3 Suggestions to Make a Good Speech or Sermon Great

One secret to effective speaking is to learn what not to say…

Don’t give everything you’ve got in a message.

A standard joke is about the young preacher giving his first message. After he has studied hard and has lots of information, he can’t help but share everything he’s got. One key, however, to an effective message is when the speaker learns what to say and what not to say. The “what not to say” is perhaps the more important part. For me the best part of my sermon message preparation is after it’s written, going back and cutting parts of it to tighten up the talk.

Here are 3 suggestions to make a good talk great. […] Continue Reading…

5 Questions to Unpack a Bible Passage to Teach

Someone asked me recently how I address a Bible passage in order to teach about it. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert, but I do have a system. Of course the process begins and ends with prayer, but God has wired me to think systematically, so I need a format that works for me in writing a sermon message.

When teaching on a specific passage of Scripture, I consider five questions about the Bible text: […] Continue Reading…

We Are All Different…Diversity Week 1

I’m doing some fun posts over the weekend in 2011 aimed at engaging my readership, but also learning from each other. One thing that has occurred to me more in recent years is how different we all are. God must love variety, because He created us all unique.

With that in mind, for the next few weeks I want to point out some of those differences. Each week, I’ll ask a few questions that have differences of opinions or preference. The more comments…the more we get to see our differences.

Here are this week’s questions: […] Continue Reading…

Scripture Memorization, Week 1

For years, I had a practice of committing Bible verses to memory. Over the years, I probably learned hundreds of Bible verses. I literally “hid God’s Word” in my heart. Whatever the excuse, I haven’t made that a part of my spiritual disciplines in the last few years. I think it’s time to bring the habit back and this time I want to invite you along.

Would you commit to memorizing one verse with me a week in 2011?

Here’s how this will work. Each Saturday I’ll post a new verse. You can write it on an index card to carry with you…or put it on your refrigerator…at your bedside…or maybe write it with an erasable marker on the mirror where you get ready each day. Whatever it takes to see it consistently throughout the week. You should recite it many times. By the end of the week you’ll know the verse and we’ll start over again the next week. Is it a deal? Are you up for the challenge?

Here’s the first verse for us to memorize:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 […] Continue Reading…

My Top 10 Posts of 2010

Everyone seems to be making top 10 lists this time of year, so here are the top 10 blog posts of 2010. Please allow me to humbly say how thankful I am for readers this year. There are lots of blogs to read, so I’m thankful when you choose this one. I’m planning to write more in 2011, so I hope you’ll keep reading. It was be awesome if you would help promote this blog…I see it as a tool for ministry that…for whatever reason….God is using right now. You can add it as a link on your site, put me on your reader program, or sign up for an RSS feed or email. However you read it though…thank you! God bless you in 2011! […] Continue Reading…

Writing a Life Plan, Part 5

It’s day 5 of our life planning series. This week we’ve attempted to take it step-by-step, in a simple format, to write a plan that will help us achieve some specific goals for the new year. If you missed any of these posts, be sure to catch up by reading:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Today we have our final step…and it’s a good one…in fact…it’s my favorite…. […] Continue Reading…

Writing a Life Plan, Part 4

calendar, blue target

We’ve been writing a life plan this week. I hope you are following along and writing your own plan. I’m looking forward to hearing the goals you have and the success you see in attaining them. I have tried to keep it simple, hoping that will improve your chances of following through to completion. If you’ve missed any of them, be sure and read

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Today we add another step in the process […] Continue Reading…

Writing a Life Plan, Part 3

This week we are writing life plans for the coming year. If you have missed the first two posts, read them HERE and HERE. My desire is that we realize all the dreams and goals we have this year. I’m convinced many of our resolutions…if we make them…are reachable with a little more intentionality and discipline. Many refuse to make resolutions, because they have repeatedly failed at keeping them. The purpose of these posts is to help you start the year on a good path towards reaching those goals.

Today we add another step. […] Continue Reading…

Writing a Life Plan, Part 2

Yesterday I began a series of post to help you develop a life plan for 2010 I hear people talk every year about resolutions…some make them…some don’t…some hate them…some keep them…most don’t. I’m confident the main reason most do not keep them and many refuse to make them is that they never put a plan of action together or applied enough discipline that would ensure success. Why make a resolution if you can’t ever keep it….right? We don’t like continual failure.

The point of this series is to put some feet to the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Yesterday you were asked to list three to five goals you have for the new year. If you haven’t done that or didn’t read that post, start HERE.

If you have your goals listed, today we’ll get more specific with them. […] Continue Reading…