Category Archives: Helpful Links

Reasons Pastors Fail to Cast Vision and other links I learned from this week

Links I Liked and Learned from this Week

  1. Don’t be a bachelor: Why married men work harder, smarter and make more money – Washington Post. Great article on the benefits of marriage for men.
  2. 10 Simple Changes You Can Make to Help Boost Weekend Worship Attendance – Carey Neiwhof. Practical steps you can began applying immediately.
  3. Making Mother’s Day More Meaningful – Great “ideas for showing the love of Jesus to moms and other women in your community.”
  4. Photo: Bobcat Catches Shark in the Surf – Field and Stream. Yay for Bobcats! (Pic below)
  5. 7 Things You May Not Know, but Need to Know About Your Wife – Ron Edmondson
  6. How to Feed a Crowd and Not Go Broke – Mary Hunt
  7. How to Get the Most Out of Family Dinners – – “All great change in American begins at the Dinner Table” ~ Ronald Reagan
  8. Updated my Reading List!


13 Things I Found Useful in 2013

Here’s my list of things that made life easier this year. Share yours or any upgrades so we can both make the most of 2014.

  1. Feedly – My new newspaper is my online feed reader. When Google Reader went down, I jumped onto Feedly & love it. If you do any reading online, try it out. And now the App allows you to read your feeds on any device. The Chrome Extension allows easy content adding.
  2. Delicious – I’ve been using Delicious for a few years now. Allows you to save articles online in your own data base. Greatly beneficial for sermon preparation. Also, now catalogues all your online activity including facebook, twitter, & instagram posts, etc. Also available as an app, so your catalogued articles & posts are available to you on the go. The Chrome Extension allows for quick tagging of articles & pages.
  3. YNAB – We started out with Microsoft Money, then jumped to Quicken for our household financial management. Got tired of the updates, so I looked into some cloud based solutions. We’ve used YNAB for a year now & love it. The app makes it easy to record purchases when you make them or check the budget while you’re in the store.
  4. Mailchimp – Tried almost all the others & found Mailchimp far easier, more affordable. Now doing about 5 e-news pieces each month & looking to add more this year.
  5. Dollar Shave Club – $6 a month for raisers, mailed to your house automatically. Heard about this during a church marketing training & decided to try it. Satisfied customer.
  6. All Pro Dad – I think one of the most challenging things I’ve done is be a dad. Love it, but as my boys get older, I find my inadequacy often. Lots of great encouragement & resources at
  7. – Best Bible Study resource online & in the App Store. Love to use it to scan different translations when I’m doing my morning devotions. Also, love the easy sharing features for texting encouraging verses to friends & sharing on social media networks.
  8. Church Planter Magazine – Found Peyton Jones book Church Zero this summer & loved it. Found his podcast & digital mag soon after. Great resource for planters & planting leaders.
  9. BBC World News Podcast – In search of serious news from a world wide perspective, I love downloading the BBC Podcast in the mornings & listening while getting ready or commuting. So many things we miss with American media’s fascination with what the stars are eating for breakfast, etc.
  10. Allowance Manager – Helps manage allowances, while teaching budgeting, saving, wise spending to kids. They can have an app on their gaming devices that allows them to check their balance & learn to love managing money.
  11. Evernote – I’m not using this near to its potential, but love to be able to take notes & have them on all my devices or type ideas on my phone while I’m waiting in the barber shop. Best note taking & info saving advice there is.
  12. Plugged In Online – I’ve never been interested in video games & don’t read a lot of entertainment news. And my boys generation is devouring games online & on devices like crazy. Plugged in Online provides reviews of games, music, & movies from a Christian perspective. Saves a lot of time when you get, “Hey dad, can I download this game?”
  13. Lose It – Ok. I love & hate lose it. Allows you to keep up with calorie intake & exercise. Every New Year we get reacquainted. Gonna use it all year this year :)).

What hacks, tips, & tricks made you’re life easier in 2013? Would love to know. I need all the help I can get.

Are you having an affair with your Smartphone and other links I liked and learned from this week:

from my account:

1. 11 ways to fight well, from 1 Corinthians 13  marriage, 1 Corinthians

Every couple fights. It’s a reality of living in a fallen world. But not every couple fights well.

2. Warning: Don’t Let This Person Join Your Church!

“Because of this person, needs are going unmet in our community today. He will also keep other people in church from serving God, using their spiritual gifts, from worshiping through giving, and growing in their walk with Christ.”

3. The 5 Characteristics of Weak Leaders  leadership, weakleaders

  • Flaw #1: Weak leaders hesitate to take definitive action.
  • Flaw #2: Weak leaders complain about a lack of resources.
  • Flaw #3: Weak leaders refuse to take responsibility.
  • Flaw #4: Weak leaders abuse the privileges of leadership.
  • Flaw #5: Weak leaders engage in acts of insubordination.

4. Three Kinds of People in the World Givers, matchers, and takers. Which are you?  giving

5. Stop Having an Affair with Your Smartphone! (Or iPad!)  TimeManagement

        5 Signs You May Be Having a an Affair With Your Smartphone:

  1. Taking Your Phone/iPad to Bed – When you get into bed, does your smartphone join you? Is it the last “person” that you talk to before going to bed?
  2. Checking Email Before Bed – Do you check email or Facebook before going to bed? And then again in the morning before getting up?
  3. Ignoring Your Family or Spouse – Does your family have to constantly compete for attention with your devices? Do they have to “snap you back to reality” when you are in another world with your phone?
  4. Answering Your Phone When You Are With Others – Do you answer your phone no matter where you are or what you are doing? (Hint: If you are answering your phone in the bathroom, you have lost control…)
  5. Letting Your Phone Interrupt Your Life – Do you prioritize phone beeps, dings, and chimes above people who you are meeting with in person?

“7 Things to Pray for Your Children” and other links I liked and learned from this week:

From my account

  1. Seven Things to Pray for Your Children //  parenting, prayer
  2. 10 Time Management Rules That You Are Breaking //  TimeManagement
  3. 10 Things Your Son Needs From You //  Fatherhood, Sons, Dads
  4. Starting Spiritual Conversations //  evangelism, conversations // “Sometimes people honestly have no idea how to answer a spiritual question. Modeling your own response first makes it easier for them by giving them a category for how to respond.”
  5. 12 Essentials of Powerful Church Communications //  ChurchCommunication
  6. How to Keep Your Insecurity From Hurting Your Church //  leadership, insecurity // “Competitiveness, combativeness, and complaining do not have a place in the church of Jesus Christ, especially in the life of a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
  7. Disciple Being or Disciple Making? //  Discipleship // “Disciple-making requires making new disciples. Disciple-being involves only existing disciples.”
  8. 9 Leadership Acceleration Skills //  leadership, personaldevelopment // “bad leaders, average leaders, and even good leaders can change their spots.”

25 Ways for Men to Be Servant Leaders… and other links I liked and learned from this week:

From my account

  1. The Real Definition of a Gospel-Centered Leader – excerpt from the book Creature of the Word by Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger, & Josh Patterson –  leadership
  2. EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey Kindle Edition just $1.99
  3. Leaders of Courageous Character: Why They’re Needed but Lacking– With Four Ways to Be One –  leadership, Courage
  4. 25 Ways for Men to be Servant Leaders – by Micah Carter, from the Men’s Fraternity Study Bible –  Men, husbands, family
  5. The Science Behind Coffee and Why it’s Actually Good for Your Health – “Coffee isn’t just warm and energizing, it may also be extremely good for you. In recent years, scientists have studied the effects of coffee on various aspects of health and their results have been nothing short of amazing.”
  6. “Offering to Others the New Life He Has Given Me” – Great testimony of life change from NOBTS student Shaun Grunblatt –  “Before receiving Christ at the age of twenty seven, my life had been devastated by the effects of my sin and foolish choices. I lost everything to drugs and alcohol. Then through a series of tragedies, I came to a place of humble brokenness before the Lord.”
  7. A Letter to the Church, from a Pastor – What’s your pastor thinking?  pastors
  8. 10 Reasons Dads Should Have Date Night With Their Daughters –  parenting, Daughters

“Why Nice People Kill Churches” and other links I liked and learned from this week

From my account

1. Epic Quotes on Discipleship & Influence from Prof Howard Hendricks (1924-2013)  quotes, howardhendricks, discipleship

  • You can impress from a distance, but you can only impact up close.
  • You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are.
  • Dusty Bibles lead to dirty lives.

2. Don’t Waste Your Wedding – Great Ideas for making your wedding distinctly Christian.  weddingplanning

3. 7 Common Energy and Time Wasters for Leaders  TimeManagement, Leadership

4. The Fine Art of Delegation [Podcast]  delegation, Leadership

  • Imperative #1: Admit that working non-stop is unsustainable.
  • Imperative #2: Understand your unique calling
  • Imperative #3: Select qualified leaders to assist you
  • Imperative #4: Give these leaders responsibility and authority
  • Imperative #5: Only do those things which others cannot do.

5. The Latest Pornography Statistics – Covenant Eyes Annual Report for 2013.  Porn

6. Why Nice People Kill Churches  Leadership, staff

“when being nice begins to trump being honest because you don’t want to experience the discomfort of a difficult conversation, that’s not nice…that’s selfish.”

7. Startling Facts: An Up Close Look at Church Attendance in America  churchgrowth, churchdecline

  • Less than 20% of Americans regularly attend church. 
  • American church attendance is steadily declining.
  • Mid-sized churches are shrinking; only the smallest and largest are growing.
  • The increase in churches thr0ugh planting and multiplication is only 1/4 what’s needed to keep up with population growth.

Top 5 Posts, Links, and Tweets for Jan 2012:

  1. New Data on Faith, Religion, and Perspectives on Church in St. Tammany Parish
  2. Good Reads in 2011
  3. Missional Garage Making
  4. I Don’t Want to Be A Drive-By Disciple
  5. “when you pray…And when you fast…”

Best Online Reads: (from my Delicious Account)

  1. Missional Challenge: Are You Aware of Your Assumptions? by Dave Devries
  2. Three Topics a Small Group Should Never Discuss by Rick Howerton
  3. Five Steps to Leading a Good Meeting by Bob Logan
  4. Three Important Church Trends by Ed Stetzer
  5. A How To for Producing Events from Catalyst

5 Favorites of my Favorited Tweets in January:

  1. @ThomRainer – Church isn’t about my preferences & desires; that’s self-serving. It’s about serving others & Christ.
  2. @PastorMark – “I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.” – Rita Rudner
  3. @EntreLeaership – “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford
  4. @VergeNetwork – “There are only 3 kinds of Christians when it comes to missions: zealous goers, zealous senders and the disobedient.”
  5. @davidkinnaman – “Disciples are hand made not mass-produced”

A Few Links I Liked and Learned from this week:

 “One of our chief sins is that we school our students in the works of preachers with large churches and then brutally send them into the world of small churches…”

“When you read your church’s bulletin and determine the invitation you offer, you will know whether your church is a community center or the globalizing, wounded arm of the Savior.”

“Church planting as a movement has lost its way and is in need of rescuing.”

We confess that we have made church planting more about…

  • Building our little kingdoms instead of advancing his glorious Kingdom.
  • Reaching “more of those” instead of the “least of these”.
  • Puffing our own Narcissism instead of His glory and honor.
  • Advancing our own personal mission instead of embracing his mission.
  • Producing weekend services instead of reproducing the “Body of Christ”.
  • Being relevant instead of proclaiming his liberating revelation.

From the Twittersphere:

  • Tim Peters  “Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” Vince Lombardi
  • Jeff Vanderstelt  Its impossible to forgive someone if you feel superior to him – Keller
  • 30 Second MBA Pessimists see difficulty in every opportunity. Optimists see opportunity in every difficulty. ~Winston Churchill
  • Mark Driscoll   “I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.” – Rita Rudner
  • Rick Howerton Anyone who wants to make a big difference must first make a big decision… I will sacrifice all if necessary.
  • FocusLeadership  Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln
  • Rick Warren   If couples put even half as much thought preparing for marriage as they give to the wedding, there’d be fewer divorces.
  • EntreLeadership  “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford
  • Eric Geiger  Assimilation and transformation are not the same thing…

Good Reads in 2011, part 2

I started a blog in 2006, because I enjoyed writing and creating and as a bit of a personal journal. I also saw it as a great way to put the stuff I couldn’t get out of the trunk in the sermon writing and delivering process. I thought I’d post sermon illustrations and stories I didn’t use, that people responded well to, and study helps that I utilized. It’s still a personal journal of sorts and I’m glad a few people choose to read it. And my mom doesn’t even have a computer, so I know it’s not her over and over again :)). So for what it’s worth…

My top 10 Blog Posts for 2011:
  1. Discipleship and Choice – “American Christianity has become about choices … And these choices are for the most part self-focused… The question is, How does this square with the New Testament picture of a disciple or follower of Christ?”
  2. Warning! Do Not Let This Person Join Your Church! I’ve had a few pastors tell me they put this on the agenda at their monthly business meeting :)).
  3. Put Your Faith in Action! Why? – 20 Reasons for putting your faith in action.
  4. 12 Things I’m Thankful for After 12 Years of Marriage
  5. Can Baptist Dance? and Other Recent Questions
  6. Distinguishing Marks of a Quarrelsome Person
  7. How Can My Church Get Involved in Church Planting and Multiplication?
  8. Are You A Church Curmudgeon?
  9. Ode to Mommy – My youngest son’s first original song.
  10. Assessing the Need for New Churches – Why do we need new churches when we have so many already?
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