Ireland 2013

Ireland 2013

It has been a long time since I posted.  For that I apologize.  I just returned from a month in Ireland where my wife and I celebrated our 44th anniversary.  We needed the time to decompress from a particularly difficult year and a half that required daily vigilance to protect my family.  I came to Ireland for the first time in 2007 by invitation of a friend, Erwin McManus, lead pastor of Mosaic in LA.  I arrived a week early for the sole purpose of touring this amazing country staying in castles at night.  As I traveled west I came upon the beauty and tranquility of Western Ireland.  In 2010 my wife and I stayed at Ballynahinch Castle for 10 days.  I knew I would be back.

The first half of July was spent in a condo in the sleepy fishing village of Roundstone.  Each day we would watch the tide comein and go out floating the fishing boats resting on the mud flats of the quay.  I have remarked on many ocassions suggesting that anxiety sucking magnets are embedded in the soil of Ireland and as you travel across the country all anxiety is pulled from your soul. 

The latter half of our stay was spent in a small cottage outside the village of Cong near Ashford Castle and the Cong Abbey ruins. Each morniing my wife and I would rise, have breakfast, and watch the colts run up and down a field next to the cottage.  I would then begin writing and aside from a lunch break continue writing until 4:00 PM each day.  Then we would walk down to the village and go to the one consisten wifi location - Pat Cohan's Pub.  By the ned of our stay I had completed the manuscript of my next book entitled "Setting Your Course:  Finding Focus for Your Journey."  I am a stream of thought type of writer that requires some degree of extended seclusion to focus on the task at hand.  By the end of our stay the manuscript was completed - 14 chapters, 12 appendices, 500 footnotes, and 422 pages. 

The book is written around a journey metaphor of a compass, a map, and a guide. 

The purpose of the book is to help the men and women set their course, provide focus for their life, engage God’s journey for them, and finish the journey well.  The book is divided into three parts preceded by a prologue and followed by an epilogue.  Many of the chapters provide thoughtful questions that will assist you in the preparation of executable plans.   You will be directed to appropriate additional resources and applicable appendices to help you.  Each part—the compass, the map, and the guide—provides directions on how to prepare a deliberate plan of action.  Forms for each of these plans are provided.  Once each of these plans is completed, you will have a Focused Life Plan to implement so that you will finish well. 

      The prologue presents a wide-awake dream depicting a scenario where the dreamer is led to a heavenly throne where they find out what is in store for them and their part in it.  The epilogue provides a summary and serves to put the entire journey together into a comprehensive whole – a focused life driven by a calibrated heart, defined by a unique and personal life trajectory, and aided by guidance and accountability from others who will help us realize our calling.

      Part 1 – The Compass – explains the importance of orienting our lives in accordance with established compass points.  Once we understand how to use the compass, how to plot our course, how to find our bearings, and how to determine the direction we are to take to fulfill our destiny, we are ready for the exciting journey that lies ahead.  Beliefs, values, attitudes, and motives will be examined under the microscope of God’s word.  Alignment procedures will be presented.  Corrective and preventative measures for finishing well will be outlined.  The field of transformational change is the heart.  Transformation of the heart leads to transformed behavior.  Directions on how to develop a Personal Alignment Plan will complete this section.  Part 1 is about God working in you so that He may work through you.

      Part 2 – The Map – defines the trajectory we are to engage based on how God has wired us.  This section will help a man or woman move from a scattered approach to living life to a laser beam like focus.  Beginning with an all-out commitment to Him, a focused life is a life dedicated to exclusively carrying out God’s unique purposes through it by identifying the focal issues, that is, biblical purpose, life purpose, committed passion, major role, unique methodology, and ultimate contribution which allows and increasing prioritization of life’s activities around the focal issues, and results in a satisfying life of being and doing.  Directions on how to develop a Personal Life Mandate will complete this section.    Part 2 is about God working His redemptive purposes in the world through you.

      Part 3 – The Guide – stresses the importance of being mentored and mentoring others.  Those who have finished well have had multiple mentors in their lives; intensive, occasional, and passive mentors who guide them along their unique trajectory.  Living a legacy worth leaving in the lives of others is addressed.  Guidance on how to finish well is provided.  You be taught how to find a mentor to address your developmental needs.  You will also be given counsel on how to determine what type of mentor you are and how to mentor others.  Accountability guidelines are also addressed.  Directions on how to develop a Personal Mentoring Strategy will complete this section.    Part 3 is about God working in and through us with the support of others working with us.

Hopefully, by Christmas the book will be available.

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