Army Values = Church Values?

I had an awesome opportunity to speak to the ROTC Leadership Program at the University of Kentucky this week. As a proud supporter of our military, and loving to invest in young leaders, this was a real honor.

As I waited outside one of the classes, I saw the posters in this picture on the wall. When I inquired about them, I was told these are the Army’s Warrior Ethos, which are “guiding principles of our profession” according to my Lieutenant Colonel host.

If you can’t read them, they are:

  • I will always place the mission first
  • I will never accept defeat
  • I will never quit
  • I will never leave a fallen comrade

Another banner asked: Are you Army strong?

I couldn’t help but wonder: Could these work for a church also?

What do you think? Should we adopt an Army Warrior Ethos?

What other similarities are there between the military and being a believer?

Laughter Yoga: Are You Doing This?

I saw a news report on this recently.  I laughed. No pun intended.

There are clubs like this around the world. Laughing yoga has become somewhat of an institution. In fact, there’s an International Laughing Yoga association. See it HERE. Go to YouTube and you’ll see all kinds of reports on laughing yoga.

Here’s an excerpt CNN did recently:

What do you think?

Do you buy into the benefits of “fake” laughter?

BTW, I’m thinking we may try this at our next staff meeting. We are laughing anyway…may as well call it something!  Ha! In fact…Ha! Ha! Ha!

Give me your thoughts on laughing yoga!

President Obama: Looking Like a President

Tonight, regardless of your support or lack of support for the President or the situation we currently face in Libya, our President looked like a president. He was strong in speech, decisive, and took personal responsibility for our country’s actions in Libya.

The line which struck me was, “When our interests and our values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act...” and, “(to not act) would be a betrayal to who we are” and “a failure to act in Libya would carry a far greater cost for America” and “there will be times when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and our values are“.

It seems I’ve heard similar lines before in other occasions. I believe I recall days when this same president, prior to serving as president, was critical of similar actions by another president.

I’m not trying to be political…I’m a supporter of the office of presidency…regardless of who serves in that office. I’m not commenting on this activity in Libya directly, but I do think it’s a fitting reminder than when one sits in the seat of leadership, the view is different from when you are simply eyeing the seat and hoping for an opportunity to someday sit there.

I think this is true of other positions of leadership.

  • Pastoring a church may look “easy”…until you have to do it…
  • Being a parent may seem to come natural…until you have to do it…
  • Leading in a business may at times appear to be common sense…until you have to do it…

The view changes when you actually sit in the chair of leadership.

Do you agree with my observation?

What other examples would you add to my list?

Are Church Goers Fatter than Average?

I don’t know if I buy into the research of this report, especially in my church where we seem to have an abundance of exercise and health conscious people. But, according to this ABC News report…

Well, just watch for yourself… (After the short advertisement)

Did you watch it? What do you think? Agree or disagree? Is the report offensive to you?

Also, do you think the pastor’s health or lifestyle influences the church in this area? Does the style of church play into this?

Just curious….

For a printed version of this story, click HERE.

They learned it from Epaphras…What about you?

You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ… Colossians 1:7

We have different methods of learning these days, than they had when Paul wrote this verse…

But I wonder…

Who are the Epaphras’ is in our day?

From whom are you learning these days?

Point me to the resources that are helping to shape who you are today.

What websites?

What blogs?

What applications?

What podcasts?

What books?

Which speakers?

What conferences?

Give a shout out to who/where you are gleaning wisdom these days…

It will honor them and bless others as we learn from them also.

Share a link if you can.


Great Atmosphere, Mediocre Food, Poor Service

We went to a fairly new restaurant recently as a family…

It was new enough to have the opening bugs worked out, but still new to us…

We were seated quickly…which was a plus since we were hungry…

We instantly fell in love with the great atmosphere…

They had a nice menu…and the prices were reasonable…

We ordered…and waited…and waited…and waited…

We had a hard time getting our drinks refilled…

Our waiter never seemed to remember things we asked for…

The owner walked through the restaurant several times, but never smiled…never connected with anyone…

Overall, we had poor customer service...

Then our food arrived…

Receiving Undeserved Love: Ecuador Day 3

If you’ve been following my blog this week, I’m in Ecuador with a group of pastors on behalf of Compassion International.

We were blown away today as we entered a village in the mountains of Ecuador. It took an hour to drive the curvy dirt road, our bus got stuck, and we walked a short distance to the village. Upon rounding a corner, we saw a crowd waiting for us. Hundreds of children from the village had formed a receiving line where they gave us a rose (Ecuador is famous for their roses) and a homemade card welcoming us to their village. It was slightly overwhelming.

Have you ever received an overwhelming undeserved show of affection?

I was reminded that I receive that kind of love everyday from God!

I can’t help but share this picture. This little boy warmed my heart (as did many others). I’m not sure he knew how cute he is!

Friday Discussion: Spiritual Growth

It’s Friday discussion time!

Let’s discuss spiritual growth…specifically yours.

I’m always interested in spiritual growth, because…well…that’s kind of what I do!

Help me by telling me some of your spiritual growth process.

To help you think, consider answering some or all of these questions:

  • Are you closer to God today than you were a year ago?
  • If not, what changed?
  • Is yes, what did you do differently?
  • What helps you most to grow spiritually?
  • Was there a time in your life where you felt the closest to God?
  • Who is mostly responsible, in your opinion, for your spiritual growth?
  • Do you practice any spiritual disciplines, such as Bible reading, prayer, fasting, tithing, etc.? If so, what do you do?
  • What changes would you need to make to grow more spiritually?

Help me out…tell me about your spiritual growth…


Where I’m At This Week!

This week I’m in Ecuador with a group of pastors and ministry leaders, including our family pastor Michael Bayne, and my good friend Casey Graham.

We are here on behalf of Compassion International seeing the work they do to improve the life of children around the world.

We will see first hand where an individual’s monthly dollars to support Compassion children goes. I look forward to reporting to you what I see. I’ve never been to Ecuador, but so far it looks much like countries I have seen, such as Costa Rica, Brazil, and Mexico. I have learned, however, that there is a rich uniqueness about each people group. We just arrived late last night, so I’m excited to explore this great country and it’s culture and people.

Please pray for our team and check out the ministry of Compassion International.

Have you ever been to Ecuador?

Are you familiar with the ministry of Compassion?

4 Things I like and 4 Things I Don’t like about Facebook

Like many of you, I use my Facebook account every day. There are some things I like and some things I don’t like about this means of social media.

Let me share first what I like:

It’s the easiest and most used way my church connects with me.  I get 3 to 1 the number of emails from Facebook as I get from my church email address from people inside the church.

Facebook makes me appear real, which I am by the way. I probably use Twitter more, but I don’t put everything I Tweet on Facebook. (I know that surprises some…but I really don’t.) I put things that help people connect with me. Sometimes that’s serious, sometimes funny, sometimes even a bit weird, but who you see on Facebook really is who I am.

It makes us seem more of a community. We are a large church. Someone recently called us a “mega church”. I guess technically we are, but our intent is to feel otherwise. Facebook helps us connect throughout the week as a church.

I get to connect with new friends and reconnect with old friends. I have met so many people through Facebook.  I’ve also reconnected with dozens of friends from high school and college. It’s great to see their families and catch up with where life has taken them.

The top news feature is helpful. I really don’t have a ton of time to spend on Facebook.  I’ve tried to automate enough things and use Twitter features where it looks as if I’m online more. Having the top status updates shows me the ones people are talking about most recently and most frequently.

Now, here is what I don’t like:

Having to go to Facebook to reply to emails. I get emails on my phone at my regular email address, but I have to login to Facebook to answer them. This is an extra step that seems unnecessary for me.  I realize Facebook wants me to return frequently in hopes I’ll see an advertiser, but to respond to emails I only want to respond to emails…so that reasoning doesn’t work for me.

Facebook apps are unreliable. I’ve been told Facebook doesn’t even like apps, possibly for the reason I just mentioned…advertising, but I wish they would work on their application functions.  It’s the world in which we live.  My Facebook app crashes often. It doesn’t do certain things. It’s cumbersome. (Does anyone else agree?)

The number of “friends” I can have is limited. I know…I know…there is no way I can “know” all of them, but I am responsive and hate the idea of turning people away. I’m nearing the 5,000 mark soon and that means I have to consider changes. Uggh!

The mindless activity apps…such as Farmville and Give a Hug (or whatever it’s called). I’ve tried to block as many of those type things as I can from receiving them or posting on my wall, but I haven’t figured out how to stop them all together.  I realize some must enjoy them, but not me.

Facebook serves a strategic purpose in my line of work. I’m in the people business and Facebook gives me a great resource to connect with people. I have heard of churches limiting their staffs use of Facebook, Twitter and blogging during the work day, but in my opinion, those three, including Facebook ARE a part of my work day. It’s where a bulk of the people are.

What do you like or not like about Facebook?