Books / Readings, Change!?!, Spiritual Formation

The Point of Life

Here’s another thought from Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story. He writes that “the point of life is character transformation.” To illustrate idea, he tells a story that life has three parts:
1) We come into the world through birth and spend several years discovering ourselves.
2) In the second stage we long for a mate, to create a family, and find ways to be creative with our talents.
3) The last stage is a time for reflection when are bodies are slower, do less work and “think about a life lived rather than look forward to a life getting started.” (p. 69)

As I approach my birthday next week, more and more I’m beginning to realize my age is getting older and my body is slowing down. I recently completed a 1/2 marathon with an injured hamstring muscle… I don’t heal as fast as I used to. My hairline is receding. It’s getting more and more gray in color. I don’t mind going to bed earlier now than a few years ago… my body needs rest.

Am I different than the general population? No. I think I’m pretty average. Our bodies change with time. No matter how much exercise we do, what kind of diet we eat, or how much money we spend on health treatments, we can’t stop the aging process. Our bodies are transforming daily into something different than they were previously.

Miller goes on to say, “The human body essentially recreates itself every six months. Nearly every cell of hair and skin and bone dies and another is directed to its former place. You are not who you were… (six months ago).” (p.70)

So, what is the point of life? As our bodies go through physical transformation every day, week, month, and year, how is your character transformation proceeding? I believe that it constantly changes as well. Are you wiser, more loving, giving, patient, gentle and have more self-control than you were a year ago? How is your faith? Do you sense that you’re walking more with Jesus than you did a year ago?

What is the point of life? There may be many good answers to this question. What’s your’s?

Spiritual Formation

The Greatest Value

What do you really value in life? What’s most important?

Sunday, I ran the Carlsbad 1/2 Marathon. It’s the 12th time I’ve done the race and my first 1/2 in four years. What made this year’s race different is, I have an injured hamstring muscle. So, my plan was to run “gently,” not race or push, but just enjoy myself. I finished just 9 minutes slower than my personal best. I was amazed at how well the race went! I felt a great accomplishment in running so well with my injury and having a good time.

This week, I’ve been living in the afterglow of the race. I’m grateful for the accomplishment. I still feel good, but the afterglow is fading with each passing day.

What do I value? I must confess that I place value in accomplishments. It feels good to achieve something that I’ve worked hard to attain. May I confess that it also helps to build my ego?

Though I’m grateful for a good race, I have to remember that it wasn’t me that allowed me to race and do well. The blessing comes from God. It was through Christ in me that I found the strength to run and, run without making the injury worse.

Paul writes in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

I’m still learning that my greatest value needs to be Christ. It is through him that I can find ultimate contentment, satisfaction, and gratitude for the blessings in life.

Can you relate?

Change!?!, Leadership

Goals for 2016?

It’s a tradition that many people laugh about— making New Years resolutions. It works for some to improve their lives, but for many it does not. What’s your experience with New Years resolutions?

Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers and author of the book, Platform, says that the average person makes the same New Years resolution 10 separate times without success. Even after a heart attack, only 14 percent of people make any lasting changes around diet or exercise. Change is hard!

But here’s some good news! Dr. Gale Mathew did a study of 267 participants over a few years. She learned that you can increase your chances of success by 42% simply by writing down your goals. WOW!

So, I would first encourage you to begin 2016 by praying and asking God what it is God would want you to be about or do. Next, write these plans down so that you find greater faithfulness to God, your work, family, friends, and even yourself in the New Year.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

God bless you!


Books / Readings, Change!?!, Spiritual Formation

2016 Almost Here

The New Year is almost upon us! I’m looking forward to it. This past year has been huge in the amount of transitions! I’ve moved 5 times in 2015. Now, I’m settled back in my home and looking forward to being in one place for a while.

The past couple of weeks, I’ve read my first book by Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story. I didn’t know what to expect, but was quite impressed with his writing skills. It’s a very readable, thought provoking and inspiring book.

Miller writes about a movie company that wants to make a movie about his life. In the process of writing the script with two other writers, he discovers what’s important to make life better, or “how to live a better story.”

New Years is a time to reflect over the past year and consider what you’d like to be different or better for the New Year. What elements would you like to be in your life story for next year? Joy? Conflict? Adventure? Challenge? Discouragement? Opportunities? Love?

I’m sure that we’ll experience all of those elements in our story next year. The real test of a “good” story in our life is how we respond to any element we find ourselves in.

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (pronounced how-oh-lay ma-ka-hee-key ho) — That’s Happy New Year in Hawaiian. May your life’s story be brighter in 2016!


Church Planting, Community, Missional

Church Worship Canceled to Watch Football

What do you think about a new church canceling it’s second worship service ever in order to watch an NFL game? Would you cheer if your church did this? Or, would you wonder about the spirituality of the pastor and leadership to make such a decision?

I’m not making this up, but a new church plant in Seattle is going to watch a Seahawks game on TV instead of holding their worship service.

Would you like to learn why? Check-out their reasons at:

In case you’re very curious, here’s one of the reasons they are doing this: “We’re not salesmen, we’re gardeners. Our job is to cultivate the field God has set us in. Something’s already growing. We see it. Our job is to encourage and develop that growth in people who are seeking a heartfelt relationship with Jesus and each other.”

The leader of this church plant, Jim Henderson, has done more than one evangelism training event with Church of the Brethren. Does he have an idea worth considering?


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