Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Leadership. Me. Today?

I have to admit that I rarely feel great about being a leader. Not because I don't love it. It's probably because I don't feel good enough.

Sometimes I look at the people I've mentored and poured into and see the paths they've taken and feel like I've failed.

Sometimes I look at the people I'm trying to pour into and impact and feel like I just can't have an impact the way I feel I should.

Sometimes I look at my home and wonder if I'm really leading the way I should.

Sometimes I look at my friends and wonder why I leave community behind compared to how I was raised by my culture out East.

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be a great leader who people say, "he's Godly, focused, effective, and loving."

Perhaps I think that all because I see great leaders who have come before and think I can never be like them. Maybe I sell myself short. Maybe it's because I can't imagine myself so far into the future.

Sometimes, I remind myself that I am who I am today and I'm still growing. God's not finished with this leader yet.

Sometimes, I'm reminded that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Sometimes, I'm reminded that I'm loved and am a good leader. Not because of the impact that I can see, but because of the heart God has given me.

Leadership isn't about being the best. Leadership is about choosing to grow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Creating Attainable Goals

The greatest reason for people not achieving their resolutions / goals is because they are unrealistic, immeasurable, and unrewarding. If you create resolutions / goals, make sure they contain three keys:
  1. They are actually achievable. Start small and ensure that you can see the finish line already. Then, build upon them.
  2. They must contain both time and practice measurements. Make sure you can have measurable points where you can say: "I am succeeding!"
  3. They contain a "reward". Generally, we will not do what does not have a clear benefit. It's a choice to work towards the carrot that is placed in front of us, so be clear in your mind that it's worth it! If it's not worth doing and you don't love it, you won't achieve it!

I hope that this New Years ramble helps you and your families achieve your goals for 2013!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Finding Yourself

"I'm standing for me, and that's all I shall be."

Our greatest craving today is identity. Modern society and culture tell you to "find yourself" but never explain how. It infers that it doesn't matter what, where, who, or how. Just "find yourself". It's like we're in some perplexing journey, left to our own vices, being told constantly that there's something more to us to gain depth and purpose into our very soul. Yet it leaves us in search of an autonomous, ethereal, fabricated definition of ourselves as opposed to a founded, comprehensive, designed definition of who we really are.

"Are we human? Or are we
dancer?" - Human
by The Killers
Perhaps you've at one point sought to "find yourself" in terms of your profession. Hold on. Is your identity and source of what we call 'the self' really rooted in just what you do? Maybe it's simply what you lend your time to that helps develop that identity? Maybe you can find yourself by doing? If that's the case, then when we cease to do something, we lose our identity. That can't be right. Who was Mother Teresa? What was her identity? That she served people? As noble a cause as that may have been, it's empty because her identity before she served would not have existed.

It's possible you've at one point sought to "find yourself" in terms of your sexuality. Hold on. Your identity is based upon base desires and sexual organs? Frankly, I have an issue with this as well. The modern push is to embrace homosexuality, drawing attention to a massive division between it and heterosexuality (and in spite of efforts, reinforcing that), and cause identity be placed upon a person by the title of who they are attracted to or love. Hold on. I've never heard someone create a source of primary identity through being dogmatically defined as "straight". 

Don't get me wrong on this one. I have my views on homosexuality and yes, I believe Scripturally, it is against God's desire for mankind. I just think it's rather ridiculous that one's identity should be their label of "LGBT". Identity cannot be found in sexuality, simply because we open up the door to a never-ending source of how society defines and redefines sexuality, meaning your primary identity would always be uncertain.

"That which we call a rose by any other
name would smell as sweet."
- William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet
Maybe you've at one point sought to "find yourself" in terms of your interests. Hold on. Is it really smart to find your identity in what you like? Doesn't that seem a little inconsistent? Well, yes. We often try to call ourselves things such as: gamers, geeks, readers, weightlifters, businessmen, music-lovers, musicians, etc. People may often label us as: nerds, jocks, losers, winners, failures, successful, friendly, mean, happy, sad, trolls, haters, lovers, etc. 

The issue here is that if this is the case, our identity will not come solely from who we think we are. What if our interests get a negative response from others? Does that lend validity to their perceptions of who we are as well?

Truth be told, I can give a stream of words pertaining to what people use to form their identities: Parents. Siblings. House. Family. Dogs. Cats. Income. Technology. Apple. PC. Games. FPS. RPG. MMO. Movie Junkies. Rock. Contemporary. Gospel. Hymns. Southern. Northern. Western. Eastern. Coast. Atlantic. Culture. Genres. Horror. Classics. Comedy. Drama. Hair. Colours. Personality. Instruments. Grades. Sports. Competitions. Dance. Parties. Friends. Groups. Facebook. Twitter. 

I could run the list on for hours on end, constantly breaking each one down to subsections. Each subsection would be broken down into its influence on identity which would create further subsections of said subsections. I would continue until I was left with a myriad of sources of identity... and yet not a single one would have substance or consistent value that would explain a person's identity. It would merely lend itself, and nothing more.

It's not wrong to seek your identity through different avenues, constantly shaping who you are, how you behave, how you perceive the world around you. These are all key to one's development. What is truly significant is that a person must be sure of the primary source of identity in their life. This is the very thing that most people are seeking day after day. I am going to say that this true source is both simple and complex. So easy to understand and yet so complicated that I cannot finish it in this post alone.

Next time I'll delve a little deeper into identity and what I've seen in today's youth, as a pastor, and in the development of culture over the past 10 years. For now I leave you with a question.

"Where do you derive your primary source of identity?"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


So it's been quite a long time since I last posted. Mostly because I know nobody reads this. Partly because I don't think it's been necessary for me. There has been nothing deep or profound in my head and life other than these:

  1. I love my wife
  2. I love my son
  3. I love my friends
  4. I love my novel
  5. I am learning to love more
Welcome to Terry growing. Anti-depressants have been gone, I've been free. Do I struggle? Yes. Do I keep moving forward? Yes. God's in control. He's got my back. Everything's going to be ok with a little blood, sweat, tears, and faith.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Crashed

It was like a car hitting the ditch.
Like a train hitting my brain.
As if my world crumbled and toppled
On top of me once again.

That's how it feels to come off anti-depressants. Like all hell is breaking loose in your head and nobody understands. 
Alone. Alone. Alone.
That's all you think. That's all that comes to mind. The truth is though, that you're not alone. I'm not alone. Yeah, there are days of fog. I often find days of rage where I'm so angry and frustrated for no reason, and it takes all my effort to fight back that struggle inside my head.

There are days of light and hope. Days of healing. Moments of emotional vibrancy I haven't experienced in a year. This is freedom. This is new life. This is being made new.

This is healing. This is freedom. This is health.

I say this, because I'm back. The battle isn't over, but my mind is back to where it should be... open for God to challenge me on our society, our ways, our thoughts, our culture, our behavior, our world, and the Church.

Welcome back, brain. I'm glad we can get along again. It's not always easy, but I think we're ready to cooperate and fight. Once again I declare to make a change.

The Revolution of the Soul begins again.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

50 Things of Thankfulness

I figure to humour the American Thanksgiving, I shall make my own list that my Texan brother Andy sent me! I'm thankful for:
  1. A beautiful, supportive, and hot wife
  2. The funniest, cutest, coolest little dude I could ever have
  3. A pug that makes me laugh daily
  4. A church that loved and welcomed me with open arms
  5. A board of elders who, although with their faults, are extremely Godly men
  6. Coffee
  7. Tea
  8. Being aware of my dairy allergy
  9. Anti-depressants
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien / Lord of the Rings
  11. JESUS
  12. My teens, who I love like my own family
  13. That I can hang out at the schools... because I was INVITED to do so!
  14. Purdy's Chocolates that I'm still able to eat
  15. Friends and family
  16. Online friends who pray and support me (like Andy!)
  17. Hemp body butter
  18. My immense "family", most of which aren't actually related to me (Judah has a lot of aunties and uncles)
  19. Meat
  20. The C&MA
  21. Movies that I love
  22. A country that I adore
  23. A Bible that I have many translations and copies of
  24. That there are no zombies eating my brains
  25. Muse (and other bands I love)
  26. Having my own home
  27. Having a vehicle
  28. That I'm working towards being debt-free
  29. Video Games
  30. My guitar, keyboard, and voice
  31. Music in general
  32. The power of grace to change my life
  33. That I'm never truly alone in the universe
  34. Warmth when things get cold
  35. Hugs from my friends
  36. People I can call "brothers" who challenge me, support me, and never let me down
  37. The knowledge that I'm influencing the lives of others in what I do
  38. The humility knowing that it's not me really influencing others
  39. Oatmeal
  40. A simple life, in spite of its hectic moments
  41. Our International Workers
  42. The power to change the world
  43. My coupon I keep in my office
  44. My portable license as an Official Worker of the C&MA
  45. My BTh: Youth Ministry degree
  46. A big office
  47. Opportunity
  48. My Kobo
  49. Snoopy / Peanuts
  50. Who God has made me today after the journey of the past 26.5 years.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Plastic, Sunny, Suburban, Christianity

It's amazing how many times we've seen movies with the so-called "Christian" who's nothing but a plastic fake. We look at them and say "well, at least I'm not like that!" -- are we not?

We always hear "avoid the appearance of evil", but I often wonder if we've taken it to another extreme where we forget to "avoid the appearance of perfection". If we appear perfect, we behave as if we have no need for God's mercy and grace. It's merely a lofty notion.

People will wear a suit and tie on Sundays, talk in the best "Christianese" they possibly can, quote Scripture, but their whole family is falling apart. They'll condemn those who are hurting or "sinning", yet will not look at the plank of wood in their own eye (and how could you even miss that?).

This isn't a rant... this is a challenge. Reflect. Are you living to be above the appearance of evil? Or are you just another person who knows how to talk the talk, hide your kids from "the dreaded world", and refuse to face the realities of life?

May we learn how to be "in the world, but not of it", instead of being a Christian Culture Comedy (a big fat joke).