HAT Drawing at Indian Lake Elementary

HAT logo - FINALThe H.A.T .program stands for “Honor A Teacher.” Students from The Church at Indian Lake nominate a teacher, and a public drawing each quarter picks the winning educator.

Mrs. Amanda Swinger, a 2nd grade teacher from Indian Lake Elementary School name was drawn.

H.A.T. Prizes included:
8’ x 5’ Animal print area rug (for story time)
Sony Portable CD player
4-pack HP Ink cartridges for classroom printer
Vis A Vis Color markers (for overhead projector)
Magnetic Clips (6)
Children’s Picture Encyclopedia
10 Books from Magic Tree House Series
Colored Sharpies
Gift Basket
Hobby Lobby $20 gift certificate
Tull, fabric, ribbon for basket
Teacher plaque
Crystal globe engraved Award- Mrs. Amanda Swinger
Thank you for making a Difference in the life of a child – 2009

Thank you to Kim Driver and Lana Tracy for organizing and preparing this important honor.

Manipulation Recap

In case you missed last night’s teaching, I spoke on “Manipulation.”   We looked at the life of the wicked Biblical character Jezebel, who is the personification of a “manipulator.” (You can find her story in  I Kings 16:31, I Kings 18-4-13, I Kings 21:1-15, 20-25, I Kings 19:1-3, II Kings 9:30-37).
Using Jezebel as an example doesn’t mean that all manipulators are evil.  To my own disappointment, I have been a manipulator at times.  However, principals from this teaching have helped me realize that is a characteristic I want to starve in my life.
Here are some of the points we discussed last night . . .

Manipulators . . .
1.  Operate from behind the scenes / hide behind the power
2.  Takes advantage of a weak leader
3.  Appeals to the ego of the leaders they want to control
4.  Is determined and vindictive
5.  Use intimidation to get their way
6. Thrive on confrontation – they look for it!

How to Deal With Manipulators
1. Strong Leadership
2.  Expose the manipulation
3. Refuse to participate with a manipulator

Discipline Ten Days Later

It has been ten days since I have preached on Discipline (sermon on 9.13.09).   There are so many areas of my life that I am still working on to be more disciplined.   Yet, that is the key – working on it!  Your not going to be completely disciplined in every area of your life today, but you can start somewhere.  What is one areas where you are “working on” discipline ten days later?

Randomn Monday Thoughts

Spartans Field House– The new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX demonstrates a huge misappropriation of cultural priorities (here is a picture of the former Texas Christian Academy where I attended elementary school that is now a parking lot for the stadium).

– Sunday was a normal, but wonderful service.  There was nothing unique about the service, but a blessing to enjoy a great morning of worship, teaching and friendship.

– I have felt a lot better since reducing the amount of diet soda I drink

– Fall is my favorite season . . . I am ready for it to fully get here

– It’s hard to emphasize enough the positive influence a good school teacher has upon our society.

– We read the Bible through our own culture, tradition and personality.  It’s hard to study the Bible with true objectivity.

– Reminder from Beech-Station Camp game – People should only be able to yell positive things at High School football games.   This isn’t Rocky Top or LP Field – these kids are 15 to 17!   Let’s encourage these kids!

– God never disappoints us.  It’s our expectations of God that disappoints.

– I have a felt a lot better since turning off Fox News, CNN and political talk radio.

– Thank God for health!  We really shouldn’t complain about most of our whining – especially when we are in health.

Thursday with Mac a Success

Mac Meetings - 9.17.09On Thursday we had an impromptu training time with Mac Richard and different pastors in the area that I invited.   I was so pleased to have over 20 pastors attend, plus the pastors and staff from CIL.    WMac Meetings - 9.17.09 - 2e heard a great teaching from Mac, and the pastors were able to ask him questions.

All of the pastors who attended personally thanked me, and it made me so happy that they were encouraged.  It also made me grateful for our church building, the new space we added this year, the team from CIL who hosted and my friends who took time out of their schedule to attend.

How Are Your River Banks?

Flood - 1993 - Jefferson City, MOWhile living in Kansas City in 1993 I saw first-hand the devastation of flooding when the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers overflowed their banks in a historic flood.   The picture shown is that of a bridge in Missouri City, MO.  What power a river has when it is out of its banks.

Discipline is our river banks. While we may think that we would prefer to just kind of flow wherever we want to go when ever we want to flow.  Our effectiveness is directly related to clearly defined boundaries.  Discipline is necessary for our success.  Productivity doesn’t happen because everyone does what is fun; progress occurs when there is enough energy to accomplish the necessary.

Leaving can take you from maintaining to creating

Maintaining can be very positive.  However, God has made us more than maintainers, but creators too.   When God called Abram to leave, He told Abram, “I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”

Through God’s grace and gifting, we create things like wealth, opportunity, something bigger than ourselves, or a network for others to benefit.  God wants to move us from taking to blessing.  Some of you are asking where am I going to get?   God is calling you to ask “Where am I going to give?”  He is calling you to greatness so that you can create positive change in your world.


It’s hard to leave home, because we leave security to face uncertainty.  Still, many times God can’t change you unless he changes your atmosphere.   Most of us are drawn towards atmospheres where we are recognized – I know that I am.   In fact, one of the loneliest place in the world is when we are unrecognized.   Could you imagine how unrecognized Abram must have felt when he left his home for an unfamiliar land?

Yet, this time when we are not recognized can be a sweet time of communion with God.  If you are scared to leave when God calls you to, don’t be scared of loneliness.   When you are unnoticed by the world, then you are free to live for the approval of God.

Want to be great? Be ready to be misunderstood

GalileoIn 1632 Galileo was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy,” forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.  Why?   He believed correctly that the sun was the center of the universe.  He could have chosen to be accepted by agreeing with the status quo, but he chose to be misunderstood.

He joins a list of great leaders who were misunderstood.

Noah prepared for something never seen called “rain.”

After 400 years of slavery, Moses declared from God “Time to let my people go”

Jesus told the people “Your religious leaders are wrong; I have a new yoke that is easy & light.”

Paul told believers that it’s ok for Gentiles to be saved

John Wycliffe translated the Bible in the people’s language.   The Church expelled Wycliffe from his teaching position at Oxford, and 44 years after he died, the Pope ordered his bones exhumed and burned.

The German monk Martin Luther championed the authority of the individual believer.

John Wesley demonstrated that preaching can happen outside of the church, so he took the gospel to the streets, coal mines, fields and factories

Charles Parham & William Seymour preached and demonstrated that speaking in tongues is for today.

Bill Hybels proved that church services can be relevant to a non-Christian.

Easy for them to be accepted, but instead they were misunderstood.  If you want to be great, get ready to be misunderstood