Working on a Dream




Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why Should Anyone Be Led By You?

"Unless you are clear about your purpose and your values and are doing something that you really care about, it is difficult to act as a leader."

Sure you are working for the house payment, the car payment, the vet bills, and the braces for your kids.  But at the end of the day, does your job offer you a sense of significance?  I have heard it said that when you find a job that you love, you will never work another day the rest of your life.  This usually happens when your intrinsic values are being employed at your workplace.  Studs Terkel says that, "work is about daily meaning as well as daily bread."

Reflecting back on my life, I can say with full honesty that I have never made a decision based on money.  I went to college and majored in Youth Ministry hoping to be a person that would make a difference in the lives of others and have followed this path ever since.  I can even remember talking with Christen when we were dating about this reality, and I am thankful that she decided to marry me anyway! 

The point is, my motives were to follow a calling...not a dollar sign.   And this calling has, does, and continues to fill my life with purpose.  Finding a calling is a lot different than finding a career.  A calling gets you out of bed in the middle of the night because you just got inspired to make a difference.  A calling keeps you up at night because you just can't shake this idea that burns within you. 

Have you found your calling? 
Does your job make you come alive?
Is there something inside of you that yearns for more?
Maybe it is time that your dreams and your job spend some time together and give you a life that you wouldn't trade...not even for a raise.

-Acts 20:22-24-
22 "And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there, 23 except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me. 24 But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course  and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God's grace.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lindsay Lohan

Here is a post on facebook from a friend of mine: 

"Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she's a celebrity drug addict. Justin Allen, 23; Brett Linley, 29; Matthew Weikert, 29; ,Justus Bartett, 27; Dave Santos, 21; Chase Stanley 21; ,Jesse Reed, 26; Matthew Johnson, 21; Zachary Fisher, 24; Brandon King, 23; Christopher Goeke, 23; and Sheldon Tate, 27, are all... Marines... that ... gave their lives this week --no media mention"

Sorry to say, but if Lindsay was my neighbor or just a no-name, she would be spending a great deal of time behind bars. 
What is our obsession with these celebrities? 
Why do we hold them to a different standard than the rest of us? 

In Christ Alone Worship Video with Lyrics

No Greater Love...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

August Burns Red O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Think Christmas music can't make you want to stand up and rock out? Think again! Listen to this..

I want everything that you are and nothing that your not

I have made an important discovery that all people with children have known, but did not let me in on.

-Baby Brain-

Maybe my friends wanted me to experience this for myself.  Who knows?  Maybe they are sitting back and laughing as I go through what all men had to go through while their wives were prego. 

Enough with the speculation.  Let's just get strait to the point. 

I have noticed that Christen either really likes me or...really...should I even say?

These "moments" come and go like a fridge raiding in the middle of the night.  For instance, just last night, as we were going to bed, Christen snugs over to me and falls asleep on my shoulder.  (I felt like a true hero at this point).  This behaviour continued all the way till this morning (I felt like a Jedi). 


As she gets out of the car to go to work, I say, "I see the old Christen is back and I am lovin it!" 

She turns her head 360 degrees and says, "FOR NOW" 

I drive away trembling and I think to myself:

Q-She was kidding right?

Possible Answers Flooding My Mind:

A-I am not sure!
B-This is the beginning of my doom!
C-She will forget about what I said!
D-She will think I was just kidding!
E-I am the man of the house!
F-I will not pick her up from work
G-I will pretend to have gotten seriously hurt, and hope that her feelings for her brave husband will overcome her wanting to execute justice. 

Although the above story is mostly true and Baby Brain is definitly a real thing.  There is a point to all of this.  Go back to the title of this blog.  I want everything that you are and nothing that your not.  This line is taken from a U2 song and it has always intreged me because it shows a depth of love that is not found in much of our modern music.

It means that we should love our spouses as they are...100%  A total packege of all the good, the bad, and the Baby Brain.  It is what couples stand up and pledge to one another on their wedding day. 

*Now just before you think that Anthony has lost his touch, the very last thing I did when my wife was getting out of the car was grab her close and wisper in her ear...

I want everything that you are and nothing that your not

Monday, September 27, 2010

Strength Finder

-Communication You enjoy to explain, describe, host, speak in public and write. You take dry ideas
and give them life; use examples, stories, metaphors.   People like to listen to you.  People strong in the ctheme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.  If you are this person then you are Ronald Reagan. 

-Competition You always are comparing your performance to others and like to win.  You may avoid contests where winning is unlikely.  People strong in the competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others and strive to win first place and revel in contests. If your this person, you may end up playing alone a lot. 

-Connectedness You believe things happen for a reason and just know that everything is connected in some larger sense. You are considerate, caring and sensitive.  You have faith in something greater than yourself.  People strong in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things.  If you are this person, you often can keep the team in check and keep our spirits up!

-Context You look at the past to understand the present and like to understand backgrounds on people
and ideas.  People strong in the context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history. If you are this person, you add insight to the group when making important decisions.

-Deliberative You are careful; vigilant; private; you can Identify risks and mitigate them.   You are not effusive with praise.  People strong in the deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. If you are this person, you anticipate the obstacles for the group!

-Developer You can see potential in others and like to see people develop and grow.  People strong in the developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others.  They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements.  If you are this person, you are always trying to bring out the best in others!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flickering Pixels


Bruce, Your 61 Today

Happy Birthday Bruce,

My journey with you started when I was in the 10th grade of high school when a bunch of my friends did not make it to school one Friday. It was the Greatest Hits cd that took over my life and then the Live album that hit me like a bag of rocks upside my head.  From then on, it has been nothing but the Boss for me. 

Many many concerts, cd's, and road trips have passed and many are still "further on up the road"

Here is to Bruce! 

Happy Birthday

From one Tramp to another!

Stength Finder 4-8, How Strong are You?

Analytical - You have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation. "Prove it" is your motto.  You insist on sound ideas, you are objective and like data and patterns.  People strong in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes.    You are the person who fills in the details for people like...ME!

Arranger You love “conducting” and enjoy managing variables and realigning them to find the perfect configuration. You can change your mind last minute if a new idea comes up. People strong in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.  If you are this person then you are my wife Christen...the human puzzle. 
Belief Enduring core values are what you are all about.  You are family oriented, spiritual, value high ethics.   Success is more important than money and prestige.  People strong in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life.  This person does what is right because it is are Abe Lincoln. 

Command Two words...Take charge.   You find it easy to impose views on others and are fine with confrontation. People strong in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.  One

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Strengths Finder 1-3, Your Greatness Within

Achiever:  You are driven and have a constant need for achievement. 
The Achiever has a great deal of stamina and works hard. You take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.  Give you a job and you will not only do it --you will over do it!

Activator:  You are impatient, need action and ask, “When can we start?”.  Activators must act as soon as decisions are made.  You can make things happen by turning thoughts into action.  Give a suggestion to one of these folks and they are out doing it before you are finished with your final thought! These guys hit the oil and make sparks...

Adaptability: You are a "live in the moment" kind of person and you expect and respond well to new demands.  Flexible is your nickname.  You prefer to "go with the flow" and tend to be "now" people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.   If you are one of these people, you can juggle a lot at one time!
Above are just 3 of many strengths that you may have within.  Keep checking back as I continue blogging about the key to you greatness!

How Strong Are You?

Have you ever noticed how there are some things that leave you drained after you do them and some things that leave you energized?  Think about your work week.  You probably have many tasks to accomplish, but there are some you really invest your time and energy into and some that you procrastinate and push off until the end of the week.  

With this in mind, I have decided to write about something that has really helped me grow and develop as a person over the last year.

Why write about this subject?  You may ponder...

Many believe that you are wired by God with certain gifts/talents. (including the blog writer)   People today in leadership call these your "STRENGTHS". 

The key to your greatness is to find your strengths, which is where your uniqueness lies, and then understanding and engaging them daily.

So for you, my readers, I will summarize a book by Tom Rath, titled Strengths Finder 2.0 over the next week.

First let me start with a quote to wet your appetite:  "You cannot be anything you want to be -but you can be a lot more of who you already are."

Far too many people spend a lifetime headed in the wrong direction.  They go not only from the CRADLE to the CUBICLE, but then to the CASKET. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Putting My Thoughts Out There...

If you have been blessed, challenged or a little better off in any way, shape or form from reading my blog...

Pass it on! 

BTW:  I am not as tame as this picture leads you to think I am...

I would not read this if I were you

But if you decided to check this out, then good for you.  You gave in to my ploy to get you here.
I read recently that when God gives you a dream, He will always give you one that includes others.  Think of all the great men and women in history.  They lived lives that had profound affects on others.  Dr. King stood up and declared that he had a dream where people were judged by the content of their heart rather than the color of their skin.  ---Have you ever noticed that all the greats found ways to bless others?

Jesus once told a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven being like a Mustard Seed.  He says that the seed starts very small and then grows huge.  A really cool point that Jesus was making is that something small, like a tiny seed can grow huge.  A dream is something that starts in your heart, and when that dream is lived out, huge things can happen.  All kinds of people can find themselves blessed by the dream God put within you. 

So don't just sit around and think that you have nothing to offer.  If  something as tiny as a Mustard Seed can find a way to become a blessing, then so can you!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How would you introduce Christ to a room full of people???comedian Steve...

Still King...

Obedience and Love: Part II

Yesterday I wrote about obedience flowing from a loving heart.  "If you love Me, you will obey My commandments"  said Jesus. 

Today I want you to think about the order of these two qualities.  Love has got to be first in the heart of a person or it will lead to something ugly.  Legalism.  Legalism is what happens when we forget Love and only remember Obedience.  Many folks today and in Jesus' time elevate external behavior to show off their "spirituality."  For example, there were these religious teachers called the Pharisees in Jesus' day that knew the entire Law by memory (that is most of the OT).  They would follow the letter of the Law impeccabley and everybody knew it. 

But something was wrong with these Pharisees.  Although they knew the Law they did not know the Lawgiver.  Yesterday I wrote about how my parents tried to get me to listen to them by offering rewards or punishments.  Often, I would obey only to avoid something or to receive something.  Over time, I matured and just do what my parents want because I love them.  This is the way it should be with God.  A heart that loves leads to a life of obedience to His will.  I always tell people that whatever is in a person's heart finds its way to their hands and feet.  In other words, you will live out your priorities. 

With that in mind, think about your life and your faith. 

Are you merely obeying God because you want something from Him?  Do you conform to externals trying to convince the world of your "spirituality?" 

"But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Love & Obedience

Jesus said, "if you love Me you will keep my commandments."  Love and Obedience go hand in hand.  Think back to when you were little and your parents always told you to do something that you did not want to do.  They may have offered you incentives for you to happily go along with their plans or they could have offered you the wooden spoon, the belt, the flip-flop, or the yardstick --like my parents. 

The point is that you listened because of an outside force.  The pain of the belt made me so excited to clean my room.  The new game got me home right at 11 p.m.  One thing I know for sure is that my parents would have liked me to listen to them not for something I could get out of it but rather because I loved them.

This is the same way with following Jesus.  If you love Him you will keep His commandments.  Obedience is a natural outcome of love.  Now that I am older, I do the things mom and dad told me to do naturally and there are no strings attached (not counting the food). 

God is after our hearts.  Always has and always will. 

Thomas Watson said, "There are but few that love God: many give Him hypocritical kisses, but few love Him."

What about you? Do you just say you love God but never live in a way that pleases Him? 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


So there is this verse of Scripture in the Bible that says that, "Gossip spreads like a cancer."  I can remember one time seeing an illustration of how gossip spreads when I was in high school.  My youth pastor took us outside of the church and had a pillow and a knife in his hands.  (This was a considered normal for Pastor Dave btw). 

He then read the above verse and then plunged the knife into the pillow exposing the inside feathers.  He began walking around teaching about the sin of gossip.  As he was teaching, he was also shaking the pillow and feathers dropped out of it like water from the sky.   The point was powerful. 

Our gossip can spread like quickly and make a mess. 

-However, his teaching was not over. 
When the pillow was empty and the ground was covered in white...he asked us to take a minute and pick up as many feathers as possible.  I can remember looking at the ground and thinking this can never be done.  I was right.  Even after all of the youth group attempted to gather up the feathers, we simply could not pick them all up. 

Pastor Dave had made his point again.  Gossip not only spreads quickly but it also cannot be retracted. 

I bet you have experienced this in your life.  Whether it is you who is spreading the gossip or whether it is you who have been gossiped against, it has a way of moving from one person to the other and often times it is impossible to stop its ugly effects.
Jesus says that if you have a problem with your brother or sister, go to them directly.  Simple, yet difficult at times.  One thing I try to do is to have a spirit of humility lead me when talking with others.  I find that most people have good intentions and are really trying their best.  This helps me keep things in the proper perspective. 
So if you find yourself in a gossip ring or if you are the creator of gossip, stop. The reality is those who will gossip with you will also gossip about you.

Huntsville Rapist

Please sit down when you watch this.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Pretty Good Question...

What will you do with the claims of Christ? 

"Who do you say that I am?"  Was once asked to a group of 12 jangly men. 
However, this question is still alive and remains to be answered by you. 

What will you do with Jesus?  He said He was the way back to the Father.  He said He is the way of peace for your heart. 
Ignoring Him is impossible, for very time you look at your watch or a calender you are reminded of Him. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

God- A Perfect Set of Ears

"Go to God, tell him what your flaws are and say,
'Can you work with me?'" 

God can stand out faults; it is we who can't stand to admit them

-The above was a conversation Bono had with Noel Gallagher of Oasis.

"It is not the healthy who need a doctor but rather the sick

God has the ability to see your heat.  Go to Him.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

God's Phone #

Connecting with God means we humble ourselves and cry out to Him. 
 In the end, it is not our will that He bows to, rather it is to His.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Do not ask God to bless what you are doing...

The title may shock you, but it comes from one of my favorite theologians, Bono.  He said a wise man once asked him to Stop asking God to bless what you're doing and to get involved in what God is doing -- because it's already blessed.  

So the question I have and hopefully you have running in your mind is:  How do we know what God is doing?

Some people think they know what God is doing and fly planes into buildings and some people think they know what God is doing and leave society and turn themselves into a Monk.  I would recommend that in order to know the answer to that question, you must find your answer in the Bible.  God has revealed Himself via the Scriptures.  So it would not be a bad idea to start there. 

And don't forget that Jesus is the fullest expression of who God is.  Jesus said that "He does only what He sees the Father doing."  In other words, the Son mirrors the Father.  Cool huh?

So take some time to read the Bible, maybe the Gospel of Luke.  When you are reading it, focus on the words and the meanings.  Be aware of the people Jesus spent His time with.  Think about how Jesus responded to questions and how He loved to teach using objects.  I think you will be blessed if you do try this. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Do you feel loved?

At the end of a long day
When everyone has had their say
At end of a long walk
When you've heard everyone's talk

Child, look to God
Like a loving Father, for you He does applaud
For you are special in His sight
And know that when you follow Him
You are in the right

So at the end of your walk
And the end of your day
Look to Jesus
For through Him,
God's love is on Display

This poem is dedicated to my friend Phil Behr.  Phil sat across from me and said that his favorite verses of Scripture were Romans 8:38-39.  When I asked him why, he said that it is a constant reminder that God loves him. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Only Love Can Leave Such A Mark : U2 & Psalm 40

Magnificant Lyrics


Oh, magnificent

Only love
Only love can leave such a mark

But only love
Only love can heal such a scar

I was born
I was born to sing for you 

I didn’t have a choice
But to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry
It was a joyful noise

-Psalm 40: 1-3
v1 I waited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

v2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.

v3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

You Wanted it -You Got it

Have you noticed how things these days are all interactive?  You do not buy the album anymore, you pick a selection of random songs.  Mountain Dew and Doritos brand have even allowed their fans to pick some of their products recently.  When did this start?  How did this start?  Growing up, I can remember looking into my cupboards and seeing one type of everything:  Original.  (Seriously, Listerine, Cheerios, Lays Chips...Dad please!)

The reason this phenomenon started is the increase of accessible technology...aka the Internet.  The consumer is now the king.  The product serves the person, not the other way around.  About a month ago at church, I was asked to preach for three consecutive weeks so I set a pad of paper and a pen in the chapel, and asked the congregation to pick the sermons.* 

I called the sermon series:  "You wanted it -You got it!" 

Things went well, and I will most likely do this again in the future. 

Do you have a topic you would like me to preach about?
Do you have a verse of Scripture that you would like preached on a Sunday morning? 

Feel free to write me and I will do my best! 

*One person picked a sermon that was very interesting, he called it, "Keep it under 20 minutes!
I thought that was genius...btw.