Control Your Own Destiny

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Yesterday was week 17 of a thrilling NFL season. As a Steelers fan, I could hardly believe that we still had a shot at the playoffs after starting 0-4. While it was disappointing we didn’t get in, and one of my sons did cry about it, but it got me thinking: football is easier when you control your own destiny. 

The same is true in life.

It is easier when you control your own destiny. 

Yet, so many people don’t.

Here’s what I mean.

We allow others to dictate what is important to us. What we spend our money on. What things our kids sign up for. Where we vacation. If we exercise or not or have an overall healthy lifestyle. Others dictate how we run our calendars, work habits, and even emotions.

For many people, very little of what they do is what they want to do.

Which leaves them tired, burned out, stressed, lifeless and ultimately, playing catch up instead of walking into the playoffs of life.

Here are 4 things you can do to control your own destiny:

  1. Decide you will. This is the first step of anything. If you are struggling with an addiction, you have to identify it and decide this is the time to change. It is the same with your destiny. Make a conscious choice to control it and put things into place to keep this true in your life.
  2. Accountability and systems to make it happen. You may need to have a friend hold you accountable with this. You might need to put some systems into place. If you have kids, keep the activities they do at a time to one. Not 4, but one. Keep the extra things you do to one. Will this keep you or your kids from having a well rounded, experiential life? I’m not sure, but that isn’t the goal. Who cares if they play 5 sports or do dance, horseback riding, cello lessons and soccer. Oh, you care? Someone else cares for you? Then read point #3.
  3. Identify the fear, idol, or desire that causes you to give away your destiny. This drives so much of what we do. We talked about this yesterday at Revolution. The fear we will miss out or not matter drives so much of what we do and the choices we make with our calendar, money and lifestyle. Stop it. Identify that this is a lie and identify the truth. The person who is driving this in your life did not die on the cross for you and rise from the dead to set you free. Jesus did. If you have trusted in this, you are approved. Your destiny is set. Which leads to the last one.
  4. Trust that God’s destiny is better than what someone else can come up with for you. Approval in God is hard to believe sometimes. The idea that I am approved as a follower of Jesus because of his death and resurrection is hard to believe. I can’t be more approved in him. There isn’t some approval waiting around a corner that I haven’t experienced yet. Because of this, my destiny is set and secure. This is a daily practice of reminding myself of this. Believing my destiny is secure and it is better than what I could come up with or the person(s) driving me right now.

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Is there Hope for Men?

I have no hope in guys. But I still have hope for the guys because they are “the image and glory of God.” God wants his glory to shine through men. God wants his kingdom to be made visible through them. God wants them to be his sons. God wants them to follow, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in the example of Jesus. I don’t care if you buy a truck or play some video games or rock out on your guitar. But the problem is when those are prevalent, predominant, and preeminent in your life. Some of you would argue and say, “It’s not a sin.” No, but sometimes it’s just dumb. You got fired because you fell asleep at work after staying up too late to get to the next level of some online game and become a guild leader. That’s dumb. You work one part-time job so you can play more guitar or frisbee golf. That’s dumb. You spend all your money on a new car or truck or toys or gear or clothes or gambling or fantasy football. Dumb. Some of you say, “Well, it’s not a sin.” Neither is eating your cereal box instead of the cereal. It’s just dumb. There are a lot of things that Christian guys do that aren’t evil; they’re just dumb and childish. There’s nothing wrong with being a boy – if you are a boy. There is a big problem if you are a boy with a beard and a condo. -Mark Driscoll, Call to Resurgence

NFL Picks

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I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for football to start tomorrow. Every year, I like to post my picks for the year and hear your picks, so feel free to leave your disagreements and comments below.

Here you go:

NFC Division Winners:

  • Washington Redskins
  • Green Bay Packers
  • New Orleans Saints
  • San Francisco 49ers

NFC Wild Card:

  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Philadelphia Eagles

AFC Division Winners:

  • New England Patriots
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Denver Broncos

AFC Wild Card:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Baltimore Ravens

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Fake Football is Here!

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I had my fantasy football draft last night. Pretty excited about it. I won the league last year and it is a keeper league, so we could keep 4 players. It’s a 12 team league with points per reception. Here’s my draft. The (K) means they were a keeper:

  1. AJ Green
  2. Adrian Peterson (K)
  3. Darren McFadden
  4. Daryl Richardson
  5. Reggie Wayne (K)
  6. Giovani Bernard
  7. Shane Vereen
  8. Golden Tate
  9. Ryan Broyles
  10. Justin Blackmon
  11. Danny Amendola (K)
  12. Colin Kapernick (K)
  13. Jordan Cameron
  14. Brian Hartline
  15. New York Jets Defense
  16. Jacquizz Rodgers

This post simply means football is almost here!

Being “The Guy”

In sports as in leadership, there is this innate desire to be “the guy.” The one who has the ball in their hands at the last minute, to be the one who makes the crucial call, has everything riding on their shoulders, the one who is known above all the others. I realize, the term “the guy” is not a good way to refer to this person or probably even a biblical way, so don’t leave a comment about that, unless you have a better way to make this point with a different title.

As a football fan, this is seen in coaches. Some guys like Dick LeBeau, Wade Phillips are incredible defensive coordinators, but when they tried to be a head coach, they failed. Why? They aren’t wired that way.

It’s the same in leadership and church planting. It is sexy to be “the guy”, the one everyone hears about, the one who speaks the most, has the most stage time. I’ll be honest, as an 18 year old, this is one reason I wanted to plant a church. God quickly started working on that pride issue in my heart, but that’s another post.

The reality though, everyone is not made to be “the guy.” Everyone is not the star player of the team, a head football coach. Some people are coordinators, position coaches, the 6th man on a basketball roster.

The problem in church planting circles is that these positions (anything not labeled “the guy”) are seen as unimportant or somehow less of a calling. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every person who has planted a church will tell you they need their team to survive, to fulfill ministry and the vision of the church. Yet, many leaders act as if they could do it on their own, that they are the most important person on their team.

Everyone is not wired to be an apostle Paul. Some are wired to be Barnabas and come alongside of Paul (as in the New Testament).

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