My favorite part and most anticipated part of Christmas for me now is seeing all our kids and Grandkids. They will all be home this year and I am so looking forward to it. It is kind of funny how things change over time in relationships. When our kids were all home I was very pro-active as a parent teaching, correcting, scolding, motivating, and then when they left to go to college and get married that role diminished more and more over the years, and now I find myself being mostly just a passive observer. I enjoy them all immensely, and am very, very proud of each one of them and who they have become in character and accomplishment, and I look forward to any and all activities that we can do together like hunting or fishing, but my influence and leadership in all of their lives now is mostly what I have through God as I faithfully pray for each of them every day. My faith in the power that I have in my prayers for my family has grown stronger over the years, little bit by little bit, until now I believe that my influence in their lives is greater than it has ever been. When they are all home I will obviously see things as they interact that I will think needs some growth or change, and it will become a major point in my daily praying for them.
Christmas is historically about Jesus, God’s Son leaving heaven, emptying Himself of all that He was as God, and becoming human, flesh, just like me, born into this world after spending 9 months in Mary’s womb, and then living life experiencing everything I experience, tempted in every way that I am tempted, without sinning, and then dying for my sins so that I could be forgiven, adopted into God’s Family, and live with Him forever.
Christmas focuses on the beginning, the birth of Jesus. But the birth of Jesus is so much more than a baby being born, it is about Almighty, Infinite, All wise, Omnipresent, Eternal God becoming flesh, human, just like me. The distance that He traveled is incomprehensible, but it is not about miles, it is about who He was and who we are, and that He left one behind to become the other so that we could be like Him and live with Him forever.
Christmas is all about celebrating what He has done and what that means for us, it is about honoring Him for His amazing gift to us, it is about simply remembering what He has done, and not taking it for granted or ignoring it.
Every morning I tell Jesus that I love Him, that I will follow and obey Him, that He is Lord of my life, and that I look forward very much to the day I see Him.
It is almost January 1st and all serious people who want to accomplish a lot with their life ought to have their goals written or started or at the very least be thinking about. Here are a copy of my goals, and I would love it if you sent me a copy of your goals.
Dee’s Goals for 2018
1. I will continue to teach my class on Sunday mornings at 8:00 am and starting on September 30th I will teach on the book of Hebrews until April 28th, 2019.
2. I will start up my aquaponics system using catfish.
3. I will finish building the attic in my shop.
4. I will teach for the second year a “Woman’s Discipleship Class”. I will teach it on Wednesday nights from 7 to 8 pm, and will begin October 3rd and end April 24th, 2019. I will limit the class to 20 ladies.
5. I will go golfing 10 times and work hard at improving my game by being a good student of Kent as he coaches me.
6. I will develop an effective follow-up/assimilation program for JBC and I will aim to have 25% of all first time visitors as regulars.
7. I will train a number of people to help me with the “Follow-up/Assimilation” program that I develop.
8. I will lead and develop the “Home Group” ministry at
JBC. I will aim to have six new groups this year.
9. I will find and train someone to help with and then lead the “Home Group” ministry.
10. I will ride my stationary bicycle for one hour every night that I am home.
11. I will lift weights for 3 hours each week using the “Strong Lift 5X5” plan.
12. I will organize everything (tools, fishing stuff, hunting and camping stuff, car parts, bicycle stuff, building material etc.) and inventory it on my “Inventory App”.
13. I will pray with Patty every day that I am home.
14. I will take Patty on a date at least twice each
month that is enjoyable for her.
15. I will pray the JBC prayer letter each week.
16. I will ride a circular route on my bicycle, starting in the church parking lot, going to the Grand Canyon, then to Yellowstone, and then home. It will be 3,300 miles and I will ride it from May 1st to June 30th.
17. I will faithfully pray for each person that I
send an email, a text, or a written note to, when I send it.
18. I will pray for visitors to JBC twice each week
for three months, and I will correspond with them
personally at least twice during that time letting them
know that I am praying for them and requesting
needs to pray for.
19. I will pray through my prayer directory of every
person in the church every week, and keep my iPad
prayer journal current with names, pictures, and
20. I will attend an average of three corporate
prayer events at JBC each week.
21. I will pray for each of my kids, son in laws,
daughter-in-law, and grandkids every day.
22. I will pray for a list of lost people in my life every
23. I will maintain a personal prayer journal in my
IPad that I will write in at least 3 times each week.
24. I will spend at least 7 hours each week in
personal, private prayer.
25. I will pray an additional hour in my office on my kneeling bench primarily for my preaching and teaching, pastor Mike’s preaching, and our church goals.
26. I will phone my mother at least once a week, and drive up and visit 6 times during the year.
27. I will write a blog of 300 words each day, and will pray daily that at least 5,000 sign up to receive it and read it.
28. I will recruit 2 guys to lead 2 of the 6 “Men’s Accountability” groups that I presently lead.
29. I will start 3 more “Men’s Accountability” groups.
30. I will build a lean-to on the front of my shop that
will be used to park cars.
31. I will read at least 100 pages in good books
32. I will listen to at least 2 sermons on line each
33. I will faithfully memorize Bible verses for 30 minutes each day using the “Scripture Typer” program on my IPad. I will have 750 verses mastered by the end of the year and be ranked no lower than 160.
34. I will roof and enclose the back lean-to on the
35. I will rebuild the 1986 Ford 300 engine and pickup.
36. I will exert great discipline and effort to keep my
weight under 200 pounds.
37. I will read 14 chapters each day in my Bible.
38. I will attempt to establish a coaching/mentoring relationship with at least 2 different pastors “on-line”, and with one at JBC.
39. I will start another “Pastor Accountability” group from the Pastor’s Seminar in January.
40. I will learn how to do taxidermy and do a full
body mount on the cougar that I killed.
41. I will do a 3/4 “through the wall” mount of my
42. I will go salmon and halibut fishing in Soldotna, Alaska in July, attempting to bring a grandson, or son, or son-in-law.
43. I will go skydiving and bungie jumping in August.
44. I will faithfully, systematically, and accurately
keep track of my use of time every day.
45. I will make a weekly and a daily “to do” list and
read it several times each day.
46. I will pray for at least 40 hours in each of the
four “Five Day Prayer” events held at JBC.
47. I will attend at least two seminars that will
enhance my ministry attempting to take a least one staff person with me.
48. I will write 50 hand written notes each week to
birthday and anniversary people, new people, and
people I have prayed for.
49. I will attend the COV prayer summit at Cannon
Beach in February and the NWCBA prayer summit
at Tadmore in October.
50. I will plan, organize, promote and lead 12 pastor
51. I will prepare well and teach 4 different
leadership classes from October to the end of April.
52. I will remind, promote, and pray for our JBC goal
of 2026 in average weekend worship service
attendance by the end of the year 2026, and for 900 for 2018.
53. I will use Facebook as a tool to connect with
people and work hard to pray for any needs that I
read and write that prayer in Facebook. I will keep track of time spent and limit it to a maximum of 3 hours per week.
54. I will faithfully begin every day with a prayer of
commitment declaring Jesus as Lord of my life, and
asking for His guidance, strength, and wisdom for the day.
55. I will apply for a rifle elk hunt in Wyoming with Sam and Seth.
56. I will paint our house, repair gutters, and put on gutter guards.
57. I will work with others to get all the engineering done for a new parking lot on the new property north of the church, and begin on that project.
58. I will go tuna fishing.
59. I will sell my 1949 Ford Pickup for one million dollars, maybe less.
60. I will rebuild my 135 h.p. Johnson outboard motor.
61. I will write a 1,000 word blog each week just for pastors, and attempt to get 1,000 on the list of who receive it.
62. I will faithfully attend the prayer meeting at Corban University on Thursday mornings.
63. I will plan a week long fishing trip to the Brownlee Reservoir for family in the summer.
64. I will purchase and install a Rohloff 14 speed hub on my bicycle before May 1st.
65. I will build a 23 foot pacific dory and tow it to Alaska to fish for Halibut in July.
66. I will complete the on-line course on church marketing.
67. I will make meeting with, training, and encouraging the staff at JBC a major emphasis of my ministry.
68. I will start the project of building the XR3 Hybrid
three wheeled car, and learn how to weld in the process.
69. I will be in bed by 11:00 pm at least 5 nights a week.
70. I will read these goals at least twice each week and keep a good record of progress.
Someone broke into the church shop where I am building my dory boat and stole a bunch of my tools. 4 cordless drills and battery charger, a belt sander, an electric planer, and a router. I worked in the shop today on my boat and I was reminded all day long about being robbed whenever I needed one of my tools. Jesus said to pray for those who violate your rights so I did. I prayed for the person that stole my tools which are just about on the same level in worth as my grandkids, not quite, just close! I prayed that his hair would fall out, that his car would blow up, that his teeth would fall out, that his neighbors dog would bite him, that he would have bad diarrhea that would last for 6 months, and a dozen other imprecatory prayers.
It probably isn’t the best example of loving your enemy or forgiving others, but I sure felt better. Tonight I prayed to the Lord, and said, “just kidding, Lord, but You knew that”, thank you Lord Jesus for forgiving me of everything wrong that I have ever done, I choose to forgive others as You have forgiven me, though I wouldn’t mind if You smacked the guy, a good one, just kidding 😖
If you and I had recorded every trial, crisis, and inconvenience that we have ever experienced, and then we were to rank them from the worst to the least what would be the basis of that ranking, that hierarchy of tribulations in our life. Money lost, physical pain experienced, emotional pain experienced, loss of relationships, or just the blocking of a dream. Some people cry, moan, groan, and carry on about a trial that I think is not that big a deal, and I suppose that I do the same.
A major trial that will ruin my day and even my week, and quite possibly even a whole year is a band of golfers and/or moles making my yard and orchard look like a war zone. Those rascals are a direct result of Adam eating the forbidden fruit, “The Fall”, and the curse on the whole earth as a result. During our “Five Day’s of Prayer” a week ago there was 4 or 5 new mounds of dirt each day, mounds so big that I couldn’t jump over them, though I don’t jump very high, and I had thought that maybe if God really loved me he would not let those critters do that to my yard, especially while I was praying for 8 hours each day. Oh well, maybe God is trying to test my character.
I got out my trusty traps and started up my trap line for gophers and moles. I caught one this morning, and I thought about skinning it, tanning the hide, and putting it on the wall of my office for all to see.
Sounds kind of silly talking about gopher and mole mounds in my yard as a trial doesn’t it. I bet when we get to heaven and look back on our life from heavens perspective, all of our fussing will seem silly.
We had the third of five performances of “The Hobbit” tonight at Jefferson Baptist Church, and it was amazing. The acting, the special affects, and the stage were all so good. “The Hobbit” was written as an allegory of a life lived by any person, showing the trials and struggles of our lives that ought to be conquered, and life lived as an adventure. Bilbo Baggins wants only to eat 6 times a day and take a nap, and he gets recruited to go on an adventure, a great adventure, which is really one adventure after another. As an allegory the story is supposed to illustrate life, and right at the start the illustration was right on. People as a whole really just want to live life secure, predictable, and comfortable, let’s just skip the adventures and trials. In choosing what we do through out the day we naturally choose low risk. The problem is low risk causes very little grown in our character, low risk results in very little fruit or accomplishment, and low risk is just plain old boring. Most of us aren’t probably going to have a wizard recruit us to go on a great adventure so we need to plan one for ourselves. The best way to do that is to start with a goal to do something or accomplish something that requires taking a risk or is really hard compared to your normal routine. Run a marathon, climb a mountain, write a book , or take piano lessons. Our life is so much more alive when we get out of our ruts.
Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.
2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
Jeremiah 16:17 For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.
Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
We cannot see God, but He sees us. Because we cannot see Him we forget that He sees us. My cell phone retrieves all kinds of information as the result of a few keys touched, I can talk to people around the world, and I can even see them on the screen of my phone while I talk to them, yet my phone is not hooked up to anything, everything just comes through the air. I don’t see anything coming into my phone, and I don’t really understand how it works, but I believe it because I experience it.
God more than sees us, He watches us, and He understands us.
1 Chronicles 28:9 for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts.
2 Corinthians 5:9 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
Jesus left heaven and became just like me and, was tempted, suffered, and died for my sins so that I could live with Him forever. I love Him and desire to please Him and serve Him with my life, and knowing that He is intimated acquainted with all my ways, thoughts, and emotions is incredibly encouraging and motivating.