Thursday, December 29, 2011

Conquering A City In 2012

Here we are fellas, a few days past Christmas and a new year on the horizon. If you're like me, your scrambling through the files of your mind trying to decide what needs to change next year and what went well this year. Most of us make New Year's resolutions at the beginning of each year and hope that we'll see them come-to-pass. There are many areas of my life that I know the Lord would like me to improve upon next year, and by His grace they will be different come December of 2012.

I'm wondering if you'd like to join me on a quest to improve the quality of life for yourself and for your family in the coming year. I know that by making my desires public, I open myself up for public inquisition at any time. Maybe that's a good thing. Men need to be challenged in all areas of their life, like the kings of Israel and the Prophets who helped guide them. The first king who didn't have his own prophet ended up allowing his passions to run wild and it led to much sin and heartache. I'm speaking of Solomon, who as and old man wrote about the meaninglessness of everything life had to offer expect obedience to God.

So if you're willing to join me in setting out to conquer the city that's known by your name, send me an email or post a comment on this blog.

Below is a list of some areas of life that I'd like to improve upon next year and some areas that I know other Men struggle with and need to conquer if they're to truly excel in their walks with the Lord and in the leadership of themselves and their families:
  • Prayer life
  • Study of God's word
  • Family devotions with wife and children
  • Finances (budgeting, debt elimination, saving, etc. I know this is a major one for many men, and if I could, I'd like to recommend a book that's easy to read, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.)
  • Marital oneness (Connecting with our wives at a heart level on a daily basis. Not sure how to, just ask your wife.)
  • Sexual purity (Another big issue, if not THE issue, that has crippled the power of men in the church. Whether it's adulterous relationships, masturbation, pornography, fornication, or any other sexual sin--until we as men get control over our God-given desires and steer them in the right direction, we will lack the power to serve that comes through purity. Let's put this sin to death, men!)
  • Family ministry endeavors (What can your family do as ministry to others in 2012? Whether it's serving in a homeless shelter, nursing home, soup kitchen, or caring for the elderly in your neighborhood, find something you can do together and do it!)
  • Discipleship of children (I'm talking about intentional discipleship here, not just what comes by living with you.)
  • Home improvements (the condition of our homes is a reflection of our lives and a message to our wives.)
  • Fasting and prayer (I'm beginning the year with a 30 day season of fasting and prayer that I'd love for some men to join me on. I'll go from 1/2/12 - 1/31/12. Let me know if your interested. You can do 1 day a week, 10 days, 20, or all 40. You decide and stick to it.)
  • Diet and exercise (For too many of us, the question isn't whether or not we need to lose weight, the question is, how much weight do we need to lose? I want to see my grand-kids, so I know that this is gravely important.)
  • Knowledge expansion (What I mean here is how are you continually developing your mind? Did you read any good books this year? What do you plan to read next year? I would challenge you to read a minimum of 6 books next year. That's only 1 book every two months. Some of you who read well and more quickly should read 12 books, one per month. Read in diverse areas as well. If you need suggestions, let me know.)
  • Church Life (The Lord opened the door for my family to team up with several other tremendous families to start a family integrated church in the Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland area, and with the basic structures put in place in 2011, we're believing 2012 will be a year of blessing and growth if we honor the Lord and follow where He leads. So I'll be praying and fasting for our new Church, New Hope Christian Fellowship, and would cherish your prayers for us as well. And, if you might be interested in visiting us, we'd be honored to have you as our guest!)
These are just some of the things that I've been thinking through for myself and for other men close to me. This is not an exhaustive list of areas that need addressing by men, it's just meant to get you thinking about next year. Consider it and send me your thoughts.

And oh yeah...Happy New Year!