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Pursuing the Pylon: Why Good Goals Start at 1st & 10

Have you ever wondered why it’s easier to set goals than it is to reach them? Why it’s less difficult making resolutions than being resolute about them?

If so, then congratulations; not only is self-improvement important to you, but you understand the value in pursuing 'next level' goals as opposed to run-of-the-mill resolutions.

Granted, this doesn’t automatically simplify the walk-it-out process.

Yet, as discussed during last weekend’s LEGACYouth leadership retreat, when we talk about refining our aim, the hardest part isn't so much listing our goals; it's living them out in fulltogether1. So how we grow as target-trainers and develop as goal-keepers in the context of community is worth discussion.

For starters, we must understand the difference and progression among plans, steps, and goals. In terms of pathway, before a goal can be achieved, it must be realized through a plan and executed by its steps (plans -> steps -> goals). A quick drill-down on Proverbs 16:9

Begin Again

I’m feeling dry in mid-July as I take to a familiar scene…

…where Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are, once again…
…deep in nightscape dialogue.
Like them, it’s been a year where nocturnal serenity has frequented my cul-de-sac of vulnerability.
Perhaps this is why I’m watching this, I think to myself.

After all, it’s not every day you catch a cinematic glimpse of what you and God do so often once the kids go down.

Walk and talk.

Walk and talk.
The perfect end to an imperfect day.
But this time…things are different. For once, I’m inside and idle, content in a still of a different kind.

Riding the rarity, I dive in, the laughs and prose all working towards this one moment…

…sealed by a mic drop for the soul. And yet, this story, in more ways than one, is just beginning.

For as credits roll, I approach the screen…

…to shelve a case of what was seen…
…only to balk and wonder why. Why don’t I want to leave this moment, I wonder.

Perhaps it’s a sequence, a song, an emotional call. Perhaps th…

Bearing Forbearance: A SOAP Study on Philippians 4:4-5

Scripture: Phil. 4:4-5

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.Let your reasonableness[d] be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.” (ESV)

d – or gentleness (NIV) or graciousness (HCSB) or considerate (NLT)

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!” (MSG)

Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. ” (AMP)

Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice. Let your [b]forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (ASV)

Other mentions of forbearance…

"O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance take me not away;…

3 Ways to Overcome a Fear of Rejection

No doubt, we all burn to belong. Makes sense…considering we were made for relationship…to put on love and commune in harmony (Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10, Colossians 3:14). 
But let’s be honest…such desires aren’t always realized, are they. 
Relocations…busyness…life changes…even the walls we put up…cycle through as hindrances interfering with our need to find unity in community. 
Yet, perhaps the greatest obstacle we face when we talk about healthy relationships is the fear of rejection.
Now, I admit: I’m still progressing through my own set of relational insecurities. But while I may have much to learn, I’ve also grown a great deal having persevered through idolatrous pursuits of acceptance in my early 20's, in addition to recent challenges as a bivocational minister. So when I say a fear of rejection is one of the most paralyzing strongholds, you can take my word to the bank. As far as dealing with this fear type, you’ve probably heard much on the topic already. 
Yet, for bivoc…

Gettin' Iggy With It: Why 'Savior' Is a Wake Up Call

So this may sound weird, but I think my biggest non-football related takeaway from Super Bowl Sunday was Iggy Azalea’s new debut, ‘Savior’, thrumming throughout the new Monster commercial.
I know for many of us, when I say ‘Iggy’, the explicit I-tunes icon immediately pops up (which for the record…doesn’t apply in this case); however, while the song’s actual message is up for debate, dare to consider Quavo’s chorus which three times reiterates…
…I’ve been looking for a savior (featuring "someone to hold on to" at the end of line 3 and ‘…to save me’ on line 4).
Now, I know there’s a good chance Iggy is pulling the whole ‘woman not needing a man for identity and worth’ theme (which shout-out to Nick Young…you may play for the Warriors, but bro…you owe this girl an apology. Be a playa on the court, not off of it. Ya mean?).
Sorry, Bill Simmons, NBA geek fan moment there…
But seriously, I couldn’t help but resonate to this heart cry from a witness perspective.
Sure, what we, as believ…

Rethinking Authority: Part 1

No question, many of us have a bittersweet relationship with [our idea of] “authority”. We know it’s essential, we know it’s relevant…but we chafe when it comes to being under it¹.

Perhaps you’ve wondered why “authority” rubs people the wrong way and creates quivers among the masses…

If that’s you, then you’re in the right place.

‘Cause whether you’re in authority and suspect the authenticity of your subordinates…or are under it and think the term is nothing more than a means for manipulation/a code word for power, addressing the issue of ‘what to do when you question authority’ is key.

With that said, here are a couple practical ways to rightfully deal with authority (as supported by Scripture):

1) Pray. As cliché as it may sound, voicing supplication is not so much a ‘good idea’, as it is a Kingdom mandate (or as I call…an "appointed opportunity") for us to engage. Take 1 Timothy 2:1-3 for instance. In this passage, Paul is urging his younger colleague to intercede for al…

The Path Less Traveled

On starry night in mid-July, I near a path less traveled by Two roads converged; I pause to ponder, breathing dusk in hope to wonder Where this goes…who really knowsto where it flows or where it slows But a path so lit, a sky legit…how can I not be up for it? And so it starts on foreign route, a journey lighting year’s commute A vane in motion once imposing, now a door in rapid closing
On cherished faces, all those places…counting down amid the paces

Where ‘tween a few along the trace, a tear comes streaming down my face Because I know the time is now; in stride I ride, in heart I bow To think about all I adore…and all the things I’m thankful for And all the reasons I am blessed even when my faith is pressed As for this day, I’m glad in it; for days to come, my hope is fit Yet for this road, who really knows bar the step out from the shadows Where from there forth I carry on, content with what is here and gone And so, my friends, be grateful still for what you have, what was, what will These days…

Passion Punch: 9 Truths for 9 Fruits (Part 1)

For those who follow me on His Girl Fryday, you know for the past few months, Lys and I have been leading a ‘Fruits in Fullness’ youth discipleship series, diving off Galatians 5 into the depths of Ephesians 3...and with two fruits to go, we figured we'd start looking back at the best of each session and re-examine each fruit in their wholeness... ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fullness of Joy
When we talk about joy, it’s important we grasp its contrast to happiness. I know when I was a kid, there were many times I'd encounter a burst of positivity assuming it to be joy (long term happiness) when in actuality I was experiencing a form of happiness (short term joy).
Not to suggest happiness is a bad thing. After all, if contentment is frequent in your life, clearly you’re doing something right. At the same time, it’s worth noting the biggest difference between joy and happiness …