At the end of last year, I invited over 300 people to share with me what areas of life they’d like to see “under control” for 2017. That is to say, under God’s control moving forward… The response was quite revealing, candid, and telling. Below is the chart with your responses.
- Top 4 drives for change: greater bible engagement, and control over inbox, worry, and overcommitment.
Well, if we get the first one right, the other three tend to fall into place. Vision drives it all and knowing God should be the center of our vision. If our focus time with God is on point and the other areas don’t fall into place, we’re a lot more at ease/at peace with the things that don’t fall into place, true?
We have suggestions and help for those seeking answers, accountability, and tools, but we’re holding them for those bold enough to say “I’m serious.” So, if you want to grow in those areas, reach out and we’ll develop a battle plan to go the distance with you.
AP & CP
As a ministry, it appears we’ve turned a God-ordained corner in 2016. The year before, we were committed to walking away from Seasons of Life Ministries for a time. But, once we made that commitment, it appears God opened up new doors. So, we walked through them.
That led to That Day performances in Alpharetta, Cumming, Manassas, VA, and a return to Alpharetta.
Cristine gave her first women’s conference talk for a retreat in Norfolk, VA. Aarron spent several months on a part time job a few days a week while here in Cumming, but also gave Clean Slate leader training to local leaders and earned his Evernote Certified Consultant designation! (For more on how he uses and optimizes Evernote, email him at aarron at zeroinbox.org.
Available for IOS and Android here.
Today, we have two That Day performances already on the books for January with a third in the works for March. With very little effort poured into publicizing our app (Stay in the Word), we’ve reached over 50 mobile devices and are taking a very low key approach to it so we can focus on keeping the main thing the main thing.
Lessons learned: when we take our hands off God’s work and let Him be God, our plans fail and His succeed wildly.
130 lbs. Lost and Three Words:
Over the past 2 years, Cristine and I have lost a combined total of 130 lbs. and are compiling video to create a series on how we did it. Ultimately, it comes down to stewardship of the body, obedience to God, and the three words that God consistently pops up on our radar: vision, strategy, and execution. Short version: God has radically transformed the way we look at food, our bodies, and stewardship.
While I have several blog post ideas in the works on each of these 3, my goal is to release them only as time permits, in order to keep the main thing the main thing: That Day, Clean Slate, and Discipleship/Coaching.
If you’ve ever wondered what this ministry is about, I’ve compiled a simple document that explains what we’re about in those three words. You can download it here: SOLM Ministry Model.
So, How Did It Go?
Year end giving is always surrounded by uncertainty – did we send out enough information, soon enough? too much information, too late? will regular supporters stay on?
This year, the books closed on 2016 with only a few thousand dollars “in the red” and some surprise gifts large and small coming in right down to the wire. If you were one of those year end supporters – THANK YOU.
As it became clear the ministry work demanded all of me after my family and not after family and the part time job, I gave appropriate notice and we’re living back out on faith and faith alone so as to maximize my efforts toward the family and That Day, Clean Slate, and Coaching/Discipleship. After our first That Day Leader’s Lunch yielded great fruit, we discovered that God might make it distinctly possible to reach 10,000 people this year with the message of “living every day with eternity in mind.” Until He says differently, we’re joining Him in that pursuit!
If you see value in helping us to help others, please consider us in your regular monthly giving. We need about 5 more regular supporters to join us at $125-200 per month to keep us fully available where we are needed most: partnering with others to keep God’s main thing their main thing.
Click here to join us in that effort.
A few years back, it seemed the importance of Black Friday had eclipsed the importance of Christmas and Thanksgiving. People camping out at retail stores to buy “doorbuster” deals? Then, Cyber Monday came on the scene, giving us a chance to take down our pup tents mounted in the Best Buy parking lots and shop in our jammies online. But, was that a good thing?
In 2012, the idea of “Giving Tuesday” was born. According to their website, last year over 700,000 people in 70 countries raised over $116,000,000 for charities, non-profits, and other NGO’s worldwide! Maybe the spirit of giving hasn’t been destroyed by the spirit of getting…
This November 29th, #GivingTuesday will see over a million people giving time, talent, and treasure to support the causes they’re most passionate about. This year, it’s quite likely that over a quarter billion dollars will be raised for worthy causes because of Giving Tuesday. At Seasons of Life Ministries, where we help churches, organizations, and marriages get obstacles out of the way of what God has designed them to do, and we only need to see God raise about $30,000 of that… Side note: it’ll take less than $3,000 of that to bring That Day to dozens of churches and organizations throughout the Southeast, exposing hundreds of non-believers to the gospel and refocusing thousands of believers on eternity in the most tangible way possible!
In the coming weeks, we’ll invite you to put your prayer knee pads on, your thinking caps on your heads, and consider giving to Seasons of Life Ministries to help us bring the message of “Why Does God Have Me Here? What Do I Do Next? and How Do I Do It?” or “Vision, Strategy, and Execution… God’s Way” to people all over the metro-Atlanta area and beyond.
Next Thursday will be our first “That Day Leader’s Lunch” where we give away lunch to a bunch of beleaguered pastors and ministry leaders, along with a preview performance of “That Day”. This event will give That Day some much needed exposure to influencers who can bring the message to their churches, organizations, and/or retreats, unleashing greater kingdom impact. If you know someone who ought to be there and deserves a free lunch, send them our video invite card.
If you’d like to jump start our Giving Tuesday matching fund, email us or give online today using either Paypal (to “email@example.com”) or clicking here to use our secure online giving platform.
I’m asking my youngest 3 kids – “what’s longer, 80 years or forever?” They’re 6, 6, and 7. But, they understand “forever” is a whole lot longer than 80 years. If we live for 80 years here, it’s still TEENY, TINY compared to forever, right?
Scripture teaches two big things about forever:
- By grace, through faith, we get to spend it with Jesus – salvation from our sins.
- In addition to forever with God, we’ll receive from God rewards commensurate with the works that flow from our salvation.
In other words, do good stuff in your TEENY, TINY 80 years, get good rewards that last forever.
Great leaders agree with Jesus – vision leads. When we begin our day, our week, our quarter, our game, our deal with eternity in mind, how we conduct that time, that game, that deal are dramatically different than when we’re only thinking about the now. How much more engaged are we when we realize how high the stakes of our obedience are? Vision – what could be and should be – impacts strategy and execution. It also raises engagement. Nothing at stake? Not paying attention. Eternal rewards in the balance? You have my undivided attention and engagement.
The history of Seasons of Life Ministries has been about helping people keep one eye on eternity and one eye on the now. Or, as some might put it, “eyes on Jesus, hands on the wheel, ready to turn at His command.” In the coming months, you’ll likely see some events popping up on our calendar – speaking engagements, performances of That Day, perhaps even a Clean Slate Workshop or webinar. Whatever form it takes, we want to stay laser focused on helping people stay on track in their walk with Christ, which involves connecting the dots between present obedience and eternal rewards.
If you know someone who’s struggling with the 3 O’s: “Overcommitment”, “Overwhelm”, “OVER IT!”, point them our way and we’ll see how we can help. Start by joining us at our next That Day performance at Holy Trinity Christian Church on Sunday morning, October 16th, 2016, at 10AM. By then, we’ll likely have a date on the calendar for “next steps” like Clean Slate, microgroups, or one on one coaching & discipleship.
One day, we’ll all come before Jesus to receive rewards for what we’ve done here (2 Cor. 5:10). When you come face to face with Christ for the first time, do you want to hear a mere “Welcome” or a hearty, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”?
I’m Confused, What Happened?!
Here’s a quick ministry update for you. Many of you may be seeing what God’s up to with us this year and wondering why, considering what happened last fall.
Let me clear up the confusion:
In September, 2015, following a major case of tunnel vision on my part, both Cristine and I were buried in stress, so we called a round table together to ask some prayed-up outsiders their feedback on the tension we were experiencing.
They listened prayerfully and replied as lovingly and bluntly as we’d asked. Their conclusions were:
- “You’ve been faithful with the calling God had given you.”
- “You AND your wife are clearly exhausted.” and
- “Now is the time for you to lay this ministry down and pursue a full time job to bring stability to our financial situation.”
I felt like Abraham being asked to lay his son, Isaac, on the altar as a sacrifice. With deep grief, I obeyed their counsel. (more…)