Working on a Dream




Monday, April 29, 2013

Isabella's photo shoot! #1

Looking for God (in the Dark).

Below is a Cherokee Indian Legend:

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays
of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.
Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.

He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad mustcome into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human mightdo him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.
 It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.

He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone.
Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. 
When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him. In the O.T. book of Jeremiah, we read, "Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know." I have observed that oftentimes we do not reach out to God because of our pride, or because of our sin.  But this is not wise.  Jesus said, "It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick."  This provides you and I with hope as we are "unhealthy" (if we are honest). Further, this gives us confidence to boldly reach out to God, the God who is sitting right next to us all night waiting ... waiting for us to reach out to Him in the darkness.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Father's Prayer: Isabella Grace.

This is my first prayer for you:

I pray that your life will merge with the Living God.
May you enter by the Narrow Gate. And may you journey on the Narrow Road. 
I know that it is common for parents, especially father's, to pray for "smooth seas" & an easy path for their kids. But this prayer is not about that ...

This prayer is about you doing the right things - even in the face of adversity.
This prayer is about facing the tough issues of life - and then taking the high road.
This prayer is about standing face to face with the giants in your life - and not backing down.

Isabella, I do not pray for an easy life for you - rather, this father's desire is to see you follow after the Heart of God.

Like Abraham, may you seek a heavenly calling.
Like Joseph, may you trust God during the bright days & the dark ones. 
Like Moses, may you continually seek the face of God.
Like Joshua, may you align yourself with God's truth, regardless of the crowd.
Like Rahab, may you seek truth & love.
Like Esther, may you be beautiful both on the outside and the inside.
Like David, may you face your Goliath's, and then triumph over them in Jesus name.
Like Josiah, may your face turn away from the idols of life.
Like Isaiah, may you boldly step up and answer the call of God for your life.
Like Solomon, may you seek the wisdom of God, that you may lead wisely. 
Like the early apostles, may you put "down your nets" to serve a higher purpose.
Like Mary, may you be passively active. Passive to  your will, yet actively open to His.
Like Paul, may you spread the greatest message this earth has ever known.
Like John, may you sit at the bosom of the Lord and rest.
And finally, like Jesus, may you Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself. 

Isabella, May your purposes follow His purposes.
May your desires mirror His desires.
And one last thing, do not forget to be yourself. 
Walking to the drum beat of the crowd is boring. Any dead fish can swim down stream. So be genuine. Be authentic. 
Be Isabella Grace.  

Then, you will be truly great.
Then, you will have captured more than just your earthly father's heart -but more importantly, your Heavenly's too. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Yes. You Are.

Definition: Full throttle. Full steam ahead. Stepping right up to the line like a man. It’s go time. This is Rocky’s song. Blood. Sweat. Tears. It’s the bruises: both outward and inward. It’s the extra mile and extra hurt. It’s the jeers of the crowd, the looks of the naysayers and the stacked hopes of the haters. It’s the battle between what you see and what’s invisible. It’s walking in the fire. It’s walking through the fire. It’s your belief in yourself and the vision that God has placed deep inside of you. You walk to the tune of “Badlands you gotta’ live it every day, the broken heart stands as the price you gotta’ pay” ... It’s putting one foot in front of the other. Through the rain. The snow. And the Pain. It’s the long hard talks with yourself; all by yourself. It’s walking in the long shadow you cast off. So go ahead and rip off the ugly head of self-doubt and quit burning daylight. It is time to get determined.

Definition: It’s what keeps you up at night. It is your fuel. It’s the gasoline that you throw on your vision. It’s your superpower … You work while the other guy sleeps. You pray, but while you pray, you move your feet. It's what makes you walk uphill 5 miles and drudge through 2 feet of snow. It’s what pushes you through the hate mail, the snickers and the odd looks. “Stand up and be counted for what you are about to receive”, yes that’s right. You are about to Rock. You say to the naysayers, “Excuse me while I get the thing done that you thought impossible.” Better yet, you set up a table and chair and say, “watch me.” It’s about belief. It’s about stamina. It’s about faith. It’s about a calling. This is your life. This is your time. This is your passion. You don’t just think about making it happen. You make it happen … It is happening. You are passionate.

Definition: This is about others. This is about what is inside of you pouring out of you and into those around you. This is what you sweat. You are overflowing. See the brim? You do not stop there. You can’t help it. You are inspired. You have something and Somone to represent and it is time to get busy. Obstacles are removed. Obstacles are considered, reconsidered and then shrunk down and defeated. This is about a team. A team of many that becomes one -with one purpose. This is about life change and world change.
You step and sing:
“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti.
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready…”
You cannot quit. You don’t know how. Because it is neither in you, nor a part of you. And when others try to defeat you, it just maximizes your spirit and want to. All of this because you are inspired.

Yes, you are determined.
Yes, you are passionate.
Yes, you are inspired.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to Deal with Stress

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: 
How heavy is this glass of water?

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter.

It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed –incapable of doing anything.”

It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night.

Remember to put the glass down.


Personally, when I read the above, I am reminded of the story of Joseph in the OT.  Joseph's life was riddled with pain and dispare. From being an outcast in his own family, to being sold into slavery, to being falsely accused by his master's wife -Joseph was no stranger to stress.  But, Joseph had a secret and that secret was the gift of forgetting.  He knew how to put the glass down.  By the grace of God, Joseph eventually climbed over his hurdles and became one of the greatest examples for you and I to emulate.

You are probably no stranger to hurt.  We all carry internal bruises and outward scars from our past. Remember to put the glass down and embrace the gift of forgetting.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Anthony's Ordination Ceremony. Northminster Presbyterian Church 4.7.2014

Question: "What does the Bible say about ordination?"

Answer: The modern definition of ordination is “the investiture of clergy” or “the act of granting pastoral authority or sacerdotal power.” Usually, we think of an ordination service as a ceremony in which someone is commissioned or appointed to a position within the church. Often, the ceremony involves the laying on of hands.

However, the biblical definition is a little different. The word ordain in the Bible refers to a setting in place or designation; for example, Joseph was “ordained” as a ruler in Egypt (Acts 7:10); the steward in Jesus’ parable was“ordained” to oversee a household (Matthew 24:45); deacons were “ordained” to serve the Jerusalem church (Acts 6:1-6); and pastors were “ordained” in each city in Crete (Titus 1:5). In none of these cases is the mode of ordination specified, nor is any ceremony detailed; the “ordinations” are simply appointments. The word can even be used negatively, as an appointment to punishment (Luke 12:46).

Acts 13 includes a good example of a ministerial appointment: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia” (vv. 2-4). In this passage, we note some key facts: 1) It is God Himself who calls the men to the ministry and qualifies them with gifts (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11). 2) The members of the church recognize God’s clear leading and embrace it. 3) With prayer and fasting, the church lays hands on Paul and Barnabas to demonstrate their commissioning (cf. Acts 6:6; 1 Timothy 5:22). 4) God works through the church, as both the church and the Spirit are said to “send” the missionaries.

Paul regularly ordained pastors for the churches he planted. He and Barnabas directed the appointment or ordination of elders “in each church” in Galatia (Acts 14:23). He instructed Titus to “appointelders in every town” on Crete (Titus 1:5). Titus himself had been ordained earlier, when “he was chosen by the churches” (2 Corinthians 8:19). In the above passages, the ordination of elders involves the whole congregation, not just the apostles. The Greek word used in 2 Corinthians 8:19 forTitus’s appointment and in Acts 14:23 for the choosing of the Galatian elders literally means “to stretch forth the hands.” It was a word normally used for the act of voting in the Athenian legislature. Thus, the ordination of church leaders involved a general consensus in the church, if not an official vote. The apostles and the congregations knew whom the Spirit had chosen, and they responded by placing those men in leadership.

When God calls and qualifies a man for the ministry, it will be apparent both to that man and to the rest of the church.The would-be minister will meet the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-16 and Titus 1:5-9, and he will possess a consuming desire to preach (1 Corinthians 9:16). It is the duty of the church elders, together with the congregation, to recognize and accept the calling. After that, a formal commissioning ceremony—an ordinationservice—is appropriate, though by no means mandatory. The ordination ceremony itself does not confer any special power; it simply gives public recognition toGod’s choice of leadership.

From :

My Gear

After shaking 1 million hands, I finally got a pic with Christen.

The Charge

I got these so Charlie Brown (my dog) didn't feel left out.
He believes he is partly responsible for this accomplishment.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"He did See it, that is Why it is Here."

Vision is the lifeblood of every organization
Without a compelling one, you will shrivel up, dry up and disappear. That is why I am thankful for the wisdom of Dr. Sam Cloud. Dr. Cloud gives three helpful guidelines for an effective vision.  They are:
1) A vision has to be memorable.
2) A vision has to portable.
3) A vision has to be motivational.

Let's start with memorable. A great vision statement is something that sticks to the top of your mouth and is easy to recall.  This is quite simple, yet gets overlooked by most companies.  If people cannot remember your vision, it will never get off the floor and have a life of its own. Portable is the second quality of an effective mission statement.  By portable, I mean it sticks to the sides of your brain.  People should be able to repeat the vision to others. Pastor Bill Hybels says, "Vision Leaks." I like that. The litmus test for a portable vision is mobility.  People on your staff or in your company should be able to communicate the visions basic tenants. Finally, the vision needs to be motivational.  It needs to stick to your team's hands & feet.  If your vision does not compel others to move forward, then you do not have a vision.  You may have a slogan or a fancy list of words forming a sentence, but you do not have a vision. A vision ultimately has to burn within your teams heart.

Concluding, I will share my personal favorite lesson about vision.  It is told about Walt Disney. The legendary Walt Disney died before Disney World in Florida was completed. On opening day in 1971, almost five years after Disney's death, someone said, “Isn’t it too bad Walt Disney didn’t live to see this?” Mike Vance, creative director of Walt Disney Studios replied simply, “He did see it. That’s why it’s here.”