The Faster Pastor  My Miracle Morning

The Book

In February of 2015, I read this book: The Miracle Morning by Hal Eldron ("You Pal" Hal).
While I didn't care for the theology of the meditations and self-affirmations, I do like the concept of getting up one hour earlier each day to work on personal growth. If you consider it, the math is pretty simple...

The Math

1 extra hour of time per day adds up to 365 extra hours every year (okay that was easy math). But, that's 15 extra days of getting things done or 2 more weeks of doing more good for my Savior. Or if I look at each segment (I break the hour into 6 segments, 10 minutes each, but more on that in a second...) 10 minutes per day in any area adds up to 3,650 minutes a year or another 60 hours (2.5 days) focused on one specific area of personal growth. 

60 hours of reading is a lot of books for me. 60 hours of exercise may go a long way in losing some of these stubborn lbs. 60 hours of prayer certainly won't hurt my spiritual life and 60 hours of Bible Reading will serve me spiritually, personally, and even professionally. And all I have to do is give up 1 hour of sleep/day. Seems like a great trade-off.

So here's what I do...

The Plan

I get up one hour earlier than I used to and divide the hour into 6 - 10-minute segments. I downloaded a free interval timer (like you use for a workout) and set it and get going. Here are my 6 - 10-minute segments...

- 10 minutes of Bible Reading
- 10 minutes of Prayer
- 10 minutes of Exercise and Stretching
- 10 minutes of Journaling
- 10 minutes of Planning
- 10 minutes of Other Reading

The Specifics

- 10 minutes of Bible Reading (2 OT chapters, 1 NT chapter, a Psalm, and a few verses of Prov -- I'm using this year, but also have a print copy), Meditations, and 2 or 3 daily devotions (I read quickly.) :)

- 10 minutes of Prayer (I've got a few prayer booklets, but for now, praying for myself, my wife, each of my kids, friends, family, church, and the Kingdom, then through each of the petitions of the Lord's Prayer.) I'll be honest that 10 minutes of just prayer seemed daunting at first, but I'm finding it's really not enough time.

- 10 minutes of Exercise and Stretching (nothing too strenuous since everyone else is still asleep, but some sit-ups, push-ups, some yoga-like stretching). I still do my 25 min workout later in the day, but this gets my heart pumping and circulation moving right away.

- 10 minutes of Journaling (I write my thoughts about the devotional material or something I was thinking about before I went to bed), this is in addition to a daily log (might be a better term for what I've been doing) where I note who I visited what I did, who showed up to BIC, things like that that I might want to refer to as a reference later ("When did I last talk to Bob about his marriage?" Search Evernote to find it.) But this is what I would call a diary (if I were a girl) or a journal (which, I guess sounds slightly more manly) of my thoughts and reflections. I've been trying to note something I'm grateful for.

- 10 minutes of Planning (right now, what I'm going to do that day). I've done this the night before sporadically, but I think this will help me be more consistent. Eventually, if that gets streamlined, I'd like to add worship planning, or light text study or outlining to that planning time.

- 10 minutes of Other Reading (something for fun, devotional, instructional, whatever). Last year I read through 85 books by reading in line at stores, waiting for a meeting, or anywhere I had a few minutes. (Time quilting, I once heard it called.) This year, my goal is to beat that record with intentional time set aside to read. (I'm at 15 so far, about 7 weeks into the year, so I think I'm on track.) 

Not a Morning Person?

Neither am I. At least, I never used to think so. I did my best brainstorming at night, I planned the next day (sporadically) the night before, I read until the wee hours of the night. But this plan isn't as bad as it sounds. When you have a plan and know what you're doing, when one segment is only 10 minutes, it's doable. Get up right away when you hear the alarm, brush your teeth and wash your face (these two actions will wake you up more than you think), brew a cup of tea or coffee and head to the living room and give it a try. If you try it for 10 consecutive days, I think you'll enjoy it. And who knows how much more you can get done for Christ.

Your servant in Christ,
Rob Guenther, The Faster Pastor 

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