When You Can’t See Victory

I wonder how many times this is our picture when trying to attain victory…

  • In Business…
  • In Marriage…
  • In Parenting…
  • In Church…
  • In Life…

I wonder if, at times, victory isn’t  just over the hill. We can’t see it…the path is difficult…almost seeming to be unbearable…so we quit…just as we were about to reach the pinnacle of success…

Just wondering….

Have you been tempted to give up a little too soon?

Are you tempted to give up now?

You may want to read my posts:

7 Reasons You May Not Be Achieving Your Dreams

5 Steps to Getting Unstuck

7 Steps to Achieving Your Dreams

The Danger of Living in a Moment

The current thought process for most of us these days is about what’s new…

It’s important to be current…which means often we are making decisions quicker…

It makes the word “moment” more important than ever…

We are to enjoy the moment…

We all want to “live in the moment” as much as possible, and culture is demanding it these days…

I want to join the party, but I’m reminded of an important principle…

Living in the moment can be dangerous…

It’s great in theory, but some moments can get you off track…

Unless it’s lived within the purview of a planned future…

My son Nate says, “You have to consider your now in the context of your then“. He’s so smart…

The Bible continually encourages us to think about the days ahead, our eternity, and plan our life accordingly…

(Hebrews 12:1-2, Philippians 3:12-17, Romans 8:18)…

We are warned about the moments (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

Have fun in the moment…be timely….act quickly…

Don’t miss an opportunity…

Enjoy the ride….

But make sure your moment is properly grounded in your future…

At least the future you say you want to realize some day…

Do you understand the power of a moment…for good and for bad?

Caption This: I’ll Give Away A Book

Congratulations to Dan Rutledge for winning Unfolding the Napkin.

Send me your address and I’ll send the book!

I recently wrote 5 places I get my best ideas. Read that post HERE. I didn’t share one of those…

I think while I’m drawing…

It happens every time…I get bored…I start doodling…I start to think. It stirs my creative process to draw. I’m not any good, there’s nothing really worth sharing, but I think better when I do my version of art.

How about you?

To encourage you in this area, today I’m offering a great book. It’s called Unfolding the Napkin and it’s about solving complex problems with pictures…the kind of pictures that will fit on the back of a napkin. I’ll give away one copy tomorrow (Monday).

To enter, all you have to do is:

  • Comment on this post with a title for my latest masterpiece pictured below
  • RT this post

I’ll choose a winner for this book tomorrow.

Happy artistic thinking!

We Are Different, Diversity Week 3

We are all different. Yesterday I posted about whether a pastor could serve in political office…as expected…I got different opinions. (Read them HERE…and add your own.)

I’m learning to embrace diversity…not to run from it…

Throughout the year I’m going to ask some questions to see a difference of opinion. Here are this week’s questions:

Please comment on this post with your first and best answer out of the two choices…if you could only choose one:

  • Would you rather have sunshine or a rainy day?
  • Do you prefer indoors or outdoors?
  • Would you rather watch a sporting event or a go to the movies?
  • Are you closer to friends or family?
  • Do you see God more as a Father or as a Judge?

I would love your honest answers…the more the better the post.

You may want to copy and paste the questions in a comment and then add your answers.

Help me out with this post…

Go!

Friday Discussion: Can a Pastor Be a Politician?

Should a pastor be involved in politics?

or…another question…

Could a pastor be involved in politics?

I’ve often wondered this question…help me think through it today.

Let me explain a little of where this discussion is coming from today.

I’ve been involved in the political process all my life. When I was in elementary school I started following politics any way I could.  I watched presidential speeches, kept up with world, national and local politics, and couldn’t wait to vote.  I worked on my first campaign when I was 16 years old and continued through my twenties to volunteer on campaigns.  I spent a summer interning in Washington, DC for a congressman.

During my thirties I served as an elected official on our local city council and even served as the vice-mayor of our city.  The love of politics has never left me, but my life has changed.  I’ve been called into ministry.  I mostly remain neutral on issues of politics these days.  I still vote, but I’m a silent participant.

While I have no plans to run for anything and doubt that I ever would, the interest in political matters remains in my mind and sometimes I think about what it would be like to be in political office again.  Just to be clear, I’m not asking for permission for me to do anything…I’m just seeking opinions and sharing my story as an example to spur discussion.

I seriously want your thoughts. (I previously discussed this subject in a more general way concerning Christians and politics…read that discussion HERE.)

  • Would it be wrong for me to run for a political office some day?
  • Should pastors stay out of politics?
  • Should pastors be in politics more?
  • What are the advantages?  What are the disadvantages?
  • Could politics be a part of a Christian’s “calling”?

Help me….I’m seriously curious! Plus I love a good discussion…even a politics or religion discussion!

Add your thoughts now!

5 Step Process to Take a Dream to Reality

I like to see dreams and goals become reality. In my personal experience, however, and from viewing the experiences of others, most of us have more ideas than we have reality. Figuring out how to implement our ideas is the hardest part of the process it seems.

I hope this post helps.

Here’s an example of how an idea often become reality in my world. As an illustration for each step, I’m sharing a real-life example of how we made the idea become reality of going multi-site by adding our second campus, which by the way, launches this week.

Idea – The first step is always the idea and ideas are many for me, so at this stage I try to filter through which ones are worth pursuing. The idea for us going multi-site, at least this time, came after Easter last year.  Easter Sunday was huge at Grace Community Church, bigger than we planned for or expected. (God still does things like that!) It prompted an idea that if we continue to grow towards our Easter number in the new year, which has been our trend, then we would be out of room in our current high school. That thought led to another idea that we needed to do something sooner that we could build a building, which led to the idea of multi-siting our church. This was an idea we had previously explored, but decided the timing was not right.

Brainstorming – The next step is to begin thinking through this decision with others. If the idea has merit, in my experience, God is already raising up others with similar thoughts. In the multi-site example, this is where we organized a group of people to pray through this idea, explore the options, and look at the demographics, costs, etc. This process took several months and numerous meetings. Ideas may or may not make it out of this step, but if they survive, the chance of success is much greater.

Experiment – At this step, you want to try out your idea before attempting to launch it. My co-pastor suggested that we do this Christmas Eve. We decided to have our Christmas Eve service at the possible new location, which is another high school across town. As it turned out, the crowd was far more than we expected, which was another good indication that our idea was a good one.

Practice – You’ve heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” I’m not sure about pefection, but it certainly makes the idea better. For us, this meant that we had a practice service at the new location, just for the people who had committed to be part of the launch team. It helped us work out the kinks, we learned some valuable things we hadn’t thought about, and we were able to test out our idea.

Product – This is the fun part! The launch! This is the part we all are waiting for and want to see come to fruition. This week our church gets to view the product as we launch our second campus at Kenwood High School. It’s been a long, difficult process taking an idea to the product stage, but I feel confident we are proceeding in the right direction.

(Now comes the fun part…enjoying the journery…evaluation…repeat…)

I realize this is a specific example and may not exactly work the same for your individual project, but I believe the process will help more of your dreams come true.

Is this helpful? What would you add to my list?

One Tip to Help You Meet Your Goals

Do you ever struggle to complete a project?

You have a goal, you may even know what needs to be done for the goal to become a reality, but you never seem to accomplish the necessary tasks that will bring you success. Your dreams remain simply dreams and you remain frustrated with yourself.

Sound familiar?

Let me share a quick tip to help you avoid this scenario.

Many of us, perhaps even most of us, work better under a little pressure.

Earlier this year I wrote about writing a life plan. (You can read that series of posts HERE.) I’ve found that setting a deadline for the specific action steps in a plan like this helps me be more productive…

If I have a major project I need or want to complete I will:

  • Schedule each step on my calendar…
  • Set an alarm on my smart phone to alert me the week the task is scheduled…
  • Set another alarm to remind me the day the task is due…

I still have to be disciplined enough to complete the task, but having the deadline provides me some accountability to complete an action step towards attaining my goals. It brings me closer to realizing my dreams.

You know yourself better than I do. Do you work best under a little pressure?

What tips do you have to help you stay on target towards reaching your goals?

Where My Best Ideas Come From

Where do you get your best ideas?

I love ideas, so I’m always trying to create new ones.

Here’s where some of my best ideas come from:

Brainstorming with others - I love to surround myself with creative thinkers…they expand my thinking.

Running – When I run, my mind races quickly…much faster than I actually run.

Outdoors – When I take a walk along the beach, or sit on a hillside watching a sunset, or staring at the stars…I think big thoughts!

Shower – I remember reading research that said there was something scientific about this…but either way, when I take a shower, I think!

Random - I am a random idea guy, so much so that I must, however, keep something handy where I can take notes at any given time.

So where do your best ideas come from?