How’s Your Relationship?

Another Valentine's Day has come and gone. Gifts were given. Some carefully planned and thoughtful, others, not so much. The flowers are in their vases, the chocolate has been enjoyed, the calendar has a new date. But the most important question still remains. How is your relationship?

Three things love is not!

I Corinthians 13:5 shows three patterns that are the enemy of truly loving your children. These patterns will bring anger, frustration and brokenness. They are also connected; one leads to the other. Let's look at each one: Love is not self-seeking It is foolish to assume that what pleases you and what pleases God are one and the same. For example, do you want a house that is quiet and orderly? Why? Because that is pleasant to you? Or do you want a house full of energy and exuberance? Agai

Who is in Control, your Teenager or God?

What causes stress with your teenager? The easy answer is that if your teenager was more respectful, if he would just do half of the things you asked , if she would actually listen, if you mattered half as much as the phone, things would not be so stressful. Of course there are some things that you need to work on, but the bottom line is your teenager specializes in making life difficult. The problem here is the assumption that the teenager is in control. Everything is dependent upon the teen

7 Simple Ideas to Strengthen Your Marriage

I've shared recently about ways we injure our spouse without even knowing it. You can read the husband's post HERE and the wife's post HERE. A common request after those posts was I should share ways to strengthen the marriage. I should note I'm hesitant to offer what appears to be therapy by list, because a good marriage is far more than a formula. Actually, all of life is, including leadership. Any area of our life where people are involved - which is pretty much all our life - can never be

Advent and the Nearness of God

What is your good? How would you define it? Is it the early morning cup of coffee? Is your good watching your team grab the unexpected victory? Perhaps your good is that secluded walk along a forest trail. Or it may be any number of special treasures that only you know. Then there is the special good of the Advent. Advent redefines what good is and makes one good tower above all of the longings and aspirations that our heart can capture. The Psalmist gives a first window into what is th

Stop Being Okay With Crappy Relationships

Dear sweet, precious, amazing person reading this article,Hi, there. I don’t know you, but I’m glad you’re here. Even though we’re connecting through a screen instead of sitting face to face sipping on a latte, I’m thankful for the opportunity to connect with you through this article today. Because it means···

Mabel Dodge Luhan: A Visionary whose Vision was out of Focus

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS - November 22, 2016) -- The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History's newest exhibit -- Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns And The West -- recently opened to wonderful reviews. And I'd agree with most of them: the art is stunning, the scope of Luhan's life is impressive; a veritable who's who of artistic and cultural influencers paid Luhan a visit at her home in Taos, New Mexico, with many represented in this fine exhibition [1].

2 Things All Good Leaders Do For Their Team

There are two things all good leaders do for their team. These are vital if you want to lead a healthy team. First. They help their team say yes. Good leaders give their team the freedom to dream. They empower the team to take their ministry in new directions. They make sure they aren't so distracted with mindless and burdensome tasks they can't pursue the things which spark their interest. Good leaders help their team move swiftly when change is needed. They encourage the team to be pr

Say Goodbye To Your Ex

Q: Is it okay to stay friends with an ex? A: We’ve all seen it happen. Maybe we’ve even been …

7 Ways to Attract First Chair Leaders to a Second Chair Position

I always advise young leaders, if they can, to sit under a seasoned leader for a while, learning all they can, before they venture out on their own. I realize that's not always the advice a young, ready-to-go leader type wants to hear - and I get it, since I was one of those younger leaders. And, we learn mostly by failure, so there is something to be said for jumping out on your own, getting both feet wet (to use another cliche metaphor), and starting something new.

8 Common Emotions of Change – and How to Deal with Them

I speak frequently to pastors and ministry leaders - and some business groups - about leading healthy change. Every time I mention one thing any leader attempting change needs to understand - the emotions of change. You cannot lead successfully if you do not understand every change has an emotion. Plus, if you don't emphathise with those emotions - and, I'm not trying to sound dramatic here - you are either being cruel or ignorant as a leader.

10 Suggestions for Bi-Vocational Pastors

I spent my first few years of ministry as a bi-vocational pastor. For those who may not know the term, I sought other work to supplement my income I received as a pastor. I still have a heart for those who hold down two jobs - sometimes both of them approaching full-time. Additionally, I think more pastors are going to have to consider bi-vocational ministry in the years ahead as economies change and the level of committed givers in the local church. (A great book on this change - and change

Rules: The Good and the Bad

Rules make life work. They tell us: how fast to drive, what time to put your children to bed, how many calories to eat, how much to pay in taxes, what is acceptable behavior at school,

Remember Where You Came From

There was a saying when I was growing up an older generation used often - I don't hear it as much anymore. "Don't forget where you came from. "And, if you were one of my relatives - talking to me - you might have said it with emphasis.

Is Your Door Open or Closed? (Writer's Opinion)

GROVE, OK (ANS - October 2, 2016) "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me" - Revelation 3:20 (ESV). While the final book of the Bible can be challenging to read and study, for those who place their hope in Jesus, it's an affirmation of an eternal future. For me, one verse in Revelation paints a vivid picture of Jesus' invitation for each of us. When I first read Revelation 3:20, I could pict

Words that Bring Life

The wise man (including the wise child) is motivated by the fear of God and the pursuit of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 3:11-18). This is an important lesson for children to grasp. For example, a little boy who craves praise may well grow into a husband who will be angry and disappointed when he is not constantly praised. He can easily be prone to self-pity. This can lead to a man who will be withdrawn, sullen, or even abusive. Similarly, a young woman who lives for the praise of others, becomes a

Asking too much from your Children

Living for your children will ruin your life and theirs. If your hopes and dreams are bound to your children, you will be disappointed, perhaps even bitter. If you expect your children to provide the comfort and support that can only come from God you will be deeply hurt. You will set yourself up to be disappointed and crushed when your family fails you. No spouse, no child can provide comfort that can only be found in God. God will have no other gods before him. Your first loyalty must be to Go

Communication Guidelines

Communication is part of everyday life. Perhaps nothing else brings such a combination of joy and frustration than the way we communicate with each other. Here are some biblical guidelines to make your commutation more productive and effective.

Freedom Passes – The New Math of Leadership

When I was in school I had a love-hate relationship with math. I loved doing math - working to find an answer to a problem. In fact, I was pretty good at it. I even served on the math team for a while.