• Being Intentional

    Do you know yet what you will do? I tell my congregation all the time that a major difference exists between good intentions and being intentional. Every good intention that does not get acted upon ends up in the grave rotting with the rest of the corpse. Now not all of our intentional acts work the way we want them to work. But how can we know if we are not intentional to try? Of course, being intentional and being willing does not mean that we will always rise to the challenge. As I share how the I will statements fit within my MISSION, please do not think that I…

  • I will…

    I will… How do you finish that sentence? How would you like to finish that sentence? The difference between those two questions can be extraordinary. Consider what you will do. Apart from death or something unimaginable, you will breathe. You will eat. You will age. You will do many things, some of which you do not even consider as you do them (such as breathing). But most everyone has goals and ideas they would like to accomplish. These goals cannot be accomplished without some intentionality, some effort, or something else (e.g. money, time, etc.). (Please understand that the entirety of this series is under the umbrella statement of “Lord willing”…

  • From Why to What

    Do you have a goal? Can you clearly state it? Well, if so, you have a VISION of what your life can be…or, at least what you want it to be. But now comes the hard part. What do you need to do to achieve that goal? Many people wish things to be so, but until we are willing to own what needs to be done, it is VERY unlikely that the goal will ever be achieved. John Maxwell says, “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Well, the WHY is your ultimate goal. But to…

  • Is Having a Vision/Mission Biblical?

    Do you believe vision and mission are biblical? This question is real and needs to be addressed. Many people will hear the idea of a church or a person having a mission statement and consider the idea to be unbiblical. The reasons may be many, but two reasons seem prominent. First, many people believe that mission statements are the invention of corporations. I will agree that the idea of missional statements made a comeback late in the 20th Century. Of course, slogans have been a part of branding for years (e.g. Nike’s Just Do It, etc.), but all organizations have some sort of guiding principles – even if it is…

  • Seeing Into the Future

    What do you want from your life? At the end of your life, if you could choose one word (or concept) to describe your life, what would it be? We will all be known for something. Certainly, some will be more known than others, but in the end very few people will be known. Just consider how many people you can name from history prior to 1800. For many people reading this blog, a healthy portion of those names will come from the Bible or from the period around the American Revolution. If those names are removed, the list will shrink substantially. Still, being famous may be your goal. But…

  • Short Reviews – A Review of My Recent Reading List (2020 – 2nd Qtr)

    On the right side of this blog, I provide my current reading list. While I often read other books simultaneously, my goal each quarter is to read one book from each of the “steps” that help me fulfill my strategy which is comprised of the acrostic LEARN.* Therefore, I choose the books I read carefully because I want them to help me improve as a teacher, a pastor, a leader, and most importantly as a person. Thus, I rarely read books that are disappointing to me. However, some are more helpful than others, so I thought it might be helpful to share a few insights from my reading, in case…

  • Building a System

    Vision. Depending upon the context, the word conjures up one of two thoughts. Historically, the term has related to the ability to see. More recently, it has meant a business-related goal. That goal, in one sense, is what the business expects to “see” if it properly fulfills the mission. So, the vision is dependent upon the mission. But in order to fulfill the mission, a strategy needs to be developed. That strategy, if properly executed, can lead to the fulfillment, but it does not guarantee it. As we have seen in recent months with COVID-19, unforeseen circumstances can cause major shifts in our thinking. But without an end goal (a…

  • A Fresh Start

    How do you handle distractions? Personally, I am a planner. I like to keep my calendar and to-do list organized. Now, I am a believer in the idea that I need to control those tools (and others), rather than letting them control me, but the reality is that I like having my day(s) organized. Beyond the day(s), I like to have my life fairly ordered. I can be flexible, but I do like the stability of how I have structured my week. And beyond organizing my time and tasks, I also organize my scheduled lessons, whether that is what I will preach or teach at church, what I am planning…

  • Seeking Something Different

    Different. How do you define the term? Perhaps the easiest definition is “not the same.” But then we must ask, what is the definition of “same?” If our answer is “not different,” we may be right, but we really have not defined anything. We are simply speaking in circles – different is not the same and the same is not different. And around we go again. It is difficult to not be aware of all that is happening in our world. It is disturbing if we are not aware of the big picture of why it is happening. However, as I mentioned last week, I cannot fully understand, and maybe…

  • It Begins With Me

    I don’t have any answers. I have more questions than I may ever have answers. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. But I know I must do something. And that something must include love. Whatever happens from here, it must begin with me. Our world has been divided for years, and that has been true of America as well. But that has never been more apparent than in our current reality. Protests. Riots. Injustice. Hatred. We see it daily. It grows daily. And, well, it should. This blog is about living in, not of the world as Jesus prayed. Most of the time, I…