I wanted to share some news about a new development in my career. This news has been announced that past two weeks at my local church and in Pastor Mike's blog statement. The past 6 years I have been a full-time associate pastor at my local church. Before taking on this role, I had worked in several different fields such as youth ministry, sales, biz development, substitute school teaching, pool and lawn maintenance, and even one failed attempt at starting a business in 2008. Now, I am phasing into a transformed role within the position I now hold. I will be expanding my ministry work into the community as an advocate for good and necessary change. I will also be taking more time to be an entrepreneur working for my own business(es). Thus, we will also be looking to hire three small (but vitally important) spare-time positions in key areas of our local church. I myself will equip and empower each of these three persons in the areas of Connections, Discipleship, and Volunteers. I will remain working in these areas as much as needed, and also in church communications, social media marketing, custodial oversight, and expanding local mission efforts. By May 1, my church office hours will slim down to Tuesdays, Wed afternoons, Fridays, and of course Sunday morning services. My wife Tracy will remain in her role as the children's pastor (see her blog), our kids will remain in their schools and we will remain living in the same house. Everything is going very well. I just believe it's best to branch out into new territories. If you wish to learn more about my outside work efforts, please contact me. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.
Last month, my family and I traveled to Lexington, KY to visit a family member. I never knew "Lex" was the world capital of horses! There are blue horses everywhere on signs and statues. I first noticed it at our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express.
Anyway, I wanted to make a note about the remarkable hospitality by the staff, that earned my business as a new member. They had a great looking facility and pool house. The beds were the most comfortable I've ever been on. The housekeeping crew were well groomed and polite. There were toiletry items at the front desk, if needed. The dining room and breakfast were fully stocked and hot. The lady even asked me as I sat on the couch if I had any breakfast yet before she started cleaning up (I had not). They opened the pool house early upon request. I could go on. At check out, the manager personally asked me about my stay and, finally, as I was stepping away, if I would like to look at the membership benefits. By that point, I was so impressed I couldn't say no. They were adding value to my stay at every turn. So, for the first time ever, I became a hotel chain member.
What are you and your organization doing to add tremendous value to your internal and external customers??
My wife and I just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary a few days ago. We are constantly working on our marriage relationship. It's very difficult on occasion, but so rewarding! Just when I think we're doing great, life can change in a moment. We definitely need each other.
In the video below, learn how to make your marriage last by doing things are actually earn you "points". Trust me, men, it's not how guys think! I'm the master of failure at this a lot of days. But this will make you laugh and cry. So get ready. Women, this will challenge you too. This is 21 minutes long so take a break and focus in.
Also, here are 15 scriptures about marriage that will help you grow in faith and understanding of your spouse. Are you growing in a mature, healthy marriage?
In this article from The Atlantic, it's argued that following your passion is NOT always the best advice. The bottom line is: your feelings can be fickle. Your dreams might let you down. You might change your mind down the road about what you're really passionate about doing with the rest of your life.
The best plan is to let your passions develop over time, to gain the character, knowledge, skills and competency you need to see if you're really great at something and able to get the rock-star status, respect, and income necessary to reach your goals. So let it stew. Don't talk big about what you're going to do someday. See how well your interests, vision and passion can and do create lasting results today. Make tiny investments every day. But have a plan to survive and even thrive in the meantime. Perhaps, you will become even more passionate about what you're doing right now if you keep at it. Indeed, you can have multiple passions in life.
Keep pressing on!
Who doesn't like to party? Over the past holiday, I was wishes that there was something local to do with my family after the downtown parade. Just for fun. At times, however, I believe we seek pleasure and fun because we also have problems we're trying to run from. Of course, much of what we deal with is the effect of our poor choices. We need to own up to our mistakes and failures. However, some of them can be an effect of being raised under poor parenting and hurtful childhood experiences. That holiday evening we all decided to watch a movie together called I Can Only Imagine. Bart Millard, the main character in this real-life story, struggles to get past the pain and agony of his childhood and teen years of dealing with his abusive father. As he tried really hard to find his purpose he pursued his untapped potential of being a singer/songwriter. Through the pain of his father-son relationship he penned one of the most famous songs ever written! It's a good watch, and a good lesson for people dealing with emotional baggage. I really enjoyed seeing how Bart's band Mercy Me got their start and claim to fame. I now own 10 CD's of that band! I'm looking forward to seeing them and lots of other bands at Alive Music Fest later this summer. Here's the movie trailer below, in case you're interested. Have a great summer!
Last week, we had a great event here in Findlay! It was so cool to get together with other belivers for a night of music, worship and inspiration! This idea came to me earlier this year, and with the help of talented folks in Findlay, and with the open door from YFC, we had a nice evening together. I hope to see you at our next event!
Dave Ferguson shares five ways to bless your neighbors. He says, “From the very beginning, God’s way of reaching and restoring the world has always been through what I would call a blessing strategy…how do we in a very practical way that’s theologically grounded explain to people how they could bless people in places they are incarnating?
They came up with this…
So instead of asking how can you be productive, ask how can you be proactive in your sphere of living to give away yourself? Love your neighbor as yourself.
One of my favorite authors and speakers on the topic of ministry leadership is Daniel Im (not to be confused with Francis Chan). He said that when he was discerning his call to ministry, his pastor told him "to be rooted, to serve faithfully, and to seek out opportunities to expand my skills and to lead." As a teenager, he boldly asked if he could lead the worship ministry at his church when the position opened up. I appreciate how his story began to unfold at a young age. We should allow teenagers around us to step up in leadership opportunities when they take initiative. We should reward such requests and give room for growth in a safe environment. What bold steps have you taken lately in your faith journey?
I recently finished a book that was recommended to me titled From Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship. It was a fantastic read about the journey that author/evangelist Jack Frost experienced growing in faith and in the embrace of Father God, as he put it. In the final four chapters (chapter 7 having the title above), he presents eight defining truths from his own journey that helped him begin displacing an orphan heart and start feeling secure and at rest as a favored son.
He says, "The depth of humility we embrace determines the depth of kingdom life we will experience." I cannot think of another book that goes into the same level of spiritual truths with such heart-gripping stories that this author shares. I really enjoyed reading about his career as a deep sea fisherman (twice), his restored parental relationships, and his humbling path through pastoral ministry and launching a ministry of his own. I can see how my story relates with his story in several ways. I am thankful to the person who recommended this book to me.
If you are a believer, a child of God, renewed in the image of God, then remember that you have tremendous eternal worth to your heavenly Father. Even though he is listening and responding to millions of prayers all at the same time, he is willing to stop everything to bless you. Don't try to earn his favor, by striving for perfection on your own. He will give you a pure heart, by faith. Like Jesus, you are God's beloved child (son/daughter) with whom he is well-pleased (Matthew 3:17). So, move forward in the spiritual riches that he has bestowed upon you. If you feel alone or lost, then find the path home that is paved in part with restitution and forgiveness that you need with your parents and spiritual leaders; and you will inherently be at peace and rest!
For more resources about healing an orphan heart from Jack (now deceased) and Trisha Frost, visit their ministry at www.shilohplace.org.
Will Smith, actor, shares his thoughts on how you get past the barriers in your life. To sum it up, you tough it out and never give up. Learn as you go, failure ensures success. Be mentally tougher than than the adversity you are facing.
If you are in leadership, Jesus Christ modeled the way that you can lead. To the world all around him he was a failure. But he set the new standard of what servant leadership means. He's worth following.
Read more at www.edstetzer.com/2018/03/7-principles-to-lead-as-jesus-led/
My blog covers several areas of life on a deeper level.