Leadership Lessons from Luke 5.18-20

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Are you open to leading?

Ask God to give you a vision that brings healing to others. It may be physical, emotional, or mental, but each of us should ask Him for a vision aimed at bringing life to others! As people perceive your vision is meant to help, they will come to you.

Four men bring a paralyzed man to Jesus. They climb up a ladder to get to the roof. They dig a hole in the roof. Imagine being in the home as seeing parts of the roof falling on the living room floor? They lower him down to Jesus. In other words they do all they can. They lead from their strengths. People will work hard when they see great vision.

Immediately Jesus offers forgiveness to the man. He deals with the man’s sins and past before dealing with the man’s future. The men want Jesus to heal the paralyzed man so he can walk again. Jesus wants to heal the man’s soul so he can do life.

Vision aimed only at the temporal needs is only temporary. Project a vision that seeks to empower people’s future in greater ways than they could ever hope or dream.

Perhaps the man only thought of walking, only to return home and look for a job. Jesus gives him this and so much more. He offers hope, future and eternity. Regardless of whether you realize it or not, all vision eventually leads to eternity.

The question is how will your vision lead others for both now and forever? It’s not a question of either/or, but rather a both/and.




The Value of a Thank You Note

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I love receiving personal mail. Call me old fashion but there is something about walking out to the mailbox and discovering something other than a bill or advertisement addressed to ‘Resident’ or ‘Occupant.’

Perhaps social media has made us a bit lazy in this arena. We simply post a generic ‘Thanks’ to everyone and call it good. We shoot a text their way and check it off our list of things to do. Simply stated, personalized thank you’s have become a lost art.

Seeing someone took the time to write out my name on the envelop with a hand-written note on the inside is extremely rewarding. So I thought I’d give 10 reasons why a personalized note makes a difference.

  1. Reminds you, the sender that others took time to make your day or event special.
  2. The discipline of gratitude develops the character of contentment.
  3. Helps form a habit of thankfulness in your life. This makes you aware of other’s efforts in everyday situations.
  4. Let’s the giver know you’ve received the gift and appreciate them for it.
  5. Models a biblical principle. 2 Corinthians 9.11 – “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
  6. Your gratitude is ‘spread forward’ reminding others to express it as well.
  7. Jimmy Fallon does it. (Expressing thanks is fun.)
  8. You stick out from the crowd. People remember you.
  9. People may keep your note to encourage them on their down days.
  10.  Thank you notes make you a better communicator. Make a mistake with a text, simply erase and start over. Writing forces you to carefully weigh each word before placing it on the card.

Love to hear from you and what other benefits there are to writing a thanks you note.

AND…I know I’m violating my own post, but Thanks for following and reading. It encourages me to continue developing my skills as a grateful writer.

15 Dazzling Date Designs #11 & #12

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Go On An Wild African Safari

Can’t afford a trip to the interior of Africa? Have I got a solution for you! Most communities have a zoo or drive through safari within driving distance. Pack a lunch and head to Africa (zoo) to enjoy a day filled with encountering wild animals and wild children left unattended by their parents. CAUTION: Do not feed the children to the wild animals.

S’More Ideas 

Fire up the grill to make S’Mores. Don’t have a grill? Use your fireplace. No fireplace? Set a bush on fire. I’m kidding! Search for a S’More recipe that doesn’t require a fire and enjoy as you sit out under the stars. No stars? Move to the country. Spend your time discussing the idea of investing in a grill.

I’d love to have you share other ideas and share your photos with me through Twitter @RodWhitlock, #15DazzlingDates.

The Christmas Story as You’ve Never Heard It

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Grab your favorite cup of holiday cocoa, sit in your favorite chair, and push play.

You are about to hear the Christmas story in a way  you’ll never forget…trust me.

A bit unique from the version you’re used to seeing. I thoroughly love how the story of a child is portrayed through the eyes of a child.

Perhaps this is what Christmas is all about. Taking the one story of Christ’s birth and presenting it is a unique way to others.

Who will you share the story of Christmas with this year?

How will this Christmas be unique from others?

Sharks in the Water!

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A few months ago my wife and I visited our son and daughter-in-love in North Carolina. In addition to all the other fun things we did we were able to spend the day along the coast for a day of sun, beach and ocean.

Of course the day would not have been complete without taking lots of pictures of the coast and…yep…you guessed it, selfies! The one included in this blog was one taken during the day and posted immediately for all our friends to see.

We wanted everyone to see how wonderful our lives are. We bombarded social media showing how we simply go from one vacation destination to the next. We’re living the dream! Our lives are filled with sun, surf, sand and sharks!

Wait a minute! Did someone say sharks?

No sooner had I posted the picture than my comments section lit up with people telling me North Carolina had more attacks from sharks than any other state!

A scroll down Social Media Lane would tell us that everyone’s life is absolutely perfect, shark free one might say. Actually no one would say that, I’m just carrying on the shark theme. I’ll fin…ish in a moment.

How do we know this? We see posts of perfect family outings, exquisite meals, elaborate celebrations, shots of bare legs, from the knees down to the toes, lounging by the pool (STOP IT!), and Five Ways to Increase the Number of Your Twitter Followers.

We even have bumper stickers that tell us, Life is a Beach. True. Life is beautiful and a gift to each of us, but there are sharks at the beach, actually in the water, but you know what I mean. People have to navigate rough waters while on their beach, called life.

So, while you’re basking in the sun, in your new Speedo (please don’t), take a moment to encourage someone who is neck deep in shark infested waters.


What’s the most creative way you’ve sent an encouraging word to someone?


15 Dazzling Date Designs #9 & #10

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Do The Rotten Tomatoes 

Don’t want to pay $10 or more to see a movie? Who does? Actually quite a few do but that’s another blog post. Instead, wait a few months for it to hit the dollar theater (of course, it’s a bit more than a dollar). Avoid the high priced concessions and grab an ice-cream cone on the way home. As your eating your ice cream, talk about your favorite character, your favorite scene, an alternate ending that would have made the movie that much better and of course your rotten tomato review.

Put on Your Game Face 

Make your favorite desserts or snacks, call a couple of friends, apply game face paint, and pull out a groovy board game, dominos or your favorite card game. As an added twist to the evening play all three at once. Set up all three games and rotate your way through each game. This way you’re always playing something. No waiting for someone to move their piece or choose a card. Grab a bite of dessert or snack following each move or game play at each table. No cheating while the others are focused on another game. Well…

Which one of the two sounds more fun?

15 Dazzling Date Ideas #5 & #6

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Eat Your Way Through Europe and Asia and South America  

Plan your trip around the world, enjoying a delicious delicacy from as many continents as you can.  Fill up with your favorite appetizers (many restaurants offer discounted early bird appetizers). Follow this with the exquisite main course, from a different continent of course, followed by sharing a dessert and coffee, from a third continent. I know…it’s cray, cray!

Bonus: Wear an article of clothing representing the continent you are eating from.

Mouthwatering Appetizer Ideas: French onion soup, nachos, quesadillas, crab cakes, spring rolls, calamari, etc.

Delectable Meal Ideas: General Chicken, lasagna, halibut, chicken cordon bleu, vegetable curry, etc.

Scrumptious Dessert Ideas: Pineapple cake, Baklava, Churros, Tres Leches Cake, cannoli, etc.

Of course, you could always stick with touring one continent at a time. I would avoid the continent of Antarctica unless you enjoy lot’s of ice!

Gawk During an Art Walk 

Many communities have regular downtown art walks. Bring a thermos of your favorite drink while enjoying the shops, museums and art galleries on your walk. Consider bringing a sketch pad and capture your favorite pieces of art with your own artistic flair.

Bonus: Wear a French artist wool beret on your walk. (OK, maybe not!)


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