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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What Boomers Can Learn From Millennials

from a previous post

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I am a Baby Boomer, barely by three years. Not sure that I like the tag “Boomer” and not sure if the twenty and thirty year olds like the tag Millennials. Anyway, sociologists have a way of labeling people with something that will stick with a group. Yeah, so I am fifty-four, headed to fifty-five 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 Boomer, I can learn several things from the 20-somethings Millennials. 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 Millennials. I will say that the Millennials 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. 

The interesting thing about this unique relationship is that the Millennials are the children of the Boomers. Interesting indeed…

1. They Are Confident

No that cocky, arrogant type of confident that I see in many people older than the 20-somethings, but they know who they are and they know where their capabilities lie. To those of us who are Boomers, we sometimes mistake their confidence for arrogance and we totally miss that they are achievers. I am learning from them to be someone who wants to finish well.

2. They Are Resilient

In a job market that basically stinks to be nice about it, they find ways to survive. That might be sharing an apartment with one or several others to make ends meet. It also can mean they head back home to the empty nest until something else comes along. The great thing I can learn from them – do not give up!

3. The Believe In Education

This group of adults may the best educated group of adults to ever walk the face of the earth. While Boomers may think they are lazy, they across the board are not. What has happened is that technological advances have streamlined processes across all domains to make work more efficient. I do believe that more young people are not navigating toward manual labor as others in the past and that may drive that thought among my generation. Learning point for me is education really is important.

4. They Respect Their Elders

While there are some baggy pants 20-somethings who think showing their underwear is cool, this generation respects those of us who are older. Countless times I have had Millennials ask me for advice, tell me they appreciate me and thank me for sharing my life with them. I am learning to rethink how I invest my life into younger people.This is how I want to spend the rest of my life, investing in young people who will make a kingdom difference with their lives.

5. They Want Change

Just look at the election cycle every four years and you will see that Millennials are targeted for votes. This year especially, an unusually large number seem to be supporting Bernie Sanders. Bernie is not main stream in his political idealogy as he promises radical change and free stuff.  They see things as they could be which can be productive and also be destructive. The point is, they believe they can make the world a better place in their perspective of reality.

There are things I believe Millennials can learn from Boomers. Tomorrow I will address things Millennials can learn from a middle age guy like me. Things like work ethic, faith, morals, relationships, and I am sure I will think of some more while watching an episode of Big Bang Theory.

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.

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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.

Learning To Discipline Your Child or Grandchild


Discipline is a misunderstood concept. The words disciple and discipline come from the same word that means Learner. If a child can’t learn to obey a parent who is visible, he or she will never learn to obey a God who isn’t. God’s dream for your child isn’t to make them happy. It is to make them like Jesus! Happiness is a by-product of God’s plan for our kids. You as a parent can be working against God’s plan for your children because you care more about their happiness, success, or popularity.Parents who are afraid to put their feet down usually have children that step on their toes.

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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…

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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.

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LeBron’s Return Is A Story of Grace And Growing Up

This week has been a series of highs for our  beloved city known as “the mistake on the lake.” First, the Republican National Convention announces their pick of Cleveland to host the 2016 RNC Convention and then LeBron announces he is coming  home. I have said all along (feel free to check my social media feeds) that I believed LeBron would come back to Cleveland based on several thoughts, (1) He does not want to be known the rest of his life and beyond for “The Decision” (2) He has accomplished what he set out to do – win NBA championships, capture MVP awards and win two Olympic gold medals and  (3) He has a love for NE Ohio that goes beyond basketball. I live, do ministry, and play here in NE Ohio and Cleveland and I am glad he is coming back.

The story of LeBron returning to Cleveland is about grace and growing up. For all the jersey burning, letter writing, and “decisions” there has been forgiveness and when forgiveness happens, it happens because of grace. LeBron in his letter has forgiven Dan Gilbert, Dan has forgiven LeBron, the fans for the most part has forgiven LeBron  and in LeBron’s essay, it is clear he has forgiven the fans. I would encourage you to read the essay published exclusively by SI.com (click the image of LBJ in this article)  and read his essay on why he is returning to Cleveland. People have not forgiven him because the odds are now in favor Cleveland having championship team. People are showing grace to LeBron because he has asked for forgiveness and he is proud to be from NE Ohio.

In his essay he makes a statement that going to Miami was like going to college for him as he went straight from high school to the NBA. While he had success in Miami he also did a lot of growing up. His role of father expanded. LeBron came to understand his place of role model to kids in NE Ohio and around the country. He still is a young man who may do things that we may not agree on, but there has been growing up that has been done and I expect that we will see much more growing up in the years to come as he mentors young players like Irving and Wiggins. LeBron is turning out to be a class act, not just because of his return, but because of how his handles himself as a pro athlete, a businessman, a philanthropist and a family man.

Dan Gilbert, LeBron James, and the people of Cleveland and NE Ohio have experienced grace in this situation. As a Christian I have to ask myself, “Am I a grace giver?” I want to challenge you to ask that same question. Maybe you are angry about LeBron coming back to Cleveland or it angers you that athletes make so much money or perhaps you really don’t care about any of this.  That’s your choice, but everyday you and I need to be asking these questions to ultimately understand what it means to be a grace giver.

Am I quick to judge people on initial impressions?
Am I quick to criticize when people make a mistake?
Am I quick to write people off due to their persistent problems?
Do I give people a chance to change?
Do I attempt to rescue and restore or reject and restrain?
Can I see past the bad to do the best for people?
You can either be a grace giver or a grace killer. Your choice.

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.

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