Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What I Learned Running for Political Office

This past election season I decided to throw my hat in the ring and run for a seat on my county's school board.  What an amazing experience!  This is one item that I can definitely cross off my bucket list!

Throughout this process there were a number of things that I learned - about myself, my faith, politics and leadership.  Here are 10 things that came to mind:

  1. The people of my county are diverse and extraordinary!
  2. I have a better appreciation for the administrators, faculty and staff of our school system and the challenges they face.
  3. Run a campaign for your own reasons and not on someone else's agenda.
  4. There are certain legalities to running a political campaign - know what they are and how they affect your career.
  5. Running a serious campaign takes money. Seeking political office is not cheap.
  6. No matter how clearly you communicate someone will always misunderstand you or twist what you have said.
  7. Work the DATA! Understand who your constituents are.
  8. Surround yourself with prayer warriors and wise counsel.
  9. No matter what - stay true to your convictions; you still have to look at yourself in the mirror each morning.
  10. There's nothing that can take the place of a supportive family - especially an encouraging wife!
  11. No matter how everything turns out, win or lose, God is still sovereign!
There are probably other lessons that I learned during this campaign but these are the ones that really stood out. If you are thinking about running for office I urge to get alone with God and pray it out. Then get with your spouse and pray some more.  Not matter what office you seek it's a big step!

Update at 9pm, July 22, 2014:
I've been watching the returns and I am humbled by the confidence voters of Barrow County District 4 have expressed in allowing me to serve them as their representative on the Board of Education.  With God's help and their input I hope to be their voice.  I want to thank Mr. Dunn for his service on the board and I look forward to his input in the transition process.  Thank you Barrow County for your vote!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

As It Was in The Days of Noah

Last March the movie Noah, starring actor Russell Crowe, hit the the theaters amid controversy and skepticism.  But what can we learn from the biblical account of Noah and what it means to our culture today?  Are there clues to end prophecy found there?  That's what Jeff Kinley, pastor and author, has attempted to do in his latest book, As It Was in The Days of Noah.

Here are some of the clues that Jeff found:

  • Rapid economic decline
  • Increase in violence
  • Compromised personal information
  • Uninhibited sexuality
  • Persecution of Believers
  • Growing departure of people from the church
I had the honor of talking with Jeff about his book and what we can learn from Noah.  To listen to my interview please click here.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Brian Brown-Rescued

A private outing in the family Sessna takes a dangerous turn and what happens in the next 15 hours showed the Brown family that God had other things in mind.  A great read, Rescued: One Family's Miraculous Story, will encourage your heart that God still does miracles and that there are no consequences.

I had the chance to talk with Brian about that weekend and what he and his family learned about God and each other. Click the link and hear from Brian himself and what it meant to him to be rescued - Brian Brown-Rescued

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Downton Abbey - A Measure of Excellence

Over the past several weeks I've been able to catch up on my new favorite television show, "Downton Abbey."  Yes - you read that right! I am a huge fan! (I'll return my man-card!) It's only been recently that I got hooked on this show that takes place post World War I in an age where being proper and having a sense of honor and excellence was had by most. I love Maggie Smith's character the most!!

I'm learning a lot about what it means to strive for excellence.  It seems every character in the show instills some type of excellence.  Now, mind you, not every person on the show is someone that I want my kids to model (O'Brien and Thomas come to mind), but even those characters knows what it means to be proper and to do their job well. The show is filled with values and character traits that seem to be missing in out culture.  Let me give you a few examples:
  1. Benevloence
  2. Chilvary
  3. Honor
  4. Charity
  5. Loyalty
  6. Purpose
  7. Self-sacrifce
There are many others, but these stand out to me personally.  So the question is - how do you measure excellence? At what bar do you strive for?  I urge to catch a few episodes of the show and begin to look for ways in which you can instill some of these "classic" values in your life.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How Are Those Resolutions Going?

So, we are about half way through the first month of 2014 - how are those resolutions coming? I can only speak for me but I'm tanking right now. My resolutions are listed in the previous post and I don't think they are all that difficult, but it seems that they are taking longer to catch on than I thought they would.

I was hoping that by now they would become a habit but it seems that habits take a little longer to catch on than I thought.  I've heard that habits can take about 21 - 26 days but shouldn't I be seeing something by now?  Actually, according to some of the research I've been reading some habits can take no time at all to form while others can take as long as 66 days.  Good Grief!! If that's the case I don't think I will ever get through these resolutions!

You probably are having the same reaction I did when I read the research but I'm here to encourage and not discourage you.  Here are some things that I have been reminded of regarding forming new habits:
  • Repition is important! Anything worth doing you need to do over and over again. Remember some of the habits we are trying form are going to replace bad habits or are going to be new things all together.  Keep moving forward. Don't let the little slip up sidetrack you.
  • We are fighting the base part of our nature if we are trying to retrain our brain to move in the right direction. Our human nature hates change has much as anyone else and will fight you again and again.
  • Gather around you a support team that will keep you encouraged and focused on what you are trying to accomplish.
  • Get in to God's Word (that may be the new habit you're trying to form - don't start in Lamentations!).
Hey, it's only the middle of January there's still whole year in front of you! You can be successful if you just keep moving forward - one step at a time.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year! Now What?

It's the beginning of a new year and as I sit and reflect on 2013 it's easy to be reminded of all things that I didn't accomplish and not see the many opportunities I had last year. Here are some of those accomplishments:
  1. Re-elected to the Board of Directors of the National Religious Broadcasters
  2. Finished year one for the C.S. Lewis Fellows Program
  3. Spoke I front of the students at Toccoa Falls College
  4. Traveled to Haiti.
  5. Spoke to high school students in Franklin, NC
  6. Spoke in a few churches
  7. Guest hosted on a talk radio program
I read a a few posts in the last couple of days (Ed Stetzer and Time Ninja) regarding questions one should ask themselves entering a new year.  Here are the questions I will be asking myself this year:
  1. Where did I succeed in 2013? Where did I fail?
  2. What did I enjoy the most? What do I regret?
  3. What lessons have I learned? What do I need to do differently?
  4. What do I need to do more? What do I need to stop doing?
  5. What impossible thing am I going to ask God to do this year?
  6. What ways will I make my family stronger and better this year?
  7. How and in what way will I increase my enjoyment of God in the coming year?
  8. What is that one habit that wastes the most time in my life? What do I plan to do about it?
  9. What Spiritual disciplines do I need to strengthen this year?
  10. How will I make my church better this year?
  11. What one thing do I plan to do this year that will matter in 10 years? In eternity? 
  12. In what way will I make 2014 better than 2013?
Here are some goals that I'm striving for this year:
    1. Write a blog post once per week.
    2. Conduct one interview per week.
    3. Read one book per month.
    4. Speak once per month.
    5. Take my wife on a date once each week.
    6. Spend a few hours each week with each of my children
    7. Build my platform
My prayer is that you will find a few goals to strive for, and with God's help see success in 2014.  If you need help in meeting your goals why not gather others around you (physically and virtually) that can encourage you each day.  Make them a priority in your life!

Have a great 2014 and let me know your progress!!