From resolutions, to goals, to priorities… in 2012

It’s already the end of February, and I’m only now getting a chance to write a post reflecting on 2011, and looking ahead to 2012. Yes folks–this is a New Year’s resolution post, brought to you by Valentine’s Day, Family Day, and all of the other important days that have already come and gone in 2012.

Reflecting upon 2011, if I were to rate how well the year went based on how many of my planned goals were achieved, I would have to conclude it was a complete and utter failure. Take a look at what I set my sights on more than 12 months ago…

  1. Date my wife, weekly (FAIL — at least not intentionally)
  2. Read through the Bible (FAIL — thank you Youversion for the tools, but it didn’t work)
  3. Run a 5K marathon (PASS — no marathon, but I did go to Bootcamp for 3 months, and continued with P90X afterwards)
  4. Blog weekly (EPIC FAIL — no time)
  5. Read at least one book each month (FAIL — no time)
  6. Continue to progress EIP (FAIL — see reason in 4 & 5)
  7. Choose 2 or 3 people to meet & mentor with (PASS — I did meet & mentor with 3 people, some more than others. But it was a healthy attempt.)
  8. Choose to Save a Life, approach new people (FAIL — I did sign up to be a church greeter, but withdrew after deciding I would need to let something else go to take on more.)
  9. Pay off my student loan (EPIC PASS!!)

Paying off my student loan… when I was praying through this list last year, this is one I fully believe God put on my heart, as it certainly didn’t come out of my own ideas–it was impossible to do. And Julie and I were already aggressively paying down our debt. But I wrote it down anyways, trusting that God would provide if that’s what he wanted us to do.

Do All You Can Do

I’m a strong believer however in the need for a believer to do all that they can to achieve their God-given goals, and God will do His part. We can’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for the miracle to come. In doing all we can, we still need to guard ourselves from taking credit for the end result.

So I figured I needed to get a second job. We had no kids yet, so this was the time to do it. Thankfully God provided me with side project work at my primary workplace, rather than me having to serve up coffee at my local Tim Horton’s. Out of that project has come other opportunities for additional work that was unexpected. So I thank God for how He is blessing me beyond just paying off my student loan.

To be clear, we did not actually pay off my student loan by the end of 2011. However, after our anticipated tax return this year, the loan should be paid off and Julie and I will be… debt… FREE! Woot! That day can’t come fast enough.

Use Your Time Wisely

The downside to this last goal on the list is that it impacted every other goal I had for the year. Really this list is a guide for how I want to use my time in a day, outside of what I’m already obligated to do. Because I was doing extra work in my personal time, suddenly I did not have the time to put into the things I had planned to focus on.

Do I regret doing it? Are you kidding? Who wouldn’t want to be debt free? And we thank God for His timing, as we’re now expecting a child in July. What better time to get out of debt than when you have new expenses coming your way?

2012 Goals

  1. Be a good husband to my pregnant wife and soon to be mother
  2. Be a great father

I suppose what I call goals are now simply priorities.

Question: How are you planning to spend your time this year?

Hearing God’s Voice :: Shut up and listen up (Part 3)

This is the conclusion of the Hearing God’s Voice series. To read Part 1 and 2, click here and here.

Have you ever heard God’s voice? Is that even possible. How do you “follow God’s leading?”

4. Trust your experiences

God is constantly trying to teach us something. He has likely pulled you through a tough situation in the past. What wisdom did you learn Continue reading “Hearing God’s Voice :: Shut up and listen up (Part 3)”

Hearing God’s Voice :: Seek Counsel (Part 2)

Many of us when we have a big question to answer in our life, we seek out counsel, and as follower’s of Christ, we’re usually encouraged to “listen to God’s leading.” What? How do I that? What’s God’s leading, other than Christianese? While it certainly isn’t easy to hear God’s voice amongst all the noise of our culture, I believe strongly that it is possible, and should definitely be sought out when you have no easy answers (or perhaps, even when you do have easy answers).

Last week, I began to list some of the things I did when I was seeking God’s direction when considering what school to attend for college. I suggested that we need to keep our head in the Bible. (If you haven’t yet read Part 1, you can do so here.) This week I offer two more suggestions for hearing God’s voice.

Continue reading “Hearing God’s Voice :: Seek Counsel (Part 2)”

Hearing God’s Voice (Part 1)

Many of us when we have a big question to answer in our life, we seek out counsel, and as follower’s of Christ, we’re usually encouraged to “listen to God’s leading.”

What? How do I that? What’s ‘God’s leading,’ other than Christianese?

While it certainly isn’t easy to hear God’s voice amongst all the noise of our culture, I believe strongly that it is possible, and should definitely be sought out when you have no easy answers (or perhaps, even when you do have easy answers). Continue reading “Hearing God’s Voice (Part 1)”

Resolving NOT to resolve in 2011

How many of you have already eaten that piece of chocolate and declared you would not begin your New Year’s Resolution until Monday?

I get the impression many in general have given up on New Year’s resolutions as we are finally realizing how horrible we are at fulfilling them, and how ineffective they often can be. Some ask the question, what is the significance of having a resolution or “starting fresh” just because the calendar changed to a new picture of your favourite orange tabby cat. (You have one hanging, don’t lie!)

Myself, I’ve chosen over the past few years to take the time at the beginning of the year to set Continue reading “Resolving NOT to resolve in 2011”

Importance of Theological Education: Just a thought…

I was just thinking… although some may justify biblical education as unnecessary because of the fact that the twelve disciples were “uneducated,” such a suggestion must be put into context. If you have any knowledge of education Jewish children received when growing up, you would know that they were thrown into the study of the Scriptures, in particular, learning the Pentateuch (Genesis to Deuteronomy), at a very young age. If they were found to have the capacity to learn the Scriptures well, they would continue in school learning the rest of the Old Testament as they got older, eventually following a Rabbi.

Jesus’ disciples likely ended their education with the Pentateuch and learned the trade of their family (i.e., fishing). The disciples were considered uneducated in Bible times based on this fact that a person would not be called to follow a Rabbi (as Jesus was) unless they proved themselves a worthy student in the Scriptures.

But the disciples, because they were Jews, still would have had extensive training of the basics of the Jewish faith from the Genesis-Deuteronomy. I wouldn’t call that “uneducated” the way the many opponents to Theological training tend to use.

What do you think? To be in full-time ministry, is a Theological (Bible College/Seminary) degree necessary?

Q: How do linchpins think differently than everyone else?

“For me, the key postural difference is this: cogs see a job, linchpins see a platform. Every interaction, every assignment is a chance to make a change, a chance to delight or surprise or to touch someone.

Once you see the platform and the opportunity, it really does change things.” — Seth Godin, on his new book Linchpin

[Note: Originally posted on]

I think one of the primary problems we face in Western Christianity is the simple fact that so many people view going to church as an end instead of a means to an end. Let me explain. For those who subconsciously view church as an end in and of itself, going to church is the way they do their religious duty. They check church off the religious list. But do you really think God’s Continue reading “”

[Note: Originally posted on]

Over the past couple of years, I have developed a friendship with Rabbi Daniel Lapin, a successful businessman, author and Jewish rabbi. I first came to know Rabbi Daniel by reading his incredible book, Thou Shall Prosper. This is definitely a must-read book for anyone who wants a clearer understanding of the biblical view of money. In fact, I bought a couple hundred copies and gave it to everyone on my team. It’s that good.

Thou Shall Prosper is a rabbi’s perspective on why Jewish people, no matter where they live in the world, have a disproportionate amount of wealth. Less than 2% of the people in the United States are Continue reading “”

[Note: Originally posted on]

As leaders, sometimes we become so focused on pushing others, that we forget to push ourselves.

Being self-disciplined and willing to push yourself is a key attribute of successful leaders. And especially successful entrepreneurs.

Don’t be like a wheelbarrow, that only goes as far as it is pushed. If you are relying on someone else around you or above you to push you to get things done or to grow as a leader, it’s time to step up and push yourself.

Someone once said: “There are three kinds of people in this world. Those who MAKE things happen. Those who WATCH things happen. And those who say ‘WHAT HAPPENED?“

Which kind of leader are you?