Archive for January, 2015

Resolutions: Bringing Clarity to Your Dreams

January 28th, 2015 2 comments


As a pastor, I have the incredible privilege of communicating God’s Word to an audience multiple times each week. When it comes to preaching, or communication in general, there’s an old adage that rings eternally true: A mist in the pulpit is a fog in the pew.

In other words, if the one speaking is foggy about what he is trying to say, you can stand assured that the audience will be totally confused!

The same is true when it comes to setting meaningful goals for our lives. If our goals are foggy from the outset, our chances of realizing those dreams will be slim.

So how do we rid our goals of fog?

The prophet, Habakkuk, offered some timeless advice seven centuries before the birth of Christ:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.”
Habakkuk 2:2, ESV

He said, “Write it down and make it plain!”

Research shows that by just writing your goals down we stand a significantly higher probability of achieving them.

Sometimes the simple act of putting our thoughts on paper, in writing, helps to crystallize our goals.

Have you paused long enough at the beginning of this New Year to actually write down some goals you’d like to accomplish?

If you haven’t there’s no time like now. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and start dreaming.

Write it down! Make it plain! Start pursuing your dreams!

In the posts that will follow, we’ll highlight ways to make sure your dreams are clear.

Resolutions: Get Rid of the Fog

January 27th, 2015 No comments

clear vision

Have you ever felt like your life was being lived in dense fog? I prayed with a young man after the service on Sunday who could certainly relate. He confessed that he didn’t really know who he was or where his life was going. His dreams were lost in the fog.

Imagine how silly it would be to find yourself driving down the Interstate when all of the sudden you see a 747 in the lane ahead of you! You’d immediately ask, “What is that plane doing on the highway?” It’s completely out of place. That plane is made to fly hundreds of miles an hour. On the interstate, it cannot keep up with the traffic!

That’s a picture of what happens when we live in the fog. Our dreams have the power to make us fly fast and far. But when there’s dense fog in the area, the plane is left motoring around the runway or completely stalled at the gate. Until you get rid of the fog, your life will never take off.

If we fail to address the fog, two things will happen:

1. Fog will cloud your confidence.

When we know where we are going and we know how to get there we operate in a spirit of confidence. On the other hand, when we can’t see clearly and we aren’t sure what to do, our stress level increases. We often get edgy and irritable. Many times, those around us, our friends, family or colleagues, feel the heat from our frustration with life.

Clarity, on the other hand, creates certainty; and certainty leads to action. When people get clear they get going.

2. Fog creates stress.

It has been said that 85% of the stress we live with is due to either paralyzing indecision or feeling like our lives are out of control. Life is full of choices. Some choices are easy, like what to eat for lunch. Others are much more difficult. Nevertheless, a decision must be made.

So what do we do?

Often we become paralyzed and do nothing. Unfortunately, our indecision only compounds the problem. As long as we choose to ignore the situation we simply allow the dark cloud of stress to hover over our heads.

Sometimes things get so bad we simply feel like our lives are out of control. We feel like a car without brakes flying down a mountain road as our velocity increases and our ability to control the vehicle vanishes.

Can you relate?

Do you have some fog in your life right now?

What causes the fog?

Is it due to indecision or feeling out of control?

What is the most pressing situation begging for a decision or action on your part?

Make it a priority. Watch the fog begin to lift.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Resolutions: Own the Dream

January 23rd, 2015 4 comments

owner renter

If you’ve ever been a participant in a brainstorming process you’ve undoubtedly encountered the following scenario.

The ideas are flying. Some are duds, but many are great ideas that would really benefit the organization. And invariably the one who birthed that great idea will say,

“Somebody should…”

The problem is “somebody” does not really exist.

Here’s the math equation for those who are philosophically challenged:

Somebody should = Nobody will

The truth is, we all want and need to be “somebody.”

And that is the crux of the problem. We love to dream but we really don’t want to own it. I love what Casey Graham so wisely observed:

“The problem is people want to rent a vision. They don’t want to buy it.”

When you own the dream or vision, you will take on the full mantle of responsibility. When you’re a renter, you can pass on the responsibility whenever times get tough or something goes wrong.

Be the “somebody.”

You see, when you own the dream you own the outcome. If you don’t own the outcome the outcome will own you.

Here’s the math on failed resolutions:

Someday = No Day

Sometime soon = nowhere fast

“I hope” + “I wish” + “sometime” = fantasy world

When you own the dream and take responsibility for the outcome you stop making excuses. You stop blaming other people. Every time you blame someone else, you absolve yourself of responsibility and unwittingly commit yourself to failure.

Be the somebody. Own your dream.