What’s on my iPhone?

I love my iPhone. Not because it’s cool looking. Or the most revolutionary device since the home PC. I like it because I can be more productive with it. Now that’s a good toy.

Actual screen shot of my iPhone

Actual screen-shot of my iPhone

Here’s a look at some of my favorite apps:

MailChimp – I use mailchimp for our ministry newsletters, and this app lets me see up to the minute stats on how our email campaigns are doing.

FlightTrack – helps me keep track of all the flights we are taking, and if any are delayed.

Skype – I pay the $5.95 monthly fee, and I can cal l from anywhere in the world that I can get a wi-fi signal. Used my cell to call my mom from Outback in Manila one time. Sweet.

Dropbox – I use dropbox all the time to share files with people. This little app lets me see those files, and edit them, right on my phone.

Carbonite – If you don’t have Carbonite online backup, you should. Their app is even cooler than their protection service. I can see any file that’s on my PC right on my iPhone. They should charge for this app, but they don’t.

YouVersion Bible – I use this all the time to reference verses, bookmark verses, etc. I even use it to keep track of my weekly Bible memory verse. The only downside is that people think you are playing Pacman on your phone if you decide to use it in church.

There you have it. Some of my favorite apps.

SAGE: My Notes

Yesterday I attended SAGE, a web conference put on by Leadership Network. As the name implies, the conference intention was for those who have “been there” to share  ministry leadership wisdom. I jotted down notes during the speaker’s presentations, and here are the points I found most beneficial:

1 – Hire based on chemistry and character rather than competence and credentials

2- Be both very spiritual and very strategic. They don’t cancel each other out.

3-Focus on the things that God has gifted you to do. What does your organization need from you the most?

4-Internalizing problems does not allow you to be fully present with others OR be focused to hear God’s direction. Solution: invite trusted people into your inner circle and externalize ministry frustrations

5-Set-up your ministry with an exit strategy in mind. Make it easy for your successor.

6-Serve God. Leave the size and scope of your ministry up to Him.

7- Don’t trade worshipping God for working for God.

8 – In the end, only one Person matters. Spend time with Christ, and accomplish more as a result.

9 – Do less. Focus on things that matter.

10 – Sin affects our relationship with God AND with others. Christ is the cure for both problems.


I have spent a few minutes the last few mornings conveniently removing myself from various company email lists. I realized that I never have time to read the “Bassmasters” newsletter (though I’d like too), and I never buy anything from B&N because Amazon is way, way cheaper every time (used books are where it’s at).

There is a point to spending time removing my name from these lists: saving time in the long run. I found that I was spending  time just in scanning and deleting these emails – time that adds up and can be used for other things. So I am on an unsubcribing kick. The nice thing is, the good companies make it easy by providing a link at the bottom of the e-mail.

How much time are you wasting on junk email?

If you’d like to receive our ministry newsletter (only once a month and NOT junk), click here. We have some very exciting news coming in January. Don’t worry – we have an unsubsribe option too.


1027303_50774495Ok…ok….8:30 – 5:30….that’s my schedule that I am trying to stick to now for work and related things. Maybe you are like me – you could work on your work 24/7, because you love what you do. I love the fact that one of my main textbooks for my seminary classes is my Bible. I love that I am spending time each day developing the ministry that God is leading me in. And I love the fact that I get to incorporate my love of illusion into some of my work. I could work all day, and I used to do that. This time last year, I would literally spend every waking moment working on something. Because if I wasn’t working, I was wasting time and that was no good. I did not watch TV, I didn’t read much for pure enjoyment, and I definitely didn’t take naps. I was the exact opposite of George on Seinfeld during his “Summer of George”.

 So after I got married earlier this year, I began to realize that some things needed to change. God began to teach me about the importance of rest. Somewhere along the lines, those of us in ministry have bought into the Corporate American ideal that if you aren’t ‘doing” something then you are wasting your time. But in Mark 6:31, Christ acknowledges the importance of some “down time”. He takes the apostles away into the desert to get some rest. In fact, rest was very important to Jesus. Remember how he slept in the boat before and during the storm? This was also a case of “pre-meditated” rest. Jesus didn’t just “doze off” in the boat, he went into a covered section of the ship, found a “pillow”, and got some rest (Mark 4).

In light of all of this truth about rest, my wife and I had a conversation last week. I had been thinking about the dangers of my 24/7 mindset: the dangers to our family, to my health, and our relationship with others. Here is our solution: Working from home most of the day AND having a laptop allows me to always be “in the office” if I want too (NOT a good thing). So we have decided that I will work from whatever time I start in the morning (usually around 8:30) and I will end at 5:30. After 5:30, I don’t touch the computer for work purposes. Sure, there is always more that can be done. But that’s the issue: there’s always more to be done. Somewhere in all this work we have to learn to draw the line in the sand, retreat into the desert, fall asleep in the hull of the ship, and spend time with the ones we love. And put the iPhone on silent. More thoughts later…