Archives For Manifesto

My Own Worst Enemy…

January 5, 2012 — 1 Comment

As I went through my year end review of 2011, I realized just how much abundance God has given me and how I had fell into the trap of not acknowledging his blessings and instead was focusing on all the things he didn’t take care of.

I know what I need God to do, just ask me! That’s where I found myself in early December. Why hadn’t our house in FL been closed? Why can’t our son move to CA now? Why is it so hard for our daughter to make new friends? Why are we struggling to find the right church? Blah, blah, blah.

As I started praying to help me to understand my selfish sin, God reminded me of all things he had done for me this year: healed my broken back and concussion, allowed us to take vacation and enjoy his canvas we call earth, provided a new job and paid for our relocation, provided a new house in a great area just minutes from my work, given us financial support in ways we could have never imagined. The list went on and on. It far outweighed the stuff I thought at the moment as the most important.

So here I stand, blessed and realizing that God has a plan for everything. I have to constantly fight my pride which leads me down the self pity road that becomes my own worst enemy. Remembering what God has done in my past, helps carry me through the tough times and keeps me humble.

What blessing do you need to acknowledge?


1 Year…

December 30, 2011 — Leave a comment

A year ago I came close to dying. I learned much about friendship, service, letting others serve me, life and how much I mean to my family and they to me.

Since that time, I have witnessed God work in radical ways, seen my family come together, seen my family struggle with change, seen our company grow, seen men fight addiction, witnessed men step-up and lead, vacationed with friends for the first time, accepted a new job, moved across the country, sold a house, bought and sold cars, and most importantly allowed God to lead the way in my life.

As I reflect on this past year and remember (what I can) lying in bed last Christmas with a broken back/ribs/elbow and major concussion and realize what God has done since that time, I’m in shock. Why we he continues to care about me, is a mystery I will never solve. I’m no one, yet he still has a plan and obviously I have more to do. I have not wasted any time this year and am making the most out of things. I have not gotten it right every time, but I haven’t wasted anything.

As I start my annual review of My Life Manifesto, I realize I have a lot to do in 2012. God has called me to be more than I am and I have to get back in the game in some aspects of my life (more later on this). Right now, I’m focused on today and am in awe of how awesome God is.

It’s been a year…


December 19, 2011 — Leave a comment

Having people who will tell you when your wrong is critical to any leader’s success. Who in your life is telling you something? Are you listening?

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I hate when I get into a funk. All I seem to do is think. Think about my family, Sheri’s dogs (yes they are her dogs, not mine), my daughter, my son, our future, my career, my faith, my church, my community group, what God is calling me to do, the list goes on and on….

Being a results oriented guy, this is hard. I want to make things happen. Be on the field, making plays for the cause. I want to DO.

I get uncomfortable in these times. BUT…I’ve learned to embrace them because I know God’s molding me for the next thing. Every time I have had one of these period, God has done something HUGE in my life. Never what I expected or thought, but huge all the same. The problem is me being a control freak. I want to control what’s next. Hence I have to wait… Wait for God to do his thing.

To be honest. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what he’s calling me to. I feel it. I know it in my heart, but my lizard brain is saying no way it’s too much. So I let the fear take hold. I wrestle it. I fight it. But most importantly I will not run from it or give into it. When the battle is over, I know God will use it for his purpose.

In the meantime, I think… I dream… I run… I pray… I go silent… waiting… waiting… waiting…

What are you waiting for?

On the re:create cruise Randy Elrod said it: Where passion and need intersect that IS the sweet spot. In that spot, you’ll find you’re always excited for work. In that spot, you’ll make money. In that spot, you’ll make a difference. In that spot, you’ll find your purpose. In that spot, you are creative…

We could have passion all day long. But if there’s little need, then we won’t be successful or able to sustain our effort. If there’s need and little passion (think 9-5), then there’s little satisfaction. The point where these two intersect is the sweet spot.

There are people in this spot. You know who they are. You admire them from afar. The question is: What are you going to do about it? Continue in your lost world or seek out the sweet spot. Be warned, once you find it, there’s little chance of going back. The status quo no longer is an option. IT will change you. IT will change your values. IT will change your schedule. IT will change how you think. IT will change how you see others. IT will change how you see the world. You’ll never be the same. But isn’t that the point?

Sheri and I found the spot a couple years ago. The result: Luminosity Global Consulting Group, Haiti missions, this blog, Sheri’s blog, other social networking, writing, books, speaking. This all stemmed from of our love for global business (passion) and desire to help others learn and grow from our experiences (need). Global Business is the passion. Engaging and empowering executives to achieve their impossible dreams is the need. Hence a coaching practice for global executives.

I loved that Randy captured this idea in words. We’ve been living it, but never thought of it in such a meaningful and pithy manner. Hence he’s the creative, and I’m a finance guy.

Are you heavy on passion but find there’s little need? Do you have a job that meets your need that you force yourself to every day? Maybe it’s time to seek your sweet spot…

What’s stopping you?

On the re:create cruise last week, Pete Wilson addressed the pastors in the room and said that they need friends. Not just people in their churches, but friends. Real friends. He went on to explain that many call these “clicks” and that’s okay, they’re the trolls (the troll comment is mine – not Pete’s). While he commented that he was talking to the “pastors” this statement struck me.


Pastors know they need friends. Their flocks don’t understand their role in supporting this. Me included.

What does this mean for loving people who want nothing more than the best for their pastor? Consider your pastor as your “pastor” instead of a “friend”? For example, my pastor Robey Barnes made huge efforts to serve Sheri and I during a personal crisis. Including jail visits, personal time with both of us, and a lot of prayer. We grew close during this time. But that should not be confused with friendship. My pastor is just that. He’s my pastor. I don’t need him to be my friend – I need him to speak spiritual truth into my life. Friendship comes from others.

There also another aspect of this I reflected on through a series of questions:

  • At what life stage are you in? Is your pastor in a similar stage?
  • Would you be friends if it weren’t for the church?
  • Could you leave the church and still be personal friends?
  • Can you follow your closest friends? Follow like followership follow, not like follow him and his wife to the restaurant.
  • Is it a natural friendship? Don’t confuse a personable personality with wanting to be friends. Pastors are in the people business. They’re personable. Don’t get too excited or overreact to your feelings. They’re nice people. They love you. But that’s not an invitation to friendship.
  • Have you invited your pastor to your home? What was the reaction? Did he come? If not, he may not be interested in more than the pastor relationship – likely not close friends.
  • Most importantly: why do you want to be friends with your pastor? What’s motivating you? Why does it matter if you’re friends or not? Check your motives.

I discussed this briefly with my pastor last weekend at an event we were both at. We’re friendly, we’re personable, we love each other, I would lay my life down to protect him. But friends? Not really. I’m 45, he’s almost 30. I have 21 and 13 year-old kids. He has none. His wife is a social worker. Sheri’s a global business executive and coach. If it weren’t for our pastor/flock relationship, we would have no relationship. Why should I expect to be friends because I belong to his church? My only motive would be purely selfish.

I know this will likely tick some folks off, but I feel people need to think about their pastor’s lives. Including their friends. In fact, as leaders in your church you need to hold your pastor accountable to ensure he and his wife have friends. Real friends. People they do life with, go on vacation with, people likely outside your church. Don’t be offended.

Are you bothered that your pastor might have friends that don’t include you? Why?