Showing posts from October, 2012

Martin Luther Nailed It


25 Questions to Ask Yourself

1. What is the "hub" of your life? (The central theme)
2. If someone were to look at your calendar and checkbook, what would they discover about your priorities? 
3. What is your single greatest strength?
4. What is your earliest memory from childhood? Is there any connection between this memory and your life today? 
5. Where do you invest your most significant emotional energy?
6. What role does God, prayer, the Bible, and church play in your life? 
7. What "turns your crank"? What do you love to do? 
8. Regarding the above question -- Are you carving out time to do it? If not -- Why not? 
9. What holds you back from being your best? 
10. Who has had the most significant influence upon your life?
11. Are you happy with the condition of your inner life?
12. When do you "recharge" your emotional and spiritual batteries?
13. Are there any unresolved issues poisoning your mind and heart?
14. Have you forgiven everybody as far as you know?
15. Are there any restitutions yo…

Love Shines Through

Love, the greatest human virtue, is the primary measuring stick of the goodness in one's life.

Nothing is more delightful than loving, and nothing feels better than being loved.

A wise old minister once said Love is. . .
Slow to suspect - quick to trust
Slow to condemn - quick to encourage
Slow to offend - quick to defend
Slow to expose - quick to shield
Slow to reprimand - quick to forbear
Slow to belittle - quick to appreciate
Slow to demand - quick to give
Slow to provoke - quick to reconcile
Slow to hinder - quick to help
Slow to resent - quick to forgive.

True love is much more than a feeling or an emotion - it is an act of the will!
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres (1 Cor. 13.)

Real love moves beyond intentions. It shines through our actions, attitudes and words.

Unfortunately, un-love shines through too. You can pretend to love others - but they will find you out before too long.

Fault finding and criticizing others are signs of love deficiency.Faults g…

What Brings More Happiness 11 Kids or $11 Million?

Question: Who is happier? A man with 11 million dollars or a man with 11 children?

Answer: A man with 11 children -- because he doesn't want more!

Slower than Gilbert Brown

The following article is an excerpt from my book, Filled Up, Poured Out: How God's Spirit Can Revive Your Passion and Purpose: A few years ago our family visited the Green Bay Packer training camp, to watch our gridiron heroes, and collect a few autographs.  Right across the street from the practice field, the team had set up a special tourist attraction called The Packer Experience. For a not-so-nominal fee, fans were invited to become imaginary Packers.  After some arm twisting, I relented, and took the gang in to join the team!  We tried on shoulder pads, wore authentic jerseys, tossed a game-used football, had our knees taped, and received black smudges under our eyes.  The Packer Experience included a 40 yard dash, where sprinting fans were clocked and compared with Packer players. “Dad!  Let’s see you do it!” my son, Ryan urged. “Nah,” I replied, “I don’t want to show anybody up.” “Oh, c’mon Dad!  Be a good sport,” chimed the rest of the children, “You can do it!” So, I did. …

Thirteen Thoughts on Pastoral Prayers

If you are given the task to lead the congregation in prayer on Sunday morning, I encourage you to consider the following:

1) You are the representative of the people -- bringing their prayers and the concerns of their hearts before the Father. It is not just your own personal prayer -- so instead if saying, "God, I love you so much" say, "God, we are here to tell you how much we love you."

2) Be sure you don't pray the same phrases every time. Change it up. If you don't prepare and think about the prayer, you will automatically resort to old familiar cliches -- which wear out quickly in public usage.

3) Say "thank you" to God early in the prayer. "O Lord, we thank you today for providing strength, peace, and contentment for each moment. . ."

4) Don't preach at the congregation through the prayer. Don't yell. God is not hard of hearing. 

5) If you use an ancient or other written prayer -- let it stand alone. Don't add to it. If it…

The Mood of the Leader

"Smile and the world smiles with you."

Recently, I read some interesting facts indicating that the old adage is really true! Researcher and Psychologist, Daniel Goleman, along with his associates, did a study on the "bottom line performance" of companies. They discovered that the thing which influences a company's bottom line performance more than anything else is the mood of the leader.

Hmmmm -- now, that's interesting. If you are a leader, and everything is a big mess -- the first thing to start fixing is your own attitude! This applies in business, school, sports teams, church, and home. If you don't like what's going on around you, it's time to change what's going on within you!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine", Proverbs 17:22. Or, as Madeleine L' Engle said, A good laugh heals a lot of hurts."

We cannot afford to allow little nit-picky annoyances to rob us of joyful health. We were created for joy. We were made to laug…

Door Bell Praying

"Much of our praying is like the little boy who rings the doorbell, but runs away before the door is opened."
 -- Leonard Ravenhill,Why Revival Tarries (quoted in Herald of His Coming, Sept. 2012.)

"They're Looking for Me!"

A boss needed to talk with one of his employees because he had discovered an urgent problem in one of the company’s main computers. He dialed the employee’s phone number and a a child answered by whispering: “Hello?”
Irritated that he had to talk with a child, the boss asked, “Is your father at home?” 
“May I talk with him?” 
The boss asked, “Is your mother at home?” 
“May I talk with her?” 
Irritation rising, the boss said, “Is there anyone there besides you?”
“Yes,” the child whispered, “A policeman.”
Wondering what in the world was going on, the boss asked, “May I speak with the policeman?”
“No, he’s busy.” 
“Doing what?” 
“Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the fireman.”
Now concern crowded into the man’s thoughts, alongside the irritation, coupled with what he thought sounded like the noise of a helicopter. “What is that noise?”

Investing in Your Pastor


John Wesley's Advice for Political Elections


Ask God for Something Fresh

"It's to be remembered that all revivals in the history of the Christian Church that have shook towns, cities, and countries, all began with people saying, 'We can't take what is anymore. We've got to ask God for something fresh!'"
- Pastor Jim Cymbala, Brooklyn Tabernacle, Brooklyn, NY

Good Boy Righteousness

If my righteousness is merely about striving to be a "good boy" or "good girl" then I'm at the same righteousness level as my dog.

Not Down But Up

Are you going through life looking down, just looking at dirt as you shuffle around? Are you "down" on other people, and "down" on yourself? Do you only see the "down" side of the situation? Are you "down" on new ideas?

If so, do you realize you are bringing everybody else down right along with you?

Maybe it's time for a face lift! (or better yet, a faith lift!) It's time to stop looking down and start looking up! You will see a blue sky with limitless opportunities, when you look up!

You will believe the best of others, possess a high degree of confidence, and make the most of each day, when you look up!

You will focus on what's right rather than what's wrong, when you look up! Look down and you will see the hardened ground. Look up and you will see the smile of God. What a difference looking up makes in our faith and perspective! Our attitude towards life largely determines what we can accomplish.

If you frown, look down and say &qu…

Most Read Books

by Jared. Learn about infographics software.


I thought this cartoon was especially funny in light of our "Do You Want to Get Well?" sermon series.

In the Spin Zone

In light of last night's Vice-Presidential Debate, I thought this post by my friend, Eric Hambrock, was fitting:

Spin is the ability to take facts and twist them or “spin” them to make them seem to be in your favor. Now, you may say to yourself, “Self…isn’t that called lying?” The modern answer is “no”! You see it’s not lying because the truth didn’t change. We all know you can’t change the truth. We just change the presentation of the facts so it appears in our favor.

Read the rest of his insightful post here.

Frankly, I'm weary of the entire process.  My in-box is flooded each day with political propaganda sent to me by well-meaning parishioners.  I'm not quite sure what they expect me to do with their "alarming facts", but I refuse to be a pawn for either political party.  The Gospel should inform our politics, not the other way around.

We're not going to distribute political spin, cleverly disguised as "Informed Voter Guides, nor will we permit any…

The Advantages of Taking a Nap

This interesting post at Lifehacker gives me a fresh appreciation for those who snooze during the Sunday morning sermon:  The Science of the Perfect Nap.

"Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest."  -- Matthew 11:28

Wesleyan Life Fall 2012

Autumn Splendor at the Wilson's

"The trees clapped their hands this week, till their hands fell off." -- Ryan Wilson

4 Kinds of Small Groups that Expand Ministry

Here's great post from Rick Warren regarding four kinds of small groups that expand the ministry of a local church:
1) Membership  (introductory group -- i.e. recovery and support groups)
2) Maturity  (discipleship -- what we normally consider small groups)
3) Ministry  (ministry teams in the church -- i.e.  ushers, music teams, youth workers)
4) Mission  (teams organized for the purpose of community transformation and global impact.)

It's Not Worth the Knot

Whatever you're stewing over isn't worth the stomach knot.

It's not worth the knot!

I've found, from personal experience, that worrying doesn't help matters one bit. It just makes the burden heavier.

We all know we shouldn't worry -- but circumstances beyond our control set us off. Anxiety is toxic waste oozing through our mind and body.

It's contagious too. You can get a whole room full of people to start fretting with just a few negative fearful words.

The crazy thing is -- most of the stuff we worry about never happens. And that's a fact.

The other day, I came across my worry file. Several years ago, as I was trying to quit the worry habit, I would write my worries down and place them in my file.

Now -- over a decade later, I've unearthed my pile of worries. Guess what. Of the dozen or so worries I had placed in the file, NOT ONE OF THEM happened!! I had spent restless nights, and hours of inner churning for nothing!!

One wise guy figured it out: "D…

Mega-Watt Church

We'll probably never be a megachurch.  Our small northwoods village doesn't lend itself to a congregation like that.  However it's a perfect place for community impact -- a great place to build a "mega-watt" church.

The Grace Bubble That Saved A Survivor

Rick Warren's recently featured an excerpt from my book, Filled Up, Poured Out: How God's Spirit Can Revive Your Passion and Purpose.  It's the story of my friend Timber Tina:  The Grace Bubble That Saved a Survivor.