Countdown- Top Posts of 2016 #1 – “Urban Meyer’s formula for success”



With the success of Ohio State’s College Football championship, I found this an interesting philosophy from their coach Urban Meyer:
—for two years, he has had his players and staff wearing wristbands with a simple equation on them:

E+R=O (The Outcome (O) of something is always determined by your Reaction (R) to an Event (E).

How aware are you of the way you react to your circumstances?

How willing are you to consider your own responsibility to the health of your relationships?

Is there any room for improvement for you in this area of “reacting to others” and your “reactions to difficult circumstances” for you in the year ahead?


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Countdown- Top Posts of 2016 #2 – “You are an IDIOT! …. you voted for … “



“YOU ARE AN IDIOT!   How could you have voted for …?  Did you know that they said __________ and did ________?”

Most likely, the person that was just dissed is not going to take that kind of lack of respect for their opinions ! They will come back with a pretty testy response back.  Back and forth, the heated exchange will go.
Then, somewhere in the conversation, the thought will come to you that since you are a Christian and they are not, you should talk to them about Jesus.  Seriously now, how receptive do you think they are going to be to what you have to say?  You just called them an IDIOT!  Where is your love?
Christian brothers and sisters, I have seen recent social media posts that people have called others “idiots” for wanting to vote for ______.  However, judging by the passion in their posts, I question if they are as concerned right now for the other person’s eternal salvation.   Ultimately, what is really of importance, here?
PERSPECTIVE,  Christian brothers and sisters, we all need to have PERSPECTIVE.  As a side note, if you are really open to hearing this,  it might be a good time to reflect on your own passions—are they really where they should be—just asking!
There is no problem preferring and voting for a certain candidate or party. We live in a democracy and we all have the right and privilege to vote how we want.  However, friends, please keep in mind the very important need to be a respectful of all people–ALL the time.
Regarding the unfolding of earthly events, trust in the Sovereign plan of Almighty God all the while doing your part in being a good citizen now, AND understanding that there is such a bigger election in front of each of us all the time, an eternal one. Will we each choose to be reconciled to a God who loves you by believing that Jesus Christ died for us, even though we are unworthy sinners?
That’s a choice, I’m willing to lovingly work to get out that vote.  How about you?

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Countdown- Top Posts of 2016 #3 – What was the advice given by John Wooden’s father?



Even towards the end of  John Wooden’s long life, he carried a card with 7 ideas given to him by his father.  On the card were listed these 7 guidelines to living a full life:
1. be true to yourself
2. make each day your masterpiece
3. help others
4. drink deeply from good books
5. make friendship a fine art
6. build a shelter against a rainy day
7. pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day

excerpt taken from John Maxwell’s “The 5 Levels of Leadership”

– what guidelines for living do you have?

– if you don’t have any guidelines like this, why not consider writing these down, read them every day, and then try to fulfill each one.


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Leaders—what/who is growing under you?


“”Nothing grows  under a banyan tree.”  It provides  shade and is comfortable, but it allows  no sun in for growth.”.  Many leaders  are banyan trees;  they protect  their people, but nothing grows under them.”  (this brief excerpt is from Liz Wiseman’s excellent, thought-provoking book, “Multipliers”)  banyan-tree

Leaders, you know who you are.  You are a manager, a coach, a boss, a parent, a pastor, or a committee/board member.   The organization looks to you to bring progress and stability.  Individuals, as well are influenced by how you fulfill your role.

Leaders, you have the responsibility and opportunity to lead your people –how are you doing in that?

As Liz highlights in her book, you have the privilege of discerning the unique talents of those who look to you for your leadership and building in to them.

Are you recognizing the talents your people have and looking for ways to help them utilize their gifting and develop those strengths?

As you stretch your followers to be all they can be:

  • you will help them be more enjoy their role in your organization as they are utilizing their talents
  • you will help them personally benefit as they grow their unique skill set
  • your organization will benefit from having a more satisfied member and one who is bringing their strengths to help your cause

Countdown- Top Posts of 2016 #4 – Can I be thankful for this?



At a recent church camp out  where about 650 men (maybe more) spent the weekend in northern Michigan (what an awesome time!),   I was working on building our campsite.

During our building time, I got a little impatient as we were putting together a wooden swing set and a loose 4″x4″x 12′ beam fell and clipped my face.  Ouch!

Actually, very fortunately, it hit my face just above my lip.    injury on face

What is the positive in a situation like this. Well, I can think of four:

1) it could have been a lot worse. If it would have fallen a few more inches on my head, with the weight of that post,  I could have experienced a very serious injury

2) I was reminded once again of my need to be more careful when doing construction projects like this (and yes, accidents like this have happened to me before)

3) As this injury happened above my mouth, I was given a prompting to be careful with my mouth.  I think maybe I’ve gotten a bit careless in the usage of my words.  What I say(and you as well) can be so positive and uplifting to someone else, or they can scar by the way they cut down and demoralize someone)

4) I am thankful for the activity of a Sovereign God in this case, who allowed me to benefit from these valuable insights and at the same time, protected me from an injury that could have been severe

Let me encourage you as well to be attentive to experiences that happen in your every day life.  What insights can you gain from these moments?


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“AfterLife” book review – Hank Hanegraaff

Have you ever gotten so caught up in driving with a friend that at some point, someone asks, “where are we?”
That’s how I’ve felt lately, but not in my driving anywhere, but in life. I don’t know about you, but some times, I feel like I wake up and get on one of those moving walk-ways (like you see at an airport)  where I journey through my commute to work, hustle and bustle at work, commute back home, eat dinner and then either am involved in some kind of volunteer effort, or catch up on some personal business and watch tv  (and throughout the day, keeping up to date on all the e-mails, phone updates, and texts that come on my phone).
So, its been something different (and needed)  for me lately, to read the book, “AfterLife” by Hank Hanegraaff.   It was very thought-provoking and educational,  reading his explanations of what the Bible says about living in this life now, what the next life will be life (right after a person dies),  AND what the life after the life after this life will be like (do you feel like you need to re-read that?.  Yep, he talks about 3 different stages of life.)   when it all comes to a conclusion with Jesus Christ returning to earth.
Does this intrigue you at all?  It did for me, which is why I so quickly read through this book and took notes on it.
Let’s face it –life is uncertain.
In the midst of the crazy times we live in when anything can happen (and usually does), don’t you think it might be in your own best interest to get off the moving walk-way of life and consider what happens when this current walk-way stops (and prepare yourself for it)?
Check this book out!

Countdown- Top Posts of 2016 #5 – “Alan Mulally’s ten rules”



Alan Mulally’s (former President/CEO of Ford) ten leadership rules:

1) people first
2) everyone is included
3) compelling vision
4) clear performance goals
5) one plan
6) facts and data
7) propose a plan, “find a way” attitude
8) respect, listen, help, and appreciate each other
9) emotional resilience….. trust the process
10) have fun….. enjoy the journey and each other



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