Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Praying for those in leadership

a leader in crisis

I came across this article in my reading just after I had been praying for those in leadership on my prayer sheet. Thought I would share it. Leaders will only be as effective as our prayers for them. "Are you praying for your leaders?"

If there’s anything we’ve learned as leaders it's that being a leader isn’t easy.

Usually, the most difficult part of leadership is the inner battles. Within a divided heart, internal conflicts can wage a terrible war. When the war is finally won, there still remains unsettling causalities.

Yes, we’re better for the battle…but wounding is unpleasant.

When a leader faces crisis, they usually don’t talk about it to the people they are leading. The followers wouldn’t fully understand all the complexities and it isn’t right to dump it all on them anyway. Even if we did dump it on them, they probably couldn’t offer much help anyhow. So where does this leave leaders, when they are in a crisis?

Questions abound. Loneliness magnifies. Fear arrives. One’s calling is even challenged.

As a leader, you may feel the pressure to appear as though you have “it all together.” That is, at a minimum, you may feel the need to have it together “enough” to lead teenagers. But the deep confusion that can come from a fierce internal wrestling match will ultimately undermine your leadership confidence.

In the depth of your heart, you probably realize that you’re not alone, but it sure feels lonely. And the way you feel is very real.

Crisis can yield ugly fruit in the life of a leader, like cynicism or criticism, both of which can dismantle and destroy leaders. Unfortunately, that ugly fruit doesn’t help one overcome a crisis. Actually, cynicism and criticism keep others (who might be able to comfort and help) at a safe distance.

Fortunately, during these moments (and even seasons) of ugly fruit, GOD doesn’t leave us on our own. He may be difficult to sense through our hardened filters of cynicism and criticism…but he’s there waiting to give us the wisdom we so desperately need. Until we pursue him, the loneliness is magnified. By Doug Field & Matt McGill

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Melanie In Slovenia--Summer Missionary

Here is the latest from Melanie on her first of two missions trip this summer. Leg one to Slovenia and then leg two to Camp Morrow. She is doing great...her words and I am sure she is! Pray for connections with campers, strength and stamina as well as sleep and that the Lord would use and stretch her in some incredible ways!!!

Hey daddy i love you and i miss you and I'm doing great!! Let mom know if she stills wants to move I will move here!!! I love it!! after 4 hours i decided to move here and live, she would love it!! say hi to everyone update my page please thanks, oh and first day and everyone is laughing when i make jokes! (good start) LOVE YOUR LITTLE MUNCHKIN!!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (quote from Facebook she wrote)

Follow her team at www.SLO2010.blogspot.com for updates and pictures!!!

Also, pray as she is somewhere between 800 to a 1000 dollars short for her support for the summer. Thanks from a proud daddy!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer is here!

For me, I love the summer time. Tonight I was able to go out and umpire a double header OIBA game. Two great games, two good teams and an outstanding partner for both games.

The weather couldn't have been better and the field was great. All that to say, SUMMER is Here!!
It seemed to take a while but what a day!

Also, you know it is a great day when you get to do something else you love to do...share about how JESUS can change a life!!! After the game tonight, a fan came up to me and we visited about the game. We began to talk about life, family and asked about a sticker on my rear window of the van. It says, "Patriots Pray!" He asked about it...I shared with him about my son, his tour in the sandbox and then while I pray! He was intrigued and we talked for about 30 mins. I shared with him what it means to follow Jesus as well as what it means to allow Jesus to direct your life.

At the end of our conversation, he made know outward decision but was really thankful for the time and the information I shared.

Now that to me is a great summer day!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Big Question!!!

In the last few days, I have been asked what I call, "The Big Question!" Many thoughts of what that question might be, may be running around in your mind. Okay, I will let you in on what that question is.


Now you maybe saying, that is not a Big Question. That is a simple question. It is asked everyday by many people of many different people. Just because it has been and is asked, doesn't mean it is an easy question to answer.

I have in the past found myself not asking people that question because there are times, I don't want to stop and take the time to hear the answer or even pretend that I care when then the answer is given. I have felt that if I ask someone that, I need to stop, focus and listen. If I don't then I feel that I must not care about that person and what they are going through,

Conversely, I have been struck with the fact that in the last two days, I have stopped counting at 45 times that I have been asked The Big Question only to find that the person asking wasn't interested in hearing how I really was doing. They were either being courteous but not able to, willing to or just didn't wait to hear the answer. In at least 5 of those times I was asked the question and the person asking, answered how I was doing and assumed that all was great despite my honest answer. A couple of times that I was asked and shared how I was doing and feeling, the individuals said that it couldn't be and that there was no way, that I was really feeling those feelings.

Now I am not trying to whine, I am only thinking and processing, when we ask The Big Question, do we really and truly want to know the answer? Do we ask to just be polite? Do we want to help shoulder the burden they may share with us?

So, I am challenging myself to rethink when I ask the question I need to be sure I want to hear the answer and do what I can to help with the response and the responder. Also, I may need to find a different question to ask if I am just being polite, pleasant and creating small talk.

I am thankful that my wife when she asks me, really wants to know. She has asked me a few times this week and has stopped, listens, prayed and then offered advise. Thanks for that Babe!! I am honored that you care, share and are there for me.

Just a thought I have been pondering...any thoughts or responses? Would love to hear them.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What a difference that makes!!

Often times I find myself telling someone, "You bet, I will pray for you.", then realize that just hours later or even days have gone by and I haven't stopped to pray once for them. Now you may say, that is no big deal, God knows but in my mind, that is a big deal.

I believe that I have made an agreement with that person to pray for them and talk with God directly on their behalf. That is a big deal. In a recent conversation with my son who is in Iraq, he mentioned that he knew people were praying for him. He could sense that. He is halfway around the world and in the middle of the world's big sandbox...what a difference that makes!!!

Knowing that there are people praying for someone, something going on in another persons life or family is a big deal. Also, to realize that I get to have a small part in that life situation, that makes a big difference.

Since recognizing my shortcoming in praying for people, I now have started to stop immediately what I am doing and if possible, pray with them right there and if not with them, stop my activity and pray right then. What a difference that makes!!!

The difference is immediate because, I have just taken the need, problem, concern, worry or situation into the throne room of the Creator of ALL THINGS!!! He, God, really cares and really listens...what a thought! Then, the person knows, that I did what I said I would do. In addition, because I have gone to the Lord with that request, I am reminded of the prayer later and will again go before the Lord with the prayer again...this, is praying at all times. Not a set time, when the Holy Spirit prompts me to pray.

So, next time you tell someone you will pray for them, stop right there, do it and then watch and see how the Lord works in and through the situation. And, when He wakes you at 2 am to pray, do so with joy as you know that the One who hears our prayers, answers them...what a difference that makes!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


In 1980, I was in my Homiletics class (Preaching) and recalled the prof telling all of the students that we were going to work on developing an order of service and this is how a worship service is to be conducted.

You start with the organ prelude, welcome and opening prayer, a couple of hymns of the faith from the 1800’s, (slow and mundane), then an offering followed by a sermon not to exceed more than 20 minutes and then the final hymn and a closing prayer.

Well, contrary to popular belief, that is not a worship service! In fact, today I had the pleasure of attending a small church in the mountains in northern California. Rackerby Community Church is a small body of believers that today, were hit with some shaking news. One of member’s daughter died totally unexpected. Right in the middle of the service, Pastor Lee Beldon, AMF Area Missionary stopped the service when the grandson of the member burst into the service and demanded that the member come now and leave.

As she left, Pastor Lee immediately took the body to prayer and then call Joe to the front as well as myself. Joe took the offering and Pastor Lee asked me to bring the message from the Word. At that point, Pastor Lee left to be with the family. That meant that the entire order of service was changed and that the flow was interrupted. The body came together for the family in need and the service went on.

In most churches that would completely be disturbing and the question would be, “What now?” “I was never trained for this in seminary?”, might be the response. Contrary to popular belief, Pastor Lee followed the Holy Spirit and the WORSHIP SERVICE went on. It looked different, had a different impact but, God was glorified and HIS WORD was preached!!!

What a great lesson and eternal impact was made when the Spirit leads and we follow! Contrary to popular belief, when you let the Holy Spirit direct, it comes together for HIS GLORY!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Several weeks ago, our family had the honor and privilege to attend the Oregon National Guard Mobilization Ceremony for the 41st Infantry Battalion Combat Team a part of the 2/162. This ceremony was to publicly recognize the men and women of the 41st and to send them off officially.

There were two observations that I had from that day. The first was the looming presence that we were saying goodbye to our son and his fellow soldiers. This loomed in the room like the heavy damp London fog. It is the reality of war time military operations and yet it was unmistakable the feelings that were heavy on all of our hearts and mind.

The second observation that I had that day was that there was an incredible sense of camaraderie and a definite presence of patriotism. This was such a good feeling. The support of our soldiers and the fact that they were willing and ready to defend our nation was caught up in that feeling of patriotism.

Near the end of the ceremony, my heavy heart was lifted and a ray of hope began to shine. Sitting right in front of me the entire time was a little five year old girl. She was wearing a dress and had her brown hair pulled up in a pony tail with red, white and blue ribbons tied in it.

During the course of a song, this precious little girl stood on her seat, raised her right arm and began to wave the small American flag she was given upon arrival that day with pride, excitement and true American patriotism. As I sat and watched this happen right before me, I know that reason my son was heading for the sandbox of the Middle East was to defend our freedoms and to ensure that this young lady would be able to do that anywhere and at anytime.

Tears began to fall down my face as I watched this. Not tears for sadness, not tears of pain and not even tears of letting my son go for 10 months. Tears of joy, tears of pride and tears of TRUE PATRIOTISM! I have a deep respect for all of our men and women of the armed forces that have served and are serving. Their commitment, determination and professionalism is what allows us to enjoy what we have and all to often, we take our freedoms for granted.

Not only did we send off our son in whom we are so proud of, but this little lady said goodbye for the 2nd time to her daddy. The looming feeling of sadness falls on me again as I write this, and yet I know the PATRIOTISM shown that day by all of us and this little girl, reminds me of what is important. Our freedoms!

How often do we take our freedoms for granted? Not just our freedoms in this nation, but also the freedoms that we have when we have made the voluntary decision to join in the army of the Creator of all things. God has given absolutely everything to us and yet it was not free. It cost Him the life of His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. God was willing to provide away that would make it possible for you and me to experience true freedom in life by not being held down by the selfish desires of our own. It requires that we surrender our will, wants and life to Him and to give Him the controls of our life.