Who is Spotting for Hand Grenades?

Hand grenades are loud— really loud. And when they detonate they send smoke and shrapnel in all directions. They’re designed to hurt people — bad. The idea with a hand grenade is to throw it toward the enemy. There’s only one place for a hand-grenade and that’s in your enemies’ lap–not yours. toy-hand-grenade-1__72164.1302741752.800.800

When I was in the Army we trained with hand-grenades. We knew where they were and who had oversight on them. Now we didn’t pay too much attention to them but we always knew where they were. When it was time to train we took them out of the crates and started throwing them.

One afternoon we went to the training range and started throwing them down range. I was in my training bunker when through my peripheral vision I spotted a small dark object flying through the air. It landed with a dull thump in the bunker adjacent to mine.

“Grenade!” the spotter yelled.

I dove over the concrete safety barrier. The grenade went off with a bang and a plume of smoke. I could feel the force on my face.

A guy in our unit had whiffed the grenade. He got so nervous that he threw it the wrong way. Because of the spotter we were able to get out-of-the-way. Nobody got hurt.

When you’re training with hand-grenades you always want to have a spotter. Someone who is looking out for that errant grenades.

Who is watching for hand-grenades in your organization? Systems that you’re not paying attention to…details you’ve overlooked because you’ve got careless…opportunities you’ve missed? Or maybe it’s a threat you’ve refused to face?

No doubt an errant hand-grenade will come your way at some point. It’s best to ensure you have a spotter. Someone who is looking out for it.

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Don’t Flinch!

God’s love is always looking for a way to express itself through us. Don’t flinch when you have the chance.

  • Maybe it’s a need you spot on your way home from work. You’re tired and you don’t want to be bothered. Don’t flinch.
  • Maybe you’ve just got home and your child needs to talk about his terrible horrible day. Don’t flinch.
  • Maybe your spouse needs you to understand something she’s been trying to tell you and wants you just to listen. Don’t flinch.
  • Maybe it’s an overwhelming desire to pray for someone who is hurting. Don’t flinch.
  • Maybe it’s an opportunity to be extravagantly generous to a person or cause. Don’t flinch.
  • Maybe it’s a desire to start something new. Don’t flinch.
  • Maybe it’s the opportunity to say you’re sorry. Don’t flinch.
  • Maybe it’s the opportunity to help one person complete their dream. Don’t flinch.
  • Maybe its a friend who needs you to pay them a visit. Don’t flinch.
  • Maybe you’re being asked to step into leadership in a new way. Don’t flinch.

Whenever you have the opportunity to express God’s love, DON’T FLINCH.

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The Source of Hope Beyond Ourselves

It’s odd that I help lead a church planting organization.

I never planned to be a Christian.

I never planned to be a church planter. Hope

And the fact that I lead a church planting organization is sure evidence that God has a sense of humor.

See, I know what it’s like to do life without hope. I was once very far from God. I didn’t grow up a Christian. Oh, I managed life for a while: the Army, business, marriage and kids.

But then, if I am honest, I entered a season of life when I was really feeling hopeless. The best way I can describe it is that I came to the end of myself. And there wasn’t much left. I realize now I’d lost hope.

Then hope came our way.

We met a couple who helped us get connected to COMMUNITY. It was at COMMUNITY that we both found our way back to God. My wife found hope in Jesus first. And while it took me a couple of more years of wrestling, I too found hope in Him.

Eventually our journey led us to KC to plant new churches. And God used us to help literally hundreds if not thousands of people find their way to Him…to find hope. God has give me a front row seat to watch people find hope through the person of Jesus. And now I get to help more people start more churches where more people can find hope.

We all need hope. Atheists and non-believers and Buddhists and Eskimos need hope. To be human means you need hope to deal with the pain and suffering and setbacks that inevitably come our way. You need to know there is more than today and what you’re dealing with.

Jesus can bring you hope. He did for me and he can do the same for you. I did try to find it in other places but I couldn’t.

Theologian Richard Rohr puts it this way:

The theological virtue of hope is the patient and trustful willingness to live without closure, without resolution, and still be content and even happy because our Satisfaction is now at another level, and our Source is beyond ourselves.

Jesus is the source of hope beyond ourselves.

Finding hope at a local church changed everything for me. My wife and I have been doing our best to ensure it keeps flowing to others through new local churches.

See, when you start a new church, you provide other people the opportunity to find hope in Jesus. And that changes everything.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

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We Got that PMA!

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude. —WILLIAM JAMES

Attitude: A personal view of something: an opinion or general feeling about something.

If I am honest, I am constantly dogged by a bad attitude. In fact, it’s probably the one thing I wish I could change about myself. th

I mean, I know better. I know that attitude is everything. And despite this, I still slip into a bad attitude more than I’d like to admit.

There are lots of trigger for this. When I am faced with a challenge or problem or difficult person I can start feeling threatened or defensive. Some disagreements I see as a challenge. I turn minor stuff into major stuff. When everything doesn’t go according to plan, I get discouraged.

Bad attitude.

It’s like my default setting is negative and I can’t find the switch to change it to positive.

The good news is that I am aware of this tendency. And I am working on it. I am much more positive. And believe me, it’s so much better to have a positive attitude.

Enough about me and my attitude. What about you? What is your default attitude toward yourself, toward others; toward life?

If you’re like me and want to have a better attitude toward yourself and others, let me share a few things I’ve learned through the years that might help.

1. I Can Alter My  Attitude.

I own my attitudes. Nobody else is responsible for it. Nobody else caused my bad attitude nor will anyone magically make it positive. I have power over my attitude.

And what this means is that I can alter my attitude. This is great news! When it comes down to it, you and I have control over our attitudes. We can absolutely make a decision that we will not let ourselves go negative. We CAN CHOOSE to be positive.

2. I Pray

Following Jesus has changed everything for me. And I want to honor Him in all areas of my life. This includes my attitude. So when I sense myself going negative, I repent. That is, I pray and apologize for being negative because God is NOT negative. God is positive. I ask God for the strength to change my attitude to be a better reflection of his love and grace in the world.

3. I Sing a Song!

Well, not literally. I hum one.

Here’s a quick confession: I love Punk rock. I was a Punk and that attitude still informs how I see the world. (So has Jesus and how they go together is a story for another day.)

But one of my favorite bands is Bad Brains. I could go on about them being a seminal band and one of the best ever. One song in particular has helped me shift from a bad attitude to a positive one. I literally hum this tune as I try to switch attitudes.

It’s called: PMA…(Positive Mental attitude)

Don’t care what they may say
we got that attitude.
Don’t care what they may do
we got that attitude.
Hey, we got that PMA (positive mental attitude).
Hey we got the PMA.

Don’t care what they may say
we got that attitude.
Don’t care what they may do
we got that attitude.
Hey, we got that PMA
Hey we got the PMA.

We’ve got that attitude
hey,We’ve got that attitude
Don’t care what they may say
we got that attitude.
Don’t care what they may do
we got that attitude.
Now.

Let’s admit it’s easy to be negative. The world is full negativity. Why contribute to it? Besides, as a Christ-Follower, I am called to reflect His image of love and grace.

Instead, why not learn to become aware when you’re going negative and DECIDE to be positive. And if you must, sing a song!

Keep that PMA!

And if curious about Bad Brains, here’s an old video. I saw them live once and it remains one of my favorite shows. Hang on because it’s short, fast and loud!

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Sometimes You Need A Nudge

It never fails.

I get to working on a new project or initiative only to find myself bogged down. I become overwhelmed or bored or unclear about what it is I want to accomplish. And I set the project aside. What once seemed so promising and interesting now—well not so much. Then I start feeling bad. I start feeling like I am failing.  Nudge

Everything starts out great. Then it just loses momentum.

Maybe you’ve been there?

You get SO excited about something and throw yourself into it. You go after it with tenacity and vigor. Then a day or two or weeks later that you’ve lost your motivation. You’ve lost your inspiration. Suddenly all that time and effort you put into it all seems like a colossal waste of time. Now you’re frustrated at ever letting yourself attempt it in the first place.

Then someone comes along and gives you a nudge.

I am talking about a good pep talk; a word of encouragement; a ‘you-can-do-it’ moment.

That nudge changes things. It makes you see that you’ve got nothing to blame but fear and laziness for not getting after it.

That nudge gets you going again.

The other day a friend gave me just the nudge I needed to start a project I’d let go dormant. That nudge made me see things differently. It forced me to wake up and see that I’d missed an opportunity. That nudge made me realize I’d let fear and laziness stop me. That nudge got me started again.

Sometimes we just need a good nudge to get going again.

And some of us need to do the nudging. You’ve got a friend that is stuck. You’ve got a colleague that isn’t sure how to move project forward. You know somebody who is simply afraid to start something really great.

Go ahead, give them a nudge. See what happens. A good nudge can change everything.

I mean don’t we all need a little nudge every once in a while?

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