Thursday, April 03, 2008

Day Six: Risky Business

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller

Kerry Shook tells us that the only way to risk finding greatness is to trust God with all the areas of your life. We tend to control every detail of our lives but in holding on so tight we actually restrict our ability to succeed. God wants us to trust him to accomplish incredible things through us that we could never achieve on our own.

Look at all that God has given you; your talent, your finances, your knowledge. How are you investing these to benefit God's kingdom on earth? (And by "God's Kingdom" I mean whatever promotes the knowledge of God or the work of God...reconciliation, hope, forgiveness, restoration, righteousness, healing, etc.) Or are you clinging to what your have for fear that if you give them away that you'll have nothing left for yourself? Are you like the person in Jesus' story who was given money by his boss but instead of investing it he buried it for safe keeping? That kind of "play-it-safe" living only gets you in trouble with the boss.

Jesus said...From everyone who has been given much much will be demanded and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much will be asked. Luke 12:48

You have been given much. What are you giving back?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Day Five: Oxygen Mask

The idea here is that on a plane, when cabin pressure is lost, you make sure you get oxygen before helping others. Makes sense. The same holds true for us in life. Before we can help others we have to make sure we are healthy ourselves. I've seen too many people try to pour themselves out to serve others, draining themselves completely out of a sense of duty, and feeling guilty about ever taking care of themselves.

This chapter challenges us to take care of ourselves in two ways;
1. Physically. The temptations are to worship our bodies and spend all our time in the gym or trash our bodies by not eating right, sleeping right, drinking too much, etc. But there is a balance.
2. Emotionally. Emotions are a good thing. The trick is to express our emotions without letting our emotions control us.

Given these two areas, what are some things you need to do to improve your physical and emotional health? How have you been ignoring them? When you bring them under control can you see how you will be better able to help others?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Day Four: Making Connection

Kerry Shook asks an interesting question on Day Four of his book: If you only had one month left before your physical body collapsed, wouldn't you want the part of you that's going to live forever to be as healthy as possible?

Good point. How's your spiritual health? It's an old question but if you were to die today...are you ready to meet God?

When you've got time to waste you might want to be religious. But with 30 days to live you need to get down to business. Your faith needs to get personal. It's easy to know a lot about God but do you know him like you know a good friend? Do you talk? Do get a sense of hearing from him? That might seem irrational but that's why Jesus came into make an invisible distant God visible and approachable.

When you move from a friendship relationship to a dating relationship it starts with an invitation...would you like to go out tonight? Moving to intimacy with God starts with a simple invitation as well. Here's a simple prayer to move you in that direction;

Jesus I want to know you - not just know about you. I want a relationship not religion. So I'm inviting you to come into my life. Thank you for dying for me. Thank you for forgiving me. But I need more than forgiveness I need you in my life. Come now and fill every part of me. Help me to follow you completely. Give me eyes to see you in my life and ears to hear your voice. Help me to follow you every day and fulfill my purpose in life. Amen.

Now, once you make this connection...keep it!

Day Three: Energy Management

If you only had one month to live would you stay awake the whole time to make the most of your days? It makes sense at one level, the problem is your body won't let you. You were created for rest. You'll make the most of your time by using some of that time to sleep. You just can't keep going and going.

A recent Sixty Minutes broadcast (The Science of Sleep) shared some interesting research on sleep. They said that if you only get 4-5 hours of sleep for one night, it will impact your mental functioning the next day. The more nights you deprive yourself of sleep the greater the mental impact. On the other hand if you get a good night of sleep your memory is actually better than if you stayed up studying all night. So it pays to sleep. It pays to rest.

As you look at your habits do you factor in down time to recharge your batteries? Do make a day your sabbath? Do you get eight hours of sleep? Do you take time to visit with friends, talk to God, read, take vacations? These are the "useless" things that actually make you more productive in the long run.

To get the most out of your last 30 days be sure and rest!

Day Two: Some Day is Today

On Day One Kerry Shook asked if we were living the dashing or dashing to live. The point is that most of us are so busy that we don't have time to truly live. We convince ourselves that some day we'll do what we want...but you know how that goes...some day never comes.

I'd imagine that some people chose not to read the book (One Month to Live) or join a small group because they are "too busy". Just like we don't go out with friends or spend time with our family or spend time with God for the same reason...too busy.

But if you only had one month to live... Someday is Today! So the next time you catch yourself using the excuse... I'm too busy... stop and say... I'm busy but this is important to me. I'll make the time - which means that you will reprioritze your life and cut out some of the time wasters you do (tv, surf the net, etc.) so you can do the really important things. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Day One: Living the Dash

Today begins our One Month to Live readings. I'll write BRIEF summary reflections for each day. If you'd like this e-mailed to you each day, send me an email and let me know.

Day One: Living the Dash

The "dash" refers to the the line on a tombstone between the dates you were born and died. We have no control over those dates but we have a lot to say about the dash in between the two.

I liked the quote that began this chapter. It talks about the fear ... "that as far as the world is concerned we might as well never have lived." Harold Kushner

Ouch. He's talking about the fear that we will have no impact on this world. We only consumed during our lifetime. We offered nothing in return. Is that the legacy that you want to leave - that when people stand around your grave they say things like "What a wasted life. He/she never lived up to their potential." And instead of a legacy all you left is regrets, excuses and I.O.U.'s. All you left was your kingdom of pursuits and possessions that benefitted no one but yourself and will merely rot in your absence.

If you want to do something about this fear...join me for a 30 day journey of turning things around. Over these next 30 days we will work to turn your "ship" around so when you leave this world you have left a legacy and you will be missed.