Musing on Endless Litnanies of Rationalizations for Lack of Intentionality

Sitting here thinking tonight and where I am in various goals and changes in my life.  Started off the year with goal to be more intentional with writing articles for the blog.  Also started being more intentional with spending time in God’s word.  Now with that being said, late last summer and into the fall had engaged in concerted effort to begin making changes to diet and food intake. In the process had managed to lose about 30 pounds. Since the fall and being upset with some things and simply working on own, began to slacken slowly but surly.  Tonight thinking about adding some weight back and the recent increased silence in the blog is the reality of there existing endless litanies of rationalizations.  These actions do require acts of intentionality. It takes intentional effort to change. It takes discipline to stick to diet when rather would surrender to the desires of self.  Now, there are some changes have stuck to such as in general what I have been eating and overall portion sizes.  Yet, the things that are easy for me to let slip in here and there do add up. One extra snack here, one little bit there and soon eating a bit more and gaining weight. I can keep telling myself just a little bit extra today. I am doing okay, it won’t hurt.  It was winter, I am just more hungry than I was, I will  make it up.  These are just sad excuses for giving way to maintaining unhealthy choices. 

The blog silence is another area where making lots of excuses.  “I have too much work to do.”  “I just need to rest.”  “I really need to finish the important article and want to make sure wording just right. ”   These are all rationalizations and excuses.  Here is the thing. When we engage in such rationalizations, self is being put first.  Not only that but lack of the good and healthy is missed.  What person may miss out on reading an article because I simply did not write it sooner.  Did the impact become less because I did not get to it.  There is a need on my part to be more intentional and consistent in direction.  Now one of the rationalizations is that my mind is and has been tracking varied threads of information and ideas so it is easy to get sidetracked from one to another.  It is easy to keep putting things off when you are accountable to your self and God.  This is even true in doing steps of building a psychology practice. I can rationalize and spin things all sorts of different ways, but it comes down to making intentional choices and moving forward in specific directions. 

How about you?  Are there things and ways you are rationalizing or avoiding? Are you walking in less than what God would have of you at the moment? Are there things undone? Are there things unfinished?  Have you slipped back to old patterns from changes you had previously made?   Each  day we need to make a choice.  Even each moment. Are we moving more towards what God is calling us, or do we settle for the comfort and indulge in the unhealthy?  Well, the key is when you recognize slips and lapses to pick up and start over.  One goal at a time.  Tonight and tomorrow and a  new start.  Time to refocus the intentionality. After all, we just celebrated the death and resurrection of Jesus, who gave his life that I may be redeem and free. This perspective is needed, for without that foundation there is no point to any intentionality and the endless litanies and self-deceipt will grow, dominate, and destroy.

2010 Objectives and Prayer Requests

The purpose of this article is really to put down the things that God is doing in my life and the areas where hope for blessing and productivity. In this article, first I will list me objectives and desires for 2010 and then a list of general prayer requests. Feel free to contact me personally if you want any further details.

        Objectives:

Grow in my relationship with God and show love that is more complete.

Follow Gods leading over my own ideas, wants, or desires.

Be intentional in actions and choices.

Grow in showing, speaking, and reflecting God’s love in relationships around me.

Be productive at current employers. I am working for two employers, one doing crisis evaluations at a local hospital. The second is providing counseling/psychotherapy services at a local clinic. These employers provide a sound base and I want to do my best to glorify God at the places where I work.

Establish private practice. This is a key goal for the year ahead. It requires lots of steps and investment in time and money. It is one thing that really is at a beginning.

Find ways to serve God in the church congregation he has placed me. My heart right now is to be involved in some way or fashion with Men’s ministry. Currently waiting as the church and pastor know my desire to be involved in some way.

Write more intentionally and with greater consistency.

Completed planned article series such as Foundations of Strong Delusion.

In God’s time, work on becoming a father with wife.

               Prayer requests:

Brother and his family: Pray for strength, comfort, and healing. They have undergone a long ordeal of loving and caring for someone who is dying, Nancy Kimmey. The trial the have gone through during this time has been extremely difficult on them all. Pray for a sense of God’s peace during the time and that they come through the ordeal ultimately stronger and that their mourning does turn to dancing as the ordeal brings them a taste of the Joy of the Lord.

Mother: As posted on the blog before she has encountered vision lost and diagnosed with rod dysphasia. She is moving in to a new time of life. She is a strong, independent woman who know has to increasingly depend on others. Pray that she grows in being able to reflect God’s love to those that assist her. Pray that her eyes, ears, and heart be opened to see in new ways God’s glory and find ways transcending beyond self to communicate and give voice to what God stirs.

Father: Pray he gains sense of God’s leading and direction. Pray for strength and faithfulness in following God’s lead beyond own ideas of what God is leading. Pray for God ordained appointments while waiting on God’s move and direction. Pray for God’s directions to be clear and that of self to become small. Pray for provision to do what God calls and directs.

Step-mother: Pray same as above but in addition continued strength in battle. She had a victory over cancer, yet the battle continues as she has three lesions in her brain and will need further prayer. Pray for discernment and for any root cause of the cancer to be dealt with and disabled in prayer.

Step-brother Tim: He has been serving God in mission field. Pray for His service to be rewarded with fruit, whether he sees fruit or not. Pray for Him to be further built up, rooted in God’s love, and able to share God’s love with others. He is leaving on January 12th for a 2 month stay in Mexico helping build a church. He will return to North Pole, Alaska to serve an outreach radio station.

Wife: Pray for God to continue to work in her life with restoration and healing. She is working on losing weight, a difficult battle with medical conditions that complicate. Pray for strength to continue to fight the battle. She desires that we try and have a baby before the year is out, so pray for God’s will and leading on that front in His time. Pray for strength, as she is often tired. Pray for her to find joy at work, as the job is tough for her and stressful. As she is at work, pray for God’s light and fragrance be evident to all around her.

Mother-in-law: Pray for her to grow deeper with God. For her wounds to be filled with God’s love. Pray for her to be filled to the brim with God’s love to touch those around her with love both in terms of family and those around her in Maceio

Father-in-law: Pray for God to touch his heart as he serves and loves others. Pray for God to touch whatever wounds are within his heart and to see fully God at work in those around him.

Brother-in-law Lon and his family: Pray for strength, wisdom, and guidance. He is pasturing a church in Maceio, Brazil. He is pulled in many directions and the church needs to move from dependence on Him and grow in dependence on God. Pray for all of His family to grow in loving God and others. Pray that the pull and desires of self and world diminish and appetites for the Kingdom of God grow.

Brother-in-law Leo and his family. Leo is not following God and walking in the darkness. He is ruled by lusts and pride. Pray for God to send the Holy Spirit to convict and draw him to repentance. Pray for his wife and daughters, that in the pain and heartache of betrayal that they get drawn into deep relationship with God and his love. Pray for their wounds to be healed and for their hearts to be touched with the love of God.

Other family members and friends: Pray for God to move and touch them where they are, in their pains, struggles, joys, and journey of life. Pray for God’s love to be made clear and deeper in all, whether they know God or chosen to walk away from God.

Pastor Brian Sinclair: Pray for wisdom and strength to lead New Joy Church with the vision of God. Build him up with words that build up the congregation in the faith. Pray for protection for Him and His family related to the wiles of the enemy.

New Joy Church: Pray that ultimately God brings a work that frees His New Joy amidst the congregation as the church becomes further rooted in the truth of God’s word and obedient to His call. Pray for wisdom, clarity, and vision for what God has ahead. May ideas of self be clear and reduced and may we all hear and see what God is directing.

Steiger International: Pray for God to continue to use them to reach those in the darkest places of the world with the Gospel. Pray for protection, wisdom, guidance, and provision.

The Livesay’s and Heartline Ministries Hati: Pray for God to continue to reach others with God’s love in gospel in that poor and hurting country. Pray for provision, wisdom, guidance, and protection.

The Hensel’s: Pray for God to grow the new Ministry and to touch the lives of the people where they are serving. Pray that they are able to help build others in the faith and draw others unto salvation.

The Gross family: Pray for God to bless them as they serve God. Pray for healing, strength, and renewal.

Simeon’s Cry: Pray that God uses them mightly to reach Jews and Muslims for Jesus. Pray for wisdom and open eyes and hears to see and hear what needs to be seen and heard. Pray for continued and ongoing discernment.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem: Pray that those of the nation of Israel grow in awareness of the Gospel and be brought to true wholeness as the recognize Yeshua as Mashiach.

Pray for Missionaries the world over, that they are able to draw others to turn from self to God and bring in a fruitful harvest.

And the requests for self: Pray for wisdom and guidance. Pray for ongoing growth in voice. Pray for growth in intentionality and consistency. Pray for God to draw those that he wants to use me in their lives to draw them into greater peace, learn of God’s peace, and receive restoration of heart and soul. Pray that I grow in loving God and others deeply. Pray for the blog and forum, that is serves to build others up, spread the light of the Gospel, and as led expose the workings of darkness.

    Prayer for 2010

Lord Heavenly Father, you who are the beginning of all things, you who set all things in motion. Touch the lives of all who read this that they may grow in knowledge of you. May each person who reads this blog grow in his or her response to you. May their walking in love of God and others be deeper and clearer. Open the eyes, ears and hearts to greater knowledge of Your love and your ways. Bring people into a greater sense of Your Peace and Joy. Heal the wounds of the broken, set the captives free, bring restoration to those in need. Transform each of our lives to reflect you greater. Bring us into greater awareness of our own sins and selfishness and help us to walk in repentance. Make clear to each one of us the areas of refinement you are leading in for this year ahead. Bring forth fruit as people serve you in love. Bring wisdom and discernment. Open eyes and ears of each to the ways accepted or walked in not of you. Expose the deceptions that have been embraced and the roots of the deception. Build each of us up in You. May your Kingdom grow and expand and be more visible to each of us. Help us to forgive as You call us to forgive. Help us to love as You call us to love. Bring the prosperity of further knowledge of your love and pushing forward in your ways grow with eyes toward treasures in heaven and not on the ways of the world. Thank you for the provisions that will come in the year ahead. Give each person the wisdom needed to make the choices as they come. Give strength, peace, and comfort in suffering. Give light and hope in darkness. Give clarity in fog. Give strength and direction in waiting. Pour out your love and light as all who serve you. Build what you have established, break down all that is not of you. Bring forth your harvest and fruit. Lead us in the sure path and sure ways and help us to return when we stray from your path. We thank you Father for all that you have done, for your gift of Salvation through Jesus, our messiah. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the ability to draw near to you, as you are on the throne. Thank you Jesus for Your love and mediating before the throne on our behalf. Thank you Holy Spirit for your ongoing presence even if at times we are muted in awareness of Your presence. We look forward to all that is ahead in 2010 and we thank you for what you have worked in our lives up to today. Above all, may Your will be done in our lives here on earth, as we seek to serve your Kingdom. All glory to your name. Your will be done. Amen!

The End of 2009: Reflections, Resolutions, and Questions

Well another year on the Roman Calender is coming to a close.  Time keeps on moving.  In each life, good and bad, pleasure, and pain, joy and sorrow, laughter and tears and other such elements of life happen.  Each day another day where we face the consequences and curses of sin.  Yet, today is a day marked off to focus on change.  Change from one year to another.  Today is a day that people look back at significant events and make plans for what is ahead. In other words people take time to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future.   In this blog article I will take some time to generally reflect on the year ahead and look forward to what God is doing.  Please take an opportunity to pray for me as you read this post and thank God for what he has done as well.  First, I will share some personal reflections of what this year has been about for me and then will look ahead to what looking forward to in the New Year.

2009 Personal Reflections:

2009   was a year filled with much change and growth.  Looking back at an article I wrote last year looking at where I have been and where I am going it is clear the journey I had made. Last year I was focus on the pain in the lives of those around me.  My step-mother Janie Blake was in the midst of her battle of Cancer.  It is a battle won, yet not quite finished yet.  Also became aware of my brother’s mother-in-law battle with Cancer and learning that her process was one leading to death.  A death still pending.  I was beginning to grow deeper in my relationship with God.  Last year at this time I was focused on the professional goals of finishing what I needed to do to complete my professional licensure.  Last year I had commented on a need to contact others and move in forgiveness. I moved and made attempts at some levels of doing such, but still an area needing growth.  Last year’s article referenced starting a forum and eventual web-portal.  Well the web-portal has been low on priorities.  I started out the year with a list of articles to write, and failed to get to or complete many.   Yet, also had written some articles that I believe God used to touch others as well as myself. 

2009 brought some significant events into my life and the lives of those around me.  Janie was victorious in her battle with cancer.  My mother became aware of vision loss.  My brother’s family overwhelmed with the suffering of pending grief.  My wife engaging in and seeking to move into getting healing and changing and letting God work on restoring her to how He created her to be.  The church God has me at, New Joy Church went through a transition from Pastor Richard Hubert to Pastor Brian Sinclair.  A move I sense will bring the church in to a period of productive service to the King of Kings.  So lots going on in those around me. Also lots going on with me as well.

Looking back last year, I commented that 2009 was a year of change.  And good changes did occur in me.  I can say without a doubt I am not the man I was a year ago.  Sure, I have undergone accomplishing a personal milestone in becoming a licensed Psychologist. Yet, the changes run a bit different from that.  I am a person who loves stories and fiction.  I can easily get lost in watching assorted stories and movies and spend a lot of time doing so.  Yet, God has opened my eyes and ears to the depth of the messages communicated in the stories presented on television and in movies.  My level of viewing these stories has reduced significantly.  As a person who grew up with ongoing television exposure this is a significant change. 

Another change was related to changing my diet.  I was reluctant to do so. I enjoy eating the foods I eat and really was not committed to change.  I agreed to a diet manly to support my wife.  Yet, in the process God has worked on my heart to start viewing approach to food differently and changing my mindset.  I still have some changing to do and old patterns return easily, but the change is positive and it is no longer doing it because of wife’s request.

I also believe that God has me in a process of restoring voice.  I have been a person who easily engaged in matters to working to serve God and others.  It was all about what I am doing.  A few years ago, God let me know that in terms of loving God and loving other that I needed to grow and restore my voice.  Actually starting writing this blog was a part of the process but God moved in my life to the point where I he had me give a sermon. The crowd was small, the sermon was imperfectly delivered. Yet, it is a move of giving voice.  In the process God also taught me a bit deeper about what it means to love God and others deeply and what it means to worship Him in spririt and truth.  If you haven’t read the full “sermon” on that, please do go read it here: https://peacebringer7.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/worship-in-spirit-and-truth-how-do-we/.  God also has me back to a point where I want to find ways to serve God in the church and allow God to use and develop my voice.  So God has continued that restoration process. 

Well, there are probably other areas where God has moved and changed me but the ones mentioned are the core areas coming to mind upon reflection.  A lot more comes to  mind on what changes still need to happen and continue as continue to grow in loving God and others genuinely as a reflection of God’s love for me.

Personal Resolutions:

The biggest need for me in the year ahead is to be more intentional. Often with the blog, the forum, and whatever else God has going on in my life, matters are often taken moment by moment.  There are lists of article ideas that simply have not been written as engage in writing on things that are more topical.  There was an effort to have some intentional posts getting into element of  spiritual growth but the articles stimulated litte  discussion or audience.  Yet, they served a purpose.  So I know I need to commit to both having articles posted by certain days and work on the list and ideas on what to write about that God has stirred in me. Until I get to writing some of those matters further, the use of  the voice God has given me is still not fully functional. 

One commitment for me as well in growing with relationship with God, is being more intentional also in relationships. It starts with my relationship with God.  Much like the blog, the interactions with God ebb and flow.  There is a lack of intentional consistency.  All to easily I let other things get in the way and feed on the junk rather than spending time relating with the One who loves me beyond measure.

My relationship with my wife and family and friends also can fit the same pattern.  There are ebbs and flows.  There needs to be more intentionality of my interactions and communications with those I love.  So as I am writing this, it is clear my overall resolution and desire in 2010 is to grow in intentionality and consistency of loving God and others rather than attending to self.  Just thinking about this, the lack of intentionality ulitmately is about self-focus rather than a God-focused reflection of His love.  Being intentional involves an act of the will of where to turn my focus.  So all in all I need to grow in surrendering to God and being intentional about what He puts before me.

 Now there are hopes and plans for the year to come and ways that need to move intentionally.  Those areas really mark the questions for the year ahead.

Personal Questions:

As stated a lot is going on in the lives of those around me.  Changes, struggles, suffering, and growth all are there.  The question that comes to mind is how can I be used in ongonig ways to love and build up those around me?

Of course there is the professional question of what will starting a private practice look like and what will the year bring?

There is the question of how am I to serve God in the church he has placed me? 

Will God give other opportunities for me to grow in use of voice?

What does God want me to say and do to help others?  

What will God do with what He is already teaching me?

What will happen in the world at large as God continues to allow pieces to shift in setting the scene for the return of the King of Kings?

These are my thoughts at the moment.  Tomorrow I will post specific prayer requests for me, my family, and my church as well as some words in prayer for the year ahead.  Please take time to look at where God has brought you, what God is stirring in you for the year ahead, and consider what God is asking of you today.   And may all you readers grow in God’s love and peace in  the year ahead.