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The Wired Soul book review

the wired soul book cover

Tricia McCary Rhodes, an adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary shares the same enjoyment and connection to technology as the rest of us. But she takes the time to investigate the cost we exchange for technology. What are our screens doing to our relationships, brains, and soul? This was a hard reality check for me.

This may have been why the book started off so great for me but felt like it fizzled out through the rest of the book. I started in with some gut check reality stats and as the book progressed for me I ended up in more known type information.

I cracked the book open and within the first 2 chapters I was completely drawn in and excited, not to mention all the new info that I was taking in during these first couple of chapters. I was telling all of my coaching students about the info I was learning and the lessons that I was putting together to teach them as well.

Then it happened, just as I feared. The book should have stopped there. The remaining of the book really was just drawing out my excitement from the first couple of chapters. I still picked up a gem here or there, but it never felt like the same book that I started reading.

Some good stuff did come from my time in this book. I am walking away with the new knowledge from the first couple of chapters but also other lessons. The importance of journaling and how even that writing on paper will slow us down so that we can become aware of the little things that God may be trying to get our attention with. Some simple breathing exercises, and slow reading and the importance of it.

I won’t be giving up my smartphone or laptop anytime soon, but this book has made me reconsider reading more books in print including my Bible.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I need to let you know that Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing.

Herm Edwards speak on leadership lessons that must be learned

The following are Leadership Lessons That Mist Be Learned according to Herm Edwards. All quotes are from Coach Edwards.

“The only thing you can control, you be ready to go…” Take Personal Responsibility For Your Preparation

There Is A Limited Amount Of Opportunity. Take Advantage Of It. – “1,900 football players are professional football players. That’s it.”

Talent Is Never Enough – “Right now they got more experience than you. Nothing you can do about that.
You might have more talent but they have more experience.”

Providing For Your Family Is A Privilege – “It’s not a right but a privilege to play and coach in the National Football League.”

Unto Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required – “Talent, expectations, and production can sometimes be a curse. You’ve got so much talent you don’t live up to it.”

God Gave You Your Talent – “Talent, you didn’t earn it. God gave it to you.”

“You got talent but does the production equal the talent?..If you’re not a productive player then it becomes a curse.” Parable, of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30.

Don’t Waste Your Talent – “You’ve got an opportunity. Don’t waste your talent.”

“Expectations. A goal without a plan is a wish…What’s your plan to be a professional football player?” Take time now, to make a plan for your future, your career, your family.

“Nobody’s going to play for you. Nobody’s going to practice. You got to do that. You got to do all the work.” You won’t just happen to fall into your ideal future. You need to present it to God. Take time to listen to Him, ask Him what are the plans. Then prepare!

“This is where young players struggle. Priorities. Your habits create who you are.” Habits are serious. Little ones or big ones, they all shape you.

“If you’re not willing to change your habits, you’re not changing.” Be a change agent not just with your work or ministry, but with yourself.

“My priorities are real simple – My Faith. My Family. My Occupation.”

“When you leave this room today there are cameras watching you wherever you go.” You Are Always Being Watched. You are part of a larger team and we were paid for with a huge price. We are not our own. 1 Cor. 7:23

“It’s embarrassing (when a player gets in trouble).” Immature Behavior Is Embarrassing

Your Immature Behavior Affects All Of Us – “You think it only affects you. It affects everybody.”

“You think, ‘I’m all this.’ You ain’t all that.” Stay humble.

“When you get that jersey it’s rented. When you come out of the league they’re going to take your name off and give somebody else your number.” Lead and manage with an open hand.

“Everything you do on the field, and now off the field, it becomes news.” You Have More Influence Than You Know

“Nothing good happens after 12:00 o’clock…After midnight, something bad’s going to happen.” Don’t allow yourself to get into any compromising positions. Live above reproach.

“You get one girlfriend OR you get one wife. You can’t have both.” Stay faithful to your spouse.

“If you play for the Dallas Cowboys and you go to Philadelphia, you still got that one girlfriend or that one wife. Don’t screw that up.”

“You’ve been told.”

8 Ways to help Pastor Kids not hate the ministry

kids running in field b_w 805x537

Growing up in a pastor’s home can be hard, or so I have heard from many. Pastoral kids don’t get to make their own choice of living in the ministry. They are just born into the fishbowl that comes with being in the ministry. Their growing up stories seem to make it into many sermons, their childlike mischief ends up getting blown up more than other kids, and more.

Parents, here is my two cents worth coming from a pastor whose children have known nothing their whole lives except being in a pastor’s home. My wife and I are experiencing the results of following the recommendations I am making here. None of our kids hate the ministry but enjoy being part of the church. Here are some ideas.

1. Put Christ first in your life, like you should be doing in the ministry.
2. Model what a Christian should look like in all stages of life.
3. Teach and model on how to have the right priorities. God first, Spouse next, Children next and then Ministry.
4. Teach your children the Bible and about God as much if not more than those you pastor.
5. Encourage your children to have Godly influences in their lives.
6. Pray regularly with and for your children. It is this life of talking and learning to hear the voice of God that will pay off.
7. Serve others with your kids.
8. Share your faith outside of the church with others around your children. They need to know it happens beyond the church walls.

Better Use of my to-do list

laptop on table copy

It is a little embarrassing to admit how I have used a to-do list whenever I did use one. I am into embarrassing myself a little though so I will admit that my use to do list have not been good.

What I am leaving behind:
* Trying to stack my list with everything so I have more boxes to check off
* Systems that award me for checking boxes off. My competitive side draws me in to add things just so again, I can check them off.
* Creating a random order of to-do’s
* Working with a to-do list that takes me to watch video tutorials to understand how to use it throughout the day.

Now what I am going to:
1. K.I.S.S. method, Keep it simple Stupid. Trading in the quantity over quality mentality to be just the opposite. I will decide the night before the top 3-5 items only that will make the days to-do list.

2. Organize the list according to my energy level of the day. For me it is early a.m. that I have the most energy and excitement. It will be during this time I will schedule my most energy usage to-do to be done.

3. The limited to-do’s that I will have on my list will all have a verb.

These are only a few ways I will start to use a to-do list better.

How do you find using a to-do list is productive? What else should I have included in my list? I want to be the best steward of the time that God loans out to me by the task that will take place in that time.

Apple please don’t lose me anymore.

  
There have been many who have made this claim but I’m not sure they are as accurate as I am about to be with this statement: “I am a Mac-evangelist”. Yes, my name is Todd, and I am a “macaholic”. If Apple made underwear I would even wear them.

There is a change that is starting to happen with me though. I do not like it the feeling that comes with this change, but it is becoming harder to ignore all the time. Is it time to go away from Apple?

Apple has defimately changed sine Jobs is no longer around.  What is referred to as creativity is just a re-branding of old ideas, new software updates are resulting in being pushed out to quick with not enough testing so that the consumer will have a good experience. Then, when the customer does have a bad experience not enough resolve in putting people over procedures.

Let me explain a little.

I updated my iPhone to the new iOS9 and ever since then have had a terrible experience with the calendar. I cant seem to get any resolve with this issue, and have worked even with senior advisors at apple over this as well. End result is I have been told that they are now aware of it and will be coming out with a new update v3 to solve this. Until then, it is extremely cumbersome to add calendar events which is a large part of what I do by living off of my calendar.

Next, in just a matter of a couple days, I update my MacBook Pro to El Capitan to only have it crash. I’ve worked with tech support via the phone with no resolve and then had to make an appointment to take it in. The earliest apointment time was 2 days away. I then am told 1 hour to fix it and they will get back with me. All day I was the only one calling them to find out how it was going? From 11:15am-9pm I never received a call or email from them. Every call I made I knew I was going to invest a min. of 20 minutes waiting to talk to someone. The voice activated call system they had just sent me around and around to all the wrong places and when I thought I finally arrived, it was to only learn I had not.

Lessons that apply to the church as well, or so I think they do.

1. We live in a time where many people have tried the “church” thing and ended up very disappointed and hurt often times. We need to think more about our mission of connecting people to Jesus than we do about even introducing some fancy rebranded idea for a Seasonal event, starting a new ministry etc. Love our Mission first not any delivery Method. 

2. How easy do we make it to connect to the mission as people use the methods we have set up? Like with the calendar, because of an issue with it I now am frustrated everytime I use it and am reminded that it is broken. Everytime someone interacts with your ministry what are they reminded of?

3. There are a ton of options out there for people to choose to spend their time in. You are not the only show around. If you are not meeting and answering the questions people want answered or they can’t get what they want from their experince in your church, they will go elsewhere. I am for the first time exploring the same thoughts about possibly leaving Apple to go to another alternative. There are actually numerous good alternatives out there that can meet what I’m after concerning a computer experience.

There are many other lessons I am picking up over this time of being without a computer that I will write about as time goes on, but allow me to leave you with one last one. 

The longer Apple has me without my MacBook Pro, the more I become resourceful in learning what other options I have easily and affrodably at my disposal. The same with your church. The longer people feel they can get what they need from other sources, like on-line services, books, the internet etc. (all fo these are good as well) the more they will be ok in staying away from your church.

Apple, the ball is in your court. Churches, the ball is in your court as well in the minds of many in your community.

Dangerous and Risky and will make you…

internet-safety-09-300x210

Dangerous and Risky and will make you AWARE!!

There was a show on a few back called, “The Masked Magician”. This show caused a lot of stir in the magician circles because the whole show was a “masked magician” would show the secrets to a lot of tricks. These were not some small pull a silk from what was once my empty hand, but more like cutting a person in half, disappearing from a chained up trunk and more. Tricks that were still being performed and providing the bread and butter for many magicians families.

Through this show, many people began to understand what was a mystery to them at one time. It put on the minds of many who never thought about this stuff before but were now pulled into a new knowledge. The purpose that the masked magician said he wanted to accomplish was only to try to raise the bar of what Magicians would do. He was tired of people doing the same illusions for all these years.

The motive was good, but I’m not sure it was accomplished in the best of ways. The same is true in my opinion when we post well-meaning articles like this one:http://educateempowerkids.org/dangerous-apps/

It is understood that we want parents to be aware of apps out there that may not be the best for kids of different ages. But, we may also have a “masked Magician” type effect taking place as well. Putting titles and info like this one out there in an area that people of all ages read and visit may be doing just the opposite of the intended purpose. Now it may be putting it in front of kids who had no idea of these apps but now are made aware. Then they will go and explore them, just like many did when the secrets were told of illusions being performed.

Is there a better way? Thoughts?

Quotes That Inspire Me

Wind-in-Sails

I have collected quotes for some time now and have decided to post some of them today. Whenever I read certain quotes they can really be the wind in my sail. My prayer is that you will find some wind for your sail within some of these quotes I’m posting today.

“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” James Cameron

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” Henry David Thoreau

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” John Wooden

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” Lisa M. Amos

“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Jim Rohn

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Swami Vivekananda

“Stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion.” Tony Hsieh

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

“If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.” Anonymous

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill

“Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” Vaibhav Shah

“Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.” Denzel Washington

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.” Chris Grosser

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” Albert Einstein

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The best revenge is massive success.” Frank Sinatra

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” David Brinkley

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” Henry Ford

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” Oscar Wilde

“The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.” Bruce Feirstein

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” John D. Rockefeller

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Albert Einstein

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” Ray Goforth

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe

“People ask, ‘What’s the best role you’ve ever played?’ The next one.” Kevin Kline

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Thomas Jefferson

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” Napoleon Hill

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier

“If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.” Thomas J. Watson

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” Michael John Bobak

Summer Camps 2015

I am sitting here in the “Church/Chapel” area of where the kids services take place every night here at our 2015 Open Bible Church Camp. This year the theme is “Obey Your Thirst” and a friend of mine who I have known for years through networking but never in person until now, Jerry Moyer of the Jubilee Gang, has answered my request to come and do our camp this year. They are doing great and it is such an honor to have them ministering here. Every night the altars are full and God is moving in the lives of these kids. Last night, the kids started coming forward before he even gave the altar call, that was pretty cool.

I will include some links and pictures in this post and invite you to follow them and see what God is up to at this year’s Camp.

Here is when we preached at JCC’s Family service camp and we had dads play games with their kids. This is the PJ stuff.

DC PJ stuff 2

Here is the other dad who competed.

DC PJ stuff

Here is a pano of part of Wildwood Hills Ranch where we hold camp.

Wildwood Hills camp ground pano

Josiah going swimming
Josiah going swimming

Purple team practicing team cheer
Purple team practicing cheer

For me, this year was very busy but full of great life lessons. I will post more as time goes on and I get back home from all the camps where my internet connection is stronger. But for now, my greatest take away is that if the kids have someone loving on them and caring for them, they can and will do great things.

Busy with ThanksLiving

Sunset Buildings

It has been a long time since I have posted a new blog post as of this posting today. The reason? I have truly been busy with ThanksLiving.

What is ThanksLiving? It is truly living every day with thankfulness. My life is truly packed with so much of thankfulness I have just been making sure I stay appreciative. Does this mean everything has worked completely the way I want it to go all the time? No way. Does it mean nothing negative has taken place? No way. Does it mean I have had no struggles? No way. What it does mean is that I have chosen daily to commit myself to staying Thankful, and mindful for all that God has given me even during the hard times.

I recently ran into this story that I think says it the best of what I have chosen to do and the result it has had. Enjoy.

There was a small business owner whose clothing store was threatened with extinction. A national chain store had moved in and acquired all the properties on his block. This one particular businessman refused to sell.

“Alright then, we’ll build around you and put you out of business,” the new competitors said.

The day came when the small merchant found himself hemmed in with a new department store stretching out on both sides of his little retail shop. The competitor’s banners announced, “Grand Opening!” The merchant countered with a banner that stretched across the entire width of his store. It read, “Main Entrance.”

Finishing Well, Finishing Strong

Finish well finish strong cover

Finishing Well, Finishing Strong was one of the books that I am privilege to read lately over being very purposeful on how we finish in this game we call life.

I am a 46-year-old man at the time that I am writing this and the thoughts of what kind of legacy am I going to leave when I go to be with Jesus are thoughts I have more of now than when I was 25. I started very strong and determined as a young man to be successful and as I got older I wanted to also be significant. Now I know I can do both and that is where this book along with others have helped encourage me to do just that.

I appreciated the attempt that Grassi made to end every chapter with a personal activity and mentor activity. The suggested activities are both helpful and can prove to be practical. I think this book would be a good read for a men’s small group or can be used by a mentor as he spends time and disciples some younger proteges.

The author, Jim Grassi made me think about what I do, and what I want to do to finish strong and well myself. This book was a short and easy read, and held my attention for the most part. The information was presented in a consistent and engaging way, making steps to the personal application easier. Grassi conveys Biblical truth in discussing certain people within the Bible.

Just because you start well and start strong, does not mean that you will finish well and finish strong. You must have a plan.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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