Wednesday, December 31, 2008

looking back

As I look back over the year, and my life, there have been some major changes. You see when I started out "back in the day", (the photo above was me as a 4 year old) I had no idea what I would be doing today. Little did I know, that my profession, or better yet calling, would be as a pastor of Grace Community Church. But along the way I did set some goals.

I remember as an 8 year old, playing baseball in a league for 8-12 year olds, and I had one simple goal. The goal was to get on base, and to swing the bat like I was fighting for my life. As I recall, I did just that. As you can see in the photo below, I was tiny. I am the slugger second from the right, on the bottom. The year was 1970, and I had to face 12 year old boys pitching 200 mph fastballs ( well it sure did seem that way). I did get on base, but by either walking, or getting hit by a pitch, otherwise I struck out . Truth be known I struck out a lot. But one thing for sure, I went down swinging every time.
I have always played organized ball. In fact, even today, I find myself playing in 2 adult basketball leagues, and I still set goals today. Nothing brings me greater joy, than to keep up with men 20-25 years younger than me, and to sprint down court and lay in a shot ahead of them. Even in 5th grade I had set goals. Play defense, baseline to baseline ,and pester the snot out of the guy I was guarding. Some would still say I still keep that goal. The photo below was taken after my team won the championship game. (I am the first one on the bottom left). I was actually knocked out after colliding with a teammate, when trying to block a shot. Smelling sauce does wonders to wake you up.

Why do I tell you this? Well, even way back then, I was plotting a course, setting some goals, and trying to hit a target. Even today, I can go back and measure my success. That brings me to today. Is it still important to set goals? How are goals set? What is a good way to do so?

Well every year, my family and I set them individually and as a family unit. Here is the criteria we use. By the way, it is not original, it comes from Jesus' life and is found in Luke 2:52 Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and men.

As you can see there are four areas that Jesus grew.

1.Wisdom... Personal intellectual growth
2.Stature... In the areas of Health
3.GOD... personal relationship with the trinity
4.Men... relationships with men.

In case you are interested these are the family goals we set for 2008

one fruit and vegetable per day
4... 10 mile bike rides as a family

memorize one verse per month from the same passage in Scripture
study about a "raise the bar" person each month

know the names of our neighbors from bridge to CR 21
do 2 acts of kindness for neighbors
invite neighbors to a community cookout
pray (for salvation) by name for our neighbors
plan 2 mission outings as a family

fast as a family 6 times a year and pray for dreams and urgent needs
fall deeper in love with Jesus

go to a professional sports game
go to a theatrical show
prank 4 people/ families

swimming pool in back yard
pole barn with indoor hoops
own a GMC Denali

Well, we still have some work to do before the year ends, but at least we have something to measure our year by. Thanks God for another year!

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