Tuesday, January 28, 2014

7 Questions To Help You Align Your Plans With God's Purposes

I love Staples. (the store, not the small metal fastening device)

I love it because I have an unhealthy obsession with personal organization tools. I could stand in the "planner section" of Staples for hours and browse the different notebooks, forms, tools, etc. which are available. It's a sickness.

I've read all the important books about planning. I've been a fan of Steven Covey since I was a child. I had a Franklin planner before Franklin and Covey merged. I know GTD inside and out. And I know that this paragraph makes 0 sense to most people. I apologize.

I love planning.

James 4:13-15 says, Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 

When I make plans, if I don't align my plans with God's purpose; I've missed the mark. My plans are like a mist, but God's purposes last forever.

Proverbs 19:21 says, Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

So how can I include God in my plans (it would be better to say, "How do I submit my plans to Him?")? Here are 7 questions I can ask each night before I make my plans for tomorrow. Think about these questions for yourself. Or maybe, create your own questions which will help you align your future plans with the purposes of God:


  • How might I demonstrate my love for God tomorrow (with my heart, my mind, my strength, or my soul)?
  • How might I contribute to the body of Christ tomorrow (by using the resources which God has given me)?
  • How might I demonstrate Christ's love to those around me tomorrow?
  • How might I influence someone else to do good tomorrow?
  • What roles has God ordained for me to fill during this stage of my life?
  • What actions might I take which will further God's kingdom rather than my own?
  • What might I do to live out the truths I've been learning from God's Word?


That was easy.



Monday, January 27, 2014

3 Questions We Should Ask About Income Inequality

Income inequality has become a talking point for political campaigns in both parties. At times it feels that this is the one of the most important issues facing our country (and perhaps the world). The more I study Proverbs, the more I'm convinced there is nothing wrong with being rich and nothing shameful about being poor. So here are a couple extra thoughts on income inequality.

1. A huge gap exists between the top and bottom earners in America. This is a fact. But I fear that painting this disparity as the main problem creates an unsolvable dilemma unless we are going to pursue "income equality" which, if you really think about it, is a practical impossibility.

2. Jealousy is never good policy. Inspiring people to action by pointing out that others have more than them will never create the type of change necessary to truly address poverty issues in our country.

Instead of focusing on the size of the income gap and asking how we can reduce that gap, I would suggest the following three questions:

1 - How might we enable the poor to improve their lives and earning potential?

2 - How might we protect against those who would gain wealth through fraud, deception or abuse?

3- How might we encourage all people to generously care for those around them?


Perhaps I am a bit to altruistic or living in the world of "oughta-be"... But that's where I sit tonight.