That’s a Wrap!

Today is day 10 of the “10-Day Do Over Challenge” by Jon Acuff.  This challenge is designed to help you focus on an area of your life for which you want to call a “do over.”  The awesome thing about the challenge is that anyone can participate.  All of us have “do overs” we’d like to take when it comes to things in our lives.  This challenge is designed to help you become intentional about taking steps toward reaching that goal.

My “do over” was this blog, restinjesus.me.  Restinjesus.me launched in May of 2011 with my hope being to share thoughts and encouragement for readers to engage in the work of the Great Commission of Jesus Christ of making disciples.  As the discipleship pastor at Colonial Heights Baptist Church, my hope was that our congregation could use this site as a home for resources and direction for their individual efforts in disciple-making.  What I soon realized was that maintaining a current blog on top of all of life’s other priorities is hard!  As a result, I can look back over the life of this site and see periods of great consistency followed by seasons of complete inactivity.

Therefore, using restinjesus.me as my focus for the 10-day challenge was a perfect fit.  I didn’t succeed at posting something every day for 10 days, but my total time invested in the site for the 10-day period was 330 minutes, and that’s AWESOME!!!  I’ve been reminded through this challenge that reaching a goal, no matter how large, can happen through taking small steps each day.  Consistency has been the key for my success in this challenge, and that’s exactly what Jon Acuff encouraged in the daily exercises.

My hope is to keep going.  I don’t want this to be like so many Bible studies that have been completed in the past where once the final blank in the workbook is filled, it gets placed on a shelf never to be studied again.  This challenge is something I will return to often.  In fact, Acuff offers a follow-up challenge called “30 Days of Hustle” that serves as a next step.  Tomorrow will mark the beginning of that challenge for me.

What about you?  What is it in your life that you wish you could “do over?”  Don’t put it off.  Today could be the first day of seeing your life changed forever.

Rest in Jesus

Andy

P.S. For more information about Jon Acuff, his new book Do Over, the 10-Day Do Over Challenge, or 30 Days of Hustle, click here.

From East to West

I love the Psalms.  It’s God’s song book.  It’s loaded with powerful truth about our great God and His great love, protection and provision for us.  If you find that your prayer life is in a rut, just open to the Psalms and begin praying in light of what you read there.  This has become one of my favorite daily practices.

This morning I was in Psalm 103; one of my favorites!  This Psalm is loaded with praise for our great God in light of all that He has done for us.  The first portion is a reminder of “all his benefits.”  David, the writer of Psalm 103, lists them:

  1. …forgives all your iniquity
  2. …heals all your diseases,
  3. …redeems your life from the pit,
  4. …crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
  5. …satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
  6. …works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
  7. …merciful and gracious
  8. …slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

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Don’t Quit!

Today marks Day 6 of the 10-Day Do Over Challenge by Jon Acuff.  This challenge is designed to help me work on something in my life for which I wish I could call a “do over.”  Small ten minute exercises each day are designed to gain momentum and focus toward achieving the goal.  My goal was to become more consistent with my writing here at restinjesus.me.  If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll notice I haven’t succeeded every day.  Just this morning, I received a text from a good friend I had asked to hold me accountable and offer encouragement for this challenge because he didn’t see a post yesterday.  I’m grateful for his text and encouragement.  I’m even more grateful for the exercise for Day 6.

“Don’t let ten minutes turn into forever” is the title for today’s challenge.  Today, Jon Acuff, offers encouragement to people like me who haven’t perfectly executed the first six days of this challenge; to press on even when we stumble.  DON’T QUIT!!!

I have a tendency, like many, to allow a small hiccup along the journey to totally derail my pursuit of a goal.  One of the greatest examples of this is Bible reading plans.  There are so many plans that exist today, designed to help people become consistent in their reading of God’s Word.  Unfortunately, perfectionist types, like me, can’t stand to fail, and therefore allow a day missed here or there to lead to complete abandonment of the pursuit.  “I’ll try again next January!”

This mindset is crippling, and ultimately will not only prevent you from reaching a goal you set, but more importantly keep you from understanding God’s grace and the work of sanctification (big word for spiritual growth) that takes place in our lives as we pursue Christ.  Bob Warren, the man who first discipled me as a new Christian, shared this with me, and it was transformational.  In light of the gospel and God’s grace toward me as His child, Bob said, “Andy, you are free to fail.”  God’s grace is there to cover our mistakes, pick us up when we fall, dust us off, and encourage us to try again.

If I don’t understand this truth, I will “let ten minutes turn into forever” and cripple me.  I’ll never reach the goal.  I’ll never grow in grace.  I’ll never become all that God intends for me as His child.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Embrace the grace, mercy and forgiveness of God.  Acknowledge that you will fail, and that’s ok!  What’s not ok is to quit!

But he (Jesus) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

 

An Amazing Morning

Today is Day 4 of the 10-Day Do Over Challenge by Jon Acuff.  In my continuing effort to relaunch restinjesus.me by becoming more consistent in encouraging others by sharing what God is teaching me through His Word and through others, I give you a brief recap of this morning’s worship services at Colonial Heights Baptist Church, where I serve as the pastor of Discipleship and Assimilation.

Today marks week 2 of our annual March Missions Madness emphasis where the focus of everything we do points us toward the mission of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations.  Colonial Heights is an incredible church with an amazing missions ministry.  Today we heard from our interim pastor, Stan Buckley about the work that he is leading in Haiti.  Stan leads a mission ministry named, But God that focuses on bringing the hope and love of Jesus Christ through the Gospel to a people who are in desperate need.

Read more about Stan’s ministry here

For you non-readers, here is a six-minute video that gives a recap of But God Ministries.

This morning was an incredibly powerful morning from the musical worship set dedicated to songs that declare our God is a mighty warrior who goes before us, to the testimony of a member who has answered the call to go on his first foreign mission trip this year, to the message from Stan, to the commissioning of a college sophomore who will be spending her spring break in Guatemala serving in an orphanage. God is at work in and through Colonial Heights.  We are a church that takes seriously the call of God to take the Gospel to the nations.  I am so glad that God has called us to serve here, and look forward to hearing the testimonies of His power at work through all of our mission efforts in 2015.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

10-Day Do Over Challenge Day 3 – Accountability and Encouragement

Today is Day 3 of the 10-Day Do Over Challenge.  Reach Out.  Today is all about accountability and encouragement.  I was challenged today to reach out to someone who can hold me accountable and encourage me to reach my goal.  We were created for community.  We thrive in relationships, and this challenge is no exception.  Sharing our ambitions and goals with others is a great step in reaching those goals, but taking this one step further improves our chances for success.  Inviting the person you share with to ask you about how its going and to encourage you is a great step.  You know they’re going to ask you about it, so you know you need to make progress.  It’s not just the fear of embarrassment that leads to greater potential, but, more importantly, the encouragement they offer as you work toward your goal.

So what is a goal you have set for yourself?  Does anyone else know about it?  If not, have the courage to share it with someone today.  Ask them to check in from time to time to see how its going.  Your potential for success is greatly increased as you do.

Remember, if you’d like to participate in your own 10-Day Do Over Challenge, find out more by visiting http://acuff.me/10ddoc/

Rest in Jesus,

Andy