Friday, March 16, 2012

some great tools

I have some things that I treasure a lot.  Ok, I’m a guy, and that means that I like my truck, my guns, my lawn mower, my TV remote and other stuff like that.  But through the years I have learned that these are not the best things in my life.

The best things are the people that God has brought my way.  My family is awesome.  God blessed me with an incredible wife.  We have 3 kids that have my heart in big ways. I have the best parents and brothers that a guy could have.  I get to work with some gifted, precious people, and I am pastor a group of people that I dearly love.  Those really are the best things in my life.

But there are some tools that make my life even better, and I thought that I ought to close out this week sharing just a few tools with you.  This is not an extensive list of stuff I use or things that I am passionate about.  These things mean a lot to me because they help me do well with what God has called me to do.

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

The Bible is a tool that brings life my way from God.  I believe that God fills His word, the Bible, with what I need.  It teaches me wisdom and gives me a path to walk.  It gives truth and builds a foundation for my life and for those around us.  I am lost without God, and His word continues to change my life.  Each day I spend time in it.  Let me point you to because this is where I read each day.  The Bible through God’s grace will transform your life.

Some incredible authors stick out in my mind through the last 20 years and helped shape who I am, how I work and the thought and planning process I use.  Some of these people write short articles or blogs.  Some of them write books about the Bible.  Some of them write about God and pursing life.  Here are a few of them: Mark Batterson, A.T. Robertson, Mark Harvoth, Margaret Feinberg, Frances Chan, John Maxwell, Shaun King, Joe Sangl and others.  Without people pouring into me, I’d be in trouble and be a poor minister.

My calendar is a tool that I have to refine and redirect often.  Let me first say that my iPhone, iPad and my MacBook all work so much better because they sync well with Google Calendar.  I recently preached a series called MARGIN, and my calendar is the place that describes the fact that I have or don’t have margin.  It is important to make your calendar a working document and use it well.  One thing I am learning is that I need to say NO to good things so that I can say YES to the best things.  My calendar is an important tool that can either run me or I can run it.

Relationships matter.  This is a simple but powerful point.  When we get busy with the stuff of life, we can mistakenly push away the most important people in our lives.  People are tools in our lives.  I need to learn from people.  God brought these folks into my life.  I believe in networking, and it is evident through the relationships I have that God uses these people to help me and to serve many.  This is seen in a person I met last year.  I frequent their business, but the best thing I can say is that I see this person loving people and sharing blessings with others.  We need to cultivate relationships. This starts at home and stops at home.

These tools mean much to me.  As I said earlier, there are other tools that are as important and some even more important.  But the things I have shared with you today can help me be a fully devoted follower of the God who loves me and you so much.

Use wisely the great tools that God has put in your life.  Don’t take them for granted.

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