When Your Priorities Are Messed Up, You Need Help!

Many go about life with the wrong priorities. Many feel they have to keep up with the Smiths next door. So they set their priorities consciously or not, as they move in to that neighborhood, to have money, success, or comfort. It doesn’t matter if they run a huge debt. After all, those seem to be the measure of “success.” Then, perhaps only when something tragic happens, they begin to reassess their priorities, choosing to focus instead on those things in life that really are the most important. They realize the importance of health, family, good friends, their faith.

The question is “how can we get our priorities right from the start” instead of waiting for some kind of “wake up call?” It may be a tad late when the wake –up call suddenly comes. This post will help you to discover and determine God’s priorities for you life. So, what are God’s priorities for your life?

Continue Reading »

Did Robin Williams Lose Hope?

When a personal tragedy strikes such as what happened this past week with the death of Robin Williams, it seemingly affects the entire nation. While we can never know what happens biologically in a person’s mind or spiritually in his soul to cause them to act in the way Robin did, I am convinced that part of the reason is that they have lost hope. For families who have not experienced the death of a loved one through suicide, this might seem to simplistic of an explanation. I want to remind the reader I write from the worldview lens of a follower of Jesus. I have to admit I’m a little disappointed with the word “hope.” Not hope itself but with the word. The way we use it today has nothing to do with the way the Bible uses the word. When we use the word today, it’s sort of wimpy. We use the word today to mean, “I wish.” We go to the movie – “I hope this is going to be a good movie.” We go through a drive through – “I hope I get what I ordered!” I wish… I hope so…

Continue Reading »

Managing Your Time Well

A time management expert was teaching a seminar for executives. He placed a large, clear open-mouthed jar in front of the group. Next, he put seven or eight large rocks into the jar until it was full. “Is the jar full?” He asked. Everyone nodded. Then he took pebbles and filled up the jar with the small rocks until they reached the rim. “Is the jar full?” By now, they didn’t answer. So, he poured fine sand in. “Is the jar full?” Some nodded. He proceeded to take a pitcher of water and filled up the jar again. “What’s the lesson about time management?” he asked. Hands shot up, and everyone agreed “No matter how busy you are you can always fit more things into your schedule.” “Wrong.” he replied. “The lesson is: unless you put the big rocks in first, they never will fit in. You must figure out what the big rocks are for you.” What are the big rocks in your life? Giving time to God? Giving time to your marriage and to your children? If you don’t put those big rocks in first, someone else will fill up your jar. Understand:

Continue Reading »

The Pitfalls Of Leadership No One Warned You About

Regardless of why you have read, experienced or have been led to believe about leadership, it is not all it is made out to be. While leadership is essesntial to any organization and to every home, many times no one has taken the time or effort to explain the pitfalls or being a leader. You may have a phenomenal leadership team and a groundbreaking leadership paradigm in your organization, but you still can experience these pitfalls. While you want to believe and teach that leadership by pluarlity happens in your organization, the truth is there is someone who is THE leader. Think about it; if someone has to answer to a Board of Directors, it’s not going to be the team, it’s going to be the leader of that team. If the IRS audits your company, someone from you company must give an accounting and it’s not going to be a team.

Continue Reading »

The Danger of Electronic Miscommunication

With the advent of texting and email, I would venture to say that you have sent out or received a message where the content was taken the wrong way. When this happens, you experience all kinds of emotions ranging from hurt, anger, confusion, and frustration. The art of communication, especially face to face communication is quickly disappearing in an world driven by electronic communication.

Continue Reading »

A Christian Plan For Getting Out Of Debt

Having been in ministry as a pastor for over twenty years and being a former accountant for Fortune 500 companies, I have seen what money can do to people. When money conflicts with our Christian life and values, the results can be heart breaking and devastating. I have had to deal with more marriages that suffer over money rather than infidelity It is a simple case of spending money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like on things you don’t need. So how do Christians go about getting out of debt once and for all?

Continue Reading »

Is America A Christian Nation?

I have on several occassions made the comment that I believe that America is no longer a Christian nation. I based that comment and belief on the documented research of The Barna Group and The MIssional Research Center. Basically, we are a nation with a population of 300 million plus people and it is estimated that the large majority of the population are not Christian as defined by evangelical standards. Those standards which are rooted in biblical scripture include, but are not inclusive: the belief in a Creator – God, the belief in the existence of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit existing as one entity in the form of three individuals, that the Son Jesus came to earth to atone for men’s sins, that Jesus is the only way to the Father and thus eternal life in heaven, the belief in a literal heaven and hell, the belief that Jesus will return and judge humankind, and the belief that we re to follow and imitate Jesus and live out his teachings.

Continue Reading »

Influencers: Change Agents Of Life

A friend wrote a post several months ago on his blog with a question he posed, “Who has influenced your life ?” So after some thinking and deliberating I can’t point to one specific person, but several people who had an influence on me. During my process of thinking through this, I did not specifically focus on people who influenced me in ministry, but in my life. I am not sure how other ministry leaders answered Tim’s question, but I would assume that many people listed someone who is well known because of a book they read or a conference they attended. Some of the people I am going to list are popular and some are unknown to the world, but still influential in my life nonetheless. Who have been the influencers in your life? This list is not in any order of importance.

Continue Reading »

What 50-Somethings Can Learn From 20-Somethings

  I am a 50-something. Not sure that I like the tag “something” and not sure if the twenty year olds like it either. Anyway, sociologists have a way of labeling people with something that will stick with a group. Yeah, so I am fifty-two, headed to fifty-three this fall. While I have a world of experience in relationships, corporate marketplace experience and more importantly, ministry experience, I believe that as a 50-something, I can learn several things from the 20-somethings. While many in-depth research studies have been done about this group also known as millennials, my words are from my observation from being around many in this age group and especially having two daughters and a son-in-law who are 20-somethings. I will say that the 20-somethings need to be very cautious in thinking they are something special or that they are owed something. Just because you fall into this category does not make you special. As a matter of fact, there are seven billion others on this planet just like you who are special in their own way. No one owes you anything.

Continue Reading »

When We Give Up Too Soon

The greatest failures in life are often followed by the greatest successes.

In 1972 there was the story of the plane that crashed in the Andes mountains. The people survived for two long months by becoming cannibals in order to stay alive, they began to eat each other as the people died in the plane crash. When rescuers  finally found them, the survivors were shocked to realize that they were only six miles from a resort hotel where the plane had crashed.

What is the point of this story? I think one of the points of the story is that too often we stop too soon, we give up!. We stop at where we are and get discouraged and disappointed and it’s bitter and we don’t like it and it’s distasteful and we stay there. The message is — Don’t Quit!

The question I have for you is, How do you get from discouragement to being in your sweet spot? How do you get from the place of disappointment to the place of delight?

The answer is, You just keep on going. Keep on going! Moving ahead, trusting God. When I was a pastor I would have people come to me and say, “Pastor, I don’t feel like praying. I don’t feel like reading the Bible. I don’t feel like going to church. I don’t feel like tithing my money. I don’t feel like getting involved. I don’t feel like trusting. What should I do?”

My answer was simple: You keep on praying. You keep on giving. You keep on serving. You keep on trusting. You keep on reading your Bible. You keep on going to church. “But my heart isn’t in it!” So what?

If you were to wake up tomorrow morning and call your boss at work and say, “I know that you want me to be whole hearted at work. You want me to feel gung ho and put my whole heart into it. I just have to be honest with you. My heart’s not in it today. I really just don’t feel like coming in. Because I know you don’t want me to be a hypocrite, I think I’ll just stay home and watch tv today. I don’t feel like going to work, so I think I’ll cover up with a little cover and get a good book and take it easy, eat some potato chips and relax. When I feel like it, I’ll be back. Ok?”

The fact of the matter is, most of what gets done in the world is done by people who don’t feel like it. Maturity is living by your commitments, not your feelings.

One morning I woke up and said to Julie, “Julie, I don’t want to go to church today.” She said, “You’re going to church!” I said, “Why?” She said, “Two reasons: 1) You’re 37 and, 2) you’re the pastor.”

You just keep on going. Don’t give up!