Thursday, March 19, 2015

More than sugar water

“All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.”    C.S. Lewis
Life can be confusing….it is always moving….changing. 
There are more unknowns than knowns. There are more variables than constants. There are more possible outcomes than anyone could predict, no matter how smart they are.

We also have an overwhelming amount of information each day telling us what to buy, who to look like, or what to wear to make us current and culturally relevant.  It is easy to focus on these things but today’s trend is tomorrow’s "has been".

I think part of the reason we look for the “latest” thing is we are longing for something that makes a difference something that lasts.

There is a great story told about how Steve Jobs got the president of Pepsi Corporation to leave his very prestigious, secure, and extremely well-paying job to come work for an up and coming company called Apple. He asked him to meet, gave him his pitch, and told him of the need. However, the Pepsi executive wasn’t willing to leave behind his future of power, prestige, and money. Not willing to accept a “no,” Jobs looked at him and said, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugar water, or do you want a chance to change the world?”  John Sculley left Pepsi and came to work for Apple.

I think we all have a desire to make a difference with our life and invest in things that really matter. In fact, God encourages us to think about our life from the standpoint of eternity, to ponder and invest in the things that are eternal.

My pastor in college, Dr. Al Jackson, said something almost weekly that constantly rings in my ears to this day, “There are only two things in existence on the earth that will last forever, the Word of God and the souls of men.”  If this is true, and I believe it is, then it matters how we invest our lives in these two things every day.

Paul said it this way in Colossians:

 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 (NIV)

In fact, it’s when we lose sight of the eternal things that we often lose our way in life, becoming solely focused on the here and now. Time passes, and before long, you realize – like John Sculley – that you’re simply making “sugar water.”

The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:18 (The Message)

Photo credit:  Patrick Roos

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Generous Life

Whether positive or negative, our actions have consequences. Yesterday’s bad choices cause us to spend today repairing the messes we’ve made, whereas the wise choices of the past position us to take advantage of today’s opportunities. (Note the choice equation: Bad choices = equal smaller world and less freedom. Wise choices = equals larger world and more freedom)

Success is based on the seeds you sow, not the harvest you reap. If you sow wisely and diligently, the harvest is automatic. Sow daily in the lives of others, by encouraging and serving and helping, and your investment will compound over time.

This is what most of us think:

Success makes you happy. Happiness permits you to be generous.

In fact, it actually works like this:

Generosity makes you happy. Happy people are more likely to be successful.

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. Galatians 5:13 (The Message)

sources: John Maxwell “Are you busy building sandcastles”, Seth Godin “The Generosity Boomerang”, photo source;

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Go beyond....

Why should any phenomenon be deemed impossible? The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine. -  Physicist, Sir James Jean

I believe we are a "great thought", a great thought of God, created in His image.  We have been given the ability to do great things to go beyond what we can think or imagine…..but there is this voice…..a voice inside telling us to be careful, take it slow, to compromise.

Do you hear it?….this voice saying to focus on the easy things first, do the Twitter update, the Facebook post, another spreadsheet, do another email before you create something valuable.

This voice in our head is responsible for lengthy meetings, mediocre products, the constant rationalization of everything we professionally or personally produce.

Where does this voice come from? It is likely created from a combination of things...teachers, friends, family, books and other things we've consumed.

Our task today (and everyday)…. quiet the voice. Focus on the things we really believe in.

The voice wants to be heard but it’s our choice to listen to it or is time to tune it out, be who God created us to go beyond and change the world.

Stuck is a state of mind, and it’s curable. - Seth Godin

Illustration by Tara Jacoby.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I HOPE you read this....

 I find myself using the word “hope” frequently.  “I hope you are having a great day”,”I hope your wife is feeling better" , “I hope you and your family have a great vacation”.  It caught my attention today because I was using it in emails as we start the new year, “I hope this year is a great one for you”. 

I don’t know about you but it is easy to get in the habit of using words because it seems to be the right thing to say or it is “what I always say”.  But words matter and I don’t want to gloss over “hope" because it is an easy word to use.  Hope is one of the most powerful and energizing words in the English language. It is something that gives us strength to keep going in the toughest of times. And its power energizes us with excitement and anticipation as we look toward the future.

It’s been said that a person can live forty days without food, four days without water, four minutes without air, but only four seconds without hope. If you want to help people win, then become a purveyor of hope. By John C. Maxwell

Did you get that? Not money or silver or chemicals or rubber or steel or silicon or talk  or even sugary water. What we need is hope.

The magical thing about hope is that it makes everything else work better, every day get better, every project work better, every relationship feel better.

Hope cures cynicism. Hope increases productivity. Hope needs no justification.

Also great news, our God is the God of hope….an unending supply of what we need!  Isaiah 40:31 says this:

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

So no matter where you are or how difficult or dark it seems…..don’t give up! There is good news…..there is hope!.  It is not just a word I am using to make you or me feel better….it is what we need, powerful and life giving!

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope! Romans 15:13

references: pic:creatonomics blog, seth godin, john maxwell, the Message Bible, NIV Bible

Monday, November 24, 2014


The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;those who help others are helped.

Proverbs 11:24-25 (The Message)

It is always encouraging to see people who have built a life used for generosity.

Why be generous?

Why go out of your way for someone who can't possibly pay you back or even think about getting something for your giving?

This kind of giving creates meaning and momentum and structure and something money, or possessions, or fame can't possibly ever give you….it is a deep satisfaction and happiness that can’t be manufactured. 

It is true wealth, the kind that only comes from connecting to others through real sacrifice

It manifests itself in different forms, sometimes it is giving of your energy, time, knowledge, experience, and yes every once in a while even possessions and money. 

But this is what I know…usually the person or people or organization you are helping are not nearly as blessed as you are for making the sacrifice.