Take Dead Aim

There is something about the game of golf that has always been attractive to me. Maybe it’s the beauty of the outdoors; Indoor simulators hold no appeal for me. I’m not very good at golf, though I once got by fairly well. I can’t justify enough hours away from my kids to get good at it. But as I have grown older there is one benefit of golf that exceeds all others for me: You can’t do well at golf while you are thinking of anything else. Golf requires a singular attention that is good for me to practice, then apply to other areas of life.

Some of these lessons are simple, like legendary teacher Harvey Pinick: Take dead aim. If you aim generally, rather than specifically, any shot you hit will begin as a miss. Find your target, aim for it, and progress from there. Take dead aim. Life is like that, too. Success often depends on proper execution of 100 simple actions or decisions. Repeating those simple actions is the key.

If I take my eyes off of my “target” I’m not very effective, sane, or pleasant to be around. Scripture, of course, is my daily food, my constant calibration. But there are other thoughts (fallible as any human thoughts are) that are a help to me. My original “inspiration” for compiling a list came from Jonathan Edwards. Very few of these are original, and if I recalled my source, I cited it. Having read through these for the sake of editing, I find myself convicted. Those of you who know me personally will recognize me as a seeker, and not the exemplar. I give them to you for your encouragement and joy.

In Christ’s Service, Pastor Wade

Be it resolved that…

1. …all men live for the glory of God. (paraphrase of Jonathan Edwards)

2. …if none other does, I will. (paraphrase of Johnathan Edwards)

3. …to see lack, but opportunity.

4. …I will not to ask “have I done enough?”

5. …rather, I will ask “what opportunities has God granted to me for His glory?”

6. …I will not be angry in the least part with irrational souls.

7. …I will lovingly and intentionally disappoint improper expectations- including my own.

8. …I will lovingly and intentionally fulfill Godly expectations- including my own.

9. …I will forfeit my “right” to be right.

10. …I will always prefer the idea of another- especially if I had it first.

11. …I will forfeit my “right” to punish another for their transgression.

12. …I will see people for what they could become, not what they are today.

13. …I will redeem every moment given to me by God’s grace.

14. …I will let compassion swallow my fears.

15. …I will see every person as a precious, eternal human soul- created in the image of God- and thus worthy of my love and respect.

16. …I will rest supremely satisfied in Christ.

17. …I will be supremely happy in Christ.

18. …I will be quick, but not hurry. (John Wooden) -or- “Violently remove hurry from your life.” -James Lyell Johnson

19. …I will receive the love of God in Christ as I would desire my children to receive my love.

20. …I will receive the love of my wife as if it were God’s own love for me.

21. …I will spend uninterrupted time with Jesus every day, with limited agenda.

22. …I will spend uninterrupted time with my wife every day, with limited agenda.

23. …I will live a life of faith, not a life of fear.

24. …I will reject the fear of man, preferring the fear of God.

25. …I will focus (as a parish pastor) on teaching, visiting and equipping the saints.

26. …I will neglect other duties to accomplish these congregational essentials.

27. …I will neglect all else to care for my family, while remaining vigilant not to enter into idolatry of my family.

28. …I will expect nothing in return for service rendered undo Christ.

29. …I will view conflict not as a problem, but the revelation of a problem. (Ken Sande)

30. …contact with a person is a privilege and an opportunity to be a conduit of God’s blessing to them.

31. … I will not to view other people’s problems as my own, yet help them with Christ’s compassion.

32. …I will not to complain, but to be kind to all, able to teach, and with gentleness correct those who are in opposition (2 Timothy 2:22-24).

33. …I will not to justify before anyone my work ethic, intelligence or gifting (Colossians 3:23-24).

34. …I will value people over projects.

35. …I will see people as the ministry, not means to accomplish ministry. (Sue Mallory)

36. …I will focus on long term priorities over short term difficulties.

37. …I will, like Ezra 7, resolve in my heart to study God’s Word, obey it, and teach it.

38. …I will look forward to every new day.

39. …I will love what I do.

40. …even if the end is unclear, I will enjoy the process.

41. …I will preach from my heart to reach the heart of the listener.

42. …I will, like a patient farmer, wait for the fruit of the harvest. (2 Timothy 2:6)

43. …I will rejoice before God in the 30 and 60-fold as well as the 100-fold. (Matthew 13:23)

44. …I will love my flock as I have been loved.

45. …I will, like a good shepherd, feed, protect and provide for the flock.

46. …I will survive- even thrive- by out-loving, out-serving and out-lasting others

47. To value the root over the fruit- win games, don’t just improve stats.

48. …I will not accept mediocrity.

49. … I will not accept discontentment.

50. …I will consider failure an event, not a person (HB London)

51. …I will remember that failure is not fatal and success is not final (Don Shula).

52. …I will remember that leaving the game plan is a sign of panic, and that panic is not in our game plan (Chuck Noll).

53. …I will evaluate the motivation for my actions by asking “why” five times,” especially when I may be saying “yes” inappropriately or selfishly.

54. …I will build on “islands of strength,” particularly in discipleship and counseling.

55. …I will view my time- and this congregation- as God’s, and certainly not mine.

56. …I will love, respect, teach, trust, and lead my congregation.

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