Project 2020

goals, plans, dreamsI started a new writing project recently, one that is quite different than anything that I have attempted before.  I don’t want to go into to much detail just yet.  Many things about it could change before it is completed but at this point there are a couple of things that I know for sure and can share.

  1. It will be one of the longest pieces that I have ever written if not the longest.  It won’t be anything like book length (at least I don’t think it will) but it will be much, much longer than the weekly blog posts.
  2. If things go as planned it will take around three years to complete and there’s a very specific reason for that length of time.
  3. I will be releasing it in stages as I reach certain milestones.
  4. The genre will be loosely “documentary” and I plan to mix my writing with photos and video.
  5. When all is said and done it might only be interesting to me but that is the kind of risk you take with something like this.

It’s hard to say exactly when the seed for this project was planted but the process that I will be documenting is based on a decision I made a couple of months ago.  From the beginning I’ve wanted to write about this particular topic but until I really thought and prayed about it I didn’t really understand how I could incorporate it in to Matthew515 properly.

That praying, thinking and planning process is continuing and will continue because this will be an on-going project with a definite goal at the end.  I said earlier that I thought it would take around three years time to fully complete and that is because I have a specific goal of age 45 for completion and I will be 45 in March of 2020.

Although 2020 is my target I always, in everything I do, want to be sensitive to God’s will and His plan for my life.  From the beginning I’ve let it be known that I give God full authority to change my course and alter or do away with the project and the goal completely.  This project is human initiative but I want it to be human initiative under God’s direction and in a way that would be pleasing to Him.  That might mean that the goal gets pushed back (if it moves at all it would be more likely to be pushed back than to move forward and those reasons will be discussed within the project itself) because ultimately the timing is in God’s hands, not mine.

On a personal level, thinking about and planning for something that is several years out is difficult for me to do.  I have always been a “right now” person (which is both good and bad) and I’ve not given the future as much thought as I probably should have.  I am not a visionary or someone who tends to set grand goals and I tend to stay focused on the here and now.  That’s not to say that I never think about what is to come (I am very excited for what God has in store for His children!) but just that I don’t tend to spend much time thinking about what happens next here on earth.  For me to have set a goal that is that far out is something brand new and feels as exciting as it does daunting.  It’s something that’s not really in my nature so I know that in order for it to be completed the focus, inspiration and energy will have to come from the Lord.

That’s all for now and I hope to have more to say about this in the very near future.  My God bless and keep you as you go!

The Human Contribution To God’s Deliverance

god's plan, faith and works, Psalm 21:31One of the best and most important steps that we can take in our Christian walk is coming to the place where we understand and agree with God’s viewpoint.  I say this in a general sense because it is a process that must be repeated over and over as our faith grows through knowledge and experience.  In other words, this understanding and agreement is not a one time occurrence but should happen many, many times throughout our lives as God reveals Himself more fully to us.

Learning to be a Christ-follower is a lifelong journey.  Wisdom and revelation are given to us as we continually seek after the heart of God through prayer, Bible study, private and corporate worship and time spent with other believers.  God made each of us unique. The way that we learn and grow is also unique and I believe that the Holy Spirit is constantly working and ministering to us to help us receive exactly what we need to progress in whatever stage of life we are in at the time.

In Proverbs 21:31 we find a truth that we can apply, if we are willing.

The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But deliverance is of the LordProverbs 21:31 (NKJV)

Thus far we have talked about growth, development and the progress that we are hopefully making as children of God.  All of this can loosely be thought of as preparation.  Preparation for what?  Preparation for whatever comes next in life and ultimately in eternity.  Proverbs 21:31 tells me that preparation is an expectation and not an option.  As a complete thought, this verse shows us that our preparation does not in and of itself grant us victory or deliverance, only God can do that.  But the preparation must occur.

In every challenge that we face in life or are likely to face in the future, we can apply Proverbs 21:31.  Prepare.  Make sound, Bible-based plans and put in the work that is required as a faithful laborer.   God uses the work of human hands to carry out His will and any careful study of the scriptures will reveal how God used ordinary people to do His work and to carry His message of salvation to the world.

God’s expectation has not changed and He is still seeking those who are willing to be used.  God’s plan for every problem that faces mankind involves the work of His saints, up to and including the salvation of many souls.  To use an example, it is a good thing to pray for world hunger and for starving children but real progress is made when we open up our wallets and donate food to our local food pantry and worldwide relief organizations.  No problem is insurmountable to God but it is an important revelation when we discover that God intends to use us as part of the solution and to exclude ourselves from the process is to completely miss how God intends to bring about His kingdom on Earth.