Thursday, January 31, 2013

Making Reactionary Decisions Isn't Wise

Have you ever made a decision that was reactionary? Maybe something happened and you took swift action to resolve it. Unfortunately though, too many of the actions and decisions we make end up being the wrong decisions, regardless of how good the intentions may have been. In Congress there are hearings going on right now targeting gun control. And yes, people are doing the same old things. Something happens and immediately everyone wants to go to extremes. I wish people, especially those making laws, would have all the facts, hear everyone's perspective, and look at how things have played out in the past prior to making extreme and reactionary decisions. I watched this clip today and was so impressed by the attitude, demeanor, wisdom and presentation of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, and would highly encourage you to watch it also If you are a person who has the responsibility of making decisions, policies or laws, please make sure you have all of the facts as well as being well informed before you make a reactionary decision :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cherishing the Small Things

Cherishing the small things is something I don't think we don't do enough of. Yes it's easy to be excited about your new home, car or an exotic trip, but have you ever thought about all those small things you may be missing out on. For some it may be one more moment with a person, or one more kiss. For others it may be the "thank you" that was said to them or the hug given by an appreciative child. I have learned to cherish all the small things that at times in the past I may have simply blown by. Yes, a new home, car or exotic trip are nice, but aren't everything to me. I think at times, if we're only focussing on the bigger things, we can easily become ungrateful or unthankful. Yet when we see all the small things in our lives and learn to cherish them, being grateful and thankfulness abound. And when you think about it, our days are filled with the small things and not the big. Do you cherish the small things? Do you appreciate them? When we learn to cherish the small things, life is beautiful :) Psalm 68:19... "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!"

Monday, January 28, 2013

Protecting the Unity of Your Team

Yesterday I had the opportunity to share a message at our Sunday service about teamwork, and one of its key components, unity. There are many things that can make a team successful, but we must also be aware of those things that will try and come in to disrupt and divide any kind of team. I like to call these things the enemies of unity. I realize that there are probably hundreds of them, but I've listed 16 of them, and not in any specific order. They are: an inability to admit wrongdoing; unforgiveness or unresolved issues; jealousy and envy towards other team members; believing you are the most important person on the team; critical spirit; a desire to be served and not serve; wanting to take all the credit for things; poor communication; gossip; pride; selfishness; favoritism towards other team members; bad attitudes; independence; comparisons among team members; and a lack of trust among the team. If any of these began to appear on a team, unless action is taken against it, the consequences could be disastrous. If more than one appears, action must be aggressively taken against them because the unity of a team cannot be compromised at any cost. When a team operates in unity, the sky is the limit. Unity is something that must be protected, cherished and promoted. Unity is one of the most powerful forces in the unity and is the reason the enemies of it would love to see it destroyed. Today, regardless of the team you're a part of, be a protector of its unity :) If you want to listen to my message yesterday titled, "Forget the Honda, We Need the Bus", go to

Friday, January 25, 2013

Who is the Most Important Runner On A 4x100m Relay Team?

Who is the most important runner on a 4x100m relay team? This is a great question. Some will say it's the first runner. Others the Anchor leg. While some say the second or third leg. When it comes down to a 4x100m relay team winning a race there's no one runner who's any more important than one of his teammates. Each relay runner bears the same responsibility as  well as having the same goal and vision. Run my leg as fast as I can, have a clean baton exchange, and cross the finish line first. I know it's probably a little more complicated than that, but I think these three are keys. These same principles can be applied to any team, organization or business. In a business, everyone is vital to its success. And more than that, every person must feel that, as it will only help the team. No one person is more important or vital than anyone else. The beauty of a team is bringing a diversity of people together to achieve a common goal or vision. I love being on teams and seeing how different gifts, personalities, and methods can come together to produce something far greater than individuals on that team could achieve. If you're part of a team, I hope you recognize your value and that what you do is vital to the team's success. When a 4x100m relay team wins a race, it simply means everyone did their part. Enjoy running your leg of the relay :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Being A Better Parent

When I think about it, one of my most frequent conversations with the Lord has to deal with parenting. I don't think there's a day that goes by where I'm not asking Him for His help, strength, wisdom and love when it comes to parenting. A common phrase I often hear is, "Having a baby is easy. But raising them up is the challenge." I'm the first to admit that being a parent is hard work. It takes commitment, dedication, consistency and humility to be a Godly parent. I've been blessed with three incredible children and it's my responsibility to help them hit the mark. Along with the great opportunity of being a parent also comes great responsibility. Without the Lord I don't know how I could ever fulfill my role as a parent. When things are going well, it's only because of His grace and mercy. When I fail as a parent by getting frustrated, angry, or any other excuse I may have, again it's only by His grace and mercy that I'm able to make things right and get back on track. In a culture where more and more parents are taking a hands-off approach to parenting, I'm going to continue to press into my hands-on parenting. I will continue to be inspired by Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." I will continue to do my part, and I know the Lord will do His part. And I'm believing that all of my kids will stay on God's path the rest of their lives. Today, allow your parenting to be purposeful and fruitful :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

My God is Big!

Have you ever had a situation where you felt like you were facing a formidable foe? From time to time I think we all do. What if your foe was seemed visibly large, strong, looming and intimidating? Maybe it might cause you to jump back, retreat or even hide. This picture of a huge wall of dust in Australia gives a great visual to what I'm talking about. Sometimes our foes can seem as big as this wall of dust. What foes and enemies try to do is cause us to fear. Their intimidation attacks us head on with the goal of making us tremble. However, Psalm 27 gives us such strength. Verse 1-3 tell us, "The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble when evil people come to devour me,  when my enemies and foes attack me,  they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident." What should we remain confident in? The Lord being our fortress and protector! Yes today you may face your foe, but don't be intimidated or worry. The Lord is with you and will fight on your behalf. All you need to do is remain confident in Him :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

There's Nothing Like Victory

A person can learn a lot from both victories and defeats, depending upon attitudes and desire to grow. But let's be honest, there's nothing quite like experiencing victory. Victory can feel so much better than defeat :) With the Australian Open tennis tournament going on right now down under, there are so many great stories about victory. I love the picture of Maria Sharapova I've used today. Experiencing victory just makes you want to scream it out and celebrate. I'm want to scream and celebrate for the victory Jesus Christ has given me as 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, "But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ." Because of Him I now have victory over sin and death. As you see start seeing pictures of athletes celebrating victories, know that this is exactly how I feel because of the victory I have because of Jesus :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Trap

What a week for crazy sports stories. First we had Manti Te'o bombshell and yesterday we had the Lance Armstrong confession about his use of performance enhancing drugs. In fact, I never expected Lance Armstrong to do what he did yesterday, by taking personal responsibility for his actions. I thought he'd do what most people do, and that's to deny personal responsibility for the things they do. Usually it's someone else's fault or their ignorance that the problem. The legend of Lance Armstrong has come crashing down this past year, losing just about everything. But unfortunately that's what happens when you live a life that's full of deception. The truth will always come out and things will be exposed. Luke 12:2-3 tells us, "The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!" Usually when people do the kind of things Lance Armstrong did, they think that it will never come to light and that it's been well concealed. Don't be fooled! These things will always come to light and things will be exposed. I'm sure there's much shame, disgrace, and pain in the life of Lance Armstrong. There's so much we can learn from this huge story, and my prayer is that you'll see what happens when you try to deceive, hide and cover up those things that shouldn't be done. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Taking Guns Out of the Hands of Law Abiding Citizens Isn't the Solution

Unless you live on the planet Mars, you're probably aware of the intense push to put strict laws out keeping guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens. The reason I say law abiding citizens is obvious, because criminals don't obey laws and will keep their guns. I grew up in New Zealand, where guns are made extremely difficult to own. Our police didn't even carry guns (apart from armed offenders squads or SWAT teams). But the police were forced to start carrying guns because of all the criminals who were carrying and using guns for crimes, and even killing police officers. Yes, in New Zealand a majority of law abiding citizens don't own guns and will never be able to. However, many criminals do have guns. Is the problem guns? No! But the solution is to allow law abiding citizens to own guns. I'm a statistics guy and want you to think about this. In countries such as Australia, England and New Zealand, where most law abiding citizens don't have guns, then crime rates should be very low, right? Wrong! Why do cities such as Chicago and Washington DC, who have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, have the highest crime and gun crime rates in the nation? The answer is easy. You can take away guns from law abiding citizens, but criminals will always have guns. Also check out this link

Monday, January 14, 2013

As You Wish Buttercup...

Someone recently asked me what I thought were some keys to a successful marriage. Obviously, making Christ the foundation is the most important. But even after doing that there are some other things that can be done to make a marriage successful. The one I want to mention here is serving your spouse and putting them first, before yourself. As I'm writing this I can't help but think of the movie "The Princess Bride" and Wesley, who does everything possible to serve his Buttercup. As a husband I choose to lay my life down for my wife. I serve her, prefer her and make her feel like she's the most important and special person to me in the entire world. This sometimes means prefer her desires and what she'd like over what I'd prefer. I love what the Message says in Ephesians 5:25-28 about this, "Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage." Today I'm going to make my wife feel like she's the most important person in the world. As you wish Buttercup :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Very Sore Today...

Today yours truly is one hurting unit. On Thursday morning I failed to notice a patch of ice hidden under a thin layer of snow. As I stepped my feet immediately came out from underneath me. With a loud crash I ended up on ground. I don't think I scored very highly on grace or technique either :) Just as that ice was hiding under the snow, there are also many other things in our lives that are lurking and ready to try and take us down. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us, "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." What's the solution to this? It all comes down to watching where you step and the paths you walk on. If you are careful of your steps, and walk on the path the Lord shows you, your feet won't slip. If I would have been a little more aware and alert to where my feet were stepping, maybe I wouldn't feel the way I feel today--very sore and banged up.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Young, Bold, Radical, Passionate and Tenacious

I was looking at this picture yesterday and was so stirred by the individuals in it. Yes, they're either current or past HITC students, but there's something different about them that stands out to me. They are part of a new generation that's young, radical and passionate about what they believe and how they want to live their lives. There's something about a young person who is immovable in their faith and beliefs. It reminds me of Daniel in the Bible. A young man who wasn't loyal to his own agenda or desires, but to God's. Daniel 1:8 even mentions how, "Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself..." He was committed to the cause of serving the Lord. Young people have so many opportunities nowadays and when you combine that with their boldness and tenacity, incredible things can take place. Just like Daniel who influenced a nation, so can young people today. I look at this picture of young, radical and passionate Christians, and I can't help but think about the things that they will help bring change to in their culture and the world :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

God's Ways Can Sometimes Surprise Us

Have you ever been surprised by God? When He does things that you wouldn't expect or that surprise you? I think everyone experiences this from time to time. I know I have on many occasion. But when it comes to God the wonderful thing is that we can take comfort in knowing that He knows best. We can't forget that He sees the beginning and the end. Sometimes from our limited view or perspective, it's easy to make our plans and decisions. But I'm so thankful that the Lord who watches over us and guides us. I love what the Psalmist says in 16:7-8, "I will bless the Lord who guides me;  even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me." What great words of wisdom for us today. We all have an opportunity to trust the Lord as He leads us along the path of life. Will you choose to trust Him and follow His leading today? 

Monday, January 7, 2013

It's Just Too Much...

From time to time I think everyone feels overwhelmed and as if they can't go on. Pressure can be brought into our lives by things as well as people. In the midst of these pressures, attacks and battles, their desire is for you to give up. When I have personally been in the midst of such seasons, the only option I've sometimes had is to turn to the Lord. Many times I've been so encouraged by the simple words of Psalm 18:16-19 which say, "He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies,   from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me.
19 He led me to a place of safety; He rescued me because He
delights in me." In the past these words have given me strength, comfort, peace and encouragement. Everyone goes through challenging seasons from time to time, but find comfort in these words. The Lord is fully aware of everything you're going through. And not only that, but He can rescue from situations that you feel you couldn't be rescued from. God has a place of safety that He will lead you to, because He delights in you, if you'll simply follow Him. Never forget that nothing is too big or too great for our God :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

And I Thought the First Year Was Incredible...

Wow! It's hard to believe that 21 years ago today I went from being a single man to a married man. I couldn't agree more with Proverbs 18:22, "The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord." On January 4, 1992 I married the woman of my dreams. Looking back at pictures of our wedding we seemed so young, even though we were in our mid-twenties. I remember thinking how incredible our first year or two of marriage was, and couldn't imagine how things could get any better. Well I was definitely wrong :) I think our marriage has gotten better, stronger and more amazing as each year goes on. As we celebrate anniversary 21 today, I can't help but think about the many exciting days ahead for our marriage. In my wife I have certainly found a treasure and have received much favor from the Lord. She's my Proverbs 31 woman who I'd marry all over again in a heartbeat :) She's a gorgeous as ever and there's not a day that goes by where I don't thank the Lord for her. I loved the first year or two of marriage, but I love year 21 even more :) Love you babe and look forward to so many more amazing years :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Fear Failure?

Failure is one of those words that can make people cringe. Perhaps it's a task, assignment, job or something else that you fail at. Immediately you get pummeled with doubt, negative thoughts, lots of second guessing and even criticism from others. But when you really think about it, failure is one of the greatest learning tools we have to help us grow. I know this sounds crazy, but instead of fearing failure maybe you should embrace it, because depending on how you handle it, failure will push you on and stir you to move forward. When you fail at something how do you handle it? Do you want to quit? Do you feel inadequate? I love what John Maxwell says, "...wise leaders learn not to pin their self-worth on performance; rather they possess and internal self-image that's unaffected by outcomes. People with an unhealthy view of failure personalize it, seeing the failure as a reflection of their inadequacy." It's not a matter of whether or not you will fail at something, but more or less when you fail at something. When you do, use it as an opportunity to grow, learn and motivate you :) Proverbs 24:16 says, "The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again." Will you choose to get up again when you trip and stumble? Failure can be the beginning of success :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Get Out of Your 2012 Ruts

Ah, the start of a new year. Now think for a moment about those things you'd like to change from last year. Maybe things which held you down, held you back, or just things you'd like to leave behind. It's 2013 and it's time to get out of that rut that you've been stuck in. Webster's Dictionary describes a rut as, "A track worn by a wheel or by habitual passage. A usual or fixed practice. A monotonous routine." Are you willing to continue with your habitual passages, fixed practices and monotonous routines? I certainly don't! Life is so exciting and to be lived with passion. God has given you freedom to live as He intended. What areas and things do you want to or need to make changes in? Don't wait until the end of 2013 and wish you'd done things differently. Start now and get on the pavement and out of the ruts. God has great things in store for you in 2013. How can we not forget what Lamentations 3:22-23 promises us about every day of 2013? "The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning." Today His mercies are new and His faithfulness is great! It's time for you to get out of your ruts :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013, Where Have You Been All My Life?

2012 quietly came to an end last night and 2013 was ushered in. I'm a reflective person and am always wanting to improve and better those things I experienced in the previous year. I believe 2013 is going to be a great year and I've come up with some things that I'm planning on doing...
1. I'm not going to let the busyness of life dominate me. I'm going to control my schedule and not allow it to control me.
2. I'm going to go out on more dates with my wife and enjoy time with the woman of my dreams (that I married 21 years ago this Friday).
3. I'm going to enjoy more fun times with my kids. They turn 18, 16 and 14 this year and I don't want to miss out on the special place they're at in life.
4. I want to mark up and live in the Bible I got last year. It's a giant print NKJV that it's calling for me.
5. I'm going to help others succeed in their walk with the Lord and fulfill God's word over my life (and Katherine's) which said we'd be "heroes to the common man."
6. I'm going to stay healthy and work out regularly, not letting other things squeeze out my exercise.
7. I'm going to allow the "mantle of the prophetic ministry" which God said rests upon me to be seen and come to life.
There are many more but I think these are a good start. Each of these things are attainable and something I desire to do. I can't wait for them to be fulfilled. 2013, I've just pressed your PLAY button :)