If you are looking for the current myLIFEspeaks Blog, it's been moved. Check it out at http://www.myLIFEspeaksblog.wordpress.com
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
one of the most dangerous things someone like me can do is over-communicate. i realize as i get the chance to speak to various people and groups, i have a huge tendency to over-communicate. in other words, i tend to try to tell everyone everything i know at the moment. it's not because i want to overpower them or impress them with my knowledge, instead it's because i really want them to "get it" when i speak.
it's awesome when you are comfortable with yourself as a speaker and realize your strength and at times it can be difficult to hold back. i'm learning more and more that God wants me to shut up more and let Him talk more.
so, tonight, when i'm speaking, i'm praying that God will be heard loud and clear and that my words will be less than ever. i want God's Words to be heard by those that are supposed to hear and I want to be a part of that. if i speak less and He speaks more, then my LIFE speaks volumes!!!
Posted by myLIFEspeaks at 2:36 PM
Friday, July 24, 2009
A few months ago when Missy and I knew it was right and time to begin the adoption process we never expected things to go so fast. A couple of weeks ago, our trip to Haiti turned into something unexpected, when we got to meet our future daughter. Her name is "Tia" and we are so excited to know her. We started an adoption blog and would love for you to follow along on our journey. For more information click here. If you are interested in getting one of those awesome "I Helped Bring TIFI Home" t-shirts that you hear about everywhere you turn (ok, the truth is you have probably never heard of them, but if you will look at the really cool picture on the right you will know what it looks like and it sounded good in my head!!!), simply click here.
As we celebrated our 15th anniversary last night, Missy and i had to smile at where we are. Neither of us expected that God would have ever brought us to where we are. Our 15th anniversary was supposed to be celebrated by a huge trip to some exotic location where we did nothing but stay on the beach and get golden brown with a great tan. God however reminded us that our LIVES were NEVER supposed to be where they are now either. If you would have asked us 15 years ago, our plan was to have 2 boys and a girl at this point in our LIVES and be serving on some church staff. God has a way of reminding us our plans are NEVER as great as His. We LOVE where we are now.
Posted by myLIFEspeaks at 9:16 AM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
While reading this morning (thanks YouVersion), this passage came to stick out to me:
8 One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’I have to admit, this passage was an easy one to just flip through, but i tried to slow it down this morning. i didn't skim through, but tried to find something that was hidden in Judges 9 just for me. I found it!
9 “But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and men are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’
10 “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’
11 “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’
12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’
13 “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and men, to hold sway over the trees?’
when i read this passage, i'm struck by the parable Jotham shouted to the people as he was speaking against Abimelech, who had just killed 70 men...his half-brothers...his relatives. Greed had driven Abimelech to murder his half-brothers and greed had driven him to seek the throne of his father.
Jotham had such wisdom in this passage. How many of us when asked to be something we are not created for would turn it down if we thought it would bring us some glory? would we be like the trees in this story that refused to give up what they were created for in order to be something they weren't meant to be?
If i offered you a position where the money was better would you take it? most of us would...but would we be willing to do what we were created for...even if it meant less money? less prestige? less power? less glory? less stuff? would we take a new job or position that doesn't really fit us just so we could say we have it?
are we guilty of "holding sway over the trees" rather than being who we were created to be? i know the call to sway over something has grabbed me more than once. today i can say i'm happier doing what i am doing than i have been in years. i know i'm doing what i'm supposed to do...even if i'm not at the top swaying over others, i'm doing my part and knowing my place!
Monday, June 8, 2009
fun and games abound in our family. sometimes the fun isn't expected and sometimes the games aren't fun, but this weekend we had some milestones.
first, after shopping with the family friday night, we were pulling into the driveway and d-money started laughing hysterically. it seems lane had reached into the "secret" bag and found missy's newest purchase. he however thought it was a great HAT!
second, on saturday, we had the opportunity to let d-money record at lakeside studio for the first time. it was amazing and he did a great job...i think he liked it too!
finally, we had dinner with some great friends saturday night and had a pretty awesome accomplishment. e-dub came downstairs carrying a megaphone and had that tell-tale look of something is BAD wrong! his mouth was bleeding and looking it was apparent his tooth was in desperate need of falling out. he went to the bathroom and when kate-dawg asked him if he wanted to pull it, he shook his head...and the tooth fell OUT on its own.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
i ran across this video while doing some research for some camp sermons earlier. i have to say, it speaks VOLUMES as to what the world things about Christians. it's a video of Penn from Penn and Teller, an avowed atheist, commenting on his video blog about someone who came to his show and gave him a gideon bible.
one of the best questions of this video is when Penn asks, "how much do you have to hate someone?"...to not tell them about eternal life (or a relationship with Christ)?
i have to admit, it was a great question. when i first started watching, i thought it would be a great introduction to help students realize the need to let their LIFE speak, but when i got to the point of his question as to how much hate does it take...i have to admit i was faced with an answer i didn't really like...
so my question is, who do YOU hate?
Posted by myLIFEspeaks at 7:33 PM
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
tonight while i was giving Lane a bath, i realized something. he is COMPLETELY dependent on me. if i don't keep a close eye out on him in the bath tub, he will either try to climb out (which isn't pretty), try to stick his face in the water, or he would literally lie on his back and let the water cover him up.
he loves to hear my voice and he reminds me of what i need to be like. he is a very REAL creation...and more than that, i think he truly knows about God...i think he has a genuine child-like faith that i really want to have.
every night when i ask him, "who loves you?" he replies, "GOD!" then when i say, "who else loves you?" he always replies, "DADDY!" it makes me so glad to know he understands (i think) how much i love him. i want him to know how much i care and how much i would do absolutely ANYTHING for him...and then it hit me...
God wants me to be like Lane. He wants me to put my complete faith and trust in Him and not be afraid to let him know my fears, faults, and hang-ups...and even though i'm a professional Christian (it's true) i so don't want to come to grips with those things in my LIFE. i want to try to put up the daily facade that everything is ok...but it usually isn't. it NEVER is ok without Him being in complete control.
so tonight i gave God my list of things i'm angry with, scared of, and trying to fix on my own...and then i gave Him complete permission to do with it whatever He sees fit...
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
i am a little excited right now. i just uploaded the new myLIFEspeaks website! that's right, it's up and LIVE. i made d-money a site recently and thought it was about time to re-do the myLIFEspeaks site. i worked on it for a few days and finally had the courage to load it up! check it out and let me know what you think.
it's time for summer to start! home for the 2nd day in a row with d-money and lane! went to the park yesterday and have worked from home today while it stormed outside. it's going to be a great summer...just discovered old school music on the music choice channels! WHOOOA!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
on my first tour bus with the apostles of comedy tour. we have gone from nashville to charlotte, nc; to charleston, sc; to bluffton, sc. it's been a great time and it's taught me a lot about what has to happen to get a ministry noticed. the guys on this tour are amazing. you would think being on a bus with 4 comedians, a tour manager, artist manager, and world vision rep. the conversations on the bus and around the table would be nothing but laughter and seeing who can make the other person laugh harder.
while there are plenty of times when the laughter is tremendous, more often than not, the laughter gives way to serious talk about how to survive and get the tour more places. at first glance one might think the whole goal is to book more dates to get more money. while that is definitely a good business move, i think i am beginning to understand the heart of ministry more and more. i have been able to see guys who are very successful in their careers and in their lives talk about ways to get more time to talk ministry, to minister to people, and to get more opportunities for ministry through their gifts--comedy...and MAN ARE THEY GIFTED.
it made me think about myLIFEspeaks. i have wanted nothing more than to be able to minister to people where they are over the past few years. while i was on the church staffs, ministry DID happen, but the majority of it was typical. what i found once i stepped away from the church staff life was the reality of ministry in the workplace.
if you remember a few months ago i wrote about a new position i had taken with a wellness company. that has since disappeared and i have had to laugh more than once at the opportunity which has been placed before me. I HAVE A MINISTRY WHICH I HAVE BEEN CALLED TO!!!!
in february, missy and i stepped out on faith and (for the first time in our marriage) have no steady paycheck. our whole existence depends on getting to share our story. we are living by FAITH. we are trusting God and watching Him meet our every need! we are trusting Him for groceries, housing, healthy insurance and everything we need. it has been an awesome time.
if you know much about the ministry we have, we were called to share our story with as many people as possible. we get to help people through the opportunities God placed before us.
i have to confess, it was a whole lot easier when that was a ministry but the money came from a "fallback" like a full-time job. now it's scary and i get nervous, but the rock of our family, missy reminds me God has to be in control just the thought of living by faith scares the pants off me (not literally thank the Lord!!).
i know God has given me a talent...not three or five or more, but a talent to communicate. He called me last year to write my story and the story of others down. He really did. i don't mean in an audible voice, but in my LIFE i know that was Him calling me to do that. so, i am committing to working on the book. i will hopefully have our story written in the next couple of months and will begin the work on putting others' stories together for a second book.
please pray for me during this time. i have a tendency to be like Simon Peter and take my eyes off the call when the going gets tough. i stood in front of the group gathered last April (2008) and proclaimed my desire to have the book done by the end of last year...and no book still. the truth is i froze. literally, i wanted to laugh more than anything and i thought if i simply just waited, something would fall in my lap. it did and didn't. we received an unbelievable gift of love and i even got a chance to sit in front of the best stories on the planet...and did NOTHING with it.
i'm writing this as a public confession of my LIFE over the past couple of years. the depression and anxiety won...but will no longer be victorious over me. the self-worth wasn't there and the LIFE God gave me was held at arm's length at best. then sunday at church i read this passage:
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
I have a different look now. I have always been the one to cower in the face of adversity and conflict. i hated to look at finances...literally I HATE IT. it scares me to death. i have lived in fear daily of how are we going to survive...and today i am learning to live without that fear looming overhead. if He called me to do something, why do i need to worry? foxes have holes and birds have nests and the flowers are clothed in their beauty...so stop being a eunuch! (looking the part without the power!) i have the power of the almighty which raised Jesus from the dead on my side and living in ME and wanting to make me more like him and less like me...
pray for me and with me please...
Monday, May 11, 2009
lately i've begun to notice a word being thrown around that makes my skin crawl. it's a word i have used in the past because quite simply i never thought that much about it. i never really set out to be offended, but i have found myself being more and more offended when i hear the word, even from my own kids. next time you use "retarded" make sure you use it in its true sense.
i guess it comes from hearing teenagers use the word to describe each other and to cut down others. the word is known world-wide. people use it daily and think it's funny and i have to admit it never affected me...until i heard it in its actual context.
it's great fun to sit in a room and hear a school psychologist describe your son as retarded. it's humbling to think your son is actually retarded, but it's even more maddening to think about my "retarded" son going through LIFE not realizing others are making fun of him. when i hear my 13 year old describe how the word is used at school and to know there are kids who think it's funny to make fun of kids like lane, it frustrates me immensely. i think it frustrates me so much because i did the same thing. i thought it was cool to laugh at eugene or demetrus. oh how i wish i could take it all back now...because a "retard" lives in my house and brings me tremendous joy...DAILY!!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
here is a convicting thought i have been having for a few days. then i read this blog post by the student pastor at our church and was convinced i had to put these thoughts out there.
what is the first thing you check on when you wake up? for some of us it is the weather on the television, for some it's to see how much time we have left, for others it could be facebook or twitter. i must admit many days my first "check" of the day is the iphone to see what's going on in the world rather than going to the Word to find out what He's telling me today.
if you're busy and need some suggestions as to what to read today in the Bible, i would suggest YouVersion. it's a great version and has plenty of translations. it has an iphone app and gives you daily Bible reads. what are you waiting for? how many voyeuristic lives can you live through all the other stuff? why not live your LIFE today...
Friday, April 24, 2009
today we spent our first day here in the dominican republic (DR). we are staying in sosoua by the sea. it's a beautiful place and as you can see from the picture, we are well taken care of here. here are my first (and most definitely random) thoughts about the differences between here and haiti.
1. when you get off the plane in haiti, you walk down the steps, across the tarmac, past the band, and into the airport.
2. when you get off the plane in the DR you walk down the jetway, through the dancing casino girls who want to have their picture taken with you, and into the air conditioned airport.
3. the ride to the mission complex in haiti is 25 miles and 1-1 1/2 hours.
4. the ride to the mission resort in the DR is 8 miles and 10 minutes.
5. haitians stare at white people...because we aren't common there.
6. dominicans don't stare...we are VERY common here.
7. haitians speak creole
8. dominicans speak spanish
9. haitians are proud of their country
10. dominicans are proud of their country...and hate haitians
11. haitians love it when we love their children
12. dominicans don't mind us being there and loving their children.
13. haitians want something but for the most part are orderly when we are working
14. dominicans tonite almost trampled me as i held a little boy with severe special needs because the lady next to me was giving away yarn bracelets.
15. haiti is my second home...
16. the DR is going to be number 3...
17. haiti is dusty and dirty
18. the DR is green and dusty...just not so dirty
19. tourists in haiti...non-existent
20. tourists in the DR...speedos and well tanned.
21. kids in haiti...BEAUTIFUL
22. kids in the DR...BEAUTIFUL
i'll post more random thoughts and musings as we go...yeah, i can do that since i brought my laptop and am using the WI-FI here in the resort...what a different world and we're just on the other side of the island. i have to admit i struggle just a little bit knowing that this world exists here. i struggle to think so many ministry opportunities exist here that haven't been tapped into yet, but i'm learning more and more every day that God is going to get things done. He doesn't need my help but He has chosen to offer me the chance to join Him and watch Him work. He's going to do something...even on this trip...that is going to blow my fragile mind!
Posted by myLIFEspeaks at 11:40 PM
Monday, April 20, 2009
i don't know if you're on twitter or not, or if you even care, but sometimes amazing things happen.
ashton kutcher recently became the first person to have 1,000,000 followers on twitter. in case you live under a technological rock, that means one MILLION people CHOSE to follow him...pretty cool stuff. the fun thing about it was he was in a race with cnn to see who would reach one million first. one person with as much interest as an entire global network!
i jumped on the ashton bandwagon pretty quick and was blown away to find out his efforts to help rid the world of malaria by getting mosquito nets purchased for use around the globe. the malaria no more project and ashton worked together to bring awareness to the serious issue of malaria in africa. the plan is simple, when someone (even someone in a 3rd world country) has access to a mosquito net...their chances of contracting malaria go down, so let's work on getting them nets...simple enough right? you can see in the picture the mosquito nets we GLADLY SLEEP UNDER when we go to haiti. i would dare say you would like the same protection if you lived in an area where malaria was a real problem...not a sad spot on the evening news, but a real-LIFE problem that was killing your friends and family members.
you can imagine my surprise this morning when i woke up and found the following "tweet" from @aplusk:
you are right, I'm a feelingless drone sending you love RT @Deltaqte: No one gives a ____ about you anymore. You are not one of us, ______.if you're not familiar with "tweet" language RT means "re-tweet" and the message is being passed on from one person to another, in this case ashton is "re-tweeting" a message he was noted in. i chose to edit the tweet since it had some colorful adjectives.
about 4 hours ago from TweetDeck
here's my question...why would someone choose to criticize another person for using their abilities to help others? seriously, why? why would someone be upset with another (even a celebrity) for helping others? how can ANYONE not care that others are dying daily because they don't have a place to escape to? my thought is @deltaqte lives in a house with walls, windows, and screens. i would say they have never seen malaria or those it affects. that's the ONLY way i think it can happen. if they are familiar with malaria then what in the world brings the hate out? did you not like ashton as the "face" or "money maker with the lebaron" in cheaper by the dozen? come on!!! meat pants RULE!
i don't think i have ever thought of that side of celebrity status. people criticize everything...not just what you wore on the red carpet, how you look on the beach in spain, but what you're doing. i never thought of ashton kutcher as one who would be changing the world...LITERALLY...and more than i can say for most!!!, but i whole-heartedly get behind him. in fact, we just bought some new nets for Haiti recently and i feel closer to him already. maybe we'll hang out next time he and the family get to nashvegas!
next time: THINK before you rant...
Posted by myLIFEspeaks at 5:42 AM
Thursday, April 16, 2009
ever wondered why some people want to die over a certain hill? i have to admit i have questions as to how some people get to their interpretations and justify their positions according to what they choose to hold as a conviction.
why did Jesus choose to turn water into wine as His first miracle? did He not know that wine, or any alcohol, would be a polarizing substance in today's culture? surely He did. did He know that Christians around the world and denominations would be split on that very topic? did He know that there would be those who live their lives knowing they are good because they have never drank alcohol? did He even care?
does He care now? why does the Bible refer to drinking alcohol and give warning to not be drunk, but never says either to drink or not do drink. why would Jesus choose something so divisive to turn water into? could it be because it wasn't a big deal and wanted to set an example? i don't know the answer to that...but i'll have a drink...of water...because if i do that, no one gets angry...except the people who work at coke, or pepsi, or the Christian who works at the bottled water plant.
I CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE!!! so maybe we won't settle some of these arguments...until God intervenes.
i have heard great men of God speak to the alcohol issue and do great jobs...on BOTH sides of it. johnny hunt comes to mind as a proponent of abstinence as does a great friend and mentor, jerry sutton. then others (mostly non-baptist) bring equally persuasive arguments to non-abstinence, but because the Bible is clear on drunkenness they all agree on that--i didn't choose to name them because quite honestly some of you would get a giant red magic marker and cross them off your Christmas card list because of their position! so i have to ask, isn't it a little humorous when we argue over where God chooses NOT to speak but can agree so easily on areas where God plainly speaks??
when was the last time you chose to shut up when it was your conviction (which you by all means SHOULD listen to) and not God's command...?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
i found this in a grocery story not too long ago and thought it warranted a picture. the only question i have when i look at it is WHY? why in the world would you put this on your product? surely SOMEONE had to think this was a bad idea...but i guess they lost out.
i can hear the conversation now:
boss: what do you think of this logo
employee 1: *snicker* it looks...well...great!
employee 2: *laughing a muffled laugh* oh DEFINITELY!
boss: good, we're going to print!
later that evening:
boss: honey look at our new product!
boss's wife: WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING?
Posted by myLIFEspeaks at 9:50 AM
Thursday, April 2, 2009
this morning i was talking to God (not really listening a whole lot honestly) and just poured out my fears and insecurities to Him. it was more than a little scary knowing that i was coming "clean" with it all. i tend to take things and make them "mine" rather than leave them to Him.
so, as i was wrapping up my "talk" i asked Him to show me something today that would calm me...in His word. then i read (youversion is AMAZING with daily readings...) and i came to Galatians 1.
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:6--niv
need i say more? NO!
Posted by myLIFEspeaks at 8:39 AM
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
at Terra Nova this year, i had the opportunity to speak about one of my favorite characters of the Bible...Noah.
when i think of Noah, many times my mind doesn't go to the rainbow, the rain, or the flood. my mind goes to how must he have felt for 120 years as he built a boat. i think my favorite part of the whole story is found in Genesis 6:8-9, where Noah is described
BUT Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a RIGHTEOUS MAN, BLAMELESS among the people of his time, and he WALKED WITH GOD.
Without a whole lot of back story on this, Noah was the ONE person on the earth who hadn't given in to temptation and the evils of the world. THE ONLY ONE! i find myself teetering on the wrong side of that line many times. i find myself wanting to be a light in a dark place but looking around to see if it's truly dark yet. i want to be salt but wonder at times if i have lost my saltiness.
the greatest part about this story is knowing that even when i feel like i am truly the only person with a certain belief or conviction or the only one who doesn't agree with what the supposed Christian leader of the day says, i know that the Holy Spirit is there to prod me along and to remind me of the very presence of God in my LIFE.
One key part to this story is found in verse 22:
Noah did EVERYTHING God commanded him.which meant building a boat when everyone else played. it meant succumbing to the stares and laughs of the others in his city. can you imagine how he felt pulling into the home depot for yet ANOTHER load of gopher wood? what about his wife? do you think the women at the local starbucks didn't snicker when she walked in?
i think Noah was considered crazy by many, stupid by others, and odd by most. in the end though, it didn't matter what the others thought because God was watching him the whole time. God was watching an ordinary man do something extraordinary. God was watching His man do what he was told to do.
oh God that i would be willing to build a boat in my backyard if you called me to!
Monday, January 5, 2009
so the new year rolled around and i found myself in the midst of doing something i totally love. i was at Terra Nova with my wife, 2 of my boys, and some of the best friends a guy could have. after the customary loud music, confetti drop, balloon pop, and general all around good time, we began the task of cleaning up.
funny how that seems like LIFE a lot. many times i find that in the times of loud, boisterous, crazy activity, the realization is that things are going to have to return to how they once were. while we were cleaning the room of confetti and other craziness at Christ Church, i thought more than once, "this will NEVER get back the way it was." the reality was however, the room eventually was cleaned (as were all of the 40+ rooms we used there) and put back into as good as new shape (and a few rooms were made to look better than they did before we arrived).
as i cleaned up, i realized that i have a tendency to live for the big moments. i LOVE the big event, the stage time, and the loud moments of celebration...many of us do. i however tend to look at the regular LIFE i live as constantly needing a change. i believe with all of my heart that my LIFE MUST change, but it can't always be the biggest and loudest on the block. i am beginning to realize sometimes God uses the everyday to prepare me for the big event.
i realize now that Christ Church would have been more than a little upset if we would have chosen to simply take our stuff and go. if we would have left our mess for someone else to clean up would have been easier--most definitely--but it also would have shown others how little we care...and i know we care a LOT about others.
so back to the clean-up. my LIFE is just like that. i need occasional times of reflection and a chance to really "think" about what's going on in LIFE. i need to come face to face with the reality that i need to put things back in order at times. it's great to have a gathering, celebration, or full-on party, but i still need to find a solid center point to which i can anchor.
the last three years have been more "free flow" than anything else. i have had a couple of jobs and even been able to grow myLIFEspeaks to something i am very proud of. now, i get to invest in people's lives on a regular basis, and see LIFE change happen...in a different setting--corporate. i'm looking forward to it, so we'll see what happens...
i love and believe in the myLIFEspeaks message with everything and God is allowing me to meet people who believe in it as well. i'm praying that God will continue to show me how my LIFE is supposed to look in the days to come. one thing is certain...keep Him as that strong center point, and don't run from the clean-up.