December 23, 2007

Wisdom from a Friend…John & Debbie Woodall on Accountability

Written by Boyd Bailey

I have known John and Debbie Woodall since he came on staff at North Point Community Church as the Married Adult Director in 2001. I deeply admire both he and Deb’s walk with Christ and their commitment to their children. The questions they have crafted are an excellent tool for an ‘annual life audit’. Rita and I go through a similar discipline each January in anticipation of the upcoming year. Use some or all of these questions to integrate your life more fully with Christ’s and His plan for you. Enjoy!

Reflection and Preparation

by John & Debbie Woodall

The habit or practice of reflection has increased and become very important to me over time. I have noticed people are running so fast and not taking the time to sit, think, review, remember and readjust their lifestyles and schedules. With some regular times of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reflection, it can lead to peace, stability and very purposeful living.

The following questions are to get us thinking about this past year and prepare us for “The Best Year Ever.” How am I doing in the major areas of my LIFE, MARRIAGE, FAMILY, WORK and CHURCH?

1. LIFE

A. Spirit

1) Do I love God, my Father with all my heart, soul, mind and strength?
2) Am I growing in my intimate relationship with Jesus Christ?
3) Am I living and walking by the Holy Spirit?
4) How is my time in the Scriptures? Am I delighting in and meditating on God’s Word day and night?
5) Do I find myself praying more or less about all things?
6) What 3 spiritual practices generated the greatest benefit?

B. Soul (Mind, Will and Emotions)

1) What am I doing to daily renew my mind?
2) Are my thoughts pure, lovely, noble, truthful and full of praise?
3) What are the best three books I read last year?
4) What kind of choices did I make last year?
5) Did I choose the way of life versus death? Did I choose the way of the Spirit versus the way of the flesh? Did I choose to walk by faith versus walk by sight?
6) Was I full of love, joy, peace, patience and self-control?
7) Was there any anger, guilt, greed or jealousy that needs to be resolved?

C. Body (Did I live in B.A.L.A.N.C.E?)

1) BREATHING – Am I getting enough oxygen in my blood?
2) AWARENESS – Am I paying attention to what is going on in my body?
3) LIQUIDS – Am I drinking enough water?
4) ANTIOXIDANTS – Am I taking the right of Multi, C and E?
5) CONDITIONING – Am I exercising 3-5 times a week?
6) EFFECTIVE REST – Am I getting 7-8 hours of sleep?
7) What three ways will I take better care of myself this next year?

2. MARRIAGE

A. Intimacy

1) Does my wife know she is the #1 priority relationship on the planet?
2) Am I loving my wife as Christ loves the church?
3) Are we praying together on a regular basis?
4) Are we regularly sharing what we are learning from our own relationship with Jesus Christ?
5) Am I washing and cleansing her with the Word of God?
6) Am I carefully listening to her thoughts, feelings and desires?
7) Are we enjoying many sexual and non-sexual touches?
8) Are we enjoying romance and physical intimacy on a regular basis?
9) Did we have an awesome anniversary celebration?
10) Have we enjoyed quarterly getaways?
11) Did we have our monthly MSM, Marriage Staff Meetings?
12) How was our “Weekly Focus” time?
13) Did I provide her the structure or spontaneity she needs and desires?
14) Did I give her the full and focused attention she deserves?
15) On a scale of 1-10, how would my wife rate our marriage?
16) What needs to be done to get it to a 10?

B. Finances

1) Did we honor the Lord with the first fruit of all our increase?
2) Did we give generously and cheerfully?
3) Did we save appropriately?
4) Did we invest for the future proportionately?
5) Did we spend moderately?
6) What financial adjustments must we make for this next year?

3. FAMILY

A. Father

B. Son

1) How am I doing as a son?
2) How did I honor my Father and Mother this past year?

C. Brother

1) How am I doing as a brother?
2) How did I love and care for my brothers and sisters?

4. WORK

A. Did I see my work as a gift from God?
B. Did I do my work as unto the Lord?
C. Am I living as a man under authority showing respect, gratefulness, a servant and quiet spirit?
D. Am I showing excellence and diligence in my work?
E. Am I taking the low place and trusting God for His invitations, appointments and exaltation in His time?
F. Am I “choosing to cheat”?
G. What three work relationships need more time?

5. CHURCH/MINISTRY

A. Am I living in community with other believers?
B. Am I investing, influencing and inviting other outsiders?
C. Where did I strategically serve in my local church?

Some additional questions:

6. In reviewing last year, what areas reveal the most progress? The least progress?

? Most –

? Least –

7. What is the wildest, most unconventional thing I could do this next year to live with more passion? What out of the box thinking could we do?

8. Who will hold me accountable to be my best self this next year?

9. The most significant way I will influence others is…

10. List 3-5 of your best achievements this past year.

11. Strengths and Successes – Identify what has worked well this past year.

12. Struggles and Stresses – What has not been working so well?

13. Habits – What are the most purposeful daily habits you could develop/upgrade over the next 12 months? Develop 1 habit at a time, not 2, not 5.

14. Clutter – Identify 3 messes or clutter projects you’d like to clean up in the next 12 months? Clutter can be anything that is taking up room in my mind…for example we have 1000 AU’s (Attention Units) and anything from a sick relative, to wayward child, to troublesome marriage, to bitterness can all take up mental and emotional capacity. We must un-clutter our minds so that we can reach full potential.

15. Character – Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Identify 3 qualities you’d like to see associated with your name as well as how you’d define each quality. I wrote the following for me.

1. Loving – That I fully received the love of God into my life and loved Him and people in return

Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ [38] This is the first and greatest commandment. [39] And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

2. Humility – Taking the low place before God and others

Luke 14:7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

3. Servant – That I was more interested in the needs of others than myself.

Mark 10:43-44 – Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, [44] and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.


Comments

  1. john's sister(Lisa) says:

    I am so proud of my brother and his wonderful wife.
    How could I be so blessed that God has placed me in such an awesome family that loves God and so many others?
    A grateful lil sis,
    Lisa

  2. Rebecca Egan says:

    What a wonderful tool…..thanks for sharing!

    I plan to review these questions myself, share it with my husband and pass it on to my friends.

    I appreciate Wisdom Hunter devotions; they not only bless me, but I have been able to share them with friends.

  3. Paul Trotti says:

    John and Debbie,

    Thanks for the great insights! This morning I read the Wisdom Hunters about being mentors and needing mentors in our lives. Your framework sets up perfectly to be reflected on in private, with your mentor, or most importantly with your spouse if you are married. So often we hear about reflecting and planning for the year, but it is hard to bucket our thoughts and not become overwhelmed my the enormity of all that we could do better to be more Christ-Like. This is a great plan to really set our thoughts in some very specific categories that can easily be tailored to suit any believer’s walk exceptionally well.

    Thanks for what you do and who you are!
    Paul Trotti, Jr.

  4. Todd Coons says:

    My wife Rebekah and I did an annual planning retreat the first weekend in January and utilized this tool to evaluate 2007 and prepare for 2008. We were both extremely encouraged by pausing and pondering over the past year and seeing what God did through us and for us. Were excited about what the Lord has in store for us this year. Excellent tool, we plan on making our annual retreat, and our going over this tool a priority in the future.

    Thank you for a wise guide.

    Todd Coons

  5. Thank you John & Debbie, This is great, I need it and will share with most of the people I know, including my small group.

  6. Demetress Solomon says:

    AWESOME!!!!! Is all I can say! I know that the Lord led me to this article this morning. It is much needed in my life as I ponder the 1st 7 months of this year. I have much work to do but I thank God for John & Debbie’s wise insight on so many topics that concerns me today. You guys are a blessing to the body of Christ! I will take heed to every word spoken as I line my life up with the word of God. Love you with the love of Christ!

  7. Lorah Palmer says:

    What you believe and stand for is very powerful and you are an inspiration to youth, families, couples etc.
    Great to see what you- John have done with your life. An old Stillwater Friend lori (lorah – baptismal name) Palmer.
    God’s blessings are truly upon you.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Lorah~
      Thank you for reaching out to us with your encouraging words for John and Debbie Woodall. I have John’s email address and I am forwarding him your comments. I am sure he will be blessed by them.
      In the meantime, let me just say how thankful we are that you are a fellow wisdom hunter! We look forward to hearing from you again sometime.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne


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