Taking Initiative: The Difference Between Success and Failure

My wife Kathleen and I had the opportunity to meet with Tina Konkin recently. She’s an internationally known speaker, counselor, and coach on the subject of relationships. As a result, she’s been on major networks, spoken at national conferences, and helped thousands of couples heal broken relationships. We were discussing some potential television projects with Tina, when she said something that I realized applies to so many other areas of life – including

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Why You Need a Big Goal

Everybody needs a big goal or a project to work on. It may be your job, but in most cases, it’s something else. Some call it a “hobby,” but to me a hobby is more about relaxation than accomplishment. Retirees often die if they don’t have any more goals. Once they start feeling they can’t contribute, then their lives seem over. Your project should be a passion, something you’re good at doing, something you have a concrete plan to complete, and something that could 

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Handel’s Messiah and Why it’s Never Too Late for Your Dream

The Story of the Hallelujah Chorus

In his book, Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers, Patrick Kavanaugh describes German-born composer George Frideric Handel’s composition of his Messiah. An unpredictable composer at best, Handel spent most of his up-and-down career relentlessly moving from one failure to another. In those days, the bankruptcy option didn’t exist, and by 1741 he was overwhelmed with debt. Without a miracle,

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United Airlines and the Firestorm of Social Media

Is Your Organization Ready for Online Criticism?

For a Christian leader, the recent blow-up at United Airlines should be a teaching moment on the power of social media. You no doubt heard the story about an overbooked flight, and the passenger (who had paid for his ticket and was already seated on the plane) who was physically ejected for another passenger. Right or wrong, the incident was recorded on video and it quickly became the top story in the media. By the next morning, the social media memes had been launched:

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Disasters Rarely Happen Because of One Big Mistake

It's Usually the Trail of Little Ones...

When problems happen, we often look back for one big mistake – one poor decision as the culprit.  But the truth is, most problems don’t happen because of a big mistake, more often it’s a trail of small ones.  A few years ago, theatrical producer Peter Schneider, writing about all the problems the Broadway production of “Spiderman” experienced, quoted writer Jon Krakauer on the subject of big disasters:

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Using Gimmicks: Be Careful When Communicating a Message

The dictionary defines “gimmick” as: an ingenious or novel device, scheme or stratagem, especially one designed to attract attention or increase appeal.  This may sound strange, but one of the biggest reasons I work in media ministry today is that growing up, I thought pastors were so embarrassing.  Being a preacher’s kid in the South during the 50s and 60s was tough. Pastors were always doing wacky stuff to attract attention. I remember one pastor who sat perched on a chair atop a three-story-high pole until Sunday attendance hit a certain number. Another one locked himself in the steeple, praying for revival. You may remember pastors who shaved their head if the youth program brought enough visitors. Witnessing to a friend at school was much more difficult when his big question was,

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