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If you are like me the last days to any year are a mixture of expectation and reflection. Something that I have learnt is that good reflection can help me have expectations that are attainable.
So here are some of my reflections for 2013:
1. Dreams are great but they need goals
2013 was the year I turned 40, so as you would expect I was waiting for the crisis to hit hard. There was no sudden urge to buy a Harley or a Ferrari but I did get a sudden desire. The desire of speaking fluent Hebrew, this was my dream. A lot of people carry dreams. Dreams regarding learning, travelling or whatever you want.
It would be wonderful if dreams just came true, but they don’t. I have met countless people with dreams that will never become reality, because they haven’t attached a plan to the dream.
You see I know myself, that if I don’t commit and take actual steps towards making it happen then its probably never going to see the light of day.
Let me be even more specific, I had to set the date, commit to hours and sign up for classes. These very practical, boring and time demanding activities were the bridge to the dream becoming a reality.
Sitting on a dream? Make sure you put goals in place for 2014. They might just make your dream come true.
2. Creating memories as a family has great value
Another one of our families goals for 2013, was linked to the idea of creating memories. This is something that I believe in and put some effort into. For us the memory was to have a month in Israel as a family. Visit the places we have read about, soak up the culture and have lots of fun.
Mission accomplished! – The thing about good memories are they are sticky. They pop up in conversations long after the event. You can visit them over a meal back home and the smells, flavours and places come flooding back. They bring unity as a family. The exclusivity creates a special memory for only those invited:) Any memories you want to create for your family in 2014?
3. Never underestimate the power of God focused conversations
About 18 months ago I was in Bergen teaching at a Bible school and my good friend Øystein Gjerme invited me out for a Chinese. A nice restaurant in the city centre, good food and meaningful conversation. After some fried rice and peking duck, Øystein started to share about missions in India and there bible school in Uttar pradesh, and invited us as a church to get involved by starting a school together with them in Varanasi. I think over the years I have developed a sensitivity to being aware of Gods spirit and guidance in conversations. This was one of those moments, a God given opportunity, a conversation in Bergen that can effect Gods kingdom in India.
This November we arrived in Varanasi preparing for the upstart of a bible school in January. Seeing the grace of God those few days; salvations, hearings, hunger for the Word was a powerful experience. I travelled to India to teach, and the teacher became the student.
The thing is I want more conversations that include God. I love to talk football, family and films. That’s easy. On top of that I want disciple conversations. You know those conversations where we talk about God, the Word and mission. I need those kind of friends around me, pushing me in my walk with Christ, opening doors where anything can happen.
4. When I am weak I am strong
After three years of physical illness I find myself again reflecting over the blessings my weakness has given me. It has pushed me to depend stronger on the grace of God. It opened my eyes for people’s pain and sickness around me, and I have certainly become more compassionate.
5. Watch your words
This year has been a unique year listening to some leaders that I respect greatly, and have significant churches and track records. Great teaching and points, Evernote has been used to its limits. I have visited Dubai, America, Israel, India and there has been a lot of truly world class teaching. Among all the subjects and themes I have noticed something being repeated – “Watch your words!”. Words are something leaders use a lot, from a platform to a boardroom. We share information to and about one another, discussing problems and debating solutions. Leaders use words as tools to lead, influence and challenge, but words can build up and pull down. Probably pull down a lot quicker than they build up.
I noticed several leaders used that phrase when speaking about leadership – “Watch your words!”
The thing about words is that you cannot take them back.

Its wrong to say that this is something that I learnt in 2013, but it is something that I was reminded of. I need to watch my words, be slow to speak quick to listen. Words that are Christ centred, grace filled and mission empowering are words that I pray will flow from my mouth in 2014.

M

Source: Mark Wootton Blog

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