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Devotions

Happy people have goals...

By Dr. Henry Cloud

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 3:13-14

As we accomplish goals, a lot happens. If we have a purpose, as we open up to and anticipate something positive, then the dopamine and neurotransmitters begin to fire, and we begin to change. What we find is, when we have goals, performance improves, moods improve, and health improves.

My youngest daughter, at around six years old and learning to read, liked to get a book, and see the pictures, but not read it. Each week as a family, we would try to stretch our goals. This particular week, Lucy said, "Dad, I'm going to read ten books."

At the time, I was struggling to get her to read just one. To teach her a lesson that our goals have to be realistic, I said, "All right, fine, read ten. I'm going on a trip for a few days. When I come back, we'll see how you've done." I left thinking that there was no way that she was even going to get the first one read, because her goal was too high!

When I came back, I walked in the door and the whole family was standing there. I could tell something was up. They nudged my daughter and I said, "Luce, what?"

"Dad, I read 14 books!" She told me how much she read each day and we had the biggest celebration. My daughter broke through the difficulty because she had set a goal, and now that girl reads all the time. Every time we go to bed at night, she's reading. It was so exciting to see God's wiring in her begin to happen when she set a goal.

(Excerpted from a recent message on the "Hour of Power.")

Prayer: Dear God, help me to identify the goals you want me to set for my life. Help me to create goals that carry me from where I am today to the place you want me to be tomorrow. Amen.

Reflection: What are your lifetime goals? Your goals for this year? Your goals for today?


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"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 3:13-14

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