Your Communities Affect On Addiction

Usually we talk about addiction affecting our communities.. but what if it was the other way around?  What if our communities were set up in an intentional way to free people from addiction?

In my latest sermon I referenced this article entitled The Likely Cause Of Addiction Has Been Discovered And It’s Not What You Think.

I encourage you to go read that article and think about its implications.   If they are true, we need to take a good hard look at “how we’re doing community.”

How do we cultivate and improve our communities so that it helps free people from addiction?

The Steps Between

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post entitled “Here’s a Sure Way To Fail At Your Goals.”  It’s funny how you can learn something but have to keep relearning that same lesson.  I ran into it just this past week.

Basically, the blog post I’m referencing above talks about removing the unnecessary extra steps between you and your goal, or on the flip side, adding more steps between you, to make it harder for you to access whatever you are trying to avoid.

I want to be blogging more, but there are times when I’ll sit down to write and know what I’m going to write about but can’t find a photo to fit.  After searching and not finding what I want, I’ll just say forget it and not write the blog post.

That reminds me of one time I was returning an item to walmart with a friend, I had the item but left the receipt in the car, and for some reason, even though I was there, that extra step, of having to go back to the car made me just say forget it and I drove away, which drove my friend nuts haha.  I’m ridiculous.

I talked about the steps concept with my friend RK who is one of the most productive people I know.  (Check out his latest youtube video about white board productivity)  He reminded me that this was a concept in Mindless Eating which was a book that I read back when I lived in MD.  They talked about how moving the office candy jar off of your desk and in a place that required more work to get to, like across the room on top of a shelf,  would deter you from eating it more than if it was accessible.

So basically, what steps do you need to remove that are standing between you and your goal?  Or what steps do you need to implement between you and your vice?

Janet AndrewsMarch 3, 2015 - 9:52 am

Happy, Happy Birthday Jess! Love you lots, My Dear! Wanted to do a video with Bethaney on Sunday when i went over to her house to send you, but she had friends visiting i didn’t know about and so it didn’t work out. We will do it another time. Still Love you!!!

Totally Failing At My February Goals

Completely might be a better word than totally in reference to my failure at the goals I set out for February.  How we deal with failure though and disappointment is huge I’ve realized, that will be a whole other blog post someday maybe.

I have however been READING a lot more in February.  And I’ve been off  of social media until recently because I had to post a wedding I just shot.  You can check out those photos here.

I’ve also been feeling good and social lately too.  I wonder if that’s the lack of social media.  A few people have even commented “Jim you’re so social lately.”

While I haven’t been doing great with the goals I set out to do, February has been a productive month.  I’m acting on some of the ideas I’ve had for a while.  One of those was recording a podcast.  I’ve got 5 episodes done and am having the logo made currently so be looking for a new website/business venture launch soon.  And I’ve gotten some other ideas about another possible online business type thing that I’ll hopefully be putting some major work into soon as well.

How have your February goals been going?

My “February 28 Day Push” Goals

I was hanging out with my friend RK last night and he was telling me about how he and his wife and kids have started a GOAL board on their fridge.  Every morning at breakfast they look at the goal board and when a goal is accomplished they make a big deal about crossing them off.  RK told me his daughter asked him this week if he could do 5 goals, so they can have a bigger house.  :)

Imagine if you were setting goals weekly, and stating them publicly.  At the end of 52 weeks you would have accomplished a lot.

I posted earlier this week that Jess suggested that we really push through the 28 days of February and really commit to some of the goals we’ve been wanting to do.  So here’s our goals.

1.  No eat out February.  Which will help us save money and eat healthier.

2.  Jess wants to do a half hour of cardio and a half hour of stretching every day.

3.  I want to be doing my morning walk, along with pushups and crunches 5 days a week.

4.  I want to be doing an evening walk up a hill here in the valley.  5 nights a week.  As well as a Saturday hike.

5.  Eating CLEAN.

I realized Monday on my morning walk that I always ask God to take away my desire for bad things, instead of praying for the wisdom and tenacity to overcome.  Jess and I were talking about how we think that if you give into whatever that temptation is, that it will satisfy it, but the reality is you’re only feeding that desire and allowing it to grow bigger when you give in.

Here’s a quote from The Cross Of Christ that I’m reading that really got me.

‘Don’t you know’, he asks incredulously, ‘that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?’ On the other, ‘You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.’ Our body has not only been created by God and will one day be resurrected by him, but it has been bought by Christ’s blood and is indwelt by his Spirit. Thus it belongs to God three times over, by creation, redemption and indwelling. How then, since it does not belong to us, can we misuse it? Instead, we are to honour God with it, by obedience and self-control. Bought by Christ, we have no business to become the slaves of anybody or anything else. Once we were the slaves of sin; now we are the slaves of Christ, and his service is the true freedom.

Stott, John (2012-11-29). The Cross of Christ (pp. 181-182). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

Lord help me to honor you with my body in the hard work of ONGOING obedience and self-control.

What are your goals for February?  Let us know in the comments.

So What Does Jess Do All Day?

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[A sample “chart” from one of Jess’ students.]

Jess is on staff with the Chronological School of Biblical Studies.  This is a 9 month school where students study all 66 books of the Bible.

Please click here to read a blog post from one of her students to see some of the work that they are doing.  Please note that one chart covers about one chapter of each book.  So for big books like Isaiah which they just finished they are completing over 60 of these charts.  Which means Jess is grading those charts for multiple students.

Those charts are only PART of their homework.  They also have to do a BRI, or background required information, which answers questions like, who is the author, when was it written etc.  Then a  horizontal chart which helps outline the big picture of the book, as well as write a final book analysis and an application.

Besides grading, Jess also studies and then teaches certain books.  Her teachings include some of the controversies about when books were written, and some of the difficult passages, and then the content of the book.

This week she is teaching Obadiah.

I’m proud of my wife.  :) She’s a hard worker, and loves and invests in her students and has studied diligently and has much more knowledge about the Bible than I.

What type of Bible Study tools do you use?  Let us know in the comments.

28 Days To Accomplish Every Goal You’ve Ever Set

Jess brought up the really solid point that February is the shortest month, 28 days.  She suggested that we really push through the month of February and set and complete some of our goals in that month.  Does anyone want to join us in a big push towards goal accomplishing this February?

 

Brian JacksonJanuary 27, 2015 - 1:13 pm

Count me in.

Colleen CookJanuary 27, 2015 - 2:52 pm

I’m game.

Colleen CookJanuary 27, 2015 - 2:56 pm

I’m game.

Colleen CookJanuary 27, 2015 - 2:56 pm

I’m game.

Colleen CookJanuary 27, 2015 - 3:10 pm

I’m game.

What I Learned About Conflict From A Car Commercial

“By 1914, the brothers quit the Ford motor company…”

I saw this commercial while I was on the mainland and it made me think…

I bet that the Dodge brothers leaving the Ford motor company wasn’t done quietly.  I bet there were plenty of heated meetings, and emotions involved.  Most likely relationships severed, and harsh words were said, and feelings were hurt.

It made me realize that I always see conflict as a bad thing.

But in the case of the Ford and Dodge brothers, conflict led to innovation.

The Biblical example of conflict that comes to mind is Paul and Barnabas.

Acts 15:36 “Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.”  Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.  They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.  Barnabus took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.  He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.”

The happy ending of this biblical story is that there was reconciliation.  Paul calls for Mark in 2nd Timothy and calls him helpful.  And also in Colossians, Paul mentions Mark as a fellow prisoner.

I read a quote by Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM.  “Disagreements don’t cause disunity, a lack of forgiveness does.”

Another quote that Ed Funderburk posted on facebook recently was:

“Weak, arrogant leaders feel offended when you disagree with them. Strong, humble leaders explore dissent!” (via @ricklgodwin)

I don’t quite know what I’m trying to say in this blog post.  I guess I’m thinking outloud about conflict, disagreements on how things are done, and strong very opinionated clashing personalities, which are a part of life.  The raw emotions that sometimes rear their ugly heads during these times are a part of life too.

I wonder if we would have found Jesus’ tone of voice when He was rebuking Peter offensive.  I’ve often said that if the Apostle Paul was alive today, we’d probably think that he wasn’t pastoral enough.  He’d probably be kicking our butts, and not mincing words.

I wonder if  we would think that Jesus and Paul needed to mature in their character, to be more wise in their speech.

Can you imagine being the other disciples that were there when Jesus rebuked Peter?  When Jesus says to Peter, “GET BEHIND ME SATAN!”  And the other disciples are like… uh… awkward turtle, and try not to make eye contact with one another.  One of the more empathetic disciples thinking about how to tell Jesus that Peter didn’t have bad intentions…

I often pray for wisdom and discernment, of when to be loving, and when to give tough love.  Because giving tough love and being disciplinary is a part of being a leader and an adult, and it’s not fun.  It’s interesting though, when I worked with at risk high school kids, I had no problem, at times using a harsher tone or raising my voice when dealing out discipline.  It almost seemed necessary at times.

So what does conflict and discipline look like from a Kingdom perspective?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Shut Up Discouargement | Choosing Joy Unspeakable

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[This is a photo of my dad from 10 years ago.  I loved that I captured a genuine smile.]

I woke up this morning feeling discouraged.  Not feeling like I had much vision or excitement.

And then I had to take myself back to my life verse.  John 15:9  which is Jesus speaking.

“As the Father loves me, so I love you, remain in my love.”

So I stood in my room, leaning against my bed, trying to be awake and I reminded myself of God’s radical, audacious, and scandalous love for me.  And of God’s purpose and plan for my life.

It’s not anyone else’s job to cast vision for me.  The vision has already been cast.  I am loved by God, He initiated that while I was still a sinner, and He has a plan and a destiny for my life.

Revival isn’t hype, its cultivated first in our own lives, not based on outward circumstances, but on the truth that God is radically in love with us and those around you.  He wants to use us as his mouthpiece, and His hands and feet to deliver that message of ridiculous love and grace.

Even though the BBC news reports that the Euro is falling, and that oil prices have dropped again (even though we don’t feel that here in Hawaii, gas is still $3.39 a gallon) and that the Russian Ruble is falling as well…

He promises that His kingdom will have no end.

God’s economy isn’t falling.

Where’s my focus?  Is it on the good news?  Or the bad news that’s being reported.

2 Corinthian 10:5 says “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

As I did my morning walk this morning I felt like God asked me to review my past years of ministry through the filter of what He did, not through my usual filter of a lot of the hurts that came along with it.

It was beautiful and freeing.  To remember, what God did in those times, the relationships that were built, and the truth that was revealed and the breakthroughs that were seen.

Life is full of bad things.  But it’s also full of really amazing things as well.  What I choose to dwell on is my choice.

Negativity is disgusting.  Bad things do and will happen, but by choosing to dwell on those things, talk about those things, and replay those things in your head, we are choosing to relive those bad things too.

My prayer for you and for me as you read this is that you’d be filled with joy unspeakable.  That we’d take every thought captive, and cause ourselves to dwell on the good that God is doing and has done.

Thankfulness is spiritual warfare.  The devil would love for you to stay focused on what he’s doing.  Let’s tell him to shut up.

Comment and share with us three things that you’re thankful to God for and let’s make it a daily discipline.

Russ BakerJanuary 7, 2015 - 9:30 am

My three things: My comfortable retirement, my family, my health. (BTW, aren’t my teeth whiter than that?)

The Meaning Of Christmas…

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When you reflect on the Christmas story, what part of it is God highlighting to you this year?  If you haven’t gotten a chance to take some time and reflect on the Christmas story, take a few minutes now and read through the Christmas story and share with us what God’s highlighting to you.

I used to be a real scrooge about Christmas.  But 5 years of being married to my wife who LOVES Christmas, I happily sing along with Christmas carols now.

Jess was decorating her classroom with Christmas decorations generously donated from our church while listening to Christmas carols and was overwhelmed by some of these lyrics from Christmas carols.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth – Oh Holy Night

Let earth receive her King! – Joy To The World

King and God and Sacrifice – We Three Kings

Something that got me recently was a quote that my friend Mike Cook pointed out as we are reading the The Cross of Christ together – “At the birth of the Son of God”, Douglas Webster has written “there was brightness at midnight; at the death of the Son Of God there was darkness at noon.”

What is standing out to you this Christmas season?  I’m excited to see what you share!  Merry Christmas!

Janet AndrewsJanuary 21, 2015 - 5:07 pm

What a wonderful video of surprising Jess’s Mom at Christmas! Loved it! Happy birthday to Jess and Jim…both 30 now! Love, Aunt, Janet Miss You