Be Kind: We’re All in a Battle.

My first two posts on Encourage and Equip were designed to lay a foundation for why we need encouragers so much in our day (Why Pt. 1, Why Pt. 2).  However, there is one area I really wanted to write about because it is so critical. But, I wasn’t sure people were ready to receive the message. I wasn’t quite sure how to communicate the message clearly without sounding like an alarmist, a religious nut or fanatic.

At the very core of my being, my heart cries out that the reason we need to encourage people is that we are all in a battle.  Most people don’t even realize it.  Those who are aware of the battle tend to underestimate the opposition–It’s much more than a pillow fight!

The Foundation

At the heart of my thinking on encouragement Continue Reading…

I write to model or provide encouragement, to point people to God as the unending source of strength, or to help develop our skills and gifts as we live out our faith and seek to love God and people.

God commands us to encourage one another. Please consider with another of the major reasons I think we need it now — perhaps now more than ever.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us that “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)  In our day, an average person faces a myriad of challenges and obstacles that can tear down and destroy their drive, effectiveness, and the quality of life that God desires for us to enjoy.

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at our tendency to focus on the negative.  To further illustrate the point, Jon Acuff tells a classic New York story of Larry David (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) attending a baseball game at Yankee Stadium.  During the game, his picture was shown on the screen and he was announced as being at the game. 50,000 people stood and cheered.

As David left the stadium, a guy drove by and yelled, “Larry, you suck!” “That’s like, literally all he heard,” Berg (David’s friend) says.  David spent the ride back from the Bronx obsessing over that moment, running it over and over in his mind. It was as if the other 50,000 people, the ones who loved him, didn’t exist. “Who’s that guy? What was that?” He asked. “Who would do that? Why would you say something like that?”

Today, I’d like to direct out attention briefly to another factor that challenges us every day.

Fear Based “Motivators”

In politics and marketing, a growing number of people are seeking to get their message or products into people’s hearts and homes with ads or entire campaigns designed to capitalize on people’s anxieties and insecurities.

Shadow puppet symbolizing inordinate fear.

1. Political Campaigns

The last presidential campaign season has developed the attack ad to a whole new level.  A major dynamic of this is also known as scare tactics. In a personal conversation, one journalist covering the election told me that most people were actually voting against the opposing candidate rather than voting for their candidate.   They weren’t even sure what their own candidate’s platform was. Continue Reading…

God commands us to encourage one another. Please consider with me of the major reasons I think we need it now — perhaps now more than ever. In our day, an average person faces a myriad of challenges and obstacles that can tear down and destroy a person’s drive and effectiveness. Consider the following as examples.

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Read the Bible? Me?

April 27, 2017

You might ask, how does someone go from not reading any kind of book for six years and then start reading the Bible? Allow me to share my story.

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I had the honor of guest blogging on the Defying Shadows website today as part of their #Fearless365 series. I was able to share some personal reflections on Luke 5:10 and part of my own testimony as I related to Jesus inviting Simon Peter to a career upgrade.  The following originally appeared at https://defyingshadows.com/2017/03/03/fearless365-luke-510/.

 

and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”

Luke 5:10

I can empathize with Simon Peter. When Jesus spoke the words, “Don’t be afraid”, he knew that the Holy Spirit was at work in Simon’s heart.

Exhausted after a long night of commercial fishing with nothing to show for his efforts, Simon agreed to let Jesus use his boat as a platform to address the gathered crowd on the shore. Simon continued to wash his nets while listening to the master teacher at work. When Jesus finished, he told Simon to go out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch. The experienced fisherman surely knew it would be fruitless to expect to catch fish in the heat of the day. But, something inside compelled him to follow the teacher’s suggestion.

I can imagine Simon’s shock as the image of his formerly empty nets contrasts with the nets that were now so full that he had to call to his partners to help bring in the catch. Continue Reading…

New Videos

February 11, 2017

I’ve been having a lot of fun developing videos to help people who might be considering getting Time with God for themselves or to give as a gift.  I wanted to share these here.  I hope you enjoy them.  If you do, please Like and Share.  Thank you.

Three Parenting Wins

September 15, 2016

It made my day when my daughter, Grace now 25, mentioned something that I repeatedly tried to teach my kids. She said something close to, “like you always told us …” It made my heart all warm and fuzzy inside for quite some time to realize that something I considered a foundational value or principle got through.

Young girl on dad's shoulders at the shore.

I’d like to share today three parenting wins that at least one of my kids heard and continues to have as a core value. In the next few days, I hope to elaborate on each of these principles. For now, here is a brief overview of the three principles

1.  Don’t Scream Unless It’s an Emergency.

For some reason, young children especially girls, can have a tendency to scream as they’re having fun. I remember trying to help my kids to realize that if they were always screaming when there is no danger, it could be hard to know when they were really in need of immediate assistance.

Now parents might be saying I can tell the difference between the screams. You might be right but I didn’t want to take the chance. Plus, a little less noise pollution in the world is always a good thing.

2.  Stop Means Stop.

This was a rule that we had especially when the kids were young. Inherent in the rule was the idea that even the youngest or smallest was empowered to stop whatever activity was going on if they were getting hurt in the process. Continue Reading…

OvercomeEvil2

I can still remember like it was yesterday.  As a young child growing up, whenever we would hear a police siren go by, my mom would immediately say a  brief prayer.

I don’t remember what she prayed.  I’m not even sure she prayed out loud. But, she made sure to pass on the reminder to pray for whatever situation they were heading into.

CLEAR FONT FirstRespondersPrayer

 

Now, more than ever, we need to support those who risk their lives on a daily basis to serve and protect us.  To be sure there are a few that make tarnish the reputation of the many.  To be clear, that happens in any field.  Unfortunately, those are the ones who make the headlines and viral videos that we see over and over. Continue Reading…

Have you ever sat in a conference listening to a speaker and thought to yourself, albeit humbly, “I could do that… and probably even better.”? But, there you sit in the audience while someone else was picked to speak.

I have been on stage since high school as an entertainer, a trainer, and currently, a pastor. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to consider speaking at conferences. I have much to learn, but fortunately, I now have expert help in my corner.

Photo by kasto. DepositPhotos Image ID:48763103

Photo by kasto. DepositPhotos Image ID: 48763103

Maybe you’re a church leader who teaches regularly, a business person who gives in-house presentations often, or a writer longing to promote your works. Since you’re reading this, chances are you have something to offer and you long to spread your influence beyond your own organization.

If speaking at conferences is your goal, you need to develop a speaker proposal that will make you stand out from the crowd. Continue Reading…