My Personal Mission Statement

Mission statements are extremely important. Any business, church, or organization that’s moving forward has one and sticks to it.

A mission statement is like a compass.  It keeps you heading in the right direction when distractions or hard times come.  It keeps you focused on the main thing and urges you onward when passion wanes and feelings just aren’t there.

Since mission statements are so vital to organizations, I think they should be important to individuals as well.  After all, a stated ideal and standard for living helps to keep us moving toward the life God has for us when circumstances are draining our focus and passion.

A few years ago, I developed a personal mission statement that I could hang on the wall as a reminder when the going gets tough.  Needless to say, I reread it A LOT to keep me committed to what matters most.

Maybe it will inspire you to prayerfully write one.  What do you think?

I commit to always strive to grow in The Lord until the end of my days here on earth.  I commit to cultivating intimacy with God, communicating to Him through sincere prayer, passionate worship, and acts of service to Him and His people.  I will not give begrudgingly or sparingly, but I will give all of myself in relationship to Him because He worthy of this and far more.  I will read, listen, and run hard after Him with all of my soul, mind, and strength.

I commit to loving my wife with undying faithfulness, unrelenting commitment, and tender affection.  I will strive to treat her with great understanding knowing that she is my equal partner and God’s gift of new life according to 1st Peter 3:7.  I will raise my children in the way they should go and teach them to choose the right path according to Proverbs 22:6.  I will love them, protect them, care for their needs, and be a godly father to them.  I will be patient, gentle, nurturing, and honoring to my family.  I will refuse to allow work, hobbies, relationships, ministry, or the cares of this world to come between my family and me.

I commit to God’s calling on my life to creatively communicate His love and hope, to invest and lead those He gives me the privilege to do so with, and to be a blessing to those around me and abroad.  I will not forsake my calling because my calling will not forsake me according to Romans 11:29.  I promise to give, love, pray, sing, build, work, serve, and go beyond my limits for the sake of the call because His love compels me and my love for Him is beyond words!

Always and Forever,

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A Well Worn Book

This is a picture of my copy of My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.  This poor little book in a mess.  I’ve been reading this very copy daily for over 20 years!  The cover falls off and large chunks of the book slide out of I don’t hold it just right.  I love this book and I’ve wrung so much out of it!

I know it sounds strange, but this beat up old book really inspires me.  I look at it and think, “I want to be like this book.”

Let me explain:

This book gets read. It doesn’t just sit on the shelf looking pretty.  It has a message and that message is heard and makes an impact.  You’ve heard the saying, “You may be the only Bible the some people will ever read.”  Well, I want to be a book that God’s message can be communicated through.

I catch something new every time I read through it. Chambers is deep and that’s one of the things that keeps me coming back to this book.  One of my greatest fears is becoming stale and irrelevant.  I long to be a deep well that others can draw from.

It’s old but powerful. This one is much like the second one.  I know I’m not really old, but I’m at the halfway point in my life and I think often about how aging will effect the impact I’m able to make on the world around me.  I long to hold onto my zeal for Jesus and to keep my vision strong.

It’s spent. Seriously, look at that thing.  I really don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to go without buying a new one.  I’ve brought it everywhere with me for the last 20+ years.  I’ve read it over and over.  I don’t want to reach the end of my life wishing I’d been spent more for the cause of Christ.  I want God to wring every last bit out of me for His glory.

I love how Paul puts it in 2nd Corinthians 12:15, “I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you.”

Lord, spend me to the last ounce of all I have and am.  Amen.


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I’m Blessed


I work one day a week for an organization that feeds the poor and homeless.  As they walk past me, it’s not unusual to make small talk and ask, “How you doing?” (A question which has become more of a greeting than something that you really expect an answer from.)

What surprises me, when I ask this question, is the number of people who smile wide and answer, “I’m blessed!”

Blessed“!  They have very little.  Some of them proclaim that they’re blessed and then sleep in a shelter, not knowing if they’ll have a warm meal or a bed the next day.

Contrast that with the answer I receive from those with plenty, “My back’s been bothering me”, “My son dented my car”, or “Not horrible I guess”.

How is it that those of us with so much can’t see how blessed we truly are?

It’s just something I was pondering and thought I might be able to get some insight from you.

What do you think?

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D21 Challenge: MRE Madness

OK, the challenge officially begins!

In my last post I issued a challenge to get rid of some of the “stuff” that clutters our homes and our lives; to travel lite so that, when God calls, we can be available and not be weighed down by possessions we don’t need.

I called the challenge “Down to One” (D21) and the idea is to take things you have several boxes of, and narrow those things down to only one box.

My first self-challenge is an unusual one.  I have several boxes of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).  I started stocking up on them a while back because they make great camping food.  They’re also convenient when the power goes out for more than a day.  All you have to do is add water, wait for them to warm up, and eat them.  They’re not too bad either.

Well, I haven’t camped in forever and it’s been three years since we’ve lost power for more than a day so they’re outta here!  The director of a local homeless shelter told me they would be massively appreciated there so I’m hauling them over on Friday.  So long MREs!

How about you?  Have you started positioning yourself to be used by God?  Have you been storing food that other people could use?

Tell me how it’s coming!

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Positioned to be Used

My family and I moved to a different house a couple of weeks ago.  There are very few things I really hate, but moving is definitely one of them.  I hate packing up all my stuff, I hate leaving a house and neighborhood I love, I hate hauling heavy boxes and furniture, and I hate sorting through tons of boxes to find what I need to work after we’ve moved to the new house.

One question I kept asking myself during the move was, “Why do we have all this stuff?!”  Don’t get me wrong, we’re not pack rats and we usually only shop out of necessity (as opposed to shopping because it’s fun or entertaining).  I just kept wondering why we were lugging so much stuff every time we moved.  It was really troubling to think we paid for so much stuff that was simply being stored in the basement or attic.  It pretty much sickens me to think that Americans have more stuff in storage than what the rest of the world owns COMBINED.

During the move, my wife kept bringing up really good “What if?” questions.  “What if God calls us to…” and “What if God asks us to give…”

What do “What if?” questions have to do with owning too much stuff?  Everything!  What if God calls us to overseas missions?  What do we do with all of our stuff?  Something tells me that Paul did not have a bunch of junk in a self-storage unit as he spread the gospel across Asia Minor.

What about the cost of all this garbage?  I wish I could get my money back for every DVD I only watched once or every book I never read or every accessory and trinket I thought would make my life so much better.  That money could have gone to sponsor a child or take that mission trip I said I couldn’t afford to take.  An even sadder situation is when people can’t afford to give or go because they’re strapped with debt.  An over-sized car payment or maxed-out credit card can seriously hinder a person from being available for God to use.

It really is a brilliant demonic strategy if you think about it.  “Let people have all they want until they’re too buried by possessions to be able to go when God says go.

I believe that God wants me and my family to be in a position to be used by Him.  He wants us to be ready.  I have a friend who sold his house and moved into an apartment just because God might call him overseas.  That may sound extreme to some, but when God calls, he won’t have to spend a year getting rid of everything before he goes.  I know some people really take issue with this kind of thinking.  They’re thinking, “I worked hard.  Why shouldn’t I enjoy lots of possessions?  I have a standard of living to maintain!”  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “We should be far more concerned with our standard of dying than our standard of living.

So what are we going to do about it?  I’m going to issue myself (and you, if you choose) a challenge.  I’m calling it my “Down to One Challenge”.  What does that mean?  It’s simple; if I have three boxes of something, I’m going to narrow it down to one box.  For instance, I have several boxes of things I’ve filed away for ministry purposes.  It’s time to scale back to one.  Do I really need to keep all those catalogs, old conference notes, and brochures “just in case”?  I also have tons of camping gear (I’ve gone once in the last three years), collectibles, and music gear too.  Some things I’ll give away like I did here.  Other things I’ll sell.  And some of it will go to Goodwill or in the trash.

It’s not about being anti-stuff or taking some vow of poverty.  It’s about living without the trappings of too much stuff so we can be available when God calls.

So how about you?  Are you in?  I’ll be posting my challenges here on this blog and it would be great to hear your thoughts.

Down to One

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We All Have One…

A quick fill-in-the-blank for you.

I’d really like to _______________, but I ________________.

I think we all have something sitting on the backburner of our life.  Let’s talk about it.

Just type your completed sentence in the comments section below.  I’ll start it off by adding the first comment.

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