Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Proud Papa

I have to show off my grandson, Micah, who will be one in just a few days. He is one handsome dude!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Living and Loss

My cousin, Sandy Frampton, died on January 7. Sandy was only 49. She died after a return of cancer to her body. I was greatly encouraged at her funeral in Reynoldsville, PA, when the pastor of her home church related her conversion story, her baptism, and her unselfish service over the years both there as well as the church she attended near her work in Johnstown, PA. While her passing was untimely, at least from my perspective, her life was full of family and service for Christ.

For me, the loss was bitter sweet. I knew Sandy, but I'm afraid I didn't know her well enough. You see, over the years I've allowed my busy schedule to interfere with spending time with extended family. At the funeral I found myself being re-introduced to family members I hadn't seen in years - anywhere from 15 to 35 to be exact! For that, there was a profound sense of loss. My children have missed out on knowing much of their family due to neglect.

Let me encourage you to spend time with family. Go see your parents, your grandparents, your aunts, uncles, and cousins. Don't wait for a funeral to see them again. And if the miles are too great to see them in person, pick up the phone, write a letter, or even Skype. But don't let the years go by without connecting.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


When you are traveling and in need of lodging, those "no vacancy" signs in front of a hotel or motel are annoying. But when you think about it, a vacancy isn't necessarily a good thing. There may be a reason why that particular establishment isn't full. That reason may not be a good one!

Our nation is definitely lacking in authentic leadership - there indeed is a vacancy in this area. The recent events in Arizona bear this out. The tragedy of a gunman killing and wounding several people, including the injuries suffered by Congresswoman Giffords, is morally reprehensible. But to see people trying to politicize the incident is heartbreaking. Has our nation really descended this deep into the abyss of the absence of decency? Where is the compassion for those who have lost loved ones and those who are trying to cope and heal from this awful tragedy?

Paul's words to the church in Philippi are applicable here. In trying to help the early church work through conflict, he wrote, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit." (2:3).

We need leaders who will put others first. There is a vacancy in leadership in America. Where have all the leaders gone?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Who's in Your Circle?

I love to read autobiographies and biographies of leaders. It's a habit I started many years ago. I am currently reading George W. Bush's Decision Points. It's a great read! I consider Bush to have been a good leader. He led from the heart, not from public opinion polls. He wasn't always right, but I respected Bush's leadership. Enough said.

In his chapter on personnel, Bush writes, "The people you choose to surround you determine the quality of advice you receive and the way your goals are implemented." Anyone in leadership understands this to be true when it comes to hiring staff, selecting confidants, or developing a team.

In Acts 6 the apostles needed to select men to care for the widows in the early church. Some would have looked upon this as a minor issue. But even in something like food distribution, the apostles selected men who were known to be "full of the Spirit and wisdom" (6:3).

Surround yourself with leaders who are truly spiritual. We live in a time where we cannot compromise on this. Raise the bar and expectations.