Beware the small things


This past week I have been vividly reminded of the importance of small things.  Small things make a BIG difference.  Ask Goliath if he thought a small rock could bring him down?  Did the drug addict think just one time would lead him to the point he finds himself at? Did the husband consider that lingering look at that beautiful women would lead him to a broken marriage?  How did that one comment from a leader cause the loss of respect among his co-workers? I could go on with a very long list of little things that caused a big impact.  All big things can be traced back to their roots in the little things.  Both positive and negative.  I imagine that Thomas Edison never imagined what an impact he would have the first time he saw his small light bulb light up.

We must spend time examining ourselves and the little things we do.  Each little thing is building towards a big thing.  The questions is what are you building?  Is the foundation built of good things?  Some may ask how do we know what is a good thing and what is a bad thing?  The answer is found in Psalm 139.  

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts![a]
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting![b]

God working through his Holy Spirit will help us to know the difference.  He is simply waiting for us to come to a point in our lives where we want to not only know the difference, but do something about changing the little things.  If you are wanting to make changes let Psalm 139:23-24 be your prayer.  

I had a long period in my life were I made a considerable amount of bad choices that led to me abandoning my wife and my children. At one point I asked my father what advise he had for me and what he thought I should change.  His answer was simple.  He said ” Change what God is asking you to change not what man is asking you to change.”  Good friends and wise counsel is important in our lives, but God is truly the only one who can search the depths of our hearts and our lives to heal that which is broken. There is also nothing that can not be restored when it is laid before our Lord.  Are you willing to be examined by God daily?  He will be your guide in all the little things,  not just the big things.



Always give up, but never ever quit



Last year I was sitting in a boat fishing with my closest friend.  It was just him and I on a beautiful spring morning.  I was savoring our time together as he had moved away a few years prior when God called him to pastor a church in a small rural community.  We had been sitting in silence and I asked him the question “How are you doing?”.  I knew that the past years had been difficult for him and his family.  What followed was about 10 minutes of further silence,  Just as I began to wonder if he had actually heard me he answered.  He said ” I’ve given up but I haven’t quit.”

My first thought was how can that be, giving up is quitting.  Little did I know at that time how deep an impact that answer would have on my own life.  He spoke words of truth that I needed to hear.  We are called to give up, to give up all things into the care of God,  everything,  no limits! Even our own passions, desires, and plans. This is an incredibly difficult way to live but with it comes great freedom in Christ.

When we refuse to give up to God, our lives and everything in it,  we will inevitably end up quitting.  Man’s plans fail, they always do,  when we focus on worldly failure or success it is a great indicator that we have not given up, that we still have our name on the owners label.

Just as we are called to give up,  we are also called to never quit.  We are called to run the race and finish well,  to never quit praying in all things,  to never abandon the faith God works in us, to never quit believing,  We must never quit preaching the gospel in word and in deed, never quit loving God, to continue in perseverance learning to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  It is by giving up our lives, everything, all in, that we are able to never quit in the calling that God lays upon our hearts.

May you be encouraged this day to give it all up but never quit!  “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25



I will Fight!

A number of years ago I took a course where we were assigned the task of memorizing a script. There were 12 scripts randomly assigned. These scripts were taken from great historical speeches such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream”. It was really powerful to recite a truly passionate speech, but I strongly felt all the speeches and the exercise itself lacked the spiritual component which was really important to me. I’ve reflected on that experience many times, often paying attention to speeches and/or other people’s vision, wondering if there will ever be a script which really works for me.

Sometime ago I came across the video:


Other than scripture memorization, this has been the most significant script I have ever heard. Finally, a script that I could fully embrace as mine. I have literally watched this video almost daily, over and over, dozens and dozens of times. No doubt you likeIy noticed that much of the content is, in fact, scripture. I watch it with my kids. I watch it with my wife; Elenore has been so impacted by this speech she watched it over and over so she could type it out and has now memorized it.

I am drawn to this video firstly because I whole-heartedly believe it as truth. But also because of the passion and strength of the words; the idea of acknowledging how serious our time on this earth really is. We are here with a purpose and we have been commissioned by the one true God to carry out his will on earth, all for his glory. We are not here for our pleasure. Our life is not a game, it’s a battle, and the battle is to be taken seriously.


In life, I’m consistently striving for better, never settling for anything but instead striving to improve. This script embodies this mentality for the Christian life, in a much more direct and “in your face” way than we usually hear in the church.

I love that this script makes me question daily: Am I doing this? Do I really believe in this? Am I living like God has already won and the world means nothing to me apart from what God wills of me? These questions are not asked in a negative, self-defeating kind of way. Think of it more as a personal trainer for my faith- it’s my daily butt-kicking that keeps me on pace, in check, and consistently moving forward, which is what I strive for.


Last Men’s breakfast Winston talked about “boundaries”. We reflected and discussed the ideas of having parts of our lives where we place boundaries on God, or do not allow God to fully take control of all areas. The “I Will Fight” video above represents to me a willingness to try my hardest and do my best to truly press towards the goal, to fully surrender, and to fully commit to persevering. For me this video embodies the idea of “No Boundaries” in my life.

It has been a challenge and a blessing in my life. I continue to watch it and pass it on to almost everyone I know in hopes that it might impact someone else the way it has me.

– James

Perseverance Without Perspective is Pointless


I heard a teaching this morning about how integral perseverance is in our every-day lives. The speaker talked about the classic marathon runner analogy and how important it is to “keep running.” Though I agree that perseverance is required to accomplish most of the worth-while things in life, I found out it cannot be used by itself.

I got my car stuck in the driveway this afternoon. My driveway hasn’t been shoveled diligently enough and has gotten narrower throughout the winter. It got so narrow that when I was pulling in, the front passenger-side tire slipped off the edge of the driveway (I’m on a corner lot and the driveway is raised above street level).

I walked around the car once, assessed that the passenger-side tire wasn’t getting traction so I focused my efforts on getting it back on the hard-packed driveway. No matter what how I drove, no matter how many car mats and how much cat litter I put under that tire, I could not get the wheel to cooperate. The tires just spun (my car is front-wheel-drive if you hadn’t guessed).

I asked my wife to drive (despite her not having a license) while I tried pushing. I pushed the front right corner until I was completely exhausted and lying on the hood, gasping for air. I didn’t get it. I knew what had to be done and yet I could not accomplish this simple task.

Finally, I simply prayed “Lord, please be my strength and get the car out.” As I prayed, I staggered around to the driver-side of the car. To my amazement, that front tire had spun away the loose snow beneath it to reveal my gravel driveway – it was barely touching the ground and was not getting any traction.

I gathered what strength I could, placed the mats and cat litter under this tire, and pushed on the driver-side corner. The car immediately sprung out of the hole it had dug, and backed out of the driveway.

After parking on the street I assessed my driveway. It turned out the passenger-side tire I thought was off the driveway was actually on solid snow, and the tire I assumed was on the hard-packed snow was the one without traction.

Despite the fact I persevered to the point of exhaustion, I had the wrong perspective so I was ultimately fruitless. It was only after I called upon the Lord for strength, changed my perspective, and then persevered, that I was successful.

My challenge to us (myself included) is to pursue God’s perspective and leading in our lives because pursuing the wrong thing will ultimately turn into failure, no matter how much we persevere.



Boundaries are something we all have. Some people are very diligent in forming them and others let them form on their own. There are many different types of boundaries.

In this post I wanted to highlight unhealthy boundaries that we set to prevent God from speaking into certain areas of our lives.

Boundaries of Hurt – these boundaries are areas that we have been deeply hurt.   In our pain we erect walls and become the only person allowed into that area.  Often we believe God can not heal us of that pain, others can not understand our pain, and that we must live the rest of our lives with this pain.

Boundaries of Control – the fruit of our desire to retain control is a life that is lived outside the will of God.

Boundaries of Pleasure – enjoying pleasure is a God given desire.  But as all things given by God, it can only be correctly enjoyed when fully submitted to God.

These 3 areas of boundaries we erect are but a small part of a long list.  What areas do you struggle in submitting to God?  Are you actively seeking God to enter all areas of your life?  May we be exhorted this day to yield our boundaries,  submit our desires,  and obey God’s instructions in all areas of our lives.


Having your bubble burst, its a good thing!

Every so often I find myself in need of a bubble burst. I have learned to enjoy them and realize that I need them.  Over a prolonged period of exposure to the same elements my bubble can become very insulating and very small.  In a small bubble small problems seem very big and there isn’t room for very many people. 

During the past 48 hours I have had my bubble burst yet again and am so thankful for that.  As I write this I am sitting in Rosarito Mexico.  My wife and I were invited to join a group of 3 other couples seeking God’s leading in how we might be used by God in joining His ongoing work in Rosarito.  We have met incredibly inspiring people,  living their lives in full pursuit of loving and engaging with the impoverished and oppressed.

I have been reminded of several things in my experience here.

  • Life can be fully lived in a very simple way
  • People need relationships, not things
  • To meet great needs, even greater commitment is required.
  • Money doesn’t solve problems, it just postpones them.

I hope to leave Rosarito in a few days with a fuller understanding of these points.  I will certainly leave with a greater love for the people here in Mexico.  My challenge to you today is to pursue bursting your bubble and expand your world.  Embrace the adventure that God draws you into.  


Creating Culture

Do you think much about the culture in which you work?  Each one of us have a vital role to play in creating culture. There are 3 ways that you contribute to the culture around you.  I call these your CAA.

Comments – Comments are huge,  they can be flippantly thrown around without ever comprehending the impact they have.  Proverbs 15:4 says “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”  Don’t be a spirit breaker,  Use your comments to bring life to the culture around you.

Attitude – Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Would those around you say that you are a joyful person? Proverbs 17:22 reminds us of the outcome of having a joyful attitude.  “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  What type of medicine are you?  Does your attitude create a culture of healing or of drying up the bones?

Actions – Our actions are fueled by our comments and our attitudes.  Colossians 3:17  “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”   Can you say that your actions are in the name of the Lord Jesus?  What type of culture do your actions create?  

As you begin a new week examine the culture you are in, the impact your have on it, and how you can improve it.  You can make a difference!


Fill up and anchor down

Early bird gets the worm! Rise and Shine! Up and at em!    These are all phrases I have heard in reference to rising early.  As I get older I have found myself rising earlier.  It does not however have anything to do with getting ahead.  It has to do with being full.  

My daily work involves leading 50+ people each day through various aspects of the business we engage in.  I truly do not know what to expect each day.  I have experienced the excitement of winning bids worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,  the crushing pressure when you lose bids.  The overwhelming emotions involved with firing and layoffs,  the joy of hiring someone new.  The purpose in walking with a co-worker through the dark paths of addiction and celebrating the path to recovery. Success with clients and failure with clients.   I will never forgot the absolute helplessness I felt when receiving the phone call that a team member had died on a job site.  Through all of these I have learned the value of being full and having an anchor.  

Being full – There are 2 activities I find that fill me up.  They are prayer and reading God’s word.  I rise early as I find that it is the most effective time for me to accomplish these 2 things.  The more time I spend each day starting with prayer and the Bible the fuller I start my day.  Being full keeps me from filling up with the pressures that come my way each day.  For many years I would roll out of bed, grab the coffee,  and head to work.  I was often an emotional and mental wreck by half way though the day.  Having been filled up by all the events occurring I couldn’t even think straight some days. I encourage you to take steps to ensure that you start your day full, you won’t regret it.

Anchor down – This goes hand in hand with being full.  Hebrews 6:19 says we have a sure and steadfast anchor of our soul.  That being our hope that is Jesus Christ and his intercession for us.  It is during prayer and reading of God’s word that we are reminded of and strengthen this anchor.  

As you enter this new week, be full and be anchored by the promises of God.



You are unique, but you are not alone

This week on Wednesday was our first meeting.  It was an excellent time of  encouragement and getting to know each other.  Our group comprised of a vast range of ages, diverse business acumen, and unique life experiences.  But most importantly, we found in each other a common desire to actively pursue living out our faith in the marketplaces God has put us in.

I left that meeting on Wednesday reminded of the strength in the diverse ways that we each influence those around us.  Often we may cast aside those that we call “different”.  Seeking only those that we can understand, abandoning diversity.  By casting those aside we end up creating a position of isolation, ultimately convincing ourselves that we are alone in our battles as we lead.   We need to embrace the diversity that we see in each other, reminding ourselves, we don’ need to see eye to eye to be able to walk arm in arm.


Why shine your light?

So let your light shine before others.  Are you full of light as you lead?  What is so important about letting that light shine?  Matthew 5:16 answers that question.  “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven.”  

The most dangerous and difficult thing about successful leadership is learning how to avoid the glory.   Once we begin to accept the glory for successful leadership , failure of our leadership is imminent.  Pride feeds itself on stolen glory.

Let your light shine!  What does this look like?  “Our light” is the gift of salvation and a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  This gift if accepted and embraced will be the foundation of all that we do and say.  It will be our greatest desire to share with others why we do our “good works”.  We don’t do these works to gain anything,  we do these works because of what we have already been given.  

In all that we do,  for all those we lead,  shine your light so that the glory will be given to God.