Category: Past Writings

Leadership Lessons…

As I get close to ramping up the first phase of the largest project I’ve ever been responsible for, I’ve learned a really good leadership principle.

Trust 60% of the decisions your employees make and you’ll only get 60% of their skills and experience.

There is a reason you have searched high and low, interviewed multiple candidates and eventually selected the team around you. As a manager you’re tasked with leading the team, but compromise in times of disagreement and use the collective talents of those around you.

Your projects, goals and work environment will showcase 100% of your team and you’ll be 40% more successful than if you tried to do everything by yourself.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Leading the Charge…

Back in June, God had instilled in me a list. This list was in regards to a large project I would be undertaking this year for FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). It will be the largest and most significant project I’ve ever been entrusted with, which makes this list pretty valuable.

Thanks to Sarah H. for reminding me to post it.

“Remember and refer to these things…

  • You will need God everyday if you are to succeed
  • Don’t ever doubt the power of prayer
  • Keep the end in mind, you will get there
  • People will doubt you and your project
  • Be financially responsible
  • Be detail specific
  • Thank God daily
  • Seek input throughout the project from staff, students and parents
  • Guard against a critical spirit, find joy everyday, you are in the middle of Godly, heavenly, Kingdom work!”

Because We’re Not Good Enough…

Throughout the week, I get Google Alerts sent to my work email. Everyday, Google scours the internet and looks for any piece of content with the words “Fellowship of Christian Athletes”. Then, they send me an email with links to all the content.

This week I got a link to a blog. It was a bitter blog. A sophomore in college denouncing her faith and sharing the long, broken journey of hypocritical Christians that have jaded her perception on God and His son, Jesus Christ.

The only mention of FCA in her blog was to tell that at one time she had attended FCA at her high school. She reflected on that brief time and said it had done little to change her beliefs. It did however confirm her take on stereotypes.

I closed this blog only to come back to it later this week. It caused me to look at my own faith and all that I have, all that FCA has been given. Yesterday, we found out that FCA has grown tremendously this year, over 18% staff growth. Our field staff is better funded then any time in our 52+ year history. We’re beginning ground-breaking projects in September that were a result of $10 million given by generous donors.

I’m doing what I love to do on a daily basis and getting paid for it. I have a great house, a beautiful Godly wife, money in the bank, food in the fridge and the ability to physically get out of bed each morning.

The overwhelming phrase that came to me this morning, as I read His Word was “because we’re not good enough.” I nor the entire staff at FCA is talented enough to explain the growth and success of our ministry. It baffles the mind. Through market woes, through Katrina, through struggling foreign affairs, we continue to prosper. Sure, I work with and know some of the most Godly, talented, passionate men and women. But alone, we couldn’t do it. God is at work, alongside us, to bring about His plan.

This morning…”Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Cor. 15:58

Amen.

LowerMyBills.com Be Gone!

If you do much surfing on the internet, you’ll find a variety of annoying ads. Over the years I’ve been able to selectively ignore much of the banner ads that litter cyberspace. Recently, Flash ads have become a bit more difficult to ignore.

And of all these Flash-based ads, there is but one company that takes the cake for the most odd, annoying, poorly designed, cause you to lose your lunch advertisements. Meet “lowermybills.com”

I have included a screen shot as it might be familiar to you.


Everything from dancing on the roof, to weird monsters eating houses, to an unsuspecting woman dancing in her room, these ads are horrendous.

After doing some research I have successfully prevented these ads from showing themselves on my computer. Special credit to Rogers Cadenhead’s Workbench website for these instructions

If you’re on a PC and you want to rid yourself of these ads and any other ads, check out the steps below…

  1. First you have to find out where the ads are hosted. This is usually easy, but can be difficult. View the source code and look for anything serving up ads.
    MSNBC.com uses a server called Ads1.msn.com and for their static ads, speed.pointroll.com.
  2. Next, navigate to a file called “hosts” in C:WindowsSystem32DriversEtc

  3. Open the file called “hosts” using Notepad

  4. Add the lines, using MSNBC.com as an example, to the file

    127.0.0.1 speed.pointroll.com
    127.0.0.1 Ads1.msn.com

  5. Select “File>Save”

Your computer will not display content coming from these two servers.
You can do this for a variety of “Ad servers” that provide much of the ads on webpages you view.

I realize this is a pretty “technical” blog post but there are some times when you simply can’t take it anymore. Lowermybills.com no more…

Standing At The Gate…

If marriage is a heavily fortified city then I haven’t been diligently standing at the gate. Occasionally my sword and shield hang at my side. Some days I look peer through the gate unaware of the weaknesses that permeate through my city walls.

And enemies are plenty. Forces outside the city that desperately desire to get in. To disrupt the even flow of city operations, to offset the balance and spin city life in directions never intended, to overtake the city and pulverize it to the ground.

I have begun to shore up my walls. To replace the weak points with fresh brick and mortar. I have begun to stand guard from the watch tower instead of the ground to better see what lies ahead. The gate is locked and fortified. My helmet, my breastplate, my belt, my shield, my sword…ready and waiting.

What’s beyond my walls is too valuable. My city too precious. I stand watch at the gate and wait.

“Though an a army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident…For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”
Psalm 27:3,5

The Hy-Vee Deli Counter

Late last year our friends Billy and Melissa dropped off Christmas gifts for Ashley and I. Billy had designed a t-shirt and gave me the shirt as a Christmas gift.

I have included the photo of this shirt because it’s vital to the rest of the story.

As you can see, the t-shirt design is a bit of a satire on patriotism. “American Cheese Because I’m a Patriot.” I’ve enjoyed the t-shirt but have never felt like the timing was right to wear it. I had to wait to unveil this creative gift.

So for whatever reason, call it the warm spring breeze, a renewed zest for life, or the planets coming into alignment, but today was the day I decided to wear the shirt. And it turns out it couldn’t have been any better of a day.

Tonight Ashley and I headed to Hy-Vee to pick up some groceries for the week. We had to get some lunch meat so we stopped by the deli counter. Behind the counter was a late 20’s, early 30’s, balding man. He was thin, wore thin circular, black rimmed glasses and was all business. He had a very, very dry but friendly personality.

So after ordering some meats I asked for a stack of Pepper-jack cheese. He weighed it, put it in a bag, placed the sales sticker on it and sealed it up.

He then asks me, with no emotion, no smile, no hint of sarcasm, all business …

“Do you need any American cheese?”

Now keep in mind I have totally forgotten I’m wearing my American cheese t-shirt. So I reply,

“We have some at home I think, thanks though…”

And he immediately fires back, again with no emotion,

Hmmm…traitor.”

It took me a second and then Ashley and I laughed around Hy-Vee for the rest of the evening. To the unnamed Hy-Vee employee behind the deli counter, that my friend was brilliant. Excellent planning, excellent delivery. And to Billy, thank you again for the t-shirt. They may take away our freedoms but they can never take our cheese.

Lost In A Sea of Church

As some of you may or may not know our nephew was involved in a serious accident over a month ago and as a result, we’ve been out of state, visiting him and his family almost every weekend for the last three. The other weekends we’ve been visiting my family or trying to “get-a-way” with a weekend trip of our own.

All that being said, we haven’t been to our home church for five weeks in a row. Now our church has this weekly attendance card we fill out just to let them know we attended. And every week we give to the church financially in the form of a check.

But for the last five weeks we have not filled out the card and we haven’t given financially. Do you think anyone noticed?

Don’t get me wrong. I love our church and have no doubts it is where we should be. And to their credit, a counselor from the church did call during the first or second week to see how things were going.

My only question is if they setup the “attendance” card to track attendance and tell the congregation “if we don’t see you in three weeks, we’ll give you a call” and yet no one ever calls, is the system broke? Has our church become so large we are just another number?

I write this not as a complaint or a sob-story, but more as a starting point for some dialog on church size, the word “community” and the personal fellowship of today’s Christian church.

Comments/dialog welcome…

The Viagra Corvette

While driving down I-70 in Kansas City over the weekend, we heard this thunderous roar around Ashley’s 1997 Honda Civic.

As we looked to our left, a new, maroon Corvette flew by us.

What was on the license plate? VIAGRA

I guess if you buy a car to make up for your inadequacies, yet you’re not ashamed to tell everyone about it, why not put it on your license plate too!

Fearology

Fear·ol·o·gy [fear·ol·o·gee]
(noun)

  1. the science dealing with the atmosphere and its phenomena, including weather and climate to induce state-wide panic, surges at grocery stores and gas stations, and ridiculously slow driving.
  2. the dissemination of fear associated with the atmospheric conditions and weather of an area.

[origin: Katie HornerKCTV5]

related forms: Fear·ol·o·gist

If you have noticed that winter weather socking the Midwest, the local weather forecasters have been in high gear delivering up-to-the-minute weather reports, school/business closings and road conditions.

If you live in the Kansas City area then you have the privilege to tune into CBS affiliate KCTV 5. Chief meteorologist Fearologist Katie Horner has had a history of outlandish panic-filled broadcasts amidst severe weather.

Don’t believe me? It’s a fact, even written on the KCTV5 website,

“(Katie) persevered through a relentless, live 15-hour severe weather broadcast in March 2006, reporting on at least 12 tornadoes that hit within KCTV5’s coverage area.”

Fifteen hours? I’m all for public safety and awareness, but going live for fifteen hours straight?

From the onset she looks frazzled, rushed in front of a large screen of super-pinpoint-extreme-megawattDoppler radar with a rainbow of marshmellowy colors. She’s spewing warnings at counties throughout the metro area. Timers in the upper corner let you know how long you have to live before the severe weather hits your home and if you didn’t get a chance to hear all the warnings, relax. Katie will repeat the same thing at least five times during her “late-breaking” weather broadcast.


See, I think Katie Horner is probably a great person. And she isn’t the only fearologist on TV. But she is by far the leader and it’s the unnecessary dramatics and over-the-top reporting that cause way to much panic and fear and as a result, make the average viewer loss all rational thought.

Following Katie’s snow report, people flood grocery stores to stock up on food in case they get “snowed in”. Unless you live in the middle of a Kansas pasture and the National Guard has to drop bails of hay I think you’ll be okay. Vehicles line gas station pumps so that if they do get snowed in, their cars can sit in snow drifts with a full tank. And lets not forget the over-cautious drivers that make turns at 5 mph in large 4×4 SUV’s when a even a dusting of snow is on the roads. You’re killing the environment with your overpriced, gas-guzzling vehicle. At least drive it like it was intended to…remember the glossy magazine ad, up the mountain side, over small villages, women children. I digress…

Never in my lifetime did I think I would say cite the KC FOX affiliate as doing something positive. But they’re running a promo for their weather team and at the end of it, one of the meteorologists says “Severe weather can be dramatic enough, your weather team shouldn’t be.”

And that is my point. Katie and the rest of the fearologists out there need to get back to the roots of meteorology…the simple regurgitation of the National Weather Service’s forecast, some cool weather clipart, a few colorful maps and a couple canned video animations.

In the end, their forecasts don’t even have to be right. They’ll still be up there, night after night telling us when we need to grab our poncho, boots, visor, goggles, gloves, hat, sunblock, water bottle, generator, fan and get to the basement.

Turn to Me

Several months ago I was able to interview best-selling author John Eldredge, in addition to author/pastor Kenny Luck and National Center for Fathers President Carey Casey. This was all in preperation for a story I was guest-writing for Sharing the Victory magazine, FCA’s Sports & Faith mag published nine times a year.

Feel free to read the story. Comments encouraged.