Friday, February 29, 2008

It Ain't That Easy

I was looking through the videos on WRAF's website and found this one by our station manager Bryan Race and thought I would share it with you.

It seems that the church here in U-S-America is always looking for the easy way to success. There are a lot of short cuts we can take, but they will only lead us to failure. Oh sure, we may have some small success but it doesn't last and we soon find ourselves looking for another easy way up.

I'm reminded of a passage in Scripture that illustrates the Christian life as a narrow road and how so many miss the narrow for the wider one. However, the wider one leads to destruction and the narrow road, though at times more of a challenge, brings success. Remember Robert Frost, "
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

Leaders vs. Politicians

Are the terms "leader" and "politician" synonymous? I don't think there is. Just like the terms "leader" and "manager" are not the same - there will always be a part of leader that needs to be political. But to think that a leader and politician are the same is foolish.

I've been a student of leadership for many years and I've come to respect the teachings and theories from John Maxwell and his team at Equip. On their website they identify 10 traits that we need to be looking for in a leader. These 10 traits, I believe, will lead us to identify "a new kind of great" leader.

As you decide who you will follow, vote for, etc., make sure you know these traits and use them as a guide

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Funny Thing Called Time

I've recently joined the ranks of the 40 year olds and I'm amazed at the changes that have happened just in the last 20 or so years. Internet, email, computers; the ability to recall even the most minute information. It's amazing that you can retrieve information from decades ago - and in many ways in it's original format. What will be recalled of me; what information will be on the net about "Michael Shelley"?

Seth Godin's recent blog, in response to be able to see the career of someone develop in a matter of seconds because of the internet, answered my question, "You're going to be on someone's radar a lot longer than you think, longer than you're going to be at your current job and longer than you might want. The web doesn't forget."

A little scary isn't it? Your whole life can be on someone's computer screen for their personal "enjoyment." I find it interesting the whole You Tube thing as people post some of the most embarrassing videos - about themselves no less. What will an employer say when they just happen to find a video on You Tube of a future employee during Spring Break? Makes you think about the decisions we make and how they WILL affect our futures. Scripture says in Numbers 32:23 to be sure that our sins will catch up with us. Just something to think about.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


In one of yesterday's posts, I shared with you 6 puzzles of life by Coach John Wooden. One of those puzzles was on being slow to make a decision. Indecisiveness puts leadership in positions of compromise or, even worse, causes those that are following to question the leader's ability to make decisions.

I received an email from a colleague that tells the story of Winston Churchill, one of the preeminent leaders of the 20th century. Churchill was not known has a vague or indecisive leader. However, during the defense of the Island of Crete, Churchill could not make up his mind on his field commander General Archibald Wavell, a traditionalist who lacked creativity and imagination. This lack of ingenuity was taken advantage of by the German army as they continued to invade the island. Desperate times called for desperate measures which Wavell failed to accomplish. According to British military records, at the height of frustration, Sir Alan Brooke, Churchill's chief of staff, challenged the Prime Minister by exclaiming, "Winston, either back him or sack him!"

This air of uncertainty is filling most of today's businesses and organizations. Middle-managers put in impossible situations with feelings that they are expendable. Very little communication, little to no direction and goals that are impossible to reach causes frustration in the ranks and upper management looking indecisive.

As a leader what can be done to alleviate these feelings from within the ranks? My colleague suggests, and I agree with, that you need to step back and take a look at your leaders - are they confident in the organization's confidence? Can you bring them in the decision-making process? Are they free to make a mistake and learn from that mistake without the feeling that their position is in jeopardy? Do they have ownership of their position?

As leaders we need to better understand the value our "field leadership" brings to our organizations. We need to do a better job creating an environment making decision that our leaders can believe in and take to the field - we cannot afford to lose our human capital because of our inability to make the right decisions and place people in the areas where they will excel.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Passing of Music Legend

This morning I heard the news this morning of the passing of Christian music legend Larry Norman. Larry was a pioneer of Christian music and one of the founders of the Jesus Music movement in the '60s. I went to Larry's website and read his last letter to his friends. I've copied this final letter on here and there is a link to Larry's site in my favorites. I urge you to take a look at the life of true minister

I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.

My brother Charles is right, I won't be here much longer. I can't do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.

My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.

I'd like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.

Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.


Wisdom From the Coach's Coach

I took yesterday off from the blog - I was a little tired after staying up late watching the Oscars. I wished I went to bed at my normal time because the program was a huge disappointment. But I'm back today with some encouraging thoughts from a coach's coach.

When one thinks of the most successful coach one may think of Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys of the '70s. Others may think of Vince Lombardi of the Greenbay Packers. Or still others may think of the coach of the University North Carolina Tar Heels, Dean Smith.

The person I think of as the most successful coach is still considered one of the best coaches in collegiate basketball history - John Wooden of the UCLA Bruins. Coach Wooden led the Bruins to 10 national championships in 12 years and is still considered a mentor to many of the young men he coached during his tenure at UCLA. Coach still speaks at a number of leadership events and has a number of books on leadership on the market today.

I came across some notes from a leadership conference I attended that featured Coach Wooden. The notes contained 6 life's puzzles from Coach Wooden:
  • Why is it easier to criticize than compliment?
  • Why is it easier to blame others , than to give them credit?
  • Why is it so many who are quick to make suggestions, find it so difficult to make decisions?
  • Why can't we realize that it only weakens those we want to help when we do things for them, they should be doing for themselves?
  • Why is it so much easier to allow emotions rather than reason to control our decisions?
  • Why is it the person with the least to say takes the longest to say it?
If you can figure these puzzles out you are a step ahead of most in this world. Just something to think about from a lifetime of experience - thanks Coach!

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's OSCAR Time!!

I do believe that if I did not get into radio that I would be making movies. I love the magic of the cinema; how it transports you into the story. I think of some of my favorites - "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Lord of the Rings," "Gladiator," "The Passion of the Christ," and the list goes on.

While a graduate student at Regent University, I got to know the movie industry a little. I gripped for a couple of student movies (all a grip is is someone who does all the grunt work) and I got to know a number of the film students who are now living and working in Hollywood. We would all get together and every February and have an Oscar party where we would try to predict the big winners - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, etc. Most of the time we got them right.

Well, here are my predictions for this Sunday's award show:

Best Picture - There Will Be Blood

Best Director - The Cohen Brothers (No Country for Old Men)

Best Actor- Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

Best Actress - Julie Christie (Away From Her)

Best Supporting Actor - Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)

Best Supporting Actress - Cate Blanchette (I'm Not There)

On Monday we will compare lists to see if I'm even close. Come up with your own predictions and have fun with this weekends Oscars.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Final Inquiry

I just saw the trailer of this new film from Fox Faith - here's the description from their web site, "When a solar eclipse and earthquakes simultaneously occur throughout the Roman Empire, Emperor Tiberius calls upon Tito Valero Tauro (Danielle Liotti), a prominent Roman investigator, to seek out the proposed cause... an alleged resurrection of a Jewish rabbi... a powerful mystery that could bring down an empire." WOW!! Christian movies have definitely come a long way...

Drop me a line and let me know what you think of this new film from Fox Faith "Final Inquiry"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Master and The Musician

If you have been a part of Christian music for any length of time you know the name Phil Keaggy. Phil is, by all purposes, the most talented guitarist of our time. The first time I heard of Phil was while working with a Christian station in Florida back in the '80s. The music was a breath of fresh air for me.

The first album that I ever purchased of Phil's music was "Sunday's Child" (it had a Paul McCartney sound) and after that I needed more. The next album that I got was actually on vinyl entitled "The Master and The Musician."

Well, Phil has just released a 30th anniversary edition to this masterpiece. If you love guitar with influences of folk, jazz and rock you will love this project. To learn more about the 30th edition of "The Master and The Musician" visit Phil's site

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

You're In Charge Of Your Dreams - by Herman Cain

You are the CEO of SELF, and you're in charge of your dreams. Your only competition is time, and the biggest mistake you can make is to not have a dream that's yours. When you have a dream with goals, you can best maximize your time by being the champion of your dreams. Champions do not live in their "rearview mirror," or give up when life deals them some unexpected challenges or setbacks.

Champions believe in themselves.

Coffee or Tea?

Like most of us, I start my morning at the station with a cup of hot coffee (with cream of course). But the older I get I've noticed that coffee is having some negative effects on me - from insomnia to an upset stomach (due to coffee's acidity) to weight gain - all of which I do not need.

It wasn't long ago that I was introduced to the wonderful world of tea. Now, I haven't gone off coffee "cold turkey" but I am drinking more tea (of all types). Let me share with you some of the information that I have found out about the power of tea.

Centenarians - those that live to be one hundred years of age - can't be wrong - tea is the beverage of choice for most of them. According to Dr. Mashing Ni of Yahoo! Health, tea is full of antioxidants that improve concentration, boosts energy and make people happier. Tea is also more potent than vitamin E, and has been proven to prevent and help in the treatment of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Self, there is no way I'm going to stop drinking coffee. I need that energy boost in the morning!" Well, I've got news for you, that boost of energy you get from coffee is actually stealing energy from other parts of your body - energy that you really don't have.

Tea has a number of benefits to your whole body. If you are trying to loose weight, tea is a great way to flush your body of all of those toxins and replace fluids. Plus it is a zero-calorie beverage so take a pass on those soda and have some tea.

There are so many types of tea available and each one has health benefits. Here are just a few types of teas and what they can do for you:
  • Ginger - helps with digestion and keeps you energized
  • Chamomile - settles the stomach and nervous system
  • Peppermint - relaxes the intestines and settles the stomach
  • Dandelion - detoxifies and supports a healthy liver
  • Valerian - helps with insomnia
So when you need help with better living remember - it's always tea time!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Can We Learn From Our Leader's Mistakes?

On this President's Day we tend to look at the greatest of our Presidents (my overall favorite is Ronald Reagan - known as the "Great Communicator") and look at the reasons we believe that made them great. However, I believe we can also learn about leadership from the failures or mistakes of some our most renowned Presidents.

The University of Louisville McConnell Center, "dedicated to providing a non-partisan, well rounded education that encourages top undergraduates to become valued citizens and future leaders of the commonwealth and the nation", has come out with a top ten of Presidential blunders:

1. James Buchanan (1857-1861): Failing to avert the Civil War

2. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869): Opposing improvements for Southern blacks after the Civil War beyond abolishing slavery

3. Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969): Allowing the Vietnam War to intensify

4. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921): Refusing to compromise on the Treaty of Versailles after WWI

5. Richard Nixon (1969-1974): His involvement in the Watergate cover-up

6. James Madison (1809-1817): Failing to keep the US out of the War of 1812 with Britain.

7. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809): Supporting the Embargo Act, a self-imposed prohibition on trade with Europe.

8. John Kennedy (1961-1963): Allowing the Bay of Pigs invasion that led to the Cuban missile crisis.

9. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989): Supporting Iran-Contra deal to sell arms to Iran to fund anti-Communists in Nicaragua.

10. Bill Clinton (1993-2001): Consorting with Monica Lewinsky

Obviously a subjective list, it is a telling thermometer of what occupies the minds of most in this country when it comes to more recent leaders. Most of the "blunders" on this list dealt with mistakes that lead to war or political moves within countries while others are of a more personal nature.

No matter what you think of those mentioned, the point of this study by the McConnell Center, I believe, is that we need to not only focus on what was done right but look at the failures of our leaders so that we do not fall in those traps again.

On this President's Day, in between sales, remember to honor our leader and pray for him as the office of the President is not an easy position to be in.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Car of the Future?

I'm in the market for a new car. This past Monday evening the family van's transmission gave out... again!... for the second time!! Needless to say I'm pretty fed up with the whole car thing.

While doing some research online on good used cars I came across an article from about a car that can go underwater. Memories of James Bond flooded my mind! I thought, "Now how cool is that!! An underwater car!" The problem is, living in northeast Georgia we don't have a whole lot of water now. I don't need a car to go underwater because I can drive across most lakes in the area and not even get wet.

With all the fuss of being dependent on foreign oil and the like why are we designing cars that go underwater and not cars that can use water for fuel. Let's do something profitable with our time since we only have so much of it. Some thing to think about

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What Are You Giving to Your Valentine?

What do you plan to give to your Valentine this year? Each year Americans spend over $3.6 billion on gifts during the Valentine's holiday. Most of the money is spent on a beautifully written card and some roses.

Valentine's Day is second only to Christmas as over 900 million cards are exchanged. The Hallmark Company produced it's first Valentine in 1913 and now offers over 1,300 different Valentine's card.

What about those roses? Did you know that there are over 900 varieties of the rose, and that 60% of the roses grown in the United States come from California? Unfortunately, most of the roses sold during Valentine's Day come from South America.

Don't forget to get to the store before you go home tonight! Just some advice from a friend.

The Origins of Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day -- a day reserved for sharing thoughts and feelings to those that are closest to you. But how did this holiday get started? According to church tradition St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270. At that time the Roman Emperor Claudius II had issued an edict forbidding marriage.

The Roman empire had grown to such a size that there were not enough men who were not emotionally attached to recruit for perilous duty. So to make sure he had quality soldiers he banned marriage.

Valentine, a bishop, seeing how much young couples desired to be married, did so in secret. Once Claudius learned the identity of this "friend of lovers", had him arrested. The emperor, who was impressed with Valentine's convictions, attempted to convert him to the Roman gods in order to save him from execution. Valentine refused and at one point tried to convert the emperor.

While imprisoned, Valentine came to know his jailer, Asterius. Asterius had a blind daughter and pleaded with Valentine to heal her. Miraculously Asterius' daughter was healed, and just before Valentine was executed he requested pen and paper to send a farewell to Asterius' daughter. The letter was signed "From Your Valentine," a phrase that has lived on to this day. Valentine was executed on February 24, 270.

The tradition of sending notes of affection followed not long after Valentine's death. Young Roman men, wishing to court young women they admired, sent handwritten notes of affection on February 14. These notes acquired St. Valentine's name

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What Do You Deserve

What do you deserve? I'm reminded of a story that came across my email this week about Burton Cummings from the rock group The Guess Who. He recounted to a friend (a fellow Canadian) about an opportunity he and the group had to perform at Carnegie Hall. The performance was recorded and the album was entitled The Guess Who Live from Carnegie Hall.

His friend was astonished that he had never heard of the album or of his friend's great achievement. Cummings laid his friend's fear to rest when he told him that the project never existed. Cummings said that he knew his place and they were crazy for thinking they would ever play at Carnegie Hall. He didn't deserve to play there.

This story points to a critical area in our lives today. We hold ourselves back and don't strive for success because we believe that we don't deserve it. Much of that thinking starts back to when we are young and we don't see how it affects us in the long term. We need to start believing in the idea that if we work hard enough and we believe that we deserve success we will find it.

The only reason we can't find a CD entitled The Guess Who live From Carnegie Hall is that Burton Cummings didn't believe he belonged there.

Thoughts on Marriage, Dating and Love from Kids

You gotta love kids. They are so real and honest. You never know what you are going to get from them. Here are some thoughts from kids on marriage, love and dating.

How do you decide who to marry?
You got to find someone who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. -- Alan, age 10

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides all the way, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. -- Kristen, age 10

What is the right age to get married?
Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. -- Camile, age 10

No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married. -- Freddie, age 6

What do you think mom and dad have in common?
Both don't want any more kids. -- Lori, age 8

What do most people do on a date?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. -- Lynnette, age 8

On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. -- Martin, age 10

When is it Okay to kiss someone?
When they're rich. -- Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. -- Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. -- Howard, age 8

(My personal favorite) How would you make a marriage work?
Tell your wife that show looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck. -- Ricky, age 10

10 Rules to Help Men Understand Women

With Valentine's Day right around the corner here are some rules that we guys need to better understand that special lady in our lives:

1. A romantic weekend does not include baiting a hook
2. "I ate it, didn't I" is not considered praise
3. An order of takeout ribs and an Adam Sandler movie is not everybody's idea of a good time
4. Yeah, yeah, you look fine" is not a compliment
5. Women DO tell their best friends everything
6. We (guys) have enough ball caps
7. We (guys) have enough t-shirts
8. When women ask "Are you listening?" they already know we are not
9. Nothing says, "I love you" like offering to go to the grocery store
10. If you can rebuild the carburetor on a '66 Mustang, working the washing machine should be a snap

Guys, follow these rules and your life may be just a little easier.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Coke or h2o

No notes from this morning's radio show - the wife's van has a transmission problem and I needed to be home to help with the kids.

Anyway, got this information from a friend of mine. He is a doctor of chiropractic care so I think he knows what he is talking about.

Here's what happens in your body when you drink a Coke:

Within 10 minutes: 10+ teaspoons hits your system (which is 100% of your body's recommended daily intake)

Within 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes and your liver turns most of the sugar into fat

Within 40 minutes: The caffeine has completely been absorbed into your body; your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises and your liver dumps more sugar into your blood stream.

Around 45 minutes: Your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure center of your brain (which is identical to your body's response to heroine)

After 60 minutes: You have a sugar crash

So, how many sodas (or pop for my Northern friends) have you had today? The average American drinks more than 60 gallons of soft drinks per year. Just something to think about.