#Influence

Thoughts on Leadership Development and Personal Growth from a faith-based perspective.

#Influence
June 3, 2015

Goodbye to Good

A few years back, Jill and I watched the Space Shuttle lift off with Elliot.  That launch of Atlantis marked the end of the Shuttle fleet as it retired into spaceflight history.  It's strange to think that as Elliot grows up, the Shuttle will be one of those relics we tell him about from the good old days... joining rotary phones,…
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June 2, 2015

Bend, but don’t break

When I think of integrity, I picture the hull of a ship being put together. The builders apply a significant amount of force so the pieces bend, but don't break. There's no room for error, because the hull must withstand the enormous amount of pressure from the surrounding water to keep the ship afloat. It also has to bear the weight of everything it's…
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May 31, 2015

Conjecture, Twitter, & Biblical Illiteracy

Let me start by saying I've bombed my fair share of sermons over the years. There have been those moments where words have come of out my mouth while preaching that left my leadership team asking for further interpretation. There are also times when I've hit it out of the park completely in tune with what needed to be shared. People have thanked me years later for biblical truths I've preached that impacted them. They've also reminded me of funny illustrations that are unfortunately more memorable than the sermon lesson that accompanied them. Preachers are not perfect and mistakes will be made. However, it's imperative that our twenty-first century gospel is in tune with the heart of the first century gospel because we are…
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May 26, 2015

Give what you’re in need of

I was working on editing a youth sermon series on giving for the fall. Each week talks about a different way to give by focusing on things like time, talents, and finances. In writing one of the titles I was reminded of the story of the widow who gave two small coins in the offering. Jesus commented on how she…
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May 24, 2015

Judgement, Potential and Listening to Sermons

I recently got my hands on a sermon intended for teens that included a portion of text from a book (which I'll leave unnamed) with an illustration about an accountant who gets to heaven and stands before God. God calls for "Robert the Missionary," but the man doesn't step forward. After God calls again for "Robert the Missionary," the accountant…
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May 21, 2015

Being Burnt out on Burnout

(Repost from 2011) When I was in high school, my dad overheard me telling someone that I got "yelled at".  He later corrected me, because, as he pointed out, he didn't actually raise his voice at me.  I explained to my dad, a school teacher, that being "yelled at" only meant I got in trouble.  The phrase had transitioned from…
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May 20, 2015

The Context of Love

The other day my Bible reading came from the 13th and 14th chapters of 1st Corinthians. The former is known as the love chapter. Usually it's used as a basis of love in marriage. That of course is a great application, but it's not actually the intention of Paul. Paul is writing to a dysfunctional church that had a hard time agreeing on…
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May 17, 2015

Our Sins and the Minnesota Twins

I love the Minnesota Twins.  I know sometimes my Tigers hat throws people off, but that's more about home representation than being a fan. I come from a sports-watching family (see "Sports Moments" post from '08), but with my busy schedule the last couple years, I've limited the number of teams I completely follow (every game, stats, etc.) to just a…
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March 18, 2015

Identity, Job & a House Built on Sand

I had a thought today that gave me a little insight into the book of Job. That book of the Bible has always been a bit of a mystery to me simply because I haven't had much of a connection to Job. I haven't lost nearly as much as him and I don't feel like God has had many conversations…
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November 3, 2014

On the Shoulders of Giants

Legend has it that in the 12th century Bernard of Chartres first used the metaphor of dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants. The phrase described how we can see more than our predecessors, "not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature." (John of Salsbury in Metalogicon).…
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October 29, 2014

My Thoughts on Starshine

Since childhood I've been fascinated by stars.  We used to live in Northern Minnesota, far from any lights from town, and the stars shone so clear and bright. When I was four I used to think stars looked like sparkling eyes staring back at me.  The first time I remember seeing a shooting star was on the deck of a…
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September 25, 2014

Of Cows and Cattle

There's been something I've been requesting from God for some time. I won't personally divulge this request's identity, but I do consider it a rather large favor. I've been specific. I've been persistent. I've been expectant. Still I seemingly have not seen an answer. Then yesterday on my way to film a school assembly on Highway 252 I had a revelation.…
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May 5, 2014

Growth

Last year early one morning, I ventured out of our room to peek into Elliot's room and found him curled up on the floor with his favorite blanket. It had been one of his first nights in a twin bed. Apparently the floor felt more like his crib. As I picked him up and put him back in his new bed, I couldn't help but think,…
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May 1, 2014

A Blessing for the Meek

"Let's be honest" tends to be a convenient precursor to rudeness, negativity and gossip rather than life-giving direction or affirmation. Those who abuse "honesty" have owned that word for far too long. It's time for the meek to take it back. A pastor once told me that meekness isn't weakness; it's power withheld or power under control. In other words,…
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April 30, 2014

In His Image

The essence of who we are begins and ends in Christ. The Bible makes it clear that purpose and destiny are wired into human beings from the earliest stages of life. Even though we are born into separation precipitated by sin, God's fingerprints and the evidence of His design are all over us. The love of God expressed in Creation and epitomized…
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