How Building Your Life is Like a Construction Project

It Has to be Done One Brick at a Time

It’s the start of another new year and if you’re like me you want a plan in place for what you’re going to accomplish this year, next year and the next five. I’m naturally a planner, so having a plan gives me a since of comfort.

However, when things don’t go as planned…it can be unnerving. This is why it’s hard to plan.

We don’t want to do something and then find out it was the wrong thing, so we just don’t do anything.

Life is like a construction project…you can have the best plans imaginable in the beginning, but it’s not always going to go as planned. We need to remember that building the best life, means it’s always under construction.

We have two choices…we can start building or not.

My life plan isn’t that different than most plans out there. It takes the big long-term goals and breaks them down into annual, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. It is made up of visions, values, principles and areas of my life.

It starts with my God given purpose and mission; this is the cornerstone of everything else. Part of that foundation is my core values. I’ve written about most of these previously. (See the links at the end of the post)

One of my core values is (was) moving the mountain one shovel full at a time. This the same concept of eating the elephant one bite at a time. I changed it from eating an elephant to moving a mountain, because it seemed to fit my construction perspective better.

Just like I said that life is always under construction earlier…I’m changing this core value of moving the mountain one shovel full at a time. It’s now going to be:

Build God’s Kingdom one brick at a time

Ultimately, they both have the same foundational point. We need to focus on the small pieces so that we don’t get overwhelmed by the big things.

There are a couple of things I like about this change –

First – Incorporating “God’s Kingdom” helps me to remember that He is the Master Architect and that I need to build according to His plans.

Second – Building is constructive rather than moving a mountain or eating an elephant are destructive.

The most important thing to remember is to choose the right Architect to design your life.

If you don’t have a good plan the life you build will be a mess.

From the Master Architect’s Blueprint –

…but you are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family. 20 You believers are like a building that God owns. That building was built on the foundation that the apostles and prophets prepared. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stonein that building. 21 The whole building is joined together in Christ, and he makes it grow and become a holy templein the Lord. 22 And in Christ you are being built together with his other people. You are being made into a place where God lives through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22

Okay, I need to quit putting off my 2022 life plan and get started laying the first next brick.

Previous core value posts:

Using core values as a life filter

Honor God in all that I do

Intentional action

The Importance of intentionality

Taking off the blinders and being more observant

Attention to detail

Spend time wisely

Never be satisfied with mediocrity

Find and maintain the balance in everything

Move the mountain one shovel full at a time

Remember that I have two ears and one mouth

Be accountable

Being Held Down and Held Back Leads to a Desire for Independence

But Freedom Doesn’t Mean That You Can Do Whatever You Want

As we celebrate the 244th birthday of the United States, we need to remember that it’s more than just another excuse to party. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But remembering why we’re partying is imperative to the continuation of this freedom.

The freedom that we enjoy in America comes at a price.

This bill is paid through blood sweat and tears. It’s the sacrificing of our selfish desires without losing our common sense and direction.

When the founders of our great nation determined that they could no longer be held down and held back the world was changed forever. Up until then every government had been some form of tyrannical monarchy.

It seems that we are edging away from our founding principles back toward the mistakes of the past.

It seems that everywhere we look we are bombarded by attempts to divide us. Things that the founders would have seen as efforts to distract us from being united in the important things that we should be focusing on.

We all have an innate desire to be independent….to be our own person. This doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want without consequences.

There is a fine line between independence and mob rule.

As I was thinking about where we’ve come from and where we’re headed, I was reminded of the book, The 5000 Year Leap: Twenty-Eight Great Ideas That Are Changing the World by W. Cleon Skousen.

This book asserts that the United States prospered because it was established upon natural law principles that came from common law and traditional Judeo-Christian morality. These principles found in the Bible guided the Founding Fathers as they incorporated these enlightened ideas into the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

“Part of the genius of the Founding Fathers was their political spectrum or political frame of reference. It was a yardstick for measuring the political power in any particular system of government. They had a much better political yardstick than the one which is generally used today. If the Founders had used the modern yardstick of “Communism on the left” and “Fascism on the right,” they never would have found the balanced center which they were seeking.”

Excerpt from 5000 Year Leap

There have been disagreements between people from the beginning. (Cain and Abel, Genesis 4:8) The thing we need to work on is the strength to stand up for what we believe while respecting other’s opinions. We need to be looking for that balance the Founding Fathers were seeking.

Celebrating Independence Day started with the very first one.

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

– John Adams July 3, 1776

We’ve been given the Torch of Freedom it’s up to us to keep it lit and pass it on to future generations.

What changed 244 years that made such a huge difference from previous 5000? The 5000 Year Leap shows us the 28 Principles of Freedom our Founding Fathers said must be understood and maintained by people who desire peace, prosperity and freedom.

“The goal of life is not space travel, backyard swimming pools, glider planes, entertainment extravaganzas, big fast cars or thrill pills. What human beings are really seeking is individual happiness, self-realization.”

Excerpt from 5000 Year Leap

It’s time to get back to these basics.

Principles Are Like A GPS For Life

They Help Us Get Where We Want to Go

Making our way through the difficulties of life can be hard. There are bumps, unexpected turns, detours and road blocks. When we start the journey, we think we know exactly where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. Surprise!

If we just had a map and GPS for this road trip called life it would be so much easier. Well what do you know…we do. Life’s map is the Bible and the GPS is our core values and principles.

When we pick up a map for the first time, we don’t understand everything about it. The more we study and use the map to get us where we’re going, the better we get at making the trip. The Bible is the same.

We all have core values and principles whether we know it or not. Like a GPS in our car or smart phone if we aren’t aware of it or don’t put in the coordinates it won’t help us get where we want to go.

Core values are the foundation on which we conduct ourselves. In an ever-changing world – core values are consistent. They underlie our work, how we interact with others, and help us to fulfill our mission. A principle is the fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning. Once we become aware of these core values and principles…99% of our decisions are already made.

This week’s Scripture (road map), Luke 6:27-38, has always been hard for me to fully understand. It talks about loving your enemies, letting them slap you on both cheeks, giving them your coat and your shirt, giving things to them and not asking for them back. It says love your enemies and do good to them. I always felt that I had treated others the way I wanted to be treated. What I figured out from this week’s sermon was that I never really have had to deal with an “enemy”.

When Pastor Lee told a story of a Michael Weisser a Jewish Rabbi who in 1991 was harassed in Lincoln, Nebraska, by Mr. Trapp, a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, the meaning of the word enemy took on a whole new meaning. After getting hateful phone calls, Rabbi Weiser turned things around by calling Mr. Trapp and harassing him back with love. One day the Weisser’s phone rang and it was Mr. Trapp. He said, ‘I want to get out of what I’m doing and I don’t know how’. This is how you’re supposed to love your enemies.

I’ve never experienced someone treating me like this. I hope that if I do, I will be able to “love my enemy” this way.

When people filled with hate haven’t found their life road map and GPS, they don’t understand when they are confronted with love. The best way to help them is to “Love Them Until They Ask Me Why”.