Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cleaning Time

Today I went in to work for a few hours to try and get caught up on some stuff. I have been traveling a lot lately, out sick and few other odd things. It was just something that needed to get done.

After 4 hours of work, it is amazing what I was able to get accomplished. When there is no interruptions, you can get a lot done.

I got organized, updated my task list, completed tasks, cleaned my office... pretty much unburied myself from a pile of past due stuff!

As a result, I feel much better, I feel I have direction again and am right on track to be successful. This is important for me. If I feel overwhelmed if affects not only my work performance, but my husband performance, dad performance, and personal performance.

I think it is important to do some spring cleaning in our spiritual walk as well. Take an afternoon, get off alone and clean up your spiritual mess. Confess anything needing confessing, develop a bible reading schedule, develop your prayer schedule, anything else that is necessary to just get your relationship with God back on track to where it should be.

Now that my office is out of my "hair", I can focus on my spiritual spring cleaning!

How about you?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Do numbers matter?

I have blogged about this before here; I think that there can be a real disconnect in the value of "numbers" in the church. I can clearly understand why. If we make it all about the numbers then there could be some real problems.

However, I think that when we use the "numbers" as a type of thermometer to see how effective we are at doing something, then I think numbers have a significant value. Let me give you another great example.

This year was the 2nd annual servolution for New Life Christian Center. I was not able to be a part of it, but if you attend New Life in any form, you can't go with out hearing about the way we showed love to our community.

Why does New Life do servolution? Is it for the increased attendance? No. Is it a marketing ploy for New Life? Absolutely Not! I think Pastor Dave said it best, when he was quoted as saying, "This isn't about making a name for ourselves or for New Life, it is about serving and loving our neighbors with the love of Jesus." That is why New Life does Servolution.

However, there is still value in numbers. Take a look at these numbers I received from Gena Larson's Blog and tell me if these numbers don't matter:
  • 1300+ volunteers
  • 120+ projects
  • 500 Food Baskets given away
  • 300 people were given community resources
  • 117 health people went through our health screening
  • 73 haircuts given
  • 1800 hot dogs eaten
  • 70 people gave blood at the blood drive
  • Approximately 15,000 man hours of work was donated by those who joined the Servolution!

Do these numbers not matter? Do these numbers not have value? Of course they do and yes they matter! Not as a tool for boasting but as a way to say, Yes! This is what God wants and He made God sized things happen!

Great job to the planning team and to all who did participate! You folks did some amazing stuff and I can't wait to be a part of it next year!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Holy Hang over?

I read a lot of blogs of Pastors. One of the common threads is the talk of the Monday Holy Hang Over. The fact that they expelled so much passion and energy going into and including Sunday that by Monday they are finished. They are wiped out.

All though I have served at many levels, I have never been a Pastor, nor someone who preached regularly. I really don't know what this feels like, although I completely understand and appreciate what they are talking about.

However,yesterday, was probably the closest I will get to feeling that holy hang over, until the day that I am pastoring a church somewhere. After the long weekend, I went to work yesterday with zero energy, zero reserves and felt like I had a hang over all day.

It could be part dehydration from the sun, exhaustion, allergies...who really knows. All I know is I was spent. If this is anything like how a Pastor feels on Monday...Wow!

My hat is off! I have generated a whole new level of appreciation for Pastors. I thought it was tough enough having to prepare a new message each week, but add to that the knowledge that the holy hangover is coming. That would be tough!

Thank you Pastors for what you do...and for doing it in that special way that only you can do!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A new appreciation of Memorial Day

Over the years, I have always had a "general" appreciation for Memorial Day. I am grateful for what all the military men and women have done for "us" and our country over the last few hundred years. I must admit, though, that my appreciation has never been much more then that.

I am not sure, perhaps, maybe because I have never had an immediate family member in the military, or even a close friend. The nearest family member to serve, was my paternal grandfather who served as an Air Force Captain in WWII. He served a number of missions and was shot down twice. I did see the results of his service, however the time was so long ago it just seemed like a distant memory.

Don't misunderstand. I am very grateful for the freedoms we have in America and appreciate the sacrifices our soldiers have made to give us those freedoms. However, I just never had a personal connection. There are many people in our church, community, and friends of friends who have served, have children who served. They definitely have a connection that far surpasses any understanding I will probably ever have, unless my children choose to serve.

However, 2 weeks ago, I had a chance to talk with a guy who had just retired from the military. He had been bombed in Iraq and had just recovered from physical therapy enough to be released. You can read the rest of my post here.

Of course, this certainly isn't the same as having one of my own family members in service. However, as I talked with him and have reflected on it since, God has allowed me to finally have a level of appreciation that I have never had before. I now understand, if only a bit, the sacrifices that individuals and families make for our freedom. It is a level of unselfishness that is hard to come by, and is greatly needed and appreciated.

This Memorial Day, I am truly grateful for the sacrifices our service men and women make each and every day. I am praying for them and their families. I am praying for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line-of-duty.

Thank you all!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

God-sized dreams

Last night started out like any other evening. I was meeting my friend for coffee, as I do most weeks. We talk about life's ups and downs, vent and all that kinda man stuff. As we continued, our discussion lead us on a journey...that I still haven't grasped in its entirety.

I don't want to go in to much detail at this point, as it is still in the prayer stage...but I promise you will be hearing a great deal about it in the future.

I do want to share an amazing observation from our discussion. As we were discussing this idea, my friend at one point noted that the first step is really to pray about it and determine if there is a way we can turn this idea into a God idea. As soon as we made this about God, God showed up! Let me tell you, when God shows up you better have a big pad of paper! The ideas started flowing, the dreams grew bigger and the excitement exploded. We could not keep track of these ideas fast enough.

We started to realize that what started out as a one-time fun idea has the capability, with a few God-sized dreams, of becoming so much more. Will it? I don't know. All I know, is that with God involved, we truly realized that ANYTHING was possible.

There is still a lot of prayer and planning to work through in the next few weeks, but I think God has given a couple of guys a glimpse into what could be something amazing....God-sized amazing!

Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What the?!?

I was driving this morning down a 4 lane road with a center turn lane. Now, as any good civil service employee, I was in no hurry so I wasn't driving fast; however, I wasn't going slow either...I was right at the speed limit.

I noticed a small neon coming up behind me rather quickly, and noticed there was a car in the lane on my right as well. Since I was going the speed limit AND we were in town, I was not in a quick hurry to move up and over for the car.

Since I was in no hurry and the car next to me was in no hurry but the neon driver was certainly in a hurry, they decided to pass me. That's right! Can you guess where?

I noticed them pull into the center turn lane, for what I thought was a left turn, and they proceeded up next to me. As the car was passing I saw a lady driving her neon, with her left hand on the steering wheel, her right hand talking on a cell phone up to her ear. She never looked over, just continued past and back into my lane in front of me. A few blocks later, she turned off and so I don't know why the rush...probably late to work.

At first, I really thought the gall that this lady had to pass me in the center lane. Where is a cop when you need one! How could anyone be in such a rush? Life isn't worth the ranting and raving continued for 10-15 minutes. Then I realized...I am old. It finally hit me. I don't drive like a teen or 20 something any more. What happened?

The reality is, as we age it is important that we develop patience, that we recognize the "big picture" and not be so hasty. It is important that we think more long term and stifle some of that short term thinking. The problem is...I think we can get so focused on being "safe" that we forget how to take risks.

Whether we are trying to share the gospel, maybe trying to figure out a new way to reach someone, maybe even stepping out into a new career. Sometimes there is a time to drive the speed limit...and sometimes you need to pull out into the center turn lane and pass the "safe" drivers.

The real question do you know when? Ask God!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kindle version

Well, it is official I am published!

Ok, not really. However you can read my blog on your kindle device now, just like reading a book. It will come delivered to you daily so you don't have to go looking for it.

And who knows, perhaps a big publisher will stumble upon the superb writing and realize that I am that undiscovered talent that the world has been waiting for! On the other hand, it could mean absolutely nothing except to that couple of you who are actually reading my blog.

Either way, check it out and leave me a positive customer review! Here's the link:


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Lately I have been going through a difficult time. I mean I was simply in a "valley". I had allowed life to get the best of know the stuff I am talking about right? Finances, pressures at work, not spending enough time with God and the family.

Every now and then we get beat down from it....for some it is a quick recovery, and for others...well, they never recover.

However, thanks to a wonderful wife and a couple of wonderful friends, I bounced back this week after this 20 days of misery.

In fact, Monday night I was having coffee with a buddy and that is when God put things into perspective for me. My buddy, Tom, and I were relaxing and talking about the upcoming weekend, and I was sharing with him about my stress. Then up walked a guy holding a coffee in one hand, and his wallet and a cane in the other hand.

He proceeded to ask us if we owned the jeeps outside. Of course we said yes (any one who claims to be a Christian owns a Jeep. In fact, I think that is what Jesus drove while he was on earth...but that's another story.) ! He then began asking us about jeep clubs and wanting to get connected locally with a club, how he had just bought a jeep and was looking forward to upfitting it.

I began telling him how he can get all the info on the internet for the clubs, etc. He then told us how he could not use a computer. He just retired out of the Army (after 17 years) because he was blown up in Iraq. As a result, he received brain damage, and his mind has not learned how to use a computer yet. In fact, he had just barely learned how to spell again.

As I sat there listening to him tell us about his situation, I was about to cry. Here was a guy who had every reason to hate life and yet, he seemed happy and excited about the new opportunities that were now before him, even with the limitations placed on him. Wow! Here I was whinning about stuff that I caused....perspective!

God Bless our military for their dedication and sacrifice that they put in for us! May they find Him!

How about you?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stop Pretending!

"Just stop it!"

"Stop trying to be something you are not. You are not the Savior!"

"Be proud of what you do...whether it is cleaning toilets or cleaning minds, we all have a purpose and if we try and be what we are not we affect the entire balance of God's perfect plan."

Does that sound harsh? Don't worry, it wasn't meant for was meant for me. I usually have to slap myself in the face and tell myself this all to often.

Why is that? There are many reasons. I think the biggest is that we see what someone else is doing (or not doing) and think that is so much better than what I am doing. Maybe it is tied to money, someone else "seems" to be making more. Maybe their job seems "cooler". Perhaps you think their schedule is easier...come and go as they responsibility. Simply put, the grass is greener on the other side.

The key is, are we trying to place our desires in place of God's will or are we truly listening to God. Are you confused? Let me give you an example. As many of you know I am a Fleet Analyst for TID. However, I am always feeling called (so I think) to become an executive pastor with a local church. Now, as I get so engulfed in the "great things" of being an executive pastor and all that I think it has to offer, I start to loose site of what God has planned for me. The fact is, God has given me an AMAZING job at an amazing place to work. It is truly a gift from God. Now, why would I want to leave that unless I know for sure it is his will? I wouldn't...I shouldn't.

That is the problem, we think we have no value at our current site. The truth is, God may have me here, so that maybe 1 person might find Him. However, if I choose to follow my plans and not his, I may miss a wonderful reward/opportunity. We can be used by God no matter where we draw a paycheck!

So, stop pretending! Just stop it!

How about you?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

That stinks!

I wanted to continue to share a bit from my trip this week since I didn't have much time to do so while I was there. One of the issues with traveling for an extended time (in my case 8 days) is that you find yourself eating out a lot. You are living out of a hotel room.

When you add to that, a conference, you tend to eat way more than you may normally. At a minimum, though, you are eating foods that you don't normally eat. We all have eating habits at home. We fix similar type foods week after week. We use the same cooking methods. As a result, our body adjusts to those habits.

So when you travel, you put your body to the test. Now, the body is pretty adaptable but sometimes it just says I have had enough. As a result, it develops a method to let you know that it can't take much more. Let's just say, those are smells that are absolutely from hell! They are nasty. However, when it is all over, we are even more grateful.

Now, hang in there with me. The same goes for our walk with Jesus. When we became a Christian, we began a transition in our lives. Not because God required it, or because we have to be better to get into Heaven; we change because as we get closer to Jesus, we become more like Jesus.

However, as God begins to work in us, He has to draw out of us all the stench that has filled our lives for so many years. As God brings those out, we don't enjoy it, it stinks, it is ugly, and we want it to go away. Whether it is a sinful habit, an addiction, or just a mind struggle, it has to be confessed and dealt with in all of its ugliness before we can move on.

How was that for tying them together? How about you? You agree?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Unhappy Traveler

Over the last week I spent the better part of 2 days traveling back and forth from California to Louisiana and back again. One of the things that I noticed is that people really don't like to travel.

Don't misunderstand, people love to go on vacation. People like to experience new locations. I just don't think that most people like the time to and from their destinations. As I sat on Thursday watching people for 3 hours in the airport, I don't think I saw 1 happy person...OK kids, but they don't count!

I saw sleepy people, warn out people, frustrated people, discouraged people; but not 1 truly happy person. Why is that?

Do you remember when vacations were not about the destination, but rather about the trip to the destination? (OK, at least that is how I remember it.) What happened?

Have we become a world that is so rushed that we don't have time to stop and enjoy the journey? I think the experience should be about the journey and not the destination!

How about you?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Funny Friday Fun

Every Friday I post a video that is funny or fun or just plain enjoyable to watch. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This is meant to be something enjoyable, if you don't find it funny or enjoyable, then please turn it off.I didn't make them, I simply shared them. Chill out a bit will ya!