I have spent most of my life trying to change myself. Maybe it was the voice of condemnation that I grew up with or maybe the small, well-intentioned Baptist church I grew up in. Could it be because I looked to others to define myself, or how I hung my identity on their thoughts of me? All in all, I had been convinced that I was not enough. I was not enough for those closest to me, and I was not enough to receive God’s love and blessing. I know, it sounds a little crazy. Sometimes even now I wake up thinking about how to win, to embrace the peace and love my heart so desperately needs. I did it all. I memorized scripture, attended prayer meetings, and I even lead worship. All of this coupled with dedicating my actual life and vocation to His Kingdom.
Category Archives: Leader
“1 Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. 2 And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. 3 But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. 4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. 5 The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh. 6 Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.” — Ecclesiastes 4: 1-6
Discontentment is a difficult and burdensome feeling to hang over us all of our lives. Men are so accustomed to this feeling that sometimes it can be hard to notice we’re even doing it, but the effects of it are so much clearer than the act. We compete with every person that lives and breathes and it’s connected to our ego. It creeps into every situation.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)
What’s more Uncommen than reading the Declaration of Independence in order to celebrate the passing July 4th? Read it in its entirety and you’ll find a quick thought and challenge near the end.
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
In an age when it sometimes seems like everyone is starting a business or making money online, we simply couldn’t. We were a one income family looking to make extra money desperately. In 1998, I wrote a book on Christian Internet Ministries and how to begin that process with your church. As I work with dozens of churches today, I see that I was a little ahead of the game as some churches are still not always on board with using the internet to spread the Gospel.
I tried starting an eBay store, and it just got drowned out by the noise of everyone else. Back in the day, I collected comics, and I ran across one in person that was a great buy and hard to find. I purchased 4 of them at $4.00 each and went home to put them online. When I got home, I could find these listed what seemed like all day long at .99 cents.
I know that title could create confusion and even anger in others. But having gone through Katrina and come out the other side, that is what we came away with.
It was August 21, 2005, and I was in my 11th annual review with Winnie, my boss. We got out of the meeting, and the receptionist was handing out maps with the projections of the hurricane that were in the Gulf. I was born and raised in New Orleans, and after 40 years, I learned to expect at least one hurricane per year. A short evacuation was usual during Hurricane Season (June – November). When I got home, we started watching the news, and this one did have the makings of something big. We started the process: Milk, bread and a good seafood Po-Boy. Remember, I said I was a Cajun.