Biblical Goal Setting

I am not a very structured person which is kind of ironic because most pastors (senior pastors that is) are very structured, strong type A personalities.  That being said, I recognize this as a weakness and I try to do what I can to accommodate this weakness.  For me, the computer helps me to organize things and I keep spreadsheets for virtually everything I do.  When it comes to real papers and such, I’m probably a lost cause however.

What’s the point of this story?  A few years back I had a graduate class on leadership.  The only thing I really remember from the class was a section on creating goals.  I recently ran across my notes from class and thought that this would make a good book.  So that’s what I did.  I wrote a short book on the subject of setting Biblical goals.

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For the most part, this book is like any other book that deals with setting goals.  What makes your goals Biblical has to do with your priorities as a Christian.  This doesn’t mean that all of your goals will be about “church stuff” but rather that you recognize what your priorities are supposed to be and that you rank the achievement of your goals accordingly.

While I had sort of incorporated the lessons from my class a few years ago, writing this book has caused me to redouble my efforts at scheduling my time and really being specific about about what I hope to accomplish and when.  So part of me wants to self congratulate and say that if I can do this, anyone can.  And I also want to say “I’m not also the writer, I’m also a client.”

Either way, I believe that the book is worth your investment in time and money – only $2.99! – regardless whether I wrote the book or not.  Because frankly these are not my ideas and I can’t claim to any genius plan, I just broke down good thoughts that other people had and put them into a book.

Currently the book is available on Kindle but it will also be released on Nook and through multiple other e-book distributors.  You can find out all about the book and how to purchase it at our new site Biblical Goal Setting.

Devotions for Life

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So I wrote a book.  Actually this is my second book and technically the material has been written for some time, I just finally edited it.  This is a collection of a year’s worth of devotions in book format.  The paperback version is available for $11.99 (or less depending on Amazon sales) while the kindle version can be purchased for only $7.99.  There are two nice deals available along with the book purchase.  The first is that the book is available through Amazon Prime which means that shipping is free for members.  The second is that this book is enrolled in the kindle matchbook program.  That means if you buy a paperback (perhaps as a gift for a friend) you can download the kindle version for free.

Because the devotional book is twelve months of devotions, it is broken down into twelve themes as well.  I have compiled each theme into its own short little book as well.  You can see the entire list at devotional books.

I’m not big on self promotion but I’m rather proud of this book and if you read devotions or have a friend who does, I highly recommend checking it out.  I’m hoping that there is at least a small amount of success with this book as a I have a few more planned for the future.  Next on the docket is a second edition of my first book on evangelism.  That was actually published in 2005 and the print version is no longer available.  I plan on updating the information a bit and doing some reformatting.

One nice thing about being a pastor is that I’m rarely out of material for books.  Depending on how things go, I have material written for sermons that will be reworked and reformatted to go into books on Genesis and Exodus.  Whatever I do next, I’ll be sure to update things here to let everyone know what is going on.  And of course I’ll continue to publish more sites and articles as well.  I have a couple of Bible studies that I hope to complete before the end of the year, so I’ll be pushing to get them done to reach my goal.

Shuffling chairs on the Titanic

There’s an expression – shuffling chairs on the Titanic – that is meant to express frustration and futility.  The idea is that the task is pointless because the ship is going down and it doesn’t matter what seat you’re sitting in.

It’s a bit of an exaggeration to use this expression to sum up my summer – really most of my year – but I do feel as if I’ve put a lot of effort into some futile tasks.  I’ve written some about my illness this summer (and one of those posts was lost in a server move – see below.)  The short version is that I was diagnosed with colon cancer this summer.  Two operations, almost a week in the hospital, and lots of bills for my insurance company to pay and I’m pleased to say that I’m cancer free.  Praise the Lord for this and for providing great doctors to take care of me!

The strange thing about this summer is that my struggle with cancer hasn’t been my frustration.  I didn’t enjoy surgery or all of the doctor’s appointments and I’m still physically recovery from losing 18 inches of my colon a month ago.  However, I always had complete faith that everything would be alright in that regard.

My frustration and sense of futility actually comes from my web ministry.  About two months ago I decided that I needed to upgrade my servers.  Spreading Light Ministries has become a network of sites totaling more than two dozen domains and each year I’ve been adding half a dozen more or so.  This meant that it was time to upgrade.  Unfortunately my upgrade was a disaster.  Things were sold to me as an easy switch from one system to another.  After they already had my money I discovered that things were not an easy switch and I never would have agreed to such an upgrade if I knew it required me to manually move my sites and reconfigure each one.  This required about three days of constant work.

To make matters worse, my upgrade was anything but an upgrade.  My new server just didn’t work right and my sites kept becoming inaccessible.  Tech support was good when I called them but things kept crashing about every other day and I didn’t feel as if I should be required to inform them of a problem that they should be monitoring.  In the end I just couldn’t stick with the service as it was far too unreliable.  I ended up switching to a new company that I had done business with before but not for servers.

My new server has been much more reliable and I’m feeling comfortable with where I am at.  However I am still not 100% back to where I was two months ago.  A few files were lost because I restored my backups from June and anything that I had written since then was inaccessible with the crummy server.  If it seems like I’m venting a bit of frustration, well I am.

Christians are not immune to frustration.  It doesn’t mean that we lack faith.  It doesn’t mean that we question God’s goodness.  It simply means that we are human and we live in a fallen world.  Last week I preached that God is still good and I really do believe that despite fighting cancer at a young age.  But we all get frustrated at times.

I have taken this new server move as an opportunity to update a few sites.  Some of it is a necessity and some is just practicality.  But the truth is that I’ve been doing a lot of work and I haven’t really been able to create anything new.  Two months have gone by and there is really nothing to show for it despite all of my work.  That is why I feel like I’m shuffling chairs on the Titanic.

Fortunately, I don’t believe that I’m on a sinking ship.  In the end, this will be more like changing the wall colors in a room that otherwise didn’t need to be painted.  Perhaps it was unnecessary but at least I’ll have a new, brightly colored room in the end.  At least that’s the goal.  Hopefully in a week or two and things move into fall, I’ll have some new great content to add once again.  And hopefully this will be the last digital move that I have to make in a long, long time.