Raising children is an adventure to say the least. Comedian Bill Cosby has made the assertion that unless you have more than one child you are not a true parent because one child does not fight with themselves! Lately I have felt more like a referee than a parent as our two youngest daughters have been constantly bickering over everything from whose side of the room is whose, or who is the rightful owner of a particular toy (this despite the fact that the other has an identical toy), or whose clothes are whose since Charley is beginning to wear hand-me-downs from Savannah. Sometimes the bickering escalates into something more physical in nature. The most recent bout took the form of hair-pulling and face-smacking. As I interrogated the diminutive divas, Charley kept saying, "I didn't do it on purpose" as if that was an excuse for her wrong actions.
This prompted my mind to wander to the excuses we have when God convicts of sin. How often do we claim, "I didn't mean to sin. It wasn't as if I did it on purpose"? I can remember using that excuse with my mother once, to which she quickly responded, "You didn't mean not to either." In other words, I didn't purposefully make the choice to avoid my shortcomings.
Purpose. Purpose imbues intention on an action. As I read the Scriptures I am convicted that the best way to avoid sin is not to go through life with the, "I will not do this today." Rather, we must approach life with purpose, with intention, as we decide to do good in the place of evil. Good actions must replace evil deeds. It's not enough to avoid sin. It's not enough to simply say, 'I will not do this.' We must replace the sinful deeds with good ones. We must purposefully seek to do good. We must live life on purpose.
As I thought about this, I began to evaluate other areas of my life and work with the lens of purpose set upon it. Are my sermons 'on purpose' or are they simply set up according to whatever whim hits me at the time? Do my Bible studies reflect intentionality or do they simply jump from one random book to the next? Fortunately these two areas passed the purpose test. But some areas did not. Some personal areas that deal with familial issues and other not so personal areas, one of which is this blog failed to measure up to the standard of intent. I have not approached this blog with purpose or intention. My writings have been based upon whatever is bouncing around my cranium at the time.
I want to change this. Starting at the first of the 2011 year, this blog will show more purpose. It will still have book reviews from time to time (I'm not going to turn down free reading material), but the other posts will reflect more intentionality. They will reflect (1) the topic of that week's sermon for those of you who attend Cool Springs Christian Church that will also be applicable to those not privy to the sermon material, (2) a challenge to do something for the Kingdom, and (3) prayer topics based either on the post, the ministry that I am serving in or the impact of the blog. Even though I'm a small voice at a small church, it is my prayer that God can use this blog to impact a worldwide audience!