Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 "Mind Dump" and 2011 "Ramp Up"

Today is the last day of being 38 years old and I really don’t know what to think about it. There is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I know I’m getting close to 40 and I don’t know why I dread it so much. In my mind it is "middle-aged" and I also consider myself younger. After my yearly physical on Monday and my birthday tomorrow, it reminds me I’m getting older. I’m very much retrospective this week. This year did not start that great for me with my sister-n-law being diagnosed with cancer, having horrible back pain and eventually surgery and a family friend's father slowly passing away. But the year had a great turn-around and finished on a positive note. My wife and I bought a house that we love in a neighbor we love. My wife’s sister got married to an awesome guy, my sister-n-law is in remission, Rocky River Church (where I serve on staff) started building their first-ever building and there are some very positive changes taking place. I really love my life and what I do.

I have one more year left in my 30’s, but my 30’s have been great to me. I got married to my awesome bride, we bought 2 houses and my son was born 3 ½ years ago. I’ve changed careers 3 times: left the ministry to work for Kinko’s, Staples and OfficeMax; left that career to work in real estate; left real estate to do what I was called to do and started out doing ministry, working with people - not paper or property.

Over the last month I’ve been cleaning out and going through boxes that I have had for years. I am a borderline hoarder and don’t throw anything away, especially if it was a handwritten letter/card or had some meaning to me (just ask my wife). As I was cleaning things out I was reminded of some people who have spoken into my life over the years. Travis Baxter, whom I have known since the 7th grade and has been the best friend anyone could have asked for. He was very important for me becoming serious about my faith, my best man in my wedding and someone I talk to on a weekly basis. I love this guy and his family. Jay and Melanie Stewart, my pastors in the youth group and spoke so much into my life. We have not kept up much in the past couple of years but their impact in my life will never fade. Bruce Mulford- my great friend from college. I was his best man in his wedding. I miss Bruce because we have not talked in the past couple of years but he is the Godliest man and husband I know. I have always admired the love he has for God and for people. Jack and Sara Snavley- Sara is the closest thing I have to a sister, although I joke that she is old enough to be my mom. She was my right arm during the time I served in Ohio as a youth minister. She and Jack took me as one of their family when I didn't know anyone in Ohio. We speak several times a month and I visit her and Jack once a year. Although there are many people who have impacted my life, these people I remember the most. But none of these people have impacted my life as much as my wife has. I am so thankful I have Courtney to finish my life with.

Wow- I feel good now. I have dumped out the things I have been dwelling on for a while. Now I’m excited about ramping up for 2011. I am ready to finish my 30’s strong. Here are some things I want to accomplish/ ramp up/ goals for the last year of my 30’s and head into my 40’s with full steam. Here it is in list form:

1. Loose 40 pounds to be around my ideal weight. I want to fit into the skinning jeans all the hip, young people are wearing (not really, just kidding - really it's those acid washed jean I use to wear!)

2. I want to blog at least 52 times next year. That’s at least once a week but does not necessarily mean once a week, it may be twice a week.

3. I want to read one book a month. I already read a lot of blogs and magazines. I just want to increase my book reading.

4. I want to start my Master Degree in Leadership Management. This will depend on my financial situation.

5. I want to be in coaching a network for pastors who do what I do. This will depend on my financial situation.

Part of my reason for posting my goals is to make them real and accountable. I also added numbers to make them measurable.

I am going to make next year the best possible year I can make it. I hope you will do the same as well.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Words of Wisdom Through the Ages

I like blogging and recently I've not shared much from my personal life, but the things I do blog about are some of the things I read and chew on for a few days. I like sharing these thoughts through my blog because it allows me to share with others. Sometimes, I like sharing things that make me laugh. Below are some comments that make me think and laugh - my favorite stuff to read. These are comments from people in different stages of life.

Words of Wisdom Through the Ages:

I’ve learned that I like my teacher because she cries when we sing “Silent Night.” (Age 6)

I’ve learned that you can hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. (Age 7)

I’ve learned that if you want to cheer yourself up, you should try cheering someone else up. (Age 14)

I’ve learned that silent company is often more healing than words of advice. (Age 24)

I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it. (Age 39)

I’ve learned that the greater a person’s sense of guilt, the greater his need to cast blame on others. (Age 46)

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights. (Age 52)

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you will miss them terribly after they die. (Age 53)

I’ve learned that if you want to do something positive for your children, try to improve your marriage. (Age 61)

I’ve learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you. But if you focus on your family, the needs of others, your work, meeting new people, and doing the very best you can, happiness will find you. (Age 65)

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with kindness, I usually make the right decision. (Age 66)

I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer. (Age 72)

I’ve learned that whenever I have pains, that I don’t have to be one. (Age 82)

I’ve learned that everyday you should reach out and touch someone. People love human touch - holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. (Age 85)

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. (Age 92)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

God is listening

When a man or woman of God fails, nothing of God fails. When a man or woman of God changes, nothing of God changes. When someone dies, nothing of God dies. When our lives are altered by the unexpected, nothing of God is altered or unexpected.

In the book of Isaiah (in the Old Testament of the Bible) chapter 65 verse 24, it states: “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear.” Before you even utter a word, God promises, “I’m involved in answering. In fact while you’re speaking, I’m involved in bringing to pass the very thing I have planned from the get go (My paraphrase).”

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Before God ever flung the stars into place, God had today in mind. He had this very week in mind. In fact, He had you in mind. And He knew excatly what He was going to do. God is never at a loss to know what He’s going to do in our situations. He knows perfectly well what is best for us. Our problems is, we don’t know. And we say to Him, “Lord, if you tell just tell me, then I’ll be in great shape. Just reveal it to me. Explain Your plan to me, and I’ll count. Just reveal it to me. Explain Your plan to me, and I’ll count on You.” But that’s not faith. Faith is counting on Him when we do not know what tomorrow holds.

Charles R. Swindoll from the book: "David, A man of Passion and Destiny"

Monday, November 8, 2010


Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become your actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch you’re your character; it becomes your destiny.

Frank Outlaw

Monday, November 1, 2010

How to Become a Lifelong Learner


Lifelong learning begins with a heart that desires changes, wisdom and application.


Learners ask good questions. They possess an insatiable curiosity- a longing to know, discover, and inquire.

3. join Others

Collaborative learning- in classes, small groups, with friends and colleagues- allows us to benefit from diverse perspectives and approaches.


Take time to examine and understand another point of view, even if it radically contradicts yours.


Include a diversity of books, authors, and topics.


Recording what we learn captures our growth in wisdom.


Try new approaches and ideas. Age does not affect your ability to learn.


Out depth of understanding is often directly related to our ability to apply what we’ve learned. Application takes knowledge from the head to the heart.

Bill Mowry form Discipleship Journal

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things you need to know about Failure

1. To fail is not the same as being a failure.

2. To fail is not the disgrace everyone thinks it is.

3. Failure is only a temporary setback.

4. Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without running the risk of failure.

5. Failure is a natural preparation for success.

6. Every failing brings with it the possibilities of something greater.

7. What you do with failures in your life is up to you.

8. Failings are opportunities to learn how to do things better the next time- to learn where the pitfalls are and how to avoid them.

Dale Calloway, Dean of School of Church Leadership at Asbury Theological Seminary

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Setting Godly Goals

1- Goals are a statement of faith.
Ask God what He wants you to do.
2- Goals provide direction.
Success is a step-by-step process of a worthy goal- Mary Kay Ashe.
3- Goals build anticipation and energy.
4- Goals should be out of reach, but not out of touch.
God is doing no more or no less than your faith in Him.
5- Set goals on what you want to become, not who you already are.
When you set goals, you are saying to God to do a work in me.
6- Leave room for God in your goals.
God blesses the flexible.
7- Set a time frame for achieving your goals.
Your goals are your dreams with a deadline- Mary Kay Ashe.
A goal without a plan is just a wish.
8- Believe you can achieve your goals with God’s help.
Nothing can stop a man with a right attitude and nothing can help a man with a
wrong attitude- Thomas Jefferson.
9- Share your goals with the right people.
You need other people to help you to achieve your goals.
10-Depend on God who can help you achieve your goals.

Jimmy Britt
Lead/Founding Pastor of Rocky River Church

Monday, October 18, 2010

Three Secrets to Success

I. Be wiling to learn new things.

II. Be able to assimilate new information.

III. Be able to get along with and work with other people.

Sally Ride


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Traits of Entrepreneurs

DRIVE: a high degree of motivation
COURAGE: tenacity and persistence
GOALS: a sense of direction
KNOWLEDGE: and a thirst for it
HONESTY: especially intellectual
OPTIMISM: positive attitude
JUDGMENT: Knowing the wise from the foolish
ENTHUSIASM: excitement about life
CHANCE TAKING: willingness to risk failure
DYNAMISM: energy
ENTERPRISE: willingness to tackle tough jobs
PERSUASION: ability to sell
PATIENT YET IMPATIENT: patient with others, yet impatient with the status quo
ADAPTABILITY: capable of change
PERFECTIONISM: desire to achieve excellence
HUMOR: ability to laugh at self and others
VERSATILITY: broad interests and skills
CURIOSITY: interested in people and things
SELF-IDENTITY: self-esteem and self-sufficiency
REALISM/IDEALISM: occupied by reality but guided by ideals
IMAGINATION: seeking new ideas, combination and relationships

By: Earl Nightingale

Monday, September 20, 2010


When upon life's billows You are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged Thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings Name them one by one,
And it will surprise you What the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings Name them one by one.
Count your blessings See what God hath done.
Count your blessings Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings See what God hath done.

Are you ever burdened With a load of care,
Does the cross seem heavy You are called to bear.
Count your many blessings Every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing As the days go by.

When you look at others With their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised You His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings Money cannot buy,
Your reward in heaven Nor your home on high.

So amid the conflict Whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged God is over all.
Count your many blessings Angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you To your journey's end.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Man in Mirror

The first person we must examine is ourselves.

The first person I must know is myself: self awareness.

The first person I must get alone with is myself: self-image

“I always say that the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. You’ve got to be your own best friend first. “ Phil McGraw

The first person to cause me problems is myself: self-honesty.

The first person I can change is myself: self-improving.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Leadership is Scarce

Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead. This scarcity makes leadership valuable. If everyone tries to lead all the time, not much happens. It’s discomfort that creates the leverage that makes leadership worthwhile.

In other words, if everyone could do it, they would, and it wouldn’t be worth much.

It’s uncomfortable to stand in front of strangers.
It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.
It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed.
Seth Godin; "Tribes, We Need You to Lead Us”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Creating a Team Environment

Environment means the right soil to grow in, the right air to breathe in and the right climate to live in.

Questions to consider in leading a team:

1. Do I understand what it takes to be a TEAM.

T- tolerance of each other weaknesses

E- encouragement towards each other’s successes

A- acknowledge that each of us has something to offer

M- mindfulness that we need each other.

2. Are my expectations Crystal Clear?

“Having an understanding so you don’t have a misunderstanding.” -Charles Blair

3. Does my team understand “Why What we do is so some important?”

4. Does my team define success with their customer?

How to define success with the customer is by asking the customer what success looks like.

5. Am I holding people accountable for performance?

6. Do I seek out barriers and remove them?

7. Do I give the freedom required to learn, grow, and deliver?

8. Do I foster a culture of inclusion and Hire people that are different then me?

9. Am I a consensus builder?

The leader’s challenge: “Teamwork is a constant balancing act between self interest and group interest.” – Susan Campbell

10. Have I created a caring environment among team members?

Setting the Leadership Standard- Dr. John C. Maxwell

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?

Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh? Can reeds flourish where there is no water? - Job 8:11

Environment is everything when it comes to making things grow. It doesn’t matter if it is tall corn stalks in the middle of Nebraska, or reeds in the middle of Egypt, or people in the midst of everyday life. Environment is what makes the conditions for growth possible.When growth is stunted or inhibited, or when a growing thing becomes sick, it is because something is askew in its surroundings, and those surroundings need to be changed in order for full health and development to be restored.

Much is written and taught in contemporary society about the need for balance in our lives. We know that when we are unbalanced, we are distorted and lack the right environment in which to thrive. And so, we try to create a more positive environment by changing our reactions, by reducing our stress, by taking time for ourselves, by exercising.

What about the environment that surrounds our soul? Is there any imbalance, disturbance, or distortion there? Is there ample time and space for the soul to grow, or is it cramped and scrunched between all the busy-ness of life? Is there enough silence so that it can be still and commune with its Creator? Is it choking on a diet of shame and guilt, or it is swimming freely in an ocean of unconditional love?

Think for a moment about your soul—can it grow where there is no marsh? Can it flourish where there is no water? - O God, give me the wisdom to see what needs to be changed in my life so that my soul is able to breathe.

This was a post I read this morning from Renee Miller over

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lies I struggle with

1. Sometimes I believe the lie that I can’t afford to take a break or rest.
2. Sometimes I believe the lie that I’ll spend quality time with my wife at the end of the day.
3. Sometimes I believe the lie that the more I do the more valuable I am.
4. Sometimes I believe the lie that the little problem I have isn’t jeopardizing my leadership.
5. Sometimes I believe the lie that I need to jump at every good opportunity.

These lies can really cloud my thinking on things and impair my judgment. It takes discipline in my thoughts to over come this kind of thinking. I can’t remember whom I first heard said this but it has stuck with me, “Discipline thought equals discipline action.”

The ways I try to stay discipline:
- Schedule my week in advance.
- Prioritize time with my wife on son.
- Surround myself with friends who will push back when needed.
- Stay disciplined about my faith, my exercise and personal time.
- Learn to say no.
- Decide in advance what I hope to accomplish.

I credit Tony Morgan’s book “Killing Cockroaches” pages 90-92 for the information

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Company You Keep

It is better to be alone then in wrong company.

Tell me who your best friends are I will tell you who you are.

If you run with the wolves you will learn how to howl.

If you associate with eagles you will learn how to soar.

A mirror reflects a mans face, but what he is really like is reflected in the friends he chooses.

Any time you tolerate mediocre in others it increases your mediocre.

As you grow you associates will change.

Some of your friend will not want you to grow on- they want you stay they way you are.

Friends who don’t help you climb will want you to crawl.

Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream.

Those who don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.

Never receive counsel from unproductive people.

Not everyone in your life has a right to speak into your life.

Don’t follow anyone who is not going anywhere.

Wise is the person who fortifies his life with right friendships.

Your best of days are surrounded by different people of your worst of days.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


To forgive… means willing to throw away our resentment at being wronged. This entails not just containing or restraining our resentment, but letting go of it entirely…

Forgiveness means more then just rolling over and playing dead. There are a few things forgiveness is not, and these may help balance the picture. Forgiveness does not mean pardon. Forgiveness is personal; it refers to the impact an offense has on you and your need to release the resentment you feel. Pardon is legal rather personal, concerned only with the legal status of the offense, not the relationship between the offender and the victim. And pardon, unlike forgiveness, means letting someone off the moral hook and releasing them from the punishment they deserve…

A second thing that forgiveness does not mean is excuse… C. S. Lewis wrote, “ there is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing. Forgiveness says: “Yes, you have done this thing, but I accept your apology. I will never hold it against you, and everything between us will be exactly as it was before.’ But excusing says: ‘ I see that you couldn’t help it, or didn’t mean it, you weren’t really to blame.’ If one was not really to blame, then there is nothing to forgive. In that sense, forgiveness and excusing are almost opposites.”

If this is true, we need not to be afraid that in practicing forgiveness we are somehow tolerating wrong or condoning evil. Forgiveness does not mean, “ceasing to blame,” but rather, “letting go of resentment.”

- Allen C. Guelzo

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Challenge of Change

1- Few people really it.
2- Most people don’t know how to do it correctly.
3- Some people know it is essential for growth.

“Reaching your destiny requires that you deal appropriately with many bewildering issues and uncomfortable circumstances.” Samuel R. Chand

Thursday, June 24, 2010


This is a thought that I have been thinking about for a while:

Leadership is not what you say but what you do!

Monday, June 14, 2010

People Statements for Leaders

People quit people, not companies.

Those who start the journey with you, seldom finish the journey with you.

When you get kicked in the rear, it means you’re out in front.

Few leaders are successful unless a lot of people want them to be.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Daily Communication Checklist

Did I:
-Use “soft” answers to de-escalate tension or anger?
-Use cutting words to tear someone down?
-Use encouraging words to build someone up?
-Say the right thing at the right time to help encourage or support someone?
-Listen and understand before I spoke or answered?
-Communicate wisdom and fairness?

Was I:
-Slow to speak or hasty to express my thoughts?
-Truthful and honest?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Solomon’s Keys to Communication

1. Speak in such a way that you make others want to listen.
“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.” Proverbs 15:2

2. Learn to become persuasive.

“The heart of the wise teaches his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” Proverbs 16:23

3. Listen before speaking.
“He that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame unto him.” Proverbs 18:13

4. Be slow to speak, and guard your words carefully.
“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 29:20

5. Stop while you’re ahead.
“When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

6. Tell the truth.
“He that hides hatred with lying lips, and he that utters a slander, is a fool.” Proverbs 10:18

Taken from John Maxwell, Maximum Impact monthly leadership training.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Power of Communication

The Power of Communication

1. Our communication can extinguish anger or escalate it.
2. Our communication can wound others or heal them.
3. Our communication can bring delight or disaster to others.

“The Heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” – Proverbs 16:23

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Encouragement #2

1. Encouragement keeps us going.
2. Encouragement makes people better.
3. Encouragement turns life around.
4. Encouragement gives hope.
5. Encouragement empowers groups.

“I’m just a plow hand from Arkansas, but I have learned how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm down others, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat together, a team.

There’s just three things I’d ever say: If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, then we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you.” -- Bear Bryant

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Encouragement should be…
1- Specific
2- Earned
3- Meaningful
4- Appropriate
5- Honest
6- Balanced
7- Sincere

“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.” Zig Ziglar