Reflecting On The Past And Moving Towards The Future

Posted by Larry in

For the past couple of months I have enjoyed writing for this blog.  It has helped me begin to refine my writing skills and allowed me to have a broader voice in the world around me.  I have been amazed each day to review the analytics for my blog to discover that it has been viewed by people all around the world.  We truly do live in a global community.

I have also enjoyed serving in full time ministry as a youth pastor for the past five years.  This calling on my life has helped me become more of the person that God has called me to be.  I have walked hand in hand with teenagers that have lost brothers and sisters, made the transition into college, accepted calls into ministry, and much more.  I find it very humbling that so many teenagers have allowed me to influence their lives over the years.

Most of my life I have enjoyed the friendship of my friend Tom Wise.  It seems very ironic that we both serve as youth pastors so close to where we grew up together.  However, I have come to realize that there is no such thing as coincidence in God’s plans.  Over the years his friendship has challenged me to be a better person and helped me to not take life so seriously.  I am blessed to have him as a friend.

These past few years have brought many changes into my life and many new people.  One of those persons is Todd Morris.  Over the past few years he has quickly become a life long friend.  Much like Tom he has helped me become a better person and challenged be to strive towards things I did not think I could accomplish.  His confidence in me has given me the courage to try new things and helped me feel comfortable in being myself.  I am a better man for having him as my friend.

You may wonder at this point why any of that matters.  Well, for you it matters very little, but for me these factors are working together once again to change the direction of my life.  Unfortunately this will be the last blog post you read from me on this site for a while.  But it will not be the last you hear from me unless you choose to have it that way.

I am excited to announce that I am partnering with Tom Wise and Todd Morris to launch a new site.  Once the new site is up and running I will be writing in a blog format once again.  This new site will be focused on helping people of all ages and all walks of life explore the mysteries of God.  I hope that all of you that are subscribers here at this blog will continue to read on the new blog.  The blog content will be much the same but it will be incorporated into a much larger web-site.  I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you.

The current question on my Facebook status is “Do you know what God desires for you life?”  This is the question that we hope to help individuals answer on the new site. As well as provide resources to parents and youth workers that will help create environments in the home and church to accomplish this same task.

I hope that this new site will only take a couple of months to get up and running.  I look forward to writing once again.

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Are You A Salesman Or A Satisfied Customer?

Posted by Larry in

The candles are lit, the table is set, the food is prepared and your hands smell like raw garlic, onions and fish. Vigorous scrubbing with hand soap won’t help, so how can you possibly remove that pungent food odor before the doorbell rings? The answer comes in the form of this 2-1/2" x 1-3/4" disk of stainless steel. Don’t ask us how, but rubbing your hands on this disk under a stream of water washes away any unwanted aromas and leaves your hands smelling like, well, hands. Best of all, you only need to buy one since they last forever!

When I see items like Chef Soap it always makes me wonder how someone figured out that this particular item worked for this particular need.  Was someone trying to find a solution to this problem or did they just happen upon it one day.  That leads me to ask why it is that I never get to find cool stuff like this.  Why is it that someone else always gets to invent or find the stuff that everyone needs or wants? 

Then I ask another penetrating question, “Does it really work?”  I look at the picture and the claims to the side and something in me wants to know whether or not it does what it says it will do.  I have the same problems that everyone else has when cooking with strong foods and this seems like the ultimate solution.

This is the question that the world is asking about God.  I wonder if he can do what his followers say he can do and if he will do what they say he will do.  This is really a question that people should be asking to, and about God himself, but since it is difficult for them to understand the possibility of a relationship with someone they cannot see, they turn to those of us that they can see; and hear; and touch.  They look to us to see if we are living our lives in view of such claims.  If we say that our God is a loving God then they want to see if we are loving people, thus they will form their opinion about the one that we follow based upon our actions. 

The whole world has the same problem.  They have been separated from God by sinful choices.  When they ask questions about whether or not God’s plan will work for their life, they are not looking for a creative marketing scheme or a salesman.  They genuinely want to know, “Will God’s way work?” and they need to be able to see it working in your life.


Are You A Salesman Or A Satisfied Customer?

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Improper Parenting Technique For Strong Willed Children

Posted by Larry in

I have a strong willed child in my home.  My wife says that my son has the hardest head of anyone she has ever met.  Which in some ways is comforting news, because until he came along she used to say it was me. 

As you probably know, a strong willed child already has his or her mind made up about anything and everything.  Your instructions are well received only as long as they comply with their predetermined decisions. 

This type of behavior can be a blessing or a curse at times.  Just a couple of days ago I had an emergency and was called out of the home early in the morning and could not be there when my children were getting ready for school.  In my absence my son did all of the things he normally does to get ready for school and then on his own volunteered himself to make everyone’s lunch for the day.  This included his mother, his sister, and himself.  His determination when channeled properly becomes a very useful asset for him and for others.
However, when it is not channeled properly it amounts to what appears to be nothing more than pure rebellion.  In which case, duct tape is not the answer.  You child will continually need clear direction, a structured environment, a disciplined example from his/her parents, a firm hand, and lots of grace.  The challenge for you as a parent is not to control your child but to properly direct his God given personality.  As parents you must be careful not to break your child’s spirit but instead, you should encourage a proper use of their gifts.

I know from experience the pressure that can be felt as a parent when others become frustrated with your child’s unique personality.  A strong willed child can be difficult to handle at school, church, or any other structured environment.  Just remember, your child is not broken.  They are still learning to become the person that God has called them to be and you are to act as their guide.  So be sympathetic with other adults that are in authority over your child; teach him to respect and obey their authority; and then pray… a lot.

Your child is a gift from God.  Treat them like the unique individual that they are.

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Taking Ownership Of Each Other

Posted by Larry in

Season 8 group of 16 on week 1 of Biggest LoserThese are the contestants in season 8 of the Biggest Loser on NBC.  Over the past year I have become fascinated with this show for a lot of reasons. 

Most of my life I have struggled with my weight, but a year ago my wife and I began working together to lose weight and start living a healthier lifestyle.  Watching these contestants strive week after week last year helped inspire us to make better choices for ourselves.  I would recommend tuning in to watch this season.

This is now a community that shares its common struggle together.  The choices that they have been making in life have produced an unhealthy and debilitating way to live.  Each one has a unique story that brings tears to your eyes.  Most of us have compassion for people when all they want is a good life with family and friends and to have a life that means something in this world.

During the season premier, in the very first challenge, Tracey had fallen and could not finish the 1 mile that she was asked to run.  She attempted to crawl to the finish after falling but could not draw on the strength to move herself forward.  When everyone else realized that she was not going to finish, most of the other contestants went out to help her.  One of the contestants remarked about how devastated she would be if she could not finish.

This is a compelling portrait of how we should exist in community with one another.  Wouldn’t it be great to know that you were surrounded by people that would help you up when you had fallen?  Wouldn’t it be great to know that the people around you would care about your emotional stability?  Wouldn’t it be great to know that the people around you were motivated to see you finish the things that you had started?

Wouldn’t it be great if we as a community of people would take ownership of one another’s well being?  These are the friendships that I am interested in forming.  I want to live life with people that have my best interest at heart and willing to get involved to push me to do the things in life that will make me a better person and allow me to live a better life.

Who do you have in your life like that now?  If the answer is no one, then I would begin searching for someone to fill that void.  We all need these types of persons around us.  This life that we have to live is too short and too difficult to live alone.  It is too easy to be distracted and too easy to fall into poor choices.  If you desire to have those kinds of persons in your life then look today and ask who you can give yourself to in that fashion.  Don’t wait for someone to come to you.


We need to surround ourselves with people that will take ownership in our lives and our well being. 

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Live Like A Billionaire

Posted by Larry in

Think about this question for just a moment.

If money and resources were not an issue, what would you do with your life?

Have you ever imagined what life would be like if you had unlimited resources?  Perhaps you have seen shows that capture the lifestyles of the rich and famous and wondered what it would be like to show up at a restaurant and just order whatever you wanted.  Or what it would be like to walk onto the lot of a car dealership and pick out what you want, then pay in cash (without having to negotiate the price).  I could handle that lifestyle.
The above exercise can help you help you live like a billionaire.  If you sat down and asked yourself this question about the different areas of your life, you could quickly begin to see some changes in your direction and quality of life.  For instance:
  1. How would I express my love towards my wife if I had unlimited resources and time?

    Maybe you would buy her a diamond ring to show your affection for her.  Or maybe you would treat her to freauent spa treatments or massages.  Could it be a new car?  Maybe you would take her to that expensive restaurant she has been wanting to go to (in Paris, New York, or Venice).  Would you send her back to school to finish getting her degree? 
    What about these questions?

  2. What type of job would I have if I had unlimited resources and time?
  3. What would I give to charity if I had unlimited resources and time?
  4. What would I do for myself if I had unlimited resources and time?
When you take time to answer these questions you will have a solution to begin to work backwards from.  You can now begin to put a plan in place to see some of these things happen.  And along the way you can give the best you can with your current resources in equivalent ways.  If you cannot afford a diamond ring, then give her the best gift that you can that says I took the time to pick this out with you in mind.  If you cannot afford weekly trips to the spa, then pay to have her nails done every once in a while and give her a massage yourself once a week.  If you cannot afford a nice restaurant in London, then get a sitter for the weekend and make a candle light dinner for two and you do all of the cooking.
If you want to live like a billionaire then you have to make the most of your current situation.  It is not about the money that you have, but the mindset.  Wanting to be a billionaire is less about the money and more about having the freedom to do what we want.  You have that freedom right now in the choices that you make everyday. 
The truth is, I cannot tell you how to make tons of cash.  But I can tell you that your attitude towards life is what makes you rich.  Not the amount of your paycheck.
Work backwards from your ideal dream in any area of your life and you can begin to see it take place with small steps starting today.  For most people, the fantasy of having dinner at an expensive restaurant in Paris is a fleeting desire, but to sit across the table from our spouse in any setting, knowing that the whole evening has been planned for our pleasure is worth more than Donald Trump’s bank roll can purchase.

Start living like a billionaire today.  Answer the questions above and start working backwards.  Feel free to create your own questions.  Be bold.

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Practicing Investigative Journalism Techniques

Posted by Larry in


I watched this video and realized that this advice is good and practical for everyday living.  How many times have you heard information passed on about a person, event, or an organization and you knew it just couldn’t be true.  This happens with others more often than we care to think and probably happens with us more often than we care to admit.

It happens so much that the web-site Snopes has been developed to debunk urban legends.  Our society gets so caught up in telling the next best story with lots of juicy details that we take little concern about who we are hurting and whether or not there is any truth in what we are passing along.

So I say, “Get you behind up out of the chair” and make sure you know what your talking about when you open your mouth or press send.  And even then it would still be prudent to care more about people than the telling of your story!


Have you shared anything in the past month that you knew could have been untrue or exaggerated?

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