Saturday, September 12, 2009

Between The Temporary and The Eternal

I have been away from writing for far too long. I re-read my last post and it really applies to what I have been thinking about recently. What does God want to accomplish in your life? Well, perhaps that is not the best question. I suppose a better one would be, "What does God want for you?"

I think the answer is a simple one, but one that even we, as Christians, often miss. Many of us are caught up in living for the temporary. We live our lives in pursuit of . . . lots of things. If you are like me you can't wait until the latest electronic gadget comes out and suddenly your phone, computer, pda, etc. just does not seem to do the job that this new shiny model will. If only we had ____ then our lives would be better.

What is interesting is that advertising is now helping us in this regard. If we will just by their product, our lives will be improved and in some way we will be complete. The pursuit of things has become a spiritual pursuit for meaning and purpose in many of our lives.

The problem with all of this is that it is all . . . temporary. So, "What does God want for us?" I believe it is for us to live our lives in relationship with Him. It is that simple, and that hard. He demands first place in our lives and often we strive for what will not last.

So, how are you doing with this? How do you keep your focus and live for what is eternal? Thanks for coming along!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I get to travel more now than I ever have. I just had the privilege of going to South Carolina and meet with pastors for two days! Now to some people, meeting with pastors may not be their idea of fun. In fact to many it may be more fun to watch paint dry than to talk with a pastor. I really do enjoy it. Why? Well, when I meet with pastors, I get to ask them about their churches and what their hopes and dreams are. I get to ask them what they need to do next in their church to make a difference in their area.
The answers to those questions are varied. Some of the guys have been worn down over time and are moving week to week with no clear direction. Now, don’t get me wrong. These men have great hearts and have worked hard and love God, His Church, and the people they serve – it is just that through their years of serving they have given so much that their focus turned to survival.
Others begin to share the hard things that they face in their church. Sometimes it is their personal health, a difficult relationship, conflict, finances, etc. that have them discouraged. Some of the guys light up and begin to share what is taking place in their church and can outline what their hopes are for the next couple of years. These are the guys who I when I talk with them I think, I want to be in their church.
One thing brings all this out. The question, “What is your vision, your hope for the future of your church?” This is what gets them thinking. What challenges them to move on past the hurts and discouragement, what re-energizes them to push forward once again, what makes their passion flow!
I know that we are not all pastors (that may be a great thing). But we all can hear the question, “What is it that God wants to accomplish in and through your life?” If we will only hear the question and ponder the answer I believe we too can be encouraged, challenged to move forward and let the passion flow in our lives! Thanks for coming along!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I don't really have many strong positive personal experiences when it comes to coaches. I did play little league football and remember enjoying it, and I suppose we had a coach, but I just don't remember much about him. On the negative side, two coaches really stand out. There was the year I tried out for baseball. I went to all the practices and although I was no standout I thought I had a pretty good chance of making the team (seeing that coach was my best friend's dad). But the day came when I was cut from the team without any explanation. Then there was my junior high school football team. Mr. Moore was our coach and I had a conflict! I was wearing braces at the time and I had an appointment one afternoon and was told if I missed practice I was off the team. The appointment stood and I was out.

Now on the positive side a high school basketball coach, Ron Paulk had a great influence in me. You are right to scratch your head! I never played basketball, but he also taught pre-algebra. He made math come alive for me and helped me to see that it was something I could accomplish. When I was struggling, he came alongside to encourage and challenge me forward. He was a real coach!

When Trey began to play t-ball I became the coach. The city actually called to say that if they could not find a coach there would be no team. I was elected by default. Immediately I thought about helping this group of five year olds become a great team, but in one of the first practices the kids were all over the place. Some playing with grass, some playing tag, and I saw Trey turning around in the outfield with his glove on the ground. I yelled out, "Trey, what are you doing?" He replied, "Being a chicken." It was a great year!

I continued to coach Trey until the day it occurred to me that he knows more about playing baseball than I did. I had to trust his coaching to someone else who could move him forward. Over the years Trey has had several coaches. Some have done a great job, others . . . well they were not so good. Trey loves to play, and I have tried to teach him that he needs to learn what he can from both the good and bad coaches so he can continue to improve. At times, it has been hard to watch, but I am proud of him for never giving up!

How did I come to think about coaching? I just started a book called Transformissional Coaching. So far it strikes a cord with me. They state, "Coaching provides guidance and accountability to help leaders successfully implement new learning into the life of the church so that real change is accomplished".

When I think of coaching within the church three things come to the forefront of my mind. First, there is no room for bad coaching. Second, we must remember that we cannot coach what we have not experienced. Third, we need to remember that some of our coaching may take place outside of our “regular” assignments.

I believe that the authors are right, that coaching will be a primary means of rising up new leaders in the church. I wonder what kind of coach will I be? Thanks for coming along!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Did I tell you that we got rid of our Dish account? We had way to many channels with nothing to watch and lots to avoid so Michelle and I decided we would be content with the "local" channels that we could pick up. We had a small indoor antenna that we quickly determined was useless! I looked up information about outdoor antennas and convinced Michelle that I could have it up with no problem. Trey was a real trooper as we tried to figure out where to put it, which side of the house had our cable input, and what direction it would need to point. Well, two hours later I am standing on the top rung of our ladder reaching up to put brackets in the house and trying to balance the antenna and a wrench and screwdriver and holding it all together as Trey looked helplessly from below. He was great! I mean he did everything I asked - except for the time when I asked him to see how the picure looked as we rotated the antenna. His description was fine, ok, good, etc. I would come in and find a fuzzy picture and go back out in disgust. Tonight we watched Green Bay get stomped by Dallas - my friend Leslie will be gloating, but I will remind her that Favre is with another team and . . . .

So what can you learn from putting up an antenna? Well, my projects still take at least twice as long as I estimate and it will never go right the first time. Perhaps I should read the instructions! Relating this to my walk with God is easy. I often take detours, and make mistakes that take up precious time. I continue to learn that I need to take time to read His instructions. Thanks for coming along!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Golf is a wonderful game! Well, it is when you hit those handful of shots that will bring you back to the course once again. I happen to hit a long ball. I always have! The problem is not knowing quite where the ball was going to go. In other words, in golf I often have lots of thrust but no vector.

Trey, my son, is now playing golf with the high school team here in Yuma. Don't tell him, but he is a better golfer than I am. He has a much nicer swing and that (along with some concentration) makes a great shot! I find it truly amazing that I can stand behind him and give him suggestions that help him focus on his shot. When I am hitting the ball, I find myself trying to give the same suggestions and sometimes it helps and sometimes . . .

I have had seasons in my Christian life when I was all thrust and no vector. Lots of fire, but no real direction. I have watched others burn themselves out by being so busy they really had no time for their walk with God. I have found that I need someone standing behind me giving me instructions, challenging me forward and helping me focus on what is ahead. Sometimes we think that we have to live this Christian life on our own, but we forget that we are called to walk with God in community. We don't have to be alone, we can walk togeher and help each other along the way. Thanks for coming along!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I had my first dream about running last night. I don't really know if I was running to or running from someone or something. I just remember running and thinking, "This is not so bad, I can really run!" It is ironic that the previous morning I moved my walk to a walk/run. I am supposed to walk five minute run two and repeat. I never got to two minutes on my run (jog) portion. I actually stayed closer to the one minute mark. I found myself a little sore, but awoke challenged by a dream and encouraged to keep on the path.

I was listening to a pastor friend of mine who stated that God has dreams for us. His dream is that we be formed into the image of His Son. I look in the mirror of the Bible and see my reality and know that I am far from being like Jesus! Knowing that God has dreams for us is an encouragement for me. I may not be the man I need to be just yet, but I am challenged by a dream and encouraged to keep on the path. Thanks for coming along!

Monday, September 15, 2008

First Post!

I really don't like to run. I never have. Perhaps I appreciated it more when I was a pre-teen running for my life from the neighborhood bully! I did have a day when I determined I was going to run and I ran about five miles. Well, I really limped home and could not move for the next few days. Running does not hold fond memories for me!

Why share this with you? I have a confession. I want to run a triathlon. A triathlon is the combination of three disciplines. Swimming, Bicycling and . . . Running! Now, I have been putting this off for more than twenty years. I have not been willing to discipline myself to exercise, or eat right so that I could actually accomplish this feat. Now I am 45 years old, and I want to run a triathlon.

How badly do I want to do this? Well, I purchased shoes the other day to fit the needs of my feet. I have been walking and riding my bike and I am watching what I eat. Nothing has helped more than finding a guide. I found a training program that will help me move from the couch to compete a sprit triathlon (a short distance race) in three months.

I have found this true in my Christian life as well. I desire to be the man the God desires for me to be, but sometimes I have lacked discipline in my life. I have not spent time with God as I should in Bible Study and Prayer. I have not said no to things that would distract me from my goal of living a Godly life. I believe that there is a simple plan laid out in scripture to help me with my task. “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word (Psalm 119:9).

I have begun these journeys, to run a triathlon and live a life pleasing to God. My blog will share the journey with you. Occasionally I will rant, share thoughts about the weather, my family, friends, and friends and the Church. Thanks for coming along!