Have you ever taken weeks or months off to re-assess what matters most to you in life as you continue to dream?
Feel free to read my journal notes below or watch this Top-20 highlights video. May you be inspired to live a life of deep purpose and meaning as you pursue your biggest dreams!
My 90-Day God Chaser Journal
Below are not all of my journal entries, but what I felt were some of the best of the best. I have bolded the content that really stood out to me the most. It is my hope that you might be able to be challenged and inspired by them as you ponder how you might apply them to your life!
· Perhaps I should go to bed each day earlier, and get up earlier to remove that time trap from my life. Not much has ever seemed to happen that’s favorable late at night, and the trade for an early start to my day with more quiet time with God seems very wise.
· My heart needs to love modesty in women and men.
· Remove things that will fight your ability to “create more space for God”. I fasted from Facebook and had my employee take over management of my fan pages and account during my sabbatical. I might continue this indefinitely, however, it was freeing to remove yet another place of temptation to stay connected to an over-connected world during my time away.
· I need more grace for forgiveness in communication. My personality as a “quickstart” is to be fast-paced, productive and focused on bottom-lines. I like to reach an agreement with someone, and then stick to it. I have realized that this can be faulty thinking when I fail to honor people’s heart motives in the process of forming a pact, whether in business or personally. People can have a conversation and realistically both leave with what they felt was a mutual agreement, yet both people might have understood a “different agreement”.
· Romans 12-1:2 – It hit me like a ton of bricks. It reminded me that I need to see my body (and life) as a sacrifice to God that is Holy and pleasing in His sight, not mine or the world’s standards.
· Philippians 2:12-13 – Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.
· Even if you don’t like someone, that doesn’t mean you can’t choose to love them. I am deeply challenged by this as I look at my toughest relationships in business and personal life.
· 1 Corinthians 13:7 – Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. There were three people that came to mind that are tough relationships in my life currently, and God showed me that I need to ask Him to change my heart to align with His, so I always hope for the best in them, see the gold in them and don’t react expecting (or assuming) the worst in their intentions (or their actions toward me). I need to give them an open/clean slate always and keep no record of wrongs.
· 2 Chronicles 16:19 – Says that the eyes of God range throughout the entire Earth to strengthen those whose heart’s are fully committed to Him. I was challenged to look at any areas of my life that I have never surrendered fully to Him, and to lay it down vs. holding on to it and worshiping it as an idol in my life. I identified one that largely eluded my thinking in the past. I don’t believe my heart was fully ready to see it from God’s perspective. I wanted to see it the way I wanted to see it, or wanted to justify it based upon what most people would say. It is easy to allow a dream or desire to inappropriately fuel all sorts of self-centered, self-absorbed ways of thinking (or living) that simply need to die, so we can honestly be fully committed to God’s will for our lives. The greatest breakthroughs in life will come through this obedience.
· When more of our flesh dies (desires of our body/mind stop being our life’s focal points), then more of our spirit (God’s spirit within us) lives.
· I was reminded that I have a very serious responsibility to my team, clients, future family and loved ones during this season of my life (more than ever during the sabbatical) to understand that my obedience or disobedience to God affects others and has ramifications that are further reaching than I might realize normally. The fruit or blessing/ break-through I see in the next season of my life after this sabbatical are very much linked to my obedience.
· Hebrews 12:11 – No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening. It is painful! But afterward, there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
· During a prayer walk I was watching older couples walk, hold hands and talk. It was a vision for me that showed a heart’s desire to share that with my future wife. Walking together, reading the word and praying together consistently.
· Proverbs 12:16 – A wise person stays calm when insulted.
· I Watched an interesting video from Rick Warren, who authored the Purpose Driven Life, which addressed marriage and compatibility. I agree with his take about not believing in incompatibility. Any two people who love God with all of their hearts, souls and minds, make their relationship with him the center of both of their lives and “ are both willing to grow up” will be able to build a growing relationship. They will be able to love one another well. This doesn’t mean certain people can’t be more compatible, or that you single people should not be interested in dating (or marrying) people that are more compatible, but it is a good encouragement to those who might look for perfection in a future spouse, or might be looking for it now in a struggling marriage.
· I have learned that greater, deeper peace comes in seeking God and truly following the lead of His Holy Spirit. That was true for me behind the purpose in walking through this 90-day journey and the sabbatical the way I did. It also helped me at the time to walk away from some seemingly attractive business opportunities right before my break. In trusting God, I was able to let go of things that might have seemed like wasted time or failures professionally in the first few weeks of the 90-day journey.
May 17-20 (Sabbatical Start)
· I faced two challenges. I was tested on the last day before my sabbatical to see what was in my heart. I got a call from a friend who unexpectedly needed help financially for travel and his father’s funeral in another country. God showed me that there was much in my heart that He wanted to show me and change. Even though I see myself generally as a generous person, I questioned the person’s motives and in my heart initially struggled to give him the money. That weekend, I was able to bless him, but the process helped me to see that yet again my heart wasn’t lining up with God’s heart, and I wasn’t offering love to him based on always hoping and believing for the best in people.
· The second challenge happened on my first working day that I was off on my official sabbatical. A much unexpected attempt was made to try and affect the quality of my time off, so I would be pulled back into “work mode”. I trusted God through not responding, and through trusting Him found value in the wonderful people He has blessed me with as employees to run things well in my absence. I could stay focused on what God had to show me in this time away while giving my employees the opportunity to grow as leaders through my commitment of non-response.
· I reviewed a binder I created eight years prior called “My 25-Year Transformation”. There is another blog post on this site about it if you care to learn more. It was amazing to see what my 95 top life goals were eight years prior, and to review the progress made. I was able to identify 22 which were accomplished with others. It was exciting to review and build a New Bucket List with my top 68 future life dreams and goals. They were much more specific, and many of them changed based upon how my priorities in life have changed. Only a small percentage of what was undone from the list eight years prior carried over. I broke them down into categories of life like I do during my annual new year’s resolution process. There is another blog and video on this website about that too if you want to further explore it. This was a wonderful process that encouraged me and excited me for the future.
· Secondarily, I updated what I call My Autonomy Funds. It is a document that outlines the top conceptual funds and priorities I had in life with regard to use of any wealth that God provides to me. I updated what I did eight years prior into nine laser-focused Autonomy Funds, with five other “potentials” for the future. An interesting factor is that I was able to re-learn how I want to spend my life and steward my wealth. I became clearer than ever about how to enter into marriage, raise children and manage my future family’s home, as well as set goals for increased charitable giving and empower the dreams of the poor, to name a few. If you would want more input on this process, I’d love to chat with you.
· While in San Diego, an extended family member said something that still rings in my mind as simple, yet profound relational/marriage wisdom. A key to building and maintaining a healthy marriage is the ability of both people to give each person the space to “truly be themselves” without trying to change the other person.
· The truth as a Christian for me is that I am a “slave to righteousness”. I am not a slave to wrong-doing or sin. The Holy Spirit convicts me of God’s righteousness and that I was made righteous in God’s sight because of what Jesus did for me (a sinner) on the cross at Calvary. My true identity in God’s eyes is that I was made righteous through receiving His Holy Spirit to dwell within me when I accepted His gift of salvation. I am not now living as a hopeless sinner who is trying to be good enough to please God or the world to gain its acceptance. God’s love is unconditional for me.
· From page 243 in a book I read called ‘God Chasers,’ by Tommy Tenny – “Sometimes we use the very blessings that God gives us to finance our journey away from the centrality of Christ in our lives”.
· I received major clarity and revelation about “making the marriage decision” during prayer to God. It is a life-long commitment by me primarily to God to love her well, because of my life decision to love God. My ability to be faithful and devoted to her (whoever she is) is only because of my greater covenant with God.
· While talking to a retired veteran in a park named Ron, he shared something that really stuck with me. He told me that making mistakes isn’t a problem and is permissible, but we MUST PROFIT from them and then prove that we have by not repeating them in the future. This was very challenging to me as I reflected on past mistakes that I had “re-made.” There is so much wisdom in this statement from someone who has lived many more decades than I!
· Based upon what I shared with you in my May 4th journal entry, this day I was inspired to create a declaration of six specific changes / commitments in life that I was going to make to God and my future wife. I framed it, signed it with my best friend, so there was a level of honor and accountability with the commitment, and then I was given a new-found sense of peace and true “renewal of my mind.” This was a wonderful gift from God that I remain excited to walk out as I verbally re-state my resolutions to Him each day when I arise.
· We must truly have faith for the things we are praying for. If we don’t believe God can or will answer the prayers, then why even pray them? Many times people tire of praying for things that seem to go unanswered, but true joy comes from visualizing and believing in God’s character, His heart, His ability to do all things and visualizing what the victory looks like upon the prayer being answered. That is the posture we must maintain as we continue to pray without ceasing.
· During my first visit to a retreat center named the Jesuit Center, God revealed to me that the best way to meet individual needs and to help people with their dreams (a passion of mine) is to truly listen to them when they talk. There is true power in active listening. As someone who struggles to be a good listener, this serves as a great reminder and challenge to me!
· I was able to do a 10-hour adventure race with two of my best friends. It was an epic challenge on my mind and body. I was reminded that no matter what your age is, you are able to challenge yourself to do much more than you realize. You have to simply be willing to step out in faith and go further than you have gone before.
June 17-29 (Bangalore India)
I have been truly blessed to have traveled all around the world at such and early age. This was my first time to India, and it was truly a trip of a life time. So much so, that I wrote that additional blog post for those of you who wanted to get the full story. In general, I was able to receive clarity that I sought both personally and professionally. I went there as a public speaker, business/life coach and short-term missionary.
I largely focused my work at a conference on Dream Interpretation and SOZO. I was able to personally coach 25 people and deliver several talks on walking out your calling/destiny in life, and breaking the spirit of poverty. I saw spiritual break-through and prophetic revelation spoken over my life like never before. I was able to personally grow in my understanding of SOZO inner healing and deliverance ministry, dream interpretation and what it means to live life truly led by the Spirit of God. I came home with mental/emotional baggage that had been severed from my life, and I felt more excited, passionate and confident than ever.
So if I was asked if I was glad I took the 90-day journey, and the six-week sabbatical, I would say: “Yes, without a doubt”. If you have never considered taking a month or more off in your career or life to be rejuvenated, and to re-assess what is important in your life, then I would tell you that you can’t afford not to. You truly only live once. Sacrifice might be needed to achieve it, however there are always creative/courageous ways to make such a decision in life (no matter what your career is). If you ever face a major crossroad in life, feel stuck, burnt-out and unable to dream, or simply know that God is leading you to make changes, I would say it’s most suitable to embark on such a journey. If you would ever want to explore how you could journey in such a way, I’d love to process your dreams with you. Feel free to contact me!