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Showing posts from March, 2009

Segmenting

I'm somewhat of a multi-tasker.  I often have several balls in the air.  I'm learning that I can better handle multiple tasks if I do them in segments.  Let me explain.  Rather than jumping willy-nilly from one task to the next, try focusing on one task for 10-20 minutes, then relaxing for 5 minutes, and then return to the task if it isn't finished yet.  Or, after relaxing for 5 minutes, switch to another task for 10-20 minutes.  For example, today I spent @ 20 minutes reading and answering e-mails; then did the USA Today crossword, then uploaded a video to FaceBook & Twitter, and then started on this blog entry.  I'm about to take a snack break, and then do some writing on my book for @ 20 minutes of so.  By incorporating these "spurts" of productivity, I can remain fresh.  I find that if I go much longer than 20 minutes at the time, my creativity begins to wane.  By segmenting I reach the end of the day having completed many if not most of my tasks whil…

Thinking of Easter

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Our society has so commercialized our "holy days" that, even in the church, we have lost the true meaning of them.  Most of our kids learn about the Easter Bunny before they learn about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.  Is it any wonder that fewer and fewer young people are coming to Christ?  Isn't it time that we as evangelicals emphasize that which sets us apart from "religions"?  Paul said, "For I determinied not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2).  So often the "sermons" that are preached in many churches would better be classified as "inspirational talks".  As a former Youth Pastor, I remember clearly when the emphasis of the Youth Pastor moved from preaching, to "giving talks".  In our mad dash to connect with society, we have sometimes elevated method above message.  The medium is NOT the message.  The message of Christ,…

Funerals

As a minister I've had opportunity to be see and experience many funerals. Sometimes the things that we do at funerals makes me wonder if we have really progressed very much as a civilization. For that reason, my siblings and I planned for our father's funeral to be a simple celebration of his life. We didn't have the impromptu parade of friends and family struggling to speak through tears. Nor did we feature a concert of hymns and songs. We asked our father's pastor to be sure and include the story of our father coming to faith in Christ as an 87 year old, and to explain how anyone could have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In all, I think the service lasted less than 40 minutes. I can't tell you how many people mentioned how uplifting the service was for them. That was our goal. I'm sure that Pops would have approved.

Social Networking at Work

This past week my 96 year old father passed away. Sitting by his bedside only moments after his passing, I entered my "status" on FaceBook and Twitter. Within minutes I was receiving condolences from family and friends all across the country, and responses are still coming in two days later.
Then, I faced the problem of getting my wife to an airport some 75 miles from our home. She had not travelled with me from Florida to Alabama to be at my dad's bedside, but would now need to come for the funeral. I posted on FaceBook and Twitter the need that we had, and before the day was over we had found someone going from Sebring, our home, to Orlando airport. To make it even better, it was someone we knew.
I come away from these recent experiences with the realization that Social Networking is a tool that can be utilized in many very practical ways. In addition to renewing old acquaintences, keeping up with friends and family, there is the potential for disseminating importa…

The Upside of Economic Depression

I've been thinking about this as I notice what is going on around the nation during what many are calling a bona fide economic depression. Is there an upside? I think so. Let me mention a few.
less travel, ergo, less pollution.less money to spend on toys & electronics, therefore kids have to learn to entertain themselves and grow their imaginations.less money for movies and nights out, so families learn to enjoy one another at home.fewer jobs, so people have to create jobs by becoming more ingenious.less money for eating out, so people learn how to cook at home.These are just a few. I'm sure you will think of others. This is the classic, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade" scenario. You can choose to be a victim or to be victorius; to complain or to create; to wallow in self-pity or to work toward becoming a winner.
One caveat. In order for us to benefit from the economic depression, it must last long enough to wean us from our "stuff". I be…

The Adventure Starts Here

Here I am; 70 years old and a free agent. That means that I no longer have a "paying job" where I have to show up in an office at a particular time. It is strange to say the least. After 50 years of church staff experience, I've been adapting to a new life style over the past six months. I'm embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. I'm right up there with Abraham, Moses, and Caleb, some of my biblical heroes. These guys got their greatest assignments at what we consider an old age. All of them came through with flying colors, although it was not easy.
I'm starting a writing career. My first book is a devotional guide based on the sayings of Jesus. It is not intended to be an in-depth, theological treatise, but rather a tool that will help a believer at any stage of life become better acquainted with the teachings of Jesus, and discover, in a practical way, how they relate to life. I don't have a publisher. Most likely this will wind up being se…

Do We Ever Grow Up?

I live in a 55+ community. Lately I've observed that, emotionally, many adults stopped maturing in Jr. High. I was in the fitness center of our complex the other day. A guy and his wife were working out together. He was the loud sort. You couldn't help but hear him all over the room. He proclaimed for the benefit of everyone how much weight he was lifting, how many sets & reps he was doing, and how it all was in spite of all the drinks he had consumed the night before. (he even named each one) Another man entered the room and was immediately challenged by the LM (loud mouth) to add weight to the max on the chest press machine.
Several times on the golf course I've noticed "mature" adult men trying to out-cuss each other. It sounds just like middle school kids who are trying to impress their peers with their "tough" vocabulary. They seem to think that dropping "f" bombs somehow makes them appear masculine. The sad thing is, I'v…

Doing Matt. 6:33 As A Church

This morning while reading Amos 9, I began to think that perhaps the main problem with the church (universal & local) is that we/they are seeking "all these things" instead of seeking first the kingdom of God. As I follow lots of pastors & staff folks on Twitter, it appears that the pursuit is always the "things" and seldom the Kingdom of God. Maybe I don't know what seeking the Kingdom of God really is, but I think it would involve tailoring everything we do with pleasing God as the sole outcome. Instead we spend untold man hours and dollars pursuing the latest "in" thing with our peers or our heroes.
Seldom do I encounter a church or pastor & staff who set aside regular, daily/weekly time to seek God & His kingdom. Most always I find staff meetings, dream sessions, conferences, books, etc. that aim toward "how do we attract people to our church? How do we become better leaders? or What is the next 40 day emphasis?" I&…