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Overall 2019 was a great year for myself, my church and my family.  We had our ups and downs, there were some moments where I felt humbled, embarrassed and depressed.  However, overall it was a great year and I had a number of powerful, life changing experiences.

There were many moments of breakthrough where I made significant progress on my goals and I was able to take my life to the next level.  I would like to share five of these experiences.

  1. Coaching –  When I left Free the Dream in September 2018 there were two areas of my life that I wanted to build upon.  The first was to build a coaching practice.  When I think about some of the things that God is calling me to do with my life the top vocational calling is to help ministry leaders live life of abundance through their ministry.  I want to work with people either one on one or in a group setting and see the shift in their mindset.  In 2019 I was trained as a Level 1 and Level 2 ELCA coach.  I have worked with a number of people as a coach and I have implemented the skills I learned in coaching in my ministry.
  2. Health and Weight Loss – The second area of my life I wanted to build upon after Free the Dream is my health, specifically weight loss.  I deeply know the burden that I carry with the extra 150 pounds that I carry.  This year I have found my stride in reaching my goals of weight loss.  Not only am I working on the outside of my body but the inside as well.  I am reversing my diabetes and cutting back on all my daily medication.
  3. Financial Goals –  One’s finances are always tricky to talk about in an open and transparent way.  In November of 2018 my wife and I attended Financial Peace University to get a better handle on our finances, especially our debt.  In 2019 we paid off $8,500 of debt.  This fall my wife and I taught our first Financial Peace University Class and it went really well.  It helped motivate us in our own financial journey.  We are in Baby Step 2 and will be continuing to move towards financial freedom.
  4. Building Relationships – As an extrovert I am constantly wanting to connect with as many people as possible.  When I am at a conference or retreat I am looking for opportunities to talk with people, get to know people and become known amongst the group.  This year my breakthrough moment was to go deep with my relationships instead of wide.  I want to find ways to deepen the relationships with the people I already know instead of making sure I get to know everyone in the room.  That is not to say I am going to ignore everyone.  But I want to be intentional with who I talk with and what I talk with them about.
  5. Personal Spirituality – As a pastor for the last 10 years I have not always had a great personal devotional life.  There have been times when I have really connected with my personal faith and I have grown in my relationship with God. There have been other times when I have struggled to find time, or energy for personal spirituality.  In April and May of this year I found myself struggling with my personal devotion time.  I was feeling burnt out!  Lent and Easter was very busy for me and I did not have a day off of work for awhile and my engagement with Scripture, prayer and worship as all centered around work and I was not able to engage my spiritually the way that I wanted too.  Through some conversations with some friends, some time off and some reengagement with my personal devotions I was able to get back on track.  The value in this experience is to see how important my spirituality is to me and my overall well being.  The second experience was at the end of the summer when my church took on a 180 Bible Reading Challenge.  It has been a number of years since I read through the Bible straight through.  I have seen scripture in a new way and I have grown deeper in my understanding of Gods movement throughout the Bible.

2019 was a great year and I am looking forward to not only the start of another fantastic year in 2020 but the start of another decade.