Archive for April, 2012

I haven’t done a goal check since the end of January. But not only is April finished, but 2012 is one third over. A good time to see how I am progressing against the goals set back at the beginning of the year.

PERSONAL – 2012 reading list – started 12/27/11
My reading has plummeted although I did finish my sixth book of the year. I am on book #7 but should be on book #9. While I am behind, I plan on pushing through with the expectation of not finishing all 26 books this year as I had planned. However, at this point, I am way ahead of my book reading from last year. So this goal, while I am failing at, was a stretch goal that I am OK with progress on so far. The key is to keep going.

SPIRITUAL – Read through the Bible in a year – started 12/28/11
I am about three weeks behind my daily readings. Combine this goal with my daily morning devotionals and 2012 book reading list and you see that I bit off a lot of reading this year. However, this goal like my book reading list is even more so one that requires persistence and perseverance. Along with my morning devotions, I will continue on with my reading through the Bible in a year. Currently, I am in 1 Samuel and Luke (my readings are one from the OT and one from the NT each day).

FINANCIAL – Future proof my life

Meet with an attorney and have a living will for me and my wife. – COMPLETE 1/26/12
Meet with an attorney and have a will for our family created. – started 1/24/11 and in progress
Implement Financial Peace Jr. for our kids. – COMPLETE; implemented 1/02/12 and functioning flawlessly
Review of life, home, and auto insurance plans. – still outstanding

I have made no progress on the legal side of my financial goals but our Financial Peace Jr with the kids is right on target and my wife and I are doing OK with the cash envelope system.

PHYSICAL – Exercise routine that maintains 190 lbs – started 12/27/11
I don’t need a screenshot to demonstrate my failure on this goal. I have only had one — yes, 1 — cardio workout for the month of April. Technically, the few times I have gone outside and played soccer or baseball with the kids counts because it sure got my heart rate and breathing up, but I’m not counting it. Total fail on this goal.

So my goals are not exactly on track and I obviously have not been putting time into frequent postings on this blog. So what HAVE I been spending my time on? Here is a short summary list:

  • building a chicken coop out of free materials
  • getting all the landscaping prepped for Spring
  • prepping the garden
  • hosting dear friends from Texas who RVed up here to hang out
  • dealing with challenging work issues
  • running up to IWU — my oldest daughter’s school — twice for a total of over 1000 miles
  • hosting my boss, boss’s boss, and work team during their visit
  • miscellaneous honey do’s that, alone, don’t qualify for a bullet point, but if left undone make lots of noise

Now back to work on my goals. I hope to have a better report next month and at 1/2 year point.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

My last two morning devotionals have contained some real gems for spiritual growth. In addition to Scripture, it was the notes from my Life Application Study Bible that positively impacted me.

John 1:35
(This particular note is even highlighted in my Bible) — We may find that words of faith come easily, but deep appreciation for Christ comes with living by faith.

2 Peter 1:5-9 — “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

Faith must be more than belief in certain facts; it must result in action, growth in Christian character, and the practice of moral discipline, or it will die away. Peter lists several of faith’s actions: learning to know God better, developing perseverance, doing God’s will, loving others. These actions do not come automatically; they require hard work. They are not optional; all of them must be a continual part of the Christian life. We don’t finish one and start on the next, but we work on them all together. God empowers and enables us, be he also gives us the responsibility to learn and to grow.

So my summary would be:
Living by faith:

  • results in action — loving others
  • growth in Christian character
  • practice of moral discipline

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

I was following my normal protocol and listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast on the way home from work and he went into how to buy a used car for the best deal. He went into specifically how he bought a used truck a while ago and shared his experience. However, it was the verbiage and direction this talk took that cracked me up.

“Do you remember when gas shot up to 5 dollars a couple of years ago? I bought a killer Chevy Silverado used; it was an older truck about 5 years old and it had 90,000 miles on it. But it has the big engine in it; my goal is to personally mess up Al Gore’s life. And so I want a big carbon footprint; I want to burn big engines, lots of gas. I’m a gas hog, I like big engines. I’m a boy. And so I want a truck that I can put a Prius in the back of it. OK, that’s what I want. And so, you drive what you want to drive. You want to drive a Prius, that’s ok. I’m not mad at you. That’s just what I was after. And I got the biggest honkin’ engine that Chevy makes and puts in there. It’s awesome! And I was looking for a red truck. Yes, I’m a redneck. I’m a hillbilly. I wanted a red truck and I put so much chrome on it that it’s ridiculous.”

Dave Ramsey has done a lot of good, not only in my family, but in his financial ministry and community giving. But his stock just went up tenfold when he said that statement about Al Gore. I actually laughed out loud in my car.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

To the woman who completes me,
who has shared our family journey,
who is yoked with me as a team for Christ,
who bore the three blessings I call my children,
who dwells in our blessings and perseveres in our trials,
who overlooks my flaws and boasts in my talents,
who exudes beauty and grace and love,

Thank you for choosing me and saying “yes”,
for honoring our covenant and bringing joy to my life.

I love you!

This next week is going to be busy with visitors. First, I have visitors from my work team arriving this morning for a three day team work event. I enjoy my boss and my team and the three days should be productive, fun, and enjoyable with some good meals shared together. After that, I am blessed to have a special visit from a dear friend who has shared over two decades of my life. And while much of that time has been separated by space living in different states, he is one of those who you can just pick up where you left off. On top of that, he is what I call an “anchor point” — someone of true faith and a brother in Christ who I can go to for perspective and support.

So because of all that, I am up earlier than usual. I dove into my breakfast devotional which was based on Luke 7:36-50 — “A sinful woman anoints Jesus’ feet”.

What impacted me was a supporting note in my Life Application Bible for verse 7:47. It read:

“Overflowing love is the natural response to forgiveness and the appropriate consequence of faith. But only those who realize the depth of their sin can appreciate the complete forgiveness that God offers them. Jesus has rescued all of his followers, whether they were once extremely wicked or conventionally good, from eternal death. Do you appreciate the wideness of God’s mercy? Are you grateful for his forgiveness?”

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

This “Sign From God” is courtesy of a family friend.

“God wants full custody,
not just weekend visits”

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

This short video is a minute long clip of 1 second images of beauty. We frequently are too busy or jaded to slow down enough and take in these beautiful scenes. And lucky for most of us, some of these appear in our lives for more than 1 second.

Soak them up in your life so you can run your own video in your head.

Seconds Of Beauty – 1st round compilation from The Beauty Of A Second on Vimeo.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

Having been raised in Texas as a kid, one thing I love about that great state is the annual explosion of bluebonnets. When they came out in spring we would point out all the bluebonnets to my parents as we drove along. I sure miss the sight of those beautiful pastures of bluebonnets.

A dear friend of mine happens to have two qualities that I do not — #1 she lives in Texas and #2 she has a very good eye behind a camera lens. Below are some of her creative works. All copyrights belong to her. Go check out her blog — CindyDianne. She hasn’t posted in a year but there are some great pix there for the enjoyment.

I think this one is my favorite. I sure with this was my pasture in the back.

Thanks, Cindy!!!!!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

He is risen indeed!

As sad as Good Friday is, Easter Sunday is even more glorious because of His love for us and His defeat of death.

We know how the story ends — and it ends beautifully with us spending eternity in Christ!

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net