Another Christmas….

Another Christmas……some can’t wait until it comes

Some can’t wait until it’s over

But now it is here….. Christmas Day

What does it all mean and why such a Celebration?

For Christians it means something different in a more personal and meaningful way than those who just know it as another Holiday…..a day off of work or school, or a day to give and receive gifts.

For some it is a day of joy, and others a day of drama, still others a day of sadness.

For some it’s football.

Whatever this day means to you…..could you pause and read a small note, a personal message.

This personal message from a friend of mine of years past, Freedom Kongvold, might help some find a reason to consider why all the “fuss” over Christmas, a day everyone in the world knows of, and many acknowledge as one of the most important days of all mankind, could be one of the most important days of your life.

Take a read and give some thought.

http://www.freedomkongvold.com/blog/christmas-2016

The Pa Project – A Call to Action

Over the last 20 + years I have had the pleasure of watching a young quiet couple from a small town in Pennsylvania grow into one of the most dynamic and caring leaders I know. Their names to most people in Pennsylvania and across America may be unknown, but their touch and influence is profound. Their life and legacy is still in progress but has been extended through their offspring. They say an apple does not fall far from the tree, and in this case their “four apples” and their spouses have inspired an entire community of leaders at Life Leadership to action; and with that The Pa Project was born.

2016-05-16-23.14.21                                    Dean & Teresa Frey Family along with Deb and Myron Kile

Dean & Teresa Frey and their amazing children Zach, Lexi, Levi and Haley are impacting lives while creating family memories and a legacy to be proud of.

Christmas Day – A Day To Change Your Life

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:16-20 NIV

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One birth changed the world, by bringing into this world a Savior who can save us from our sins and bring us eternal life.

This CHRISTmas don’t just celebrate the day but take the time to learn of this miraculous opportunity to change your life.

How Much Intelligence Does it Take?

I, like many people love automobiles. They are amazing! They provide the ability to get so many different places so quickly and in comfort. And many look so good. There are so many awesome designs, engines with great horsepower, climate controlled, with sound systems that marvel, technology to the max. They are designed with style that is not only attractive but engineered with efficiency in mind.

I love the new Tesla S! It is an amazing car. No engine, no transmission, no need for gasoline, a full 17 inch computer screen to handle the functions of your automobile. And even with no engine or transmission it is still a car with great acceleration, 0-60mph in just over 4 seconds. It had to require a different thought process, a paradigm shift to believe you could create an automobile that is fast as most any sports car on the market and not have an engine. It had to have challenged the intelligent automotive minds of today to think and design such an automobile.

2012-tesla-model-s_100365754_m

WHERE’S THE ENGINE?

TESLA S Trunk

Then look at the smart phones of today. Small, with so much technology and apps it staggers the imagination. These people who design these things are intelligent, I mean really really smart.

To have the vision to think these concepts in the mind and the smarts to create these technologies from mind to reality took some major intelligence. Likewise I cannot imagine that to create our world it took any less intelligence or any less design. None of us will deny the fact that the products we live our lives with today, from something as simple as a fork and spoon, to complexity of the automobile or smart phone didn’t happen by accident. Someone had to think and design the fork and spoon just as they had to have the intelligence to think and create the automobile and smart phone.  How can we possibly think that complexity of the earth, with its water, oxygen, plants, animals, insects, humans, etc. all of which play an integral role in each other’s existence, happened without that same intelligence or with any sense of design that our circle of life and ecosystem would all work together.

As a person who studied the sciences we were taught to propose a hypotheses or theory and then prove or disprove it. Many theories that could not be proved were by default considered disproved….until new knowledge became available. Just because we cannot explain something and it is beyond our current level of understanding doesn’t mean it is not possible or didn’t happen. I am not the smartest person in the world, but even the most intelligent minds could not possibly design and create our planet and the life on. I also find it intellectually very hard to believe that like the fork, spoon, automobile and smart phone that they were created by the big bang theory and then evolved into the ordered life systems we know. Many things we are still learning and trying to understand, but how much intelligence would it take to design and create the universe, the planet, all living things and the human race? Could we propose that perhaps a mind much greater than a single human mind, or perhaps even greater than the mind of all of our experts combined?

So……… as an intelligent person reading this blog I want to challenge you to watch this 38 minute video. Listen intently to the questions being asked and the responses to those questions. Ask yourself some of those same questions.

Now think about this. How much time and energy did most of us spend researching our last automobile to make sure it was safe or fuel efficient? An automobile that we might keep for 3-5 years? Would it be worth spending 38 minutes watching this video and then do some research to make a decision where you and your children may spend eternity? It might require a Paradigm Shift, but be smart and do your homework. One thing for sure, the cost is greater and you will be there longer than you will keep your car.

The Cure – Book Review

The Cure

I picked this book up at first because of the notation on the front cover;

“What if God isn’t who you think He is and neither are you”

Then I turned it over and read some of the recommendations;

“No other resource has had such a profound impact on my life other than the Bible”

“The most important expression of the Gospel I have ever read”

“These days I recommend The Cure more than any single book in my library”

“From a psychological and theological perspective, The Cure is the single most important book that I have read”

“Sometimes a book can change your life. This one changed mine, and I am still learning from it. This is the best and most practical book on living by grace that I have ever read”

These were some powerful recommendations…. So I bought the book.

As I started to read the first part of the book it was confusing.

In the middle of the book I got lost.

At the end of the book I was captivated.

But what made it all come together was reading the Notes they put at the end of the book. Those notes that follow those little annotations we tend to ignore when we read. As I started to read a couple of the notes it caused me to go back and read more of the first chapter to put the notes into context. Then I do what I only do on occasion, and that was to read the Bible verse referenced in the first chapter. As I searched for each notation I re-read more  and more of the first chapter and then started re-reading the book,  now taking each annotation and following it and then back to the book and before you knew it the book came to life.

If you want answers as to why you try to do the right thing and never can seem to do so consistently, or you  tend to do not what you know is right but what is wrong. If your relationships seem unsettled and you can’t seem to repair them, or if you wonder what your life’ purpose is, your destiny and your role in this crazy unsettled world then this book is for you.

We are a week out from Christmas which centers around the birth of Christ and you have may have questions.

Questions that keep causing you to search.

If you question who God really is and what place, if any he should have in your life?

If you question who God is and who you really are and what your relationship to him should look like?

Then this book is for you!

As the book challenges; “But God’s cures rarely come in the form we expect.”

“What if indeed, God is not who we think he is and neither are we”

Youth in Motion

We hear today about the youth of our country and how we wish they were more involved in making our world a better world.

Kids on drugs, kids getting in trouble and dropping out of school. What is happening to today’s young people?

Well…..one thing is for certain, there are many who are actively involved and contributing to society and making it a better place to live.

One comes to mind recently that I heard on the EDGE Series, of a young man in Canada, 13 year old Wesley Prankard a young man who has raised thousands of dollars to help the Aborigines in Canada. His wisdom and efforts are an example for all young people that they can do more to make a difference. My Canadian friends should be proud of this young man.

For me personally, I know a young lady here in Pennsylvania that is making a difference. A little girl I have watched grow into a young lady who is out locally on the streets of Philadelphia making a difference…….Maile Hoffman. Let me share an article (click to read) that was recently written about Maile and her efforts to reach people to make a difference in their lives.

Maile’s accomplishments have been preceded by a lifetime of effort from her parents Tony & Sharon Hoffman previously featured in Profiles in Leadership, and her grandparents, and her mentors in her school and youth program from her church. Wesley Prankard speaks of his parents and the mentors who have shaped and continue to shape his life. There is power in proper associations and relationships. Parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, pastors, and friends all play a role positive and negative in helping young people to make life choices that either destroy lives or do good and change lives for the better.

Who are the young people you know who are making a positive difference in the world?

(Share their story in the comment section)

Because HE Lives

I was in church yesterday and we sang the song Because He Lives.

The lyrics made me think of the tragedy of our world society today.

The partial lyrics are as follows

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;

In our world today so many do not love and need healing and have a terrible time forgiving.

Is it possible it’s because so many in our society are trying to deny He Lives and trying to convince others to not believe He Lives

And when you read the words to the Chorus, you have to wonder is it this denying that causes so many not to want to face tomorrow and to live in fear uncertain of the future?

Chorus

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

Many can’t face tomorrow

Many live in fear

And many take their own lives and those of others because to them life isn’t worth living

Perhaps it would do us good to use better judgment and to listen to the words and realize that;
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

Are You Living Up To Your Leadership Potential?

Have you ever wanted to do something significant with your life? Make a difference in a person’s life or make a difference with your own. Maybe you are a big dreamer and have dreamed of doing something amazing with your life. Perhaps even so bold as saying you want to play a part to change the world for good. If that is you then why haven’t you?

Maybe you have tried and fell short or are falling short right now. Do you question your leadership ability? Have you asked yourself or asked GOD “am I even the right person with all my weaknesses and  flaws”? Trust me, I know the feeling. I like anyone else who has attempted to do more than I thought possible and who has wanted to do something important with my life have questioned myself and GOD, if I am really that right person.

I’d like to share some thoughts from a book I’m reading, Exponential, by Dave and Jon Ferguson – who are challenging my questioning of myself and bring some amazing points that are helping me in my leadership growth and may help you in yours.

The Ferguson’s discuss the concept of what they call “Empowering Conversations” in discussing conversations where a coach asks a leader to take the next step in his/her leadership journey.

I would like to look at the conversations we have with ourselves in this regard. We’ve all been there, asking ourselves to commit to a higher level of leadership commitment. When the moment comes how many of us want to “think big” (not in caps intentionally), but shrink back and think to ourselves “I am not capable.”

Here is what the Ferguson’s say; when we settle for a lower level of commitment, we place the development of the leader in jeopardy in a number of ways.

–          We minimize our potential – We think we are doing ourselves a favor by at least getting us to make a small doable commitment, rather than fulfilling GOD’s dream for us to reach our greatest potential.

–          We minimize the vision – When we lower the bar on leadership we make the mission of helping people seem insignificant, hardly worthwhile. Consequently we are less likely to attract high capacity leaders.

–          We minimize GOD – Who says GOD can’t change the world through you?

So you’ve failed….. So you’ve doubted…..So others have dismissed your chance of success….

Welcome to the World of Leadership

Take a Risk – Be a Leader – Change Yourself

Money Focused or Purpose Focused?

What is your Money View?

A great question to ask ourselves, because we spend so much of our life working for it – Chris Brady New York Times best-selling author does a talk explaining the concept of a money-view. Because like your worldview, your money-view determines how you approach money. And because we all have the need to earn money, how we view it determines the role it plays in our lives.

In a well articulated article Eric Blomdahl explores finding and living your GOD-given purpose. The challenge we seem to face as a society is we serve GOD on Sunday or in Bible study or on a missions trip, but 40 hours a week (80 for most couples) people focus on money by going off to a job. Many Christians feel that we are not doing GOD’s work if we make a profit, yet Christian authors are paid, and most Pastors are paid, and they usually have a paid staff to assist with the operation of the church. Our defense is the Pastor and staff, are doing GOD’s work.

In contrast most people work a job not because it was their life’s purpose or GOD’s purpose for their life, but because it paid better than the last job.  Where I live near the State Capital of Pennsylvania when asked where someone works if they work for the state you usually get the response with a reply like “I work for such and such at the state, only 12 more years to go. Does that sound like the response of someone whose job is fulfilling their life’s purpose? It sounds more like a prisoner who is doing their time for a crime committed. Maybe it should be considered a crime wasting the life and talent GOD gave us to make money when the only reason we do it because it pays more. In Scripture it states “the love of money is the root of all evil”. Well why else would someone devote their entire life to a job where they are counting the days until they retire if it wasn’t for the money? I doubt they would be there if they weren’t getting paid.

Perhaps our worldview has been shaped in the church. Many of us get our perspective on money from hearing people misquote scripture by saying money is the root of all evil or we attend a church that tends to criticize and make its members feel guilty if they earn income.

A white paper titled Pastoral Care in the Context of New Wealth authors Cooke and Moon researched to determine a Pastor’s capacity to counsel a church member who came into money through inheritance or financial success and found that most are ill equipped to provide such counsel or even know where to turn to provide direction for a church member. They cite several reasons but generally speaking it has to do with the misunderstanding of money and the role it plays in a person’s life. This confusion has been passed on in many cases to the congregation. Money in the hands of good people who understand it’s role can do amazing things.

LIFE challenges men and women to step out of a job where we work for money and into a life of purpose. What is that purpose you ask? That’s for you to decide, but let me offer a few suggestions. I’ve said recently if my children were young with today’s technology we would home school them and travel the country so they could see and experience life first hand. Imagine the memories that would be created stopping to view a sunset on the Pacific Coast of California or to wake up with your kids overlooking Lake Tahoe and have breakfast lakeside. How about going on a Missions Trip every quarter of the year? Would you take your parents on a trip to Bermuda, or a cruise to Alaska with their grandchildren? Would you volunteer more time to your favorite charity? Would you take time to really appreciate your family and each other rather than living the hurry scurry of life most families endure?

What legacy do you want to leave and when are you going to start living that legacy to leave one?

Happy Birthday

We as people seem to love to celebrate. Growing up  my parents always had a party to celebrate each of our birthdays. Likewise as we had children we had a party each year to celebrate their birthdays. We have anniversary parties for friends and family members. We’ve had engagement parties and bachelor parties, baby showers, and house warming parties. In fact my wife and I once went to a wedding in Poland where the celebration lasted a week. Yes everyone in the world seems to love a party!

We seem to have a party for everything.

Here is a list of a few I found;

Christening Celebrations First Holy Communions
Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s Reunions
Birthday Parties Pool Parties
Sweet 16’s Beach Parties
New Born Celebrations Retirement Dinners
School Dances Holiday Parties
Proms EMT Annual Awards Dinners
Block Parties Wet downs
Wedding Receptions Boat Parties
Fundraising Events Night Clubs
Corporate Events Singles Dances
Karaoke Sing-a-long College Formals
Dance Parties Graduation Parties
Anniversaries And many more!!!

At Christmas, we commemorate one of the most significant events in history, a party if you will, the birth of Jesus Christ. Just about the whole world will celebrate (whether they believe in Jesus or not) the birth of Jesus. Not unusual to celebrate someone’s birthday. Every year millions of people celebrate birthdays by throwing a birthday party for a friend or family member. But Christmas is an unusual birthday. First it is the biggest birthday celebrated that I know. But it is unusual for another reason, as Pastor Stephen Davey says; “imagine celebrating a birthday and buying a gift for everyone but the one whose birthday it is. Take that one step further by saying that everyone will be invited but the birthday boy”

In your home this Christmas, will you invite Jesus to his own party, so he can celebrate with you? If you invite him not just into your home this Christmas, but into your heart, then he can celebrate for you not just his birthday but yours (John 3:16). You can then experience Christmas with a joy by knowing the true meaning of the celebration of Christmas, the birth of your Savior.