Maintaining Focus On The Mission: A Task Evaluation Workflow

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Maintaining Focus On The Mission: A Task Evaluation Workflow

My plate has been overflowing as of late and I find myself tremendously stressed and my internal dialogue dominated by, “I have to do “.

But after a moment of prayer and bringing the thought captive to Christ, it occurred to me that the phrase “I have to do…” sounds like a great way to identify an idol.

Why do I feel like “I have to do” these things?

In many ways fear is the reason. I’m afraid that if I don’t do these things I’ll lose some security: income, a client, a job, approval, or that I won’t be loved. This fear enslaves me and drives me to do things that are neither profitable or healthy.

Also, there are times in my life when I felt “stuck” and it is usually due to me not sticking to a course of action that progresses my mission. Instead, I allow myself to be distracted and allow my time and resources to be diverted to someone else’s mission.

So, I’m starting to push back and examine the assertion that I have to do anything besides what God has commissioned me to do.

Jesus was constantly approached with the desires and priorities of others, but Jesus was singular in His focus,

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
— John 6:38

As my example, I want to be like Jesus and be successful in my mission. To do that I must first be focused on His will and secondly be centered in the security that God provides:

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
— 2 Corinthians 9:8

I believe that when I work on behalf of God, and unburden myself from debt and unnecessary things, that God will provide everything I need.

Operating from this confidence, I hope to be more intentional about what I do and more courageous about rejecting activities that do not further my mission.

There are dozens of new potential tasks that I am confronted with everyday. So, I’ve developed the following decision tree to help evaluate which of the following responses are most appropriate: Delete, Delegate, Delay, Date (schedule), Do.

And as far as advancing the mission goes, there’s a sixth “D” or category of activity: Discipline. There are some activities that I should be doing routinely (such as prayer, Bible study, communication with my wife or going to the gym) that perhaps more than anything else, contributes to progress.
#thriveday

Past Choices, Present Consequences, and What They Teach Me About Proper Priorities

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Past Choices, Present Consequences, and What They Teach Me About Proper Priorities

As I stare down our children graduating and leaving our home, I look back over the past 18 – 20 years and it puts things in perspective.

A lot of urgent things happened in that time.

There were pressing issues at work that demanded my attention: emergencies, new projects, pending deadlines, bills due.

They felt big and important at the time.

But, they weren’t.

As I look at outcomes 20 years removed from their causes, it is clarifying about what is truly important. Very seldom was it the things that I thought were important.

I got a lot of it wrong.

And as I ponder these outcomes, good and bad, the things that did not seem urgent 20 years ago, were the most important: playing with my kids, kissing my wife good night, and spending Friday nights with other believers in marriage ministry.

Sowing into people are the labors that make for a harvest.

The work that seemed all important tends to only produce beautiful dead things, things with no nutritional value, with no ability to make for a healthy soul.

Wise are the words in Ecclesiastes 12:1,

“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
‘I have no pleasure in them'”

Because,

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
— Proverbs 16:25

I see in retrospect the importance of trusting and obeying God, not only when we cannot see our way but especially when we think we can, and to follow Him despite the path that seems good to us.

The decisions we make now, will be the ones we eat from in the latter days.

Looking back, I do not ever regret a single time that I followed Him and I wish I had followed Him more.

He truly does lead to green places (Psalm 23:1-6).

He truly is Lord of every harvest that I’m enjoying right now.

The False Doctrine Of ‘I Earned It’

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Evil Eye

We feel justified living in luxury while people around us languish because “I earned it”.

We have made it a doctrine and enshrined it in our self-made American Judeo-Christian religion.

But, Jesus does not share our American ideals of capitalism.

If we belong to Christ we do not “work for money” or ourselves. We serve the Lord, so we regard money and prosperity differently.

The goal of gaining more is not to eat more.

The goal of gaining more is so that everybody eats.

Consider Matthew 20:10-15:

“But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.

“And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, “saying,

‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’

“But he answered one of them and said,‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

‘Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.

‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’
— Matthew 20:10-15

Note that the landowner didn’t just go find workers, he sought people who didn’t have work.

This is in keeping with the point that Jesus is making about the Kingdom of Heaven: we all were without means of earning a living (eternal life) but I choose you and gave you that opportunity, and My heart was that everybody could live (good eye) while your heart was to have more than others (evil eye).

Being born again includes being given a new heart that looks at everything, including money with new eyes.

It is errant to save up treasure for yourself. See Luke 12:19-21

Because I’ve worked for it does not mean I can do with it whatever I please. I am the Lord’s.

Our approach to money and the power He’s given us to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18) should be seen as resources made available to take care of our Lord’s house and our fellow servants. See Matthew 25:44-51

Repent, with me.

This is an excerpt from one of three areas (identity, treasure, purpose) where the Lord is challenging lies I’ve embraced that hinder my receiving the “true riches”, and where He’s imparting to me the “things that make for my peace”.

#trueriches #money #thethingsthatmakeformypeace

Feeling Overwhelmed? Don’t Break Down, Break It Down

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Think Tasks vs Projects

Such as simple thing, but I often get stuck here.

This simple concept is the difference between me procrastinating or getting things done.

Part of getting things done, is breaking it down into tasks that can be done in reasonable and readily available blocks of time.

And, when possible, don’t worry about all the things to be done but the *next* thing to be done.

Projects do not belong on to-do lists. Only doable tasks belong there.

The key is to get started, then the momentum of progress will carry you.

This reminder to break things down helps me overcome feelings of being overwhelmed.

#goals #planning #projectmanagement #thriveday

Our Dream

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Our Dream

Arguably, there is no institution more vital to the growth of God’s Kingdom than marriage and the family.

My wife and I have a burden for marriage and family.

One of our dreams and lifelong goals is to build a multi-tenant space like a farm with multiple cabins or cottages where we can host couples and families for rest, redemption and renewal, or to shelter people in need and help them get on their feet.

This we will do if the Lord permits. Please pray for us.

#perfectourlove #marriageranch

Move: The Master Makes A Perfect Piece With Our Imperfect Lines

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Move: The Master Makes A Perfect Piece With Imperfect Lines

Even when I say I’m “seeking God’s will” it can be a cop out.

I suffer from inaction sometimes and don’t move because in my flesh, my highest priority is to be safe –to avoid pain, suffering and death. I often stay put because the place I’m in seems safe enough.

Sometimes, when I say I want to know God’s (exact) will for my life, I’m often saying that what I want is a path without failure or pain.

But that is contrary to God’s will for my life.

We are conformed to the image of His Son and learn obedience through the things that we suffer. (Hebrews 5:8)

A perfect path without trial and error, is like only ever coloring by numbers when instead the Master desires to teach you to create the way He creates.

That requires my trusting the Master’s ability to teach me (heart) and my being willing to attempt to do what I currently cannot (action).

That involves striving, failure and the pain and suffering that results in.

Without the Master, we’d just make a mess.

But when we trust the Master, He redeems our foibles and failures and uses them to teach us how to make a masterpiece.

But what’s more, in His incomprehensible genius, the masterpiece He helped us create, in spite of our imperfections, is a perfect piece that He had always predestined to be part of a vastly greater and perfect design.

When we behold it, we can only help but praise, “How great thou art!”

And then, the lesson starts again.

God is not only bringing us through, He’s making us into something glorious!

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18

I have suffered from inaction and didn’t move because my highest priority was to be safe –to avoid pain, suffering and death.

But, no more.

I repent.

My highest priority is to be with God.

If we have the Father’s heart or are even seeking His heart, we are exactly where we’re supposed to be.

If we are doing what is pleasing to Him or are even moving in an attempt to be obedient to what He has revealed that is pleasing to Him (through His Word), we are doing exactly what we’re supposed to do.

The primary thing is not a specific physical place (this city or that, this job or that, this opportunity or that) nor is the primary thing a certain activity (doing this thing or that) but a heart for God put into motion.

We need only to move in any direction with a heart to please Him and He will use it to get us exactly where He wants us to be.

Father, give me a heart like Jesus that is consumed with You and the fortitude like His to put it into action. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

So, I’m lifting my eyes to the Lord, and moving based on what I know of God revealed through the life of Jesus Christ, praying that the Holy Spirit will help me know Him more accurately as I consume the Word, trusting Him to take me where I’m supposed to go, to make me into who He would have me be and to use my life for His glory as part of His masterpiece.

I’m putting a heart for God in motion, however imperfect, and trusting Him with the rest.

Faith and Works

#thriveday

The True Goal Of Faith In Christ

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - The Aim And Prize Of Faith In Christ

The aim, goal, pursuit, final destination and prize of the upward call of faith in Christ is:

to be with God.

Love is the way. ¹

Love is being consumed with God. ²

Love is doing the things that please God: obedience that flows from a heart given by Him and burning for Him. ³

Loving obedience is abiding. Abiding is being with God. ⁴

Love is how I experience God. ⁵

Love is how I be with God. ⁶

God is love, therefore Love is the ends and the means -the “Alpha and Omega” as Revelation 22:13 puts it.

This is the whole aim, to be with God. ⁷

He is the true riches. ⁸

This is why I believe Jesus says in John 4:34,

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me”

And, now I begin to grasp John 14:28 when Jesus says,

“If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.”

I also see why Jesus was so forceful with Peter when, out of seemingly sincere concern for Jesus, Peter tried to dissuade Jesus from the path God purposed for Him to suffer. Jesus replies to Peter, “Get behind me Satan, you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” – Mark 8:33

Peter, though well meaning was still worldly and was unwittingly tempting Jesus into the comfort of the world rather than the companionship of obedience to God through taking up His cross -an implement of preparatory difficulty, suffering and death. But, above all, Jesus wanted and choose to be with the Father.

This same spirit of the rebuke of Peter is found in 1 Timothy 6:5,

“Those who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”

We are to avoid those who make faith about being “blessed” with health, wealth and “leveling up” in this life, who would coax us into the comfort of the world and away from the companionship of obedience to God with Christ by taking up our cross.

Shortly after Jesus’s rebuke of Peter in Mark 8:33, in verse 8:36 Jesus continues, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul?”

Profit.

The end result.

What does the Apostle and sanctified Peter say in 1 Peter 1:9 that the whole conclusion and the end result of our faith is?

Does he say it’s houses, cars, money, clothes or popularity?

No.

What does he say?

“receiving the end of your faith –the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:9

And what is our salvation?

Not what, but who –Jesus Christ, God with us, who makes The Way, and who Shepherds us into fellowship with God. ⁹

The aim of Christianity is singular: to be with God.

Being with God is everything Jesus is and everything Jesus does.

So, every day and every moment of every day, the goal, pursuit, destination, aim, prize and ultimate desire is

to be with God.

Love, with God’s heart for the world, is the way. ¹⁰

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” …now through you.

Let’s set out to give Jesus through the same loving obedience that we observed in Him. In doing so we are more able to be with God.

¹ 1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:10
² Deuteronomy 6:5, Mark 12:29-31, Psalms 69:9, John 2:17
³ Ezekiel 36:26-27, John 8:29
⁴ John 15:4-10, 1 John 2:5, 1 John 4:12
⁵ 1 John 4:13
⁶ John 15:10, 1 John 4:12
⁷ John 10:10
⁸ Genesis 15:1, Psalms 62:4-8, 84:10
⁹ John 10:7-18
¹⁰ John 3:16-17

#perfectourlove

My Mission Prompt

Understanding and articulating the mission is a continual process of clarification.

When it’s clear, it should help wherever you are to spring you into the appropriate action.

This is why instead of calling it a mission statement I prefer to call it a mission prompt. It’s not about having a statement that others will be impressed with but it’s about being prompted into action that produces desired outcomes.

I am thankful for the resources God uses to make this clearer to me. To be clear, a clear mission is His mission because He is the potter and I am the clay. He is the one that has prepared good works (before there was even a world) that I should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

Speaking of the resources God uses, while I’m thankful for experiences and the influence of godly people, the Word illuminated by His Spirit is the primary resource for me.

My mission is most influenced by a woman in Scripture: the Proverbs 31 woman.

What the Proverbs 31 woman is to her husband, is what I want to be for Christ –having a heart to prosper my Husband and His house, and to use everything at my disposal to that end.

Proverbs 31:10-31
“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.

She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.

She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.

She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.

She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.

She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.

She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.

She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.

She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.

Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Spiritual Roots Produce Real World Fruit

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Spiritual Roots Produce Real World Fruit

I am grieved by the world. I desperately want to change it, but…

Spiritual roots produce real world fruit.

The suffering I see in the world is due to bad spiritual roots.

If I don’t get the spiritual right, all that I hope to do in the world will just produce more bad fruit.

Therefore, nothing is more important than seeking, establishing and strengthening roots into what is good and perfect.

I believe God is what is good and perfect. I believe Jesus is The Way. I believe when I focus on Him, good fruit in every area of life (government, community, enterprise, family, relationships, physical health, mental health, understanding and resources) will follow*.

*To distinguish this from false health-wealth prosperity gospel or name-it-and-claim theology, (which I hate) these are not things I believe to get but byproducts of the fruit that I produce, by the grace of God, as an effect of believing. The fruit is Love.

I cannot put effect before cause.

For now, as a sapling in Christ, I weather the storm, seeking to be a tree planted by the water, using adversity to drive my roots deeper and deeper into God, trusting Him to make me a mighty tree, that I may shelter others from the stormy blast and feed them with fruit from The Tree Of Eternal Life who’s leaf never fades and is always in season.

I am grieved by the world. I desperately want to change it, and this is how.

I seek to put down good roots and from that bear good fruit.

This is a caution to myself to not allow the pain of the world to distract me, to constantly pray and to maintain the proper order of operations.

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.”
James 1:16-18

Originally posted by Paul Luckett to Facebook here.

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I Have A Plan. Attack.

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - I Have A Plan Attack

One of my favorite lines of any movie.

Scene: Avengers (2012)
Members of the newly budding Avengers initiative take Loki prisoner after he steals the Tesseract.
Thor forces his way into the Avengers’ aircraft holding Loki to confront him and then flies away with Loki, their biggest lead to retrieve the Tesseract.

Captain America: “We need a plan of attack.”
Iron Man: “I have a plan. Attack.”

I am naturally more Captain America in my disposition. But, I’m increasingly learning to be more like Iron Man in my approach.

#Attack #Thriveday

Originally posted by Paul Luckett to Facebook here.

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