Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2012

I took the one less traveled...

  Posted with Blogsy

You Are Your Own Worst Enemy!

I saw this little cartoon over at 22words . Frankly, it's brilliant. Marianne and I were just talking tonight about the dangers of "victim" thinking. No matter how much we might want to blame those around us for our troubles, the truth is that most of us... most of the time... are guilty of sabatoging our own lives. How do we stop? The first step is to acknowledge and identify the things we do to ourselves that trip up our lives. Only then can we start taking positive steps to be PROACTIVE in life, rather than REACTIVE. Screen capture from my IPad. Original source is unknown.   Posted with Blogsy

Have You Ever Heard Me Speak? Did You Not Hate It?

Have you heard me speak? If you don't hate listening to me, would you consider taking a minute to complete the survey below. I hope to use some of the answers as I put together my "introduction packet" I will send to churches/camps/organizations where I may have the opportunity to speak. (if you can add your name, if that's uncomfortable for you, that's okay also!) Thank you in advance! Loading...

3 Relationships That Enable Christians To Develop Spiritual Maturity

Over the years, I've done a little bit of thinking about what "spritual maturity" looks like, particularly within the context of a church community. Here's some (not all) thoughts I've had. True spiritual maturity happens through a process we often call discipleship. They type of discipleship Jesus modeled for us was dependent on relationships. Therefore spiritual maturity happens as people are connected to one another. I believe these connections can be identified in three relationships every Christ-follower engages in: A relationship with God which is characterized by love. (Mark 12:30) A relationship with our neighbors which is characterized by love. (Mark 12:31) A relationship with other believers which is characterized by love. (John 13:34) Walking the right path can enable a person to develop these three relationships in a healthy manner. Here are five maturity-producing activities which can assist any believer in growing the three relationsh

6 Things Every Leader Must Do

Not everyone can be a leader all the time, however, at some point in their life most people engage in leadership. When you find yourself leading, consider these six "must-do" activities. 6 Exercises to Cultivate Team Excellence Establish a clear direction. I did not say "choose a direction" or "proclaim a direction". A good leader does not set agendas himself, he observes and listens to his followers/team and establishes a direction which reflects everyone's gifts and passions. Before you can be a vision-caster, you must learn to be a vision-collector. Explain with precision the roles of those you are guiding. Most people simply want to know what is expected of them. They want to know how they will be evaluated, and they want to know what they can do to help accomplish the "win." While a leader may fully succeed in getting the right people in the right seats on the bus, if he doesn't clearly communicate the expectation, he will

What Once Was Lost Has Now Been Found!

A little over fifteen years ago, Marianne and I moved to Muskegon with nothing to our name but tiny red-headed baby doll and a bunch of hospital bills from her birth. We bought a modest home and began our Muskegon-life together. I had my dream job. I worked at my alma mater, and got to teach the Bible to teenagers five times every day. I was helping disciple several young people, and on the weekends I got to serve in a pastoral role for middle schoolers. During these two years I created a four year Bible curriculum for Christian high school students. I had never completed such a large project, and in the process I discovered a passion for writing and creating educational materials. Even to this day, I consider that project one of my favorites of all time. After two short years in that role, I shifted directions and became the Pastor of Student Ministries at my church. I was still working with some of the same students, as well as many other amazing kids from other schools; but my

Your Reputation May Be Damaging the Reputation of God

Have you ever considered the idea that God's reputation is not tied to His character, but rather is tied to the behavior of His people? No one can control their own reputation. Of course, I need to clarify that anyone's "reputation" is not necessarily an accurate portrayal of who they are. It is simply what people think of them. And everyone's reputation will vary from person to person, depending on what each person has allowed to influence their opinion. God's reputation is largely derived from the way His people have represented Him over the ages . Is it any wonder, then, that in some quarters His reputation among people is not equal to His actual greatness? How damaging to the reputation of God have been the inquisition, the crusades, slavery, and opposition to civil rights? How much does God's reputation suffer when those who claim to follow Him spend all their time picking fights, gossiping, and asserting their superiority over others? On th

Three Minutes

Three minutes. Three minutes of just writing whatever comes to my mind. This was an awkward day. Waking up full of hope, excited about the possibilities. Anticipating discussions about the future and the kingdom... Hopes for that path dashed by 9am. Everything goes south from there. I can't get the blood tests I need at the place I need to get them. My doctor's office can't find the paperwork I need. I feel like I'm a 75 year old trying to negotiate through Obamacare's regulations... Will we even talk about Obamacare when I'm 75? I can't even begin to think about what the USA will look like in 35 years. In truth, I don't much care. In 35 years, my children will possibly have children. I hope they are better than I. They have so much potential and talent, and they are so gifted. I want nothing more than to see them chase their dreams and their gifts. When our dreams and our gifts don't match, we are either misinterpreting our dreams

The Truth About Those Who Call Themselves "Moderates"

There are no true moderates. Therefore we should all strive for moderation. Those who consider themselves to be moderates pretend to agree with everyone. In reality, a moderate is someone with whom no one can agree. Those who practice moderation have simply chosen to be agreeable. Moderation is the recognition that too much of a good thing might actually be a bad thing. Therefore, the person who lives a life of moderation chooses to sometimes refrain from "good" things for the sake of not being over-indulgent. A moderate thinks everyone should share his opinion because he has found the perfect "middle ground". A person of moderation recognizes that everyone may not share his opinion, and therefore he refrains from excessive opining... Even if he is right! Choose moderation in all things. And BEWARE THE MODERATE!   Posted with Blogsy

The Succesful Path Through Life Is Often Not What You Think

There seem to be many who judge success (both others and their own) based on the accumulation of quantifiable gain. In other words, people who get more stuff (or money) are more successful. A close cousin of this mentality is the pragmatic thought process which identifies success as “whatever works”. Are you on the right path? We are all prone to slip into these thought processes. Why wouldn’t we? If a certain path produces the results we want, why wouldn’t we take it? If the road we are traveling leads to financial security and material gain, why would we abandon it? I’m as guilty as the next person of choosing a direction because I think it will work, or because I’m seeking material gain. But, my own inconsistency doesn’t blind me from the truth that I am sometimes wrong, and there IS a better path. Sometimes, I just need to write this stuff to remind me of what my spirit knows is true despite what my heart may tell me. Consider these three reasons why success is not always what we

Too Many People Treat Jesus the Same Way They Treat Bacon

I don't remember where I saw this, but I guess someone is now serving ice cream with bacon. I'm not sure how I feel about this. It seems perhaps to be a bit of bacon overkill. Now I love bacon as much as the next guy. In fact, I probably love it more than the next guy does. But sometimes I wonder if the "bacon makes everything better" train is about to jump the tracks. Bacon is great with beans, or pancakes, or in mashed potatoes... But ice cream? I think that might be a stretch. I haven't always thought this way, but I'm starting to wonder whether or not bacon really does make everything better. See, I think some people like bacon. And I think some people LOVE bacon. Those who just like bacon combine it with everything on an attempt to make everything taste better. But those who LOVE bacon don't combine it with anything. They don't think bacon makes ice cream better... They think ice cream ruins bacon. I think they might be right. Some people take th

Justice Sometimes Takes Forever

A justice (of sorts) was provided today for the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster nearly 25 years ago. Apologies were issued from England's Prime Minister as well as the editor responsible for the vicious and deceptive lies published by the Sun newspaper. Among the more shocking revelations was one that police actually engaged in background checks of those who had died in an effort to smear their reputation. Even if you aren't familiar with this story, it is a powerful reminder that there are people in this world who use every means possible to advance themselves and protect their reputation. Sometimes the truth is a long time in coming (even 25 years or more!). But it is comforting to have the great hope that God knows all, and He is not surprised or concerned! Read the report here.   Posted with Blogsy

Be Careful of Those Who Are Not What They Claim

Have you seen this somewhat sad but unbelievably funny story? Just because someone says they are qualified to restore classic artwork doesn't mean she really is... Read the story here.

The Next Chapter...

This morning at Calvary, I announced that I was stepping down as a pastor at Calvary Church. I know that for some this is a sad and confusing time, but in some ways this is a good ending to a mostly great chapter of our life. We are anticipating a new future, and are anxious to see what God has for us. You can read my letter to the congregation here .  Below are some answers to other questions you might have. Why are you leaving? Endings are a necessary and healthy part of life’s cycles. I’ve been on staff at Calvary for over 15 years; in that amount of time, one can find many reasons to “leave”. The truth is that there is not any one reason, but many things have contributed to this decision. Most importantly, I believe this is the best thing for Calvary Church, the best thing for my family and I, and the way I can most bring glory to God at this point in my life. Why now? I recognize this is a difficult time for me to make this decision. It seems as if it is a knee-jerk r