Your Voice

Use your voice!

This is such a powerful moment from the ESPYS – would have taken just one adult to stand up and say something and most of this could have been stopped. We need to listen and use our voice!

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My Top 5 Leadership Podcasts

Podcasts have become one of the biggest sources of information for today’s leaders. They are filled with insight, in-depth discussions and advice from some of today’s biggest influencers.

These are a few of the podcasts I listen to on a weekly basis. As a leader we need to be continuously learning and leaning into different influencers. These podcasts are a mix of Technology, Business & Christian living that I have found to really shape my leadership.

If you’re already a podcast listener, find room in your schedule to give these top leadership podcasts a chance. If you’re not, let them be your a way to turn downtime in the car or at the gym into a source of new knowledge and motivation to lead in a better way.

1. Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

2. Social Media Church Podcast

3. 5 Leadership Questions: A leadership Podcast

4. Catalyst Podcast

5. Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast

Bonus Podcasts for those who need just one more:

6. Coaching For Leaders

Next Blog: Dealing with critics

My Top 5 Leadership Blogs

As leaders, we know it’s crucial to continually be learning and developing ourselves so we can continue to grow in our leadership. I love the moment when I’m able to hear from a dynamic speaker, connecting with others at a conference, or sharing insights on leadership with my team.

However, we have organizations & ministries to run and teams to lead, so we can’t always get away (as much as we would like to!). That’s where blogs, podcasts & leadership videos come in!

Consider these next five bloggers some key reading on the subject of professional, ministerial and often personal—leadership. These are some of my go to bloggers that I go to during the week, these constantly are changing (I’ll update). I also find it helpful to look outside the realm of Christian leaders to learn from, and gain a different perspective. Visit them for a shot of leadership when you’re in the trenches looking for some inspiration.

1. Michael HyattMichael S. Hyatt is an author, blogger, speaker, and the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Read: Stay fit while traveling

2. Brad Lomenick – Brad is a leadership consultant, speaker, founder of BLINC, and author of The Catalyst Leader and H3 Leadership.Writes about leadership, the next generation, creativity, social media and personal growth.

Read: Young influencers list June 2018

3. Vanderbloemen Search Group blog on church staffing, pastor search, and church leadership best practices.

Read: How to determine if a staff member is a poor fit

4. Leadership FreakBusy leaders don’t have unlimited time on their hands. That’s why Dan Rockwell keeps his blog posts short and impactful—and no more than 300 words each.

Read: Might be a Psycho Employee If

5. Lolly DaskalWith more than thirty years of experience with some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, Daskal is one of today’s most sought-after executive leadership coaches and leadership consultants.

Read: The 12 Most-Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves

My Next blog: My top leadership podcasts.

Erika = Bold = Woman of God = My wife!

Erika = Bold = Woman of God = My wife!
bold
bōld/
adjective
  1. 1.
    (of a person, action, or idea) showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous.

Most people know my wife as a mommy,  as “Michael’s wife,” the girl who does Crossfit, or the lady who sits in the back of the room when Michael is preaching.  All of these things are true, but what no one knows is her passion for Jesus and for others meeting Him.

I have seen her grow so much in the last 7 years of marriage, but nothing like what I have seen God do in her life this year.  She has formed a passion for our entire neighborhood – meeting, knowing and inviting all of our neighbors over to our house.  When someone moves in, she is greeting them and introducing herself to them.  She has formed amazing friendships with people from her Crossfit Gym and loved on many of them in so many ways.  She reads the Word to our kids in the morning daily.  I could go on and on about this amazing women of God.

One of the most powerful things I have every seen her do happened this past Sunday.  As I was on Instagram and I saw a dear friend of ours had posted about Erika.  Erika and I had been talking all day and she not once mentioned this moment she had in church that morning.  So, completely blown away I came out of our room and said “Uhhh Hellllo, you were not going to tell me about this?” She said “Oh yea, it was awesome.”

So many times we sit in church and go through the motions, if you read the post from Bailey, you see that Erika didn’t just sit and let things happen.  She heard, she moved, and God used her!  God is continuing to form in my wife boldness –showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous. She is as real as they come and changes lives daily without telling, posting or bragging about any of it.  I am challenged by her daily, and love her so much!

Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 4.06.56 PM

In His Presence

In His Presence
As Erika and I have been praying over sweet Copelyn the song “In His Presence” by Elevation Worship just continues to be so true for us.
We all will have days or seasons that are very difficult for us, we at times may feel very alone, scared and helpless.  At those times is when we need to be remembered that we are in His Presence
In His Presence – 
Here I lay my burdens down
Lose my worries in Your love
Casting every care on You
I have carried them enough
We’re not alone
Here within His love
Emmanuel
He is still with us
When the world becomes too much
Near the cross I will remain
Until every fear is stilled
At the mention of Your name
We’re not alone
Here within His love
Emmanuel
He is still with us
We’re not alone
Here within His love
Emmanuel
He is still with us
Mercy is falling, falling
Lift up your hands receive it now
Here in the presence of the Lord
Mercy is falling, falling
Lift up your hands receive it now
Here in the presence of the Lord
I know your past is broken
You can move on it’s over now
Here in the presence of the Lord
I know your past is broken
You can move on it’s over now
Here in

 

Secularizing our own children…

Secularizing our own children…

Erika and I were just talking about this the other day. We at times are giving our kids to many choices – Choices of what to wear, choices of what to eat, choices of where they want to go and so on.

This is a great clip from Matt Chandler on the dangers of giving kids to many choices, and living in a “Jesus is Lord…But” mentality.

We need to stop blaming colleges and high schools for secularizing kids and look into how we are leading in our own homes.

Back FLOP..

Back FLOP..

The student ministry team @secondstudentswest decided to shoot a music video. Zach decided to randomly attempt to do a backflip. He landed it…With his face.

This is a reminder to all – we are not as young as we think we are. Be safe and stop attempting backflips in rap videos.

Zach was not injured and neither was his face.

Erika Freaked me out

The original post right here –

http://Erikabh.com – Erika is an amazing writer – check her stuff out there.

My wife called me and this is what she said was happening.

There are a few reasons why I want to share an experience I had yesterday, so bear with me.

Around noon I arrived home with my youngest. As I was getting her out of the car, I noticed an older gentlemen standing in the middle of my street looking at me. Unfortunately, I’m very skeptical and leery of most people. I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but that’s just the world we live in today. So with my eyes peeled I watched as I continued to unload the car. A few minutes passed and he was still standing in the same place. He appeared to be very cold, and his demeanor was very none threatening. Honestly, he looked like a little boy who was lost. I began to pray, “Lord, I’m about to make a decision here, help me to be wise and careful.” I never want to do anything that puts myself in danger, but more importantly, I now have a one year old in my house sleeping that I would do anything to protect. At this point I’m on very high alert. I approached him and asked him if there was anything I could help him with. Immediately, I had peace. The man was clearly ill, and couldn’t give me any information about himself. No id, he couldn’t give me any phone numbers, nothing. He said, “I’m so sorry, I’m lost and I can’t remember how I got here. Where am I?” I told him, “You’re in Katy Texas, where do you live?” “McClellan. They just dropped me off. I don’t know why I’m here.” Oh heavens, I thought! What am I supposed to do with this man? So, I loaded him up and drove him to the local police department. The entire time praying “Lord, I have absolutely no clue how to help this person, please help.” We arrived at the police station and I gave them all the information I had. His name was Armondo, and he was seventy-four years old, and he lived in McClellan Texas. That was it. We sat with the deputy for quite some time trying to pull all the information out of him that we could together. As this was happening his son called the police department looking for him! What a relief. We learned that Armondo has Dementia and is, in fact, from McClellan. He is here visiting his son only two doors down from me. I also learned that he doesn’t sleep at night. He paces and talks. His sweet wife stays up with him most nights, and when she went in to take a short nap yesterday, he got out of the house. I don’t know a lot about Dementia, but for a small part of my day yesterday, I got a front row seat. I waited with Armondo for his son and wife to come pick him up. When I got in my car to head home, I lost it. It absolutely broke my heart. Here is the reason I’m even sharing this. Not to say look how nice I am because any of you would’ve done the exact same thing, so don’t let me fool you, I’m not that nice of a person. My point is, this happened two doors from my house. A mere fifty yards from my front door. We can’t fathom the things that people are going through all around us, right in our back yards! People’s realities even just a house over could potentially be very grim day in and day out. There is potential EVERYWHERE to reach out and love on someone. This was an eye opener for me. Armando needed my help yesterday, but he helped me in a way I didn’t even realize I needed. I want to be more aware of those around me, especially in my neighborhood. Same could go for you. Be aware and intentional about getting to know those around you, and allow the Lord to use you to really bless some people by just being a smiling face or a listening ear!

Friends – 

Friends – 

This is a repost from my wife’s Blog. She’s an amazing writer, very proud of her.  
Friendship 

“It’s impossible to live the right life when you have the wrong friends.” Craig Groeschel
Friendships are always evolving, wouldn’t you agree? And not only are the relationships themselves evolving, our definition of what we would consider to be a friend evolves as well.
I can recall the types of “friends” I had during my teens and into my early twenties. Good heavens, can somebody feel me? Makes me grateful for that evolution I mentioned. Isn’t that season necessary though? It’s impossible to really appreciate a good friendship if you haven’t had a few shallow, one sided, selfish friendships to grow from. I feel like the Lord has taught me a lot in this area over the last six or seven years. Here’s where I’ve landed and the guidelines I try to stick to when it comes to my friendships.
It starts with you. The day I began looking inward, I was on my way to better friendships. Instead of approaching a friendship wondering what I could get out of it, I began looking for ways that I could contribute to the relationship. I began working toward being the type of friend I wanted in another person.
There is a necessary season of cutting ties to experience growth. This was painful for me. This was also the same time that the Lord was really working in my life in lots of areas. Pruning, if you will. It hurt. It was lonely. But oh, sister. How beautiful the growth it brought into my life. Growth and relationships I still benefit from today. There hasn’t been one thing that the Lord has asked me to lay down that I have looked back on and wished I hadn’t. NOT ONE.
Not everyone gets the free pass to be your friend. This is what you didn’t hear me say. I didn’t say not everyone deserves your respect or your kindness. And I didn’t say don’t be friendly. What I’m getting at here is filtering those that have access to your most precious, private spaces. Guarding your heart and using great wisdom and discernment when it comes to the people you allow in. I wholeheartedly believe that those we surround ourselves with are essential to the story we want to tell with our lives. Friendships are such a sweet, sweet, wonderful blessing. They possess the power to make or break us. Know your worth. For this reason I say, not everyone gets a free pass.

Not all friendships are created equal. What do I mean? There are different, but necessary, levels of friendships. Be ok with that. From your acquaintances, to your play-date park moms, women at the gym, women in your church, people you see daily, to narrowing the funnel down to the closest relationships you have. Your bestie for the restie! Yeah I said it. Different levels of friendships are ok, and in my opinion, very natural and healthy. You don’t have to divulge all to everyone. This is also a great place to practice wisdom when sharing your life.
Are you the problem? Is your life a revolving door of friends? Are you constantly “on the outs” with someone? Are you always, or frequently the victim? Does drama seem to follow you wherever you go? Do you always talk about yourself, rarely pausing to consider others? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I’m gonna break it to you gently. There’s about a 100% chance that you’re the problem. Begin to ask yourself what you can do to contribute to others lives instead of taking from it. A life lived all about ourselves isn’t much of a life at all. It takes some effort to learn how to give instead of always take. Be intentional.
Here’s what this all boils down to. You can have a lifetime of shallow friendships that come and go with the wind, or you can get vulnerable, do some self reflection and soul searching and gain real, deep, true friendships that will alter your definition of what a friend truly is. What story are you telling from the friends you choose? Might be time to make some hard decisions. Do it. You won’t be sorry.