Cows All Around? Maybe You’re Lost

Have you ever got where you wanted to go accidentally?

You drove around and around the town, then suddenly you found yourself exactly where you wanted to be.

It happens—but not often. More often we end up in a pasture, being contemplated by curious cows.

Usually we get where we want to go by planning the route. Sure there are unexpected detours and we get confused, but I’ve found that between Google on my computer and Google on my IPhone, I can generally get where I want to go.

Now I’ve got a question for you. If we work so hard to get to a physical destination, why do we think it’s any different for the other, more important goals of our life?

You’ve Got To Plan It

To have a great relationship with your spouse or your kids, do you just muddle through, hoping for the best? Careful, you may end up in a cow pasture with an enraged bull.

How about work? You want to advance, to do excellent work, and get paid more don’t you? Do you think that merely showing up and piddling around will get you where you want to go?

Do you want to grow in intimacy and effectiveness in your relationship with God? Are you waiting for the Lord to knock you over with a lightning bolt, after which you will be the Twenty-first century equivalent of the Apostle Paul?

Hope on sweetheart. Those things usually don’t happen accidentally.

Sure God’s hand has to be on us in grace and blessing but we’ve got to treat those things as important, even vital for our life if we want to see them happen. We win life’s lottery by accident sometimes, but it’s rare. Very rare.

And usually when we get something so easily we haven’t developed the skills or the patience to keep it. How many professional sports millionaires are broke a few years after their career finishes?


I’ve learned a word the last couple of years that I love. The word is “intentional.” It means you do it on purpose. You make up your mind to go after something.

When we were kids we loved to bop one of our friends and say, “Oh, I’m sorry. It was an accident.” He knew very well it wasn’t. We did it on purpose. Most positive things we accomplish in life are done on purpose. They are intentional.

So how do we go about this? You need to make a plan in all the major areas of your life and work towards that.  Your blueprint isn’t set in concrete and you’ll have to make adjustments as you go forward, but very few people are happy if they don’t feel they have a mission in life.

Decide what God has for you and start working towards that.

What kind of marriage does you want ? What would you have to do to get there? Do you really want to get there? Maybe if you’d do some of the things you did to get her (or him), you’d have a much better relationship with them now.

Why are you on this earth? Come on now. Way down deep you know. What will it take to accomplish your life’s mission? Make a plan and start in that direction.

Here Is How

How can you know God better? How can you move into that place of intimacy with Him? How can you appropriate the gifts and strength that He has promised?


-Think prayerfully about your life.

-See where you want to go in all major areas.

-Make a plan to get there (count on God’s help. Make your goal big enough that it  take faith to get there. Don’t just do what you can do. When you do it big you get to see what God can do).

-Adjust your plan and even your goals when necessary. Its rare that we see the end perfectly when we begin.

-Keep at it. Don’t quit.

-Rejoice when you get there, but kick up your heels in celebration when you win little victories on the way to achieving the big goal. Let yourself enjoy the process as much as the ultimate achievement.

The places you get to accidentally may not be the places you want to be in life. If you’re hearing a lot of “mooos” and see yourself surrounded by cows, you better back up and make a plan.

“It won’t be long before this generous God who has great pans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.” (1 Peter 5, The Message)

Hmmm ….

“Even failure can be redemptive if you learn something from it. It doesn’t have to be career-ending. In fact, it can be career-building—if you take the time to wring all the juice out of the lemon.” Michael Hyatt

Image:Janbaby,, efeutatum

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“That Deep Intimate Voice Speaks Inside You”


Normally, if we tell someone that we hear voices speaking inside of us, friends start looking in the telephone book for the address of the funny farm.

I used to have a friend who told me that God was going to use him to do all kind of things. I was a little wary of him.

The Blues Brothers thought they had hear God’s voice, too. “We’re on a mission from God,” they proclaimed.

“Hearing voices can be a very disturbing experience, both for the person who hears voices and family and friends,” according to the Mental Health Foundation (

I guess so.

You know what, though? I think we all have a voice that speaks in the depths of our soul. It’s not like, “Hello up there. I’m the evil genie who lives in your liver.” Actually this voice is usually ours. Sometimes it says things like,

“You’re nothing.”
“I’m angry, angry, angry.” Continue reading

The Gentle Art of Goofing off

When I was a kid, I was a champion goof-off. (Still am, sometimes, for things I don’t want to do).

Daddy’s garden stood as the summit of things that the little boy that I was tried to stay far away from. If he wanted a garden, that was okay, but why drag me into it? My parents and grandparents abused me. They MADE me work in that garden.

“You’ll want to eat those vegetables when it all grows up, so you’ve got to work now.” Hah! Onions! Green beans! Tomatoes! Who would want to eat stuff like that? Now if gardens grew Snickers candy bars …

All the same, when people are bigger than you are, you do what you’re told, though you don’t have to like it and you don’t have to do it whole-heartedly. So you’d find me scowling under the hot sun,  pulling on stubborn weeds and wishing with all my heart for a baseball game. That was something worth exerting all your energy for.

But tomatoes? Get serious! Only an adult could dream that a tomato would be worth working for. Continue reading

How To Accomplish Your Goals In 2013

A recent newspaper headline caught my attention: “The Rolling Stones Confirm Four concerts in 2013.”

The headline was accompanied by a picture that made me wonder if there had been a break-out at the local nursing home. The Rolling Stones look as if they should be hobbling more than rolling these days.

(Though, I saw them on the television later, and they still boogie pretty good–for grandpas anyway).

Remembering what they were in their prime and seeing them now, we can’t help but wonder, “What does it all mean?” or something existential like that.

Things don’t stay the same down here do they? We try to reproduce what was but we can’t.

Mick Jagger looks more like Mervin Stagger now. Continue reading

Telling the Truth Or Kidding Ourselves!

A “Martian” Helps Us Know If We’re Telling the Truth Or Blowing Smoke

Watch out! I’m sending my little Martian buddy to spy on you. If you see this two foot tall green fellow with three antennas and purple eyes looking at you through his spy glass, don’t get nervous. That’s him.

He’s usually harmless.

Now, he’s trying to figure out what you’re living your life about. He’ll be recording it all on his z-pad (they don’t have i-pads on Mars).

He’ll note how you spend the majority of your time—working, playing, goofing off, or trying to persuade big fish to surrender to you. He’ll use his x-ray vision to look at your bank account and see how you spend your money. (“Wal Mart? Wal Mart? Wal Mart? What’s this Wal-Mart thing?”) Continue reading