Man up and do the dad thing!

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Todd Wilson from the Family Man ministries… http://www.familymanweb.com …wrote and article recently about ‘doing the dad thing.’  I love being a father and all that comes with that title.  When was the last time you did something totally random and knocked the socks off of your kids with a “What in the world!  That was unbelievably fun!! dad moment?

So, my fellow Dad, make something happen tonight or this weekend. Call for a pillow fight, a game of HORSE, a tickling match, a round of Three Stooges, or a special bed tucking in, dad-style. It just might be the most important thing you do all week.

Remember, my fellow dads, we’re in this together!

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Focus On Today?

Recently, I blogged about the differences between NY’s Resolutions, goal-setting, vision-statements and prayers.  I mean, let’s face it, they are all pretty similar.  Well, maybe the “prayer” thing is in a league of its own.  But here’s my point

I think if we are honest with ourselves, whatever we call them, and at the end of the day, or better might be, at the end of the year, the __________ (you call it what you want) we make can cause us to feel defeated before we even begin. I made similar “resolutions” last year, set nearly identical “goals” the year before, and even wrote vision-statements before that, and I can’t even remember how far they made it.  Now, as I am focusing on “prayers,” I have made a discovery:  It’s not about what “word” I assign to it, rather, it’s about a decision to choose, one day at a time.

Most of us, don’t regularly make choices on things that will happen months or even weeks in the future. But we do make choices each and every day that not only impact the outcome of that day but impact the choices we make (and have the opportunity to make later in the year.  I may decide to eat 6 small meals per day with the perfect balance of macros,but on day three of following that plan, the stomach bug hits my family and the thought of 1 meal, let alone 6, makes me want to yuk!  Or, I may set a goal of getting up at 5:00 am 365 days this years and on day 102, I forget to charge my iphone which results in my alarm not sounding bc my battery died in the night, and now I’ve failed.  It shouldn’t work this way.

This realization helped me see the problem with the way I approached previous years. I was looking ahead and committing to a new choice for the entire year without any margin for error.  My check-in-the-box and all-or-nothing personality can be quite crippling sometimes.  I probably made it a few weeks or even months, but ultimately slipped up or forgot the list and one by one each of my resolutions fell apart and I felt like a failure.

So what can I do to make 2017 different? Instead of putting my focus on resolutions, goals, visions or prayers in order to achieve my plans, I’m going to focus on starting each day intentionally by making the decision to choose.  It’s a day-to-day decision to choose.  Choose to look at your life, each day, through the lens of God’s will.  See what you have to work with that day and go from there.

So, for today, January 24, 2017, as it relates to my “goals” for this year, I choose to focus on today.  Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so today, if you take that first step, you’ll be one step closer to your destination.

Scripture: “The steps of a man are established by the LORD and He delights in his way.”                                 Psalm 37:23

Resolutions? What’s the deal?

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Resolutions?

Radical Mentoring‘s, Regi Campbell, recently wrote an article about the differences between Resolutions, Goal-Setting, Vision Statements and Prayers. I hope you find it interesting.

A long time ago, I used to make New Year’s resolutions. They were mostly stupid. “I’m going to eat no more than 2200 calories a day.” “I’m going to the gym and workout every day.” “I’m going to go a whole year without arguing with my wife.” “I’m going to have a quiet time every day.” (Well, maybe not all of them were stupid). They never made it out of January. I learned that New Year’s resolutions are binary. Black and white. Pass/Fail. Once broken, they were meaningless.

So I moved back to goal-setting. If I had enough incentive, I could dig pages of goals from the last 20 years out of my files. Goals were better than resolutions. Less binary. More forgiving. If I got off-track, I had time to double-down and still achieve. And while it’s true people who set goals accomplish more than people who don’t, goals are tricky. We can set goals for the wrong things. We can set goals on things others value and ignore what’s really important to us. Also, it’s hard to set goals on things that aren’t objectively measurable. A goal isn’t a goal if there’s no way to know if you’ve achieved it and frankly, after 50+ years of driving toward goals, I got tired of it. Just like New Year’s resolutions, goal-achieving seemed like it was all of me, on me, and too often . . . for me. I would ask God to help me achieve my goals, like “God, I’ve come up with what I want to do this year and now, I’d like you to get in on it and help me make it happen!” There’s a lot of ‘me’ in those last two sentences!

So . . . a few years ago, I started coming up with vision-statements for the year. It was like prayerfully dreaming of what December 31st could look like if certain things happened. I’d define the ‘certain things’ after praying and melding what I wanted with what I thought God would want for me, my family, my church and my ministry. A little less oblique than goals . . . less measurable but far more meaningful.

But for 2017, I’ve moved another step away from New Years Resolutions, goals and even vision statements. I’m writing down my prayers for 2017. As I’ve gotten older and a little more mature in my faith, I’ve come to realize how dependent I am on God . . . how everything I plan on, work toward, hope for or visualize is totally dependent on Him. It’s my role to pray, listen, think, collaborate, and obey. “Jesus, what is your prayer for me this year?” “God, what is your prayer for our family?” “Father, what is your prayer for Radical Mentoring in 2017?” As I’ve moved from resolutions to goals to vision statements to prayer requests, I realize I’ve moved from ‘driven’ to ‘called.’ From it being mostly about me to it being mostly about Him.

How about you? Is what you want in 2017 connected to what He wants for you? Are your wants connected to things you truly value?

Instead of New Year’s resolutions, this year, ask God to help you craft your prayer requests for 2017.

Scripture: And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. (1 John 5:14)

Mentor Tip: In almost every group, there’s someone with a touch of the ‘prosperity gospel.’ Lead your people thoughtfully and prayerfully through the Scriptures and show them that he gives us what we ask for if what we ask for what pleases Him and it is according to His will. God is not a genie who comes when we rub the lantern and gives us the Rolls Royce we think we want.

Conclusion:  Prayer is where it’s at…Prayer gets God’s attention…Prayer lights the fire…Rather than telling God what we think and then telling Him to bless it; ask God what He thinks and then ask Him to bless it!

Welcome!

On January 14, 1986, at the age of 12 years old, in a two-bedroom apartment in New Hampshire, I experienced hope in a way I never imagined possible. On that night, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.  I remember it like it was only yesterday.  Hope was reborn that night. My life turned in a whole new direction. I began taking every opportunity I had, to share this new-found hope with my friends and family and I quickly realized that hope changes everything!

On January 5, 1993, I married my high school sweetheart and love of my life, Erika. We have many things in common, and share a mutual passion and calling to provide help and hope to kids who are hurting.  We have seven children – four sons and three daughters – one son in-law, and one German Shepherd. I enjoy log homes, the mountains, remote times of prayer, my wife’s homemade pizza, apple pie and ice cream; health & fitness, New England Patriots football and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).  The one thing that I enjoy most, however, is spending time with my family!

While serving as a missionary with a world wide children’s ministry, I discovered that I wanted to reach children on another level.  My heart went out for those youngsters who were hurting, lonely, disadvantaged, at-risk; the underdogs, you might say.  On December 16, 2013, I founded Hope for Kids, Inc., a ministry that reaches kids in need physically, spiritually and relationally.  My vision  is to see the lives of children transformed by the message of hope, the Gospel, and as a result, experience healing from the past, help in the present and hope for the future.  You will often hear me say, “Teamwork makes the dream work” and “Remember, we’re in this together.”

Remember, we’re in this together!  (See, I told you!)

– Pastor Matt