You’ve Got More…

…than this world could ever offer!

far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:21 NIV

Nothing is better than what the believer gains through Jesus Christ!

I used to think I wanted to be President of the United States! When I was 18, I thought that I would be the nation’s youngest president at the age of 36. (There would have been an election that year and I would have been old enough.) Well, needless to say, that didn’t happen. What if it had? What a title! President of the most powerful nation in the world would have certainly been impressive! I suspect my blog traffic would have been higher these days. :)

I once wanted to be rich. I had “noble” purposes. I was going to make lots of money, give lots away, and own a beach house too! I was on a good track, but something got in the way. Mainly I lost what I had started with. God called me into ministry…and…well, you know the rest of the story.

I have a friend who is running for a high elected office. If he wins, and I think he will, he will be powerful. I could be envious of his opportunity, but instead, I’m trying to appreciate the influence God is potentially giving him.

I have another friend who is worth millions! Mega millions. His millions have millions. He has worked hard, been blessed greatly, and was often “in the right place at the right time”. It would be easy to be envious of him and his wealth. I try, however, to appreciate what God has done and is doing through my friend’s resources.

Often we look at people or positions in life and think to ourselves: “if only I could be where they are” or “if only I had what they have…everything would be okay”. For the believer, Paul reminds us that we have what is far better than anything this world can offer. We have a relationship with the Creator of the heavens and the earth. We have an inheritance that we share with the Son of God. We have a promised eternity that outshines all the wealth of the world! We have Jesus!

If you are finding yourself overwhelmed by what the world has that you don’t, and if you ever become dissatisfied with your appeared lack of worldly treasures, remind yourself whose child you are. You are heir to the Throne of Grace! Your Daddy owns the cattle on a thousand hills. You can boast that your family heritage includes Jesus!

What you have is far beyond what this world can ever offer!

Do you need that reminder today?

Got a Problem Facing You? Follow David’s Plan

When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went out against them. 1 Chronicles 14:8

Sometimes you have to approach a problem head-on…not waiting until it finds you.

Have you got a problem staring you in the face? Is there a conversation you know you need to have, but you’re afraid of the response of the other person? Do you need to challenge a friend? Do you need to admit your marriage is in trouble? Are you struggling with some difficult business decisions?

You can ignore it.

You can hope it goes away.

You may even be able to run from it…for a while.

Eventually, most problems have a way of surfacing again.

My advice, follow the example of King David. Attack your problems before they attack you.

You’ll have more control on offense than on defense.

What problem do you need to face today?

Solid Advice for Young Leaders from Dr. Billy Graham

My friend coach Craig Candeto is a former Navy standout quarterback. He’s still a young man, but he’s already started an impressive career as a coach. Currently he’s coaching quarterbacks for the Citadel. In addition to being a great football player and coach, Craig is a solid believer. He lives his faith boldly in all he does.

Recently, Cheryl and I were visiting with Craig and his wife Maribeth, and Craig told me a story of meeting Billy Graham recently. Craig was invited as part of FCA with a few other coaches to go to Dr. Graham’s house in the mountains and visit with the famous evangelist.

He said Dr. Graham was frail, obviously weakened from how most of us think of Billy Graham, but he was gracious, gentle, and still very alert.

One of the coaches asked Dr. Graham a question.

What word of advice would you have for guys like us, just beginning our careers and still young in our faith?

The young coaches expected something profound from the famed pastor, but Dr. Graham frailly and simply answered:

Read your Bible and pray everyday.

Did you catch that? Was it too fast for you? Should I write it again?

Read your Bible and pray everyday.

Wow! Deep!

Billy Graham, after years of influencing others with the Gospel, encouraged these men with what was most important in developing themselves longterm as believers.

Spend time with God everyday!

Here’s my take on Billy Graham’s encouragement:

Don’t try to make it more complicated than it is. Sometimes simple is the most profound.

Read your Bible and pray everyday.

You got it? Any questions?

7 Truths You Must Remember in Crisis

This is a guest post by Nathan Rouse. Nathan is a fellow church leader that is passionately investing in the Church as a pastor and writer. Over the last 15 years in ministry he’s been seized with the calling to mentor young leaders for ministry. As a student of church leadership he is committed to collaborating with other church leaders to effectively make and send disciples around the world. You can find Nathan’s blog at and he’s on Twitter: @NathanRouse

Here are 7 truths worth remembering during such times:

The last few days have brought an unwelcome and unforeseen storm in my life. I’m not alone in this, I’m sure you’ve experienced circumstances and storms that have caught you off guard or maybe experiencing this even now. I want you to be encouraged and strengthened by the knowledge that you’re not walking this journey out on your own.

Here are 7 truths I’m convinced are worth remembering during such times:

1. There is always time to pray! (You’ll “feel” and make things worse if you don’t.)

2. No matter how much you “don’t feel like it”, Read your Bible! It is our compass, our true north when it feels like our life is spinning out of control. We need more truth, not more feelings in crisis. Psalms 46 is a good start.

3. Don’t believe that you have to be depressed because you’ve encountered something heart breaking. Grieve….yes. Harbor it….no.

4. Make it a point to not make any major decisions when feeling overwhelmed. (Unless absolutely necessary)

5. Make sure you’re eating right and getting plenty of rest. You’re going to need all your strength to walk through this season.

6. Remember you can’t fix people or fix every circumstance. Stop carrying that responsibility. The God Almighty position is already filled.

7. Stop what you’re doing now and practice doing #1.

What would you add to this list?

You can follow your heart

I talk to so many people who are waiting on a burning bush experience before they move forward with an idea or dream. With the best intentions, they want to make sure what they are doing is God’s “will” for their life. They keep waiting for some sign…maybe a writing in the sky…a letter from God…or certainly some definite “sign” that this is God’s plan for them.

I also know pastors who are afraid to let people “follow their heart”. Anytime I post about following a dream some well-meaning person challenges me that following the heart is dangerous.

Can you trust your heart apart from Christ? You better not. Could we misunderstand God’s will? Absolutely. Could we move in a wrong direction? Of course. But, telling people not to follow their heart?

I’m not sure that’s the right approach.

God didn’t make us a robot.

If your heart is closely following Christ…

If your desire is to please Him…

If you aren’t being convicted otherwise…

You don’t have to sit on the sidelines and let the world pass you by.

God is creative, and He’s made you creative as a part of His image.

I’d rather tell people to get their heart close enough to hear Christ…then go!

  • Check your heart
  • Continue to check your heart
  • Check your motivation
  • Continue to check your motivation

If it’s not sinful…if the Bible doesn’t specifically address your issue…if you don’t have any sense God is telling you otherwise…if what you are doing is good and honorable…if it is helpful to others, or…if it is in line with the direction and experience you’ve had in life…

Give God all the glory…

But quit sitting on the sidelines and follow your heart.

Have you been waiting for a “sign”?

When I’m tired…and remedies…

When I’m tired:

I become irritable and harder to please

I see irrational flaws in others

I have difficulty concentrating

I have less patience and get frustrated easily

I’m less effective

I suffer

The team suffers

My remedies:

Take a nap (Some think you should take one everyday.)

Exercise (My adrenaline and energy grows when I sweat.)

Change perspective by reading a book or watching or listening to something funny

Engage with motivating people

Take extended time away from my work

Evaluate my priorities, freeing myself for what’s most important

Call it a day and prepare for a better night’s rest

I’ve learned I’m not very helpful to the team when I’m extremely tired. Addressing it quickly makes me a better leader. Things aren’t likely to improve until I improve. Many leaders try to operate from an exhausted position and never realize they are the problem on the team.

Leader, be aware when you are the problem.

Don’t be afraid to admit you’re tired, leader. Most likely the team already knows it.

What happens when you’re tired…and what do you do about it?

During a Famine

Have you ever found yourself in a famine?

It could be a physical drought or a spiritual drought, but you are doing without.

How do you respond? What do you do?

We might learn something from the way a “man after God’s own heart” responded.

Consider this verse:

During David’s reign there was a famine for three successive years, so David inquired of the Lord. (2 Samuel 21:1)

Pretty simple solution, right?

David wasn’t complex. I don’t know how many times David had petitioned God over the years of the famine. Maybe everyday. Perhaps this was the first time. David was certainly capable of making poor decisions. But, when a situation reached the core of David’s heart, it led David to the core of who David really was…a man after God’s own heart. The king knew his position relative to his Creator, so the famine brought King David to his knees.

I’ve learned something over the years…

The quality of our faith often determines the speed of our surrender in times of famine.

Based on your current famine, how quick do you need to inquire of the Lord?

Draw a Line in the Sand (Or on the Wall)

Sometimes you have to draw a line in the sand…

Or on the wall…or in your mind.

I’ve worked with many people who can’t seem to move forward, because of a past failure or disappointment.

It could be a marriage damaged by an affair. The injured spouse is not sure she (or he) can ever trust again. After counseling, time to heal, and repentance on the part of the offender, the injured spouse simply can’t seem to forgive and move forward to build the marriage again.

It could be after a personal failure. The person feels they will never recover, so they refuse to take another risk. They remain miserable, but they can’t seem to pull themselves out of the emotional hold they’ve placed on their life. They may not be able to internalize the truth of God’s grace in their life.

It could be after a financial loss. The person can’t see that life will be any better than it is right now, so they refuse to invest or dream again.

Whatever the reason…and I’ve seen many…life has a way of sucking the passion to move forward out of us at times.

In circumstances like these (and many others), one mental “exercise” I’ve done is to draw a mental line indicating a starting over point. I’ve even drawn it on a board for people, such as the picture above. There’s nothing “magical” about this practice. It’s simply an opportunity to remind yourself of the truth that you can “forget what is behind and press forward”. (Philippians 3:13) You can begin again. You can make better choices. You can get up (again) and take another risk on life. You can do it today!

Get out a piece of paper, if it’s serious enough, draw it on the wall of your house, but maybe just a mental picture…then sign and dated it…Yesterday was then, today is today, and tomorrow is tomorrow. Move forward from this point with the rest of your life.

Do you need to draw a line?

Wherever you draw the line, draw it today!

This Question Can Change Your Life

I was watching an episode of Modern Family recently. I don’t watch much television and this isn’t a show I necessarily follow, but I was out of town, it was the only thing I saw on, and I needed something mindless to unwind from a busy day.

The show certainly wouldn’t be the normal place to discover life or leadership advice, but in this episode a nugget principle struck me. It’s huge.

In this particular episode, Phil, the father of the main family, asked his father-in-law Jay for some business advice. He had been offered a new position with a company. It was a tremendous opportunity; a dream job for him, but Phil wasn’t sure he had the skills required for the job. He wanted to know Jay’s advice before he approached his wife about the situation.

Jay’s advice was classic; the kind only someone seasoned with life experience can usually offer. Jay simply asked Phil a question:

“What do you really want to do?”

As Phil pondered the answer, he knew what he had to do.

The question Jay asked is critical. It’s something everyone faces at various crossroads of life. It’s what you need to consider when you have a dream or a vision, but aren’t sure if how it will be received or if you really have what it takes to make the dream a reality.

Where’s your heart? What do you really want to do?

As with any dream:

There will be risks

You’ll be afraid

You may fail.

But, if you’re heart is in it. If God’s not against it. Most especially if God is calling you to it.

You need to follow your heart.

We typically follow most closely and passionately after those things which hold our heart.

You’ll typically find more success in life when you follow your heart.

Of course, this means you have to make sure your heart is pure, you are following after the right things in life, and you have an end desire to please Christ, but, after that, pursuing the dream of your heart will prevent you from living with one of life’s great disappointments… which is missing out on a dream because fear kept you from following through.

Don’t allow fear to be a roadblock to realizing the dreams of your heart.

Do you have any dreams you regret not pursuing?

Move and move now.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for theLord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9