Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Well - a couple of days early and "Mission Accomplished"...

Sunday afternoon I ran 13.7 miles to take my grand total for the year up to 1002 miles!

Last January 1, I decided that I'd run 1000 miles this year - and so I did.

As I ran, I've been working on a book called "Leadership on the Run". It's not ready to read yet, since most of it is still in my head - but I've learned some great lessons about leadership that came from 1000 miles on the road.

Anyway, this year, I'll put the book to paper and see what happens.

By the way, I'll run today or tomorrow, and continue running in the days ahead. Though I've "accomplished" the "mission" - I'll still run. I guess the "mission" was just a milemarker that helped me keep moving toward the greater goal of healthy living.

There's a lesson in there somewhere...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Running on Leadership

So, I'm running this afternoon, approaching mile 960-something, and of course, it's snowing again. Blizzard. Squall. My eyes nearly freeze shut - except, well, they were open. But my eyelashes were thick with ice! How fun!

But as I ran, I thought this thought: Why do grown men play football? More to the point: why do they get so EXCITED about making a tackle or catching a pass - what, with all the chest thumping and strutting and even an occasional point towards heaven?

Don't get me wrong - I love football - am nearly addicted to watching (and still, within me there's that hope that some coach somewhere will need me as a wide receiver and call me onto the field!) But WHY do grown men get SO into it?

And, because I had plenty of miles to run and time to think, and because I was engaged in my own battle against the snow and ice and wind - I've figured it out.

Exodus 15:3 makes it clear: "The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name." We sometimes forget that not only is God loving and gentle, but he is a warrior. And may I remind you that we are made in God's image? Grown men on the football field - image bearers of God - naturally become warriors. The drive to do battle - for good (my team) to conquer evil (your team) is strong and real inside each of us. God put it there.

The danger is not that we'd play football (or any other sport, video game or even dance contest for that matter) - but the danger is that we'd allow that to be our ONLY outlet of the warrior within.

Good must conquer. Light ALWAYS prevails. Get in the game! And Christmas is the perfect time to do it. Find a need and fill it. Then give a mighty chest bump to whomever is closest to you!

Monday, December 15, 2008


God answers prayer!
So, I've been praying recently, that God would give me someone to get to know and help them along in their journey to Jesus. I just don't know any unchurched people - I've only been here a few months.
So, I'm out jogging. About mile 3.5. Blinding snowstorm. I'm running down a little road between two massive farm fields - and I notice a truck up ahead, pulling over to the side of the road.
As I approace, I notice the guy is wearing camo and fishing around in the back of his truck.
He's gonna go hunting.
I stop and chat. And find out that he's hunting coyote!
Wow -- I've never hunted coyote before.
So, as he's telling me about his occasional "big hunts" with a bunch of his friends, I boldly make the ask: "I want in on this - it sounds fun!" Well, he could have plinked me with his .270 right there, but instead, he gave me his card and said that I could join them.
This is what is called "purpose driven hunting".

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dream Big

Well, it's almost over!

For the last 6 weeks, I've attempted to have dessert with everyone in my church.

Jogging has helped to keep me from expanding too much - and some great volunteers in my church helped make this happen.

Tonight, I wrap up the last "in house" dessert. I've been able to go to about 16 homes and meet with small groups of people. While there, I do a talk on Luke 15 (Lost people matter to God) and then we pray and dream. We dream BIG dreams for our church. God's dreams! And it's been fun!
But I'm exhausted. So tonight is a landmark of sorts. I am 'almost' done with phase one of our visioneering plan. (I have one more dessert at the church on Sunday afternoon, for all those who couldn't make an 'in home' invitation).
Next, is prayer and prepare, where I and the Leadership Team work through all the results of these extraordinary meetings.
Then, I'll put together a talk and test drive it a few times.
Rewrite and then we'll have VISION DAY where we'll launch -- together!
That's when it all begins!
Very exciting! The people of Portage Free Methodist have been so great. Awesome prayer times and fantastic ideas! Wow - thanks God!

New Coffee Place

Wow - what a staff and high capacity volunteers!

Yesterday, Linda held a meeting where we tried to solve the age old mystery of assimilating new people into the church.
During the meeting, we discovered that we have no "mid-size" environments, where new people can get to know us personally. It's a bit much to expect them to jump from a "big" worship service into a "small" group or class. That would be intimidating to most.
So the idea, was to create a relaxed place where people can hang out, without pressure.
Coffee is obviously the answer.
So, the group decided to establish a sort of "half-time cafe" - open between our Sunday morning services, especially designed with new people in mind. Then, they said: "Let's do it - now!"
Of course, me being the voice of reason said "Shouldn't we at least wait one week?" They denied my attempt at moving slow, saying things like "You've taught us well, you should be proud!"
I went to my office and they ran and built a cafe.
So, if you've not made the jump to one of our Christian Ed. classes - why not drop in for some coffee!