With the first quarter now behind us, it’s always fun to reflect on goals for the year and truly see where progress has [or has not] occurred!
So this past week, as I ended Q1 2013 in the midst of travel to Cleveland for meetings with Direct Response Marketing Godfather Dan Kennedy, I decided to pull out my weekly journal and reflect on the quarter that was, while regrouping for the days, weeks and months ahead of me.
Why do I set goals and write in my journal each week? Because I don’t know how many days God has even decided that I have left on this earth. Thus, I am committed to making each one count, as a steward of the time and resources He has so undeservedly blessed me with.
For any of you who might be waking up living in the dual role of an entrepreneurial business leader and the head of your household, you are no doubt fighting a daily divide between intensely growing your business, and being the best father-husband combo that you can be.
Yes, I said divide. Because, at least for me, it’s a daily give-and-take for me to stay dedicated to what it takes to grow business while being the most loving father and husband possible. My family needs me and so does my business.
That being said, after meeting or exceeding the majority of my business goals in 2012, I realized I had fallen short in several of those father, husband and son of God areas where I so desperately wanted to grow.
So when I sat down a little more than three months ago, to set my 2013 goals, I made sure that I started with those spiritual and family realms where I had fallen short, and worked on business goals last. Spending time in deep thought, meditation and prayer on that last week of 2012, I really decided to make a commitment to being diligent with my focus on Christ in everything I was setting out to do this year.
From simple things like only reading Gospel-based books during Q1 2013 [versus the usual 2+ business books I read each month], to exchanging weekend hours usually spent watching sports or reading business content, for more hours with my family; I dedicated the first quarter to making a series of intricate changes in my habits, with hopes that it’d make some bigger changes in my overall person.
Ironically, it was a business book that had me focusing on my habits more, as Darren Hardy, the publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, wrote a great book [The Compound Effect] about the philosophy of changing daily habits to create changes in your overall being. One which I was able to apply first-hand during this challenge of discipline that I had commissioned myself to take on wholeheartedly.
And I’m happy to say that the first quarter was quite an improvement in the head-of-household department. But where the “rubber really met the road,” was in my walk with Christ.
While I did decide to continue reading my 11 different business newsletters and magazines that I subscribe to receive each month, I also decided to stay true to my commitment to my Gospel-Based book reading goals. This content, charged together with dedicated scripture meditation in the entire book of Judges, along with Romans 8 and Hebrews 12, lead to some serious freedom in my continuously blessed journey.
I am planning on doing a video blog post later this month, reviewing the six different books I read in Q1 2013 and even sharing some of the goals I’ve set for this year. However, right now, I would like to focus on an intense truth that I have began to focus on more than ever before, during this Q1 journey.
It’s the fact that we must face the truth that there is only one decision for us to make as humans, in regard to our faith [or lack there of] in Christ.
You either believe The Gospel Truth, or you don’t. Period.
While just about every human acknowledges that Jesus was a man who roamed the earth, the decision occurs with a multiple choice answer regarding his time here on earth.
(a) Jesus was a liar and/or a crazy man, and did not actually rise from death three days after being crucified.
(b) Jesus did rise from death after shedding His blood to save us from the sin we are otherwise unable to conquer.
My choice is (b). What’s yours?
I maintain that Christ came to save us by living the life that no one else could live, only to die the death we all deserve to die, not only rising from and defeating death, but also providing us with forgiveness for the sin that we are all so deeply infected with as human beings.
The world we live in today, is not all that different from the idol-worshipping times described in Old Testament books like Judges, where pluralistic beliefs in multiple gods providing multiple paths of salvation, were the norm.
However, if there is only one decision of (a) or (b), then pluralism should be replaced with an actual choice. Something many people simply do not want to hear or actually face.
In His amazing work, The Reason For God, Tim Keller shares a tale of a rabbi, a muslim man, and himself, all visiting a scholarly university in New York, where they did a panel on religion for a large group of students. The only thing that Keller said he and his panel agreed upon was the fact that only one of them could be correct in their assumptions; there is only one decision.
We agreed that “If Christians are right about Jesus being God, then Muslims and Jews fail in a serious way to love God as God really is, but if Muslims and Jews are right that Jesus is not God but rather a teacher or prophet, then Christians fail in a serious way to love God as God really is,” says Keller.
This began a large debate amongst the post-modern, pluralistic audience who felt that this consensus between the three men was an outrage, due to the fact that only one of their doctrines was THE path to salvation. The problem with this is the fact that by ignoring these three doctrines represented by this panel, people are actually creating a doctrine of their own, that they are basing their entire life upon, both the human one here on earth AND the eternal one that will live on forever.
As my pastor [David Platt] has said repeatedly; “if you disagree with me and think that Christ did not die and raise from the grave to save us, you are to pity me for basing my whole life on a lie.”
However, on the other side of the fence, is the notion that with my faith is so strongly embedded in my belief that Christ did indeed come to save us, and that this is the only way to eternal paradise, it would be one of the most hateful things I could do, to keep this faith to myself.
How can I be so selfish to keep a secret to myself? I can’t.
I can’t be a disciple, if I am not a disciple-maker. Can I? David and his colleague Francis Chan (San Francisco) break this down in the following video.
Although I grew up in The Church with The Bible in my hand throughout my childhood, I did not become a Christian until 2009, when I finally turned from myself and my sin, to follow Christ unconditionally with love. But I don’t know that I’ve ever embraced the simplicity that lies in this simple decision that everyone will make, one way or another. And if I haven’t embraced this decision until a few years ago, imagine how many others around me, are walking around today ignoring it as well!
And so, if my decision is clearly that Jesus came here to save us, by shedding His blood and dying on the cross only to raise from death three days later, then I better saddle-up and start being more intentional on sharing it with the vast network of friends, family and colleagues that He has put in my life.
Dedicated to holding myself to it,
You can hold me to it, too – Just click on my name above to email me!