August 18, 2017

How Does the Gospel Transform Productivity?

Like most of you, I live a busy life with too many things on my to-do list and not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Poor planning, unforeseen interruptions, and just life in general all combine to make productivity much harder than it should be. And one glance at the personal development section at Barnes & Noble reveals that many of us feel that way! In fact, a quick search for "productivity books" on Amazon returns over 36,000 results. I guess we have a problem with getting things done. Is the answer simply learning various methods and strategies to streamline our work and do more in less time? I don't think so. To be sure, those methods can be helpful -- almost anyone [...Read More]


You Don’t Need to Learn How to ‘Love Yourself’

Last week was Valentine's Day, and I couldn't believe how many times I saw the phrase love yourself. The world of greeting cards, inspirational books, and social media posts is filled to overflowing with this idea that we must love ourselves better (or more) before we can love others. But I'm pretty sure that's not what my Bible says . . . What did Christ call the two greatest commandments? Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Notice He didn't say to love yourself first so that you can love others or God. He said to love others as you already love yourself. Nobody needs to be told to love themselves! We spend so many [...Read More]


Ten Important Things You Should Do in 2017

What are you hoping to accomplish in 2017? Whether you set New Year's resolutions, pick a word for the year, or simply choose a handful of goals to pursue over the next 12 months, the beginning of a new year is a perfect time to step back, reassess your priorities, and set markers to steer you in the direction you want to go. There's a reason we tend to do all that in January. My theory? All the new toys and gadgets we get for Christmas inspire us to carve out time to try new things, push us to re-organize our possessions to find room for everything, and motivate us to improve a skill or expand our understanding in some area. Plus there's the whole "new calendar" vibe that encourages us [...Read More]


You Only Live Once

You only live once. It's become a trite catchphrase over the past few years, annoying to some and overused by others, but that doesn't make it any less true. You only live once. You don't get a do-over after you die. You don't reincarnate as another person or being of some other kind. You live once, and then you die, and that's it for life on this earth. You only live once. You only have one short lifetime to make a difference, to say kind words to those who are hurting, to love the unlovely, to share the gospel, to be an example, to help the less fortunate, to make a direct impact with your words and actions. You only live once. After you die, though your soul will [...Read More]


What Are Your Goals for 2016?

We're almost halfway through the first month of the new year! Have you forgotten your New Year's resolutions yet? Or are you digging in and staying disciplined, despite the waning motivation and monotony of hard work? Or do you still need to figure out what you want to achieve this year? I took a little extra time to carefully and prayerfully work through the 5-step process of setting great goals, and finally decided on 5 major things I want to accomplish over the next 12 months. I would love to reach for more than that -- but with a cross-country move on the near horizon and several months of transition surrounding that, I think I'll need some extra "margin" in my life to deal with the [...Read More]


How to Set Great Goals This Year

The beginning of a new year presents a great time to stop and reassess where you're heading in life. Are you going in the right direction? Are you at least inching closer to your long-term goals? Or do you need to do an about-face and shake some things up? Whether you like to call them goals, resolutions, plans, habits, or disciplines... this is a great time to set some specific direction for the coming year. But don't just write down the first things that come to mind. Here are 5 steps to set worthwhile goals that you can actually reach this year: Be prayerful. What goals will reap eternal rewards? Set some time aside to carefully consider what God might want you to pursue this [...Read More]


Too Busy to Pray?

How have you been lately? Wait, let me guess... busy, right? Seems like we're all running crazy, trying to cram far more in a day than can reasonably fit within 24 hours. Between family schedules, work requirements, church commitments, medical appointments, and connecting with friends, our spare time is at a minimum. When that happens, we start thinking about what we can let go. And the first things to go are usually the disciplines that require consistent time and energy, but little or no participation from others - things like exercise, healthy eating, Bible study, prayer time. But prayer is not just "one more thing" to on your to-do list -- it is the foundation of your list! [...Read More]


Your Health Is Not Everything

We place such a premium on physical health. We spend money on gym memberships, workout equipment, quality running shoes, and music to run by. We count calories, carbs, and sugars, and worry about choosing the right kinds of fat. We drink green smoothies, research symptoms online until we're paranoid, and stock up on supplements that promise younger, slimmer, healthier bodies. Our bodies are king, and they must be appeased. I'm guilty of thinking that way, too. I'd like to think I have a valid reason to focus on my health. After all, I have a chronic illness -- which includes insomnia, chronic fatigue, weakened immune system, chronic inflammation, migraines, and a little extra [...Read More]


Disciplines for 2014

I've been struggling to set new goals for this year, and I finally figured out why -- I don't want to attempt anything new. Not that I don't want to try new things this year, but I don't want to set goals for accomplishing new things. Instead, I need to focus on maintaining and developing current things. I stumbled across some pretty good rhythms in 2013, in several areas, and I don't want to lose any ground! And I'm afraid setting new goals would do just that. So this year, I'm choosing disciplines instead of goals. I've chosen seven areas in which I need to be disciplined, in order to shift from occasional habits into regular lifestyles. It's not my "word for the year" (that's [...Read More]


More Good Posts to Start Off the New Year

Most of us like to set goals, make resolutions, or at least take time to re-evaluate and re-calibrate every January. And along with that comes a flurry of new blog posts about setting and reaching those goals. Here are a few that stood out to me this year, specifically regarding drawing closer to God.   Spending Time with God: The Priority of a Daily Devotional Life, by Nancy DeMoss "Having a quiet time does not earn you brownie points with God. It doesn't make you inherently a better Christian. It’s meeting with God that makes you more like Jesus." The Practice of a Daily Devotional Life, by Nancy DeMoss "I know we feel, 'I don’t have time. How will I fit this into the day?' [...Read More]