Target

The word of the Lord for the moment is: Target

“Among Benjamin’s elite troops, 700 were left-handed, and each of them could sling a rock and hit a target within a hairsbreadth without missing.”

Judges 20:16 NLT

Consider a fighting force with 700 hyper accurate, trained, focused soldiers on target.  Now, consider that they are only 10% of the soldiers as left handed are only 10% of the population.  A fighting force of 7000 spot on soldiers good at what they do because they are targeted and trained.  What can you do if you are on target?

““For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.”

Isaiah 50:7 NKJV

The aspect of being set on a task, a skill, a direction and not being easily swayed is called targeted.  Jesus was like that.  He set His face like a flint toward Jerusalem and the cross of sacrifice that we all might be accepted.  Paul was like that.  He set his target on the Gentiles whether it meant prison or persecution.  Moses was like that.  He set his target on the land on the other side of the Jordan and pursued through pain and problems for 40 years to see it done.  David was like that.  Determined to build a temple, he insured the finances and plans were ready for his son, Solomon, to carry through.  Get a target.

“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do. ” —Norman Vincent Peale

A goal is a target.  A worthy goal is worth honing a skill, stepping away from distractions, sacrificing to become excellent not just good, and developing the value out of the pursuit.  Good is the worst enemy of great.  Yet, it does not take great to be great.  A good goal with a good pursuit with a good energy with a good skill produces a great result.  Every piece does not need to be great, but the focus and the targeted character through persistence produces great. The word is target.

Countless calls for prayer and counsel come to me for jobs.  When I ask what type of job, the answer is usually in terms of money, prestige, or anything that pays well.  That is a useless pursuit and a useless prayer.  Why spend a major portion of life with no goal in mind? 

My career has taken many twists, but the goal has always been the same.  My career target is to support my family and have enough to be generous to help others.  My target has been to do that in a way that develops others and gives value back to a company for which I work.  And throughout my career in management, I have done that. 

My life target is to worship the Lord with all my heart and all my soul and all my might and be a faithful disciple.  And throughout my life in Christ, I have done that.  Every time I am discontent, I find someone has added to my goals and disguised the target for their own benefit so that I sway off target.

In my latter years, my sight on the target sharpens and others want to use my skill but not assist the call and character of the Lord in my life.  It is not that they are wrong or selfish as much as they do not wish to support the target the Lord has given me.

Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong.  Abraham Lincoln

When Lincoln spoke those words, I believe he looked to his target and found others had distracted him to a different path.  It is time to get back to the path the Lord sent you to walk.  Walk with good partners.  But, If they veer to the right or the left too long and keep you off the Lord’s path, you must get back on target.  They might have good intentions and a good path, but is it your path in the Lord and the Lord’s intentions?

Lifelong Dads. Forever families. Kids Need ‘em.  Delivering Solid Life Foundations. Developing Healthy and Safe Relationships. Distinguishing Generations of Greatness.

There it is in a short, sweet nutshell.  If it builds that, then that is what I do.  If one more family moves in that direction, my target will be achieved.  I hear my Father say, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into your Master’s joy.” Every day that I work on the target that affirmation of my Father is mine.  If I am doing something that isn’t working to achieve that target, then I need to part with it as soon as I see that it goes wrong.  Good counsel, Abe.

What is your target?  Can you state it in simple format? 

These last weeks have been wonderful.  For months, I have labored to cut away distractions to get down to the essentials my Father wants for me.  I’ve allowed too many good-hearted voices to distract.  Constant pain and problems lessen my grasp on the target.  My throws seem a little off.  My strength is tested.  That is the time to begin cutting away and honing skill to get to the target.  With the slowing of the economy there has been a slowing of voices distracting.   Target.

The target seems more in view than at any time.  My obstinate pursuit takes me into hours of prayer a day.  I’ve thrown out four large trash bags from my office this week and carted out boxes of books no longer needed.  The target is tightly in view.  I called my marketing group and told them to cancel distractions.  I called support groups that have similar targets and made new agreements that fit.  All of this happens as the world spins off target, the economy crashes, disease explodes, and people weep.  Target.

Target is a verb. It means get focused and pointed toward the goal.

Target is a noun. It means the item to which you are pointed.

Are you targeted? That is where God wants you. Some are targeted early in life like Solomon. He was targeted to wisdom as a young man. Some take decades like Moses, who only understood the target being the nation free beyond the Jordan after 80 years of processing. Some get the fine points of the target like Elijah, spending a life as a prophet, to become targeted to train other prophets not just be one in his last years. Elijah was mostly a loner until the Lord targeted him in his last years. Paul was a murderer until the Lord targeted him at the peak of his life to be a disciple maker. Are you really targeted? Maybe you are just now getting to be targeted. Maybe all the years you have had bring you to a sharpened focus. Target.

Jesus’ core ministry on earth was less than four years.  In those years, He built a team, died on the cross, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit.  Thirty years were taken to get ready for the Target.  He is still working on the Target, the Church, 2000 years later.  Targeted. Immovable. Unshakeable. Targeted.

The Lord wants us targeted. 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

James 1:5-8 NKJV

There is no value in having a good target. There is value in having a God target. My mind goes to a friend, who has built a solid business producing significant profit. The profit is buried back in the business to build capital. He smiles and claims no profit and gives no honor through tithe or offering to the Lord. Why? Well there is no profit. Bigger and bigger barns are built that one day will have achieved nothing of value. The Lord will call for his life and the barns will be given to others. It is a good thing. It is not a God thing.

Another friend takes of his meager earnings and gives back to God.  He will never amass millions of dollars, but he stacks memorials in heaven that will stand for eternity in changed lives.  One lives the letter of the law and profits himself.  The other lives the life and spirit of the law and profits all.  Get a good target that is also a God target.

In the end there are no moving vans in the grave yard. But there is great treasure laid up in heaven. Targeted.

Walking Together

Christ is the cure for loneliness. He connects us. He finds a place for us. That is the work of a church.
There is no reason to walk alone.

In discussion with a group of ministers, each decried working alone at their tasks.  That is odd.  Rarely do I work alone.  Of course, I write alone.  Yet, even in that I have people submit ideas and do research.  Even if I don’t use it, the conversation is good and contributes.

None of us should walk alone.  This morning I am reading responses from legislators across the United States to a quick blurb.  We pray together.  We walk together.  Never alone.  That is just not right.

Ephesians 4:16 NKJV from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love

Snow in the Shadows

Snow gets in the shadows.

Ecclesiastes 4:11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

In Oklahoma and Texas, snow is a sometimes and someyears thing.  Not often.  But often enough.  It can linger for a few hours or a few days and in rare occasions for a few weeks.  Ice lingers longer.

The shadows keep the snow longer.  The sun doesn’t reach there.

Normal winter temperatures daily climb into the 40’s and 50’s and many times 60’s and 70’s.  Snow doesn’t last long in that warmth.    Except in the shadows.

In the shadows, the warmth needs to linger a little longer.

Relationships are like that.  Some cold spots tend to linger.  Each relationship finds bad spots and good spots. The daily good warmth takes longer to remove the memory and the touchiness.  Sometimes it is an icy block that takes weeks of warmth to remove.

You can speed up the process when the snow is in your shadow by moving whatever is blocking the sun and giving yourself adequate good time.  We can’t change the weather outside, but we can change the weather conditions of a relationship through investment in good moments.

You can speed up the process when you deposited snow into the shadow of a loved one by investing in warm moments with them.  Leave it to linger at risk of damage that may not heal.

Think of a few easy moments of warmth you can bring to a relationship.  The odd coincidence of snow in the shadows of a relationship is that neither of you may realize that it lingers.  You look to the front yard and clean streets and are grateful.  It is easy to leave the shadows alone, but lingering snow and ice comes up at the most inappropriate moments.

Do some good.  Do some gentle.  Do some soft.

The beauty of having the warm moments is you don’t have to talk about the snow, it just goes away.

Snow in the Shadows

Snow gets in the shadows.

Ecclesiastes 4:11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

In Oklahoma and Texas, snow is a sometimes and someyears thing.  Not often.  But often enough.  It can linger for a few hours or a few days and in rare occasions for a few weeks.  Ice lingers longer.

The shadows keep the snow longer.  The sun doesn’t reach there.

Normal winter temperatures daily climb into the 40’s and 50’s and many times 60’s and 70’s.  Snow doesn’t last long in that warmth.    Except in the shadows.

In the shadows, the warmth needs to linger a little longer.

Relationships are like that.  Some cold spots tend to linger.  Each relationship finds bad spots and good spots. The daily good warmth takes longer to remove the memory and the touchiness.  Sometimes it is an icy block that takes weeks of warmth to remove.

You can speed up the process when the snow is in your shadow by moving whatever is blocking the sun and giving yourself adequate good time.  We can’t change the weather outside, but we can change the weather conditions of a relationship through investment in good moments.

You can speed up the process when you deposited snow into the shadow of a loved one by investing in warm moments with them.  Leave it to linger at risk of damage that may not heal.

Think of a few easy moments of warmth you can bring to a relationship.  The odd coincidence of snow in the shadows of a relationship is that neither of you may realize that it lingers.  You look to the front yard and clean streets and are grateful.  It is easy to leave the shadows alone, but lingering snow and ice comes up at the most inappropriate moments.

Do some good.  Do some gentle.  Do some soft.

The beauty of having the warm moments is you don’t have to talk about the snow, it just goes away. 

Meet Jesus – Authority … GSJ16

There is no doubting His positions.

Matthew 7:24: Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.28: And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” Marie Curie

The Author: Too often we hear varied opinions that sound right. The argument is logical. The reasoning seems to flow. Yet, there is no ring of truth to what we hear. Jesus has the ring of truth. There is no doubting His positions. There is no doubting His stance. There is no doubting whether living like Him will work. It will work. His life example is a solid rock on which we can stand. He has authority because He is the author.

Shaken To Rights: The morning message shook Jake out of his thoughts into a fresh world. Immediately, his attention went to the words being spoken. How could Jesus have authority over his life? Hadn’t he ignored his relationship with Christ for many years. Yet, somehow the message was challenging his thoughts and the most hidden secrets of his soul. He did not even know this preacher lady in the pulpit. Yet, the words had a ring of truth that took him back to his first days of commitment to Christ in college. It was unsettling and settling at once. He was discomforted and placed in a comfortable position. How could this be? How could Christ take him back so quickly after so many years? Yet, that is how he felt. He felt as if Christ were standing right in front of him and holding out the hand of an old friend.

Act! Think through some of your foundational thoughts. Do they match His?

Pray! Father, it is Your authoring in my life that makes such a wonderful difference. Let me move with You. You are in me and I am in You. Your life moves within me. Let me build on the example of the rock of Jesus Christ. He is the chief cornerstone. Let me built from the starting point of Jesus example each day. Let my thoughts find their origination in Him..

This devotion is #16 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

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Meet Jesus : Fruit Inspector,,, GSJ14

Each of us has a flavor of which comes out

Matthew 7:16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 Daily Produce

Ever thought about what it is you produce daily?  Each of us has a flavor to what comes out.  A friend of mine has a perfume she has worn for years.  It is her trademark, her flavor.  Whenever she is around, you know she has been there.  Some years ago I worked with an individual that flavored the room.  Upon entering the workplace the entire atmosphere would become sour.  Each of us has a flavor of what comes out.  Another friend is vivacious and sparks excitement in whatever he does.  By our fruit are we known.

Pain Carry

For years, Greg had carried pains from his early years.  Memories haunted him.  At times he would accuse people of actions and motivations they never had.  It was an unwelcome memory bursting out into distrust and accusation.  It just wouldn’t shake.  Now he was looking for forgiveness.  He wanted to be free. He wanted to free himself from the flavor of the fruit of the past.  So many times he had been betrayed.  It had built a rage inside that needed to go away.  It created a distance from others that needed healed.  Greg was ready to change the flavor of his relationships and life.  Maybe he could start with Jake.  Maybe he could go back and start over.

ACT!  Inspect your flavor.  Are you goofy grape or excited orange?  Are you passionate purple or negative needles? What is your flavor?  Is it what Jesus wants your flavor to be?

PRAY!  Father, help us flavor the day with Jesus.  Grant us grace to give out Your sweet incense.  Enable us to let others know that You have been in the place.  Cause our fruit to come from the true vine, Jesus.  Let only fruit from His life veins come out from us.  Let our flavor be the scent of Your presence that men and women would come to You.

This devotion is #14 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.