A New Year’s Resolution To Do Less


Happy New Year! Our baby girl is going to be born any day now. I guess she liked 2016 better than she liked 2015.

Every new year brings excitement and anticipation for what could be. 2015 brought many changes for my family. Jamie and I went from wondering where we were going to live and what we were going to do, to finding have a place where we want to spend the rest of our lives if He so desires. That place is the center of His will which right now has us serving the amazing people at Hope Fellowship Church. God has blessed us with new life as we have been anxiously anticipating the coming birth of my first daughter. I’ve learned that God’s timing is best. He knew when the right time was for me to come to Hope Fellowship Church. And God  knows the right time for my daughter to be born. This 2016, I will be celebrating a fresh start trusting in God’s perfect will for my life.

            I want to give you a sneak peek at our first sermon of 2016, entitled A Fresh Start: A New Beginning With God. The challenge of this sermon is to rethink our New Year’s Resolutions. Instead of always thinking about how you can do more, this year I want to challenge you to DO LESS.  Yes, that sure sounds like an odd New Year’s Resolution, but please allow me to explain.
            I read a few days ago about New Year’s resolutions. The article pointed out that most New Year’s Resolutions are inwardly focused. Lose weight. Make more money. Get better grades. There is nothing wrong with these and in fact many of us should probably seek to change certain bad habits in our lives. Yet most of the time these resolutions require us to start doing more. Resolutions motivate us to do more, run faster, work harder, be better, and keep up with the Joneses. But consider this thought as you consider choosing a New Year’s resolution.

Maybe this year instead of choosing to do more you should choose to do less.

The wisest man to ever live, King Solomon, said this, “Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind” (Ecc. 4:6). Since when is one hand better than two hands? I know this year I would certainly rather have two hands full of something than just one hand. But you see a wise man sees life with two hands. One hand is for working, toiling, and honest labor and the other hand is for giving back. When both my hands are full of toiling and working then I never have any time to lend a helping hand. I’m never able to use that free hand to build relationships with others, my family, or the lost. I am too busy. After-all, “I’ve got my hands full.”

Solomon is warning us against the dangers of always having both of our hands full of things that are vain, like striving after something you’ll never catch: the wind. He says, better is a handful of quietness. Quietness could also be translated as rest, calm, or patience. So think about this practically. Maybe you might need to cut back in a few areas in order to find your rest so you can start to give back. When was the last time you read your Bible? When was the last time you prayed for your family? When was the last time you volunteered to serve God’s people at your church? I’m too busy, is often the cry of our American dream mentality. Yet, Solomon’s wisdom says, let go and let God.

So I challenge you this year to find a handful of quietness. The best place to find that quietness is to find it with God. In the hustle and bustle of life it is easy to get distracted from our relationship with the God of the universe. We say, “hang on God, I’m too busy right now.” God says to us, “Be still and know that I am God.” So this year, be still, slow down, do less, because when you do, you are able to do more. 

We’re Almost There

We are almost there! I can’t help but sing the words in this song, “Almost There” with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. (Glad nobody can hear me as I type:) I know how incredibly ready Jamie and I are for our baby girl to come and I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for Mary and Joseph. All the stress and all the mess that comes with birth, not to mention the travel they endured, plus the difficult conditions they went through in Bethlehem. How were they not just overwhelmed? This song certainly brings all the eagerness, frustration, and confusion into perspective. I know the word perspective is a word Jamie and me have thought a lot about lately. You carry this child and endure this pain in order to deliver something far better. In a much greater way, Jesus came and endured all the pain and mess of this world to deliver for all mankind something far better: salvation. One day Jesus is coming again, but until then, we are almost there.

In Christ,
Jordan Moody

Peace on Earth

AfricaI recently read an email from my friend and college roommate who is serving over in Mali, Africa. He is a PA working in a local hospital there. In many ways, he risked his life to help the African people. There were major terrorist attacks in Mali during his stay, not to mention the variety of dangerous diseases he could be exposed to in Africa. He was aware of the threats, but continued to remain in country because he felt safe in the protection of the Lord. Upon his recent return from Mali, he spoke of his exciting time spent in the country, but also with a heavy heart he revealed his frustration for the war and death that exists in this world especially in Africa.

His words got me thinking.
Why all these terrorist attacks?
Why all this hatred and death?
If God overcame the world than why don’t I feel like an overcomer? Why would God allow such things to happen?


The answers to these questions are much longer and far deeper than this blog post can handle. However, when we pose questions like this we assume our current feelings about the world being “out of control” are actually the reality. Even though it may seem like God is not there, the truth remains that He is very much alive and working to redeem his fallen creation. He has already conquered death through his sacrifice for us on the cross. This is what the Christmas season is all about. Christ came down to save us from ourselves. We are the problem, not God. Thanks be to God for his “inexpressible gift” (2 Cor. 9:15).

Here are some comforting lines for you to take heart during this time of year. My friend shared these with me upon his return from Mali. I hope it is encouraging to you as it was to me.

“I think these last couple verses from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s timely seasonal poem outline well why we can have hope even in times like these:

And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”


Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men!”
In Christ,
Jordan Moody

Flipped Upside Down


“Greatness is earned. It is not a gift; it is a reward. It is not accidental; it is cultivated.”[1] This is a quote that stood out to me from the book, Practicing Greatness by Reggie McNeal, I just finished reading for one of my seminary courses. The book seeks to highlight the different disciplines of cultivating greatness. McNeal builds a case for the intentionality of the Christian life. This book does not deny that grace is a free gift and salvation is something that is not earned by any means. However, what we become and how we grow after salvation is a topic the New Testament covers in at great length. There are ways in which one can become great and ways in which one can insure he will never be great. God does not want to use vessels that are not willing to work for it. “Deliberate mediocrity is a sin.”[2] That is to say allowing yourself to be average and mediocre is not pleasing to God, “rather train yourself for godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7, ESV).[3]  McNeal writes about seven disciplines for godly spiritual leaders. The disciplines of self-awareness, self-management, self-development, mission, decision making, belonging, and aloneness are the seven key factors in a great leader.

In his introduction, the author describes his intent for writing by saying “the book aims to encourage many of you to choose a path toward greatness.”[4] He also goes on to lay down his challenge for the need of the book. The book raises the awareness for the necessity of its topic and the urgency for the reader to take notice. He points to the Kingdom of God as the foundational need for real leaders. He makes aware the extreme lack of great leaders and the absolute propensity of average leaders often by necessity than real skill. Today’s world and culture needs great leaders that are willing to usher in the kingdom of God into the hearts of mankind in the 21st century.

This book made an impact on myself because I think “greatness” is something that is a sort of “faux pas” when it comes to Christian circles. In fact, the Men’s Bible study we just finished going through, Kingdom Man by Tony Evans, covered much of this very idea. Tony Evans, explains that true Christian greatness is not what is associated with arrogant materialistic betterment.

“We commonly think of greatness in terms of power, wealth, and prestige. It’s easy to recognize greatness because it’s riding in the shiny new car or working on the top floor of the office building. Greatness has the fully funded 401(k) and owns the skybox at the arena. But in the kingdom of God, the definition of greatness is flipped upside down.[5]

This “flipped expectation” is exactly what we have been talking about on Sunday mornings in our “Miracle of Christmas” series. God is the King of the unexpected. God brings low what we thought was high and he brings high what we thought was low. He smooths out what was rough and straightens out what is crooked (Luke 3:4-6). After-all, the Son of the Most High was born in a manger. Let us this Christmas experience God’s greatness and since we trust in His greatness we too desire to reflect that greatness in the way we live our lives. Let us expect the unexpected because we serve God who flips our expectations.

In Christ,
Jordan Moody

[1] Reggie McNeal, Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006), 9.[2] Ibid., 1.[3] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages are referenced in the English Standard Version.[4] Ibid., 7.[5] Tony Evans, Kingdom Man, (Nashville, TN: Lifeway Press, 2012).

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