path not plan

I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately.  We’ve all heard the phrase,

“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”

Right, but also wrong.  I’ve seen people who are terrible planners succeed, and people who are meticulous planners fail.

Yet something else, seems to work.  Path.  Those who have a path, who have a direction, who have an idea of where they are going – that beats planning every time.  Why?  Because, those who are creating a path can change their plans.  Those who just plan might get the plan down pat but then miss the path.

Sometimes you may follow the path someone else blazed before you.
Then other times, you blaze your own path.

Maybe it’s just a play on words but I like the idea of path over plan (even though I’m a planner at heart). I like the idea that I have a path to follow rather than a plan to execute.  There are a lot of paths to choose from, even a few that may need creating – but that’s where the learning and the skill and the risk comes in – because that choice does matter.

Failing, doesn’t depend on your plan (or lack of it).  It depends on your path.

Choose wisely.

announcements are fun…

I always like hearing from people about new things happening in their lives and I’m excited to share something new happening in mine.  For most of the last year as a part of my web development business I’ve been helping a company called Event Espresso with their website redesign and some bits and pieces that are running their automatic plugin updates and membership system.  It was a really fun project to work on and we just launched their website two weeks ago.

In the process, I was working closely with the Event Espresso team and we realized that we worked well together.  I was invited to join their team as their core developer and I’ve accepted.

I’m REALLY excited about this transition because I get to keep building cool stuff and I really see Event Espresso becoming THE “go to” plugin for events and ticket sales and I’m looking forward to being a part of and contributing to their growth.

Are you running events?  Are you looking for an easy way to manage registrations and ticket sales?  You really need to check them out.

Oh and you know what else is cool?  My family and I don’t have to move.  EE’s team is a distributed team working from locations all over.  Fun stuff!

big changes

I know I haven’t been posting here much lately -it’s a sign of how busy I am.  However, there’s some news in my life that deserves a post.

This past Sunday I made public my resignation as the Assistant Pastor at Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly.  Effective May 31st, I’m transitioning from pastoring into doing web-development full-time.  Followers of my blog already know that I’ve been doing web development on the side for a few years now.  I’m going to be growing and expanding my business and plunging full in with this passion that I believe God has given me.

The good news is that we’re not moving from Waterloo and WPA remains our home church.  I’m looking forward to transitioning from a full-time paid ministry position to a volunteer role helping in the areas that match who I am as a person and the gifts and abilities God has blessed me with.

Some people have asked me, “So how do you feel about this?”  My short answer? AWESOME!  My longer answer, “At peace that this is the right decision, excited for the changes this will bring, nervous about whether our financial needs will be met, but trusting God that He has a bigger plan and this is just a step towards fulfilling”.

For those who are interested, here is the text of the letter I read to the congregation this past Sunday:

Dear church family,

When I first went into ministry as a pastor, I fully believed it was where God was directing me at that stage in my life, and to this day do not doubt that God has been ordering my steps, nor that I’ve been failing to follow. There have been some incredibly fruitful years of pastoring where I learned much about being a leader, preaching, and teaching; and I know that all of these years have been preparation for what God wants to do in and through me in the future. 

However, I have never really fully embraced Pastoring as a passion. I have done it because I believed God called me to pastor, and I’ve always wanted to be faithful to that call. In my heart of hearts though, I’ve always known that pastoring would not be a lifetime calling. Ministry? yes! However, ministry can take many forms and I’ve always been a strong communicator about God’s call to ministry in LIFE not necessarily what may be viewed as “full-time” ministry.

Over the past two years (really began much earlier but the last two years have brought things more into focus), I’ve become more fully aware of and embraced what IS my passion, and that is internet/web development. That is the practical outflow of my passion, but really I’ve always been passionate about using technology within the church to effectively reach today’s culture.

I still feel called to ministry but there has been a shift of my calling away from Pastoring full-time into something else that still hasn’t been fully revealed to me but involves what I am passionate about.

In early January I handed Pastor Marshall my resignation that will become effective May 31st.  

Coming to this decision has been a long and difficult process with much time spent in prayer and seeking God’s direction.  I do believe God called me into pastoring for a season and I’ve been faithful to that call (15+ years of pastoring). There have been many joys and sorrows, as it is with anything worthwhile doing and I’ve been impacted in incredible ways over those years, however, I’ve always known that this would not be a lifetime calling.  

One of the things I’ve always taught and preached is my firm belief that sometimes we know the general direction God is taking us but we don’t know the final picture.  Sometimes all He gives us is “what’s next”.  That certainly is what happened for Ker and I when I resigned 4 years ago in Hanover (all we knew was our time was done but had no place to go) and it is certainly what is happening now here at WPA.  We have found that when we’re faithful and obedient to what we’re certain God is showing us for what’s next, He is faithful in providing the direction for the future.

The “what’s next” that I am hearing for my family and I is to step into the area of where my passions are, which is the intersection of church and technology (specifically the internet) and I’m going to be volunteering here at WPA to help with our online internet and social media strategy.  To support my family I’m going to be continuing to expand and grow the web development business I’ve been running in my spare time over the last two years.  I don’t know what the long term destination is that God has for us but I do know this is what’s next 🙂  I also know that God is always at work in us to prepare us for His purpose and His plans and the destination isn’t as important as the process of getting there.

While I do feel released from my position as pastor here at WPA, neither Ker nor I feel released from ministry here and we are VERY excited to be able to stay and contribute our gifts and abilities as we continue to serve the Kingdom and belong to our church family.  We love this church, we love this family, and we value and trust our leadership. We know that God is at work here at WPA and we’re thrilled that we are able to continue engaging in ministry here!

I’m a different person than I was when I first came to WPA (in a good way!) and many people in this room have had some part in that change.

I will be officially transitioning from my position as Assistant Pastor at the end of May and have purposely allowed more time for Pastor Marshall to find a person to fill my position here.  

Pray with me as we lift up this search to our Lord!


Sin is the propensity for humans to live as if they are God. Sin is the decision to live life away from God rather than toward him. This decision can be subtle or blatant. It involves a contest of wills between humans and God. It is the oldest contest in the world, the pride of life, the saying yes to the temptation to live as if we humans are not accountable for our lives moment by moment to our Maker. Sin is the failure to surrender life, moment by moment, to the rule of God. We sin when we place ourselves in charge of our lives.

– Reggie McNeal
A Work of Heart – Understanding How God shapes Spiritual Leaders

Problems with Adium or Sparrow and not being able to sign in with google account credentials?

This is a note I’m leaving for my future self if I have this issue again but hopefully it will help anyone else experiencing the issues I was.

Basically, what was happening is even though I was using the right sign-in credentials for my google account with the Sparrow and Adium apps, both of them kept re-prompting me for the credentials.  However, this was only happening when signing in from home.  Elsewhere, there were no problems.  Trying to find the answer via google took a lot of searching but the solution that worked for me was to just go to this web address:

Apparently, at some point Google locked out sign-in attempts from those apps (and ip addresss) because of too many unsuccessful attempts – its a security feature (although not widely published or known).  Visiting that url temporarily deactivates the security lock and then you can sign in.

It worked for me and everything is back to normal thankfully!

Where did everything go?

Don’t know what happened but I just noticed today that had something wonky going on and no posts were displayed.  I have NO idea how long the site was down as I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to post anything here (thinking my life may be too busy).

At any rate things are back up.

To reach the finish line you have to do something…

I often find myself looking at all the things I have to finish (because of my obscenely large todo list) and it overwhelms me and I shut down.  I’ll end up procrastinating and wasting time because I don’t think I have enough time to get started and finish something in the time I have in the moment.  I discovered a secret.

It is what you do in the moments that bring progress and eventually lead to a finish.

Are you stuck because what you have in front of you seems to big to accomplish in the time you have to get it done?  Then capture your moments and do something that brings you closer to the finish line.  Resolve that you may not finish it in that moment, but you will be closer than what you were before.

Don’t stay stuck, get started.

Do something.

The finish will come quicker than you thought it would.