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New Post: Apps I Can’t Live Without! Part II

ITunes App

YouVersion-YouVersion is my Bible. This is a “must have” App. YouVersion allows me to access the Bible, search words, highlight memorable passages, make notes, read devotionals, and share my thoughts and meaningful passages through social media and with others. Over 13 million people have downloaded this App.

Prayer Notes-Prayer Notes can be used for your prayer requests. This App is the option of labeling, tagging, and sorting your requests by category. Recently, I read a quote from a nineteenth century missionary. He said, “When I pray the coincidencies start happening.” The tongue and check comment made me reevaluate my prayer life and called me to a greater life of prayer. He was right. I love checking the box as “answered” in Prayer Notes. Prayer Notes can also be used for your Sunday School class. Prayer lists can be easily e-mailed to members of your class weekly.

Mailbox-Mailbox is my favorite productivity App. I cannot live with e-mail in my Inbox. Mailbox allows me to reschedule e-mail to reappear in my Inbox at a time I schedule. The App gives me nine different options to choose from automatically, or I can manually schedule the e-mail to reappear by choosing the date and time. All of this is done with one swipe. I love this App. If you are like me, you rest well knowing your Inbox is empty.

Church Metrics-Church Metrics is our Church Data App. We can easily put in our metrics and analyze giving, attendance, first time guests, new members, baptisms, and volunteer participation. It has been challenging  to navigate, but I will confess that I have not watched the tutorials.

Netflix-The Netflix App is my portal to a vegetative state. I do not watch television, so with Netflix I can watch documentaries when I have free time. If you have Netflix you know it is one powerful App and can save you over a thousand dollars a year in cable and satellite bills. Netflix has sitcoms, classic and new movies, documentaries, cartoons and everything in between for only $7.99 a month.

Airplane-Airplane is so much fun. This gaming App placing you in the cockpit of any number of planes. Do you want to fly Air Force One, a Flying Fortress or Lear jet? Airplane is your App. It’s fun, it’s only 99 cents and it can be a great challenge for you when you have five minutes to spare.

What are your “can’t live without” Apps?


New Post: Apps I Can’t Live Without! Part I

ITunes AppI love Apps. Here are a list of the Apps I can’t live without.

Nozbe-This is the best project management software available. There is nothing Nozbe cannot do for you. My entire life is set-up in repeatable “to-do” lists. Reoccurring tasks show up when I schedule them to do so. Task sharing is also an available feature. You can store files, assign responsibilities, e-mail yourself details directly into Nozbe, tag items of interest, and share with Evernote and Dropbox.

MyFitnessPal-This App has allowed me to stay focused on my daily calorie intake. Another popular weight management App was giving me 200 extra calories a day for my height and weight. MyFitnessPal has thousands of foods listed and you can track your cardio calorie burns as well. This is well worth any price. I keep track of my daily fitness goals through Nozbe.

Couch to 5k-I am almost there.  I have run one 28 minute interval and need only a 30 minute interval to complete my 5k. I literally started from scratch and so does Couch to 5k. The app starts with walking and slowly builds up to your 5k. The idea is to do something for your health. This App is great to get you moving.

Dropbox-I am in and out of drop box file folders hundreds of times a day. You can store all of your documents and pictures and share them with anyone you choose. As in your personal life, events repeat in church life as well. When Julie Crull and I create files for church events we store them in Dropbox and reuse them or update them when we need them next. This has saved an incredible amount of work for us. Dropbox is accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection and saves storage space on your server and your computer because all of your files are in the cloud.

Evernote-Evernote allows me to easily file information with simplicity. For instance, in Evernote I have a folder titled “Illustrations”. When I come across a story that can be used in a sermon I e-mail the link to my Evernote e-mail address with @Illustrations as the subject. I also have a “Sermons” folder where I send sermon notes. That subject line is @Sermons. This is only one of hundreds of features in Evernote.

Evernote Hello-Evernote Hello functions as a business card except for these additional benefits. When I meet someone I can take their picture, make notes of the conversation and record where we met. If I meet a person and cannot remember their name but can remember where I met them I can do a search on the Hello maps and pull up all of their information.

Google Voice-Google Voice allows me to have a free phone number for the times I do not desire to give out my direct line. It has most of the functions other phone carriers provide including long distance and voice mail. You can also choose the area code.

What App are in your “can’t live without” list?

New Post: My Reading List for 2014


1. Ken Blanchard. Leading Your Family Like Jesus.

2. Mark Batterson. Wild Goose Chase.

3. Thomas A Kempis. The Imitation of Christ.

4. Richard J. Foster. Celebration of Discipline.

5. Al Larson. Escaping the Matrix.

6. Dick Eastman. The Hour That Changes the World.

7. Jim Collins. Good to Great.

8. David Allen. Getting Things Done.

10. Michael Sliwinski. #IPADONLY. The First Real Post-PC Book.

11. History of the Renaissance I.

12. History of the Renaissance II.

13. James Behan. The Secret Gospel of Ireland.

14. Andy Stanley. Deep and Wide.

15. Josh Hunt. Make a Habit, Break a Habit.

16. Bill O’Reilly. Killing Kennedy.

16. Jeff Goins. The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing.

17. Tony Morgan. Developing a Theology of Planning.

18. Jon Meacham. American Lion.

19. Nataniel Philbrick. Mayflower.

20. David Barton. The Jefferson Lies.

21. Brad Lomenick. The Catalyst Leader.

22. John M. Barry. The Great Influenza.

New Post: The Time I Gave Everything I Owned Away

4212100143_79443db49bRecently, a man in Tokyo discovered he was accidentally switched at birth. The man, who has requested to be kept anonymous, found out the horrible news when DNA tests proved he wasn’t who he thought he was.  He sued the hospital and was awarded over $250, 000. He sued because instead of living a life of luxury with private tutors, mansions and a college education, he lived a life of government assistance, working as a truck driver, and taking care of his mother and younger siblings. He lived this way for over 60 years.

This Christmas I am going to be thinking of this story a lot. Jesus had it all. Since He is the author of creation, literally everything belonged to Him. If Jesus can create all the physical universe in six days, imagine what heaven looks like now. Jesus has been creating our place in heaven for eternity. Paul tells us in a letter to the church in Phillipi that Jesus, “…who, existing in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped (held on on to), but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men…” Philippians 2 (ASB).

Christmas was not an accidental switching at birth. There wasn’t a mistake at the hospital. Do you recall the rest of the chapter in Philippians? “He did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

This is the real message of Christmas. Emmanuel, God is with us, because He chose to be with us. We owe Him our worship and our lives all year-long.

New Post: What I have read in 2013

bookTransformational Church

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Holy Bible: New International Version

The Last Lion 1: Visions of Glory 1874-1932


Hidden Order

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Constantine: The Emperor of Tolerance

The Cost of Discipleship


The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time

How Did That Happen?: Holding People Accountable for Results the Positive, Principled Way

The Divorce Dilemma: God’s Last Word on Lasting Commitment

Sacred Marriage


I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference

The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Soverignty

The Feud: The Hatfields and the McCoys, The True Story


Repost: A Christians Response To Halloween (or Fall Festival or Fall Celebration or Trunk-R-Treat, etc., etc., etc.)


Jesus redeems. This simple statement is the heart of the gospel. Let me state it another way, Jesus takes what is totally corrupt and wicked and makes it holy and gives it a purpose. The Bible reads, “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10, NIV, 84). Jesus reached into my heart and saved this vile sinner. I realize that sounds “fire and brimstone”, but I know me a lot better than you do and it’s probably an understatement.

As Christians we are to be about redeeming the things of the world as well. We have redeemed the Christ’s Mass, we have redeemed Easter, we have redeemed music, and many pastors are having a great impact in redeeming the internet. Why can’t we redeem Halloween? As…

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My New Blog Post: Why You Can’t Get It All Done


Are you constantly running late? Do you go to bed with your “to do list” running through your mind? Is your house, your car or your checkbook a disaster? Do you feel unorganized and scattered in a million different directions? If this describes any part of your life, you need help.

The help you need isn’t a new filing system or new productivity app. What you need is to come to a life changing realization. The following principle changed how I view myself, others and even influenced my relationship with God. Here it is: “Don’t think because you didn’t get it all done today you are a bad time manager or that you aren’t organized. You didn’t get it all done today because there is more to get done than there is time in a day.” Reread that slowly and let it sink in.

Let’s just take one area of life. In the spiritual realm, Christians are told that we should pray, read the Bible, journal, memorize Scripture, meditate on Scripture, sing and worship, and at some level serve the church and the community everyday. Now, add all of the other things you are “supposed to do” and see how much time you have to get through your “to do list”. Everyday there is work, quality time with your children and your spouse, homework, house cleaning, paying bills, planning for the next day, laundry, talking with extended family members and friends, sleep, hobbies, cleaning your car, sports and practices, and yard work. I know I missed something in that list. No wonder you cannot get it all done in a day.

I am driven by projects, organization, discipline and goal setting. I am not giving permission for anyone to be lazy, but who in this world is lazy. I am sure they are out there, but most people run at a frantic pace. I am suggesting we give ourselves permission not to, “Think because we didn’t get it all done today we are bad time managers or that we aren’t organized. We didn’t get it all done today because there is more to get done than there is time in a day.”

Stay at home mom’s should be very careful to apply this principle. The job of “mom” is never-ending and you are at work 24/7. In twenty years your children will not care if the Lego® box was color coordinated or that every meal was organic. They will remember the stress free family game nights, the brownies you made for them and the fun you had curled up on the couch watching a great movie.

  • What do you do as a routine that takes away family time?
  • What is the most stressful item on your “to do list”?
  • How can that item be shared or scaled back?

I dedicate this blog to my wife Devyn, who always seems to get everything done.

My New Blog Post: The Truth About Vietnam Veterans

The picture below was my view of the Venice Memorial Day ceremony just seconds before the ill-advised war protester came around with his sign. The sign was innocuous enough, but still very out-of-place. Standing in the back of the ceremony seems appropriate for these Vietnam vets.  I could just tell, they did not care to receive the attention they rightly deserve. They turned their attention quickly to the protestor. Face to face one vet stared at this provocateur. He moved closer and closer to his face. Words were passed and as the tension escalated the other Vietnam vets immediately helped “persuade” the protestor to find another place to protest.

What I found remarkable is the Vietnam vets quickly and quietly stopped a thoughtless action by one person from ruining a ceremony dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the United States.  No one saw it but a few people and no one said thank you. The Vietnam vets just did what was right. Vietnam I would love to tell you there were no casualties during the altercation, but there was one. One of these harden soldiers and bikers came back from the conflict with the protester sobbing like a baby. His tears and grief were uncontrollable. The other bikers gathered around him so no one else would see him cry.

The truth about Vietnam vets is that they may never receive the heroes welcome they rightly deserve. The truth about Vietnam vets is that they still preserve the safety and freedom of this nation even when no one else is watching. The truth about Vietnam vets is that they seem to only want the respect and admiration of other Vietnam vets, but give a great deal of respect and protection to everyone else.

I am thankful for these soldiers and the example they have set for the military and for patriotism. One of the hardest lessons in life is that you have to do the right thing even when it is the hard thing. I thank you for the war you fought in Vietnam, the war you fought on Monday and the war you fight every day of your life.

My New Blog Post: How I Lost 10 Pounds In 30 Days (without being hungry)

bathroom weight scaleI have attempted to lose 10 pounds for the last 2 years. I exercised 5 days a week and did “2 a days” for 6 months. Yes, I watched my calories too. I ate 1850 calories a day. My Livestrong app told me this would help me lose two pounds a week. The weight would not come off.  30 days ago my brother Jeff gave me the secret to losing weight.

Before you read any further you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Am I trying to lose weight or eat the foods I love?
  • Am I trying to lose weight or get a little extra sleep?
  • Am I trying to lose weight or make excuses not to exercise? (sometimes your workout will not be convenient, go anyway).

You have to ask the right question to lose weight. The right question will allow you to meet almost any goal. If your question is, “How can I lose weight?”, please continue reading.

The following is how I lost 10 pounds in 30 days without being hungry (well maybe a little hungry). You will not believe how I did it. I ate. I ate all day long. Sometimes I had to eat even when I was not hungry. This is what to do to lose 10 pounds in 30 days without being hungry.

5:15 am-Pre-workout drink (optional) /1 Cup of skim milk with 1 scoop of whey protein (add water if you need)/1 serving of Cream of Rice (not Cream of Wheat).
5:30 am-Workout (35 minutes cardio and 30 minutes weights)
7 am-1 Cup of skim milk with 1 scoop of whey protein/multivitamin
8:30 am-Lowfat cottage cheese 2%/1 medium apple or peaches/ boiled egg (1/2 yolk)
10 am-¼ cup of cashews
11:45 am-1 can chicken (2.5 servings)/ 1 serving of baked beans
1:30 pm-1 serving Greek yogurt/sprinkled with grape nut cereal/multivitamin
3:30 pm-1 scoop of whey protein/½ water ½ milk or 1 can of chicken with BBQ sauce
5:30 pm 1 serving of peanut butter/1 slice bread/multivitamin
7:30 pm 1 scoop of whey protein/½ water ½ skim milk

You can change your workout time and you need to change the calorie intake based on your height and weight, but you cannot change the basics of the food. I do have turkey instead of canned chicken on occasion. The foods are both carbohydrates and proteins, but are all LOW FAT foods.

Give it a try for the next thirty days and see what happens.


My New Blog Post: The Amazing Story Behind the Song Like a Lion and How It Stopped An Abortion.

gods_not_deadThe song “Like a Lion (God’s Not Dead)” is a favorite at my house. As a matter of fact it is Christopher’s alarm in the morning. You probably know the lyrics, but did you know the song has a lot to do with abortion? Watch this “Behind the Songs” and be amazed at God’s grace.

Let love explode and bring the dead to life
A love so bold
To see a revolution somehow
Now I’m lost in Your freedom
In this world I’ll overcome
My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lionRoaring
He’s roaring roaring like a lion
Let hope arise and make the darkness hide
My faith is dead I need resurrection somehow
Now I’m lost in Your freedom
In this world I’ll overcome
My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion
Roaring He’s roaring roaring like a lion
Roaring He’s roaring
Let heaven roar and fire fall
Come shake the ground
With the sounds of revival
My God’s not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion
He’s Roaring He’s roaring
He’s roaring like a lion 

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