Is it me, or has this year gone by quick already? By the time we know it we will be introducing 2019!
How has your New Year been so far?
Whether it has started good or bad, it is here and we have to make the most of it as best as we can. Every start to a new year brings a sense of encouragement, motivation and hope.
So, with saying all of this I wanted to introduce another year of the One Word Challenge. I know I am a bit late, but like the saying goes, "Better late than never".
In my third year of the One Word Challenge, I really wanted to dial in on what I believed the Lord has been putting in my heart, but I wanted to quickly share with you what the last two years have been for me.
In 2016 my one word was CONSISTENCY.
At the end of 2015, I remember feeling a need to stay consistent. At this time, I felt as though life was just scrambled and everywhere for me. The twins were at an age that began to demand more from my wife and I. Ministry was getting more demanding and my role at work was increasing. So, at this time I really needed to dial things in and find some level of consistency. I don't want to sit here and tell you that I am now the most consistent person, but I have really learned how to prioritize my time and put my energy into what is going to give me the best return of investment. I also understood the importance of my non-negotiables and how to say no to anything that is going to take me away from my non-negotiables like family, personal relationship with God, etc.
In 2017 my one word was GO.
After 2016, I felt the desire to be a person of action rather than just words. I needed to not only speak my faith, but actively live out my faith. I would be lying if I told you that I took action on everything that I did, but I did take action on things that I believe were going to propel momentum into my future. I remember speaking to David Conley the founder of worshipexposed.com, and he told me something that I won't forget. He was also in a season of living out his faith in ministry, he said, "be careful what you ask for, God will hold you to it". He was so right. God put me in positions that required me to take actions of faith, but it made me depend on Him.
This year in 2018, my one word is INTENTIONAL.
With the word go, I felt like it was a kick start and helped serve the purpose of action in my life, but with intentional I feel as though it brings purpose behind that action. It brings the why behind the what and that is exactly what Webster defines intentional as, "Done on purpose; deliberate".
I not only want to go, but I want to know why I am going.
I always choose a word that covers a wide portion of my life. So, not only do I want to be intentional about my walk with God, but here are a few other things that I really want to be intentional about in my life this year.
Marriage: Marriage is hard and takes work, but is a beautiful thing. I want to be intentional about my marriage. Marriage is a gift that I don’t want to take for granted. For many years I felt as though I have been very complacent with my wife spiritually and even in our overall relationship. I wasn’t taking my place as the priest and head of my home. Between work, chores, appointments, deadlines and children, your wife or husband can be on the bottom of the totem-pole. I remember hearing someone say, be careful with putting your marriage last now, because when the kids are gone, your spouse will be the only one you have left later. This is so true. You have to be intentional about what is in your hands right now. You can't control later, you can only control now.
- Ministry: For as long as I can remember I have always believed the call of God over my life and as much as I have felt that at times that call was not being fulfilled in my life, it was. I believe that I have a call for ministry and that God has gifted me with the ability to communicate. That communication for me comes through my writing, speaking and music. I have been blessed to be active in all of these areas of communication and this year I am being intentional about becoming better at them and more consistent. This is huge for me this year. The only thing I can control is what God has placed in my hands. I want to continue working on my craft. I think the misunderstanding for many in ministry is that they should continue to serve, but not put as much energy in bettering themselves to be a better servant and this could not be further from the truth. God desires excellence from us and if He desires that, how are you we going to give that excellence to Him if we are not continually working on our craft? This is the year that we become intentional about being excellent in our talents, gifting and in our calling.
- Fatherhood (Relationship with Children): At the start of this year I began a devotional titled, Becoming an Intentional Father. I felt moved to make some changes as a father and be more intentional in simply being "present" with my children. Being involved. Truly caring and giving them all of me. The devotional talks about six roadblocks that father's face in their relationship with their children.
- Ignorance: Is this really my job?
Inertia: How can I get off the dime?
Delegation: Have I given up my role?
Guilt: Have I become my own enemy?
Procrastination: What am I waiting on?
Despair: Are my kids just too far gone?
When I read this, I immediately related with number three and number five. Number three, not because I did not care, but because I was relying too much on other people to help my children do things that I knew I should be doing. For example, when it came to their academics, I relied on their teachers to help them learn their letters and numbers and I was not making any effort to teach them on my own. I felt convicted to do something about that and I have. On the weekday, every evening after dinner we are dedicating a portion of time to their education. We also make sure to take out time to read the scriptures together. As parents, this responsibility falls on us and if you care you will take it on fully. We have to care for all facets of our children’s lives.
Number seven also resonated with me because I needed to stop wasting time as a father. Time is not stopping. I can remember when my twins were born and in a blink of an eye they are now four years old! Time doesn’t wait for anyone, so if you feel compelled to do something, then do it now. Take action. Don’t waste time, do it! Your family deserves it!
If you have been blessed to be a parent then be intentional and aggressive about your role in your child's life. This is the one relationship that truly falls onto our hands. God holds us responsible. Not teachers, not friends, but parents.
- Relationship with God: I said this earlier, but I want to be intentional about my DAILY and PERSONAL walk with God. I capitalized daily and personal because every day I want to give my best to God. I am serious about taking my relationship with the Lord to new heights in my life. I want to establish a daily and consistent walk with the Lord. Where every day I hold on to my priorities with the Lord. For example, if you are married, do you go a day without talking with your spouse? Of course not, at least I hope not. Most of us married folks understand that communication with our spouses is one of the most important parts of marriage if not the most important part of marriage. We'll the same is true for our walk with God. There should always be a priority to communicate with our heavenly father and bless him with our praise. I also capitalized personal because for me being a worship leader and in front of people all the time, I don't want there to be any difference between my life on stage and my life off stage. I want to be constant in every avenue, stage and walk of life. The same should be for you no matter what you do. Your public life should be an example of your private life.
- Writing / Podcast: It is one thing to pump out content, but it is another thing to bring content that brings life change. I am being intentional about writing more and daily. Whether it is a blog, song, or something on my journal from my bible study, I have to push to get the pen on paper every day. Last year was a great success for the website, but I can't rely on last year's successes for this year. Each year, each day is a new opportunity. A fresh start.
Same thing goes for my podcast. I am being intentional about getting my voice out there more this year. I want to chat on topics like: worship, parenting, music, marriage, business, etc. I am hoping to get some guest interviews going on the 1 on 1 show, which I can't wait.
Where I am going with this is basically that nothing will work unless you work. I will admit that I am a very up and down individual when it comes to this, but every day I have to put my best foot forward no matter what the day has brought or how I am feeling because God deserves the best of me.
I have plans to release a book this year, so that is a focus of mine this year. Be on the lookout for that.
I also want to write more music and see where that goes. God has been putting melodies and lyrics in my head that I want to build upon.
- Education: This year I want to be intentional about my education. One of the biggest regrets I have in my life is that I never furthered my education towards areas of passion. I grew up very active in ministry, but I regret not furthering myself in ministry studies, because how great those memories and moments were, it left me with no educational accomplishment to help solidify my passion and calling.
This year I want to further my ministry studies. I began last year with attending the leadership Academy that my church was hosting. We are now on our last semester which will finish in May. Once this finishes I will pursue seminary to obtain my credentials. I will also look into worship studies and see what I can begin to obtain with that as well.
I am understanding more and more that God will work with what you have. He has given me the free will to go and further myself. I want to be a vessel that is complete and useful before him. I want to further myself so that he can use me further to extend and reach out His kingdom and purpose.
Better late than, never right?
Here are some questions for to reflect on and answer.
What is your one word for 2018?
What areas are you looking to improve this year?
Have you already begun to implement or even see changes?
Please share below. I would love to hear what areas God is challenging you in this year.