Tag Archives: Goals

You Can Meditate On It Later, Just Put It In the Cart!

First, Let’s Shop

OK, we are not really going to go shopping, but online shopping is just about the best analogy I can think of for the subject at hand. So, just shop with me for a moment.

Recently, because I sold a couple of things on Ebay, I’m in the market to buy a new watch (and I’ve nearly lost 10 pounds as of this writing!). But ever since I started doing my research a few months ago, the watches I wanted back then are not really the watches I want now. Therefore, I’ve been doing a lot of “window shopping” online.

Sorry, but this was a tiny picture.

But, oh my goodness, every time I click there is another watch option that I haven’t considered. I’m constantly going back and forth, making comparisons between features, cost, and value. However, so that I won’t forget what I’ve looked at and so that I can come back to it later, I have been putting some of those watches in my virtual “cart” for safe keeping.

I may or may not buy one of them, but I will go back and look at those particular selections a little more in detail when I have time.

Reading, Not Meditating or Absorbing

As of this moment, I still have about 11 hours worth of reading to do in order to finish reading through the entire Bible before August 1st, my first anniversary here at Bethlehem Baptist.

As some of you know, almost 3 months ago I set a goal for myself: read the Bible through in 70 days (or at least by the end of August). When I mentioned on Facebook how little time I had left and how much I needed to read, a friend said, “Retention, Anthony, retention!” To which I replied, “Different context, Jim, different context.”

But is it wrong to quickly read through the Bible without taking the time to meditate on the verses or read slowly enough to remember everything I read? Well, it really all depends on the context.

My context is that of shopping through all 66 stores and putting what stands out in the cart for later.

Reading through books of the Bible in one sitting helps you to see things you’ve never seen before. No, it doesn’t give you time to meditate long on any one truth, but the new truths (or questions) that appear while quickly reading through the books are the ones that stand out enough to warrant more in-depth study at a later time.

So far I think I’ve got future study topics from every book of the Bible in my cart. I’m looking forward to going back and digging through that stack!

Why don’t you try it? 

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Terrible Endeavors Require Tangible Incentives

Allow me to begin with a quote:

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Zig Ziglar

I have some goals… some very specific, personal goals. Should I achieve those goals, I will “get” – I will receive – some tangible rewards for my accomplishments. They will instinctivize me and motivate me in ways that verbal support cannot.

However, as Zig Ziglar pointed out, what I will achieve by meeting my goals will be far more important than the tokens of my success. I get that. That’s why I’m setting the goals in the first place.

But knowing myself and my history, without some kind of tangible reward on the other side of the tape, I will, as I have so often done before, quit the race before it’s over, before I reach my goals. I need more than the satisfaction of a race well-run to motivate me through the pain and sacrifice needed to be a winner…

I need a trophy

The HUGE Announcement

I mentioned on Facebook that I had a HUGE announcement. Actually, I didn’t say that I had a HUGE announcement as much as I said that I had made some goals.

I’m establishing a HUGE goal for myself. I need your support. For the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. Details coming soon. #leanandmean

Therefore, here are the details . . .

I am tired of my appearance. I am disgusted with my weight. I regularly look in the mirror and hate what I see. Yet, since I know myself better than anyone but God, I am not one who sticks with any weight-loss plan, diet, or workout schedule for very long. Just seeing the number on the scale reduce is not as comforting as buttered cornbread or BBQ pizza.

“Terrible endeavors require tangible incentives.” – A. Baker

 TI1 (Tangible Incentive #1)

So, what’s the deal with the watch? Well, I really, really like nice watches. I will never spend the money for a top-tier luxury watch (Omega, Rolex, etc.), but I do enjoy the look and feel of beautiful and functional timepieces with a little history.

What’s the story with the above watch? Well, first, it’s a Casio MDV106-1AV 200M Duro. What makes it special? Why is it an incentive? Simple: It only costs $45 and it’s worn by the 2nd richest man in the world, Bill Gates. Honestly, who would have thought, right?

Below are four other tangible incentives (TI’s).

TI2

TI3

TI4

TI5

Now comes the time to announce what these incentives are for. 

  1. Casio Duro: losing 10 pounds
  2. Seiko 5: losing 15 pounds
  3. Orient Bambino: losing 20 pounds
  4. Seiko SNN241: losing 30 pounds
  5. Orient “Mako II”: losing 40 pounds

My Goal: Lose 40 pounds and 9 inches! 

Are there other watches I would like to add to my collection? Sure. But these are not terribly expensive. And, as you can see, they are all beautiful watches with different purposes.

And for those of you who might question the cost, at least I don’t have a smartwatch!

Nothing else has worked. But if these watches can motivate me to lose 40 pounds, I will consider them well worth the money, especially considering the savings in long-term health costs

All that will be left is buying new clothes that fit 🙂 

Will you help hold me accountable?

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Filed under fitness, Food

8 Suggestions for Making Resolutions (and an 11-Minute Sermon)

Internet Speed

Image result for gig cityIf there was only one thing I had to say I honestly miss about living in Chattanooga, it’s the INTERNET SPEED!

On the other hand, our internet speeds in this part of the state of Georgia are dreadfully slow compared to what I’ve been used to:

  • “First, fastest, least expensive internet access in US.” — New York Times
  • 50 times the US average internet speed

To refresh, that’s a GIGABIT, as opposed to a max of 25MB per second here in Warthen!

Hey, Governor Kemp! The Kaolin Belt needs fiber optics!

Resolution Sermon

But the point of this post is not internet speeds – it’s about New Year resolutions and a sermon I preached this last Sunday morning … of which I only managed to record 1 second of the audio!

So, what I did was go to my office, today, and record a “recap” of the sermon, thereby replacing the lost sermon for my archives.

You can watch the video (only 11 minutes) or look at the outline, or both. Regardless, here are some “Questions to Ask When Making a New Year’s Resolution.” 

Questions to Ask When Making a New Year’s Resolution 
(Isaiah 50:7; Luke 9:51, 12:50; Acts 20:24)

1.  Do I NEED to make any resolutions?
There is nothing so fatal to character as half-finished tasks.” – David Lloyd George

2. What has God called me to do? (John 6:38)
   “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” – John 4:34

3. Where will I be at this time next year if nothing changes?
“You don’t drown by falling into water. You only drown if you stay there.” – Zig Ziglar

4. Will I be willing to be held accountable? (Ecc. 4:9-12)

  • It is in our nature to NOT want accountability
  • James 5:15 “confess your faults one to another”
  • Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpeneth another”

5. Will my determination be visible?
   Samuel Adams – “We have proclaimed to the world our determination ‘to die freemen, rather than to live slaves.’ We have appealed to Heaven for the justice of our cause, and in Heaven we have placed our trust.”

6. Will I rely on my own strength?
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble – Psalm 46:1

7. To WHOM will the glory go when I succeed?
   “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” – Col. 3:23

8. Is the JOY worth the PAIN?
   “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2 KJV

   Will Rogers – “Pain is such an uncomfortable feeling that even a tiny amount of it is enough to ruin every enjoyment.”

   William Penn – “No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.”

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Church, Future, ministry, Preaching

Normalcy 

“Normalcy” is that ever-elusive goal sought by those who refuse to accept the here-and-now as their normal.                    

– A. Baker

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Filed under General Observations, Life Lessons, Struggles and Trials

Time to Refocus

Tick Tock

chronograph-pocket-watch-largeIt feels like the year is already flying by and not enough has been accomplished. Too much needs to be done, and I need to be focused. This is no time to be spinning my wheels and going nowhere.

Therefore, in this post I am going to share with you something very intimate. The following is a list of my personal ministry objectives…personal goals for which I feel I’m called to strive. I would appreciate your prayers for my family and me as I remind myself of what’s important – and what’s at stake.

I’ve gotten distracted, unfortunately. Now’s the time to refocus.

My Personal Ministry Objectives

I.    To bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ in all that I do (Psa. 19:14) and go through (1 Pet. 1:7).

II.   To “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:13) and “to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4).

III. To be known as a humble and consistent husband and father whose household serves the Lord (Josh. 24:15; 1 Cor. 15:58); a forgiven sinner who understands grace (1 Tim. 1:15); and a fearless soldier of the Cross (Mark 8:34) who never compromises the truth (1 Tim. 4:16).

IV. To affect future generations yet to come as children are grounded, parents are strengthened, singles are emboldened, and the aged get a second wind (Josh. 4:21-24; Pro. 22:6).

V.  To promote the preaching and teaching of the Gospel in every part of the world (Acts 1:8) through discipleship and missions.

Do you have any objectives? What are they?

 

Scriptures Referenced:

  • Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
  • 1 Peter 1:7 – “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
  • 1 Timothy 4:13 – “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”
  • Acts 6:4 – “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”
  • Joshua 24:15 – “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
  • 1 Corinthians 15:58 – “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
  • 1 Timothy 1:15 – “This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
  • Mark 8:34 – “And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
  • 1 Timothy 4:16 – “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
  • Joshua 4:21-24 – “And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What [mean] these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it [is] mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.”
  • Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
  • Acts 1:8 – “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

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Filed under Christian Living, Future, ministry, Preaching