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Most people introduce themselves before they start blogging, podcasting, or even talking to you. However, I chose until after a few blogs in to let you know who I am and why I started my blog. I am the youngest of 4 children and I am told it’s obvious that I am the youngest. My wife, Amanda, is my High school sweetheart and we have been married for 6 years. We have a to wonderful children.  I am a second generation Christian pastor and my relationship with Jesus is the foundation for all of my beliefs, perspectives, and points-of-view. I do have a Bachelors in Media Strategies with an emphasis in Public Relations, Advertising, and Social Media Management, so some blogs with those topics might make an appearance. I am passionate about creative storytelling and bringing the Bible to life. I started writing this blog because I am a writer. Moreover, I want to share my ideas about ministry, family, creativity, and leadership. I believe everyone has a ministry, everyone has a family, everyone is creative, and everyone is a leader. I hope you enjoy my posts and share them. I enjoy your comments and feedback all the time. I am so excited for the opportunity for you to get to know me and for me to get to know you. If you have any topics or questions you want me to discuss just let me know. Thank you for your likes, comments, and shares! I read every one of them.

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Nice to Meet You

Under Construction – 3 questions to evaluate your programs

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We have all been apart of programs that should be shut down. We should have the courage as leaders to cut programs that aren’t working anymore. Here are three signs your program needs to be revitalized or put to sleep forever.
3. Has our attendance increased?
Although this isn’t the only the only thing that matters it is a very healthy metric to gauge if there is life in your program.

2. Why are you doing what you are doing?

If someone asks why you do the program or event and you say “because we have always done it,” you may have to reevaluate. If you are spending money on programs just because you have always done them then program is driving the budget and finances rather than the mission.

1.Do I or my staff want to participate or attend?

If you and your staff have no desire or just don’t even show up it might be time to cut the program loose. You and your staff should be the most excited about the things you are doing. If you/they aren’t excited, how do you think your participants feel?

This aren’t the only signs to gauge the need to cut or revamp a program, but they are a good start and easy to answer. So what programs need to have these three questions answered?

All of Me

uhgz-k6eb_g-vincent-guthThis morning was the last installment in our series “Simple.” Our text from this morning was John 21:15 – 19. We began with saying that God has a heavenly perspective of you and a plan for you.  Then we said we can be CONSISTENT as we walk in our heavenly perspective and walk out our heavenly plan ONLY out of intimacy with the Holy Spirit. However, we can’t grasp the fullness of God’s perspective of us and His plan for us without operating from a place of wholeness. Nor can we walk in consistency because consistency comes out of intimacy, and we can’t have intimacy without relational transparency and vulnerability.

Peter, from our text, had one of the most impressive resumes of all the 12 disciples or followers of Jesus.

  • Called into ministry and given a new name (John 1:42)
  • Special understanding of who he was compared to JESUS (Luke 5:6-8)
  • First to call Jesus the Son of the Living God – the Messiah (Mark 8:29, Luke 9:20, Matt. 16:16-17).
  • Walked on water (Mathew 14:28)
  • Eyewitness to the many miracles that Jesus did and also witnessed the Shekhinah Glory along with John and James in the Transfiguration. (Matt. 17:1-9)
  • Cut off the ear of one of the guards arresting Jesus in the Garden. (John 18)
  • Peter denies Jesus (Luke 22:54 – 62)

After Peter denies Jesus, Jesus is killed and buried.  Peter is unable to make things right with his friend, Lord, and Savior because Jesus is dead.  So Peter goes fishing.  Even though he saw and did miracles with Jesus.  Even though he had a heavenly perspective and plan for his life from Jesus himself.  Even though he had intimacy with Jesus for three years. Even though he had all the right steps, all the right words, and the right resume Peter couldn’t walk in wholeness.

After Jesus is resurrected form the dead.  Jesus finds his disciples who called it quits and went back to fishing, and he makes them breakfast on the seashore.  Peter thought he was done, but Jesus wasn’t done with Peter.  Jesus sits down after eating breakfast with the disciples and begins to forgive Peter so he can walk in wholeness. First in wholeness in relationship with Jesus, then in wholeness in relationship with the other disciples, and then in wholeness in his calling.

Jesus wants to have intimacy with you, but we limit our intimacy when we put up walls and withhold vulnerability.   Jesus wants to heal your wounds physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially.  He died to save and restore ALL of you.  He wants to take you from a place of brokenness to a place of wholeness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go 62

  
Since we moved to the beautiful CDA, we have completed the lions share of road trips to PDX and back. We have our route planned out beautifully.  We know our stops. We know our exits. We know our speed.  I am not admitting to anything but there might be some legs of our trips where the gas pedal gets to get cozy with the floor board.  Coming home from a relaxing time with family the Lord sent me a metaphorical “tweet”: 

@God: “Go 62. There are things I need to say to you.” #instantobedience .  

I instantly slowed down and set my cruise control for 62 (3 mph under the set speed limit!).  Once I listened to his exact instruction, He began to pour out His love and word over, not just me, but Amanda as well. 

I am not telling you this to discourage you because I heard from God and you didn’t.  Nor am I bragging about how obedient I am.  I felt impressed to share with you three thoughts from my perspective in the slow lane. 

1. God’s pace is perfect always.  We got WAY better gas mileage then normally i.e. saving those Benjamin’s.  Two people that sped past us got pulled over. One of the cars was identical to ours. We saw some majestic bald eagels.  We saw a herd of rams grazing on the hillside. We had deep conversations with each other about what He was telling us. We would have missed all these if we went our own speed instead of obeying God’s “tweet.”

2. God’s pace is patience strengthing.  I am a fast pace get’er done kind of guy, so I struggle with patience, waiting, and being still. We heard from God but only when He wanted to speak.  We arrived when He wanted us to arrive.  With my personality and our microwave generation, my spirit was craving to run parallel with Gods pace of patience. We would have missed healthy growth of we went our own speed instead of obeying God’s “tweet.”

3. God’s pace is perspective giving. In leadership there are people on the same road as you.  We have a limited view of who is behind us and who is in front of us.  Sometimes those who follow us will pass us. Sometimes we will pass those who were in front of us. You can’t control what others do when you are obeying God.  You just have to stay in your lane, go 62, and listen to all He has to say to you. 

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Our two-year-old son Noah loves to wrestle.  He anticipates when I am going to lay down on the floor so he can pounce on me.  Both laughter and drool ensue and we chase each other around the house to our hearts delight.  Noah will wait for me to come down to his level and as soon as I do, he will instantly interact with me (recklessly with tickles and punches) because I am on his level.  His giggles always attempt to throw me off his plan, but then he springs from the coach for his attack.

The Nativity is a picture of God laying on the floor, waiting. Whether the figures are plastic or glass, they are a great symbol of why we celebrate Christmas.  However great the symbol of the Nativity is, the figures in it still remain lifeless.  The Christmas season is a reminder that our heavenly Father came down to our level.  He his merely waiting for us to engage him relationally through laughing, fun, and talking.   We can make the choice to interact and live out the Nativity daily through relationship or we can choose to only pull out the lifeless figurines in December, but regardless, He is on the floor waiting.

Live Nativity

There comes a time in every person’s life when they have to decide if their position in ministry is a calling or is it a check.  Ministry can be extremely draining and require a lot of sacrifice from all those who are called to the work of the Lord.

If you have read some of my previous blogs you will understand that I am not advocating that people should work without resting— quite the opposite, in fact.  I believe that we should work out of our rest and not towards it.  However,  we Millennials need to establish what we are doing for compensation and what is are calling.  Should the Children’s Pastor clock in when he is invited to attend a 2nd grader’s birthday party?  Should we clock in when we visit the sick in the hospital?

It is shocking to me how some believe they should be compensated for every little thing in ministry.  Don’t get me wrong,  if there is money on the table, I will happily take it but I will not demand it. We should not have the courage to nickel and dime the Church when we received the pastoral position under the assumption of a calling into ministry.  We must decide what task and duties do we clock in for and what would we do for free because we are called.

I am not legalist schedule keeper but I am aware that this is a prevalent heart issue with those in ministry positions.  I believe we have to make a weekly choice about what we get paid for and what we are called to do in ministry.  Sometimes these overlap and it’s amazing but most of the time your week is going to be at 40 plus, so how is your heart when you hit hour 41 and beyond?

40 Plus

The Power of Predictability

  

The gym I belong to is really clean. They put a big emphasis on their employees cleaning constantly. Some even say that cleanliness is a part of their culture, but I would disagree. I was in the locker room and I noticed a staff member. I wanted to test their cultural cleanliness so I put a lot of paper towels on the counter and continued to get ready. To my surprise the paper towels were still there even though he washed his hands by the sink right next to them. They’ve done a good job of giving their employees tasks to do, but it’s not in their culture to be clean. We can figure out anyone’s culture through the questions the leaders ask and the victories they celebrate. If you continuously ask your kids did you get an A? Then your culture is that A’s are the only thing acceptable. Culture can shift quickly– it takes the leader asking the right questions and celebrating the right victories. What questions and do you need to start asking and victories do you need to start celebrating to get the culture you desire?

Practically Productive – 5 ways to become a more productive leader.

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All of us crave to be more productive throughout our day. One of the biggest things standing in your way could be the order in which you attempt to complete tasks in your day. Here are 5 ways to rearrange your time to leverage the highs and lows of your schedule.

Big Project in the first three hours – Most people come right into the office and read emails or return phone calls. The first 3 hours in the morning are when you are the most focused and fresh. Shift your big projects to be tackled in the first three hours so you can put 100 percent towards the project or task because you have that focus to give.

Begin with a planning session – You can think of this as the huddle before the whistle blows. Take 5 minutes and write down at least one thing you want to get done in that day. Plan out your day so you know where you are going.

Imagine how to get things done – This is so easy to do on your way to work. Think through how you will complete big and small tasks. You don’t have to have all your task mapped out but the more you can imagine the quicker the task will be completed.

Do easy tasks after lunch – This is suggesting that you actually take a lunch instead of sitting at your desk and eating. Coming back to the office and sending of some emails or returning a phone call will give you small wins. These small wins will give you the motivation to finish out your day as strong as you started.

Creative thinking around 2 or 3 – This is typically the time of day that you are ready to take a nap. However, put the pillow and sleeping bag back in the closet because it time to create. You brain settles in this natural slump lowering your fear of a risk and increasing your creativity.

Questions that will change your world

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The gym I belong to is really clean. They put a big emphasis on their employees cleaning constantly. Some even say that cleanliness is a part of their culture, but I would disagree. I was in the locker room and I noticed a staff member. I wanted to test their cultural cleanliness so I put a lot of paper towels on the counter and continued to get ready. To my surprise the paper towels were still there even though he washed his hands by the sink right next to them. They’ve done a good job of giving their employees tasks to do, but it’s not in their culture to be clean. We can figure out anyone’s culture through the questions the leaders ask and the victories they celebrate. If you continuously ask your kids did you get an A? Then your culture is that A’s are the only thing acceptable. Culture can shift quickly– it takes the leader asking the right questions and celebrating the right victories. What questions and do you need to start asking and victories do you need to start celebrating to get the culture you desire?