Setting a Spiritual Resolution

It’s no secret that this is the time of year we make resolutions to change a lifestyle.  They start with good intentions but fade away fast.

Obviously there are hundreds of reasons resolutions deteriorate, but one thing I have observed is that we allow the “little things” or “the basics” to disappear in a resolution.

Resolutions fail when they aren’t written down.

Resolutions fail when they are not specific and measurable.

Resolutions fail when they are not backed by intentional thought, then action.

For instance, I want to read the Bible more this year and engage in spiritual conversation.  Great, but that’s pretty murky.  How is it measured and reviewed?

When I think of someone digging into The Word and engaged in spiritual conversation, here’s what I would observe.

1.  They would read the Bible daily.

2.  They would pray regularly.

3.  They would seek faith-based conversations and community.

Looking at that list, I can see where I need to act.  In an effort to read the Bible daily, I will commit to a reading plan on the YouVersion Bible App.  I will read the Bible before I eat breakfast.  No Bible, No Breakfast.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray constantly.  One thing I constantly do everyday is look at my phone or computer.  Lame.  In effort to pray constantly, I will enter conversation with God before I look at a screen for the day.

To engage in spiritual conversation, it must be intentional.  We can let weeks go by without asking those around us how they are doing spiritually, just thinking everything is peachy.  To put an end this, I will ask the question, “How’s your faith?” to someone on a weekly basis.

Other resolutions I’d like to name:

  1. Walk on the treadmill for a minimum of 3o minutes per day, five days a week.
  2. Eat supper as a family five times a week.
  3. Actually turn OFF my electronic devices each evening.
  4. Write one handwritten note per week.

Being specific about your goals will help you review them when you look back.

Question: What Resolutions do you have this year?  Click here to comment.

#6 in 2011: Let Grace Take the Cake

Some junior high students were seen throwing cupcakes down the church hallway.  You would not believe the janitor’s response when he saw this happening.  This is the sixth most popular post in 2011.

 

Let Grace Take the Cake

I got word that some cupcakes were being throw up the hallways after CHAOS last week.  At first I thought, “I cannot believe our volunteers would do such a thing!”  Then I was told that it wasn’t the volunteers that were throwing cupcakes, it was a group of students.  I should have figured.

So I sought out a janitor and I said, “Hey, Mike!  I heard you saw some students throwing cupcakes down the hall, is that right?”

Mike almost interrupted me with his reply, “Ya know, Ben, there were some guys throwing cupcakes but it’s no big deal.  See, I know things like this will happen.  We just don’t want it to get out of hand.  These students just need to be loved on and when their behavior get out of line then we just gotta redirect it.  If things didn’t get a little rowdy at times I would wonder if you were even doing your job.”

Wow.  That was refreshing to hear.  And I couldn’t have said it better myself.

After that conversation, I walked away thinking two things:

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#7 in 2011: Celebrating the Runner in our Family

The Half-Marathon circuit was alive and well this past summer as our family supported Liz in four competitions.  For those of you wondering, she is planning on another summer of Half-Marathon binges :)  Here is the seventh most popular post of 2011.

 

Celebrating the Runner in our Family

Our family is coming off a weekend where we supported Liz as she ran her fourth half-marathon of the season.  Yea, she’s loco!  As I reflect on her 52.4 miles of competitive running, three things come to mind:

No fear!  Whether you think you can or cannot do it, you’re probably right.  To succeed, you’ve gotta eliminate the fear and give it your all and that’s what she did.

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#8 in 2011: Judgment Prevents Love [Sermon Notes]

I enjoy taking Sermon Notes on a weekly basis, so it fits that at least one of them would make the Top Ten.  Here is a sermon about hitting the ‘pause button’ and rethinking how we judge.  This is the eighth most popular post from 2011.

 

Judgment Prevents Love [Sermon Notes]

“Don’t Judge”
Series: The Pause Button
Dave Bartlett
Orchard Hill Church

God has created humans with a pause button. Ability to stop, seek God, and decide something. Humans have this ability.

The Twix commercials have this “pause button” idea.

There is stimulus, then hit pause, then respond. Pray to respond with love, joy, courage, not judgment.
Sometimes the busyness “gets to me” but I need to pray and see the opportunity to share Christ.

7 habits of highly effective people by Covey.

  • Story of Franco in the Concentration Camp.
    • One freedom that could not be taken away was his decision to how he could respond to everything around him.
    • He got clear enough on what his freedoms were. And lives on them!
  • Between stimulus and response, God has given us the freedom to choose.

Memorial Day Weekend is a type of “pause button” weekend.
. We take some time to slow down and remember.

Kids grow up and graduate FAST. Like a click!

Push the pause button and withhold judgement.

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