You’ve Got Mail! – Ridding Yourself Of Distractions

If you are old enough and were connected during the golden age of the internet, you probably heard your computer utter the now famous words, “You’ve Got Mail!” As a matter of fact, the famous voice is none other than Cleveland resident Elwood Edwards. Elwood got paid a whopping $200 for his voice in 1989 for his catchy phrase, as well as a few other phrases that were heard when you were checking your email on AOL. If you are ever in Cleveland and in the Heights area and call for an Uber, you might just have Elwood as your driver! People, including me couldn’t wait to login into that speedy dial-up connection to hear those famous words. It made you feel important! All of a sudden you were instantly connected with people from all around the world and they were sending you electronic correspondence.

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Someone Is Waiting On You To Start A Movement

Maybe The Fart Smeller Movement?

Back in October 2011, my wife Julie and I were in New York City during the time of the Occupy Wall Street protests to attend a conference on ministering to immigrants that are arriving daily in the United States.  While walking through the area around Wall Street in Manhattan, I came across the guy above and asked if I could snap his photo. Apparently he was wanting to start his own movement (no pun intended). Today, several years later I came upon the photo and began to wonder, “What type of movement could I begin that produces change.” Change for myself, my family, my friends, people I coach and train that are planting churches in Cleveland. I believe that we have the ability and capability to begin movements that create change. Change that is temporal as well as eternal. This has me asking the question, how?

In my thought process, either wrong or right, a movement can take on the nature of a business, a political agenda, or a movement that is spiritual. Some people might call a movement a cause, but I think that is really one dimensional. A movement is more than a cause, it is different. A movement changes me, the individual. It changes others.

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What Millenials Can Learn From Boomers


Last week I wrote about what a middle age guy in his 50’s like myself could learn from Millennials, the new wave of generational twenty year olds.  Today I am going to take a stab at what those twenty-years olds could learn from 50-somethings like myself. The group of Millennials are more educated, more dedicated in their relationships, more cosmopolitan/urban, are more in tune with popular culture that their 50-something counter parts, but can learn from each other if both will take the time to do so. So, here we go….

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You Can Do Something About Planned Parenthood

Every Life Matters

because-every-life-matters-pic

I have read enough Facebook posts over the past several days complaining about the new videos of Planned Parenthood Executives explaining how they sell fetal tissue, otherwise the body parts of aborted babies. I am growing weary of Christians of who complain, lament, and otherwise post ignorant ravings on social media.

It is time to do something. If you need help to know what I am talking about ask someone, they can explain it – Put your money where your mouth is.

It won’t be easy, it won’t be fun, but it is the right thing to do. For the fifty-five million who never saw the light of day and for the three thousand, six hundred and fifty-two who saw the face of Jesus today,  Planned Parenthood must be defeated. I have to make changes with who I do business with and let them know why. It won’t be easy, but it is the right thing to do.

UPDATED

Here are the 41 38 companies that have directly funded Planned Parenthood.

Adobe
American Cancer Society
American Express
AT&T
Avon
Bank of America
Bath & Body Works
Ben & Jerry’s
Clorox
Coca-Cola
Converse
Deutsche Bank
Dockers
Energizer
Expedia
ExxonMobil
Fannie Mae
Ford
Groupon
Intuit
Johnson & Johnson
La Senza
Levi Strauss
Liberty Mutual
Macy’s
March of Dimes
Microsoft
Morgan Stanley
Nike
Oracle
PepsiCo
Pfizer
Progressive
Starbucks
Susan G. Komen
Tostitos
Unilever
United Way
Verizon
Wells Fargo
Xerox

You Are Not As Good As You Think Either!

What if there was only one rule you had to keep, in order for everyone to be happy and life to be great. Think about it kids, your parents only have one rule. Students just one rule – no dating until your 20! On your job – just one rule. In your home, just one rule. You would be asking, ”Where do I sign up?” In my last post, I shared how I thought I was really good at tennis back in my younger years only to be proven that was not the case. But what about my life? I mean, at one time or another we think, “I’m just as good as him or her.” It’s only natural to compare ourselves to others when it comes to morality, looks, and life in general. The problem in that, is that we are using the wrong measuring stick to compare ourselves to. If there were only one rule I had to keep to be good…

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You’re Not As Bad As You Think

In 1983, I kind of had an experience where I had to ask myself, “What are you doing here?” When we are young, we pretty much think we are invincible and can take on the world. Where I grew up in Knoxville, TN., there is a big festival each year  held each April called The Dogwood Arts Festival.  It lasts for about two weeks and they have food, crafts, a huge national track meet at the University of Tennessee, top notch concerts, dogwood trail tours and an amateur tennis tournament. It just so happens that I was quite the tennis player back in my early days and played almost every day. I had never entered a tournament before, so I was really unsure which class to enter.  I definitely knew that I was not an “A” class player and I thought I could probably play with some “B” class players.  But, if I was going to have a chance to be the champion I needed to play with the weenies of the tennis world in the “C” class. At my first match I was pumped, I was going up against a guy who was probably 55 and didn’t look too athletic.  Plus, I was using a Bjorn Borg Donnay tennis racquet. Success was in my grip! Some of you see where this going, right?

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Play Ball! What We Can Learn From Baseball

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A couple of weeks ago began another year of the great American past time of baseball. Players have finished training camp and have polished their skills in hopes of making it to the World Series in the fall.  Over the past few years major league baseball has taken one on the chin because of the steroid use controversy surrounding Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Jason Giambi, Jose Conseco and Barry Bonds. Still, all across America little boys will be suiting up in Little League’s all across our land in hopes of making it to the majors. Baseball is still America’s sport and regardless of what has happened  in the past, the very large majority of players are those who love the game and are purists and want to do what is right.

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Biblical Five Step Plan To Getting Out Of Debt

If you are in debt and you are a Christian then like it or not you are trying to serve two masters. You can’t serve both God and Money. That’s why Paul called greed idolatry – because when you’re chasing after happiness through the things money can buy, then you’re depending on something else to provide for you. You’re worshipping an idol. According to cardhub.com, “Consumers ended 2014 with a $57.1 billion net gain in credit-card debt. That means the average American household owes $7,100 in credit card debt.”

And that idol has to be replaced with the good news that God will never leave us or forsake us. The lie that things will make you happy needs to be drowned out with the knowledge that only a life centered upon God and filled with the power His Spirit provides will truly be a fulfilled life.

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Crafting A Personal Vision Statement

Info Graphics have been gaining in popularity as a simple visual to help communicate ideas. I have created a info graphic that outlines visually how to write a personal vision statement.

vision infographic

Writing things down is so important in life. For us men, how many times has our wives given us a task that we have quickly forgotten about because we failed to actually write it on the honey-do list? Big mistake! Most people think they don’t need to write things down because they have a great memory or it isn’t that important in the first place. I have learned that writing things down makes things a lot easier in life, especially the things that are important to my wife.

I have had the opportunity to attend many conferences during my adult life, in both the business world and also as a pastor. Nearly every one I’ve attended has dealt with vision, goals, etc., and all have made it a point that one of the keys to knowing where you are going is to write out your life/church vision or mission statement. In May of 2004, I attended Ken Davis’s “Dynamic Communication Workshop” in Colorado. There, I met Cheryl Dick, the director of operations for Chick-fil-A restaurants. As we exchanged business cards, I was pleasantly surprised to see Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose statement on their business cards: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” It didn’t impress me that much that the fast food chain had a purpose statement printed on their business cards, as this is rather common. What did impress me, though, was that they had the audacity to start their statement with their purpose, “to glorify God,” Followed by their vision, “to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

The vision statement is what God wants you to do. What you are going to do next is work on the reasons for the vision to begin to take shape.

Thanksgiving and Toilet Paper

I am sure I got your attention with the title for this post. Smile.

Being part of a large family, holidays are interesting when you gather around forty people together to celebrate. Once such Thanksgiving in 1994 stands out, as that was the year our Dad passed away. As my Mom and siblings and their children gathered around a circle to pray and share what we were thankful for many of the usual answers were given. Those answers included thankful for health, family, God’s grace and forgiveness until it came to my brother-in-law Roy’s turn. In six quick words, Roy reminded us of the simple things of life that we many times take for granted. Those six words that Roy spoke were simply, “I am thankful for toilet paper.” Talking about changing what had become an emotional time as we reflected on the loss of our Dad, those words did it. I will never forget the lesson that Roy taught me; be thankful for everything no matter how small or how large.

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