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Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

Personal Goal – Shed Some Pounds

In Goals on July 10, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Most of you probably don’t know anything about having to carry some extra weight around with you, but I do.  I’m not referring to the burden of a heavy coat or anything like it; no, there’s a few extra pounds on the pastor’s frame that needs to disappear.

I can remember being in the best shape of my life just before retiring from the Air Force many years ago.  Our commanding officer had us running three times a week, playing racquetball every day, and basketball quite often, too.  Whew!  I actually won a racquetball tournament in the rookie division – that just wouldn’t work now, though.

One of our very good friends bought my wife a bicycle for her birthday.  On the day I had to go pick it up from the store, my wife suggested it was time for me to get one, too, so we could ride together.  Well, being up for an adventure, I looked around and found a bike to my liking.  It wasn’t long, and both bicycles were at home and ready for our first ride.

I walk fast.  My wife and grandchildren have a hard time keeping up with me, so I have to force myself to slow down.  It wasn’t long before I was getting up early in the morning in order to ride my bike, that way I could really push myself.  The more I ride, the better I feel, and the pounds will eventually begin to disappear.

My mountain bike. Great for hills, too.

My mountain bike. Great for hills, too.

After a couple of weeks putting around the local neighborhood, it was time to venture out a little further.  Mac’s Steak House (McDonald’s), is about 3 miles from the parsonage, and I’ve started riding there, stopping for a cup of coffee, then riding back.  There are some pretty nice hills in the little town we live in, so the round trip is a good workout.  I can imagine what some people think when they see a gray-haired stumpy man riding a mountain bike through town, breathing hard and trying not to act like he’s tired at all.

Does anyone want to ride along with me?

Personal Goal – Daily Bible Reading, Part 2

In Goals on July 8, 2008 at 4:34 AM

I must confess, having a daily reading plan means absolutely nothing if it isn’t used. Thankfully, the Lord has given me the time and desire to pursue my goal with a strong purpose. It would be difficult, at best, to describe the joy I get when the day’s reading goal is checked.

Now, to some, it may sound as if this exercise is merely mechanical in order to fulfill form and fashion only. No, it is far more than that. God’s Word is satisfying to the very soul, and I know something good is coming of this journey I’ve begun. Yes, I do want to complete the course, but as each portion is read, it seems the Lord is opening up something new each time, and that is well worth the time spent at my desk with Bible open.

In talking with several of my pastor friends, I am finding many of them are pursuing the same goal. Yes, pastors are supposed to read God’s Word; this is more than “just what we’re supposed to do.” It’s as if there is a newness and freshness that’s being stirred in our spirits. The Lord is giving us a new desire to receive all He has for us through the pages of God’s holy book.

What about you today? Do you set some time aside each day to spend with the Lord through prayer and reading His precious Word? Will you begin to take time? Let me assure you, time can be found if you really want to read. One of the sayings my people hear quite often is “you can do what you want to do.” If any of really want to, we can find the time to read every day. Now, get to it!

Personal Goal – Daily Bible Reading

In Goals on July 1, 2008 at 11:42 PM

One of the greatest things the Church of God has ever been involved with is called the “Covenant Pastoral Leadership Development Initiative”.  One aspect of the initiative is to form “Pastoral Covenant Groups” (PCG), which are led by designated facilitators.

In my particular group, there are about six other pastors who have joined together in a covenant relationship with each other.  It is not a program handed down from the top brass; rather, according to Dr. James P. Bowers, Executive Director, Center for Pentecostal Leadership, it is a process that brings “pastors, congregations, and denominational leaders together to support pastoral excellence.”

One part of the PCG process is to make and assess personal goals. We help each other to be accountable, and encourage those in covenant to reach their own goals, and even stretch out toward new goals. What a wonderful idea – fellow pastors helping each other, not competing with each other.

A personal goal of mine has been to read God’s Word for me, for my enjoyment and growth. Many of you pastors, teachers and evangelists can relate to the fact that much of your reading is geared toward preparing sermons, messages and teachings. You can’t give out what you don’t have in you!

With the help of one of my facilitator friends, Pastor Jim Hull, I finally took hold of the goal and made it a part of my life. After quite a bit of searching the internet using Google, I came across a Daily Bible Reading Plan, from Homeschool World. It’s a great tool, and stays tucked into one of my Bibles for daily reading.

Because it’s so important, I have really been pushing Bible reading lately at the church I pastor. My people have really taken up the charge, and are doing quite well. It’s especially thrilling to see young people begin a daily reading plan.

What about you? If you are not reading God’s Word regularly, you are missing out on so much the Lord wants to show you. Our strength comes from the Word of God; we are helped and encouraged by it’s glorious pages. Will you read God’s Word today like never before?