Motivational

September 21, 2015

A Church That's Not Afraid To Talk About Racism In America

This past weekend, my church (First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Arkansas) hosted a panel discussion on one of the hot button issues of our day: RACISM. What followed was an hour filled with open conversation, shocking statements, raw feelings, surprising confessions - ALL done with the most incredible grace, mercy, and love that only followers of Christ can do. If you think anyone chose to shy from the difficult facts, you couldn't be more wrong.  Sit down, watch, and prepare to be challenged and encouraged.  God is at work in HIS Church! Watch the entire video here: […]
December 22, 2014

Too Many Pastors Are Overweight

I figured that headline would get your attention.  But, sadly it is true.  Certainly not all, but an overwhelming majority (76%) of pastors (male and female) answered a recent poll that they would call themselves "obese."  In addition, many of them don’t feel confident behind the pulpit, don’t feel attractive to their spouse, aren’t taking a day off, have trouble sleeping, are lacking exercise regularly, and have minimal know-how to fueling their bodies. I can certainly say that not too long ago - I was in the same boat.  I finally came to the realization that change was never going […]
November 17, 2014

How To Kill An Invisible Gorilla

OK, now before the folks at PETA start picketing my blog - let me explain. Ever heard the expression "monkey on my back"?  It refers to a problem or irritation that just won't seem to go away.  A looming deadline, a staffing issue, a recurring problem.  These "monkeys" can be irritating. However, I am not talking about those little "monkeys" in this blog.  Have you ever woke up with such heaviness, such a weight bearing down on you it's like a 900 lb gorilla sitting on your chest?  You know that you have something huge to face today - a […]
September 2, 2014

Do You Struggle Getting Volunteers For Your Ministry?

Do you struggle getting volunteers for your ministry?  If you do, you are NOT alone!  Survey after survey tells us that recruiting and keeping volunteers is one of the biggest struggles for EVERY Kids Ministry Leader.  Well, I have an incredible opportunity for you that will help change that statistic. My friend, Ryan Frank, was a Children’s Pastor for 15 years and is currently the CEO/Publisher at KidzMatter.  He has created a FREE 4-part video series on how to recruit and keep amazing volunteers.  The video series is called “Volunteer Breakthrough."  In this video series, Ryan unpacks 10 Laws he […]
July 28, 2014

Three Words That Will Energize Your Ministry

There are three words that will energize your ministry.  No, it's not "Drink More Coffee!"  Although, on a Monday morning after a LONG Sunday, I can see where that would certainly help!  The three words that will energize your ministry:  ENERGY, ENERGY, ENERGY! OK, so it's the same word repeated twice!  But, having a high level of energy can transform a normally boring and routine Kids Ministry into a thriving one.  Just about everything can be improved with increased energy.  Nobody wants to hear a song, listen to a lesson, or participate in a class where the leader looks bored, […]
June 10, 2014

6 Reasons You Aren't Creative In Your Ministry

I hear it all the time from so many Kids Ministry leaders.  It's the six words that should NEVER come out of your mouth…“I’m just not a creative person.” Sometimes it comes in more subtle ways such as, “How do you guys at High Voltage Kids Ministry do what you do?”“I could never do that!”  “I wish I could be more creative, but I don’t have it in me.”  “Why are some people creative and others aren’t?” The 6 reasons most people aren't creative in their ministry?  It's because they believe the six words I stated above:  "I'm just not a […]
May 7, 2014

What Your Kids Can Learn From Kevin Durant

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE Dallas Mavericks fan (yes, I am fully aware of how bad we lost in Game 7 to the Spurs, LOL)!  Two of our biggest rivals are the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  I have always admired Kevin Durant as a player, but his acceptance speech for winning the 2014 MVP of the NBA took my respect for him to a whole new level. It's not often you see someone at his level truly appreciate those who got him there.  I normally hate watching acceptance speeches because the […]
February 24, 2014

The Key To Limitless Creativity

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I like to write about creativity.  It's a passion of mine because I know so many people who sell themselves short when it comes to creativity.  Many have decided that "creativity is a gift reserved for the few."  This is simply not true - not if you serve GOD! Even the most creative human minds are finite.  The term finite means “having bounds or limits; not infinite; measurable.”  But God is infinite.  He is “far above all,” not limited by any boundaries at all.  When we draw […]
January 10, 2014

FUN FRIDAY: "It's Not About The Nail!"

This is one of the funniest videos I have ever seen.  I was reminded of it last night at an event I attended, so I wanted to share it with those of you who may not have seen it yet.  It is certainly something that EVERY man can relate to.  A word of advice:  "Don't try to fix it, just listen."  (if only I would heed my own advice more often, LOL) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg
January 8, 2014

How To Deal With Impatience

Our culture breeds impatience.  Most of us have memories of feeling impatient from our earliest years.  You remember how you felt at Christmas, don’t you?  You begged your parents every day to let you open a present days (or even weeks) before Christmas.  You couldn’t wait to find out what was in those pretty packages. I have to admit that I’m not very patient.  I’m one of those people who stand at the microwave tapping his foot, wondering why the two minutes to cook a burrito is going by so slowly! I hate to wait in traffic.  I like to […]
December 20, 2013

FUN FRIDAY: Coca Cola Parenthood Ad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sNlcwAh83Y If you haven't seen this ad by now, you owe it to yourself to watch!  It's a very real-to-life portrayal of the unpredictable roller-coaster that is Parenthood.  It will have you laughing and warm your heart all within one minute. It's a great reminder to those of us in Kids Ministry as well.  Kids Ministry is not all "neat and tidy."  Sometimes it can be a really messy job (and not only because of the messes that little ones can make).  In the end, the result is the JOY of knowing that you are affecting a life for eternity.  […]
December 9, 2013

Will You SLOW Down Or FALL Down?

It's the holiday season.  Christmas parties, outreaches, end of year budgets, family commitments, dinner parties, shopping, shopping, shopping...the list never ends! There's a reason why people use the phrase "hustle and bustle" when speaking of the holiday season.  It's the nature of the beast.  There's not a lot you can do about the stress and speed that the holidays bring...or is there? Something very important I have learned from my pastor (who learned it from Bill Hybels) is that there is a direct correlation between the SPEED of our lives and the DEPTH of our souls. There are seasons in our lives when […]
November 21, 2013

Run YOUR Race (Marathon Lessons pt. 5)

When I began this journey, my goal was to "finish a marathon."  I didn't have a goal to beat a certain race time or another racer.  I just wanted to finish! What happened along the way is just part of human nature.  I joined Nike Plus and started comparing my average minutes/mile with others.  In the half marathon race I ran during my training, I sprinted the last mile - all in an effort to BEAT a woman across the finish line.  My focus shifted from trying to complete a goal to trying to WIN the race by beating the […]
November 18, 2013

There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat (Lessons from my marathon pt. 4)

When I set out to start training for my full marathon, I didn't put a lot of thought into how I would train.  I simply jumped on runnersworld.com and downloaded the most commonly used training program.  It basically focused on running four times per week, slowly increasing total miles run each week.  It was a common method, so I assumed it would work best. Well, it didn't.  Each time I got to the 13-14 mile range in my training, I suffered from the I.T. Band injury I spoke about in my second blog post on this series.  I began to […]
November 15, 2013

Think Small (Lessons from my marathon pt. 3)

Ever set a BIG goal?  If you are like me, you tend to choose HUGE goals that seem to overwhelm you.  Our tendency is to become emotionally overwhelmed by the audacity of the goal - sometimes resulting in abandoning the goal because "it is just too big." I was determined not to allow this to happen to me during my marathon training.  Keep in mind, I was trying to go from NOT running at all to running a marathon (26.2 miles) in only 6 months.  That's pretty audacious!  So, I took an approach that translates very well into just about […]
November 14, 2013

"Don't Quit!" (Lessons from my marathon pt. 2)

I began training for my marathon in March 2012.  I was growing stronger, getting faster, and covering greater distances.  I was feeling so "ready" that I decided to sign up for a Half Marathon a month and a half before my FULL Marathon was scheduled.  I was told to take it easy in this race, but of course I pushed myself further than I should have.  I ended up injured. I injured what's called the "I.T. Band," a tendon that connects your hip and your knee.  It made it impossible to run over 4 miles without sudden, sharp pain.  I […]
November 12, 2013

Lessons I Learned From My Marathon (pt. 1)

On November 2, 2013, I completed my first marathon - at the ripe old age of 40.  I definitely would not encourage anyone to wait until they are 40 to run their first, but I wouldn't take anything away from my experience.  It was an experience that changed my life - both the race and the training I went through to get there.  I learned a lot of lessons through this marathon. Over the next several blog posts, I would like to share with you some of those lessons.  I don't expect most of you to ever actually run a […]
November 11, 2013

Kids Sacrifice To Raise Over $6000 For Missions

I am so proud of our kids!  I have been the Kids Pastor at First NLR for the past 14 years and have been so amazed at the heart for missions that each child has cultivated. Last year, we took up an offering to drill a well in the African village where we had planted a church.  This year we discovered, although the people now had clean water, they had no clean containers to carry the water the often MILES from the well to their homes.  They were using animal skins and other contaminated containers.  So, I challenged our kids […]
October 29, 2013

Heartwarming Military Family Reunion

I was honored to be a part of this incredible moment.  My friend, Rocky, had been deployed for over six months.  He has three beautiful young daughters who love their Daddy very much.  They THOUGHT Daddy wasn't coming home for weeks.  We convinced them that we needed to shoot a video to send to him overseas.  I said, "Why not go to the airport where he's eventually going to come home and we can show him what it is going to look like when he eventually comes home."  The girls were all about it. In the middle of their video […]
October 18, 2013

One Of The Most Selfless Acts Of Kindness I've Ever Witnessed

It was all I could do not to break into tears.  I had never seen such a beautiful display of God's love and kindness - not in a long time. Most likely, each of you reading this post have someone in your life who has suffered or is suffering from the horrible disease, Alzheimer's.  It is a brutal disease that attacks the brain in such a way that it robs people of their ability to function on their own, remember important things, and perform the simplest of tasks. In the video you are about to watch, a woman who has […]
September 16, 2013

Powerful Video - "This Time" (Based On A True Story)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdYPjpl5pI0 Most of you who read my blog often will know I am a huge fan of the music of John Elefante (the former lead singer of the rock group, Kansas). Having followed his career since the mid-80s, it has been a pleasure as I have become friends with him the last few years. He is an incredible musician, singer, producer - but an amazing man of God as well. I will never forget when he sent me the original demo to the song, "This Time." I was blown away and moved to tears when I heard the song for […]
July 22, 2013

Becoming A SLAM-Grandparent!

Yesterday was a very cool day for my wife, Cherith, and I. It was the day we discovered we are now "SLAM Grandparents" at First NLR. We became the Kids Pastors here in 1999 - nearly 14 years ago. "SLAM" is the name of the Elementary Kids Church service we began when we got here. Yesterday, it was an honor to welcome several children into "SLAM" who belong to Anthony Kennedy, one of the kids that were in that original group. I am about to celebrate my 14th year as Kids Pastor at First NLR. I have been blessed to […]
April 16, 2013

Three "Creativity Killers"

Creativity is a MUST in Kids Ministry.  It takes creativity to capture attention and illuminate the gospel to a young mind that is bombarded with flashy, glitzy attention-grabbers all day from a world whose message is less than spiritually healthy. We all want to be more creative, but we often fall prey to one or more of the three CREATIVITY KILLERS in ministry... 1)     PROCRASTINATION There’s an epidemic of procrastination in Kids Ministry.  I can’t believe how many times I hear people saying that they don’t even begin to start their preparation for Sunday until Saturday Night. Nothing will kill […]
December 17, 2012

Helping Kids Cope With The Newtown Tragedy

Tragedy knows no boundaries.  It does not discriminate between people.  Tragedy can hit any community, any family, any individual, at any time. Aside from mass shootings, terrorist attacks, Earthquakes, and other mass disasters, there are tragedies that eventually strike every family.  The death of a loved one.  An accident that permanently injures someone.  The sudden loss of income due to layoffs or being fired.  These are the every day tragedies and losses that parents struggle to explain and help their children through. This is a REpost of one of mine from the Summer: "How To Talk To Your Kids About […]
September 24, 2012

How Do You Handle Leaders Who Lack Energy?

Everything can be improved with increased energy.  Nobody wants to hear a song, listen to a lesson, or participate in a class where the leader looks bored, irritated, or wishes they were somewhere else. If you are a full-time Kidmin Pastor/Leader you know that you have NO EXCUSE not to have energy on Sundays (or whenever ministry takes place for you).  However, some of our Kidmin Volunteers struggle with this.  They work 5 days a week, run like crazy for their families on Saturday, and on Sunday it is tough to have the energy they need to make a great […]
June 18, 2012

Stop Being So Defensive!

Defensiveness is an issue that causes a lot of harm in mentoring relationships - or any relationship for that matter.  When we are challenged, confronted, or questioned as Kidmin leaders - sadly we often respond with a knee-jerk, reflex response that does more harm than good. For years, my insecurity caused me to struggle with being defensive.  Under the hurt feelings and protests is a deep sense that I’m not adequate, personally or professionally—or both.  No one is above correction, and we can all learn to handle it with grace.  Sometimes, I do a pretty good job of controlling my […]
April 10, 2012

Computer Brains

I have to admit - as a Christian kid growing up in the 80s I was a big Petra fan.  The other day, the song "Computer Brains" from Petra's "Beat The System" album came on my iPod.  I started thinking about the truth of that song.  It was powerful. Here's the truth:  our minds are like a computer.  Remember the old computer acronym, "GIGO" (Garbage In, Garbage Out)?  You have to be very careful when you program a computer.  Even the smallest error will produce flawed results.  In other words, the results produced by the computer will be no better […]
April 6, 2012

I Started The Process Of Dying Today

I realize I might have startled some of you with the title of this post.  No, I do not have a sickness - nor am I physically dying in any way.  I apologize if I gave some of you a panic. Today, Good Friday, the day we remember the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross over 2,000 years ago - I began a journey with many people in my church.  It is a thirty day challenge called "LIVE DEAD." "LIVE DEAD" is a challenge to live life wholly for Jesus.  To die to self, knowing God will […]
February 20, 2012

What Are You Afraid Of?

Fear is a reality in all of our lives.  If you say you don’t have any fear at all, either you’re a liar or a psychopath—neither of these is a good option!  Some of us can’t admit our fears because they’re so terrifying we can’t face them.  Denial, though, never leads to growth, peace, joy, love, and strength. Fear is a barrier between us and the things God is calling us to do.  It keeps us still when God wants us to move, keeps us quiet when God wants us to speak, and causes us to shrink back when God […]