Browse Tag

Life

Senior Graduation every year reminds me why I do what I do

It is times like this that God uses to really remind children’s pastors like myself why we do what we do. Every year I am very grateful for encouraging letters from past students who were in my children’s ministries. They are preparing to graduate from high school, and yet they remember me (their past children’s pastor) enough to write and say thanks.

I love these kids, and what God does in each one of their lives. Truth be told they always thank me but it is I who thank them for just being willing to grow to what God has in store for them. They make me so proud!!

Well done Madelynn! You impacted my wife and I more than words will ever be able to tell you. We love you and your family.

Enjoy her email to me and no last names or church name were used but edited out by me to protect her confidentiality.

Pastor Todd:

Senior year is such a nostalgic time in ones life, and as I have been reflecting on my time here at ________ (church) I began to think of you, and I wanted to tell you thank you. You may not realize it, but you have had such a lasting impact on my life. The time I spent in “Mighty Missionaries” is truly one of my most treasured childhood memories. You poured into all of us and gave us all the privilege of ministering alongside you while all the while developing within each one of us a strong sense of what we believe, and an ability to share that belief. I believe it is my time in MM early on that helped me fully discover my passion for ministry. Now, 6+ years later, I fully intend to pursue a career in full-time ministry. I am not necessarily sure exactly what that will be, but I know that is the direction God is taking my life. The time I spent in your ministry helped cultivate a strong foundation in my life- one that I am now reaping the benefits of. What you do truly changes lives. I cannot express how much that time meant to me. Thank you for what you do!

Thank you!

Madelynn

I Just Got Coached

I am a huge proponent of coaching, especially since I lead as a coach. I think everyone should have a coach, even coaches need coaches. And that is what happened to me today.

My wife and I have felt that we needed to tighten the belt and become better stewards than we already were with our finances. Part of that tightening we knew for us would come through our cell phone expenses. For about 3-4 months now, I have known that I should call AT&T, our cell phone provider, to see how they can advise us to cut our bill down. I also knew, since the cell phone industry is what they do and they were aware of what plans they had currently and which ones are on the horizon etc., that they were the ones to be able to give us some advice. Today was the day I finally did this. I called.

In just a matter of a few minutes, the support person I was talking with was able to recommend a change that actually resulted in my wife and I saving about 1/2 of our current bill. Not only that, it didn’t even require half of the drastic ideas my wife and I were dreading because we just did not have the same access to information or knowledge as the sales person.

So, I got coached today. I was helped from the sales person who had the experience, know how, willingness, and desire to see the result I was wanting to have as they walked me through this change. He asked a few questions, got our feedback, proposed suggestions, challenged us to think about things differently or see items in a different light, but all the while had our goals in mind not his own. This is s huge part of what coaching is. In just those few minutes he has now saved us a ton. My thanks to AT&T for the coaching you gave us today.

I hear from people many times that they may not have the money or the time for coaching. This was kind of like my thoughts with first contacting AT&T. How much more can they really save me that I can’t figure out on my own? Or that they will only try and line their pockets with my money and not have my interest in mind. I was wrong about them and often times people are wrong about coaching. It pays to have a coach. Who is yours?

Secure yours before helping others

20110321-092338.jpg

I just finished flying to San Diego and back to Kansas City so that I could attend CPC 2011 for Kidology. At the start of each flight the attendant would give the speech that in the case of a change in the cabin atmosphere how masks would drop from the over head panels and would flow with oxygen. They would then continue to share the importance of securing our own mask first before helping others around us.

This announcement started me thinking of the importance of taking care of yourself so that you can take care of others. Here are a few ways that I work on this.

– Wake up at 5am to have my own Bible reading and time of prayer

– Watch what I am eating (even though there is a ton of room for improvement on this still for me.)

– Carve out time to invest in reading topics that I am interested in.

– Try to make sure I go to bed early enough (usually around 10:30-ish) and sleep in until 5am.

– I try to not work on the computer at least 30 minutes before bed. I have learned that parts of the brain stay alert and are not allowed to rest when we play video games, work on the computer, etc. before we go to bed.

– I keep an organized office space which helps me keep a piece of mind, which in turn allows me to stay happy and more productive.

These are a few ways I secure my mask first so that I am able to help others. What are a few of yours and how often do you live them out?

Blast from the Past

My good friend Karl Bastian recently tweeted a Blast from the Past from his blog. It is from when I was pastoring in the D.C. area at Jubilee Christian Center and he came to visit. What a great time that was. But as I looked over the pictures, I noticed how big I was before:

Compared to now, and this is even with a large ScotteVest on for all my gadgets from an iPad, iPhone, iPod, and such (which by the way this same good friend bought me this jacket):

I feel like I was a contestant on the biggest looser with the before and current type photos. Actually it is very encouraging seeing myself smaller now than before. The realization that I stand a “Bigger” chance of being around to walk my daughters down the isle when and if they get married makes me extremely excited.

This has taken developing some new habits for myself. What new habits are you needing to develop to stay around longer to accomplish what God has for you?

Quick File Organization tip

I have gone away from most paper files now so I can use a search field to solve the following issue. But, there are still some paper files that I have which is the factor that has driven me to figure out this quick tip.

Have you ever filed stuff in your file cabinet, folders in your desk etc and when you go to recover it you just can not find it? This happened to me all the time. It drove me crazy. I would even have files in 3-4 different places and all the same file. It happened to me when I would even start a new computer files as well. Finally, I have a suggestion that may help slim this down for you, here it is:

Make sure all your files begin with a NOUN instead of an ADJECTIVE. For example, Life Insurance, Medical Insurance, and Auto Insurance would all be located in different sections of your files. Use Insurance, Life; Insurance, Medical; and Insurance, Auto instead, so the files all end up in the same place. Wouldn’t you want to go to ONE place in your files to find all information related to insurance?

Give this a try and let me know how it goes for you.

Connecting the dots by Steve Jobs

Just a little speech from Steve Jobs at a 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.

Often times the events we all go through may not make sense at the time, but, the dots will be connected eventually. Now, I am not using this video as a testimony of where Jobs stands with God, but, I am using it as it was inspirational to me as I could relate it back to my walk with God.

Trust God as the dots are being connected even if we can’t see how it can happen. God has plans for all of us.

Find what I enjoy and don’t settle. As I do what I enjoy and who God made and created in me then as tough times happen, with Gods help I will make it through in a more enjoyable way. If we have to go through hard times why not go through them with God and while doing what we enjoy and brings us joy. For me that is being a child of God, a husband, a dad and a children’s pastor.

Death is the single one thing that we will all face. Make sure you have prepared for it here on earth and after earth. Jesus is the only way to heaven!