• Resolutions

    When you fall off the horse, get back on

    Blog | Owen Phelps | January 09, 2018

    We’re only little more than a week into the New Year and already I have to ask: Do you still have any resolutions left to keep?

    Pardon the rude question. It’s really a matter of projecting my own weaknesses on the world. For most of my 79 years, my experience has been that I could break resolutions just as fast as I could make them.

    That’s right: some didn’t even survive a day. Most drifted off into a thick haze before the middle of January.  A little research tells me I’m not alone in this regard.

  • Fasting in a Leader’s Life: 8 Benefits

    Blog | Charles Stone | January 04, 2018

    Fasting is a spiritual practice the Bible encourages. The Old Testament mentions it many times as did Jesus. We often hear and teach that fasting can help us deepen our walk with Jesus, but I also believe that leaders should consider fasting to help them find clarity and focus. Taken from the book of Isaiah, fasting can bring these eight spiritual benefits to the life of every leader.

  • Leadership or Life

    Blog | Karen McGuire | December 28, 2017

    Do you prefer to be liked and appreciated or would you rather be mistreated? Do you prefer to be understood when you speak or would you rather be misunderstood?

    Silly questions, I know. I don’t know anyone who would answer either question in the negative. Sometimes, however, it is the way we treat each other.

  • What’s On Your Plate?

    Blog | Robert and Lori Ferguson | December 26, 2017

    We do something unique at the end of every year. We call it doing our “plates”. This tradition has been a part of our life since 2000, and is now vigorously anticipated by our adult children. In fact, the discussion about the end of the year always has the question, “When are we doing our plates?”

    As parents of adults and one grandboy we’re thrilled to see an activity we began when our children were 11 and 15 still being embraced and now passed along to the next generation.

  • Grieving and Getting Through the Holidays

    Blog | Sheryl Giesbrecht | December 21, 2017

    Is there an empty place at your table this Christmas? For many, this will be their first holiday season without their loved one. It’s okay to remember them. This year, my dad is celebrating his third Christmas in heaven. We recently visited dad’s grave at the beautifully decorated Central Valley veteran’s cemetery; a moving experience to see hundreds of natural pine wreaths with their bright red bows placed lovingly in front of each white marble headstone. Dad would have loved it.

  • The Season "Forgiving"

    Blog | Gilbert Camacho | December 19, 2017

    What’s wrong with me?  Why is my performance rating so low? Why can’t I lose weight? Why does this keep happening? These are questions that we often hear, and have asked myself at times, when we are going through hard times, especially in our personal or work lives.  These questions are usually asked when we are confronted with an unpleasant situation, conflict or, as often happens, we hear something unpleasant or untruthful about ourselves.

  • Holding Together

    Blog | Christine Vogelsang | December 14, 2017

    I’d been numb all day. Since six o’clock that morning I’d had to hold in my emotions. The parents had searched my face, wondering if I would be that stronghold their children needed while they went to work. My fourth graders were quiet and well behaved, holding themselves together exceptionally well. I kept the conversations focused on the lessons and not what was swirling around us in the world. My face kept up the façade of confidence that all would be fine.

  • Megan Pacheco

    3 Cliche Sayings

    Evaluate Your Sources of Wisdom and Counsel

    Blog | Megan Pacheco | December 12, 2017

    My grandmother used to give me advice by tapping into her never-ending supply of “cliché” sayings. In her case, as far as I can remember, those sayings were very true and many resurface in my mind even today.

    She used to say:

    “Not everything that shines is gold.” In one simple phrase, she tried to warn me from prematurely judging people and opportunities, especially those wrapped in a shimmering cover. She wanted me to look beyond the surface.

    She also used to say:

  • 8 Ways to Bust Leadership Discouragement

    Blog | Charles Stone | December 07, 2017

    Discouragement is a universal experience for ministry leaders and the word self-defines itself…dis-courage meaning no courage. Some of the Bible’s greatest characters faced it: Moses, David, Paul, Mary the mother of Jesus, and the apostles. Nehemiah, the great Old Testament leader faced it when he led the Jews to rebuild the wall. Yet, his response offers us hope when we face it.