Happy New Year!

I cannot believe that we are already at the end of January of the New Year!  Not only did 2013 run right out, but it seems that 2014 is moving at breakneck speeds as well.

Nonetheless, 2013 was a great year in which a great deal of progress in my personal and professional life was made.  I’ll share more about it during the year.

2014 started in a great way!

  • This year, each person in our church has been challenged to pick a one word theme that would characterize their life.  Based on Psalm 45: 1, what would your theme for this year be?
  • My wife and I had an opportunity to experience one of the most exciting college football games in historyIN PERSON! I have NO WORDS to really describe it.  It didn’t hurt that we are STRONG Florida State Seminole Fans (and Alumni!)
  • I’ve expanded my bucket list a little bit. My bucket list excites me, especially when I get to check things off the lists!
  • Have you finished writing your goals for 2014 yet?  I started writing mine at the end of November 2013 and have finished most of them, but have to admit to you, I’m still working on them. (I’m not sure – is this a good thing or a bad thing…?)
  • I’ve already experienced 5 deaths that either I knew personally or a family member of someone who I know well.  Death can be VERY sobering!  More than anything, one of them had me in deep reflection during their funeral because I knew his face well but I didn’t know his story well (I’ll have to also admit that I did not know his name well either).  I was amazed to discover all of the great background that this gentleman had with teaching, ministry work, and professional work, and yet our interactions together spoke nothing of this.  I don’t know if he was taking a break from being so busy or attempting to “be humble”, but after being in classes where I’ve taught and he never uttered a word, was a bit sobering (He’d taught Bible for 40 years!).  To be working on ministry initiatives and to find out that he ran a state department that could have run circles around the limited knowledge that we were operating with…was…very humbling! The other lesson that I learned is that as ministry leaders we don’t often know the amazing stories sitting in the pew every week.  I’m really driven by figuring out how to deal with this reality.

awardsToday, I want to challenge you a bit.  I’ve observed this year as the Oscar nominations have been held, the Stellar Awards, and the SAG Awards have been presented.  Couple that with the A) deaths that I’ve been aware of; B) The celebration of Dr. Martin Luther Kings’ birthday, and C) the one word theme challenge that we’ve been issued…the prevailing thought that I’ve considered is this: If there were any awards that you’d be nominated for and win – what would the award be?

Think about that for a moment.  If there were any awards that you’d be nominated for and win – what would the award be?

There are LOADS of awards that you could see on television and in newspapers throughout any given year, but there are many that you’ll never notice promoted.  These are the awards that I think we should really via for.

What about being: Most Dinners At Home With Family, Most Consistent Health Eating for 2014, Most Consistent Christian Award, Award for the Longest Running Prayer With God, Consistent Character Crystal Ball…

These seem a bit corny and even odd, but you get the point!  The most important things in life may never even have an award associated with them.  They may never be celebrated, commemorated, and highlighted.  There may never be a day named for it, a national holiday set aside, or even any newspaper articles of it.

But it is what matters.  I’m interested in being the BEST daddy in the world!  I’m interested in being the BEST husband in the world.  I’m interested in making God smile!  I’m interested in living out my life purpose and divine assignment every day!  I’m interested in growing my gifts in a way that make people shake their heads at what God would do in me and through me.  I’m interested in making a great name!  I’m interested in having enough to live on that I can share it with the world!  I’m interested in eternalizing the voice that God has given me.  And I’m sure that my list is no different than yours…

But what are we going to do about it?  Are we moving everyday towards this reality? I think if you do your part, you may never be formally handed this award that you were striving for, but you’ll truly be declared the winner.  You’ll be among those present and accounted for when the list of great ___________ (whatever it is that you are striving for…).

I hope that your fire is lit SO strong that it motivates you to wake up in the morning with a smile on your face, purpose on your mind, The Holy Spirit guiding you, your work pushing you, and your legacy encouraging you.  Let’s go…2014 isn’t waiting on us. Be Inspired!

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