Archives For Expectations

goal-setting-feature

Note: I’m late posting this article from Christmas Eve, but the message remains the same. I hope it helps you.

It’s Christmas Eve, 2017. Do you know what that means? It means that it’s almost January first!

I’m not a proponent of New Year’s Resolutions; not at all. Resolutions rarely work. I won’t bore you with all the scientific details, but there are actually physiological reasons for the failure of resolutions.

Resolutions rarely work because we stand up tall, square our shoulders, and declare to ourselves that we resolve that next year will be different because we resolve to accomplish something; and it’s usually the same something we declared last year. Then something happens. It’s called life. As life happens, those spoken resolutions fade into the blur of a fast-moving calendar and everything that comes with it. But for the most part, those resolutions are forgotten until December 31 of the next year.

I am a believer in having goals and that leading up to January is a good time to review, renew, and establish goals. What’s the difference? Honestly, I’m not totally sure; but hang in here with me.

I believe in establishing goals. Goals are life targets. However, there are problems with goals, too. Goals can be forgotten. I have an application on my devices called Evernote. The cool thing about Evernote is that you never lose anything you put into it. Word recognition makes it almost if not entirely impossible for anything to be lost. Scan a document in and it will recognize the words in that document. Simply type some words into the search bar and every note and document you have that includes that word will appear.

Recently in Evernote I typed “goals” into the search bar. Goals that I had typed into Evernote as far back as 2012 came to the surface. With those goals came some disappointment. I had typed them into a note and forgotten them. Why would I forget an important goal? Because life happened and, well, I forgot.

Why is it so easy to forget? Life! Looking back at my goals from 2012, I found one of my goals that I didn’t totally achieve but I didn’t forget it, either. I set a goal in 2012 to read fifty-two books. I do believe in reading, but fifty-two books is not a goal that I necessarily recommend. I didn’t forget that goal to read all of those books because it was always in front of me. Every day, my current book was there for me to pick up. On my desk there were always three or four books that were in the bullpen just waiting for their turn. As I started reading one book, I ordered another. I didn’t read fifty-two books in 2012, but I did read thirty-four, which is pretty good and most importantly, I never forgot the goal because it was in front of me.

Lately I’ve been thinking again about my goals and that 2012 goal to read fifty-two books. So, I’m approaching the year with a new, untested goal- tracking system. I bought myself a cheap journal. It’s one of the spiral bound type that almost looks like your typical high school composition book.

Here is the untested system.

First, I wrote my goals on the first two pages of the journal. Remember, some scientists say that the action of writing makes the information more concrete, mentally. Now every morning as I have my quiet time, I read from the Bible, pray, listen to a podcast, read a few pages from my current read, and I re-write my goals. That’s right! The plan is that everyday of this next year, I will rewrite my goals. I will also add notes such as, “goal completed” and “goal dropped”; or I may write a note to explain what I will do on that day to help myself achieve that goal. We’ll see how it goes.

W Clemet Stone said, “No matter how carefully you plan your goals, they will never be more than pipe dreams unless you pursue them with gusto.”

Finally, here are a few goal-setting pointers:
1. Write you goals down.
2. Read or rewrite your goals daily.
3. Be willing to edit your goal list. You may find that your priorities will change as the year goes by.
4. Act! Do something to make your goals a reality.

bookcover

In 2012 I wrote a book, The Eye of A Needle.  It was fun, hard, challenging, relaxing and more. The day came that the book was finished and uploaded to my self-publishing provider. I remember when the first hard copy arrived in the mail for me to proof. It was a dream come true.

This morning I opened my book in the Kindle app on my iPad and read the introduction. It encouraged me. I needed it. I thought that I would share these words from the introduction with you on this site.  It’s not an attempt to “bait” you into buying a book. As a matter of fact I have lowered the Kindle Version price to .99 cents.  You can also buy the paperback version from amazon.com. There is a link at the bottom of this post to amazon.   However I will make you this offer. If you want a paperback copy of my book I will give it to you.  Free! No cost. No Shipping and Handling.  I will pay for the book and the shipping to get it to you. All you have to do is request it in writing via snail mail.  Send it to me at 108 Florida Street, Brewton, AL 36426.  The reason I’m requiring you to ask by mail is that I want you to at least invest some effort in getting it. Email is too easy and it won’t mean as much to you. I will not use your address for a mailing list. It’s that easy.

Now, The Eye of A Needle, The Introduction

How many times in your life have you used the word impossible?  How many times have you thrown it out carelessly in a conversation as a way of avoiding even the slightest challenge?  Do we really stop and consider the power of our words when we throw them about like a plaything? The truth is, Words hold power.

Proverbs says, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.”

Have you considered that when you tell your children “it can’t be done, that it’s impossible,” that your words may be killing a dream?  Proverbs says that “those who love it will eat its fruit.” Love what? Life or death!  Maybe we should really reconsider how we use the word “impossible’ and , when we do use it, to make sure we disclaim that statement with the following statement; “but with God all things are possible.”

Don’t tell your children that it’s impossible for them to make the team. Don’t speak negative about others’ dreams and aspirations. Don’t make it a habit of tearing down dreams with your words. Be a builder. Tell those around you that you believe in them and that you know that with their determination and God’s help that anything is possible.  If your initial response tends to be negative, hold your peace, think about what you are about to say and then speak faith. If someone is believing for something big, your encouragement maybe be invaluable to them.

If you’re the one with the dream, stay away from dream killers. Don’t listen to those who are negative or don’t believe in you. When they do get a negative word in, replace it with faith.

Impossible is defined by dictionary.com as “not possible; unable to be, exist, happen, etc.  Unable to be done, performed, effected, etc.k not to be done, endured, etc., with any degree of reason or propriety; and impossible situation. Utterly impracticable;”

In this book I’m going to use scripture and life stories that will rekindle the flames of your faith and remind you that nothing is impossible.  Nothing is impossible when determination is coupled together with faith.  Nothing is impossible when you say what you believe and believe what you say. When you live what you believe and put actions behind your words, nothing is impossible.

We should all be challenged. I am challenged as I write this book to believe more, to accomplish more.

I’m going to use words like “dream”, “big” and “possible” to describe that thing God is calling you to do or that thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish. It might not be literally impossible but it might be so BIG that it looks impossible. My point is this: Whether I use “possible,” dream” or “big” the outcome of your situation all depends on your determination, your faith and your confidence in God and the promises of His Word.

When someone tells you that it can’t happen, that you shouldn’t try with any reasonable expectation of success, or that it’s utterly impracticable, you tell them that in the Kingdom of God, nothing is impossible.

Those who say it’s impossible should get out of the way of those that are doing.

End of Introduction.

“The Eye of A Needle Kindle Version.”

“The Eye of A Needle Paperback from Amazon.”

Remember: To receive your free paperback copy of The Eye of A Needle request it by mail. Send your correspondence to Jeff Scurlock 108 Florida Street, Brewton AL 36426

expectations

I looked up the word Expectation and was surprised at the depth of the definition (I’m being a little sarcastic). The word Expectation means the act of expecting. Wow. Isn’t that deep. Then I looked at the word expect and it means “to look forward to; regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence…..”

God’s Word is full of scripture that encourages us to expect.

In Mark 9:14-24 we see the story of a man who came to Jesus wanting his demon possessed son to be set free. He told Jesus “I brought him to your disciples so they could cast him out and they could not.” Jesus’ response was directed to those disciples. “O faithless generation….” Jesus wanted his disciples to face this situation with faith and expectation. They didn’t.

One of the biggest challenges in Christian leadership is getting people to believe that no matter what their circumstances are that they can/should be expectant about the future.  If things are bad, they don’t necessarily have to stay that way.

I’ve often spoke of those who have what I call a Doris Day theology. I hate to blame Doris but she did sing the song, Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see.” The fact is… it’s easier to live with that mentality than to believe and stretch for things.  It’s easier to just have no anticipations, no desires, no belief that anything can be accomplished beyond where they are.

We see more in more in our western culture, able bodied men and women giving up or not ever trying at all to be anything. They are quite content to wait for someone else to give them everything they need. They would rather trust welfare that to step out in faith and accomplish something.

Our society has become so un-driven. Young men and women who should be in school preparing for the future or should be in the work force by now still living with parents, refusing to grow up. The problem is made much worse by parents who enable their lazy, un-undriven children by giving them what they need and requiring nothing of them.

Don’t think that the problem is age specific to young adults. It’s not.

There are more than enough scriptures and stories within those scriptures that teach us to reach beyond where we are. They are lessons for us.  With all my heart I know that God wants us to have expectations in our life.

Mark 11:24 Jesus said, “whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  It takes expectation to pray. So many just don’t bother to pray.

Matthew 21:18-21 herein is the story of the fig tree cursed by Jesus. Jesus’ instructions were “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, “be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Do you see how loaded verses 21 and 22 are?

  • Assuredly, I say to you. Jesus was sure of what He was saying.
  • If you have faith and do not doubt. You will do what was done to the fig tree, but ALSO if you say to this mountain, ‘be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.
  • And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

I understand that there was repetition in the previous two paragraphs but that repetition is warranted. There is no expectation like speaking to the mountains of life and commanding them to move.

Luke 8:41-55 includes two separate story lines within the same text taking place at the exact same time.  First is Jairus a ruler of the synagogue who had a daughter dying and knew that if Jesus would come to his house that his daughter would be healed.  The second person is a women (no name given) who had an issue of blood. That means that she had female bleeding and it had been taking place for twelve years. This lady was expectant. She said to herself that she knew that if she could just touch Jesus’ clothes that she would be healed.  Guess what. The story ends with both getting what they expected. Jairus’ daughter was actually raised from the dead and the woman was healed.

Isaiah 54:2-3 is a scripture about being expectant. It says, “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.”

The missionary William Carey preached form Isaiah 54 and said the message was two fold.

  1. Expect great things from God.
  2. Attempt great things for God.

 

In 1 Chronicles 4:10 Jabez prayed what some would characterize as a bold selfish prayer. I would say, it’s a prayer of expectation.

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, hand that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” so God granted him what he requested.”

So now I will leave you with one last scripture. One that i recommend that you commit to memory.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you gray and mighty things, which you do not know.”

Expectation!

What is it that you are believing God for in the days, weeks and months to come? Please click the comment button at the top of the page and leave your comment here.

Get a copy of my book, The Eye of A Needle – Affiliate Link

Check out Expect A Move of God in Your Life, Suddenly – by Joyce Meyer  –  Affiliate Link