You Know We Can See That, Right?

Guys, you do know that all your friends on Instagram and Facebook can see every image, video or article you “like”, don’t you?

Maybe you didn’t know that’s how it worked. Maybe you didn’t know that on the same account that we see you post how much you love God, your wife, your kids and your church. The same place where you post your favorite Bible Scriptures, pictures of your bible study notes, the small group lesson you’re about to teach, or how you can’t wait for worship this weekend, we also see every inappropriate picture or video you “like”.

Maybe you didn’t know that, or maybe you do and you just don’t care. But you should care. Because it’s a problem. Because just like the pictures you post are a window into your life, this content that you are looking at and endorsing with your “likes” is a window into your heart. And maybe you’ve convinced yourself that’s it’s “not a big deal”, “It’s just Instagram, it’s not like I’m looking at porn.”

Well, you’re wrong. It is a big a deal.

Here’s something else you may not know, it’s hurting you. It’s hurting your marriage. It’s hurting your testimony. It’s hurting your ministry. It’s hurting your potential to reach the people around you. It’s hurting your relationship with God. It’s only getting bigger and it’s won’t just go away on it’s own.

I’m not judging you. I’m concerned about you. I’m trying to help you. I’ve seen too many men lose too much, because of something they thought was so little, that became uncontrollable.

So stop right now. Take a minute and listen to the Holy Spirit. Is this for you? That offense or anger you may be feeling right now may not be anger at all, but loving conviction from the Lord.

Repent. Ask the Lord to forgive you. Ask Him to free you. Call your Pastor, a church leader, a mentor or a friend that won’t judge you but walk beside you through this process of freedom. (And if you are married, let them help you talk to your wife)

And then, delete your Instagram or Facebook. It may seem extreme, but I can assure you that what you are gaining far outweighs what you are losing.

Today could be the best day you’ve had in a long time.

You Know We Can See That?

You think it’s a small thing but it’s making a big impact on your life.
Guys, you do know that all your friends on Instagram and Facebook can see every image, video or article you “like”, don’t you?

Maybe you didn’t know that’s how it worked. Maybe you didn’t know that on the same account that we see you post how much you love God, your wife, your kids and your church. The same place where you post your favorite Bible Scriptures, pictures of your bible study notes, the small group lesson you’re about to teach, or how you can’t wait for worship this weekend, we also see every inappropriate picture or video you “like”.

Maybe you didn’t know that, or maybe you do and you just don’t care. But you should care. Because it’s a problem. Because just like the pictures you post are a window into your life, this content that you are looking at and endorsing with your “likes” is a window into your heart. And maybe you’ve convinced yourself that’s it’s “not a big deal”, “It’s just Instagram, it’s not like I’m looking at porn.”

Well, you’re wrong. It is a big a deal.

Here’s something else you may not know, it’s hurting you. It’s hurting your marriage. It’s hurting your testimony. It’s hurting your ministry. It’s hurting your potential to reach the people around you. It’s hurting your relationship with God. It’s only getting bigger and it’s won’t just go away on it’s own.

I’m not judging you. I’m concerned about you. I’m trying to help you. I’ve seen too many men lose too much, because of something they thought was so little, that became uncontrollable.

So stop right now. Take a minute and listen to the Holy Spirit. Is this for you? That offense or anger you may be feeling right now may not be anger at all, but loving conviction from the Lord.

Repent. Ask the Lord to forgive you. Ask Him to free you. Call your Pastor, a church leader, a mentor or a friend that won’t judge you but walk beside you through this process of freedom. (And if you are married, let them help you talk to your wife)

And then, delete your Instagram or Facebook. It may seem extreme, but I can assure you that what you are gaining far outweighs what you are losing.

Today could be the best day you’ve had in a long time.

{Video} The “GOOD NEWS” of the GOSPEL

The “GOOD NEWS” of the GOSPEL is not that we get to go to Heaven. The”GOOD NEWS” of the GOSPEL is that the KINGDOM of HEAVEN is here… Now… for EVERYONE.

 

“Sometimes the further He feels, the closer He is”. Love that line from this piece.

My Daughter’s a Superhero

Last week while at a local playground with my family, something happened that will forever change the way I see my daughter.

I watched my eight year old daughter position herself between four older boys and the little girl, no more than four or five years old, who they were picking on.

She stood her ground, telling them to leave the little girl alone and asking them why they would be so mean. When the boys tried to reach around her to knock the flowers the little girl was holding out of her hands, Reese simply pushed their hands away.

As I moved closer to make sure my daughter was alright, I saw a look in her eyes I have never seen there before. It wasn’t fear or anger it was courage… and compassion. I could see in her eyes she felt as bad for these boys as she did for this little girl she was protecting. She truly didn’t understand why they had to be so mean.

I don’t know if the boys realized that Reese wasn’t going to give up or that I was standing behind them, but after a couple of minutes the stand off ended. The boys moved to the other side of the playground and played by themselves, the little girl went back to picking flowers and I stood their in absolute awe of my daughter.

As we walked away from the playground, I told Reese how brave I thought she was and how proud I was of her. She looked up at me and said, “I just don’t like bullies.”

She’s my hero.

My Daughter’s a Superhero

Last week while at a local playground with my family, something happened that will forever change the way I see my daughter.


I watched my eight-year-old daughter position herself between four older boys and a little girl, no more than four or five years old, who they were picking on.

She stood her ground, telling them to leave the little girl alone and asking them why they had to be so mean. When the boys tried to reach around her to knock the flowers the little girl was holding out of her hands, Reese simply pushed their hands away.

As I moved closer to make sure my daughter was alright, I saw a look in her eyes that I have never seen there before. It wasn’t fear or anger, it was courage and compassion. I could see in her eyes that she felt as bad for these boys as she did for this little girl she was protecting. She truly didn’t understand why they had to be so mean.

I don’t know if the boys realized that Reese wasn’t going to give up or that I was standing behind them, but after a couple of minutes, the stand-off ended. The boys moved to the other side of the playground and played by themselves, the little girl went back to picking flowers and I stood there in absolute awe of my daughter.

As we walked away from the playground, I told Reese how brave I thought she was and how proud I was of her. She looked up at me and said, “I just don’t like bullies.”

She’s my hero.

Psalms 138:7-8

“Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The Lord will work out His plans for my life — for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”
Psalm 138:7-8

Someone shared this passage from Psalm 138 with me, and I was so encouraged by it I wanted to share it with you so that you never forget these truths:

God made you.
God saved you.
God has a plan for you.
God will NEVER abandon you.
God’s love for you is FOREVER.

Read it. Meditate on it. Write it down. Never forget it.

Psalms 138:7-8

“Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me from the anger of my enemies. You reach out your hand, and the power of your right hand saves me. The Lord will work out His plans for my life — for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”
Psalm 138:7-8

Someone shared this passage from Psalm 138 with me, and I was so encouraged by it I wanted to share it with you so that you never forget these truths:

God made you.
God saved you.
God has a plan for you.
God will NEVER abandon you.
God’s love for you is FOREVER.

Read it. Meditate on it. Write it down. Never forget it.


I’m the father to three, husband to one, Pastor at Gateway Church, and Director of The World Prayer Team.
You can learn more about me at
http://NilesHolsinger.com, connect with me online on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or subscribe via email here.

Tools of the Trade

I thought I might offer up a list of the tools I use on a daily basis to keep my life moving. To some it may seem like a long list, to others it may be lacking. (though, on occasion I may add a new piece of software here and there, but usually I end up ditching them for these trusty standards.)

Hardware: (Things you can touch, hold, tear, drop and break.)

Iphone- Always with me. Actually do most of my work on this.

iPad Mini- This has quickly become my “go to” piece of hardware. Love the size of the Mini. Take it everywhere (work related) with me. I’ve decided if I can’t do it on this… I’ll just figure out how I can.

MacBook Air- Favorite laptop ever.

Neuyear CalendarBest wall calendar you can buy. Love the design/layout.

Action JournalI’m 99% paperless in what I do (this was not an easy task to accomplish. Removed all paper and pens from my office for 2 months to make this a habit), but when the need arises, this is what I write in.

Bible- HCSB Version on my desk, NLT in my bag, NKJV & Amplified next to my bed. I’m always trading out on which version I prefer.

Software: (Things I run on the things you can touch, hold, tear, drop or break)

EvernoteThis is my brain on tech. Everything goes in it and nothing gets done without it. It took me awhile to figure out the most effective way to use it, but the system I’ve used the last 2 years seems to work great. (I think I could probably teach a class on using this tool, but that seems like a lot of work since there is so much quality training already available.)

Logos Bible SoftwareBest Bible Software period.

IA WriterIf I’m not writing it in Evernote, I’m writing it here. (then transferring it to Evernote) I’ve tried several “distraction free” writing apps. This has become my favorite. (followed by Writeroom.) I write all my email newsletters, blog posts, notes from church services/meetings that I don’t want to use Evernote so I’m not tempted to work on other things. (writing this post in IA Writer now.)

WordPressMy preferred blogging/CMS system. Love working with it. (Tumblr is my close second on this.)

MS Outlook- Use this for church email/calendar.

Iphone Apps:

I have theory that a person really doesn’t need more than one screen of apps on there phone. Anything else is just distraction. (Seriously, take the time and see what apps you would keep if you were only able to use one screen hold them.)

Evernote- Same as above.

Logos- Same as above.

IA Writer- Same as above.

Tempo CalendarThe best calendar app I’ve found. Love how it handles appointments and MS Exchange accounts.

BufferAllows me to post to Twitter/Facebook/Google+ without falling down the rabbit hole of everyone else’s posts.

VSCOcamTake/Edit all my iPhone pictures with this app.

TweetbotFor when I want to see what my friends are posting. Love the way it handles Twitter’s lists function.

InstagramLove this app, though it can be a bit of a time suck if I’m not careful.

Text+Use this only to text with my daughter on her Kindle Fire.

Well, that’s about it. I’d love to hear what you think of the list above or get any suggestions you may have.


I’m the father to three, husband to one, Pastor at Gateway Church, and Director of The World Prayer Team.
You can learn more about me at
http://NilesHolsinger.com, connect with me online on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or subscribe via email here.

Creating Silence

Creating silence in my life has become one of the most powerfully productive exercises I have ever established in life. It’s amazing how much noise surrounds us every day, keeping us from really taking a breath and just think.

I can get more things accomplished in one day by just taking 15 or 20 minutes in silent thought then I can in a week without it.

It started for me six or seven years ago when I decided to turn off the radio in my car on my way to and from work. Just that brief time in thought helps me order my day and opens my ears to listen to what The Lord has to say about it. (Without interrupting Him with my “great” ideas)

Try it, It’s not easy when you start, but nothing worth doing is.


I’m the father to three, husband to one, Pastor at Gateway Church, and Director of The World Prayer Team.
You can learn more about me at
http://NilesHolsinger.com, connect with me online on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or subscribe via email here.

Creating Silence

Creating silence has become one of the most powerfully productive exercises I have ever established in life. It’s amazing how much noise surrounds us everyday, keeping us from really taking a breath and just think.

I can get more accomplished in one day by starting my day with 15 or 20 minutes of silent thought, then I can in a week without it.

It started for me six or seven years ago when I decided to turn off the radio in my car on my way to and from work. That brief time in thought helps me order my day and opens my ears to listen to what The Lord has to say about it. (Without interrupting Him with my “great” ideas)

Try it, It’s not easy when you start, but nothing worth doing is.

Four Things Every Volunteer Needs To Keep Their Head From Exploding.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any church or ministry. But more times than not, for volunteers, what began as a work of passion, love
and a heart to serve, ends with frustration and burnout.

I believe there are 4 things every leader can give his or her volunteers that would combat these results.

1) Volunteers need clearly defined and communicated EXPECTATIONS.

One of the most frustrating positions for any volunteer to be in, is when they find themselves serving in an “evolving role”, a role that seems to change every time they show up to serve. Clearly defined and communicated expectations (the what, when and where of a position) will solve this issue.

This may seem like an easy thing to do, but the number one enemy of a clearly communicated plan is an unorganized leader. I’m amazed how many times I have heard or said myself in frustration, “_________ never does what they’re supposed to do.” When, the person being referred to has never been told EXACTLY what to do. That’s not their fault, it’s the leaders.

(Ps: Clearly defined and communicated expectations will also answer the question, “How often can we ask a volunteer to serve?” Well, how often did you communicate the need to them?)

2) Volunteers need to be EQUIPPED.

I was very fortunate to serve under Dr. Edwin Louis Cole at the Christian Men’s Network.

One day he called me into his office and told me that I was now responsible for emptying his office trash can everyday. He then proceeded to walk me through the exact process he wanted done. He showed me how to take out the old bag, how to tie it up and where the dumpster was. He then showed me where to find the new bags and then showed me EXACTLY how he wanted the bag tied and secured to the trash can.

I remember thinking how ridiculous it was that he was being so precise and specific with his instructions, it was like he thought I had never emptied a trash can before or that I couldn’t figure it out on my own. But the reality was, even though I knew how to empty a trash can and put a new bag in, he wasn’t going to assume I knew how. He was saving the both of us from potential future frustration. (the fact is I had emptied a trash can before, but I had never emptied HIS trash can before, and he wanted it done the right way.)

Dr. Cole used to say, “You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.” Basically, if you want something done right, you don’t have to do it yourself, but you are responsible for the training. To put it Biblically, “Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.” (Acts 8:30-31)

3) Volunteers need to be EMPOWERED.

This is pretty simple. Create volunteer positions that can be “owned” by a volunteer. Don’t create a position that is so rigid, that the volunteer feels like if they make one adjustment or mistake it will ruin everything. Every volunteer position should have some margin built into it, that a volunteer who is passionate can add his or her own gifting and ability to improve what they are doing.

I firmly believe that ownership fuels passion, and when you’re running towards passion, you’re running away from burnout.

4) Volunteers need to be ENCOURAGED.

When I say volunteers need to be encouraged, I’m not just talking about telling them they’re doing a good job.

The most powerful way we can encourage our volunteers is to constantly communicate how the role they are filling is important to the vision of the organization. (and if it’s not, then maybe it a role you don’t need.)

Here’s an example. Take a person who works in the church nursery holding babies. Week after week they sit in a room rocking the crying babies of strangers, changing dirty diapers and constantly having their clothes ruined as they get spit up on. We could tell them they’re doing a good job and we appreciate them, and that’s good, but it won’t fuel their passion. But when you tell them about the couple who were on the brink of divorce, and that because the church was able to offer childcare at the marriage conference they didn’t have to spend money they didn’t have on a babysitter. And while at that conference they both recommitted their lives to Christ and recommitted themselves to each other, it’s not a stretch or an exaggeration to say that happened because YOU were willing to give up attending the conference yourself to take care of a strangers baby.

That’s the kind of encouragement we need to give our volunteers. They need to know that what they are doing is the work of God. That they are building His Kingdom. That what they are doing is AS IMPORTANT as the ministry that happening from the platform. That is how a volunteer needs to be encouraged. (FYI, I didn’t make up that scenario above, that actually happened, and stories like that happen every week, we just need to be intentional about bringing our volunteers in on the celebration)

These four things may not be the “end all” of working with volunteers or solving the burnout issue, and I’m sure you have some things you would add and I’d love to hear them, but I do believe it keeps the process heading in the right direction.

Volunteers are a treasure that need to be protected. And it’s our job as leaders to protect them, even if it means protecting them from ourselves and our leadership mistakes. (we all make them)

Thirty-Three Percent

 33%

That’s it. That’s the number I came up with. That’s all there is. That’s all the time my family gets from my schedule. Of the 168 hours in a week, my family gets 33% of my time. It’s not near enough. It’s not near what they deserve, so I better make the most of it.

Before you think I’m the worse Dad or Husband in the World, let me clarify a few things:

1) I only counted hours “with” my family that we were awake. You can’t really engage with someone while they are snoring. So I counted sleeping as “away” from my family.

2) As a Husband and Father, part of my responsibility is to provide for my family, which is what I’m doing when I’m at work, away from my family. And as long as I have boundaries in place that allow me to keep a healthy work/life balance, I’m not neglecting my family for work.

So now it doesn’t seem SO BAD… except that the numbers above are based on a good week. A week I don’t have evening services, after hours appointments, hospital visits, conferences our church might be hosting or anything else that may come up in a pastor’s schedule.

The reality is, it could be worse. (I’d imagine if we all looked at our schedules, we all ran the numbers, 33% might be on the high end.)

But here’s the real question. Of that 33% of my week that my family does get, do they get 100% of me? Or do they have to share their time? Do they have to share their time with things like the TV, my email, my list of things I didn’t get done at the office, my frustration from how my week may have gone, or anything else that would communicate to them that they are not really the most important thing in my life?

I may be with them, but am I really there? Do my kids know they have 100% of their Daddy’s heart? Does my wife know that no one compares to her? My words may say it, but does my time, focus and attitude?

These are some of the things I’m asking myself. These are some of the questions I’m committing my time to answering. These are some of the questions I’m using to help focus my priorities.

Are there any questions you need to ask?

Thirty-Three Percent

What my schedule is communicating to my family.

33%.

That’s it. That’s the number I came up with. That’s all there is. That’s all the time my family gets from my schedule. Of the 168 hours in a week, my family gets 33% of my time. It’s not near enough. It’s not near what they deserve, so I better make the most of it.

Before you think I’m the worse Dad or Husband in the World, let me clarify a few things:

1) I only counted hours “with” my family that we were awake. You can’t really engage with someone while they are snoring. So I counted sleeping as “away” from my family.

2) As a Husband and Father, part of my responsibility is to provide for my family, which is what I’m doing when I’m at work, away from my family. And as long as I have boundaries in place that allow me to keep a healthy work/life balance, I’m not neglecting my family for work.

So now it doesn’t seem SO BAD… except that the numbers above are based on a good week. A week I don’t have evening services, after hours appointments, hospital visits, conferences our church might be hosting or anything else that may come up in a pastor’s schedule.

The reality is, it could be worse. (I’d imagine if we all looked at our schedules, we all ran the numbers, 33% might be on the high end.)

But here’s the real question. Of that 33% of my week that my family does get, do they get 100% of me? Or do they have to share their time? Do they have to share their time with things like the TV, my email, my list of things I didn’t get done at the office, my frustration from how my week may have gone, or anything else that would communicate to them that they are not really the most important thing in my life?

I may be with them, but am I really there? Do my kids know they have 100% of their Daddy’s heart? Does my wife know that no one compares to her? My words may say it, but does my time, focus and attitude?

These are some of the things I’m asking myself. These are some of the questions I’m committing my time to answering. These are some of the questions I’m using to help focus my priorities.

Are there any questions you need to ask?