Notes from the Trail

Surprise, you’re a leader!

The Old Moses-Provine Science building at Ouachita Baptist University
Flickr Credit: Trevor Huxham

Leadership is tricky. You’re not really leading if no one is following. While some may aspire to leadership, I didn’t have “leader” on my list of “what I want to be when I grow up.” At some point, it was sprung on me.

Discipleship substitutes

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting! Feel free to leave comments. Your participation enriches the site!Last year I read A.W. Tozer’s The Set of the Sail, a collection of devotionals. One entry in particular really hammered the church during his day for its separation of…

Nuff said: Pastor ponderings

Credit: Ron Edmonson

“Nuff said” is a collection of saved entries from across the interwebs. Here are some interesting, provocative and fun things for your reading and viewing. This particular entry focuses on pastors and offers tips for encouraging your pastor and tips for pastors surviving ministry for the long haul.

The inspirational quote


That inspirational quote? It’s really stupid. Think about it before you crochet it on your pillow – or post it on social media. It doesn’t matter how pretty you wrap it up.

Movie with Aaron: 10 Cloverfield Lane

This is my first collaborative (kind of) movie review effort about “10 Cloverfield Lane.” It was posted in its entirety on Aaron Peck’s blog. Before I embark on this new blogging direction of movie reviews, let me offer a few caveats. I have a very lowbrow approach to movies that causes much disdain among family, friends and coworkers…

Fighting sick

Click the picture for more info on Typhoid Mary

I don’t know if anyone else tries to fight off being sick, but here’s my phases of fighting sick. It includes trying to trick my body, denial, and finally assuming the fetal position.

Why I voted for Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday


I couldn’t believe it. I had voted in the Democratic primary. I’d never done that before. Here are my reasons.

Rushing for relevance


The formula for more blog traffic is to post about current issues and events, but I resist the temptation even though I want the traffic/notice/popularity.

A daddy-daughter date selfie fail


I recently went on a daddy-daughter date. There was a selfie shoot involved. And a selfie fail. And a video that explains it all.

Nuff said: Impractical Jokers save the day, Watch Pompeii get destroyed, How to deal with crisis, How to reach millennials, Blacksburg Winter Storm aerial footage, 9 reasons the church need to reach college students

Credit: "Christ and Pop Culture" website

“Nuff said” is a collection of saved entries from across the interwebs. Here are some interesting, provocative and fun things for your reading and viewing: “How a Bunch of ‘Impractical Jokers’ Helped Me Overcome the Isolation of Grief“ Valerie Dunham (I know her!) writes for Christ and Pop Culture and shares how the four friends behind Impractical Jokers provided…

I choose joy


It’s far to easy to allow circumstances to determine our happiness and shape our attitude. By focusing on truth instead of circumstances, we will find joy.

Video: Virginia Tech welcome time-lapse


Check out the time-lapse video of the Valentines Day/Presidents Day winter storm taken from Virginia Tech’s webcam.

How do I feel?

Vader Emotions

At a recent marriage retreat, Carolyn and I saw a video session by Andy Stanley that helped us understand that what is in us will come out of us during times of conflict/challenge. He also encouraged guys to get in touch with how they feel in order to communicate effectively with their spouse.

Video: Northstar’s 2015 Highlight video

Each year at our State of the Church Sunday, we show a highlight video from the previous year’s ministry moments. I’ve not had to do one for a long time. Our former worship leader was proficient and very creative with video. While I enjoy video editing (probably too much), I was deeply thankful to have the opportunity to put this year’s video together. It gave me time to reflect, smile, and be amazed at all God did.

Snow and the Jonas brothers

The winter of 2015-2016 has been abnormally warm. It’s been incredibly disappointing for this snow lover. In fact, I may be a little snow-obsessed. I don’t know what it is, but if the weatherman says “snow,” I become giddier than a school girl who bumps into Taylor Swift at Payless Shoes. You can’t imagine how…

Star Wars a cappella tribute medley song

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 6.12.04 PM

Thanks to Aaron for emailing me this. It was released a few years back, but it’s just too good not to highlight again. Also, if you haven’t seen the video I posted here that Jimmy Fallon, The Roots and the Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast put together… well, watch it:

Review: Christ at the Coffee Shop


Don’t you love discovering a book that no one else knows about? Read on and hear about an unknown little book that is a surprising source of great encouragement: “Christ at the Coffee Shop.”

The first post of the year: blogging


The first post of 2016 is about blogging. I began blogging in 2005, and I’ve seen blogging go through many phases. It’s currently enjoying a renaissance as a new generation turns from social media to more substantive creative content.

People watching and pleasing God

Pleasers of God web

Just some quick thoughts as I watched people at Starbucks one morning in preparation for a sermon series on pleasing God.

The Top Ten Posts of 2015

Here are the top 10 most-read posts on “Notes from the Trail” (aka for 2015. Did you catch them all as they were published? Did one slip by you? Leave your comments below about what was your favorite.

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