Archive for 2009

Top Ten Posts for 2009—Thank you!

About a year ago, I ramped up the development of this blog, not really sure what would happen. I want to be an encouragement to others, and I’m thankful that you would read and for the many who have responded with comments, emails, etc. Honestly, this blog has been a lot of fun—a needed diversion…

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You Are What You Listen To (Part 2)

This article is part two. You can read part 1 here. Music Influences Your Heart (Your Mind, Will, and Emotions) Music, primarily harmonies, always communicates emotion. In many ways, music is emotion. This means it powerfully impacts your thoughts and decisions. You could say your music is the soundtrack of your life—it paints emotions, thoughts, meditations,…

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Christmas from a 4 Year Old!

A friend of mine who serves the Lord at the BBN Radio Network sent me this link to the Christmas story told by a four-year-old little girl. It blessed our family. It will captivate you from the first word! Merry Christmas! This was recorded and is available on CD from Jeff Apthorp, Sound Amazing Studios….

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7 Ideas for Your Personal Planner System

This fourth and final post on an annual planner is just for ideas. Please contexualize this series properly—I’m certainly not the expert on this stuff. Like you, I just enjoy comparing notes with others and gleaning helpful ideas. Thank you for the positive feedback. If you’re coming in late to the series, previous articles are…

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Implementing Your New Year Plan

The “final article” on the new year planner has become two. First—let’s discuss putting it into practice. In the next article—thoughts on developing an organizational system that works. (Click to read the first and second articles in this series.) So you’ve spent several hours or days mapping out vision, goals, projects, events, calendar, details, and…

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More on Developing a New Year Planner

Thank you for responding to the article on the contents of a new year planner! Many of you have emailed and asked for the sample planner mentioned at the end of the article. In finalizing my planner the past couple days, I’ve decided to do two more articles related to planning the new year. This…

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Christian Books for the Kindle

Do you have a Kindle? Good news! Striving Together Publications is committed to entering and supporting the digital publishing realm. We are now offering resources for the Kindle digital reader. I’ve been asked several times just today—hence this post. (We are working on the website announcement and links.) Presently, you can find the following books…

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Contents of a New Year Planner

‘Tis the season for new year planning! In support of the recent Spiritual Leadership Podcast on annual planning, I thought it would be appropriate to dissect a ministry planner and give an inside glimpse of what’s included. Perhaps these thoughts will equip you in planning and preparing for a great new year of ministry. So,…

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SL Podcast: Developing an Annual Plan

The December edition of the Spiritual Leadership Podcast has just posted! Originally taught ten years ago, this lesson is entitled “Developing an Annual Plan.” In this session, Pastor Chappell shares thoughts on creating a new year plan for your life and ministry. This is one of the most popular spiritual leadership lessons Dr. Chappell has…

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You Are What You Listen To (Part 1)

You’ve heard the statement “you are what you eat.” And, physically this is true—your body and health are merely products of what you digest. But rarely do we make the same connection to our spiritual lives. In other words, “you are what you listen to.” Have you ever considered that your musical listening habits have…

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Transforming Teens—From Kurt Skelly

If you work with young people, I want to encourage you to read the blog series “Transforming Teens” by Pastor Kurt Skelly. This is presently a seven-part series of articles that examines how Paul mentored Timothy. It is insightful, well-written, and helpful for anyone who is mentoring young lives. These articles highlight seven critical qualities/steps…

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Making the Busiest Time of Year the Best!

No doubt, this is the best time of the year! And in many ways, it’s also the busiest. There’s a simple, effective way to make the Christmas season balanced and Christ-honoring. On this first day of December I challenge you to do the following exercise. It will spare you a lot of frustration in the…

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A Funny Reminder to be Thankful!

Several weeks ago, a dear friend sent me this story and the encouragement that follows. I repost it here, on Thanksgiving Day in hopes that it will encourage you. Two old friends met each other on the street one day.  One looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears.  His friend asked, “What has the…

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Overworked or Under-Appreciated?

In today’s staff meeting, Dr. Mark Rasmussen shared this humorous and sobering reminder of how good we really have it! I’m not sure of its source, but it’s a great reminder! If you ever start to feeling overworked, over-regulated, under-leisured, under-benefited—take heart. This notice was found in the ruins of a London office building. It…

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Thoughts on Effective Youth Ministry

A frequent question: What are some keys for effective youth ministry? While I’m certainly not the authority, here are a few thoughts that I’ve seen the Lord bless (not listed in any particular order)… A Strong Local Church—Jesus died for the church. It is His divine authorized institution for His work on earth. A youth…

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7 Big Parenting Mistakes

Here’s a short list of mistakes that all parents can make when it comes to seeing, understanding, and biblically responding to the spiritual growing pains of life. (This is as much to myself as to others.) Stop and think about it—and pray for godly wisdom in responding to the issues of your children’s hearts with…

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Struggling Teenagers? Don’t Give Up Early!

Have you had a student come through your youth group, graduate, and not mature spiritually the way you hoped? It seems no matter how we pray, labor, plan, or serve—there are some that graduate and drift spiritually. What about trying to help a struggling student, only to feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Gauging by…

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Reality Parenting—Making the Grade

Wanting to know the truth of where we stand with our kids I had a cute conversation at my daughter’s bedside last night, before we prayed. It went something like this: “Haylee, if you had to give me an A, B, C, D, or F as a daddy, tell how you would grade me…” she…

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SL Podcast: Opening the Front Door

The audio file above is the newest Spiritual Leadership podcast from Pastor Paul Chappell. This lesson is entitled “Opening the Front Door.” In this session, Pastor Chappell shares some biblical and practical insights on how to welcome more visitors into your church. The Spiritual Leadership podcast is a free resource from Striving Together Publications (a…

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Pitfalls of Passive Parents (Part 2)

This is part two of Pitfalls of Passive Parenting. Click here to read part one. Passive Parents Focus on Behavior Modification Rather Than Heart Transformation—They are more concerned with minimizing embarrassment than with truly molding the heart. Eli wasn’t alarmed by the wickedness of his sons’ hearts. He was just embarrassed by their behavior and…

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