What’s Important?

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What are you building with your life? Just thinking this morning that building ministry is so very important.

However in order to build effective ministry to others we must first build health into our own lives.

Health questions:

1. Am I remembering my first ministry is to the ones God gave me to steward. My wife and kids.

How can I effectively minister to others if my first responsibility is not met. Our family must be priority. You don’t get healthy by talking about it, you have to work at it.

2. Am I building health into my spiritual, physical, and financial life?

If I’m to be effective for others I must be a healthy me. Not encumbered by self inflicted spiritual, physical and financial lack.

This may seem like a simplistic thought but I am personally tired of all the casualties of an out of balance unhealthy approach to ministry in the name of reaching others. Reaching others is of major importance but will be illegitimate at the cost of personal health and completely ineffective.

So let’s build health and reach the world.

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Knowing Your Purpose is powerful

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It’s been a terrific day, some of our team worked on a paint project, and have conducted a soccer outreach. Pastor Scotty and I have traveled with Pastor Eddy and Rindiro to kibuye, a northern village by lake Kivu. We are conducting a pastors conference here tomorrow and anticipate a significant outcome. The beginning of some great and fruitful relationships. Praying God will use us to teach and train them in a practical way that can develop them as leaders.

As we met with Pastor Eddy today in preparation for the pastors conference it was like a masters class in vision.

He has incredible vision and insight about pastoring people but more importantly about developing leaders.

He has learned to use creative means to reach the lost. More than anything he uses soccer. He has a major soccer outreach and he was telling us he has some young guys that run it. He made a statement I think would do all of us American pastors some good to hear and ponder. He said, “it only took me 2 years to mentor them and prepare them to run this ministry.”

Only two years? In most of our worlds 2 years is a lifetime. I think a key to developing leaders is being willing to take the time to help them grow.

I really love his commitment to do this and hope I can do this myself more and more.

It’s a Beautiful Morning

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I’m here in central America eating breakfast in an open air Resteraunt, enjoying great company and conversation, it’s a great morning. However I’m missing my little girl Sydney.

I take her to school each day. It’s a great time. One day when I was dropping her off I said “Sydney this will be the best day ever, your brilliant, show em how it’s done.” She latched on to that and now she won’t get
out of the car until I say it. We often talk about the fact your day will be what we decide it will be.

So, you could be in a beautiful setting, or not, we decide, we choose the kind of day we will have and the life we will live. Enjoy it, live with purpose. I’ll tell you like I tell Sydney.

Put your name here _____________, this will be the best day ever, you’re brilliant, show em how it’s done.

Have a great one!

Don’t Let Life Pass You By

I’m in my hotel room after a long day of travel, started out at four This morning in oklahoma city and just starting to wind down here in central America (not saying specifically where, so we don’t give away the location of the adventure trip happening this October). Have you picked your partner yet?

I snapped this shot as we were driving to the town we are staying in tonight. This picture made me think about how many people see life this way.

As if it’s just blowing by and we have no real memories, no real moments where significance happened.

I know parents who feel this way about their kids growing up. Spouses who looked up one day and years had blurred by.

It seems the more distractions we have in our lives the worse it gets.

We are spending time with each other not being together. Letting year after year speed by without stopping to be purposeful and intentional with our lives. My family and I have made up our minds to live life, not watch it go by.

How do we get off this merry go round?

STOP!

1. Stop and think.

We spend far to much time just reacting to whatever comes. We need to think and plan and be intentional. Good, significant memories don’t just happen most of the time. They are created.

2. Stop to listen.

Put down the technology and communicate in person. Some of our children are going to have memories of fun family time and envision us with our head buried in our phone.

3. Stop focusing on what was or what will be and live in the moment.

When we refuse to live in the now our life looks like this picture flying by.

There are so many more things we could stop and do that will help us live life.

One of the reasons we are planning this adventure trip is to get people to do just that. Love life, live the adventure, help others.

More details about the trip coming soon. It will be an adventure. Take a chance and live. If you are interested email us at globalreach@harvestokc.com

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Reaching Goals in 2012

Over the years I have come to realize that In order to accomplish a goal there are specific principles that must be in practice. Goals don’t achieve themselves. We don’t arrive at the intended destination by merely talking about it. Don’t worry though we can accomplish every single thing we set out to do if we have the right tools, set the right deadlines, and connect with the right accountability partner.

1. The right tools

Whatever your goals may be, it’s imperative that you have the right tools to get it done. How do I know if it’s the right tool? If its simple, if it accommodates the achieving of your goal, if it doesn’t consume your life, if it works for you, instead of you working for it. I have found that whether your goal is physical, financial, relational, or spiritual if we have tools that are simple and motivating they will operate as a vehicle to carry us to the finish line. Our tools can’t be cumbersome or they will be ineffective. Keep it simple.

2. The right deadlines

One of the biggest mistakes we make in achieving goals is inappropriate deadlines. Trying to arrive at the finish line in an unreasonable amount of time.

Setting deadlines that are too soon will demotivate us and reinforce hopelessness. Setting deadlines that are too late will demotivate and reinforce procrastination. Be reasonable and achievement is yours.

3. The right accountability partner

Notice this doesn’t say partners. I think a mistake in goal setting is to get overly zealous and tell everyone about what you are trying to achieve. It puts undue pressure on you and centers your life around the goals instead of what the goals will accomplish. What you need is one or two people who motivate and challenge you and will be kind but accept no excuses. They also need to be willing to take some initiative in the process checking up on your progress.

These are just some thoughts that I’ve developed over the years in trying to achieve goals. There is really no reason to set goals if you don’t connect them to the right principles. If the connection is made achievement is within reach.

2012 On Purpose

Significant accomplishments only happen if they are done on purpose. A lot of things will happen in 2012 that require no planning at all. The question is, do I want my life filled with the meaningless, or the significant?

As a family we are taking some time to plan for the significant in 2012. We choose for our lives to be filled with meaningful things not futile activity.

Some questions we are asking ourselves.

1. In what ways can we keep Christ at the center of our lives daily in 2012

2. What are the meaningful big rock moments in each of our lives in 2012?

3. What is important to us as a family in 2012?

4. In what ways can we further develop ourselves spiritually, physically, mentally, relationally and financially daily in 2012.

5. As a family in 2012 how can we be the church, encourage the church and build the church daily in 2012.

6. How much and in what ways do we want to give and be generous in 2012?

7. Who do we want to mentor in 2012 and who do we want to mentor us in 2012?

8. What is important for each of us to study, research or read in 2012?

9. How much debt can we retire in 2012?

10. What are some planned breaks/time off we can have as a family in 2012?

Just some things to help us live on purpose in 2012. Hope this helps you and your family.

All I Want for Christmas is a Cheap Guitar?

A few years ago my wife and I were gearing up for Christmas. We were making our plan, putting the lists together, asking our kids what they wanted and enjoying every minute of it.

My youngest daughter was 4 years old at the time. She had her heart set on a little acoustic guitar we saw at cracker barrel gift shop.

Like a good dad I went to check this guitar out and what I found was a cute, cheap little acoustic guitar.

I immediately surmised that it was just a toy really and if my daughter wanted a guitar we would get the real thing. The guitar at cracker barrel was $15.

I decided to go to the music store and look at real age appropriate acoustics. I found one I thought was worthy of Sydney and bought it. It was I think $50. It had real strings you could actually tune it. I thought she is going to love it!

So the morning finally came. We got up and had our Christmas morning tradition, I read the Christmas story, we took communion as a family, then we opened the presents. I think I was more excited than she was.

I waited anxiously as she opened it and as I thought she would, she loved it, or at least that’s how it appeared.

We had a wonderful time opening presents and then we moved on with the day getting ready for grandmas house.

The girls were at the table eating breakfast and I was walking to my room down the hall and overheard their conversation. Sydney leaned over to Taylor and said in a quiet voice, “do you think Santa doesn’t know where cracker Barrel is?”. I was stunned, I went in my room and laughed so hard. She’s just so funny.

I thought how sweet she was to be gracious when it wasn’t what she really wanted. I thought how ridiculous it was for me to not just simply get what she asked for.

I love life, and I love family. I don’t know why us dads have to complicate everything, but it sure can evoke some funny responses.