Archive for July, 2011

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with a few of our boys from church out at Plains Baptist Assembly.  They are there for a boys camp for a few days.  I was able to go from station to station with a couple of them – hearing camp staffers teach on tool safety, archery, first aid, sling shots and compass and maps.  You know – manly things!

It was great to just hang out with them for a couple of hours – even in the heat.

One of the foundational aspects with each station is that regardless of the topic, the staffer closed his lesson with some spiritual application.  The station at which the application came through the most clearly was compass and maps.  As I watched the boys trying to manipulate their compass to get the reading they needed, the one thing that we had to continually remind them of was that the needle always points north.  They were each given a heading or degree to set on their compass and then told to move toward the area of the field that corresponded to the heading on their compass.  It was fun to watch them try and make the compass say what they wanted it to say.

The key is always in the alignment.  The compass needle will always point north.  We can try to turn the compass but the needle will always point north.  The key is not aligning the compass to our direction – the key is aligning ourselves with the compass.

This is very true on our life journey as well.  We can take our compass – the Bible – and try and turn it to fit where we think we need to go, but when we do, we end up places we don’t need to be.  We must always align ourselves with the compass and not the other way around.

How closely aligned are you with your compass today?

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It is Wednesday and for some that means the middle of the week.  For many it means we are in full swing and the week is already moving at break-neck speed.  Our lives move at such a pace we seldom stop or even slow down.

But today, that is what I want you to do.  Be still.  For the next 5 minutes, realize that all the things you need to do today will still be there 5 minutes from now.  So put them out of your mind for 5 minutes and listen.  Do you hear it?  God is calling your name!

God is saying, “I am here – I am present – this is holy space and time!”

God is present with you as you read this.  So now, for the next 5 minutes – be present with God.  Listen to what God says to you.


I’d love to hear of your experience with God today!

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Last week on our trip, we rented a car to be able to get around in the DC area and then to travel to New York City.  The car came equipped with a talking GPS device to assist in finding our way to where we wanted to go.  I am sure that many of you have used GPS as well.  One of the things that drove me crazy with the particular device mounted in our car was the inability to zoom out on the map to get a big picture of where we needed to go.

I have always been pretty good with directions.  As long as I can look at a map and get my bearings, then I can usually find where we need to go.  But the key for me is having the ability to see the bigger picture.  When we are able to see the bigger picture and we know our objective, we often find that there are multiple ways to get where we want to go.  If we set out on our journey and hit a road block, we are not dead in the water – we can adjust and keep moving.  But if we are tied to a 1/4 mile view of where we are going, we are limited to following the path laid out for us (which is not always the best way, and in a few cases last week, wasn’t even the correct way).

There are many, many similarities in this experience to our spiritual journey.  In many ways, if we live by faith, we cannot see too far down the road to know exactly what is coming our way – in essence, living with a 1/4 mile perspective.  We can only live into the moment and move forward.  But take heart, we have the Bible to serve as our map and to help give us a bigger picture of where we are going and how to get there.  We know that our objective or purpose as followers in The Way is to live our lives to honor God.  That is where we are going – our goal and objective.  The path we take is one lived out in faith.

Will we take wrong turns along the way?  Sure, but as long as we remember the bigger picture, we can get back on track and continue to move forward.  The key is to study the map and refer back to it often.

May your journey be rewarding today!

Now where did I put that map?

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Best Part of the Trip

Back in the saddle and tired!  Have you ever returned from “vacation” and were glad to be home so that you could rest?

That is the story of our family after the last two days of our trip to Washington.  My final board meeting of the trip was on Wednesday last week and then we took Thursday and Friday to visit family and see New York City for all of 10 hours.  We caught a Broadway show and walked in the rain in Times Square (yes – rain!  It really didn’t bother us much to be out in the rain since we haven’t seen any of it around here in so long).  We ate some amazing Italian food at Carmine’s in Times Square and visited one of the largest Apple stores I have ever seen on 5th Avenue.

We were exhausted when we were done but we had a great time.  Honestly, the best part of the whole trip was having time to make memories with my family!

My favorite people on a visit to China Town in Washington, DC.

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This week has been crazy.  I have been attending the National Association of Church Business Administration conference in Washington, DC.  We wrap up today with our Board meeting.  The workshops have been fantastic and the speakers have all been top-notch.  I will be heading back home with some new ideas and even better, recharged and ready to get back at it.

But one of the other blessings of this week has been that my family could be here with me.  I have been in meetings all day, but we have been able to spend time together in the evenings doing some sight-seeing and eating some great food.  The Fourth of July fireworks show is one of the memories I will take from this place.  We spent it together on the lawn of the Lincoln Memorial!

It is always good to get away and recharge – but it is that much better when I get to do it with my family.

Be blessed today!

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After a hot night at camp, I was looking forward to a change of climate.  I am now in Washington, DC, at the National Association of Church Business Administration national conference being held at the Gaylord National Hotel and Conference Center.  I had to arrive on Wednesday as part of my responsibility serving on the Board for the organization.  We had a wonderful dinner together with the staff and then it was off to bed for me.  Unfortunately, about mid-night, my stomach had other plans.  The next several hours are a blur but I can tell you it involved kneeling at a toilet followed by the use of mouthwash.  Now here it is Friday and I am beginning to feel better and am looking forward to conference

This conference is always a wonderful experience.  There are over 80 workshops from which to choose to attend dealing with all things pertinent to work and life in the church.  We will also have great keynote speakers who always inspire, challenge and motivate us.  I am excited to see what God will do over the next few days.

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