Are we going to BELIEVE and OBEY Jesus, or are we going to be content to settle for less than radical obedience to Him? Satisfaction in our lives and success in the church are not found in what our culture deems most important but in the radical abandonment to Jesus. Somewhere along the way we have missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable. We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves, when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves. We would be wise to heed the words of Jesus in Luke 9:57-62 when we “put our hand to the plow”.
These thoughts are based on excerpts from the book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
Men… a big thanks goes out to those that attended our STAND FIRM Men’s Rally this past weekend. It was a huge success thanks to so many that pitched in and helped plan, buy food, cook food, contribute to devotional conversations, and simply be there to help develop stronger bonds with our brothers in Christ. We were blessed with beautiful weather and very good food. In addition, our devotionals were very motivational, challenging, and encouraging. Thanks so much for a great weekend… God blessed our efforts in so many ways. Please be on the lookout for more men’s events coming soon, including another retreat either Fall 2015 or Spring 2016. Many have asked for a copy of the presentation that was used for our devotionals, so here it is…
If you missed the Men’s Breakfast this past Saturday, you missed some amazing food and fellowship. A big thanks goes out to the men that prepared the breakfast and to those that organized the event. Also a special thanks to our brother Ron Kline who delivered to us a powerful message that was both encouraging and challenging. And the best part of the morning… Ray’s famous biscuits. They were amazing!
Tusculum Men… begin making your plans now to join your brothers the first weekend in May for lots of motivational speaking, encouraging fellowship, and springtime recreation at Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park on the Tennessee River. Click here for more details. You can also see Chris Burton, Matthew Mehaffey, or David Gee for if you have questions. A sign up sheet is in the Great Hall and the cost per person is only $40 for the whole weekend. Don’t miss out on all the exciting activities planned for our 2015 Spring Men’s Retreat!
(This article is based on my notes from reviewing the popular “7 Things Remarkable People Think About Every Day” at Inc.com)
Successful people think like successful people. How do some always seem so happy, fulfilled, and focused on a clear mission? Their secret is not that difficult. If you too will just apply effort every day towards controlling what you think you will see a definite difference, transformation, and change in your actions and level of success.
Here are 7 habits that when practiced daily can make a big difference in your life.
1. Know Your Life Mission and Work Hard Daily Towards It
Know your mission in life and do something each day that contributes towards that mission. The momentum you will experience from simply working hard and staying focus will help you achieve more than you think you possible.
2. Focus Most of Your Time and Energy on What Is Most Important in Life
Your time, energy, and talents should be focused on what is most important to you in life. Yes, we all have to earn a living and “trade time for dollars”, but don’t let that necessity pull you away from staying grounded in your mission.
3. Surround Yourself With Motivational People
Minimize your time with those that can be discouraging and maximize your time with those that are motivational. It is much more productive and rewarding to surround yourself with those that can motivate you and help keep you from getting distracted from your mission.
4. Align Your Goals With Your Mission
Is something holding you back from achieving your goals in life? Sometimes goals do require that you overcome hurdles in order to achieve them, but don’t let that fact keep you from having the courage to take one step at a time towards success.
5. Drink Coffee Regularly With Trusted Friends
Proactively seek out opportunities to network with friends and colleagues, especially those that can help keep you motivated. Be open and honest with them and you’ll grow in many ways through mentoring, friendship, and encouragement.
6. Swim Upstream Against the Current
Some of the most successful people in history have deviated from the norm by deciding not to necessarily swim the river in the same direction everyone else does. Be courageous, convicted, and independent in your thoughts and opinions. Stick with your beliefs and stay on course with your mission even when others try to knock you off course.
7. Break Projects Into Achievable Milestones
Lofty goals can so often seem completely unattainable. Don’t let necessary hard work and dedicated time keep you from moving forward with plans. In particular, for large projects with lofty goals, break them down into smaller achievable milestones. Create an outline of the steps necessary to reach each milestone and check off steps in the outline as they are completed. Never forget as well that taking that first step towards achieving the first milestone is in many cases the most important step in the journey.
If you feel like you are not as happy or successful as you would like to be, consider adopting these 7 simple ideas into your everyday life and I promise you will be surprised by the results you witness and the transformation you experience in your life.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans”
How do you view the coming year? Are there new possibilities right around the corner that promise to challenge and grow you? Or, are you like so many that are trapped in the habits or shortcomings of the past? The new year is upon us and is a white sheet of paper. Commit yourself to a few realistic and achievable goals and you won’t regret it. Goals give us something to work towards… something to help keep us focused. Set goals that take you out of your comfort zone and God will bless your efforts.
Don’t just casually commit goals to memory, but rather write them down; or better yet find a computer application or an app on your phone or tablet that allows you to notate your goals and track them throughout the year. Let’s challenge ourselves to establish goals in four different areas.
(John 15:5) Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen. Decide to devote some time and energy to jump-starting spiritual growth:
1. Read the Bible each day and commit to read it entirely before the end of the year.
2. Get involved in a small group or structured Bible study.
3. Make witnessing a priority and share Jesus without fear.
(Proverbs 1:5) Challenge yourself by taking steps to learn or try something new.
1. Do in-depth research on a particular subject and take notes on what you’ve learned.
2. Enroll in some type of continuing education class or program.
3. Volunteer to lead a small group, teach a class, or mentor someone.
1. Forgive – Decide to extend the gift of forgiveness for an old hurt. You’ll gain a new sense of freedom because you no longer carry a grudge.
2. Be patient – Practice patience in areas where you are historically impatient.
3. Manage anger – Make a conscious decision to control your anger and determine its sources.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Get serious about maintaining the temple that is our body.
1. Enroll in an exercise program and go! Be disciplined enough to actually work out regularly.
2. Deny yourself those tasty morsels that do nothing to adorn the temple. View food as fuel for the machine instead of gratification for the taste buds.
3. Execute a family plan that encourages physical activity and togetherness.
God can transform our lives but He needs us to do our part. Commit to Him and yourself simple goals in each of these key areas and you are guaranteed to see results as He blesses your efforts.
Life is summed up in this very simple quote:
“Live simply. Love generously. Speak truthfully. Pray daily. Leave everything else to God.”
What a powerful message for a very complex, misguided, and lost world. Its simplicity encourages me, and it challenges me to work hard at blocking out all the noise around me and focusing on the people and activities that are truly important and meaningful in life. Thank you God for the strength and peace you bless me with every day.