The Most Important Answer

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Why is it that over 3 billion people are celebrating this week around the globe? As we turn our attention to Holy Week, the most important week in Christianity, I’m confident there are some of you reading this who may not understand the significance of Holy Week. Or, you have someone in your Oikos (relational network) who could use a link to this blog because they just don’t “get what it’s all about.”  There are also those who would say they are Christian, but they are not sure about Jesus entirely and they are apathetic about the pursuit of the full truth in Christ. 

And, there are those out there that would say they are agnostic, which is a person that believes nothing is known or can be known about God. While the agnostic or apathetic belief system may be a convenient one, it certainly will not get you the answer to the most important question. When it comes to your faith or the lack thereof: What you believe about Jesus is the most important thing in your life. It has implications for this life and the life to come.

Briefly, let me give you an overview of Holy Week. Our attention turns to this miraculous week on Palm Sunday, one week before Easter Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matthew 21:5-9) as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords as predicted in Zechariah 9:9, some FIVE centuries before it actually happened: 

Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.
Continuing into Holy Week leads us to Thursday, traditionally known as Maundy Thursday. Jesus uses the setting of the Last Supper to be an example by washing the disciples feet before the meal. It reminds us of when Jesus said  “I have come to serve, not to be served” Mark 10:45. Maundy Thursday also signifies the remembrance of the Last Supper, the final meal Jesus had with the disciples before he would be arrested later that night.  Maundy comes from the latin, mandatum meaning “Commandment” which comes from Jesus’ words on that Holy Thursday, in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another.” 

Good Friday is typically a more sepulchral or subdued time where we as Christians reflect on all that Christ did for us in taking our sins on himself and suffering the punishment and death we deserved on the cross. This is a time of worship, communion, reflection and prayer in churches (online this year) and homes across the world.

Then Sunday, that life-changing, world changing day when Jesus Christ rose from the grave and proved he is who he said he is…God in the flesh, forgiver of sins, giver of hope, purpose and life.

So, why are over 3 billion people celebrating this week? They have figured out the answer to the most important question in life when it comes to Jesus Christ. 

The most important thing you have to figure out about Jesus is this … 
Is He God or is He a fraud? 
Let me give you an example: If I said, “Hi, my name’s Jeremy and I teach the Bible and it IS going to help you,” … you could probably buy that. You may even say (if I paid you enough) that, “Hey, Jeremy’s a good teacher.” But if I said, Hey my name’s Jeremy, I teach the Bible, because, by the way, “I’m God,” … you’d have a decision to make! Am I who I say I am, or am I a fraud? Because a “good teacher” in their right mind, would never say that they are God. Yet Jesus did say that. 
Colossians 1:15 claims that Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the father.” That’s an audacious statement! He claimed to be God many times, even in John 10:30 when he said, “I and the Father are one.
So, Jesus, although he was a good teacher, he never claimed to be just a good teacher. He actually claimed he was God! That leaves humanity with a decision to make, is Jesus who he said he is or is he a fraud? 

If you’ve been around Christianity you’ll recall this argument. It’s the Liar, Lunatic or Lord argument, and I’ve added another “L”, Likable. It goes like this, Jesus is either a Liar … a Lunatic … or he is the Lord. For many people, they may say, “Well, I don’t think he is a Liar, or I don’t think he is a Lunatic, but I can’t say he’s the Lord.  But I would say he is likable. He taught good things, moral things, he was gentle, he helped people, yeah, he’s likable.” 

But, here’s the problem, Jesus doesn’t leave us with the option of “Likable.” Although he certainly is, he said, “I am God, and when you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” That leaves you with a decision to make.  He is either a Liar, a Lunatic, or he is the Lord of the universe that over 3 billion people are celebrating this week.  The answer to that question in your life, is the most important one you will ever give.

I want to encourage you if you’re apathetic or agnostic or even an honest atheist, to dig, do your own research on Jesus, dig into the claims of Christ. Who knows, you just might find what you’ve been looking for all along; Peace, purpose, happiness, and what over 3 billion people are celebrating this week, salvation in Jesus Christ.

If you want more information please tune in to our Live Good Friday service this Friday (April 10) at 7:00pm PST and our Easter Sunday services at 9:00am, 10:30am, 3:00pm, and 5:00pm PST, all available on http://www.skylinechurch.org.
God bless you, happy Holy Week, and keep your head up, we’re going to get through this Coronavirus together.

Jeremy

And if you’re interested in getting baptized, let me know by filling out our Connection Card. Just check Baptism in the Next Steps section and we’ll get connected!

What You CAN Control

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One of my coaches with the St. Louis Cardinals use to say, “Control what you CAN control.” That advice has served me well over the years. Right now, many of us are feeling like things are out of our hands. The Coronavirus has forced us into unwanted change and we have very little control over the situation. But there are still some things we can control in the midst of this circumstance. 

For many people, a time of quarantine leads to a severe case of cabin-fever. This is when we need a book like Philippians the most because conflict and cabin-fever go together. So, let’s get more familiar with the happiest book in the Bible and see what wisdom we can gain from following the prescriptions in it. 

Remember, Paul does not speak from his “High Horse” as if he does not understand what the church is going through.  Paul was in a forced social distancing/quarantine situation in a Roman prison when he took time to write to the church at Philippi. He wanted them to know four essential practices of a Christian to reduce conflict in their lives. I’ve paraphrased by trying to make a couple of the points rhyme in order to help us remember, but you’ll get the point.

Paul writes about how humility leads to harmony and harmony leads to happiness in our relationships. Here are the four habits that can help you control conflict in your life.

  1. Never let pride be your guide. Pride is at the root of every sin. You and I have an “I” problem. Think about it. What is the middle letter in the word, pride? What’s the middle letter in, crime? Are you surprised that I is the middle letter in, sin? We live in an “I want what I want and I want it now” culture. 

    But Philippians 2:3 says not to do anything from selfish ambition or vain conceit. Selfish ambition is saying “it’s all about me.” Vain conceit is saying “I’m always right.”
  2. Be humble or you’ll stumble. Why should we be humble? Well, God makes more promises in the Bible to those who are humble than anything else (except to those who are generous). He promises peace, prosperity, honor, power, grace, and His presence among many other great things. 

    The Coronavirus has entered a culture of self-centeredness where, “You do you Boo … and I’ll do me …” in other words, you do your thing and I’ll do mine, but don’t tell me what I can or can’t do! Some people are saying they don’t care if they get the virus because they’ll recover. These are usually those who are of the younger generations because according to the data, younger people are not as susceptible to the extreme versions of the virus. But, as Philippians reminds us, humility means it’s not about you. We need to be considerate and help those who have a compromised immune system and are at the highest risk of dying from the virus.  Although you may not get a severe case of it, you can give it to someone who could get a severe case of it and die. By thinking of others and not just our own wants and desires we give more honor to others than to ourselves. Always remember … humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s just thinking of yourself less.
  3. Learn the lost art of paying attention. We live in an Attention Deficit Disorder world. We don’t pay attention to people, we pay attention to screens! It’s easy to get distracted from the people and needs around us. We need to learn to listen and actually care about what others are interested in. What a great time to practice this when we’re forced to stay home! This is a the time to change the focus because it shouldn’t always be about me, me, me. My agenda. My career. My hobbies. My needs. Harmony comes from being interested and concerned about what others think is important. Philippians 2:4 says it like this, “Don’t look out for only your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” The most valuable gift you can give someone is your attention because your attention is your time. Some may say, “No money is more valuable!” But, that’s not true, because if I give you some money, I can always get more money, but when I give you my attention, I’m never getting that time back. When I pay attention to you, it says you matter, I care about you. So, who do you need to pay attention to today?
  4. WWJD? It sounds cliche, but it’s true! Ask yourself, What Would 
    Jesus Do?, (Philippians 2:5). No matter what situation you find yourself in, you can bet Jesus would respond with humility. Our attitude should be the same as Jesus. If we want to raise harmony in our lives, and reduce conflict, we need to ask ourselves how would Jesus act in this situation, with this person, at this time?

During this time of confinement, rest assured that Jesus wants to be your guide, He wants to keep you from stumbling, and He wants to show you the value of learning how to give your attention.  In every relationship, let’s strive to be of the same mind, love, spirit, and purpose as Jesus Christ. 

To continue on this topic of humility, harmony, and happiness, join us for our daily devotional Today Matters as we discuss three things that characterize “what Jesus would do.” 

Trust

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Despite how our circumstances may have unfolded in the past several days, be encouraged that God has prepared us for this season. We’re reminded in Romans 1:17, “The person who finds life will find it through trusting God.” There’s a big word in there … “trusting”

Today, I want to talk about people in the Bible who came up against some pretty difficult circumstances. I know that you’ve been itching to read the book of Numbers, ha! This book can easily be skipped and go unread for a long time if we aren’t intentional. But in between all the genealogies, there’s some powerful wisdom. That’s why I make it a point to read through the Bible every year, there’s wisdom in so many surprising places. Let’s turn to Numbers, chapters 13 and 14. 

To give you some background, let’s recall what happened leading up to this point. Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt while displaying His power by showing them miracle after miracle.  God promised His people a place they can call home, the promise land.  Moses called twelve leaders (one from each of the twelve tribes of Israel) to go ahead, check out the promise land, and bring back a report of what it’s like. After forty days and forty nights the leaders returned with a mixed report. 
Two of leaders said that the land was great, it is exactly what God promised and that they should proceed. Ten of the leaders however, said that there were giants in the land and that Israel’s people would surely die if they tried to go into the promise land. 

Now, the two who gave a positive report were Joshua and Caleb. They trusted God. Those who had a negative report were; Shammua (not the whale), Igal, Palti, Gaddiel, Shaphat (not Snapchat), Gaddi, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi, and Geuel. I tell you their names because to me, it’s interesting that I don’t know anyone by the name of any of those who had a negative report. That’s because no one remembers the neigh sayers! No one remembers the critics, worry warts or debbie downers. However, people do remember those who move forward in faith, trusting God regardless of the circumstances and display a positive attitude in the midst of challenges! 

This Coronavirus has inconvenienced everybody! People are losing jobs, money, and their way of life. It is truly testing people’s trust and patience. You’ve seen the grocery stores lately. People are complaining and even getting physical as they jockey for position to get that last case of toilet paper.  I want to encourage you to be a Joshua or a Caleb by focusing on the positive and trusting God. Do a self analysis, when you’re faced with challenging situations, are you patient in these situations? When a crisis like the Coronavirus hits, is your default to panic and hoard supplies and be fearful of what’s going to happen as you lose your trust in God? It’s easy to be godly when everything is going great. It’s easy to act like a Christian when everything is easy. But do we have faith when we don’t have control, when we don’t know when our lives will return to “normal” whatever that will look like in the future. The big question we have to answer is, will we do what God says, even though there are “giants” in front of us. People in your Oikos (relational network) will wonder about your faith during this time. Does faith work? They’re watching. In the uncertainties and viruses of life, let me encourage you to choose to be a Joshua or a Caleb and trust God.

To hear more about what it looks like to have faith, subscribe to our Youtube Channel and tune into our new series, How to Walk in Faith Over Fear

Who Knows My Future

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What a week! And what a Sunday! We saw 20 people make a decision for Jesus Christ … online! When Jesus said He was going to build His church, He meant it. And nothing is going to stop that. For the near future, we will continue to be the church in a virtual experience, yet with real decisions and real life change for Jesus.


Everyone is so interested in their future. Especially now with the Coronavirus pandemic, people are wondering even more about when, in the future, this thing will end.  We all want to know about the future and so there are some amusing ways people go about finding this information …Astrology. Tarot cards. Magic 8 ball. Tea leaves … and none of it works! But God sees your tomorrow, today! He knows your future. Psalm 139:16 says, “The days allotted to me had all been recorded in Your book before any of them ever began.” If you want to know the plan for your life, talk to someone who knows what it is.  

 Take St. Patrick’s Day for example. Did you know that today we are celebrating a young man who was kidnapped from Britain by Irish raiders? We celebrate him because when he escaped and returned to his homeland, God called him to bring the Gospel to Ireland (of all places!). Patrick accepted this plan for his life and brought spiritual freedom to the Irish people. I am of Irish heritage, who knows he may have led my ancestors to the Lord!

Sometimes our greatest source of pain is our greatest ministry. If we had our whole life laid out for us, we’d get discouraged if we saw some of the painful stuff, or we’d get prideful seeing all the good stuff. Trust in God’s plan for your life and His timing as He reveals it to you piece by piece. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in creation is hidden from Him.” And Psalm 147:5 says, “His understanding has no limits.” God knows everything! He’s never shocked. He never says, “Oh really?” Or, “Oops!” As my life unfolds, it may surprise me, but it’s never going to surprise Him. 

Knowing this about God should encourage our prayer life. I wouldn’t be surprised if Patrick spent those 6 years in captivity praying to God about what was next for him. We should want to be in prayer with Him more because we need to ask Him for advice about things He already knows will happen. If you call to Him, He will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).

Here’s a practical way for you to apply this to your life today. 

Pray: God, you know everything that is going to happen today. Would you prepare me for today?

For more practical ways to lean into God’s Word, subscribe to our Youtube Channel and tune into our daily devotional, Today Matters.

Church Home

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Finding a church home can be intimidating. Is there a certain protocol? You may be wondering … when do I stand up or when do I sit down? Is there a dress code? Hey, I’ve been there! And I just want to say, relax. One indicator that you’re closer to finding your church home is when you can actually relax. At my church home, the animal sacrifices don’t even happen until the end. No, I’m kidding. We don’t sacrifice animals.

I know finding a church can be quite a journey. So, before you plant roots, here are 5 key values to look for in a church home:

  1. Found people find people
    Every person has a name, and every name has a story. YOUR story matters! And so do the stories of your family, friends, and people you connect with on a daily basis. In Luke 19:10, Jesus demonstrates who He was looking for … the lost. Those who were disconnected from God. Those who felt God had abandoned them or they had abandoned God. You’ll know you’re home when finding people isn’t just something that is played out on Sunday. Helping people find and follow Jesus is something we’re called to live out seven days a week!
  2. You’ll never walk alone 
    Every church does this differently. This is the part where you might be thinking Christians are weird. If you’re new to a church, the best way for you to know if you’re where you want to be is when you’re surrounded by the people who are going to help you grow in your walk with God. These people will help you navigate the church, your faith, and your decision to plant roots. As you get connected at your church home, your small group will walk with you through the highs and the lows of life (Acts 2:41).
  3. Giving from the heart
    You can’t outgive God. I’ve tried! The only time God ever says to test Him is in Malachi 3:10, and He was referring to our giving. I want to encourage you to never give out of obligation. Money is an uncomfortable topic that no one likes to talk about, but the Bible doesn’t shy away from it because God knows your heart and wallet are deeply connected. At my church home, we don’t pass the plate. Giving is something for you to decide with God in advance how you’ll worship Him through your finances. So, may I suggest, give whatever you can and do it online. Like it says in 2 Corinthians 9 … you must decide in your own heart what you’ll give. Find a church home that allows you to discover the joy of giving at your own pace.
  4. Saved people serve people
    God’s given every believer at least one gift. If you’re not serving you’re not getting fulfilled. I know this because everyone itches to use their gifts and talents. Serving others is the “how” you’re looking for to scratch that itch. God wants you to serve in the area that best utilizes the gifts He has created in you (Ephesians 2:10). Your church home is going to want to plug you into the ministry that best suits you and your calling.
  5. Change
    You don’t want to plant yourself somewhere that “plays” the church game. Walking with Jesus and applying the truth of the Word of God should and will change you. But, you have to be willing to get uncomfortable and let God stretch your faith. You’re never going to reach perfection this side of Heaven, but the question you must ask yourself is, “Is there progress?” After you’ve attended a church for a season, ask yourself if you’re any different than when you first visited. We should never assume we’ve reached the top of the mountain because we’ll always be growing! (2 Peter 3:18).

There’s an image of churches out there that shouts “I’m not welcome.” You may have seen it or felt it. We want to debunk that message and that’s why our slogan is “No Perfect People Allowed.” There’s a lot of different ways to “do” church. And it takes many types of churches to reach many different types of people. I’m not offended when my church home isn’t someone else’s church home. But, the Bible is clear for those who call themselves Believers, church attendance is not optional. If you’ve visited Skyline Church, I hope you felt relaxed. If we weren’t your cup of tea, let us connect you to a church that upholds these biblical values and fits the vibe you’re looking for.  No matter where you go, stay to the end to see if they sacrifice any cats. That might be my new church home!

Relax, I’m KIDDING!

Let us know if we can get you plugged in at Skyline or help you find a church home near you by filling out a Connection Card.

God bless you,

Your Friend,

Jeremy

Baptism

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September 2, 1997 was a big day for me and my friend Dukes Knutsen. We were both Christians  and Dukes was our local Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader in Duluth, Minnesota when I was playing Independent League baseball for the Duluth Superior Dukes of the Northern League. While we had both been Christians for years at that time, neither one of us had been baptized.

We decided to do a study of the WHY behind baptism. We realized it is not something that is salvific, in other words, it was not a prerequisite to being saved and going to Heaven. However, there was something more, it is certainly emphasized in Scripture and especially in the Great Commission. As we studied, it became apparent that baptism in Scripture was the beginning of something more. It was both a demarcater of something that had taken place, namely salvation, but it was also the beginning of something else.

Baptism is an outward sign of something that has taken place on the inside of an individual. It is a moment where we put our priority on our obedience to Jesus Christ and obeying His command to be baptized and follow Him no matter what. Whether we do this in front of the whole church or only in front the person baptizing us (Acts 8:26-40), it has the same meaning in Scripture. It is an identification of whose team we are on. It is as if we are putting on the jersey of Jesus Christ’s team. We are no longer a free-agent, we have signed with our team and made it public.

Island Lake in Duluth was our place of baptism. Although the weather outside was at a comfortable temperature, the lake felt as though it was mid-December. I believe it was in that moment of commitment in that freezing cold lake, that my future in ministry was cauterized.  It was a time where I made a decision, that no matter what was to come, I would follow Christ. No matter what difficult paths may lie ahead, I would follow Christ. No matter what my future may hold, I was, at that point confident of who held my future.

The Lord has been so good to both Dukes and I. Dukes remained in Duluth for years until heading to Florida full time and ministering to people from inmates in county prisons to Major and Minor League baseball players on the Rays and Twins among other teams.  I’ve been so thankful to be able to preach the Word and minister to people through being a local church pastor. We’ve both seen lives changed and God do special works in people’s lives. And I truly believe, God’s greatest works are still ahead in our lives, but I am not sure we would have seen all God has done, had we not committed through our decision to be baptized.

Every year on our baptism date, we send each other a note. A note to relive that moment, and to remember that decision, that commitment to follow Christ, no matter what.

What about you? Have you been baptized? I want to encourage you, think it through, process it, study it, the decision certainly is not about your future in Heaven, as that is already sealed with your decision to accept Christ as your Savior. While it does not have to do with your place in Heaven, I believe it has a lot to do with your place on Earth.

Coronavirus Update

https://www.skylinechurch.org/coronavirus-information/

In the last 24 hours we have been diligently discussing our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  After the mandate from our government to suspend gatherings of 250 our more, we will be moving all of our services online starting this Sunday, March 15. Online services will be at 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 3:00 PM and 5:00 PM. 

In addition to suspending Sunday services onsite, all gatherings on our campuses throughout the week will be suspended.  Updates will continue to be sent through the app, online, and via email. 

Technology is a powerful thing!  We can continue to worship together, take sermon notes, and give online! If you don’t have our app, please see instructions below on how to download it to stay connected. We will meet together again soon.  Handshakes, hugs, and high-fives will resume!  Until then, stay tuned! 

I am so grateful that God is in control. The Bible is very clear that we are not given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).  The Bible is also clear that the wise person sees trouble ahead and takes precautions (Proverbs 22:3). We have a tremendous opportunity to display our faith in front of our Oikos during this time.  Walk in faith not fear. 

We love you!  

Pastor Jeremy 

Coronavirus Response

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Coronavirus Information

In the last 24 hours, we have been diligently discussing our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). After the mandate from our government to suspend gatherings of 250 our more, we will be moving all services online starting this Sunday, March 15. Online services will be at 9:00 AM10:30 AM3:00 PM, and 5:00 PM

In addition to suspending Sunday services onsite, all gatherings on our campuses throughout the week will be suspended.  Updates will continue to be sent through our app, website, and via email. 

Technology is a powerful thing! We can continue to worship together, take sermon notes, and give online! If you don’t have our app, please see instructions below on how to download it to stay connected. We will meet together again soon. Handshakes, hugs, and high-fives will resume! Until then, stay tuned! 

I am so grateful that God is in control. The Bible is very clear that we are not given a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). The Bible is also clear that the wise person sees trouble ahead and takes precautions (Proverbs 22:3). We have a tremendous opportunity to display our faith in front of our Oikos during this time. Walk in faith not fear. 

We love you!  

Pastor JeremyCoronavirus UpdateDownload the app

Seven Days A Week

We are fully prepared to continue our mission of helping people find and follow Jesus seven days a week. Download our SKYLINE Church app from your smart phone and get connected throughout the week via e-connection cards, giving, prayer requests, upcoming events, sermon notes, and more. Join us for services online at SKYLINEChurch.org.

Join us online. Giving

If you’re part of our church family or simply share our heart for spreading the truth of the Gospel to San Diego and beyond, we welcome your tithe, offering, or financial gift. Online giving is quick, convenient, and completely secure. Although we won’t be onsite this week to receive your gift, please continue to give faithfully online. Click below to give or watch a video to see how easy it is! Give.

We walk in faith not fear!

God Doesn’t Gossip

In John 21, Jesus tells Peter how he’s going to die, to which Peter responds, “Well what about John?” I’m giving you the JIV translation (Jeremy International Version). Then Jesus says, “That’s none of your bee’s wax!” (JIV). 

When it comes down to it, we only need to know what God’s will is for one life … our own (Romans 14:10-12). It’s God alone we’ll have to answer to for our actions. However, sometimes we put our own personal preferences on others. I’m guilty of it! I’ve put my own personal preferences on those of you who root for the Raiders. I’m concerned for your well-being. 

Often times Christians, like myself, cause more damage than good by confronting others (Raider Fans) about what they think “God has told them.” Now if I’m completely close minded and not in the Word or in prayer, then He may bring someone along to open my eyes. But let’s be positive that our two cents are from God and not our own personal opinion or preferences.

Here are the 3 indicators that God has given you a message for someone else …

  1. It won’t contradict what He’s already said. God is never going to tell you something that goes against His Word in the Bible. Be VERY careful not to use God’s name for your own preferences.
  2. God told them first. If God gave you a word for someone else, you should be praying that He has already told them. You don’t want to jump the gun and say something before God does a work in this person. Trust God to speak to them first. You can be confident, God’s not going to gossip to you.
  3. You didn’t know. Often times, God will use you without you even knowing about it. You’ll just be talking and something you say will trigger a change in their heart and mind. You may never even know that you’ve just confirmed something that they were wrestling about with God.

Here’s the reality. There is still hope that God is speaking to you…. if you’re not a Raider fan. 

No really, the reality is, God isn’t going to gossip to me about you OR about you to me. If you’re a believer, God is going to tell YOU. 

To learn more about how to recognize God’s voice, visit our YouTube Channel and watch our Hearing God series.

Process

low angle grayscale photo of empty brick stairs

Photo by Ravi Kant on Pexels.com

Process: a series of progressive and interdependent steps by which an end result is attained.

It’s all about the process. Why? Because the right process will produce the right results, your process will determine your success. It’s not all about the event. To be sure, the process leads to an event. The success of that event will be determined by the commitment to the process of becoming a successful event. Too many people have destination disease. It’s the problem of when and then thinking. When I make this much money, then I’ll…. when I lose this much weight, then I’ll… when I become the boss, then I’ll…. destination disease leaves us stuck in neutral and making no progress at all.

The right process allows a step by step approach to reaching our goals and dreams. Questions to ask: 1) Is it the right process? 2) Does it, will it, can it produce the intended result? The reality is your current systems and processes are producing EXACTLY what they are set up to produce. If you are coming up short in your goals or expectations it is because your process is set up to achieve exactly that result. Change your process, change your result. Or, if it is the right process, but the commitment has been lacking, change your commitment to the process.

Most people are committed enough (to whatever their end goal may be) to hope for the right, intended, or desired result. But, as we know, “hope don’t pay the bills.” Hard work does. The hard work, the grind, the tilling of the hard soil is the process. Committing to the right process allows the desired result to be possible and even inevitable.

The first thing that must be determined is what “end” do you want? What are you aiming at, what do you want the end result to be? No one can or at least no one should determine that for you. You are uniquely created by God and your unique design is purposeful (Psalm 139). It is up to you to determine what you want your end result to be.

For example, let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds. There is an entire process to losing 20 pounds. You would have to commit to the process of changing your diet and adding regular exercise in order to attain your end result. On the surface, it sounds relatively simple and agreeable to make better choices in those two areas. However, that is NOT the process for reaching your desired and intended result. The process would consist of several things including but not limited to,

a) Scheduling your workouts on the calendar. The time, place, and the particular workout you are planning to do. If you don’t write it in the calendar, several things can easily take priority and you will not get your workout in.

b) Waking up earlier to be able to get your workout in. Or, getting off work and getting your run or workout in (studies show it is more difficult later in the day, not impossible, just more difficult). Either way, your commitment to the process will make the difference.

c) Scheduling what foods you’re going to eat that will help you achieve your end result.

d) Taking the time to buy the right foods and prepare them before the day or as many nutritionist suggest, mapping out your meals for the entire week.

e) Keeping the goal of a 20 pound lighter you in front of you…every day. Because motivation is paramount to staying committed to the process. As Zig Ziglar once said, “Motivation is like showering, you need it daily because it wears off.”

You can apply this to anything in life. Do you want to be a better spouse, co-worker, disciple, athlete, student? Whatever it is, commit to the process of becoming better in those areas and you will get there.

There are no shortcuts to the goal. Even if the progress is slow, it is progress and is better than the alternative of standing still. Because you’re never really stagnant, everyday, you are either moving toward your goal or farther away from it. You are moving toward the person you want to be or farther from it. You are either on the path or you are off of it. Choose to commit and take a small step today by beginning the process.

In summary:

  1. Know what you’re aiming at, take the time to know what your target is… as the great theologian 😊 Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.
  2. Develop and/or learn and understand the process to get you there. Def: a series of progressive and interdependent steps by which an end result is attained. Develop your steps that are reachable, no matter how small, but are moving you toward your goal and the end result will be attained.
  3. Commit to the process… through the challenges, discouragements, ups and downs. Your commitment to the process will make all the difference.

It will take patience, there will be times you want to give up, but your commitment to the process will get you to your goal.  It takes 50 years for an Oak Tree to mature and develop root systems that can withstand a hurricane. It only takes a mushroom 24 hours to grow to its full capacity but then it’s gone in a day or two.  What do you want to be, an Oak or a Mushroom?

“Not that I have already… already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. ” Philippians 3:12-14

The Apostle Paul could be considered the greatest Christian to have ever lived, as the main writer of the New Testament, he has impacted countless lives, and yet, even Paul had not yet arrived, but he was committed to the process.

Be encouraged, you’ve got a lot of people rooting for you.

Your friend,

Jeremy