Purifying our Priorities (Part 1)

Well, folks…it’s that time of year again.

  • HR Block is heating up its campaign…
  • Companies are sending out their W-2/1099’s…
  • TV’s are going on sale’
  • …and New Year resolutions are officially underway2.

After all, ’tis the season to be better, right? To start afresh and anew…and to grab change by the horns…

But perhaps you’re like me in the sense you wonder how many really know how to do this…or maybe you’re hesitant…afraid of prematurely falling off the resolution bandwagon.

Whatever the case, it’s important we get real about the type of world we live in. ‘Cause when we take a good, hard look into the deep, dark crevices of our culture, we find we’ve grown too content taking matters into our own hands…yet too passive in carrying them out…


…a paradoxical attribute of a society that constantly suggests having a heartfelt desire is “good enough”.

Not that “heartfelt desires” are bad; by all means, we were created to have them.

I’m just saying if we truly want to reach the next level (in any phase of life), it doesn’t make sense to be self-reliant, given the human tendency to fall short and mishandle change. Conversely, if we want to see growth become a permanent reality in our life, we not only have to accept the existence of a higher alternative, but we must be willing to depend on it as a supreme solution that exists (and only exists) in God Himself.

All that said… How do we turn our heartfelt desires, the seeds God’s plants within us, into lasting realities? How do we change from the inside out in a way that takes deep root within?

Before we can answer these questions with a customized five-point self-improvement series3, I submit we must first be willing to purify our priorities…

…which can only happen when we become intentional in spending time with God.

But first..what exactly is a “priority”?

According to the Random House Websters Dictionary...

  • priority is “something that’s regarded as more important…a right to precede above in rank, privilege, etc. …
  • …and “to prioritize” is a process by which we arrange, particularly in order of importance, relevance, value, etc.

Thus, when we consider what a priority is…and apply it to morality…our faith, we ultimately discover the importance of recognizing God’s priorities for our life.

Take Philippians 1, for instance, where in verses 9-10, Paul prays for the Philippians’ love to abound all the more so they could better discern and approve the things that are excellent4.

Essentially, Paul is saying: if you’re feeling overcommitted, overloaded, overwhelmed…if you’re mired in apathy, confusion, striving…or simply trying to decide what is best, what’s best for your spiritual well-being…and those around you…the answer is simple: love at all costs!

‘Cause at the end of the day, we all need Jesus in the middle of our everything…not only so we can conquer the burdens of life…but so we can love better in every circumstance (hence Paul’s use of the word “abound”).

My thought is: let’s be unified in seeking first the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) together…in being fervent in loving one another (1 Peter 4:8; Colossians 3:14)…so we may…

  • Better identify what’s most important in our own life…
  • Better concentrate on the relationships God has called us to…
  • Be quicker in our humble obedience…
  • Be more available to God, our family, those God has called us to be around…
  • Use time more effectively, including family and ministry time (and not sacrificing one for the other)…

…all the while being Spirit-led everywhere in between.

Stay tuned next time for “part 2” of this series, where I’ll discuss a couple practical pointers on how we can better engage God in our midst and live transformationally in 2016.


1) In prep for the Super Bowl

2) Take a good, hard look at gym attendance…and you’ll see what I mean

3) Granted, this is a popular trend this time of year

4) I don’t know about you, but I love this association, specifically how Paul links “the greatest gift of all” (i.e. “love”) to our call to judge righteously.

Photo creds: lightwork.typepad.com, quotesgram.com, indy.shine.fm

Year in Review: A Look Back at 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, Lyssah & I sit down and reflect on the year that was…

When you think back on 2015, what immediately comes to mind?

CF: Honestly, I’d have to say the view from our Amicalola Falls State Park lodge luncheon (see 1:22 in our ‘Year in Review’ video below). Talk about a stunning scene and a frameable moment all wrapped into one! But you know…the more I think about it, that breathtaking visual really captures our journey through 2015. ‘Cause though there were many ups and downs and plenty of action going on…there was still much to behold.

LF: I agree. There was lots of BIG change. 2015 has really felt like a runway preparing us for a new season we can’t even begin to fathom.

What were some of the highlights/defining moments?

CF: Without question, the highlight of the year for me was the pregnancy reveal at Logan’s. I mean…you can’t top that. As far as “runner ups” go, I’d say the Dave Ramsey Christmas party, our icy adventures in February, the Messenger Fellowship ordination ceremony, the day we found Selah, our gender reveal, both Georgia trips…and watching LEGACYouth reach yet another level in its growth as a ministry. So even though we didn’t get away as much this year, there were still many highlights to go around.

LF: Yeah, our “family growing” was an obvious highlight…from adopting little Selah to building baby. The funny thing is…I didn’t expect them to happen so close to each other, but nevertheless it has been wonderful. Being given a car…that was incredible. So much this year has just shouted out God’s faithfulness in huge ways. Losing my grandfather was also a defining moment.

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 7.46.27 PM
How would you compare the third year of marriage to the first two?

CF: Despite a more amplified year, I’d say our junior camp again of marriage was [far and away] the best yet. We know each other more intimately. We’re more demonstrative in our appreciation for each other. Plus, we’re more confident and secure in who we are as individuals and as a couple. No doubt, God tightened up our relationship and shone through our unity along the way.

LF: Wow! Has it been three years already? I think this year has been full of greater synergy and working together. Year one was about two individuals becoming one. Year two was about figuring out dreams and visions and shared goals. Year three has really been about starting to work towards those things together. Cam has had to carry a lot of that while I’ve been baking a baby, but it has still been awesome to build towards those goals and dreams together.

What lesson from 2015 are you eager to apply in 2016?
CF: For me, seeing the connection between Jehovah-Sabaoth (God our protector) and Jehovah-Jireh (God our provider…who knows what we need exactly when we need it) has been an incredible experience this year.

Looking back, there were a couple close calls/near-opportunities where we could have transitioned into [our idea of] a better place, but thankfully, the Lord protected us and kept us from getting ahead of His plan; however, there were also times when God totally blew us away with an unexpected (and very timely) gift (*Cough, new van, cough*).

So I’d have to say: watching God’s providence work in both the open and closed-door moments of life has been a highlight this year.

LF: God is faithful. He is enough. I don’t need to wait until it’s the last option to remember that.

My circumstances are not bigger than my God. If I am going through it, it is subject to Him and the more I press in to him during the circumstance, the more profitable it will be going through it.

I am stronger than I think and I don’t need to have that validated by anyone other than my God. He has written and wired me for the things I encounter, whether or not others see it right away.

It’s better to try and miss than fear and never try.

What do you hope you’ll be saying at this time next year?

CF: Lyssah, we’re home.”…”Happy Birthday, CJ!“…”Say, ‘Daddy’, CJ!“…

Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

Oh…and it’d be awesome for 2016 to be the year we finally do our debt-free scream. Eh, Lyssah?

LF: “We’re debt free!” (Probably not this time next year, but I can certainly hope).

Also…”Have you read my husband’s book?” or “I have a book deal!”

Better yet…”What a peaceful first Christmas for baby.”



2015 – By the Numbers

  • 7 – Pounds lost
  • 450.63 – Miles run
  • 375.76 – Miles walked during work hours
  • Estimated miles driven: 18, 457
  • Deep Fry blog posts: 41
  • His Girl Fryday blog posts: 24
  • Snowchased Snow Amounts: 18.2″


Photo credits: http://amicalolafallslodge.com