One month down and eleven to go . . .

How fast the month of January has seemed to pass. Here is a thought for you: 

How January went is how your year may go. 

There is a truth, “If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you got.” This first Monday in February you can gain a good perspective about what you may accomplish this year, if you keep doing what you are doing.

  • Are you happy about what you accomplished in January?
  • Did you follow-through on some of your desired, “upgrades”? 
  • What was your most important accomplishment in January?

The Super Bowl yesterday was a great game as it usually is. The game had:

  1. Accountability to rules, 
  2. Time allowance, 
  3. Teamwork,
  4. A goal and a prize,
  5. It came to a victorious conclusion, (for one team). 

Accomplishments in life are similar.   It takes teamwork, there are rules, time allowance and a goal linked to each life accomplishment. In 2 Timothy chapter four Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith and now the prize awaits me.”  

As I look over my life, I feel that I have made some “touchdowns” for the team. I want to make more before I join Paul and say, “I have finished my race.” But, I want to keep the same anticipation that Paul had as he faced the challenges of life and ministry. He ran right to the end. 

When the Vince Lombardi trophy was given each person thanked the team. 

I realize that nothing is accomplished alone. I am blessed to have a great team around me. My wife, Janet has been beside me since the beginning. I have had people speak into my life each step of the way. I have a professional “coach” I pay to get with me twice a month. If Tom Brady needs a coach, so do I. I want to keep, “upgrading” the game.

I hope to see you at the podium  . . . 

Have a great Monday, 

Larry Neville 

Larry@praisechapel.com
Praisechapel.com

Time to Upgrade . . .

Every so often I receive a notice on my cellphone that says, “Upgrade available, we recommend that you upgrade your operating system.” There will also be a note that explains why they are offering the upgrade. It usually reads like, it will fix these bugs, add these features, correct these problems. I didn’t even know there was some bugs or that it needed new features, but I go ahead and click the upgrade icon. Then a note pops up and says, do you accept the terms and conditions. I don’t think I have ever read the terms and conditions, I simply click, “yes.” Then after I have accepted the changes, I get frustrated because I have to learn a few new  techniques they added to the system, but soon I am happy again with my phone or other device. 

We get used to upgrades to our phone, computers, apps, TV’s and just about everything that is electronic. We simply click and move on. We accept the fact that upgrades are necessary and usually improves our use of technology. 

What about a personal upgrade? 

Not your phone or computer but, yourself. Upgrades don’t have to be labor intensive, or a major system overhaul. Just a little here and there can make a big difference. Here are five personal areas to consider some upgrades in 2019. I think the Apostle Paul would call this, “grow.”

  1. Faith

Jesus declared, Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22).

I feel like someone in this MondayMorning.Club needs to be reminded of what  James wrote, “When your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things” (1:3TPB).

By saying, upgrade your faith, I am referring to your relationship with God. What areas can you upgrade? What about your personal quiet time with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Yes, I mean prayer time. Talking with God.

One brother I was speaking with Saturday said, “My job has moved me near my home, I save two and half hours a day in driving.” I said, “Great, you can spend that time with the Lord now.” Why not?

2. Family

Remember the movie, “The Blind Side”? When Leigh Anne played by Sandra Bullock was serving Thanksgiving Dinner, and her family grabbed their plates and hurried to the den to watch football. Michael Oher, the homeless teen she had taken in just a few nights before, went and sat at their beautiful dinning room table to eat. When she saw him, she went and shut off the television and called all the family to the table. That was an upgrade.

Take a moment right now and think about your family. The time you spend with them, the words you say to them, the prayers you pray over your spouse? Children? In-law’s? and Grandchildren? Just think about a few upgrades that you can do in your family. Maybe plan your calendar to do something extra together. It doesn’t take much to go a long way with your children, spouse or elderly parents.

  3. Fitness 

I just read this, “All those New Year resolutions to get in shape, lead to an enormous amount of new gym memberships.” You don’t have to join a gym to upgrade your health. My dad was always on my brother Mike and I to “take care of yourselves.” Watch what you eat, walk, don’t gain weight. . . I can still hear his voice. “If you lose your heath you can’t do much for God.” He was an example to us and he outlived all of his family by almost 20 years.

My heart breaks for many of my coworkers in the ministry as they get older. Why? The price they are paying for not taking care of their physical body. Come-on let’s upgrade our physical fitness.

  4. Finances 

You are probably already working on your income tax. Are you pleased with how you spent all that money last year? How much was saved? Reduced your debt? Gave to God?

Why not pick a couple of areas to upgrade? Maybe tracking spending better? A budget? Setting a realistic saving goal? Look over your insurances to see that you are covered enough. 

  5. Friends

There was a popular sitcom in recent year, “Friends.” It struck a nerve with the American public because people were craving a circle of friends who would be there for them at all times. 

The theme song for the show says… 
I will be there for you, when the rain starts to pour. 
I will be there for you, like I’ve been there before.
I will be there for you, and you’re there for me too. 

Let me ask you a question…Are you enjoying the benefits of a close friendship?

At the end of our Lord’s earthly ministry he met with his disciples and called them, “friends.” (John 15:14) That is what I want to be able to say, “I have lived my life with friends.” I was in a meeting recently when a fellow pastor said, “I have worked with Larry for forty years.” While that really sounds “old.” This is what I want – lifelong friends. Leaders can become so negligent of just being, “good ol friends.” 

When these five areas are upgraded, I call this the, “Five-Star Life.” Let’s live it . . . It’s time to upgrade.

Larry Neville
www.MondayMorning.Club

Merry Christmas

We had wonderful Christmas dinner with our family Saturday evening. It was Mexican and Pilipino food, tamales and lumpia. I’m looking forward to three more Christmas dinners. One Christmas Eve and two more Christmas day.

Christmas night at 8pm we have about 15 Muslim born refugee friends coming to our house for a traditional Christmas dinner. This is probably the first time for most of them to have a Christmas dinner. Janet is preparing a turkey so it looks like a Norman Rockwell picture. We are so looking forward to this time with them. We are looking forward to giving each of them a gift and share the message and joy of Christmas. 

I pray that you have a very Blessed Christmas with your loved ones. “For unto us a Child is born . .. ”

Larry & Janet Neville
larryneville.com