• 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…

  • 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…

  • God’s Provision Includes Rest

    Are you worked up over COVID-19? Some are more than others. On the one hand, some are being arrogant and irresponsible. On the other hand, some are letting fear control their every decision – or worse yet, are letting fear keep them from making any decisions. As we continue to work through the COVID-19 challenge, I am reminded how important having a personal strategy is. If you have read my blog for a number of years, you may remember an entire series I did on the 4Ls back in 2017 on another site. Overall, I break my thoughts into my vision, my mission, my strategy, and my steps. As I…

  • Desires vs Pride

    Many people will link the desire to lead with a mindset of pride. I believe this is a false interpretation. However, it does not matter what I believe. Let me conclude this brief series on having a platform by looking at a couple of verses in the Bible related to desire. Before I look at the verses though, let me clarify that desire can lead to pride. And pride can be the result of desire. However, can is different than will. Perhaps it is rare when the two are not bound together, but they do not have to be. After all, the Bible is clear that God is opposed to…

  • The Year = xxx9

    During the past two weeks, this blog has shared a couple of announcements related to a new podcast (Christian Educator Weekly) and a new structure (4L Ministries). Both of these announcements are, in part, due to reflections that I have been making personally over the past few months. During my reflection, I realized something a little odd. The year ends in 9. That is, this is 2019. Now, that does not really mean much in general. But perhaps something is hidden within me that needs to be addressed. See, I was born in 1970. So, any year that ends in a 9 means that I am about to face a…

  • 4L Ministries

    Last week, I announced the launch of a new podcast about education and administration within the church (primarily). That podcast, Christian Educator Weekly (CEW), fits well within my scope of work and within my overall life goals and plans. But that addition also brings a new change to our ministry. If you have been reading this blog for a few years you may remember a series I did on the previous site (fotonni.blogspot.com) about the 4Ls. The 4L’s – Learn, Live, Love, Lead – are the steps by which I fulfill my strategy to accomplish my mission, and fulfill the vision I have for my life. Most everything I do…

  • Towards a Healthy Church, A Personal Testimony, Part 4

    This post is the fourth and final post of my testimony related to becoming increasingly involved in the life of a church and in ministry overall. I allude to the three previous posts in this post. If you wish to read them for context, you can find them in the following links. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Although every person who follows Jesus is called to serve Him in some way, I realize not everyone is called to pastor a church, teach in a seminary, or lead a mission organization. In fact, a true understanding of the body of Christ ensures that such a calling is not possible. Otherwise,…

  • Towards a Healthy Church, A Personal Testimony, Part 3

    The blog this year has focused on the idea of what makes a church healthy. As I said early in this series, I am not attempting to re-write what has been offered by experts such as Dever, Rainer, and others, I am simply adding my perspective which can then be infused into the overall conservation. As part of adding my perspective, I am sharing my personal testimony as it relates to becoming involved in a/the church. Overall, the idea is more than becoming involved; the idea is about discipling others. However, getting people involved in ministry does allow for discipleship opportunities as I have shared over each of the past…

  • Image from the O Captain, My Captain scene from Dead Poets Society

    Towards a Healthy Church – A Personal Testimony, Part 2

    As we move to the second “level” of involvement, I want to continue to share my testimony. My purpose is to share that these levels are not just theoretical, but personal. Additionally, while some will think that my path must have been straightforward, it was anything but so, as this week’s post will reveal. If you have followed my blog on this site (6 months) or in general (at fotonni.blogspot.com for the last several years), you will know that I am a pastor, an educator at a Christian college and seminary, and I lead an organization with a primary purpose of equipping pastors in underprivileged areas of the world to…

  • Towards A Healthy Church – Why Having a Mission Statement Is Biblical

    The purpose of this series is to help us understand some necessary components of having a healthy church.* As I have mentioned thus far, in no way, do I wish to neglect the importance of the Holy Spirit, and each aspect of this series should be biblically-based, in every possible manner. Additionally, many organizations cover these items in various ways, and more thoroughly, but my goal is to add voice to this process and provide another bit of clarity to the needs for some of the more overlooked parts of being healthy as a church. *Because of this purpose, this series is meant for those who are truly followers of…