Surprise your Team

Recently Budweiser beer in the US did a ‘Flash Fans’ promotional event where they brought in bus loads of 600 roaring fans with cheer leaders, TV coverage, commentators and big screen replays to a small town recreational ice hockey match between the Amigos and the Generals. What would normally have had an audience of a dozen turned into a celebration of sport and passion. The two teams went to the ice as ‘Regular Joes’ and as the crowd came in they were transformed to feel like super stars.

As you go into your day, think about who are the “Regular Joes” in your life and who could do with a fan, a cheer, a shout of “He Shoots, He Scores!”.


Here is the making of Flash Fans: 2012 Budweiser Official Big Game Commercial


Live Young

This TV commercial from the bottled water kings Evian is cute and inspirational. Its one that is only made for one reason, to enjoy!


Succeeding through Self-Discipline

I would have to admit that the biggest battle of my life is with my ‘self’. I’m constantly having to pull my ‘self’ into line, give my ‘self’ a good talking to and keep an eye on my ‘self’.

Sound familiar? Its very much the battle Paul talked about in Romans 7. Try reading from verse 7 onwards and see if Paul isn’t talking about your life?! I love Paul’s honesty as he deals with fleshly desires. Likewise he bring us back to Christ as the answer.

A long time ago (like around 10 years ago) a friend gave me piece of paper with six points on it. The paper I had didn’t have a name on it so I did some research and found it had come from Rick Warren. While I repeat the article here as a reference, it isn’t the total answer as our life doesn’t fall into six convenient categories.

To me the power over our flesh comes from having more of God in our life and less of self. I have been amazed lately how often the sin of selfishness is at the root of other sins. When watching a series of sermons on marriage by Mark Driscoll called Peasant Princess many of the problems experienced in relationships came down to the issue of selfishness and ‘wanting’ rather than ‘giving’. Its amazing how often we complicate our sin with excuses but when the rubber hits the road its plain old greed and selfishness.

I think John the Baptist summarised the ‘whole of life’ approach in John 3:30 when he said “He must increase, but I must decrease”. John was talking of the ministry of Jesus as others around him were concerned John might be ‘missing out’. In all our endeavours Satan seeks to see us fall the same way he did, by drawing attention to our own wants in order that like him we might fall through pride and self sufficiency. Through the word we realise our dependence must be on Christ and him alone.

These two verses probably sum up this thought. Firstly let Jesus have first place in our lives so that the there is no place for selfish desire;

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:14

Secondly seek to grow in maturity so that the we can be fruitful in our lives and desires.

“5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7


By Rick Warren

High achievers usually have one obvious thing in common: personal discipline. Successful people are willing to do things that average people are unwilling to do.

I’ve observed that successful people express self-discipline in six key ways:

SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MASTER THEIR MOODS. They live by their commitments, not their emotions. People who do the right thing even when they don’t feel like it accomplish most of what gets done in the world! “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE WATCH THEIR WORDS. They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths. “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” Proverbs 13:3

SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE RESTRAIN THEIR REACTIONS. How much can you take before you lose your cool? “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11

SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE STICK TO THEIR SCHEDULES. If you don’t determine how you will spend your time you can be sure that others will decide for you! “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil..” Ephesians 5:15-16

SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MANAGE THEIR MONEY. They learn to live on less than what they make and they invest the difference. The value of a budget is that it tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went! “Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.” Proverbs 21:20

SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAINTAIN THEIR HEALTH. That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements. “that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.” 1 Thessalonians 4:4

Where do you need to develop more self-control? The disciplines you establish today will determine your success tomorrow. But it takes more than just willpower for lasting self-control. It takes a power greater than yourself. Think about this promise from the Bible this week: “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

The more I accept God’s control over my life, the more self-control He gives me!


Kindergarten Life Skills

A long time ago I found this piece on life skills for kindergarten and the office. It was funny but true in so many ways. Isn’t it sad how our maturity and wisdom don’t also grow in terms of overcoming selfishness and insecurity.

Doing a ‘google’ on it I found it was previously written by Robert Fulghum. His book by the same title dominated the New York Times best seller list in 1989 and through much of 1990.

All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
by Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are the things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work some every day.

Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup – they all die. So do we.

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK . Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation, ecology and politics and sane living.

Think of what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and clean up our own messes. And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.


The Power of Encouragement

Recently a friend told me how he had been having a bad ‘day’. Someone who knew he was battling sent him an SMS that simply said “Have a great day”. There was nothing profound in the words, there was no wisdom to write in stone, it was simply the words of a friend saying “I’m with you”.

When my friend got this SMS he said it brought tears to his eyes. I read between the lines and felt he was saying that it was good to know he wasn’t alone. Someone knew, someone cared, someone acted.

Back in 1999 I cried out to a friend that I wasn’t coping. He sent this email. It hit home so well I printed it out and put it where I would treasure it. Reading it today I felt to send it back to this friend. I’m praying for him just like I believe he did for me back in ‘99.

Sent:   Tuesday, 23 February 1999 10:39
To:   Andrew Pitchford
Subject:   God

I’ve got this little Bible Society thing on my noticeboard. It reads…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and He will show you the right way. Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong. If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your woulds and easing your pains. Honour the Lord by making Him an offering from the best of all that your land produces. If you do your barns will be filled with grain, and you will have too much wine to be able to store it all.

Proverbs 3:5-10

Encouragement for you.


Accountability, the Heart Check-up

I recently came across a piece of paper from a friend in Hamilton, New Zealand. When I first got involved with Radio Rhema he challenged me to meet with him and walk through these questions. I believe they are a variant of seven questions Chuck Colson went through with his team when he formed Prison Fellowship.

Its fair to say I haven’t been using these questions for over ten years and yet when I look at them they are questions I ask myself on a regular basis. I feel they are healthy spiritual check-up. Zig ZIglar would say we need a check-up from the neck-up… ie. get your head straight. These questions deal more with the ‘heart’ of the matter.

  1. Have you been with a person of the opposite sex this month in an inappropriate way?
  2. Have you been completely above reproach in all your financial dealings this month?
  3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material this month?
  4. Have you spent time daily in prayer and in the Scriptures this month?
  5. Have you wasted large amounts of time frivolously this month?
  6. Have you fulfilled the mandate of your call this month?
  7. Have you taken time off to be with your family this month?
  8. Have you been ashamed of the Lord this month?
  9. Have you done anything this month that you would regret if the Lord returned today?
  10. Have you just lied to me?

You can change the frequency from monthly to weekly if this is how often you meet. As these questions become part of your own ‘check-list’ I find they are also a great hedge built around your heart protecting you from making those wrong decisions.

For more wisdom on accountability and leadership, read this excellent article by Kenneth Boa.

Media Observations

Seth Godin Explains Tribes

In a recent presentation I did on social networking I referenced author and marketing guru Seth Godin. In this video from Loic Le Meur’s website Seth Godin explains why you need a tribe and why he is not on twitter. Seth’s latest book "Tribes" helps us define the need for leaders to come forward because there are communities that need someone to provide direction. In the area I work of Christian media, we have a message but are we willing to step to the front of a community and share our direction by saying "walk this way". Have a listen to Loic as he presses all the right buttons to get to the heart of the matter with Seth.

Media Observations

Hope Foundation Video and Web Launch

hope_foundationtop_sidebar_picI want to tell you about a friend of mine. Brownen Healy is a lady on a mission. Out of her own testimony of hopelessness you can find an amazing story of someone who is living ‘life after death‘. I have constantly been encouraged by the work of the Hope Foundation which Bronwen started.

If you ever have an opportunity to speak to or listen to Bronwen Healy you will come away inspired and challenged. Bronwen has now appeared around the world to church and school groups, business functions and to government bodies telling the story of how she found an answer at the end of the rope of despair.

In reading Bronwen’s book "Trophy of Grace" you will find hope beyond today as a young woman who paid the price of wrong decisions and came out of a vacuum of depression to face a bright tomorrow. Her story of drugs and prostitution in the midst of a downward spiralling life has spoken to many about the fact that when life seems at its darkest dawn is just around the corner.

Check out their freshly launched website at and be inspired by this new video. I encourage you to click on the share links on the video at the end in order to copy the video URL (web address) and email it to your friends. Then check out the Bronwen Healy interview made possible by ‘Choices TV’ Garden City Christian Church, and Invision Media.