Be. Pray. Give.

I am a marketing guy so my mind works in ways that are different from the norm.  I like to take something complicated and break it down to a simple, straightforward, easy to understand, bite sized capsule.

I remember one time I was working with a client who had a business cleaning and filtering the air in homes and businesses.  His system was high tech, complicated and way to hard to communicate within the context of a :30 or even a :60 commercial for the radio.  To make matters worse, he could only afford a schedule of :10's.  Yikes.  We took his complicated message and broke it down to three words and commercials went something like this:

(You heard the sound of someone wheezing / trying to breath)

Air. Quality. Matters.


Call (advertiser) at (phone number) or visit them online at (web-address).

Simple, yet very effective.

Jesus was a MASTER at this concept.  When He was asked what was the greatest commandment of all (out of the 600+ laws that we in place) Jesus simply replied:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.  Simple.  If we spend our days doing those simple tasks then the rest takes of itself.

In many ways we need to heed those words because today, once again, we have over complicated our own walk of faith with layers upon layers of  how Jesus' simple message plays out in our lives.

I'll never be able to improve upon Jesus' own words but I have - over the years - put a very simple set of words into play in my life.

It comes from a set of verses in 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18, 'Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.'

Not long ago God gave me these verses in a three short words: Be. Pray. Give.  Now, let me give them to you.

Be.  Be joyful. Be kind. Be aware of others. Be mindful. Be gracious. Be full of the spirit. And sometimes just be.  Sometimes we get so busy in the doing that we forget that God often just wants to spend time with us.  Be.

Pray. Many will tell you of their 'time with God' every morning at 4 as if that's the only way to pray (and read His word).  I am not one of those people.  About two times a day I will read a devotion, some scripture and talk with God about what He just showed me.  The rest of the day is a constant, ongoing, never ending conversation with God about everything that is happening.  I pray while driving, walking to a meeting, running, eating lunch or whatever I am doing.

Give.  Give of myself.  My time, talent or treasure in order to build the kingdom.  Give myself away to others because God loves them too.  And also give UP control and let Him take control.

Be. Pray. Give.

Now, go, and keep it simple.


Back in high school I was in ROTC and one of my least favorite things to do was shine my brass and my shoes.  I was good at it, so good I won a personal appearance medal for it.  I learned early on that if you want a good shine you had to start with a good base - the brass had to be free of any scratches or rough places and the shoes needed to be free of creases around the toe box and heel.  No matter how hard you worked if the base wasn't solid then the shine would never be right.   Once you got a good shine I would protect it by using gloves to put my brass in place and putting my shoes inside a pair of socks before packing them into the closet.

Over the years I have learned the same principle applies to other areas of my life, one of which is integrity.  You must have a solid base to build from and once you get a good 'shine' you must do everything you can to protect it.

Integrity is not something you can buy, sell, trade or attain by means.  Integrity is more than just doing what you say or being honest in your dealings with other people.  It is doing so in such a way - and consistently over time - that it garners not even a 'hint' of a blemish.  

How important is integrity?

 In the book the Millionaire Mind Dr. Stanley says that Millionaires rated integrity [being honest with all people] as the number one factor that explains their economic success.  Don't miss that, number one factor.  When asked to expound upon that Jon, one of the respondents and a wealthy entrepreneur said, 'Never lie. Never tell one lie'.  Others went on to explain that is was a 'hyper sensitivity' to being truthful.  To almost go out of the way to be upright when you speak, have business dealings, buy, sell, trade or barter with anyone.

As a man of faith there is an additional layer when it comes to this issue.  Not only do I call into question my integrity if I don't 'protect the base',  but I actually damage or discredit the God I serve.  I damage my witness and place yet another roadblock to faith for someone else.

Proverbs 21:3 says, 'To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice'.

Proverbs 11:3 says that the integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

So what does integrity look like in real life?

Many years ago a man I knew was selling his car, we'll call him Tim.  The car had some miles on it,  but was basically in good shape.  He sold it to another man, we'll call Lamar, who was buying it for his daughter.  As the two men talked about the car the conversation turned to life, faith, God and country.  Tim wasn't shy about saying he was a Christian after he was asked and Lamar seemed to appreciate that fact.  Soon thereafter they came to an agreement and the car was sold.

The very next day Lamar called to say his daughter was stranded in a parking lot with a dead alternator.  Lamar would take care of his daughter but wanted to know if Tim knew where he could take it for a replacement.    Tim suggested a place and even agreed to meet Lamar there to get things started.   Tim also knew that he wanted to do what it took to 'protect the base' so he got to the repair shop early and pre-paid for the fix.   No, he didn't have to do that, but as Tim told me, 'my integrity is worth more than a new alternator'.

That is Integrity.  How's your base?

Know your audience!

Not long ago I was sitting with a potential client who after some discussion made this statement, 'Radio is just not working for us right now'.  I had heard his ad on different stations in town and was certainly familiar with his product and even though the relationship with this client was somewhat new I felt bold enough to say, 'I'm not surprised'.  He started to respond then stopped mid word and just looked at me as if to say, what?

After a few moments of silence I went on to explain my statement.

He was advertising a product and service whose largest and most interested audience was female. His commercial spoke to women, voiced by a woman and used language that created a comfort level with women but he was advertising on a group of radio stations that catered to MEN!  

No wonder radio wasn't 'working' for him right now, he was looking for customers in possibly the wrong place and certainly the wrong way in that place.   A good sales person may take the buy and then should work with the advertiser to change the message or method to speak to that particular audience.

He told me that he went with stations he liked and knew they were popular.  That is one of the biggest mistakes advertisers make; not knowing your audience.

So how does an advertiser begin to know it's customer or audience?

First, look for and work with a good salesperson who has the heart of a teacher and can help you in this process.  While you are looking here are a few other question to ask yourself to get you started.

What are you selling?  What is your product?  Who buys it?   Is it a child, teenager, adult. You don't want to market a product to a child that is most suitable for an adult.

What is the gender of your audience? Is it male or female? You can't very well sell female products to males.

How would you talk to the opposite gender about your product?

How much does your product cost?  Are you trying to market luxury items to them?   If so then your potential customer needs to be at a certain income level.  You need to determine what your customers can and cannot afford.

Is this something that they're willing to save money for or that they have to purchase at this specific time?

Which, if any, special features are most appealing?

Is this product or service an impulse buy or is this something someone is saving for? 

The more you know and understand your product and who buys it or uses it the better you know about potential future customers.  

Stop it! Stop it now!

I see this frequently and hear it just as often, 'For all your [blank] needs'. 

Stop it!  Stop it now!


You mean beside the fact that it's a cliche'?  How about the fact that it's the go to phrase when a business can't think of anything else to say.  It practically screams, bad marketing!

Take this heating and cooling place in the photo.  The service they offer is pretty good, they actually treat the air you breathe in addition to keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter but that phrase is the most creative they can be?  How about saying instead, 'So and So Heating and Air, because nothing is more important than the air you breathe'.

I can't totally blame the business, they are not marketing experts and they they don't try to be.  They are just trying to get their business moving in the right direction and they then depend on us in the business to help point them in the right direction.  That's who I really blame!

It is our responsibility to come along side these clients of ours and give them straight advise and wise counsel and hopefully help guard them from making marketing mis-steps.

When I sit with a client after the sale and we're talking commercial copy, it's possible they will say, 'I sell insurance so make sure you have them put in the commercial come to XYZ Insurance for all their insurance needs'.  That's when it's time to do our job.  We should not allow a do nothing phrase like that to pass for acceptable marketing.  It does nothing to set our client apart from the rest of the market and I would argue that allowing that gives our reputation as an industry a black-eye.

So when this happens that I like to drill a little deeper with the client and ask why should someone come to you for insurance?  This often begins a conversation that ends up with a unique difference that is certainly worthy of putting in their commercial and maybe even incorporating into their overall marketing plan.  

For instance I know of a wrecker service that has the tag line, 'we meet by accident'.  Love it!

Get creative and let's do marketing better for them, for you, for all of us.

Yogi Berra: A Lesson in Marketing

By now you know of the passing of one of the all time greats, Yogi Berra. He played ball in a time where the sport WAS the national pastime and the baseball world revolved around the Yankees. Yogi was 90 year old. The Yankees legend and Hall of Famer may be better known for the way he creatively butchered the English language, with what became known as Yogi-isms. Here are some of my favorites....

“It’s deja vu all over again.”

“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

“It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

I've said everyone at one point in my life, sometimes never knowing I was quoting the great Yogi Berra.

It was only today that I realized that there are a few marketing lessons to be learned from Yogi as he quoted his way through life. Allow me to get you thinking on just a few of them....

Be an original. In this day where every business is making the same claims about the 'lowest price' or 'biggest selection' the ones that are successful have an original thought or idea and do an excellent job of stating it plainly and in a way you will remember it. Coke, for example, doesn't say we taste good (like Pepsi), instead it states that Coke is part of the sweetest moments of your life. 

Be who you are. Yogi Berra never tried to be someone he wasn't. There is a story of a teacher one time asking a young Yoggi, 'Son, do know ANYTHING?'. To which Yoggi replied, 'I've never even suspected anything!' Apple makes incredible products that all have a unique look, feel, and way they operate. Windows and Android based products sell the fact that they are fully customizable to the way you want, I like that. But Apple says, this is who WE are and if you are cool enough, sophisticated enough i.e. smart enough, use one of our products.

Finally, be alert. Yoggi said, "You can observe a lot by watching." By paying attention to other businesses in your field and marketplace you can let them do the learning for you. Not just so you don't make the same mistakes they did, but that you can do things BETTER than they did or do. Yoggi also said that, "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else", so watch an be mindful of the steps you take. Have a target, a goal, an objective to aim at daily and one for the long term as well.

Yoggi Berra, his goal has been achieved, starting catcher in heaven. Can't you just imagine the things he's saying now.

Labor Day Clean Slate

On this Labor day I have finally had time to play catch up.  I finished mowing the lawn - started it last week.  Finished a home improvement project.  Finished an online application process I started weeks ago. And even finished writing a media plan for a new client.

I know you are supposed to relax and eat BBQ on a day like today but that just wasn't in the plans.  Instead of filling my belly I wanted to empty my mind of a few thoughts that I have had so that I can start this week with a clean slate - so to speak.

 I've not posted them are shared with them anyone in particular, but here ya go.. in no particular order:

* If you are hired - or elected - to do a job and then while on the job those rules change you have a choice to make.  Do the job or quit.  That is what ethical people do.  They don't make a public specialist of themselves.

* It's sickening how some people who appear to have everything going for them throw it all the way like Jared Fogal or Josh Dugger.

* Gosh I'm glad it's football season again... but when my team looses, life goes on.  I don't follow things like that with blind faith or allegiance any longer and take pity on those who do.

* I love animals - we currently only have a cat - but please stop calling your pets your children.  It's insulting.  It's demeaning to humans.  #humanlivesmattermore

* Quit sharing stuff like, share if you love Jesus.  How about instead make the post itself compelling and share-worthy and let God handle the rest.

* All lives matter.  From the thug on the street corner to the newborn baby.  Regardless of color, race or any other factor you want to throw in.  Jesus died for them too.

* Irregardless is NOT A Word...  I'm amazed and who I hear use it.  Stop it!  It makes you sound ignorant.

* I refuse to go along with you and allow you to categorize yourself by a single characteristic.  You are so much more than that.

* I don't think Donald Trump is the answer... but I know who is.

* It's the message. Period.  If the method isn't to your liking then so what.  Shut up and move on.

* Not everybody wins.  We must learn or relearn how to win with grace and lose with more grace.

...well that's all for now.  Happy Labor Day and have a blessed week!

What would Jesus say now.

Today the Supreme Court of the United States rules that same sex marriage is legal and should be recognized in all fifty states. Just a few short hours later same sex marriages were performed all across the country in celebration of that ruling.

As a Christian is should come as no surprise to you that I am - to say the least - troubled by today's events. Troubled but certainly not mad. I'm not surprised. I'm not even upset or sad. I am hopeful.

Yes, you read right I am hopeful. I hope that this will stir in us all a revolution of sorts that will begin to separate our government from the marriage business. They have no business in it anyway and I predict that many traditional marriages will be performed outside of the normal - government approval - process.

I am also hopeful that fellow Christians will respond in such a way to point those who differ with us in the direction of Christ. In the midst of all the chaos of today I came across this simple entry on and it just made me smile. Thought I would share it with you. It's what I want to say and how I want to act.

Five things Jesus would say to the Gay community today.

1. I love you.
Amidst the protest signs, yelling crowds, and political referendums, the simple message of Jesus’ love for you is often drowned out. Never doubt that Jesus loves you more than you could ever know.

2. I understand rejection.
Jesus knows how it feels to be a social outcast. You would think the religious leaders would have been His best friends, but they hated Him. They sought to kill Him and publicly shame Him any chance they had.

3. I also was tempted.
Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted. He does not shame you or reject you because of your temptations and feelings.

4. I want more for you.
God created marriage and sex for your enjoyment. Sex was created for one man and one woman within the covenant of marriage, and it has been that way from the beginning.

5. I will be here for you.
You may disagree with Jesus’s thoughts on sex and marriage, but He will not turn away from you.

Read the entire article here.

This is me...

Not long ago my daughter asked me what I believe the way I do about interracial marriage.  As I explained to her that I had no problem with it because I believe that God created ALL of us I could see a light bulb go on in her brain that she was forming some beliefs of her own.  Neat moment.  So what do I believe?  For my daughter's benefit and mine here is what I believe.

Before I go any further let me state very clearly that this is ME,  how I think and feel about life and how I look at it.  I have a Biblical worldview.  You may see things different and can live your life anyway you want and I'm not forcing you to read this or live this way or even agree.  If either one of us is wrong then we will have deal with the results of our choices ourselves.  Now that that is settled let me begin.

My faith in God is the most personal relationship I have.  There are things I can confess to Him that no one else could ever hear or even understand.  My faith is not a jacket that I get out on cold days and slip it on and hope it still fits, it is more like my internal compass that guides my every step.  I don't have one single 'quiet time' in the morning or evening, I pray constantly throughout the day in an almost constant conversation.    I read a devotional several times through out the day - especially since the I discovered the Bible app on my phone.   It is my desire to be salt and light in a real and tangible way in the world around me.  I believe it is by faith - not works - that you are saved but since my faith is real I want to do the 'works' to build the Kingdom.  I have certain people (my family included) that I am accountable to and check in with on a regular basis, not because I am weak but because I want to stay strong.  I couldn't care less what 'type' of Christianity you practice, if you love Jesus then that's a great place to start and we'll get along just fine.  I do believe the Bible... all of it; though my understanding of it is small but growing.  I have little patience for those who like to pick and choose or who have 'pet' sins they like to point them out while ignoring other ones.

If you aren't a Christian, that's doesn't or won't stop me from caring about you.  If you ask me I'll tell you all about my faith life, but if you aren't interested then that's fine as well... we can be friends, we can work together and we can be on the same team.   I will live out my faith in front of you because I know you are watching me.  You will see how I act when I think no one is looking.   I have friends from all walks of life and many don't profess any type of belief in God but one day they may ask questions and I pray that they will turn to someone like me.

When it comes to social issues my faith and beliefs do color my opinion but not as you may think. I don't want to single out a particular issue so let's just say I believe our government can not and should not legislate morality and should be OUT of any business that intrudes in someone's personal life.   If you don't like what I do or how I am doing it and as long as it doesn't intrude or infringe on someone else's 'rights' then stay out my life.  What someone does is between them and God and if it violates God's law then that is between them and GOD not them and their congressman.  Who has the higher power the government or God?   Are there things that are just wrong - yes, but no law can prevent it from happening, that takes a change of heart.

When it comes to money and economics I am as conservative as they come.  I want taxes to be low, government hand ups instead of hand outs - and as few of those as possible.  Our economy and the free enterprise system needs little assistance from the Government and therefore less intrusion to be the most effective.  The market will decide which good products and services and which ones are bad all on it's own - aside from some basic consumer protection less is more.  

On a personal level money and what you do with it is a reflection of your value system.  God teaches and I believe that money flows to those who manage it well and away from those who don't and that the real treasure is not in this world anyway.  With that understanding a man who doesn't take care of his house first is worse than an unbeliever and by doing just that many of the social economic woes will disappear over night.

I love my country and I respect our flag, but as a Christian I am a citizen of heaven first and my pledge of allegiance to God alone.

I know that really doesn't cover everything but this is me.  This is the way God has created me and has crafted me over the years,  He tells me that I am 'fearfully an wonderfully made'.

Bad news, good news, better news.

Several months ago I heard this phrase, 'sometimes the bad news is the good news that leads to the better news.' Stop. Go back and read that again and let it sink in.

The guy who said that went on to tell about how one day he broke his ankle and twisted up his knee during a softball game and immediately he knew that crutches and inconvenience was in his future. In the midst of all the x-rays and exams they did an MRI and discovered he had a growth in his leg - the early stages of a cancer. Because of the broken ankle 'bad news' they discovered the cancer early 'good news' and aside from one extra operation and some follow-up he is now crutches and cancer free!  'better news' Get it?

As I am writing this I too am sidelined with an ankle injury and it has given me time to look back at the last bit of bad news with this phrase in my mind. No, this injury is not the bad news, my bad news arrived on September 29th, 2013. I remember the day because of the way it started, I was so awestruck by the sunrise on my way into work (church) that morning that I whipped out my phone and snapped a picture.

To understand what happened that day fully just think of what they say about a frog in hot water.  If you put a frog in a pot and only raise the water temperature gradually that the frog will never jump out but eventually get cooked. Looking back, I can see how the water temperature had been slowly rising around me for awhile. That morning someone hit the knob and it jumped several degrees all at once. No, that is not the day I got fired, that was the day I knew my time at that place was coming to an end.  It was only a matter of time because the truth was spilled out and exposed like a banner headline of a newspaper. Previous to this point I was holding tightly - too tightly - to this job God had given me and I was not willing to let it go.  That day my clinched fist began to loosen.  That was an awful day and the bad news was very tough to swallow especially in the manner it arrived.

Over the next nine months there were several things that happened and situations I was a part of that took away my footing and continued to loosen my grip.  I was in a vacuum of connection and every thing I tried to grab on to either broke or dissolved in my hands. God was making me very uneasy and uncomfortable with where I was both on a personal and profession level. God completely broke my grip on my job on June 19th, 2014.  That morning God told me that it was time for me to go.  I initially resisted but my grip was so weak from the battle I just let it go.  What I didn't know was that leadership already had a plan in place to let me go and eliminate my position the very next week - at least they thought it was their plan.  

It was just a few short hours later when God spoke to me again and said, 'this is My plan, not yours and not theirs, mine.' and a few days later that He had me placed somewhere else. I didn't even have a day off between jobs. Amazing right?

The bad news that my time was coming to an end was really good news because God had a better place for me to be and the better news is He ALWAYS has a plan for me.  

Jeremiah 29:11 says, 'For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'  

The best news is that He has a plan for you too if you will only listen.  

Deception defines deception as, 'the act of deceiving; the state of being deceived.' Sometimes deception is referred to as propaganda, hypocrisy, lying or spin.

What has fascinated me about deception is two-fold. One, how many times people fall for it. And two, how many times I fall for it.

I am pretty good a sniffing out most types of deception; email scams, internet hoaxs and April fool's jokes. But the kind of deception I do fall for is the kind I think most people fall for. It's when someone who you know and trust turns out to not be who you thought they were. Not only is that often hard to see but even harder to take. If fact most of the times I have gone through a time of denial about what has really happened. I try to find some other logical explanation.

You really want to believe them. You hear their words and are even motivated - at times - by their impassioned speeches and you hope against hope that your gut feeling is wrong and time will prove you wrong. But instead time proves you right and in circumstance after circumstance you see clearly who they really are. The awful truth is that they are who they have revealed to be.

That hurts.

What hurts more and the more awful truth is that they also deceive themselves. They believe that they are in the right and are passionate about being wrong.
Mark Lowry
That reminds me of what Mark Lowry says about a Baptist preacher he once knew...

He may be WRONG but he's never in DOUBT! 

So what do you do when you have been deceived?

Own it first. Own it and admit it. You're angry! You must acknowledge and understand that being angry about it fine. After all the Bible says, 'Be Angry...' , Ephesians 4:46.  Now, don't let that anger lead to sin like plotting revenge,  simply let yourself be angry about it. That is how God made us.

Second, place blame where it is due and part of the blame should land on yourself.  I always accept my part of the blame because I did fall for it, that is part of ownership.   The other part of the blame is on the offending party.  It's perfectly fine to place blame on the one who deceived you, regardless if they ever own up to it or not, they did it and the rest of the blame is theirs.  Now some folks reading this will think that's judging but read on.  Besides you can't do the next step until you identify clearly who is to blame.

Third, forgive. Ouch. Forgive the one who deceived you because (as I mentioned earlier) they are deceived too either by themselves or others.  Forgive them even if they never acknowledge it or ask for forgiveness.

Follow me here, when Jesus was on the cross He (among other things) said, 'Father forgive them (see, identifying who is to blame) for they do not know what they are doing....'  That is point number two and three in reverse order. 'Father forgive them', Jesus was forgiving them for what was happening to Him.  The people hadn't asked for forgiveness!  He simply gave it to them which released Him to complete His task at hand.

When you forgive someone, it really does more for you than them anyway, so do it and be free.

Finally, sometimes even after you own it, place blame and then forgive,  the best thing to do is to simply 'walk away'. If this person continues to deceive or attempts to cause pain in your life then just remove yourself from the danger zone. Why? Because life is just too short to deal with people who lie. Also, that person will have to answer to God for their actions and I have news for you, you aren't Him. Move on.

One more thing. If you have been deceived then others have as well. When they realize it they will be mad, let them. They will be hurt, love them. When they move on, move with them and be a friend.

Inspiration vs Desperation

Leaders, there are those who lead by inspiration and those that lead by desperation. This conclusion comes to be after a combination of life experience and as a result of some long time mentoring.

My mentor is former pastor and friend who has spent a lifetime working with and developing true leaders both inside and outside the church. He is in the process of writing a book on the subject and recently we talked about the book and subject in detail.   I'll share more details about the book and author in future posts but for now, what do I mean by there are leaders who lead by inspiration and those that lead by desperation.

The inspiration led leader is pretty clear to see. These leaders have a quality about them that creates trust, passion and commitment in those they lead that they not only display but live out in all aspects of their lives. They have character that can hold up to the tightest scrutiny. These leaders, by their example, are a part of the pack they are leading and often found along side of others with a 'let's go to work' mentality. They also don't operate with a, 'I know what's best' mentality; rather they wrestle and often struggle with any decision or choice of significance. Finally, they operate in an environment of accountability. Period. They allow themselves to be held accountable to others on a consistent basis.

1 Timothy 3:1-7 says, "The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? ..."

The desperation led leader is also pretty clear to see. These 'leaders' use intimidation to force trust and commitment in those they lead, they have control issues. They use this intimidation to create a fear for your job mentality. Either criticism is all your hear or silence is their weapon of choice. They talk a good game but don't live it out in their lives. You as a (reluctant) follower wonder sometimes about what they must be like at home. They often disappear or only appear when others are watching when it comes to digging in to get the job done. Their attitude is often condescending and you get the feeling you are being talk 'at' instead of 'to' or 'with'. Finally, they pay lip service to accountability but retreat to a comfort zone of 'yes men' or 'yes women'.

Matthew 23:1-39 says, "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others."".

The truth of the matter is the qualities that make someone a good leader should be true for us all because in some way we are ALL leaders, whether we like it or not.

Over the years I have had experience with both...which one are you?

Hey this looks familiar...

Recently I wrote a blog post simply called, 'It's Not In There' where I talked about things we think are in the Bible but they really aren't. Here is nine more... courtesy of Shane Pruitt:

God helps those who help themselves.
God wants me to be happy.
We’re all God’s children
Cleanliness is next to Godliness
God won’t give you more than you can handle
We all worship the same God
Bad things happen to good people
When you die, God gains another angel
We’re all going to the same place when we die

...want to read the whole blog, check it out here.

Five Reasons Why People Leave Bad Bosses

Sometimes I write my own, sometimes someone else says what I have been thinking and I share. This time I will share... 

Over the years, I have observed many friends and colleagues job hop—from firm to firm and from company to company. People crave good leadership, and when it doesn’t measure up, good employees leave and companies lose lots of money and valuable talent. Read '5 Reasons Why People Leave Bad Bosses' here.

It's not in there!

I am forty four years old and thankfully the majority of those years I have believed in and lived by a Biblical world view... when I haven't that's when grace stepped in - but that's a different post. 

Off and on throughout my walk I have heard this phrase, 'God won't give me more than I can handle'. And while I generally know what they mean, it's often repeated and quoted as if was actual scripture. It could be in the lost book of 2 Hesitations. It is really a twisting of 1 Corinthians 10:13 that talks about God will not allow you to be tempted without providing a means of escape. I think that God will in fact give you more than you can handle so that you will turn to Him instead of looking at your own strength.

Here are some other ones....

'God helps those who help themselves', it's one of most quoted phrase that is not found in the Bible. It is actually a quote attributed to Ben Franklin, from Poor Richard's Almanac in 1757. What is interesting to me is that the Bible teaches the exact opposite. God helps the helpless! Look up Isaiah 25:4

"Spare the rod, spoil the child" , though this was probably inspired by Biblical verses, it does not come from Proverbs or any other part of the Bible. It’s from the long 17th-century poem Hudibras,written by Samuel Butler (1612-1680), a tongue in cheek British poet who enjoyed mocking religious extremists and hypocrites.

"This too Shall Pass", There is no “This too shall pass bible verse” in any
translation of the Bible in existence today. There is a Bible verse in 2 Corinthians that speaks on our troubles not lasting forever and that these troubles and situations that we are faced with actually help to produce a glory that vastly outweighs any of them.

"God works in mysterious ways" is a paraphrase of a 19th century hymn by the English poet William Cowper ("God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform).

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness" was coined by John Wesley, the 18th century evangelist who founded Methodism.

Before we can live by and with a Biblical world view we must know what the Bible actually says... and what it doesn't.

Winter storm Cleatus!

It's Wednesday night and we are halfway through a week that is not normal. A winter storm - or at least the threat thereof - has caused havoc with driving, schedules and our heating systems.

Call me crazy but I still snicker at how schools will cancel everything at the mere threat of a snow flake and should there actually start snowing while school is in session it is a full scale crisis. I understand safety and to a certain extent a comfort concern when it comes to our kids and school. It the school is in session our kids are legally required to be there and we have to get them there and depending on the weather and/or road conditions it could be putting safety at risk.

What bothers me is that in recent years churches have taken the same approach. They don't want put their members at risk, so if the weather is bad then they will just cancel too.


Besides the obvious fact that no one is legally required to be there and therefore, if would be left up to the individual to take the risk or not, it is really cause for a much deeper concern.  

Recently ISIS beheaded several Christians because they not denounce Christ, but we'll let even the threat of bad weather keep us for worship and fellowship at His house?
Sure travel under bad road conditions to church might have an element of risk to it, no more or less than those who will take the same risks to go to work everyday in rush hour traffic.

What would happen to the church (in the U.S.) if the roads got really bad, and not just because of the weather.

Luke 9:23 says, ' If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.' One way to interpret 'deny himself' means to give up what we believe we have the 'right' to. I think we (Christians) operate thinking we have a 'right' to safety, comfort, our way, etc. when it's clear we should really abandon those things.

Several years ago we had an event at the church I worked at and just before it happened the power went out. A few times after that the power went out on a Sunday morning. Did we cancel service? Did we just all pack up and go home? Nope. We made do. One time we had an event that was outdoors and it rained the entire time. Did we just quit and go home? Nope. At each instance some didn't show for whatever reason but for those of us did show we 'had church'. It didn't matter what we didn't have or had too much of or what discomfort there was in getting there, we wanted to be there.

I wonder what would happen at a church that said, 'The roads are bad and it's cold but we're still open and planning on a service for whoever shows up.'

I bet it would be packed!