Sunday, January 31, 2010


Without a doubt, the most EMOTIONAL day of the trip - so far.

Again, my personal highlights:

The Mount of Olives ... where Jesus ascended into heaven and where He will return in glory. It overlooks the old city of Jerusalem, where you see the striking gold of the Dome of the Rock. This is the picture you most often see of Jerusalem and it is from this vantage point atop the Mt. of Olives where it is taken from. Behind you lies the desert and the Dead Sea - in front of you lies the majesty and splendor of mighty Jerusalem. I was overcome by this moment standing at the pinnacle of the city looking down into it.

From there we walked the path Jesus would likely have walked coming into the city with palm branches waving.

Next was Gethsemane, where Jesus broke bread with the disciples ---- where He poured out His soul to the Father, "Not My will, but Yours be done" ---- where He was finally arrested. In Jesus' day, Gethsemane was an olive tree field with a large wine press. We had the opportunity to get into the most private area of this garden where many are not allowed. We spent much time in this location talking, praying, walking, thinking, listening. It was a moment I will not soon forget. (Gethsemane is pictured above.)

Adjacent to this olive tree garden is Church of All Nations, now built around the rock Jesus is said to have labored over in prayer and tears - also called Church of the Agony.

The final memorable spot of the day for me was Yad Vashem, the Israel Holocaust Museum. I cannot tell you here how moving this experience was, to tour thru this place commemorating those who died at the hands of Nazi oppressers and others. The "Memorial of Names" there includes all those known who died and the Children's Memorial has the ashes dug up from the World War extermination camps and buried right here, among 1.5 million lights, representing that many children ages 1-16 who died during the Holocaust.

It is a day I shall never forget.

And be blessed.


I’m blogging a couple of days worth today because I’ve been too busy (and tired) to make it happen here.

The past couple of days have been some of the most amazing days possible. There are a few locations I’ll skip here, because the highs are so high and I’ll stick to those for now.

  • A visit to QUMRAN on the Dead Sea. This is the discovery place of the Dead Sea Scrolls back in the 1940s. A little boy found them in a cave high up in a rock outcropping. They authenticate the Scriptures, including the entire book of Isaiah written on one continuous scroll. Every book in the Bible is represented, excluding the book of Esther. Some of these scrolls would pre-date Jesus and are still legible, which is utterly amazing.

Following our visit to Qumran, we visited a Dead Sea spa. The Dead Sea is the lowest spot on earth and contains many times the mineral content of other bodies of water - up to 31% of it mineral-based. That makes for some ‘heavy’ water. All I had time to do was stick my feet in it for 3 minutes, but when i came out, my feet felt oily and slippery. It is famous as a spa here in the desert of Israel.

  • En Gedi was our next stop, just up the road from the Dead Sea spa area. It is a natural oasis in the desert, mentioned in Scripture as the area where David hid from an angry Saul in the Old Testament. It was here I was privileged to give a devotional based on “GOD IS OUR REFUGE,” one of the themes of David’s writings while he was living in these caves.

* MASADA came next. It has been made famous by the movie that bears its name. Situated high on a flat hill, it was the last showdown for Israelites against invading forces. Nearly everyone on Masada died at their own hands before the invading forces finally crashed thru the walls. We road a cable car to get up to the site. MASADA is pictured above.

And be blessed.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Today in Israel began with an amazing breakfast buffet at THE SCOTS HOTEL in Tiberias ... I can't even begin to write all that was on the buffet ... just know this: they serve hot chocolate cake for BREAKFAST. My kind of place.

* Drive thru date, olive and avocado groves. Scenery included large volcanic black rocks.

* Stop at the Church of the Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount. This place jolted me - to realize this was the hillside where, "Our Father ... who art in Heaven ... hallowed be Thy Name," took place.

* Stop at the city of Capernaum, the city where Jesus spent much of His life. Ancient Capernaum has been excavated, revealing - among other things - the home/location of the apostle Peter's mother-in-law.

* Boat ride on the Sea of Galilee (pictured above). I loved this moment. Jesus calmed the waters on this very Sea (which is actually a big lake). He fished with His disciples. He tried to get away from the crowds by venturing out onto it. During the boat ride, we all participated in a Jewish dance (no cameras, please).

* Lunch at a seaside restaurant featured a whole fish on my plate - head, eyes, bones, tail and all. I only ate the edible parts.

* Stop at Mensa Christi Church, where Jesus fed the 4,000. There was a moving moment here as one of the pastors presented a short devotional for the group and we sang "JESUS LOVES ME" in beautiful 4-part harmony in this echoey chamber.

* Travel to Golan Heights, separating Israel from Syria (pictured below). It is a beautiful location of lush hills and mountains. Much tension and attention as been focused on this part of the world over the years because of the fighting over possession of this land. Once you have been to the Heights, you can see why Israel is reluctant to compromise their release. It's such a strategic piece of land for their safety.

* Stop at the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized. Joelene and I decided to be baptized ourselves. The tour leader baptized me, then I baptized Joelene. What a great experience. PS ... the water was bone-chillingly cold, but we didn't care.

* Dinner at THE SCOTS HOTEL.

This has been a fantastic day.

And be blessed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


We flew into Israel today. The time difference from Central U.S. Time is 7 hours. The plane ride was fairly uneventful, except for the fact that I ended up in a center seat for 10 hours of flying with my 6'5" frame, four feet of which is legs.

At about sunup, something amazing happened on the plane. I was listening to my ipod - most people on the plane seemed to be sleeping. A gentleman stood up in the aisle of the airplane, covered his head with a prayer shawl and began praying. Another man followed suit. Then another. And another. Before I knew it, there were more than 30 men standing in the plane aisle, bowing, reading the Talmud and praying. Some (probably 8 or more) were clustered in a group near the rear of the plane. They were forming a 'minion,' a kind of take-off on Jesus' exhortation of 'where two or three are gathered together in My Name ... '

Several of those standing in the aisles strapped small box-like contraptions to their arms or foreheads and swayed back and forth praying. These are called 'phylacteries' and house tiny Talmud scrolls inside. They are mentioned in the Bible as something the Pharisees used to prove their obedience to the Law.

It was fascinating to me. I am always amazed at the devotion people have to their religion and there was something admirable about the discipline and passion behind it all. We need that kind of passion for our Lord.

Once at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, we took the two hour bus ride by night across Israel to Tiberius (the pic is of Tiberias at night) where we are staying at the SCOT HOTEL. Dinner was at DECKS restaurant down the street where we were treated to salmon, lamb, goose liver and filet mignon.

Some of the waiters brought tall flaming sparklers to our table to honor our arrival. They also did a graceful dance to the song, "HOLY GROUND" to commemorate our visit.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It's the night before - heading to ISRAEL tomorrow to visit the land Jesus walked. I hardly know what to expect, but I've learned to expect the unexpected. That's kind of the Jesus-walk, isn't it? It's all one big exciting journey.

But first ... the packing. It's not like your Grandma used to pack, you know?

ipod ... check.
Kindle ... check.
Macbook ... check.
Cell phone ... check.
Electric shaver ... check.
Electric stache trimmer ... check.
Plug-in adapters ... check, check and check.

Ready to rock. Stay tuned.

If you'd like to read the blog postings of the other pastors who are going on the trip, you can do that at

Be blessed.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Our pastoral staff had a half-day seminar with a consultant today based on the TOM RATH book, 'STRENGTHSFINDER 2.0.' We had all read it and then took an online evaluation that gave each of us our top 5 strengths.

Some of the general categories were TRACTION, DRIVE, SEEING, LIFESTYLE, INTERPERSONAL, PROBLEM DETECTING, PROBLEM SOLVING and WILD CARDS. Within each category were several strengths.

It's great to have a team that is well-balanced overall. We need that. Not each individual was necessarily balanced (also OK), but as a team we were. Our strongest categories as a TEAM were LIFESTYLE and INTERPERSONAL qualities, which would affirm our staff's strong connection with people as well as our commitment to strong ethics and responsibility.

My own top 5 were: Achiever (TRACTION category), Focus (DRIVE category), Intellection (PROBLEM-DETECTING), Input (PROBLEM-SOLVING) and Learning (WILD CARD category).

It was a great morning developing team chemistry, finding out how we operate and discovering how to do ministry better with our church.

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


In Colossians 4:2, Paul asks the Colossians to pray for him. He says: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray for us as well – that God will open to us a door for the Word – that we may declare the mystery of Christ.“

And if you were to read just one more phrase in that verse you would find the place Paul is as he writes those very words is in prison. If you were in prison --- asking people for prayer, what do you think you might ask them to pray for? Safety – maybe an EARLY RELEASE?

But Paul doesn't say anything about getting out of jail. Instead, he says, “Ask God to open a door (and he doesn’t mean the JAIL door). He’s asking God to cause the Gospel to spread.

Just don't stop asking … and they didn't stop asking. And by those prayers, the first century followers turned the world upside down.

In Colossians 4:5, Paul says, ‘Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders ... ‘ He says that because someday maybe they won't be outsiders anymore. Someday maybe they'll be believers. All day long you see people who don’t have a personal faith in Christ – where you work --- in your neighborhood – where you shop --- where you buy gas and get groceries --- where you go to school --- at your favorite restaurant.

Start praying, ‘Lord, open a door for me.’ Then, as you pray that - say, ‘God, help me be open to moments of opportunity.'

Then ... after Paul says to conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, he next says: "making the most of the time" or the ‘opportunity.'

The Greeks used two words for “time.” One of them was the word “chronos.” We get our word "chronology" from that. It's just another tick on the clock.

But a second word they would use was the word “cairos,” and that would describe a crossroads --- what we would call a defining moment. “Cairos” is the word Paul uses here.

What he’s saying is, there's going to be defining moments in the lives of people around you --- moments when, for whatever reason, maybe after years of hardness, their hearts suddenly open to God.

That's how it happened for each of us who have come to faith in Christ. We had that defining ‘cairos’ moment. Even though there had been years and years of nothing - no answer - somebody said, "I'll persevere. I’m not giving up." And after years of ‘chronos,’ TICK-TOCK, TICK-TOCK, there was ‘cairos.’


What if we spent this whole year, as a community of Christ-followers, determined more than ever to ask God to use us to offer the HOPE of theGospel in this city more powerfully than has ever happened before -- and He DID?

What if every single one of us said --“God, give me at least ONE person who doesn't know You in Januarycome to know You by December?And … what if we gather next December, and hundreds of people have walked through the doors of faith --- and we look at each other and say, "All year, we just kept praying and asking, praying and asking, praying and asking - we didn’t give UP ... and God did it?"

And be blessed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Your life is full of both negotiables and non-negotiables. Your non-negotiables are your top priorities. We might call them your 'values.' They describe who you intend to be. They identify you. They are the passionate core philosophy that drives what you do. They are what help you make your life decisions. They uniquely define who you are and how you choose to live.

Sometimes two of your own values come into conflict with one another. We all have this HIERARCHY of values, in fact.

For instance, you probably value HONESTY. You probably also value your FAMILY. What happens when you lose your job and have absolutely no money coming in and have to think about what your five children are going to eat tomorrow night? A father is faced with that dilemma and he ends up going out and stealing some food so his family can eat. His value of FAMILY, in this case, trumps his value of HONESTY.

If you're a follower of Christ, hopefully you value PEOPLE WHO ARE LOST COMING TO CHRIST. You most likely also value PURITY. But what happens when your children end up making friends with and going over to spend time with other children/students who do drugs because they are not followers of Christ? Many times, our value of PURITY trumps the value of LOST PEOPLE In our lives. We don’t want our children hanging around with people who do drugs because it may negatively impact them, so we make them stay away from such people. Our value of PURITY, in this case, trumps our value of BEFRIENDING LOST PEOPLE.

During World War II, Corrie Ten Boom and her family hid Jews from the Germans in their home. TRUTH was a value for her, but so was SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE. When the police came knocking on her door, which did she place on top? If she told the truth, the people she had hid would be drug into the street and killed. If she lied, they would likely live. She lied because her human life value was greater.

We all have that conflict.

Your personal core values are the ones that, when they come into conflict with each other, these values win. They are what you get passionate about.

So --- what are your personal core values? Do you know? Have you ever thought about it?

And be blessed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Haiti continues to be on our hearts and minds. I've read article after article about the catastrophe. And I've seen pictures. The concept that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ has never been truer than it has with the images we’ve seen coming back from that country.

Words and pictures are fundamentally different modes of communication that have totally different effects.

Consider the content below ...


Does that sentence have any impact on you? For most of us, it is merely a statement that conveys an idea, but it is an idea most likely devoid of any real emotional significance. Now, scroll down and consider the same message using a different medium ...

Does that affect you any differently? The content of the image is essentially the same as that conveyed in the written description, yet the impact for most of us is radically different. The written statement brings up all kinds of questions ... What boy? Do I really believe he’s sad? How sad is he? Why is he said? But one glance at the picture leaves no doubt whatsoever ... the boy is sad.

So we pray for the Haitians and we know ...


Again ... they are just words. I don’t know if those words strike you as hopeful or optimistic or rose-colored or just wishful thinking. If you think that, then scroll down and consider this instead ...

There is an answer.

We continue praying for our friends in Haiti.

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The church, quite simply, exists to turn on a light. In the book of Exodus, the lampstand was one of the few pieces of furniture God commanded to be put in the tabernacle. He gave specific instructions as to how the lampstand was to be built, where it was to be placed and what it existed to illuminate. Except for God's own presence in the inner sanctum of the tabernacle, the lampstand provided the only source of light within the tabernacle walls. One priest's primary jobs was to make sure the light of the lampstand never burned out.

That’s not a hard application for us. Our job as believers is clear. We have to keep the light burning and the lampstand in its proper place. The church was intended to focus on just one thing --- JESUS CHRIST.

And I think sometimes we just get distracted --- and it is at that point we find ourselves asking: ‘Wait! Why is the lampstand over there? What are we doing fighting over things that really aren’t worrisome to God when there is a world out there waiting to hear about Him?'

I can’t imagine Jesus in heaven shouting: ‘CALLING ALL ANGELS! … Walt Disney is going to let those people into his park for the day, so I need you to rally some Christians to boycott that place.’
I can better imagine God pointing to the lampstand saying: ‘Who moved My light? Why are you focused on that? Bring the lampstand back over here where it belongs. Show them who I AM.’
I understand you have a right to an opinion on issues – and you should certainly bear convictions. But as far as the church is concerned, don’t ask us to move the lampstand away from its rightful position … because people need to see Christ first.

In the first century, Paul and Barnabas actually left the mission field to return to Jerusalem for an emergency meeting of church leaders. And the topic facing them in this instance was a wild one – circumcision.

Some leaders had voiced concern that the newly converted Gentiles weren’t being circumcised and they thought it was wrong to allow them into the faith without undergoing that important ritual.

Acts 15:7 says there was ‘much discussion.’ I would IMAGINE. Thankfully, there was a moment when a wise church leader named James drove home the point with a powerful one sentence answer: "It is my judgment … that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” ( Acts 15:19)

We need people today who are willing to say: ’We are NOT here to make it difficult for you to come into the Kingdom. We want to make it EASY for people to find and experience God.’ And do you know how we DO that? We keep the lampstand shining on nothing and no one else but JESUS … so it will be easy to find Him.

And be blessed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere - already reeling from the effects of a devastated economy, extensive poverty and poor infrastructure as well as last year's floods - was hit with a 7.0 earthquake on Tuesday.

Homes and major buildings collapsed and fell down hillsides, thousands of bodies are still being pulled from the rubble in the capital city of Port-Au-Prince. Some estimates put the death toll as high as 50,000.

People and organizations from all over the world are rushing to Haiti to help at this hour. Our own Assemblies of God CONVOY OF HOPE is there to dole out badly needed supplies.

This Sunday at KFA, we'll receive a special offering for the relief effort now underway in Haiti.

And be blessed.

Monday, January 11, 2010


There are people who strongly believe the St. Francis of Assisi quote: 'Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.' I've used that quote myself actually. Only problem? St. Francis didn't say it -- and it's horrid theology. We must never forget to TELL people how they might be rescued by God.

Still others put way too much stock in the almighty invitation. That worked to get some baby boomers back in church, but it made us grow accustomed to people 'coming back' to church. Now, fewer and fewer have a heritage to return to period.

We must not teach people that inviting others to church is evangelism. It can be PART of it, but evangelism necessitates more ... specifically 'telling the Good News of Jesus.'

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Peter told his readers to 'humble themselves under the mighty hand of God.' He wanted them to know -- people who were withering under intense persecution - that God was in total control. God was refining them in His great hand.

You and I aren't under any kind of persecution like the early Christians were, but we are no less in the mighty hand of a great God.

If you are a believer, God's mighty hand has created you TWICE. First in your mother’s womb. Then, when you came to faith, He created you ... again.

You were dead in your sins, but God re-created you in new life. Your new birth was all of God and none of you. God’s mighty hand did it.

I was just reminded of His great hand while we were with our grandson over Christmas. At one point, we both took a little nap and this picture was shot -- his hand and my hand.

And be blessed.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Ephesians says those who have come to faith are members of God's HOUSEHOLD. We've all been part of households. Still are.

What it means to be part of an earthly household are the same things it means to be part of a heavenly one.

It gives us the privilege of adoption. We now live in the same house with God and His family. All the experiences of His family are now ours:


Along with all that comes the privilege of responsibility and service. Every person in the household has duties (chores) to perform. Each has some service to render for the sake of the whole family. We are responsible to love, care, provide for and teach each other.

'Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My BROTHER and My SISTER.' (Matthew 12:50)

Glad you're in the family.

And be blessed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


2010 is going to just be the 'beginning.'

According to Yahoo!, we as consumers should expect to see more revolutionary products taking over for old mainstays. DVDs, books, newspapers and magazines will continue to lose ground to in-home movie rentals and gadgets like the Amazon Kindle. I have one already (see August 26, 2009 blog).

So - just to keep you on top of things, not just theologically and spiritually, but also economically (this is a full service blog) - here are seven items not to buy in 2010 unless you want to risk some serious irrelevance ...

DVDs --- The days of going to a video store to rent a movie are near an end. Sorry Blockbuster! This past September, they said they had plans to close nearly a quarter of their stores by the end of this year. Even buying dvds is going to be risky. They cost, on average, $20 each. That's pricier than signing up for Netflix or renting on-demand.

Home telephone service --- Home landlines could become as archaic as the rotary phone. Today, more than one-in-five U.S. homes have cellphones only. That was up from barely 10% just 3 years ago. (We're getting rid of ours as soon as I can get up to Milwaukee to drop off the unit - required by Time Warner to drop your landline.) Not to mention Skype --- it's free when you communicate with other Skype users via the internet.

Compact digital cameras --- They are likely to be eclipsed by something called the single-lens reflex (SLR) camera.

Newspaper subscriptions --- The past few years have been unkind to the publishing industry. Newspaper advertising revenues have declined by 18%. Average daily circulation at major newspapers has fallen 10%. Magazines have fared little better. In 2009, more than 360 magazines shut down. The morning newspaper has been replaced by a growing online media presence — much of which is accessible for nothing. (The Taylor's are still holding on here, but not daily like we used to -- only a couple of times a week with the newspaper.)

CDs --- When was the last time you bought a CD or even walked into a record store? The past decade was one of the worst for the industry. In the beginning, there was Napster. Then came iTunes. Face it, CDs aren't coming back.

New college textbooks --- We just bought all of Olivia's University books for her upcoming Spring Semester at North Central University. Full price cost would have been $598.00. We bought used ones on and Barnes & Our final cost? $173.00.

Gas-guzzling cars --- Some of us are fighting that, but it's a losing battle. Land Rover, we knew you well.

Enjoy 2010. It proves to be an amazing ride.

And be blessed.

Monday, January 4, 2010


It's here. A new decade. I know, I know - actually the new decade doesn't start till the '01 year, 2011 -- but for all intents and purposes, it's here now. Don't be so picky.

January, 2010. Let that sink in.

Last time I looked it was 2004 or something.

For me, this isn't just one more decade. For me, it is the decade my children will come into their own. By 2020, they'll be in their prime. They'll be the 'established' generation ... the 'primary' generation. And I will have moved on to something else.

With the speed of change in the past ten years, it seem obvious and evident that this decade will move at least as swiftly as the last ten years. It is daunting to think what the future holds, yet it is our reality.

According to Relevant magazine, there are some vital questions Christianity will have to answer by the close of this decade ... gene manipulation, nuclear war, global warming, human dignity, global migration and pandemic disease.

These represent issues with far-reaching moral implications and as believers, we need to be wrestling with what they mean -- even more than non-believers do.

Having said all that, I am optimistic about the future. This generation wants to change the world and they seem poised to do it. They see injustice and are ready to step up to fight it. They see corruption and want to punish the evildoers and make it right. They are passionate, creative and connected like never before.

With that kind of energy, anything is possible with God. This is the decade that will be our-decade-to-join-forces ... my kids' generation and my generation. It's exciting to think we might be able to make an impact ... together.

And be blessed.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


I’m afraid that in America there has been a collision of capitalism and Christianity – and it’s created churches full of customers. Ken Blanchard has a book called ‘Raving Fans.’ It’s really a business book written for corporations about turning customers into fans. It’s about making the product more accessible – making the customer feel more important – and the more you do this as a corporation, the more raving fans you’ll have.

Here’s what’s happened in many churches. We’ve adopted these good business principles and we’ve assumed: ‘If it works in the corporate world, it must work in the CHURCH,’ and we’ve tried to combine Christianity and capitalism – and as a result we’ve made it appear that church is for US … it’s for YOU … it’s for ME. And the reason we sing and worship – is for you. And we’ve started to sell a product where we make Jesus look as appealing as possible to the people who are already in. Then we start to gauge the success of our corporation according to how many satisfied customers we have. But Jesus says that’s not how we measure it.

Because the church sometimes sends a message that says, ‘Whatever you want, you can get it here.' But the real message of the Gospel is … GIVE UP EVERYTHING. And those two things often collide, and if we’re not watchful, we can replace the message of JESUS, the King, that says, ‘deny yourself' with the message of BURGER King – ‘Have it your way.' And that doesn’t create followers – it creates fans.

And here’s just the honest truth about most fans. They’re fans as long as their team is doing well – but when it starts going South, they lose their enthusiasm and they move on. You see that a lot in sports --- and you see it in the Christian walk. As long as Jesus is holding up His end of the deal, then yeah, we’ll be here and we’ll be cheering – but when problems come – or money struggles hit – or we can’t find a job – or health reports come back not what we expected – we start to ‘boo’ Jesus just a little.

We’re fans as long as the banners are being hung from the rafters – but when the commitment gets tested, we get rid of the season tickets and we call the sports radio talk show to complain – that’s what fans do.

Jesus would often say things that would test the commitment level of those in the crowd. He wants to know who’s with Him, so He turns to them and says: ‘Unless you hate your father and mother compared to Me, you can’t be My disciple.’ And the crowd starts to thin out.

He takes some fish and bread and feeds thousands – they love Him for that – they’re fans – “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” – they’re all cheering - and then He quiets them and says: ‘Unless you eat and drink of Me, you can’t be My follower.’ And the crowd starts to thin out.

And He might put money on one side – and Himself on the other.
He might put a relationship on one side – and Himself on the other.
Where do you stand? – with Me or with that other thing? – FAN or FOLLOWER?

Luke 14:33 - "Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple."

'Wait, wait, waitwhat about ... ?' Nope – everything … or you can’t be My disciple.

And be blessed.

Friday, January 1, 2010


No doubt it is a huge literary cop-out to blog about resolutions on - duh! - January 1st. But I was reading a list called: 'THE TOP TEN WORST, MOST UNCREATIVE, MOST GENERIC, MOST AWFUL NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS THAT EVERYONE MAKES.' Here they are:

Lose weight
Eat less fast food
Travel more
Get back in touch with friends
Work better and harder
Exercise more
Be more spiritual
Get out of debt
Have deeper relationships
Relax more

And i was thinking ...

WORST? What's worse than wanting your body, soul and spirit to be healthy and in check?

UNCREATIVE and GENERIC? Maybe, but the really clever ones don't mean anything. Like, 'My New Year's resolution is to not make any New Year's resolutions.' Or, 'My New Year's resolution is to learn to speak Mandarin this year.' Gimme a break. If uncreative means 'real' and 'practical' and something actually useful to a better, more God-honoring life, I'll take uncreative any day.

AWFUL? No. Awful is, 'I will eat ice cream every night this year at midnight just before bedtime' (actual resolution). Awful is, 'I will stop considering other people's feelings when they so obviously don't consider mine' ... and ... 'This year I'm going to stop being so nice to people' (actual resolutions). Awful is, 'I will quack like a duck first thing every morning and last thing every night' (actual resolution).

So - do you know what my top ten resolutions for 2010 are? You just read them at top. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And be blessed.