The First Congregational Church of Darien

United Church of Christ

A community of faith since 1737

Pursue Your Purpose

2018 has started off with a bang!  Last weekend, January 7th, I had the privilege and honor of officiating the wedding of my eldest sister, Melissa Kathryn Penza.  Our family and friends were riveted by the love we all share for Jesus Christ.

After the sermon, a gentleman, who has been married for over 40 years came up to me and said: “Young man, you are one of the most gifted preachers I’ve ever heard.  Today, you taught me new things about the Bible and inspired me to love my wife even more.”  As usual, this comment brought tears to my eyes.  Immediately, I thought about Jesus.  Primarily, what a phenomenal teacher He is.  His ability to teach us lessons about our human nature, how to develop our character and how to live a faithful life is superb.

This Sunday, I want to share with you the main teaching Jesus has taught me.  In truth, I believe deeply, that it’s the secret to a beautiful life regardless of age, race, creed, religion, or lack of religion.  Since I became a Christian it’s always been my anchor.

My prayer is that you have taken the time to sit alone with God and think about the year ahead.  I came across a great article entitled: “5 Steps to Success in Achieving Goals”, it is a great framework to use so that you can pursue your purpose.  I hope it inspires you:

Step 1:  Set Goals with the Greatest Positive Impact

We are often pulled in many directions, which makes it hard to accomplish even one small goal. To prioritize your goals, look at all areas of your life such as family, health, career, finances, and leisure activities. Then decide what goal(s) in each area truly motivate you and will most positively impact your life.

Step 2: Make SMART Goals for Best Results

To make goals that are focused and achievable, they need to be S.M.A.R.T., an acronym that typically means: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-limited.

For example, instead of saying, “I want to start my own business,” a SMART goal would be: “I will start my own life coaching business that helps people with major life transitions by May 1, 2015.” The latter goal is specific in that there is no question as to what is trying to be accomplished. Also, anyone can determine whether or not it has been completed, which makes it measurable, and the time-limitation helps create the motivation.

Step 3: Writing Goals Down Is Essential

Writing goals in a daily planner, a journal or even on sticky notes, helps focus our attention on them and makes them more real.

Step 4: Think of Potential Obstacles and Real Solutions

Winston Churchill said, “Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” Successful people fail more than unsuccessful people simply because they keep trying no matter what obstacles they come across.

Step 5: Focus on Goals Everyday

Focusing daily on our goals helps us succeed in reaching them because it’s a constant reminder of what we desire in life. Achieving important goals in life can truly be difficult yet so rewarding. Enthusiasm, self-discipline, commitment, and perseverance is what’s needed to get our desired results. Once a goal is realized, a dream turned into reality, we gain acknowledgment that through hard work and passion nothing is impossible.

Friends, I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday.  God bless you and stay passionate!


Gary Michael

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