Making Room for What Matters | Use Your Schedule to Your Advantage

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On Sunday, I finished our Breathing Room series at Revolution by looking at how to find breathing room between work, life and everything that has to get done. This week, I want to share 6 simple ways I’ve done that and you can to. I’m going to share one each day so you have time to process them and hopefully put some things into practice.

The first one we looked at was how to get a good night sleepTuesday, we talked about why you should take a break every 90 minutesWednesday, we looked at what electronics can do to our margin. Thursday we looked at what will probably be the most controversial or at least, the one you think is unattainable: Pay people to do what you hate and yesterday we looked at one of the most important things to making room for what matters most: Live the life you want, not the one others want you to live

As we wrap up this series today, I want to share something that we often don’t think about when it comes to our lives and schedules and it is crucial to finding breathing room and making room in life for what matters most. It’s this: Use your schedule to your advantage. 

Every job, career, has a schedule and a rhythm. If you have kids in school, you know this. If you are in school, you know this. No matter what you do, no matter what stage of life you are in, there is a schedule and a rhythm. There are times that are busy and times that are slow. You have days that are more stressful and hectic and tiring than others.

Use them to your advantage instead of letting them use you. 

Simple right?

Here’s what I mean.

For my rhythm as a pastor, the fall and spring are the busiest times of the year. The slowest times? From Christmas Eve until the first week of January and the middle of June to the middle of July. Because of this, I strategically take breaks then. During my week, Tuesday and Wednesday are my most stressful and intense days so I don’t plan much on those evenings.

I am also blessed with being able to make my own schedule so I can work on my sermon, plan meetings when I want.

Maybe you work in the evening and have the days free. How can you be more strategic with those days?

Can you make your own schedule and decide to take a break for your kids during the day? Some people can.

Can you start work earlier to get done earlier? Some people can. Most people can’t (not because their company won’t let them but because they haven’t asked).

When is your slow time? When is the busiest time of the year for you?

Plan accordingly.

The problem for most Americans is we never think about this. We simply roll from one day to the next, one season to the next without ever catching our breath.

When I begin preaching in January, I know it is a long time until summer. That’s okay because I took some downtime over the holidays.

It’s the same in the fall.

Sit down and look at your calendar for the year. If you don’t know when you are busiest, look back and see what you did and how it went. If you are a teacher, you know when it slow down. Use that to live the life you want to live.

Don’t let your schedule dictate your life.

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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Pray For Your Daughter – Mike Leake is beginning a 31-day pray for your daughter challenge. It kicks off January 1.

Steven Furtick on Point the way, clear a path.

Ultimately, there’s nothing we can do to force people to grow in Christ. Nothing. So whether we offer a 26-option discipleship program or a 4-option one really doesn’t matter. If someone really doesn’t want to grow, they’re either going to say no 4 times or 26.

Breaking the 7 barriers of leadership.

Leaders desire what they don’t have and reach for what they haven’t reached. Unfulfilled passions frustrate. Drive encounters barriers. Barriers block the future and frustrate the present.

Marshall Segal on Are you pastoring your pastor?

Some of the least pastored people in the world are pastors. These men work long, unpredictable hours, addressing every physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual issue under the sun, sacrificing their schedule, comfort, and a thousand other things, all without being relieved of their own personal, individual needs.

The pride of pastors.

My church is better than your church.  Our way is better than your way. We’ve figured out something you need to know. But pride is a deadly force.  It will lift you up on platforms and pedestals, setting you up for shame and mockery when you fall.

Christmas at Elevation 2013 (so powerful)

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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Thom Rainer on Pastors and vacations.

Two years ago I spoke to a pastor about his church. After he shared with me all the areas in which he had been involved and the ministries he led, I asked him an innocent question: When do you take vacation? His answer flabbergasted me. “I don’t,” he said. I thought maybe he had misunderstood me, so I clarified. In the past six years that you have served as pastor, when did you take a vacation? “I haven’t,” he reiterated. I had heard him right the first time. This pastor had deprived himself and his family for the past six years. I anticipated burnout was not far away. Unfortunately, I was right.

A peek inside Max Lucado’s writing process.

Max is the author of almost 100 books with more than 80 million copies in print. There are probably less than five authors in the world who are that prolific—or that successful. It’s mind-boggling.

Paul Levy on Success in ministry is dangerous, accountability doesn’t work and other thoughts on falling from grace.

Recently I’ve spent some time with two friends who were in ministry but have fallen morally and so now find themselves out of a job that they loved, separated from their families and, in all honesty, struggling. I’ve showed what I’ve written to them and I wouldn’t say they were overjoyed at what I had to say but both agreed I could put this on here.

David Murrow on Holiday services and men.

Why are holiday services, which draw huge numbers of irreligious men, so ineffective at engaging them? I believe that holiday services are, by their very nature, poorly suited for men. They tend to hide the church’s greater mission under a mountain of religious tradition and ceremony. Holiday services also give men a skewed perspective on what the gospel is all about.

Kara Powell on What your calendar says about your view of God.

If I want to find out what a leader thinks about God, I don’t look at their prayer journal or their preaching. I look at their calendar. Everyone I know grapples with busyness. It’s often how we define ourselves. When someone asks us, “How are you?” our default answer is frequently one word: “Busy”. This busyness cuts across boundaries of faith, vocation, and socio-economic status.

Shawn Wood on His sermon prep system.

The job of a church planter and pastor has a lot of moving parts, but for me, the biggest of them is my time preparing to preach.

James MacDonald on When men act like men.

Everywhere you look, men are in trouble—falling to superficiality, entertainment lifestyles, sensuality, secularism, lives lived apart from God, reaping for themselves and their families the harvest of what they have sown. Someone needs to throw men a life line. Men are are sinking, and only Jesus Christ can save them. Christ Himself must invade the territory of men’s hearts and rule without rival or equal.

Don’t Miss Christmas Eve at Revolution Church

Christmas is almost upon us. I’m sure you are flying from one thing to the other, preparing for family to come into town or to be with family, buying gifts, braving the mall (or shopping from the comfort of your computer chair), and of course, eating way too many desserts. I read that the average American puts on 7 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I told Katie I want to help move that average up. 🙂

I didn’t write you this email to talk about snacks, although that would be a fun email. I’m writing this as quick reminder about Christmas Eve, this Saturday at Revolution Church. As a staff team, we have bee praying for this night and preparing for it for several weeks now. We will be wrapping up our series on the book of Jude called Light & Shadows with a message called Hero

Many in our culture will get to the end of this year and look back and wonder where the year went. Many will look back and wish to take a mulligan on career choices, finances, health, and choices they did or did not make in relationships. The reality is that many of us strive to be the hero of the story, the hero of our lives, and that is only the beginning of the problem. It continues in that many of us believe we can do it. Jude ends his short letter by reminding us that not only can we never be the hero, but that only Jesus can do what we long for a hero to do, and what we need a hero to do. 

This is definitely a night you don’t want to miss. 

So, do whatever you have to do to be at Revolution this week (and bring someone with you, especially a man you’ve been waiting to invite, you never know how a simple invite can make an eternal difference). An easy way to invite someone is to send them an e-vite.

Remember, we meet at 4:15 & 5:30pm (special Christmas Eve times) at 6620 E 22nd St.

See you Saturday.

Join Us Christmas Eve at Revolution Church

All of us long for a hero.

We are drawn to movies and stories with a hero. Every great story has one. An unexpected, come from behind kind of a hero. One we often see as plain as day for the whole movie or story but in the end feel like we never saw it coming. People like Rudy, Frodo, Rocky. We cheer and something inside us longs for that.

We try to be the hero, we dream of being the hero one day or finding a hero, being swept off our feet by a hero. But the reality is, many of us find ourselves in life situations that are overwhelming. Our career is not what we thought it would, our children are not turning out like we thought, a marriage that is hanging by a thread, our finances are beyond repair and we continue to dig a deeper hole. Maybe this year you got some health news that you were not expecting. Maybe, you’ve struggled with something, a memory, pain, abuse, an addiction, something that no one knows about, something you wish you could be free from and you wonder if freedom is possible, if God could love or forgive you.

And so, we need a Hero.

Not just a run of the mill one. Not a self-help promise, not a “be more positive,” eat better, sleep more, spend less, do what everyone else is doing kind of a hero. But a hero that can actually save us. Actually redeem our lives, our pasts, and our futures. A hero that can pull us out of the pain, the addictions, hurts, abuses, and lost dreams that make up our lives.

Join us Christmas Eve at Revolution Church (we meet at 6620 E 22nd St.) at 4:15 & 5:30pm and find out what life could be like.

Mark Your Calendars for Christmas Eve at Revolution Church

All of us long for a hero.

We are drawn to movies and stories with a hero. Every great story has one. An unexpected, come from behind kind of a hero. One we often see as plain as day for the whole movie or story but in the end feel like we never saw it coming. People like Rudy, Frodo, Rocky. We cheer and something inside us longs for that.

We try to be the hero, we dream of being the hero one day or finding a hero, being swept off our feet by a hero. But the reality is, many of us find ourselves in life situations that are overwhelming. Our career is not what we thought it would, our children are not turning out like we thought, a marriage that is hanging by a thread, our finances are beyond repair and we continue to dig a deeper hole. Maybe this year you got some health news that you were not expecting. Maybe, you’ve struggled with something, a memory, pain, abuse, an addiction, something that no one knows about, something you wish you could be free from and you wonder if freedom is possible, if God could love or forgive you.

And so, we need a Hero.

Not just a run of the mill one. Not a self-help promise, not a “be more positive,” eat better, sleep more, spend less, do what everyone else is doing kind of a hero. But a hero that can actually save us. Actually redeem our lives, our pasts, and our futures. A hero that can pull us out of the pain, the addictions, hurts, abuses, and lost dreams that make up our lives.

Join us Christmas Eve at Revolution Church (we meet at 6620 E 22nd St.) at 4:15 & 5:30pm and find out what life could be like.

Top Posts of December 2010

In case you missed them, here are the top posts from the last month:

  1. Don’t Malign Your Spouse
  2. Planning a Preaching Calendar
  3. Radical:  Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
  4. Music Monday 12.20.10 – Top 10 Albums for 2010
  5. Why we Don’t Use Animals at our Christmas Eve Service
  6. Top Books of 2010
  7. A Story from the Giving Challenge
  8. How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual Addiction
  9. Starting the New Year Off Revolution Style
  10. Gospel Coaching Part 1

Can’t Wait for Tomorrow

I am so excited about this Friday’s service. I have heard from many of you about friends and family you are bringing. Know that our staff team is praying for you as you make that big ask to friends and family. We are praying for you to have courage, that your friends and family will be open to the invitation and open to the gospel on Friday night and that God will move in a powerful in their lives. I am excited about the friends and family who are joining us this week and what God will do in their lives. When I think of the impact that one decision to follow Jesus can have on a family, a neighborhood, it makes me excited to see how God will transform lives and that we get to be a part of it. As an easy way to invite people on Friday, you can refer them to our website which has all the details about our Christmas Eve service here.

Also this week, we are continuing our Christmas offering. It has been awesome to see the generosity of our church this Christmas through our mission projects around Tucson, the way our church has stepped up to buy gifts for the angel tree and for our Christmas offering. 100% of what is given for our Christmas offering will go towards church planting in Tucson, to help those in need in Tucson and to our summer day camp, which is an outreach to the neighborhood near where we meet. I want to challenge you to come prepared to give this Friday if you haven’t already and to pray that we would reach our goal of raising over $6,000 to give away to move the gospel forward in Tucson.

Lastly, come Friday prayed up and ready to see God do some exciting things in the lives of those in attendance. I am praying for you and with you this week. See you Friday at 5pm.

Christmas Eve @ Revolution

Christmas is a time where we try to catch our breath, but it is also a time that we are reminded of what life isn’t like. After the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas and everything quiets down at home, we have a moment when we think back over the year and wonder what happened.

Maybe you find yourself in the midst of marital difficulties and you feel like you are hanging on by a thread, you might be having difficulties financially, with your health or maybe you just feel like God is no longer with you, that He now seems to be silent in your life.

How do you move forward? How do you salvage everything to get to where you want to?

Join us at Revolution Church for our Christmas Eve service as we try to uncover how to salvage what has fallen apart.

Our Christmas Eve service will be held on December 24th from 5 – 6 pm at 6620 E 22nd St.

Don’t miss this opportunity to invite someone to join you this Christmas, you never know how a simple invitation can make an eternal difference in someone’s life.