Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Why I Use Lists

I use GTD to manage the craziness that is my life (www.davidco.com). I get a mixture of responses when people know I have these lists: "Are you crazy?", "That's depressing!", "What?" and "Cool! - how do I learn to do that?".

Some might even think I'm some kind of freak and live only to check things off my lists so that I can feel fulfilled as a human being. Yah, right!

I use this system (with its context lists) because I have really important things God is asking me to do with my life. I can't fool around wasting time trying to remember if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing or whether or not I have my mind cluttered with stupid stuff like, "Did I buy milk for supper?" or "Now, who was it I was supposed to call before I leave the office?"

So I keep lists because they hold all the things I have to do so my mind can be free to concentrate on the really important things when I'm supposed to be concentrating on those important things.

I don't live to check things off my lists (although it's good to get things done!). I live to glorify God by the way I use my life and using context lists helps me to use my life more effectively and get the things I'm passionate about completed so I can hear The Master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You captured, clarified, organized, reflected and did what I called you to do!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Something Worth Saving

"If we are to renew, it is because we have a vision of something worth saving or doing." (John Gardner)

My early morning thinking is focused upon the need for organizational change if the church (not Church) is going to survive the present storm of decline.

I don't want to change - really - because like everyone else, I'd rather leadership be easy or at least predictable. But it is neither and I am not one to settle down to a "normal" life, so change is called for and to be welcomed.

We need no longer to bugle the necessity for change; we must go about spending our resources leading the necessary changes required to see our churches renewed in the Spirit for community transformation.

A church the size of ours demands tremendous effort just to get the mundane done, say nothing of keeping focused on the actions required to see change that will bring us to a new place of systemic growth and spiritual vitality. I suffer with a three-pronged tension:

1. God's view on His Church, and the way the church that meets in our facility really is, and how to close the gap between the two.

2. The manifold expectations of the people I lead to either go back to the past, or zip ahead to the fast lane of a yet-to-be-determined "exciting" future, and the subtle pressure that quietly asks for things to stay the same, thus avoiding the pain change will inevitably bring (futile).

3. And, my own expectations/perceptions and how to process them in a way that can be communicated to those whom I lead and thus realizing a new, fresh, bold, invigorated church that will attract people from all walks of life to the New Life found in Jesus Christ.

I know we have something worth saving here and there is something we all can do to to help save it. Now to figure out what all that is and get about doing it!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Child at Play

“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.”
- Heraclitus

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Too Small to Grow?

I came across this quote and wanted to share it with my pastor friends and the people of the Eastern New York/New England District of The Wesleyan Church where I serve as the Director of Evangelism and Church Growth:

"God never put anyone in a place too small to grow." (Henrietta Mears)

As a founding district in The Wesleyan Church, we have a tremendous heritage to be proud of. Many, many lives have been changed through the ministry that has been ours. But in recent years, we lost focus and came to believe that we couldn't grow due to the smallness of our churches and the mindset that prevailed against our potential. True, the locations where most of our churches serve are in small, rural towns and hamlets. But in each center, people who need the Lord live around us and deserve a community church that never forgets its mission, not matter how small the congregation.

Today God is elevating our focus and doing a new thing among us as pastors and key leaders of the judicatory. As we follow the example of our DS, Paul James, and determine that tradition alone will not save us, we are wrestling with and winning over old paradigms and practices. We're embracing the reality that we must reach up to God for blessing, reach into ourselves for a new determination to lead and grow, and then purposefully reach out to others who are crying for His love, acceptance and forgiveness.

Indeed, we are changing.

Friend, "God never put anyone in a place too small to grow" and the embrace of this statement will have far reaching impact in your life and church, as it will in mine.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Posting on this Blog

How does a week go by and I don't even think about this blog?

I used to write EVERY DAY - even TWICE a day!

Well, priorities change. I Facebook now. I Twitter some. I LIVE a lot!!

Still love blogging but it has to fit into my life routines and it doesn't right now so - goodbye. :-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Leader Is

“The leader is a team builder who empowers individuals in the organization and passionately “lives the vision,” thereby serving as a mentor and example for those whose efforts are necessary to make the vision become reality.” (Burt Nanus)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This blog's title describes how I feel today - bllllaaaaahhhh - flu! First time I've had anything like this is a long, long, time. Lots of others feel like I do today so my prayers are with them, too!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Miraculous Good News

Corey Haas, a little boy in my home church, is legally blind. Corey was diagnosed with Lebers Congenital Amerosis, a deteriorating genetic eye defect, a few years ago. Only 200-300 people in the United States have this disorder. He took part in an experimental eye surgery procedure last year in which healthy genes (ocular) were transplanted into the retina of his left eye, which was his worst eye. The goal of this surgery was to improve his eyesight with the integration of these new genes.

The procedure has had positive results and Corey’s eyesight is greatly improving. At the time of his surgery, Corey was the youngest person in the world to have this procedure done. Corey, his mother, his dad, and the doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Bennett, were interviewed by a group of journalist from the major news networks (CNN, CNBC etc…….) in Philadelphia today (October 22, 2009). This interview will air sometime Saturday afternoon / Saturday evening on a number of “news type” networks.

Corey and his family will then go to NYC on Saturday to be part of Sunday’s ABC Good Morning America show (October 25,2009). Dr. Bennett will be unable to be part of the Good Morning America interview because she will be presenting “Corey ‘s Case” at a Medical Conference in San Francisco over the weekend. This medical breakthrough that Corey was part of is being compared to that of the first heart transplant and will be featured in an issue of Lancet Medical Journal. Hopefully you will be able to tune in and see Corey as he makes his television debut!

When Men Meet to Pray

We have a Thursday Morning Men's Prayer Gathering at our church. When men meet to pray, it's powerful.

Although I almost always nearly forget to go, I DO go, and it is a source of immeasurable help and strengthening for me personally. It might be for you, too.

Join us on Thursday mornings at 7:00 a.m. in the Pastor's Study. It just might become the best 30 minutes of your week!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Influence or Impress?

"You have to decide in life whether you want to influence people or impress them. You can impress people from a distance but you can only influence them up close. We desperately need authentic leaders today, who are real and vulnerable. Our greatest life message actually comes out of our weakness, not our strength.” (Rick Warren)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Three Kinds of People

"There are three kinds of people in the world—those who don't know what's happening, those who watch what's happening, and those who make things happen."
 (Nicholas Murray Butler, former president of Columbia University)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Making Progress

"If organizations and societies are to make progress, leaders must be able to detect when routines are becoming dysfunctional. They must be able to see when routines are smothering creative planning and blocking necessary advancement."
(James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ah, Vacation

This is the 3rd day of our vacation and it's going smashingly. I met my brother for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed seeing his new workplace and meeting some of his coworkers. Also enjoyed lunch at Tim Horton's!

Michal is just going to bed. She is soooo adorable. Ryan is working and Sarah will be joining us for supper.

A good day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1, 2009

How is it that time rushes past while you're otherwise engaged with life and you wake up one morning and exclaim, "What? October - already?"

The weeks leading up to this new month were crammed with all kinds of interesting activities; my planner shows it clearly and I'm amazed at how full the pages are!

This new month promises to be engaging, too, and I will process whatever comes by doing the following:

*Stay connected with the spiritual part of me. I learned a long time ago that it's much easier to handle the pressure when I'm connected with the Lord of Life, Jesus Christ, through Bible reading, prayer, worship, and solitude.

*Stay on top of my game with sufficient planning. I once over-managed my world and became a slave to my planner. I now look for ways to do things as easily and efficiently as possible so that I can ENJOY the life I'be been given.

*Interact with people more than just at work. My life is all about being with people, but I recognize the need to slip away from work people and enjoy friends outside of the office.

There's more, but I've got to have supper!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Absolutely Satisfied with Life?

"Sad is the day for any man when he becomes absolutely satisfied with the life he is living, the thoughts he is thinking and the things he is doing; when there ceases to be forever beating at the doors of his soul a desire to do something larger--which he seeks and knows that he was meant and intended to do." (Phillip Brooks)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Wonderful Show at Daybreak

“If your efforts are sometimes greeted with indifference, don’t lose heart. The sun puts on a wonderful show at daybreak, yet most of the people in the audience go on sleeping.” (Ada Teixeira)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cross and Losses

"After crosses and losses men grow humbler and wiser." (
Benjamin Franklin)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

What a great day was mine!

I can't believe this is the final weekend before school begins and we all settle back into our pre-fall routines!!

I need a vacation so I can enjoy summer a little more slowly than I just did!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Deliverance from Our Warring Ways

Here's what I've been reading in my time with the Lord this morning. It's from Isaiah, one of the major prophets:

"He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore." (Isaiah 2)

As I read, I sensed the overwhelm that so many feel because this prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. We have false judges who refuse to settle disputes righteously. Swords flash wildly about us and spear wound and destroy. Nations turn against nations and the training for war continues unabated, as if by training for battle, we can battle what ails us as human beings.

We a deep sigh I exclaim, "Come soon, Holy One of Israel. Deliver us from our warring ways!?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Successful in God's Work

"To be successful in God's work is to fall in line with His will and to do it His way."
Henrietta C. Mears

Saturday, August 15, 2009

An Evangelistic Thrust

All true theology has an evangelistic thrust, and all true evangelism is theology in action.
J. I. Packer

Monday, August 10, 2009

From Rick Warren

You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having 'wealth' from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, 'Purpose Driven Life ' author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity..

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life..

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:

If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.
It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Mountains Showcase His Splendor

62 kilometers into the heart of the Adirondack Mountains
2.9 miles on a dusty road
750 ft. elevation from main road to lodge
Mountains Showcase His Splendor
Meet men who love Jesus
God speaking
Sleep interrupted by Loons praising their Creator
New Friends
Boat Ride to Wolf Point Island
Worship under the trees
God's Word: Micah 6: 6-8
He speaks
Hearts changed
Life-long friendships planted
My weekend as guest speaker at The Men's Retreat

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lead in Establishing Kingdom Values

I read this today from David Jeremiah and am moved to imitate this man's perseverance:

"England's William Wilberforce was born in 1759. At age twenty-five, he rededicated his life to Christ. His spiritual awakening might have threatened his future political career as he had just been elected to a seat in the British Parliament. He sought the advice of a pastor named John Newton, the former slave trader, asking whether he should leave politics and enter the ministry. Newton answered: Stay where you are. God needs Christians in politics. Newton suggested they might even be able to put an end to British slave trade.

In 1787 Wilberforce introduced a bill in Parliament to that end, but strong opposition resulted in the bill being defeated. Not until 1807 was Wilberforce able to get legislation through the Parliament that banned England's participation in the slave trade. Buoyed by the victory, Wilberforce pushed for legislation freeing all slaves and abolishing slavery in England once and for all—legislation that was passed in August 1833, a month after Wilberforce died.

Every Christian is not called to lead a church, but every Christian is called to lead the Church in establishing kingdom values in the world." (Dr. David Jeremiah)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


What a service at church today!
And we exceeded our attendance goal, too.
And most importantly, God was at work during our healing service and through the preaching.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Breathing Room

The last few months have been really busy leading the church and getting ready for District Praise Gathering 2009. Things went very well and I'm now on the other side finding myself being very grateful to the Lord and our church family and friends for doing so much to make the event a rousing success. I believe our DS is very pleased, too, at how it all worked out.

Today I'm mentally worn - just need to let go of thinking for a few hours and just chill in the knowledge that all I need to do is safe in my GTD system and will be ready to re-engage with me when I get back to it.

Monday's Day Off will give me some breathing room!

Off to lead the first lesson of our new summer study series "Making Marriage Work". Looking forward to meeting everyone who challenges the heat of the day to come out and discover. We'll be talking about passion, intimacy and commitment!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My Home Office

I like working here as much as at my church office!

God is at Work!

We had a great morning at church today. We had a number of first time guests and an awesome worship experience. God is at work!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Office

This is where I work and study and hold meetings, etc. I love going to my office!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

For Want of a Nail

I read this this morning in the July 2009 edition of the Jews for Jesus Newsletter:

For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of horseshoe nail.

Reminds me to care for that "nail" in my life!

Isaiah 55 (New International Version)

Invitation to the Thirsty

1 "Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

3 Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.

4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of the peoples.

5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,
because of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor."

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.

9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD's renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bitterness is Like Drinking Poison

"Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." Ron McManus

Such a silly thought, and yet, we do it all the time. God help us to forgive those who have wronged us so that we can set down our glasses of poison and live in the fullness of God's forgiveness.

You can do it, you know. God will help you! It's a choice.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Last Day

Today is the last day of my vacation. It's been a great rest, one I anticipated with zeal, but I'll be happy to be back in the office tomorrow and interacting with the people I serve.

I love the calling God has placed on my life and I'm enriched as a person for my acceptance of it. I seek to fulfill it with all of my being.

I've been reading a book about the Adirondack Region while on vacation. Although it's cloudy here today, I'm still going to enjoy the out-of-doors. Winter's coming!!

Speaking of winter, we had frost in Nova Scotia one of the night we were there. July or January, Canada IS north of the border!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Time with a Friend

I really enjoyed reconnecting with my friend, Richard, last evening. We're like brothers and meeting at Tim's for coffee and talk was great. I also got to see their new home.

Hard to imagine that there is a Friend who sticks even closer than a brother - amazing.

Memories abound as I drive the area and reminisce about earlier times when God was building a church for His glory and people eagerly loved others into His kingdom. New life in a church makes all the difference in how a ministry operates. When you don't have it, you're just playing games with yourself as church people, pretending that you matter. Holy clubs are irrelevant clubs unless new members are being added by faith!

Naomi has an apartment inspection today so I need to get to helping her.

Sunny in Halifax today!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

An Interesting Wednesday Sighting

Today we just spent time together as a family. We visited my daughter's worksite and met some of the residents/patients, toured the old stomping grounds where we used to live, visited a Christian bookstore where friends have their business, visited the Public Botanical Gardens, and then had supper with great friends.

At supper, I saw a man enter, have supper, and leave. We made eye contact. It was not until he was almost out of the restaurant that I realized it was the former Premier of Nova Scotia, recently defeated in provincial elections. He was once at the zenith of his political career; now he was just being Dad to his young son. I bet his boy was happy Dad was out of government!

Kingdoms rise and fall while family support us and our best values. I choose family!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Take Off Tuesday

We're enjoying a Take Off Tuesday today. We've intentionally pushed away stress and unwarranted activity from our day. Not doing much more than talking, laughing, and enjoying time with our daughter in this historic city.

I've been surfing the net, Twittering, doing personal research, drinking Tim Horton's coffee (double/single!) and contributing to some of the sites I frequent as a member/contributor. I never get to do this, quite like this, while in work mode.

God knew what He was doing when He rested on the 7th Day and encouraged us to do the same. Rest and relaxation settles the mind for creativity devoid of the pressure wrought by calendar and clock, reinforces the mind for creative response to all of life as it shows up, and infuses the spirit with life-giving space for reflection and renewal. Even my Bible reading is different in this particular modality.

Now, how to transfer this experience to the work-a-day world I live in most of the time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

City Sounds

It's been awhile since I awoke to city sounds:

car doors slamming, buses churning through their routes, people talking as they scurry to work, the "beeeep, beeeep" of garbage trucks as they back into place to pick up their cherished loads, and the hum of activity that fills the empty spaces where quiet might reign were it not for all the people. There's something comforting about city sounds once they've been a part of your life.

I didn't sleep soundly last night, not because anything was wrong, but because I listened to city sounds all night and imagined what lay below me in the streets. We're elevated above pavement level in our daughter's apartment: six floors up! A cool breeze blew into the windows and through the apartment all night long. Delicious for dozing and imagining!

Today we begin the first full week of our vacation and I can't wait to get out and enjoy the city. I want to drink it in - all of it - and experience the fullness of my days here, nor just manage them with the help of David Allen. I want to look into people's faces and read their souls. I want to scoop bucketfuls of air into my lungs and feel it burn life-giving strength into my weary body. I want to give my eyes permission to see anything and everything related to the needs of people who live on the streets and open my heart and notetaker wallet to those who beckon me to share the wealth. I want to feel the ocean on my feet and be transported to that real place where I feel small and insignificant as I see the Atlantic Ocean spread before me like a huge sheet ready to be stretched over a mattress that tired people might sleep upon it.

As I drove into the city, one words kept pummeling my mind: souls! I was called to this city back in 1998 and I spent my life strength here seeking out those who were spiritually lost. The people and places and experiences of this place shaped me into the person I am today and I will be forever grateful for my days here. Longings...

I think I'll drink a coffee or two and read Isaiah. He understands the way I feel toward people. His ministry was a soul-saving one, too.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hangin in Halifax

After a meaningful child dedication of my grand daughter at Beulah Camp, renewing acquaintances with the wonderful people of our past, and a great meal with all the family at Pizza Delight, we headed for Nova Scotia. Long but enjoyable trip seeing all the very familiar sites.

We served Christ here for 29 years so Atlantic Canada is very much in our hearts with every town and site holding a memory from an interaction there. At one time, and for a very long time, I strongly believed I would be buried on Canadian soil and that these people would be my people forever. How one meeting can altar a lifetime of hopes, dreams and intentions!

Arrived in Halifax, called our daughter, found her apartment and have been talking for hours.

It's going to be a great week!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Land Ho - Canada!

After a lazy drive from NY to Maine, we stationed ourselves in Bangor for the night. Great time to relax!

Crossed the border into Canada this afternoon and are staying in the port city of Saint John, NB for the night before driving to Beulah Camp to dedicate our grand daughter.

Witnessed an accident tonight while leaving the local grocery store. Police came and everything! I was a witness to it all so had to give my version of the story. But the guilty party kept lying about her actions that caused the accident. I finally stated firmly, "Mam, that is not the way it happened!" She stopped - until the police officer arrived and she started it up again. The officer stated, "Mam, it couldn't happen their way AND your way, too. Now, which is it?" She stated, "Well, I guess all these people saw it...." Case over.

Enjoying surfing the net and breathing that foggy, damp, chilly Saint John air!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day One of Vacation

Today is Day #1 of our vacation. We're spending it at home to do some housework, shopping, elder care, and packing. I'll be dedicating my granddaughter on Sunday in NB at Beulah Camp.

Took a 15 minute mid-week afternoon nap today - not done that in about 20 years!!

Big thunderstorms here today/tonight. What a great way to spend the evening listening to thunder and watching the lightening flash across the sky!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


It's been a while since I blogged here. Lots going on - personal and professional - and time seems to slip away and I come to the end of the day and do not feel like blogging about squat. And that's okay!

I am at peace.
Work is getting done.
Life is good.
I like where I live.
I like most of what I'm doing at work.
I will enjoy my vacation when it comes one day.
God is cool.
I'm signing off!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A New Lease on Life

I cannot help but feel that we have been given a new lease on life. The last seven days have been wrought with concern that a heart condition might severely limit our ministry effectiveness and even cause a major change in our lives. But Rosalie's heart is clear of blockages and we now can look to the future with hope.

I am seeing this as a call to evaluate our lives and ministry, however, and to emerge stronger and better equipped as a couple to minister in the calling we have been given by God. We do not wish to waste one drop of this potent formula that has been served to us by God. It will be interesting to see where this experience leads us!

A new day dawns, fresh with hope. To God be the Glory!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rosalie is Home!

After a catheter was placed into Rosalie's artery and run to her heart, doctors discovered no blockages. Yeah!!

She is resting quietly for 24 hours, then will go back to work as long as she takes it easy for one week. No lifting, either.

We anticipate a good visit with her primary care physician next week to settle into the reasons why she was having the pain.

We cannot say thank you enough to everyone who loved on us by staying with us at the hospital, standing vigil in prayer, and emailing, calling, Facebooking, and generally caring deeply for our situation. You are all loved!

Monday, June 8, 2009

We're in!

We got an appointment with a cardiologist. O Happy Day!!


A lot going on since Thursday of last week.

I was working in northern NY when I got a voicemail saying that Rosalie was in the ER with chest pains. I headed south and got there in time to learn that there were indications of heart damage. She was admitted and the journey began. Tests, sent home surrounded by confusing words and a mixed-signals diagnosis from the hospital P.A. and nurses.

We called Rosalie's primary care physician today for an appointment and learned that she has resigned her practice and moved. Oh, no!

I asked the Lord for a verse on Thursday and here's what He gave me: "I am your refuge and strength, your VERY PRESENT HELP in time of trouble."

Thank you to all who have emailed and asked about our lives these days. We are sheltered safe in the arms of Love and it is comforting us.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Amazing Group of friends

I lead an amazing group of people at our church!

Last night, we hosted and provided a Benefit Dinner to a family whose little girl had a brain aneurysm and is in Boston in rehab. We provided a great meal, lots of love and friendship to those who attended, and everyone left feeling like we make a huge difference in people's lives.

This is what it's all about!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Today was a good day for me, both at church and with my family. And while I missed my Mom a lot, I know she is with God and is safe from the disease that took here life.

I traveled with Dad to visit the family cemetery plot. It was a special moment. I want to pass these things on to my kids so they will have them in their memory banks not to be forgotten after I am gone.

Good talk with my brother tonight, too. God has good things in store for him!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What a Difference a Year Makes

I am grateful to God for His many blessings on my life and ministry. This one stands out today:

One year ago, the church I serve averaged 56 in average attendance. One year later, we averged 97.

To God be the Glory!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Day in Lake Placid

Today we decided to take a day off and drive to Lake Placid, NY, to enjoy a new place I'd not been to before.

We walked the street (!), browsed her shops, enjoyed a treat at Starbuck's, and simply enjoyed taking time away from the rush to enjoy each other's company.

Even after 29 years of marriage, we still look forward to walking hand-in-hand together and communicating about the things that matter to us.

I was most impressed with the granduaur of these Adirondack Mountains. All the way up our climb, our ears popped, reminding us that we're not in Nova Scotia anymore!

Today was a great experience and one I'll remember for a while.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sitting in Panera Bread in Lansing

I'm out with the guys here in Michigan getting ready for a meeting. We traveled across NY State, Ontario, and now we're in Michigan. What a motivational and ministry-stretching experience. God is at work in the Eastern New York/New England District and her leadership and I'm honored to be a part of something that is making significant progress for Kingdom work.

Got to go to work.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blessed is the Man Who Trusts in You

Here is what I've been reading this early hour from Psalm 84:

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools. [i]

7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.

9 Look upon our shield, [j] O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.

10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

12 O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Welcome Delight

After a great church service where my daughter lead worship and Pastor Mel preached on The Church in Philadelphia, we headed to the Tobique and enjoyed a feast of Chinese food. I then retired to read. What happened then was a total surprise - I took a nap!!

A new friend unfamiliar with church life and I were talking about work recently and he noted how he thought the ministry would be a good job because the hours were low, unlike other jobs that he had done in his life. I made a joke of it and didn't say, "Oh, we work long hours in the ministry, too!" People don't believe you, anyway, so you just smile at their mistaken notion of the church and what you do.

I said all that to say that taking naps are not a part of my weekly routine. But, on vacation, they are a welcome delight!

A snowstorm predicted for tonight and tomorrow may alter our travel plans a bit. 15 cms possible!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pleasing People

"If you want to please only the critics, don't play too loud, too soft, too fast, too slow."

- Arturo Toscanini

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Common Sight

I awoke this morning to a common sight in Canada - SNOW! Yes, it's snowing here, the wanning strength of Old Man Winter wheezing out his final effort before pleasant weather arrives.

We're having a family reunion, with Rosalie's sister and her daughter and grandchildren here to catch up on the happenings of our lives since we last saw each other.

We'll process our Canadian taxes later today or tomorrow.

I stopped into the Irving Convenience today to get get some ice melt for the walk (wish I could have helped Jeff and bought it from him!) and treated myself to a 100% Columbian coffee - Irving style. I'm drinking it nice and slow so as to savor every drop. Tim Horton's tomorrow!

I love Canada, too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ah, Rest!

There is a sweet moment in time when you realize that you need no longer be "On" with your work. You are free to rest, relax, and enjoy the warm sunshine, cool breezes, and subtle shifts in the color of the horizon as winter gives way to spring.

When is that time for me? Today - it's vacation!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two Handles

"Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith." (Henry Ward Beecher)

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Will Counsel You

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you" (Psalm 32: 8.)

The call to pastor brings with it the responsibility to discern God's direction for a local church in the community where God has placed it. This means that there are times when he or she must be able to discern God's will for the assembly and declare it before the people in meetings, in one-on-one sessions, and from the public platform. While there may be those who relish declaring "Thus saith the Lord" I, for one, take this almost prophetic assignment very seriously.

So many possibilities lie before a local congregation and its leaders: programs promising to work miracles if followed to the letter and numerous books and internet sites gushing advice on any number of issues facing the local congregation of Christ followers. There is a glut of information assailing the pastor's mind and heart and the easiest route might be to take a pre-packaged product and declare it to be God's sovereign will for the next chapter of the church's life.

While there is tremendous possibiities open for excellent programming today, nothing can replace that intimate relationship that exists between the local church pastor and His Lord. After all the books and blogs have been read and re-read, the doors of the study need be shut to the outside world and the shepherd/leader must get alone with His God and seek to understand the plans and purposes of the Holy Spirit for the body of believers meeting in that local setting.

"But I'm not into the mystical!" you might be tempted to exclaim or "I'm a leader and not a prayer!" you may be wanting to explain. But leadership gifting and a refined skill set honed by years of experience are not quite enough for leading God's people. Many a leader, choosing to rest on his giftings, has painfully discover that while the leadership books and experience affirmed one course, the Lord of the Church commanded quite another (see Joshua's conquering of the Promised Land and the apostle Paul being hindered from Asia in order to preach in Macedonia).

God's promise to the Psalmist is still valid for the Pastor and should bring no small measure of comfort and consideration:

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you" (Psalm 32: 8).

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Memories Tonight

Finished up a great meeting at the church tonight and am now home enjoying a David Foster Special on Vermont Public Television. Celine Dion sang a few minutes ago and it sure caused a flood of memories of Canada and especially Halifax. What a great city. Roxham CLose, Lacewood Drive, Downtown, the Waterfront, Hwy 101 and 103, Seabright, the Twin Bridges, "Helping People Cross The Bridge to God" (John 5: 24 NIV), and the people who served Christ with us come readily to mind and usher in a warm nostalgia that even the beauty of these mountains can't slay tonight.

Interesting, too, that the spiritual burden I was given in 1999 hasn't left even after being gone nineteen months.

God, bless Halifax tonight, from the farthest outskirts to the central core of that thriving, maritime city!

Friday, February 27, 2009

In the Comfort of The Faithful One

My daugher sent me the words of this song and I felt that someone reading this might find hope in these words of affirmation and trust:

"I find no hope within to call my own
For I am frail of heart, my strength is gone
But deep within my soul is rising up a song
Here in the comfort of the Faithful One"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One of THOSE Days!

Up early to exercise (a routine now!) and then to the office to settle in for a full day of prep for a board meeting. Interesting how things can change in a hurry.

The scheduled started to disrail after some email demanded more thought than I had time for but I knew I needed to plowed ahead and finish anyway. Then phone calls came that could not be added to my calls list for another day. A meeting or two further slugged away at my volume of work until I began to get concerned if I would get it all done before 7 pm. At one point, our administrator and I met to talk about the morning and concluded that the enemy was at work trying to curb our zeal for the calling that was ours for the day (Rosalie is my admin, in case you wondered!). I went back to my office, closed the door to put my head down, only to learn that three members of the board would not be able to make the meeting, thus calling for a rescheduling of the event.

I should have let go and let the day flow, I guess, for Someone knew my calling for the day was to serve people and not to push paper. I'm happy with that!

Today was supposed to be my day off so I'm going to slide into that mode soon.

By the way, had a great doctor's appointment yesterday. BP is NORMAL after all these years and my cholesterol is at rock bottom normal, too. All this lifestyle change is proving helpful in many areas of my personal world. Yea!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's All in the Mind

It's been quite a winter: too much cold and way too much SNOW has marked the season the season for me. It didn't help that I got to be in Florida for three days!

Today was another snow day in the Adirondacks and I royally took advantage of it by staying mostly at home and working from a coffee table on my laptop. It was really great to change up the routine and adjust the pace of my life for twelve hours. I got a lot of work done and cleared off about 60 items from my Project and Next Action lists.

Things are good in my world and I'm honored to be serving Jesus Christ as a spiritual leader in the county. I sense God's hand on my life and ministry and am humbled by the honor of walking with Him through life.

I celebrated my 48th birthday on the 19th and heard from a number of new and old friends. It meant a lot to be with family and friends on the day. My friends joked about me now being an "old geezer" but I still feel like I'm 28 and not 48. It's all in the mind, folks!

I enjoyed fire meeting last night. While all we did was wash fire trucks and clean up, the manual labor and interaction with the TREMENDOUS people at the fire department made the evening slip by way too quickly.

I'm reading a book "Making It All Work" by David Allen. Whereas "Getting Things Done" was a nuts and bolts look at work and life management, this book is the philosophy behind the methodology. A good, if not long, read.

My daughters have been together in NB for the last six day and I would have loved to have been there with them (and that beautiful baby!!). Soon.

Okay, enough.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Catching Up with Me

It's been awhile since I posted last so I'll catch you up on what's been happening in my world since:

I had a fantastic Christmas: great Christmas Eve services, Naomi was home, and Christmas Day was restful and meaningful as I interacted with family. I kept thinking all day, "Brother, I'm the most blessed guy on the planet today!" I love Christmas and the Christ who came so I could celebrate it!

I took time between Christmas and New Year's to get away and work on the six horizons of focus and the synthesis of it all in my life. I was able to map out and capture Projects, Next Actions and short-and long-term goals from the runway to the 50,000 ft horizon of focus. For the first time in my life, I have a complete system in place to help me strive toward becoming "Captain and Commander" of the experiences God sends my way this year. I've regained a sense of control and perspective after one of the the most challenging and somewhat quizzical seventeen months of my forty-seven years on the planet. I look forward to 2009 and what it will hold for me and my family. (P.S. If this last paragraph means little to you, read "Making It All Work" by David Allen and it will come into better focus!)

I've been gaining a clearer perspective on my life and my ministry in these months since leaving Canada and Corinth. While only a handful of people know the complete story behind our departure from our homeland and home church, God is most keenly aware of it all and has been faithful in helping me process my experiences (and the people who've contributed to them) and He's aiding me in being able to foster a fuller trust in His Romans 8: 28 purposes for my life. A deeper sense of divine purpose and personal settledness pervades my life these days and pain is giving way to gratitude to the One who is using it all for greater Kingdom good. As hard as it is to believe that I could ever say this, I'm thankful for the Genesis 48: 8a and Genesis 50: 20 understanding I'm gaining at this stage of my personal, spiritual journey.

I have prayerfully added a new core value to my personal mission: FUN! I forgot how to laugh for too many months and it caused a dearth of joy in my life. As God has pruned and picked at other areas of my life, He has also chosen to open up a wellspring of joy that washes over me much more often of late. I look for and find the humor in life and see God using it in my ministry to help settle people and lift them above the trial of their unfortunate circumstances. This was made clearer to me after feedback from a hospital visit to a heart patient last week. God has a sense of humor - and it's healthy to be like Him!

If you've read this far, thanks for your time. If you gave up reading about me, then you've moved on to the sports page and really don't care what I write about in this last line!