Bullying: We Can’t Look the Other Way

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I was in the 8th grade and I had been chosen to be the escort for our homecoming queen candidate, Connie.  She was pretty and I was excited to be getting to do this.  It was pretty cool to be chosen by my class to be in the court.  The week of homecoming, I was in the boys bathroom at school, when Darryl and two of his buddies came in and surrounded me, backing me up against the wall.  It turns out that Darryl was Connie’s boyfriend and he didn’t like it that I was the one escorting her in the homecoming court.  He wanted to know if I had any intentions toward her and to make it clear who’s girlfriend she was.  A wadded-up shirt collar, a fist held against my face and a profanity-laced warning were all it amounted to, but I was a bit nervous that it wasn’t going to stop at that.  I didn’t back down or run away, and I think he saw that, and maybe the bully was a little intimidated to take it any further…who knows, maybe I’m just flattering myself.  At any rate, I was a victim of bullying.

Why do I bring this issue up?  It just seems that it’s been brought to my attention too much recently to ignore it.  Let me share.

Continue Reading…

Time Management and Relationships

Time management is always a challenge for me.  I have to be very intentional about it in order to be effective in my work and personal life.  The fact is, if you don’t budget your time with your own expectations, there will always be others who will place their expectations on you.  Your spouse, your parents, your employer, your friends…all of these people have certain expectations about what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your time.  Some of these expectations are legitimate and some are not.

I read a post by Michael Hyatt that speaks to the issue of workload management and it is worth the read.  You can find it here.  He shares some very helpful insights into managing workload in this post.  He highlights the Franklin-Covey method of prioritizing tasks which I think if very helpful.  He says that we can categorize our tasks by the following tags in order to determine the order in which to “attack” them…if we do so at all.  Here is the tagging system: Continue Reading…

Overcoming Adversity: No Excuses

Sometimes life seems like an insurmountable wall

I’ve said many times, “Anything worthwhile in life is worth working hard to achieve.”  Honestly, in many ways it’s easy for me to say that, I’ve had a lot of support and encouragement along the way.  Of course, I’ve had some definitely struggles and hurdles to get over, but there are many who have dealt with much more than me.  My adversity in life pales in comparison to so many.  However, the truth remains for all of us…no matter our circumstances…we can make choices to survive and to thrive.  Any “raw deal” we’ve gotten in life…or even brought on ourselves…can make us bitter or make us better.  It is, to a very large degree, up to us. Continue Reading…

A Lesson in Relationship From a Tortoise

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

In light of these words of wisdom from Solomon, consider this little video illustration.  Who can you upright on your journey today?


Jessica Joy Rees: Making an Impact With Your Life

An inspiring young lady in her brief opportunity to impact the world.

I became acquainted with Jessie Rees a few months ago through a tweet from a Twitter follower.  The tweet directed me to her Facebook page and her story.  I quickly realized this was no ordinary young lady.  At the age of 11, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in March of 2011.  Through her ordeal of treatment and being in and out of the hospital, she became aware of the many children who are dealing with cancer and decided she needed to do something to touch their lives.  The result was the Joy Jars and the NEGU Foundation.  “NEGU” stands for “Never Ever Give Up.”  That was Jessie’s motto…she was a strong and determined child with a faith in God and a desire to give hope and joy to others in her same situation.  She organized the Joy Jars projects which is to fill plastic jars with items of fun and hope to share with children in cancer hospitals around the country.  These were designed to let the children know they aren’t alone and that there are those praying for them.

Jessie succumbed to the cancer on January 5 of this year (2012) and is now no longer suffering.  However, she was a strong young lady who’s life continues to impact others as her parents, and others involved in the NEGU Foundation carry her dream on to make a difference in the world.

Continue Reading…

Taking Shots: A Boost to My Day!

I was hanging out at Starbucks this morning, reading and studying, when Dustin, the barista, said, “Hey Randy, we’re about to take some shots…wanta join us?”  Well, I’m always up for anything that involves coffee, so I say, “sure!”

We all gathered around the coffee bar and he handed out the espresso shots.  We toasted the day and “threw back” the hot espresso shots.  I immediately felt the rush of the caffeine.  But…the best thing about it was being included!  Yeah…I was invited to join in with the group and share a common experience.  That was the biggest rush. Continue Reading…

Action Journal: Technology Collides With Old School Pen and Paper

Will pencil and paper ever become extinct?

I’ve been a journaler for most of my adult life.  I have several journals on my shelf full of my thoughts, notes and prayers from my quiet time with God and my own introspection.  A few years ago, as I was fully transitioning to a digital approach to life and work, I began to do all my journaling on my laptop.  As I incorporated my smart phone with my laptop, I found myself completely digitally connected and equipped in order to have no need for paper and pencil.  I had arrived at the point that I could manage all of my planning, appointments, to do lists, and projects with the applications on my computer and smart phone.  It was great…or I thought.

Well…it is great!  I’m glad to be able to use my Mac and my iPhone (I haven’t yet made the commitment to iPad) to stay on top of things and manage my life and ministry.  It is streamlined (and I have to admit, I’m not the most tech advanced guy in the office).  I’ve learned to save time and energy and that makes me more efficient.  All good, right?  Yes and no. Continue Reading…

Worshiping a God Much Too Small

Do you need to take God out of a box in your life?

The tendency for human beings is to make God as small as possible.  Satan even appealed to this desire as he tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Notice his words, “’You won’t die!’ the serpent replied to the woman.  ‘God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.’  The woman was convinced…”  In our effort to become god ourselves, we attempt to make Him small…like us.

As followers of Christ, we may be prone to make God too small as well.  The detriment of such a view of God is several-fold:

  1. It robs Him of His deity in our minds (not in reality, but in our minds).
  2. It makes too much of ourselves so that we become self-centered and self-important.
  3. It causes us to lack trust in God to do and be who He really is to us.
  4. It hampers and lessens our worship of Him…and our resulting growth in Him as our God and Redeemer.

I love how Francis Chan, in his book, Crazy Love, helps us to put God into perspective and directs his readers to watch a brief video that illustrates his point.  Check out the video below. Continue Reading…

Returning is Not Just for the Prodigal

The road home is a learning experience

I love the story of the Prodigal Son in the gospel.  It is a beautiful picture of the love and grace of our Heavenly Father.  Although I’ve never left the pursuit of the Kingdom since coming to faith in Christ, I have had periods in which I was distant from the Father and when convicted by the hounding pursuit of His loving grace, came back to Him in confession and repentance to restore my close and intimate relationship.  That is a sweet experience to have.

However, the journey of returning is not just for the prodigal… Continue Reading…

Racism is Wrong! (Guest Post by Kevin Riggs)

A few years ago I lost a close friend due to cancer. His name was Rev. Denny Denson (pictured). Denny grew up on the south side of Chicago and at one time was involved with the Black Panthers. By his own admission he was the toughest of the tough, the baddest of the bad. Growing up, Denny didn’t like white people.

As an adult, Denny became a Christian, answered the call into ministry, and became a pastor in my hometown. Through a series of events God worked on his heart, he repented of his racism and spent the last years of his life working for racial reconciliation, pouring his heart into younger pastors like myself. Denny was my mentor, my spiritual father, my hero. But Denny was a minority. He wasn’t part of the dominant group. He could only push the issue of race so far.

Racism will never be completely defeated in our country – and in our churches – until guys like me, part of the dominant group (WASP: White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant) decide enough is enough and stand up at every opportunity and say, “Racism is wrong!” instead of saying, “We need to just get over it and let it go.” Our country is a little over 200 years old. We are still young, and in spite of all the blessings God has given us, our country is steeped in racism based on our immoral treatment of Native-Americans and African-Americans. The Civil War was less than 200 years ago; we are still violating treatises we made with Native-Americans; and there still remains institutionalized racism in our churches. Continue Reading…

Page 4 of 37« First...«23456»102030...Last »