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My family doesn’t come ahead of my ministry – my family IS my first ministry. That’s because the family is the basic building block of society. Family was the first of three institutions ordained by God. Healthy churches, healthy businesses, and healthy communities are made up of healthy families.

More than anything else, I want my family to be blessed by God and for us to bless Him by fulfilling His purposes for us. Nothing matters more than knowing God’s purpose for your life. Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life, simplifies your life, focuses your life, motivates your life, and prepares you for eternity. Living on purpose is the path to peace. The Bible says “You LORD, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3, TEV)

My theme verse for 2004 comes from Matthew 6:13: “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.” Rick Warren, the author of the book The Purpose Driven Life , preached on this last phrase of the Lord’s Prayer in his 8 week sermon series titled “The Lord’s Prayer: Path to Inner Peace”. Rick calls the last phrase of the Lord’s Prayer “the prayer of blessing.” In his sermon CD, Rick states that there are 3 secrets to being blessed by God, namely seeking God’s kingdom first, depending on His power (i.e. that’s faith), and living for God’s glory.

In early 2002, I made the commitment to increase my quiet time (QT) with God to an average of 4 hours each day by 2012 after Michael Stay coached each person in our Christian accountability group to write down our 5-10 year visions. For the last 3 months of 2003, I prayed frequently to God for the courage to step out in faith to commit to increase my daily QT to 4 hours by the start of 2005. I recognized that I was very busy, and understood that the only way I could slow down was to spend more time with God. I knew from first hand experience that God takes everything we give from our hearts and multiplies it miraculously. It’s a paradox that spending more time with God allows us to accomplish more in the time remaining. I prayed for God to make my life and my family’s life a testimony of His goodness and greatness when someone truly puts Him first in all aspects of his life, including time, talent, and treasure. In January 2005, I began spending an average of 4 hours of daily QT and started on-line prayer journaling, which I had heard about from Rick Warren. Those two habits resulted in the most blessed year by far my family has ever experienced. Truly God is an awesome god!

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