• Heartprints

    What Are You Selling?

    Before I got into ministry, I spent many years as a salesperson.  I learned so much about life while I was in sales and I find myself constantly finding similarities between sales and ministry.  I thought for fun I would share some of those with you today:  #1) You win some – you lose some! You are going to have days where you nothing goes right, people mistreat you, your lesson falls short, you make a change and you feel as if your volunteer staff, the kids and the parents are all going to hang you from a tree.  Those days happen and if we let the evil one get in our heads,…

  • Engage

    Free Indeed!

    Recently I had the privilege of speaking in a women’s prison. I shared my story which I call, “How to Handle the Things You Hate But Can’t Change.” (How’s that for a topic of interest for incarcerated people?) But then I was able to speak briefly about what we have in common, a situational loss of freedom. I have lost the ability—the freedom—to walk, and they have temporarily lost the ability—the freedom—to walk out of lockup. Still, even while imprisoned by our situations, Jesus offers true freedom that has nothing to do with our circumstances. He promised to His disciples, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set…

  • Impact

    Blessed are the Bankrupt

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . (Mt. 5:3) What stunning, shocking words! What king announces his rule by calling the poor in spirit to him, the bankrupt, those with no resources who bring nothing to him? Only one. The King who is lowly in heart, who offers a light burden because He is not bent down by the weight of pride. Amazingly these are the first recorded words of discipleship Jesus uttered. Jesus requires bankruptcy to enter His kingdom… That’s what it means to be poor in spirit: spiritual bankruptcy, a total lack of resources to do what ultimately…

  • Impact

    Last Things First

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken The Great Commission was the last words Jesus said, but it was among the first thoughts in His mind as He began His ministry. Why was it that one of the first actions He took was to choose disciples (Mt. 4:18-22) if He did not have a purpose in mind for them? He certainly did not intend to spend the better part of three years preparing followers for nothing… And why did He persevere so relentlessly with them when they rejected His message and thought like Satan (Mark 8:33) or created more confusion than clarity when a father sought their help for…

  • Impact

    Start With the End in View

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Jesus started with the end in view. From the first day of His earthly ministry to the last, He had His two-fold purpose before Him: redemption and preparation, the cross and the commission. He came to provide redemption for dying men and women. But what good would His redemptive death be if there were no one to tell others what it means? How could He establish a redemptive movement if He had no one to start it? That’s why He declared to His Father before the cross that He had accomplished His will by making the Father known to those He had…

  • Impact

    The Beatitudes Attitude: Introduction

      Leadership is broken because leaders are unbroken Today we start a new series drawn from the Beatitudes which describe the abounding blessings of Christ in us. We start with the introduction this week, go to a preview with our next entry, and then we will look at each of the Beatitudes to see what these blessings mean to us as we seek to grow in the Beatitudes Attitude. Blessed are . . . (Matthew 5:1-12) The first recorded words of Jesus to His future disciples were words of blessing, and what blessings they are! These blessings are the essence of life that have endured through the ages and define…

  • Engage

    Cruise Ships, Roller Coasters, and Attitudes

    Last month, an engine fire disabled the cruise ship Carnival Triumph in the Gulf of Mexico. Almost no electricity, only one working elevator, and worst of all, a handful of working toilets for 4000+ people. Crew members handed out bio-hazard bags to set inside trash cans as ad hoc commodes, then collected them from hallways. Suddenly, the luxury vacation turned into a nightmare for a lot of people, especially those on the lowest floors and those in inside cabins. No one had any control over their circumstances. They only had control over their attitudes. Some screeched their rage at Carnival, threatening that they would “own” the company after their lawsuits…