How to Have a Life of Significance and Meaning

It’s something I’ve been giving a lot of thought to recently. As we have considered how to have our best year ever in 2015, it brings me back to foundational questions: Who am I? What is my mission? What are my goals? And does my weekly agenda match up with the previous three questions?

I believe those four questions I just asked are questions that everyone needs to think through, especially those of us who are following Christ. We must pray as Moses did, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90.12)

It starts with identity, then moves to mission, which establishes the nature of our goals, which are accomplished through our habits, or routine.

IDENTITY  >  MISSION/ PURPOSE  >  GOALS  >  HABITS/AGENDA

As Christians, it’s really a matter of us becoming who we are. In Christ, we are everything we ever would want to be. The issue is for us to learn to walk in the reality of who we now are (Ephesians 4.1). That comes through affirming our identity in Christ, reminding ourselves of our mission, establishing goals based on our mission, and then doing things (habits) through our week (agenda) which result in the accomplishment of those goals.

SMART, SMARTER, and SMARTEST Goals

It’s fairly well known that SMART Goals are:

  • S -Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Actionable
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Time-Bound

Michael Hyatt adds ‘ER’ to make them even smarter:

  • E – Exciting
  • R – Relevant

And, finally, yours truly offers this approach to make them the smartEST goals for your life:

  • E – Exciting
  • S – Significant
  • T – Tied to God’s Glory

Book Recommend: “unPHILtered: the Way I See It” by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach

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A couple of years before Duck Dynasty I came across an ESPN.com article about a family in Louisiana that loved to duck hunt and was making a killing at making duck calls. I was impressed with what I read. Then I came across a few videos online of Phil and Jase speaking in churches. Then I was really impressed. Finally, the hit TV show came on and I fell in love with this down-to-earth, salt-of-the-earth family of rednecks. unPHILtered is exactly what the title says: Phil telling it as it is, no filter, and I don’t know if I can argue against the man on anything he says in the book.

I imagine the average city slicker would take a look at Phil and think…

“He’s a backward anti-intellect.” – He may be backward, but he’s sharp as a tack and has an earned master’s degree. He’s not anti-intellect.

“He’s a homophobe.” – He’s not. Unless your definition of a homophobe is someone who does not enthusiastically endorse the homosexual lifestyle.

“He’s a racist.” – He’s clearly not.

What he is… a man who was radically transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ; a man who loves his God, his family, his neighbors, and all people.

He’s also a man of the outdoors. He has no use for a cell phone. He’d rather be in the woods or on the water than using technology.

He’s wise. It’s clear he has excelled not only in business and in social relationships, but he has excelled as a husband and father. And he’s done it through hard work and good people skills.

This country, and this world, would be a lot better off if they applied the PHILosophy of life of the Duck Commander.

NOTE: I highly recommend you read his autobiography, Happy Happy Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander first, then read unPHILtered.

A Christian View of War and the Need for a Military

This coming Sunday at Harvest Bible Chapel of Jacksonville is “Military Appreciation Sunday.” I am excited about this opportunity to give honor to those our active military and our veterans. I will be sharing a special message about the two kinds of war we are prepared to fight: the physical and the spiritual.

There are generally three views of war among Christians. Supporting Bible verses are appealed to for each view. The vast majority of Christians fall into the view I hold to, what is commonly called the “Just War” position. I fully recognize that there are many variations within each of the three views:

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I believe a strong and prepared military is a necessity for our country. I also believe that we have biblical justification for being ready to fight:

1. Because there is evil in the world (Genesis 6.5; Romans 3.15-18; 2 Timothy 3.1-4).

2. Because God has established the right of self-defense (Exodus 22.2-3; Nehemiah 4.13-14; Luke 22.36).

3. Because one of the major reasons God ordained government is for protecting the people (Romans 13.1-4).

4. Because sometimes governments must act with force to stop injustice (Psalm 82.4; Ecclesiastes 3.8; Proverbs 24.6; Genesis 15.16).

Therefore, God has the government the authority to have a military:

> to protect us from harm.

> to enable us to live in freedom.

As Richard Grenier wrote, “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

Best-Selling Bibles (October 2014)

Based on Dollar Sales

1  New International Version (various publishers)

2  King James Version (various publishers)

3  New King James Version (various publishers)

4  English Standard Version (Crossway)

5  New Living Translation (Tyndale)

6  Holman Christian Standard Bible (B&H Publishing Group)

7  New International Readers Version (Zondervan)

8  Common English Bible (Common English Bible)

9  New American Standard (various publishers)

10  Reina Valera 1960 (American Bible Society and licensees)

Based on Unit Sales

1  New International Version (various publishers)

2  King James Version (various publishers)

3  English Standard Version (Crossway)

4  New King James Version (various publishers)

5  New Living Translation (Tyndale)

6  Holman Christian Standard Bible (B&H Publishing Group)

7  New International Readers Version (Zondervan)

8  Common English Bible (Common English Bible)

9  Reina Valera 1960 (American Bible Society and licensees)

10  New American Standard (various publishers)

*This data is from the Christian Booksellers Association (not including sales through Amazon.com or at Walmart and other stores that are not a member of the CBA).

**By posting this data, I am not attempting to persuade readers to choose a translation based upon it’s popularity.

Faith…Hope…Love

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