When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Today's Sermon Notes: Margins, Goals, and Values

The following is a summary of my personal notes
from Pastor Ron Vietti's sermon today at Valley Bible Fellowship. This is not intended in any way to reproduce the message in its entirety and may be a verbatim account in some instances rather than exact quotes from the message. To download complete podcasts, please visit the VBF website linked above or visit VBF's "tape room" to obtain recordings of any message from VBF's pastors.

MARGINS: the space between your load and your limit.

If you have no margins in your life, you end up speeding through life (on the freeway for instance.) You try to cram more into less time and you forget things (like keys, purse, etc.) You become edgy, moody and grouchy.

Too much on the calendar: If you pack too much into your life, you begin to endanger your health, constantly on the move, on edge, stressed out. (Don't live life like Emmet Smith plays football--picture Pastor Ron wide-eyed, juking through a defensive line, always looking for the next hole to run through.)

How to Get Margins in Your Life:
1. Recognize your limits: Everyone has limits: physical, emotional, marital. When the limit is reached, something breaks. The key is to recognize and acknowledge your limits.

Matthew 26:41 Pray that you don't enter into temptation

Note this does not say pray that you don't enter into sin. If you are around enough temptation for long enough, you will reach your limit and sin. So pray to avoid the temptation altogether.

2. Set Boundaries: Recognize that we all like to live on the edge sometimes, but you have to set boundaries for yourself and let those living on the edge things be for the kingdom of God. And don't go near the thing that tempts you. Set boundaries so that you don't get tempted.
Alternate Definition of "Living with Margins:" Living that you always have energy to focus on your purpose in life.

Side note: For married couples, know that God provides verse after verse encouraging us to be drunk with love for our spouses. Lev 18, Prov 5, 18.

Jesus Withdrew: Mat 13:1, 36, 14:13, 23, 15:21, 29, 17:1 all give us examples of Jesus withdrawing to seclusion. We will hear things from God we can't otherwise when we withdraw to seclusion like Jesus did.

*Jesus was never in a hurry, but always busy. Never too busy though to hold a child or sit with friends. Jesus had margins.


*Set goals, have vision, and purpose. VISION is just a goal on steroids.

*Setting Goals: Without vision, we perish. Vision preserves us.


1. Pray and ask God for His goals for your life.
(three short term and three long term--pray until He gives them to you.)

2. Think in categories as you pray. (i.e., spiritual, financial, family, etc.)

SIDE NOTE: Marriages need three things to ensure success: emotional connection, spiritual connection and physical connection. For single people, make sure all three are present or you are going to have a very challenging time.

3. Keep your motives in check. (Your motives need to be pure for getting that RV or vacation home!

4. Write down your goals. (Habakkuk 2:2-tablets reference)

5. Don't be afraid to think big. We have a big God.

6. Start today pursuing your goals--before the day is over.
"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

7. Celebrate along the way. Throw parties, get a t-shirt, take pictures of your successes to keep you motivated.


1. Recognize what drains you...
For Pastor Ron, there are certain activities like church business that drain him...but he knows he is filled back up with energy by other activities like shopping, hunting, sports events, etc. Minimize your drains and maximize your fillers.

2. When you add something to your schedule, take something out.
3. Get rid of clutter. It weighs you down. Pastor Ron is getting rid of all his paper clutter before the new year.

4. Learn to say no.

5. Shop early for Christmas this year. Finish your shopping by Thursday.

6. Make a budget and stick to it. (Draw names instead of going into debt buying useless things for everybody.)
7. Do away with trivial stuff if it is stressing you out. There is nothing saying you have to send out Christmas cards. Make it about Jesus! Adopt a poor family. Think outside the box.


Make sure you put your big rocks in first. (Pastor Ron did the illustration where you put big rocks in a jar, then small rocks, then sand, then water.) The moral: You can't get the big rocks in unless you put them in first.

WHAT ARE THE BIG ROCKS? Time with God, loving and spending quality time with your FAMILY, then add in the other things...

FINAL NOTE: Time passes quickly, so focus on the important stuff (and leave yourself time and margins to be able to do that!)

There are 168 hours in a week. The average taken up by sleep is 56 hours, the average worked is 50 hours, leaving us on average, 35 discretionary hours a week, or five hours a day. What do you do with your discretionary hours?
The University of Michigan reports that among working moms, the average spends only eleven minutes a day one on one with her children and only 30 minutes a day on weekends with her kids.
For more information about Valley Bible Fellowship or Pastor Ron Vietti, or to download podcasts and learn about Pastor Ron's radio broadcasts, please visit www.vbf.org (click on "media" for information relating to broadcasts.)
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