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I took the one less traveled...

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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