New Year, New Word – Present

“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard-pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.”

Philippians 1:21-24 ESV

Paul understood that there is a tension between staying and going. Between what you are doing and what you want to do. Between the now and the future. My tension is not as great as Paul’s, but I live in this tension of now and future. Maybe it’s my personality, my history, or something else but I live in an almost constant state of now and the future. On top of that, I am a pretty busy man. I have many demands placed on me and sometimes, oftentimes, get distracted. I am a dreamer too so that can be a problem.

Each year my family and I pick a word for the year. Last year I picked willing. I wanted to be willing to do hard things, willing to take chances, willing to have my plans changed (and they did), willing to hear new things, willing to be a better father, a better husband, a better friend, just willing and open.

This coming year should bring about some amazing changes. We are working on something with our organization and hope to announce our full plans very soon. Being willing opened a door we would have never sought out on our own. Being willing gave me eyes to see how I do not control the future and take time to be a better father, husband, and friend (I hope).

This year I want to be present. I will have more demands on me than before and I will be in new and exciting situations. Because of this, I want to be present. I want to be in the moments and not just going through the motions. When I spend time with the Lord, I want to really be present. When I am with my wife, I want to be real with her. When I am with my kids, I want to be with them fully. Whatever I am doing I want to be focused on that thing. This is going to be hard for me, but I want to do it.

Being present is hard for me. It will take work and determination, but I believe it is worth it and I will be better for it. I believe this is an area I need to grow in. The great thing is I have all year to work on it and unlike a resolution, I can fail multiple times and still be working on it. In fact, every time I fail, I get to see how I need to keep working at it. I get new opportunities to be present.

What about you? When 2020 ends and the year is just a memory what do you want to know you grew in? What word do you want to summarize your growth? Maybe it’s independence and you grew in finances and the knowledge that you are free from your past. Maybe it’s determined and you want to know you pressed harder than before and found new strength to accomplish things and saw God be a rock like never before. I don’t know but I am sure there is something. I believe there is some word that you can want to sum up your relationship with others and God. Some word you want to choose to define you and your year. That is what this is all about choosing how to grow, choosing how to move forward, choosing what defines you. Choose wisely but make a choice.

Just a thought,

Mike

 

Maintenant pour mes amis français. Chaque année ma famille et moi choisis un nouveau mot. L’année dernière j’ai choisi prêt ou volonté. Je voulais être prêt pour tout ce que Dieu voulait que je fasse. Je voulais être prêt à être un meilleur père mari et ami. C’était super. Cette année je choisir présent. Je voudrais être présent dans tout ce que je fais. C’est dur pour moi mais je pense que c’est bon. La vie est très très occupée mais j’ai besoin d’être présent. Si je ne le suis pas alors à quoi ça sert ?

Je vous mets au défi de choisir un seul mot. Un seul mot pour travailler cette année. Un mot qui vous rapprocher de Dieu, à grandir dans vos relations, à grandir en tant que personne.

Juste une pensée,

Mike

Willing

2018 has come and gone and that means it is time for a new word. If you don’t know I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I feel like they are lacking but a word, a word can carry so much more than a resolution can. For example, maybe you decide your resolution is to lose weight. Great have fun with that, but what about eating right, maintaining a proper body image, learning what type of daily eating works best for you, loving your neighbor, being a good parent, a good spouse, spending time receiving your identity from God. A resolution of weight loss cannot help you achieve those things but striving to live out the word healthy can. Healthy can be healthy relationships, a healthy body, and a healthy relationship with God. A word can carry so much more than a simple resolution can because it can be applied to every single area of your life and regardless of where you are at in life every area can always be improved on.

My word this past year was shalom. Not peace, but shalom. Shalom means more than peace it means soundness or completeness and I feel like this year was pretty sound. My relationship with my wife was better than ever, my daughter still likes me, we fostered another little boy who I still love dearly and cry for at times, but I am ok with the situation. I am almost done with my degree, and we are in the process of doing something huge and stressful but through it all, I feel content and fully at rest in Christ. It has been hard, but I have been able to keep going back to God to ask for His peace and soundness in my life. Like my past words (stronger, audacious, inspire, and indomitable) I will keep shalom with me and it helps it is tatted on my arm. I will keep going back to a desire to be complete in Christ, but it is time for a new word.

For 2019 I desire to be willing. If you know me, you might be thinking I don’t need to be any more willing but hear me out. Yes, I do love an adventure, but I am not always willing to do what I want or should. First, I want to be willing to have my faith make me uncomfortable. I want to be willing to do more for my wife and family. I want to be willing to do things I have not done so I can do things I have not done. I want to be willing to seek God so honestly that if He wrecks my plans, I am ok with it. I want to be willing to be open to new ideas and new ways of attacking life. I want to be willing to go or to stay. I am not going all Jim Carry in Yes Man, but you get the idea. I want to be willing.

It is not like the idea is way out there either. The disciples gathered and prayed for boldness. Paul prayed that he might be bold. I understand that bold and willing are two different words, but I want that same willingness that they had to ask for boldness. I want to be willing to seek God for direction, support, and blessing. I want to be willing to be told no to things I desire. Jesus says the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, and I want my spirit and my flesh to be willing. If an opportunity arises, I want to be willing to seize it (after prayer of course). I want to be willing to see what God would do this year. Who knows maybe nothing great or amazing happens, maybe I just find myself more willing to trust God and do hard things for my family. But maybe just maybe something amazing happens. Either way, I am willing.

Just a thought,

Mike