Week 1

I just finished week 1 of the no T.V. challenge.  I’m shocked at how productive I was in just one week.  I’ll be sharing more on social media, but it was the first time in a long time that I felt really good about my productivity at the end of the week.

The secret really lies in my lists.  I’ve been told to do this before and I’ve tried to do it but never with any success for some reason.  On Monday, when the challenge started, I started creating lists of the 3 things I HAD to get done each day.  By Wednesday, I actually pretty much knew what I wanted to accomplish by the end of the week so I created the lists for Thursday and Friday.  I had a free movie ticket that I had gotten for donating blood so on Thursday, when I finished with the Thursday list, I started on the Friday list.  I was able to finish 95% of it (enough that I knew I could finish the rest by the end of the day) in the morning so I went and saw the movie.

For reference, I didn’t put movies on the no T.V. list for a few reasons.  1) I have to pay to go see movies and I’m cheap, so I won’t be out of control watching movies all day.  2) A movie is once and done.  It’s not like a series that I will binge on if I like it enough.  3) And most importantly, there’s no way I’m waiting until next may to see The Last Jedi.  I’m not that crazy.

Once I finished my lists each day, I either read or did some research or got some work done around the house as we’re about to move.  I’ve read more pages in my current book in the last week than I did in the 2 months before.

It’s only been a week and already this challenge is having a better effect than I imagined.  Because I’m not zoning out on the T.V., I’m also actively coming up with ideas all the time.  It has really been a huge blessing and I’m so happy I decided to do it.

Blessings.

A Year Of Growth

For a long time I’ve been trying to limit how much T.V. I watch.  I’ve been towards the end of seasons or whole runs of T.V. shows and said I would watch less as soon as it’s over, only to find something else to watch.  So a couple of weeks ago I made a tough decision.  I decided that as soon as the seasons were over for my favorite T.V. shows, I was going to start a year of no T.V. (thank you, by the way, to the producers of Blind Spot for making at least part of this journey really easy with that terrible season finale.)  This isn’t a self righteous, “I’m better than you and I want to share it with the world” post.  I’m doing this because I recognize a flaw in my methods and I need to fix it if I ever want to get ahead in life.

My goal is to see how much I can learn and accomplish in that year without the distraction.  I’m actually really excited to see the result.  It will also give me something to write about for a year (I’ve been stuck for a bit as those of you that read this blog may have noticed.)  This won’t be a “what’s Cameron up to today?” kind of blog.  The blog will be used more for the deeper things that I learn through the process.  I will use my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts for the more play by play updates if you care to follow.  You can click the links on this site to find them.

Here are my goals for the year:

  1. Be able to homeschool the kids by the end of the year
  2. Pay off at least 20% of our mortgage
  3. Pay off ALL non mortgage debt
  4. Build our businesses to earn $30,000 per month
  5. Build a house for a pastor down in Colony 89
  6. Read at least 25 books
  7. Get my black belt in karate
  8. Buy an investment property
  9. Build 12 houses for people in Colony 89
  10. Create a 501c3
  11. Build a school in Colony 89 (at least break ground on it)
  12. Break ground on a youth center in Colony 89

For those of you that don’t know, Colony 89 is a community in the outskirts of Ensenada, Mexico that we serve at.  Some of these goals I changed a couple of times and struggled with. I know they are ambitious, but I figure if I fail to reach the actual goal I will be much closer than I am now.  I don’t want to set my goals too low, as I don’t know exactly how this is going to play out.  Perhaps the time I gain won’t be the sum of the time that I watch T.V., but will be exponential since it will be more productive.

I will also create a private Facebook page for anybody that cares to join me on the journey.  I started on May 23, but you can join in the fun anytime.  I’ll say the same as I do when I encourage people to fast, do what you can.  If you only do it for a month, imagine what you can accomplish in that month.

The rules are simple.  I welcome you to keep me accountable.  No television, Netflix, Hulu, etc.  I do watch quite a bit of Youtube for learning things for my business, but I try to limit other content.

One last word on the social media part of this.  Those of you that know me know I don’t like a lot of attention.  I don’t need to be in the spotlight.  I’ll be sharing a lot on social media in order to edify those that watch, to share with you what I learn and bring you in on the journey.  I believe we are all taught so that we can teach others and that is my goal, not to have thousands of people watch me not watch T.V.  Even I would be bored with that.

I hope this journey blesses you as much as I think it’s going to bless me.

Happy New Year. Wait, what?

Happy New Year everybody.

2016 really came and went.  I say all the time that the years seem to get shorter every year but 2016 truly flew.  I have no idea where it went.  If I’m totally honest, 2016 didn’t go as planned for me.

I started out 2016 with big plans.  It was going to be my year.  My business was finally going to take off, my kids were going to be perfect, obedient children, we would get out of debt, and life would be awesome.  Life didn’t exactly work out that way.  I struggled through trying to figure out how to make my business succeed.  Once again, I didn’t achieve the goals that I set out for myself.  My spiritual life suffered.  I spent a lot of time frustrated and trying to figure out what the Lord wanted me to do.  I thought I was following His lead.  I thought I was doing everything I was supposed to.  But I just wasn’t getting anywhere.  Or at least, I didn’t think I was.  It’s hard to see the progress when you’re in the thick of it.  God has the 3 mile in the sky view that we don’t have.  Sometimes we don’t see what the Lord is doing in us while it is happening.  He may be working on our character, or simply setting things up that we can’t see yet.  The problem is that I spent so much time trying to do it in my own strength that I wasn’t spending as much time reading my Bible and praying as I should have been.  It was probably this fact that made me feel like I wasn’t hearing from the Holy Spirit anymore.

Finally, in December, when we were on our way to our family vacation, the Holy Spirit spoke.  It wasn’t audible, but I heard it.  He said I could have whatever I wanted but I had to work hard at ALL of it.  That’s when it hit me, the one thing that I was doing that I hadn’t realized all year.  I was essentially putting out fires.  I never made much progress because I would focus on my business until my family felt neglected, then I would run over and work on my family relationship and realize that my church responsibilities were being neglected, so I would run to that until I needed to go back to the business.  I realized that in 2017, I had to work hard at all of it.  Sure it’s going to be difficult, but I have to do it if I want to accomplish the things I believe the Lord wants me to accomplish.  I can’t do it in bits an pieces.  The problem is that in being so fragmented, I was working really hard and not making as much progress as I wanted to.

If any of this resonates with you, then you’re who I’m writing this blog post to.  I don’t suddenly have it all figured out and my life is perfect.  The whole point of my blog is that I’m walking this journey with all of you and sharing what I learn along the way and hoping it helps you take the next step toward freedom.  My encouragement to you all for 2017 is don’t make new year resolutions.  Set some good goals for yourself.

My goals for 2017 include building relationships, spending more time with my family, getting out of debt, raising money for our missionary in Mexico to finally build his house, get fit, and be able to read Biblical Hebrew.  Reach high.  But don’t set goals for yourself that you are never going to accomplish.  They should be faith building but realistic.  And then work.  Whatever your goals are they are going to take work to accomplish.  Most of all, don’t let your work distract you from your relationship with the Lord.  Don’t forget that He is the one that provides all of it.  If your relationship with Him fails, the rest of it will follow suit.  I learned that the hard way in 2016.  Truly, the instant I learned these lessons in the last couple of weeks, business opportunities started popping up out of nowhere.

I hope you all have a very blessed 2017.  Another one of my goals is to do at least 3 blog posts a week, one written, one video, and one podcast.  However, I’m not doing this because I’m an egotistical narcissist that desperately needs people to listen to what he says.  I want to be of service to you.  If you have any questions, or even prayer requests that you want me to pray for, if any of my skill sets can help you find your freedom in 2017, please email me (cameron@whollyanointing.com).

Here’s to a great 2017.  May you find freedom this year.

Serving With Family

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted because so much is going on.  I thought about doing a post on my reaction to the election but there’s plenty of that going around and I wanted to make this a little more light hearted.  I’ve also been itching to finally get back on here and share about our recent trip to Ensenada, Mexico.  We did our annual toy drive for the community of Colonia 89 in October this year.  Pastor Hector never connected the toys with Christmas with the kids anyway and with so many ministries to give to during Christmas time we wanted to separate from that season a little bit.  This was a fantastic trip.  We took about 15 people down with us this time and had a great time.

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This was just the beginning when we first got there.  The line soon was around the corner.  About 500 people showed up.  This is both children who received toys and parents who received food and gifts for themselves also.  Since we made a trip down in July to drop off some of the toys, half of the setup was already done when we got there, saving us a bunch of time.  I’m not sure this year could have gone any smoother.img_5241
Each child got to pick out a toy of their choice.  Our volunteers helped this process run very smoothly.
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Pastor Hector is always so efficient at making sure the process runs smoothly.img_5251

Cailyn jumped right in and was a big help in setting up and handing out toys.  The boys were also a very big help but somehow eluded the camera.
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After the children picked out their toy, they went into the children’s building next door and got prayed for.
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All of our volunteers were amazing.  We never had to worry that something wasn’t getting done.  Everybody did an awesome job of serving and helping out wherever it was needed.  It was such a huge blessing to serve alongside of all of these amazing people.  Once the kids were done with their part, we reset the room and the parents came in and got food and a gift for themselves.  Each one of the orange bags has rice, beans, maseca, and other food for the family to add to their pantry.
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Cailyn also made a new friend in the process.  Cailyn speaks about 3 words of Spanish and the little girl speaks little to no english, but they figured it out.
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I love being able to take my kids with me on these trips and expose them to life outside of the United States.  In this small community I do keep my eye on them, but I don’t worry too much about them.  Everybody is watching out for them, making sure they are safe and taken care of, just like the rest of the kids in the community.  If you’re not already, get out and serve with your kids.  You don’t necessarily have to go to Mexico, but expose them to helping others, especially during the holiday season when everything is about receiving for most people.  Dios Me Ve is an amazing ministry with a real heart for the community.  It’s been a huge honor and privilege for me to be able to watch it grow over the last couple of years and participate in that growth.  After we returned to the states the director of our mission board was able to raise enough money to finish the retaining wall around the church before the rainy season, as well as install the septic and get the stucco on the children’s building.  We’re watching this community be changed little by little right before our eyes.  I can’t wait to see the landscape of Colonia 89 be changed in amazing ways, not only physically, but for the kingdom of God.  One of the things that is heavy on my heart right now is helping Pastor Hector build his house.  He has a piece of property that he was able to buy years ago but hasn’t had the funds come in to build a house on it.  Right now a friend of his is letting him stay in his house.  Whenever funds come in to the ministry, Pastor Hector makes sure he spends the money on what the people that donated it intended it for.  Even if they say that he can use it for whatever he wants, the church always comes before his own needs.  He would not be the one to tell you all of this either.  He doesn’t spend any time begging for money to build his house, simply enough to take care of the community.  It is an honor to serve alongside of this man.  If you would like to hear more or would like to donate to the ministry of Dios Me Ve, send me a note in the contact us page.  Below are some more photos for you to enjoy.

Until next time, be blessed.

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Training Up The Next Generation

Yesterday was a new experience for me.  It was my first day teaching Bible Released Time. This is a program in California where students are allowed to be out of class for 1 hour each week to attend a Bible teaching.  It’s actually California law.  This is something that all students in California have a right to do, they just need teachers to come and teach them.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as it was my first week.  The flyers and permission slips had gone out late, only a week before, due to some push back from officials in the school district.  We might have 2 kids, we might have none.  We ended up with 13 kids on that first day.  One more wanted to come but forgot his permission slip.  Others will be coming in the weeks to come.  They were very well behaved and wanted to be there too.  I didn’t notice any kids that seemed like they were doing this just to get out of class.  Some of them had some Bible knowledge already, some because they were regular church goers and some because they attended Released Time last year.  Most were participating when I asked questions and were engaged in learning about the Bible.  Teaching these kids made me feel fulfilled in a way that I hadn’t felt in a while.

It also got me thinking.  I’ve been saying for a couple of years now that I believe Corona is going to be one of the hubs of a great revival that is coming to the U.S. soon.  I’ve always wanted to be a part of that revival, and not watch it from the sidelines.  I always assumed that participation meant that I would be preaching or doing something high profile to reach as many people as possible.  But maybe my part doesn’t look the way I thought it would.  Revival always starts with the younger generations.  Perhaps my part is not to be in the middle of the fire.  Perhaps my part is simply to spark the flame by teaching and training the next generation, then it’s their turn to turn the spark into a full blown wildfire.  What a cool opportunity to be a part of, being able to reach out to the young people in the city outside the four walls of the church and train them to be the faces of the coming revival.  What an honor and a privilege that God would use me in such a way.  I’m so glad that I get to be a part of this.

Here’s the problem.  There are 25 schools in the Corona/Norco district, and we are in 5.  I know that the person in charge of Released Time in our city has been to all of the big churches in our city and many of the smaller ones, and believe me there are plenty of churches in this city.  Only a couple are actually participating, including ours.  The others are too busy doing other things, mostly within the 4 walls of the buildings.  I can’t for the life of me imagine what they have to do that is so important that they can’t give an hour a week toward teaching these kids.  It is a privilege that we have this law in California, yet we are not taking advantage of it. Many of you have kids in these schools.  Wouldn’t you want your kids to be able to participate in this program?  So I’m calling everybody reading this to action.  If you live in Corona and want to be a part of this, or if you live in another part of the state and want to know how to get started, visit our Contact Us page to give me a call or drop me a note and I’ll get you pointed in the right direction.  We have this great opportunity, let’s not squander it by being in only 20% of the schools.  Let’s get into 100% of the schools by next year.  This should be a no brainer.  1 hour a week.  1 teacher and 1 helper.  I know there are at least 50 people out there that have the time to pour into these kids.  Please join us.

Until then, be blessed.

Life Lessons From A 4 Year Old Cow

First published December 12, 2011 (One of my absolute favorites.  I’m crying rereading this one.):

I’ve been waiting for days to post this one.  I finally just got my internet back up…

On Thursday, December 8th, I went to Colin’s preschool Christmas play.  Mrs. Meier got up and basically told the audience to be gentle and not make fun of the kids because, you know, they’re preschoolers and most preschools wouldn’t even attempt such a thing.  What caught me was this.  She said that the children actually took their roles seriously, because they know that they are sharing the story of the birth of Jesus, and that some people in the audience may not have heard that story.  That’s when I realized that I wasn’t just there to see a preschool play.  I started to cry with the realization that my four year old son was about to share the gospel.  I’m not sure if I stopped crying through the entire play.  It was an amazing feeling.  He didn’t play Mary, or Joseph, or Gabriel, or Jesus.  He was a cow.  But he memorized his line, was excited about his part, and did a fantastic job.  They all did.  It was amazing.  It makes me think about how we sometimes (or often) think that one part in the play called life is smaller than another.  We attain to be the super educated, loud voiced, bold, go everywhere and talk to everyone evangelist.  But that may not be our role.  We may have a lesser known part, a lesser seen part, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any lesser of a part.  The Bible says that the ear shouldn’t think it’s less significant because it’s not a hand.  I struggled with this for years before I finally accepted who I am and what role I play, and most of all that that was OK.  You may be a cow, or a horse, or the manger that Jesus was laid in, or even a piece of straw in that manger.  The only thing that can make you less significant is if you see your role as less significant and spend all of your time trying to be the star that leads to Jesus instead of best and softest piece of straw that you can be.  The next time that anyone, especially the evil one, tries to tell you that your role isn’t significant, do what I’m going to do.  Remember the words spoken by my precious 4 year old son on December 8th, 2011: “I, said the cow all black and white, I gave Him a place to sleep that night.”

May the Lord bless you all.

Serve Your Way Out Of Your Funk

First published December 22, 2011:

The beginning of this week was a little stressful.  We had something pretty much every night this week.  Of course, this would have to be the week that all of our kids got sick.  I was out of the oils that I would use both to prevent these sicknesses and to fight them if they happened.  So the kids ended up taking medicine again.  Poor Colin got an ear infection.  His cry of pain was different than the cry of when his sister kicks him, a cry that pierced my soul because I used to get ear infections all the time and I know how they feel.  I was wrestling with feelings of being inconvenienced mixed with the emotion of not wanting my child to suffer so.  Tuesday night we had to cancel our final training meeting to become table leaders at FUSE (I wonder who wants to prevent that from happening).  Wednesday we had plans to bless a single mom as a table group and I said I would do the main dish.  I generally like to challenge myself with food so I decided to do a ham from scratch, something I had never done before.  I had to figure out how to cook it though, since I would have to work on Wednesday, so I decided on the slow cooker.  With all of the distractions of sick kids on Tuesday, I didn’t check to see if that would even work.  So, of course, when I went to put it in the slow cooker Wednesday morning, it didn’t fit.  It stuck out of the top by about 4 inches.  Being a bone in ham, there was nothing I could really do about it.  So I asked Lena to bring our roasting pan back from her parents house so I could come all the way back home from work and put it in the oven so it would have enough time to cook.  I admittedly was nervous about the ham, because I had never cooked one before and I wasn’t really going off of a recipe, I was making one up (I now believe that recipe was inspired by the Holy Spirit, but more on that later)

So he decided to go with a laundry list of problems this week, huh?  No.  I know the first half of this post was a lot to read, but I had to set up the scene for the blessing.

Needless to say, Wednesday morning I was in a funk.  A pretty good funk.  I wasn’t in a bad mood or even angry, I was just emotional.  Colin went to the doctor and had a full blown ear infection, I had a lot to cook, and I really didn’t want to be in a funk when we went to bless that woman.  I wanted to enjoy blessing someone else.  So how do I get out of this funk, Lord?

When I went home to put the ham in the oven at lunch, I parked the car and saw one of our neighbors and her mom pulling groceries out of the car, a lot of them.  I didn’t really have time to stop because I had to get the ham in the oven and get back to work, but I was compelled to go.  I don’t even know those neighbors very well, though I say hi to them every time I see them.  But I’ve been praying for a way to get to know our neighbors, and my first new years resolution in a long time is exactly that, to get to know our neighbors.  So I saw the opportunity to serve Jesus and maybe open a door to getting to know them and I went over and asked if I could help carry the groceries.  The daughter said I could carry the water that was still in the car and I told her to pile it on.  She gave me the water and some soda to carry and I carried it to her apartment, where her dad greeted me and took it out of my hands, extremely appreciative.  All of them were.  They actually seemed a little beside themselves.  And here’s the miracle, I was instantly out of my funk for the rest of the day.  I had a couple of moments maybe, but that heavy feeling that I felt all morning was gone.  I then realized that the Lord knew exactly what I needed and set it up.  Those two women could have come home at any time during the day, even one minute earlier or later would have made things different because I was in such a hurry.  They came home at exactly the right time that I would be pulling up and see them and be able to help them.  It was a setup.  The Lord set me up.  And I’m so glad He did.

It’s amazing what serving can do.  Jesus tells us constantly to be servants, and I don’t think it’s just for the people we are serving.  It’s healing to our souls as well.  Everything came together for me that day, and we were able to really bless a family in need.  The woman’s mother was overwhelmed that we were coming to serve in that way.  And the ham, oh the ham.  People raved about it.  Everybody wanted the recipe.  That was more uplifting than it may have been to the average person because I love cooking and haven’t had a chance to do it as much as I would like, or at least to experiment and learn the way I used to.  Usually I get premarinated meat or anything else that’s fast and easy so dinner is ready on time.  It’s not very often I get to experiment and come up with ideas of my own and make them.  Experimentation could go either way for even a professional chef, which I am not.  So the Lord blessed me with that affirmation also.  What started out as a pretty rough day turned out to be amazing, all because I had my eyes opened and took the opportunity the Holy Spirit put in front of me.

So next time you’re in a funk, find a way to serve someone.  It’s the best medicine.  It takes you out of yourself and makes you others minded again.

May the Lord bless you all this Christmas season.