• Deciding To Do What’s Next

    What do you need to do next? The answer to that question will have similarities for many people; however, the answer will be different for every one of us. But by what needs to be done next, I am not asking you to consider, “Should I finish reading this blog post or should I…?” Certainly, that question is pertinent for this moment, but it may not matter in five minutes. It certainly will not matter in five days or five years. Instead, what I mean by the opening question is what is the next thing that you are to do according to living out your SYSTEM.* *If you are reading…

  • The System – Conclusion

    “Give to Ceasar what is Caesar’s. Give to God what is God’s.” – Jesus Jesus said these words on the day of testing during His final week of life. Just like the lambs were to be tested for spots and blemishes before the Passover (Exodus 12), the religious leaders of the day were testing Jesus in much the same way (albeit unknowingly). Different groups came to challenge Jesus that day (the accounts can be found in Matthew 21-22, Mark 11-12, and Luke 20). They challenged him about His authority, the resurrection, the Great Commandment, and paying taxes to Rome, which is the focus here. Many people have heard this story,…

  • Make Disciples

    “Follow Me.” – Jesus “Make disciples.” – Jesus In last week’s post, I shared how I see my SYSTEM fitting into the invitation (and command) to follow Jesus (Matthew 4.19). This week, I will share how the SYSTEM fits into the Great Commission (Matthew 28.19-20). The text of the Great Commission is: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” As is often mentioned, the only verb in this actual commissioning…

  • Short Reviews – A Review of My Recent Reading List (2020 – 3rd 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…

  • Follow Me

    “Follow Me.” – Jesus “Make disciples.” – Jesus As a Christian Educator, I have learned the value of teaching for cognitive (head), affective (heart), and psychomotor (hands) learning. In the next two weeks, I want to share how Jesus’ command not only captures each of those three learning domains, but also how the two quotes above encapsulate Jesus’ plan and model for discipleship, while connecting both quotes to the 4L’s, and thus the SYSTEM, I have been writing about for months. This week, I begin with Jesus’ words to “Follow Me.” These words are found in Matthew 4.19. Some will consider them an invitation. Others will hear them as a…

  • The System – A Final Review

    Redeem the time. Those words were written by Paul nearly 2000 years ago to the church at Ephesus (Ephesians 5.16). Those words ring true today as well. The rest of that verse is true as well – because the days are evil. The days will distract us from our purpose. The days are not the distraction, but the events within each day will. Just think of 2020. The year began with the fires in Australia and an impeachment in America. But since then, the major events have hit with wave after wave, with each wave at least as strong as the previous one. These waves have names like COVID, Stock…

  • Stepping Up

    What goes up, must come down. Well, that is what the prevailing wisdom tells us. Why? Because of gravity. Let me turn the idea upside down. What goes down, must come up. Ok, the logic isn’t quite scientific, but for the purposes of this series of blog posts, that statement is true. How so? Well, we have started with VISION, moved down to MISSION, and then to STRATEGY. Now, as we look at the STEPS, we do so with the intent to move back up the SYSTEM. As I have written previously, the STEPS allow us to execute the STRATEGY which helps us fulfill (complete) our MISSION and ultimately allows…

  • L Is For Learn…

    What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Ok, that answer may be pretty simple. But what is the second? What about the third? The tenth? Sure, some people are flexible and the specific items may change day to day. Or, at least, they might change from a weekday to a weekend. And, the order of items in February of 2020 may be very different than they are now because of COVID. But the point is that if you have some sort of agenda for the day, you likely have some sort of routine. Perhaps the routine is getting ready for work or getting…

  • The Process

    “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Peter Drucker made that statement many years ago. And it is true. You can have a great STRATEGY, but if the culture is not considered, the STRATEGY may be impotent. So, a part of the STRATEGY, or perhaps an initial STRATEGY, may be to simply change the culture (or the effects of it). (This SYSTEM approach can work for an initial STRATEGY to be executed in order to then prepare a new SYSTEM for the longer-term.) While Drucker’s quote is meant for organizations, it is true for the individual as well. We have probably all heard someone say, “I can’t stand this any longer. I…

  • Avoiding Limitations

    We all face limitations. Some are self-imposed. Others are not. Some limitations are mental, some emotional, some physical. Regardless we all face limitations. What we do not want to do is limit our ability to maximize our lives. Of course, we do this in a variety of ways. For instance, we waste a lot of time on unimportant matters and miss opportunities on things of significance. I am guilty too. But in a series on developing a SYSTEM that is designed to help us make decisions to achieve our ultimate goals (whether the period of time is short, or over a lifetime), we should not start with an approach which…