Category Archives: Leadership

One Word for the Entire Year

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If you could choose just one word to hold on to throughout all 12 months of 2014, what would it be?  What would your focal theme for your life be this year?

In January of 2013, I wrote a blog post on my #OneWord365 for the year.  It was so effective that I’m doing it again this year.

As I pondered and prayed over the past few weeks about what my #OneWord365 for next year might be, I think I’ve figured it out.

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Let me honest with you.  Last year my word was STRIVE.  And I did.  I strove toward some great goals and made amazing progress in those areas.  But I was not highly intentional with every key aspect of my life.  So, what does INTENTIONAL look like for me?  It can be summed up in two key areas.

INTENTIONAL in my eating patterns – Back in October, I experienced what it was like to really eat healthy foods.  It was through the Daniel Fast, a 21-day special fast allowing only a few natural foods.  I was able to be successful with this extremely restrictive diet plan.  Now it’s time to put some intentionality to work for the long haul.  Losing some inches around my waist by eating wiser will increase my self-image, improve my health, and give me more energy.

INTENTIONAL with my time management – This one involves many other pieces.  Last year, I learned how to schedule things that led to accomplishing some Spiritual health and physical goals.  And it worked.  Now that those things have become routine (meaning I no longer have to schedule them), I’m excited to implement this practice with my work in the ministry.  In many ways, 2014 will require more faith and intentional time management of me than previous years.  This will mean scheduling events on my calendar for personal study, writing, communications, and investing in the lives of my leaders and others around me.

So, what do you do once you have your #OneWord365?  

Blog about it.  Post it all over social media.  Design a graphic for your word, then set it as your desktop on your computer, tablet, and smart phone.  And finally, tell others.  Letting others know our goals causes us to take them more seriously.

One more thing.  In January, schedule times to re-evaluate your progress throughout the year.  Select a day and time, about every 3 months, to spend a good hour or two reflecting on your original goals.  Put this in your calendar.  Set reminders.

What is your #OneWord365?

Join the community.  Follow myself and #OneWord365 on Twitter…and share your word.

May 2014 be a year of health, improvement, and inspiration for you.  God bless.

Comments are welcome below, or you can leave me a voice message HERE.

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3 Motivations For Your Work

I-Love-My-Job-handsIf you hate your job or position in life today, you’re not alone.  A recent Gallop poll found that only 30% of Americans are engaged and inspired with their work.  But this can change for you.

Three things that motivate my work in ministry.

1.  Obedience – This part is so important.  If I’m not doing what God wants me to do, I’m not in his will.  Its as simple as that.  When we have received the gift of salvation through his grace and mercy we should want to do the work he has for us.  Not only that, I’ve come to realize that we can never really be fulfilled and happy with our lives until we’re fully in line with what he has called us to do….at home, work, and with everyone around us.

2.  Love for Jesus – That’s right.  When our motives are good and we are focused on pleasing the right person, it changes everything about how we view our jobs and responsibilities.  Any time I’ve ever found parts of my job unpleasant, I start thinking about the fact that I really am doing this work to please him…not my boss or co-workers.  Just him!

3.  Love for others – For me, this includes church people and non-believers.  For you, this might be a spouse, employer, customers, co-workers, etc.  When we become focused on others we are better able to lose sight of the things we personally find troublesome or lousy in our own lives.  Our attention is now being directed outward instead of inward.

So, let’s recap.  Are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing?  Is what you’re doing putting a smile on Jesus’ face?  And are you keeping in mind the benefit of others while you do your thing?

What have you done to stay motivated in what you do?

As you enter into 2014, may you know and experience what it’s like to experience joy in your work.

Comments are welcome below, or you can leave me a voice message HERE.

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The Church is not a Bully!

photo by: www.itsprimalprotection.comI had one bully all through school. And this one guy was responsible for most of my middle school and high school years being less than a pleasant experience. I dreaded going to school. Always asking myself, “How am I going to get hurt today?”

Church is much the same way for many people. There are bound to be some ‘bullies‘ in every church, but don’t allow them to keep you from the maximum benefits of doing life with the rest of the Church family…God’s family.

God does his work through the church…and it is always good! ‘His’ will is always perfect. Unfortunately, sometimes people insist on doing ‘their’ work in the church and call it the Lord’s. Everywhere you go there will be those who are very passionate about their personal agendas. The Church is no exception.

But just like I would have missed out on an education and diploma if I had allowed my bully to keep me from school, you and I often allow unpleasant people or circumstances to keep us from Church. Thus, keeping us distant from much of what God has in store for us.

The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers. (Acts 9:31 NLT)

Did you see that? There is strength and unity in the Church when God”s people are honestly more focused on Him than anything else in life.

Personally, I’ve been hurt as much as the next person by church-related issues. Multiple times, and at multiple churches, I can remember being frightened or anxious arriving to walk in the building, not wanting to come into contact with a particular individual. Even as a staff member, I’ve struggled in these situations.

But not anymore!

The Lord has led me to a place of healing and security in His Church that is almost inexplainable. Let me encourage you today. Don’t give up on God and His people. He longs to bless healthy Church community that keeps Him in clear focus. So find that family of believers to connect with, and prepare an overflow of God’s love.

Leave me a comment below or a voicemail.

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Don’t party with those who are absent

photo by:  dadsdish.blogspot.com

photo by: dadsdish.blogspot.com

I simply love donuts!  They kind of resemble the spare tire I’ve attained over the year.

One of my most favorite donuts is the six-count box of powdered rasberry-filled by Hostess…..well, at least until they went out of business.  When I was a kid I would take money I earned from mowing lawns and buy myself a box.  This occured maybe once every two weeks.  I could normally eat an entire box in one day, all on my own!

Sometimes, however, I’d leave one in the box for breakfast the next day.  (I know…leave me alone)  Now, I’ll be honest with you.  On those mornings I would wake up and be pretty excited remembering that I had saved one for breakfast.

But it was just one!

I mean, it’s in a box that holds six…..but I only have one.  Do you think I focused all my attention  crying over the five that were missing?  Absolutely not!  (ok, maybe just a little)  But I fully enjoyed that ONE…..down to the last crumb!

I had a party with the one I had, not the five that were absent.

I had these thoughts come to me today in church.  (hey, give me a break)  My wife and I had the opportunity to share with our church family that the Children’s Ministry team was needing to expand a bit…by about 50 individuals.  I’m so thankful for a church that values and supports Children.

I wish I could tell you that we got our 50 additional team members…but we didn’t.  We did, however, make connections with a handful of very willing individuals who are excited to learn more about this ministry opportunity.

(this is where the donut illustration comes in nicely)

You see, we could have allowed the massive void of workers to overshadow the good people who God brought to our team.  It’s like that one last donut.  I had a party with that donut.  And we’re going to celebrate (in a big way) with those few new workers…..NOT focusing on who is missing.

So, what’s your donut?

Leave me a comment or voicemail.

 

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Daddy…how should I vote?

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The other day, I was walking through the parking lot at the grocery store as I heard these exact words from behind me.

“Daddy…am I being good?”

I don’t know about you, but most of the time that’s not what is observed at the store between kids and their parents. Usually the scene is a screaming child hanging from a parent’s arm. But as I turned around I noticed what must have been a 4 or 5 year old little girl, gazing into her Daddy’s eyes, asking her question in a very cute and heart-felt manor.

After my heart was warmed by this incredibly sweet moment, a simple but profound thought came over me. Regarding her actions, this well-meaning child looked to her father for approval. She was not looking at other kids in the store to see how they were acting. She was also not concerned about doing her own thing or what she wanted. She was obviously wanting to please her father.

Christians all across America will get to cast their vote for the next President of the USA this week. If we are obedient and wanting to stay true to our faith, we will prayerfully consider God’s agenda and character when voting. As Christian believers, we absolutely cannot base the direction of our vote on what general society says is good and right. We also cannot allow our personal feelings, desires, and wishes to influence our vote…especially when those influences are clearly contrary to the Bible.

Let me recap.

Christians should vote from a solid Biblical worldview. Period!

More important, however, is what happens after the election. Believers all across our country really do need to check their character (public & private) despite who wins this presidential race. Romney or Obama…we must commit to pray for our president and support him as much as possible. Its a huge matter of character. Are we portraying God’s character in our society, or are we acting selfishly while hiding behind the title of ‘Christian?’

At the end of the day, all of us should be looking to our Heavenly Father for approval of our voting intentions and attitude. And just like that little girl, we will find ourselves asking, “Daddy…am I being good?”

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Your donkey is warning you!

Photo credit: Alexander Kalina

That’s right!  Long before Shrek and Dr. Doolittle, a donkey actually spoke to it’s owner.  In the Bible, (Numbers 22:21-34) there’s this dude named Balaam and his donkey.  In this particular story, God is not thrilled with the direction Balaam is heading.  Now, being the merciful and loving God that He is, God sends and Angel with a BIG sword to block his path.  Apparently, Balaam is so oblivious to the things of God and consumed with his own agenda at the moment that he doesn’t even notice this gift of God….but his simple little donkey does!  Three times his donkey reacts to the Angel in a way that makes Balaam absolutely furious.  So furious that he violently beats the animal each time.  Its a good thing he didn’t see the Angel and tried to beat the crap out of it!

Have you ever hit or kicked your car after it breaks down or gets a flat tire?  I have, and this is the kind of setting Balaam is encountering.  I would hope to notice an Angel standing in the middle of the highway before my car starts chatting with me.  God, may I never become so dense and self-centered that I can’t notice your hand directing my steps.

All of us are faced with these moments from time to time in our journey with God.  Sometimes we CAN’T notice God’s warning signs when we are heading somewhere we shouldn’t.  Other times, we simply WON’T!  We know we’re heading in a direction opposite the direction of Jesus, yet we continue…much like Jonah.

So, do you know if your life direction is pleasing God today?  If your answer is ‘No’ or ‘I don’t know’….begin looking for signs to direct you.  Spend time in prayer and in the Word.  Ask those believers around you who know well.  God will probably not use a talking Donkey or a blinding, majestic Angel.  Though often much more subtle, He DOES speak crystal clear to us when we are intently listening for His voice.

How has God spoken to you before?  Share your story with others here.  Comment below.

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To our Heros…..Thank you!

This Memorial Day, recognize those who have served (and do serve) to preserve our freedom.  Give them a hug.  Buy their Starbucks.  Without their dedication to our amazing country, this blog & your ability to read it, may not be possible.  To all the men and women of America’s Armed Forces….we salute you back!

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