Making Plans!

In the leadership world, there are thousands of books that address the way leaders lead and more specifically the way leaders plan. Without question, the greatest collection of wisdom and insight on how a leader plans his work–and then works his plan, has to be the Bible! Long before leadership gurus were publishing their opinions, blogging their thoughts. Or tweeting their pithy points of pontificating, the writers of scripture were penning God’s insightful perspective in the matter.

Today, as I was reading through the Ild Testament book of Proverbs I was again confronted with the challenging words of chapter 20 on the subject of planning well. In verse 18, the wisdom writer simply states,

prepare plans by consultation…

The significance of this verse speaks directly to the heart of every leader. Good leaders never make their plans in a cavalier way. Wise leaders, proficient leaders, those leaders who stand out from the rest will always seek wise counsel before they make plans and carry them out! In another scripture, we were reminded that wisdom is found in the counselor of many. Yet another declaration of the importance of seeking wise counsel before making plans.

But there was more direction given in Proverbs chapter 20 on the subject of making plans. In verse five, the author tells us,

A plan in the heart of a man is like Deepwater, but a man of understanding draws it out.

Here the writer reminds us of the necessity of leaders to think out-of-the-box, to dream big, to plan with the future in mind. From his perspective, planning is necessary and life giving. It’s like deep waters to the soul…refreshing! But just making great plans is never enough. Plans are to be lived out! They must be carried out. They are to be fulfilled.

So, dream big, seek counsel, make your plans — and then dare to fulfill them!



A Reason To Celebrate!

I honestly can’t believe how fast the summer has flown by. It seems like just yesterday that my children were all anticipating their big SUMMER BREAK. We had so many activities and plans we were making together — things we wanted to do and ways we wanted to celebrate the warm summer days. And as I look back over the past few months, I think we did most of the things we wanted to do. There were movies we saw, camping activities in the back yard, evening fires and smores, as well as outings and a week of vacation to the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. All in all we had a great summer.

Some of the more memorable moments for me came the past few weeks. In my home, the months of July and August are filled with BIG DAYS! It began with my wife’s surprise birthday party. This was a big one…but I’ll just say it was her “29th” (again!). This was the first time I had ever thrown her a big party — and a surprise event to boot! It was a ’70’s themed gathering complete with platform shoes, huge afros, bell-bottoms, and my green plaid polyester pants! We discoed the night away.

The next big moment was to celebrate my daughters 11th birthday…quickly followed by my middle son’s 8th birthday. And did I mention that the summer began with my oldest son’s 13th birthday. Well, at least I get a break before my youngest turns 6 in December. But then the celebrations continue right through Christmas and the New Year!

Well, here’s what I’ve come to discover. Life is worth celebrating. My family and friends are worth celebrating. Life was meant to be enjoyed with those I know and love. Jesus said his primary purpose was to come and give “life”. Life to the max. Life lived in connection with Him. Abundant, joy-filled, celebratory life! I love the way Jesus ends the story He told His followers about the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. The father declares his love for his son and reveals his heart of celebration. The father said, “…We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” (Lk. 15:23-24, NLT).

Isn’t that great? “So the party began!”

Oh, by the way…this Sunday my wife and I celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary! How awesome is that? I am truly blessed beyond measure.

Let the party BEGIN!

Control Freaks!

Simple truth: As much as we may try, we will never really have total control over anything in our lives!

I ran across a funny story about a woman who experienced a winter traffic accident. As the police filled out the report and her testimony of the account, this is what she said. And I quote,

“I hit a patch of ice, and then my car began to spin counterclockwise. I then hit the curb at which point my car began to spin clockwise. After that, I narrowly avoided hitting a house and then a telephone pole. And it was at that point that I lost control of my vehicle.”

What? Am I the only one who thinks she probably lost total control the first moment she hit the patch of ice? The truth is, she never had control.

You know, the more I think about it…neither do we. Oh, we try! But the reality of our lives is that we never really have control over anything. Think about, we can’t control our children or the decisions they make. We have very little control over our investments or our retirement portfolios. We can’t control the housing market or the value of our home. And we can’t even control our health. Oh, we might be able to eat right and exercise regularly…but even healthy people get sick and some times discover they are facing battles with cancer or some other major disease. These things simply reveal that we have very little control in this life. And yet, we spend the majority of our time striving to gain control over these things that we will never really master! It’s unfortunate to say the least.

That being said, I have discovered that I can trust the sovereignty of God, because even though I may be “out of control” — He never is! Let me sum up my thoughts today with this: Though I can’t control my future or those things around me — I can control my habits and my responses.

We can try to control all those elements within our lives regarding our relationships, our future, our finances and the rest — and end up facing the same cycles of disappointment, frustration, fear, anger and blame. Or we begin to trust God and His sovereignty and focus on the one thing that we can control…ourselves! I know this sounds like a paradox, but when we fully surrender our lives and the control of our lives to Jesus we are then able to really live at peace knowing that He has our best interest in mind!

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

So here’s my suggestion – let’s trust His plans for our lives and live more peaceful and more productive lives…and let’s let loose of that endless pursuit of trying to “get control” of those things which will always be out of our reach!

Be encouraged today – God is still in control!

It’s Mac Tonight!

Well, it’s official…I have crossed over into the world of Mac! I know, there are many of you celebrating my new found freedoms (and power) – while at the same time, there are those of you who don’t understand the inticement of the Mac World. Well, let me try and explain.

For me the shift to Mac had to do with some of the frustrations I was experiencing with the PC. Over the last year or so I have been creating videos to correspond with my messages (preaching) and felt very limited by the PC. It would freeze up, shut the programs down or just be so slow at rendering and finalizing the project. With Mac, everything is seamless and quick. There has been a bit of a learning curve – but very little! All in all it has been a good move for me. In fact, the quality of the media I’m able to produce now far exceeds the things I’ve done before with a PC. So in short..I’m sold!

Now I know it’s been awhile since my last post…I will try to do better!

Here’s a closing thought for. I heard this from one of the men I deeply respect in Pastoral leadership. He said when it comes to technology and media (as the church), “…we ought to be on the cutting edge and not the lagging edge!” I heartily agree! Let’s do everything we can to culturally connect and speak the language our culture and world are speaking. And in all we do, lets do it as unto the Lord…and for His glory!

A value I am continually embracing is – irrelavance is irreverence! Strive to make a difference for the Kingdom of God.

World Changers

It’s fascinating to me to think about the role of the church in relationto this world. Some people see ‘church’as a location. Others see it as a meeting that takes place on a weekly basis. Still others think of it as a man made institution or community group. Those who are heavily religious look at the church astheee power tool for manipulation or self-righteous bigotry. But there church is nome of these things. The church has been beat described a ‘the hope of the world!’ It is quite literally the ‘ekklesia’ (in Greek), or’the called out ones’ in our modern day English. Butcalled out of what? According to the apostle Peter, the church is that group of people who have been called out of darkness and into the liht of Christ. There church is a living, loving, culturally relevant organism built of people who have put their faith in Jesus. And our primary roles to play are to honor God and change our world with the love of Christ. If church isore about YOU than it is OTHERS than your understanding of the church is off base. I encourage you to rethink your definition of this great movement that Jeaus created…and see if you are living out your calling of being a world changer and voice of hope! And if you’re not – then begin today!

Life Before Cell Phones

CB RadioDoes anyone remember the CB Radio?

This is something that brings back such fond memories for me. Now, let me say right up front…I do wish to go back to a CB styled life, but I do love the memories.

It happened today. I was reading a book and something I read really challenged me. It was as if the author was speaking right to me…and almost without thinking, I responded (in my head): 10-4! Now, for the record – I didn’t say it aloud. I didn’t talk to myself…that RARELY happens! 🙂

However, with just the thought of those numbers 10-4 came a flood of emotions and thought. And I was reminded of those times as a kid where we would be on vacation and Daddy would let me sit up front and talk on his CB Radio to all of the truckers and the other vacationers on the road. It was so much fun. With a CB (unlike a cell phone), everyone has a “handle” or a “call name” – and mine was “Little Bear”. Daddy’s was “Big Bear”. I have always wanted to be just like him. Well, all of those thoughts and emotions caused me to google the phrase “10-4” and along with it, I found a lot more codes that CBers use. I thought you might enjoy them. — Over!

10-1 = Receiving poorly
10-2 = Receiving well
10-3 = Stop transmitting
10-4 = Message received
10-5 = Relay message to _____
10-6 = Busy, please stand by
10-7 = Out of service, leaving the air
10-8 = In service, subject to call
10-9 = Repeat message
10-10 = Transmission completed, standing by
10-11 = Talking too rapidly
10-12 = Visitors present
10-13 = Advise Weather/Road conditions
10-16 = Make pick up at _____
10-17 = Urgent business
10-18 = Anything for us?
10-19 = Nothing for you, return to base
10-20 = My location is _____
10-21 = Call by telephone
10-22 = Report in person to
10-23 = Stand by

Well, there were many more…but I think that’s enough. Over and out! 🙂

Sticking Close!

Vineyard_in_MontoneOkay, so I thought I might share a bit of my own devotion today.  In John 15:1-8 1 Jesus says,

 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”  John 15:1-8 1 (NIV)

Now, let me just make a quick observation from this passage. Here it is — Jesus used the phrase, “Remain in Me!” – not once, but 5 times! Now, as far as communication goes…anything that is repeated or emphasized again and again is always key (or central) to the message being shared.

It’s fascinating to me to see how directly and with almost a sense of abandonment that Jesus does this. His is so in the face of those around Him…and it is without hesitation that He makes His point clear.

He states the most important thought here again and again. He says, “Remain in Me!” Now, if you get nothing else out of this post – get this…Jesus wants you to emphatically understand the importance of sticking close to Him!

I’m sure this seems obvious – but here’s what I got out of this. First, this is so important to our daily living…because the the vine is always the source of everything needed to not only survive, but thrive. And secondly, because all fruit has it’s beginning in the source!

Everything good that we long to produce in our lives will only come from the source…the vine — Jesus!

Think on these things!


Alright, I have finally begun. After all this time reading about it…and hearing about it…and even checking it out from time to time – I finally did it! I am officially TWITTER-ing! In case there is someone out there who might have some interest in keeping up with my life, you can follow me at 

If you are twittering and would like to share it with me…feel free to comment below.  Let’s keep the progressing moving!


Growing Up.

Why is it that when we are young we wish we were older…and then when we are older, we find ourselves wishing we were young again? My children are just getting so big! My eldest–Jonathan, will be turning 11 this next month. He just completed a major writing project in school (a 1000+ page paper on President James A. Garfield) and has even begun asking me which vehicle he will be driving when he turns 16. WHAT??? I nearly fell out of my chair. Driving? Really? What has happened to the other 5 years he has to go? Is he really ready to throw them all away and skip to 16? Was I like that with my father as well? If I’m honest with you, I probably was. Here’s the thing…every day really is a gift from God. Let’s learn to be grateful for them all. Before we know it we will have wished them all away wanting to be at a different place in life. I think we would be wise to heed the advice of the Psalmist and learn to number our days. Life is just too short to always want to be at some other point in time. Think on this for a while!


And it happened again. This morning God surprised me yet again by doing the most amazing thing ever. He showed up, encouraged, offered freedom and forgiveness…and saved 7 people from an eternity apart from Him. It is the beauty of the message of Jesus. He came, He lived, He died, and He lived again! It’s what Easter is truly all about – Jesus overcoming death and in return, offering all of humanity “everlasting life”. Wow! What an amazing act. It is extraordinary…almost unbelieveable. It reminds me of a song we used to sing when I was a little boy. “God is so good! God is so good! God is so good–He’s so good to me!”

Today, Easter 2009 — I am celebrating the extravagant gift of God in Jesus. He is the Messiah, my Savior, my Lord…my soon coming King! In the words of the ancient church…”He is Risen – He is Risen Indeed!”

Happy Easter everyone.