One final comment on this one. ¬†I love podcasts. ¬†It was a real blessing as we traveled for 5 days to Colorado as I listened to an episode by Lewis Howes. ¬†He was interviewing Brad Lomenick on his new book. ¬†Wow…I was blown away hearing how Brad had gone through his own transition and identity issues after stepping down from leading Catalyst. ¬†His book¬†is next on my reading list for sure!

It can become easy to get self-centered | Really! ¬†For example, I have a new job (so does my wife). ¬†I have just moved across the country (so has my family). ¬†My emotions are all over the place most days (so are my family’s). ¬†See what I mean? ¬†If I’m not careful, I will neglect my place of husband and father. ¬†The very real challenge is recognizing when I’m focusing on myself and then to intentionally reach out to them. ¬†I’m still figuring this one out.

Don’t get me wrong. ¬†I’m not an expert on this topic. ¬†I’m still growing through this new season…and I know there will continue to be more as long as I have breath in this life.

Can you relate to any of these?  How have you weathered through these seasons in the past?

Today, may the Lord bless you in whatever changes you are going through. ¬†Remember, they are never pointless. ¬†God has a purpose, and it’s usually going to shape or grow you for something. ¬†Look at it as training camp. ¬†You want to be prepared, right?

Comments are always welcome.

 

Jesus Is NOT Really The Reason For The Season!

The reason for the season? ¬†Who are we kidding? ¬†We’ve made Christmas into what we want it to be.

It’s about spending, receiving, time off from work, consuming too much sugary treats, and plenty of stressful running around.

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The point I’m trying to make is Jesus isn’t just the reason for THIS season. ¬†He’s the reason, the focal point, for every season of our lives.

For those of us who are believers, we already know this. ¬†But with the heightened awareness of ‘Christian themes’ during this holiday season you and I have a unique window of opportunity to expose lost and hopeless people to the gospel.

Have you ever received a gift you would never have thought to ask for, but afterward realized it was indeed of great value to you?  For some, Jesus is that gift.

They are missing something in their life…they simply are not aware of it!

May we (the Church) do all we can this Christmas to expose those in our community to the unique and unimaginable gift that is Christ Jesus.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!  Psalm 96:3

Photo credit: vesteaevangheliei.wordpress.com