Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 4--Faith, Not Fear: WRITE THE VISION

Welcome to Day 4 of our Bible based, Christ focused devotional.

Purpose: With so many people suffering during these tough economic times, I wanted to create a daily devotional which would promote faith in God as a solution to overcoming anger and fear.

Each devotional will provide a daily passage of Scripture for you to reflect on throughout the day. In addition, an “Action Item” will assign a daily, simple task to help you address your fears with faith and move forward with God's plans for you.

Thank you and God bless you for reading this devotional--please share it with others!

Steve Kendall



TODAY'S SCRIPTURE FOR REFLECTION: And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. Habakkuk 2:2 (King James Version)

You can read a more contemporary version by Clicking Here.

OPENING PRAYER: In your opening prayer, please pray that God will reveal His plans for you, according to His will, so that you may write it down, and carry it out to glorify Him.

Prayer List Update After your opening prayer, locate your Action Item paper from Day 2 (Same one as Day 1). Look for the Prayer List. Write those names on another piece of paper, notebook paper if you have it, so that you can keep the list handy during prayer time and add to it as needed. -----------------------------------------------------------------------


Acting On Your Goals--Make a Plan

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

You'll need your Action Item paper from yesterday, Day 3, for today's exercise.

On the left side of the paper you should have a list of your Hopes and Dreams. If you thought of more since yesterday, please add them.

On the top, right side of the paper, we wrote the word Goals. I would define a goal as something one wants to achieve.

Achieving goals requires action in the form of Objectives, which are the steps you put in place to fulfill those goals. You may define these terms in another fashion and can find lots of info online about all of this, but I want to keep it simple, to "make it plain" as the Scripture above tells us, so that we don't get tangled up in language and process.

Instead, let's keep it plain and clear so that God can use us as instruments to glorify Him and do His will. Simply put, this 'ain't a college course, and I'm no expert. I'm just telling you what has worked for me in the past thanks to God's help. I started this devotional to also help myself. I needed to write down a plan that I could read and refer to so that I would stay on task and not let fears and worries get in the way of doing what God required of me.

I felt the need to share this devotional as God blessed me with the vision for it and God doesn't give us gifts like this to keep to ourselves. So, I'm "re-gifting" what God gave to me--especially for you! : )

For brevity's sake, and the purposes of this devotional, I going to lump Goals and Objectives together and just call them Goals. In other words, we'll think of goals as something we want to achieve with the proper plan from God.

For each of your Hopes and Dreams (think of them as your Vision), you'll pray for God's help in coming up with a plan to execute each item.

Now you may have some hopes and dreams that seem impossible to fulfill, but remember, with God, all things are possible--when they are according to His will.

God often gives us what we need, but not always what we want.

Look over your Hopes and Dreams. Are there any items that seem selfish? For example, let's say you wrote down, "One of my dreams is to own a sports car someday."

If you have anything listed that won't glorify God, and be a blessing to others, think about scratching it from the list. You may rationalize that a sports car would be a blessing to someone else as you can drive them to a destination quickly--uh, yeah, that's true, but a mini van may be more practical and fit better within your budget. : )

Once you've modified your list, and prayed about it, (asking God to show you His will), draw a line through the words Hopes and Dreams and write the word Vision above them. You may not feel that you're ready to do this today. Maybe God has not revealed the Vision to you yet. It may take time for this to come to you.

Next, let's set some goals for achieving the Vision. Again, this may take some time. As one of my favorite church Deacons likes to say, "Our time is not God's time." We often have to be patient when God is working on putting things together for us so that the timing will be right to act on a plan.

We often mess stuff up when we act impulsively and rush forward without going to God first in prayer.

Over the course of this 40 day devotional, you'll work on your goals as they are revealed to you. I can't tell you how God will reveal them to you. I can only testify about my experience:

God often reveals a vision and a corresponding plan to me while I'm in church, listening to the pastor's sermon. I used to feel guilty about thoughts that would pop into my head that were unrelated to the sermon as I would hurry to write it down on the church bulletin, or any scrap of paper I could find--I now bring a notebook to church. : )

Over time, I came to realize that perhaps this is what God wanted me to do.

Some of the things revealed to me were: --Plans to put the pastor's sermons on the Web (my son found some free audio editing software online and I read an article about free, Internet radio programs one could host, a few days after a sermon)

--I also wrote the rough draft of an entire play and a children's book in church a few years ago. I believe my pastor, Dr. Lucius M. Dalton, confirmed this was God's will when he read the manuscript for the book and wrote, "Simply amazing! Brother Kendall (we call each other Brother and Sister in our church, instead of Mr., Ms, Mrs., etc. as we are all Brothers and Sisters in Christ) is on fire for Christ! He ends each story with a sentence that is so Spirit filled and so powerful that it makes you want to read the next chapter or the next story."

I was so surprised and humbled by that glowing review that I put it on the back of the book and will cherish it the rest of my life as a testament to how God used me to carry out His will.

You can read excerpts from that book, God's Glorious Christian Soldiers at:

Once you arrive at the link above, look for the word "Preview" below the book cover and click on it. -----------------------------------------------

The Plan:
As God reveals your goals for each vision on your paper, write it down.

For example, I wrote:

Vision 1. Finish another Christian children's book for the Christmas season.

Goal 1. My Goal is to do this by writing on a calendar what I want to accomplish every day leading up to a November 1, 2010 deadline.

I selected Nov. 1 so that the book will be ready in time for me to get a proof back from the printer, make adjustments and publish it by Thanksgiving, which is a good time to begin selling it for the holiday season.

I must confess that much of the book is finished as I've been working on it for about three years, off and on, but the project stalled when I had a bout illness and...when I felt better, I neglected to pray about it, rushed forward and messed up a lot of stuff that I now have to correct.

In closing, I'd love to hear about your Visions and how you plan to carry them out.

Feel free to post them in our Bible Study Cafe discussion area on Facebook, or you are welcome to send me a private message via Facebook or my email address:

NOTE: If you have a Vision for something you don't want to share publicly, do not post it on our Facebook page. Specifically, you may have an idea, or concept that you want to remain unique--in other words, you don't want someone to steal your idea. : )

Your private emails to me remain confidential and will not be shared without your consent.

What Happened to my Worries: Do you feel better about some, or all of the fears, and worries you wrote down on Day 1? If the answer is yes, tear that side of the paper off and throw it away! (Remember, your Prayer List is on the back of that paper. So make sure you transfer those names to another piece of paper as we discussed at the beginning of today's devotional.)

If you are still dealing with some of those items, go ahead and throw that side of the paper away, but continue to pray that God will help you overcome those worries.

We don't want to dwell on that stuff and keep reading about it. Throw it away so that you can begin to change your mindset and take on a mind more like Jesus (more about that in a future devotional).

CLOSING PRAYER: After you talk to God about the people on your prayer list, also ask God to reveal the Vision(s) He has for you and how you can best fulfill them according to His will.

Until tomorrow, have a blessed day!


Free Stuff For You!

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A True Relationship with God

If you would like a relationship with God, the only way to do it is through His son, Jesus Christ. This is supported in the Bible: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. --John 14:6 (King James Version)

We begin this relationship by first accepting Jesus. Here's a link to more info:

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.