Some recent influences

Recently, some people have influenced me in silent yet powerful way.

Matt Chandler has influenced me to have a greater love for the Word. Which is powerful because I CHERISH God’s word.

Mike Servello and Marco Debarros has influenced me to have a greater love for the local church. Which is powerful because I ADORE my church.

Leonce Crump has influenced me to have a greater love for my city. To me that is significant because I had struggled to find real, significant ways to serve Newport, RI in a secondary way. Secondary because the preaching of the gospel will ALWAYS be the primary mission.

Who has influenced you?

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What to do…part 2 Ask yourself, “Do I Give a Crap?”

So, what should you do when you don’t know your personal purpose, feel the Spirit’s leading or hear God’s voice to do something? You should be lead by compassion. I know the idea sounds completely emotional and devoid of any spiritual depth – but it is probably one of the most overlooked spiritual indicators.

Compassion comes to us in English as a Latin compound word com meaning “with” and patti – meaning “to suffer.” So compassion literally means “to suffer with.” And this idea of suffering with others was the leading cause of many of Jesus’ miracles.

Jesus heard God’s voice at baptism and repeated what He “heard from the Father” when He spoke. He was “lead by the Spirit” to be “tempted by the devil” (look it up in Luke). But He was lead by compassion to do the miracles He did. Most of the things we marvel at that happened during Jesus’ ministry was the result of compassion. He rose the boy from the dead during his funeral procession because he was lead by compassion. Not because he was dead but because he saw the pain of the boy’s mother. There was no father in the picture and when He saw that woman’s pain, He identified with her pain – He suffered with her – and was moved to do something about it. He did MANY miracles because of compassion.

Go back and read the gospels and notice how many times He saw the suffering of others, identified with their pain and then moved in to action. So, instead of looking for some hyper spiritual experience to be moved to do something, take a look around, see the needs of others, identify with their pain and allow that suffering to move you into action.

You can do GREAT things for God’s kingdom. All it takes is a life dedicated to Christ and a heart that (bluntly stated) gives a crap about others.  

So after you read this, ask yourself “Do I give acrap?” If so, take that heart and do something for His kingdom.

What to do when you don’t feel God’s leading (part 1)

So much of today’s ministry is filled with the existential ideology of purpose and calling. WE wrap it up real nice with scripture and tell people that a life lived in our God given calling is the pennacle of all living. But what should we do if we don’t feel called? Pastors talk a lot about purpose and Holy Spirit leading , but what if we genuinely don’t feel any compulsion to do anything based on those factors?

Maybe you’re 17 and you don’t feel “called.” Maybe you’re 21 and you don’t know your “purpose.” Maybe you are 45 and you don’t feel the “Holy Spirit leading” you do anything.  Do these things mean we can’t live lives used by God and impacting the world? NO! Most people are clueless of their calling, purpose or even the Spirit’s leading until they embrace a little known act of true spirituality; it is the act of COMPASSION.

to be continued….

Pregnancy and promotion

Hey blog world. Usually, when I post a comment about my personal life its usually doom and gloom. Like this one or this one. But this time – good stuff.

The first one – in a complete reversal of the first link in this story – I got promoted on my job. More money and the chance to do what I do best – development and leading.

Second, in a complete reversal of the second link – I’m gonna be a dad! That’s right folks, my wife Nichole is 15 weeks pregnant!

Good times in the Patton household. Life right now isn’t perfect, but its been some pretty good news lately. Praise God!

Scientists say we are hardwired to believe in God

I read this article that says we are genetically hardwired to believe in God. It strikes an interesting converstion. Does this mean that science proves that God designed us to believe in Him? Christianity teaches this as does other religions of the world. OR does this mean we believe in God because of an over-complicated primal instinct that has more to do with our evolutionary survival than it does our spirituality?

What do you think?

Banned Super Bowl Ad – Obama and Pro-Life

NBC banned this ad from the SuperBowl. I would have rather seen this than that garbage GoDaddy ad ANYDAY of the week. Especially on SuperBowl Sunday.

Here it is. What do you think?

Head-lines on the Super Bowl

Here are some of my head-lines (remember, lines from my head) about the Super Bowl.

– We had about 50 guys from our church there watching the game. We watched it on the 52″ LCD we use as a screen during youth church. It was awesome!

– Being one of about 3 people in room of 50 routing for the Steelers was AWESOME! I mainly picked them because Pittsburg LB Larry Foote and I were in the same youth church when I got saved in high school.  Oh, and because EVERYBODY ELSE in the room picked Arizona. Gotta keep it fun, right?

– I don’t actually have much to say about the commercials. I only remember the “Chrystal Ball” commercial and the commercials for the GI Joe, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Fast and Furious (I only remember it because the teenagers got REALLY excited) and Land of the Lost movies.

– The overturned touchdown was some FANTASTIC officiating. I hated the call, but they got it right.

– The 100 pick-6 by Harrison was INCREDIBLE! That man is HUGE and he ran 100 yards off a pick in Super Bowl. That had never been done before. I guess that’s why he was Defensive Player of the Year.

– Not a Bruce Springstein fan. I never got it…

– WHY IS MATT MILLEN GIVING HALFTIME ANALYSIS??? HE ORCHESTRATED THE WORST FOOTBALL TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE LEAGUE! 0-16?!?! WHY DOES HE GET TO GIVE HIS OPINION DURING THE SUPERBOWL????? I don’t want to hear ANYTHING he has to say about football! Not how the game is being called, not how the uniforms look, not even if he thinks a cheerleader is cute! I don’t want to hear ANYTHING he has to say. John Madden already says the OBVIOUS stuff that happens during the game so we shouldn’t hear ANYTHING from Matt Millen. After creating the WORST team in football history, he should be banned from football for 2 years. The only way he should come back to football is if they let Michael Vick back in the league! Both of them are guilty of cruel and inhumane treatment. Vick did it to dogs, Millen did it to us Lions fans!

– That was the best fourth quarter of a Super Bowl in a LONG time!

– I didn’t know how long I could take the “Steve, you look like Mike Tomlin” comments or the “what’s the call coach?” Sigh….

– Congrats Steelers! Tomlin became the youngest coach to win a SB title. AND he’s Tony Dungy protege…gotta love that!

What was your first car?

So I’m REALLY not feeling well today and I feel like having a little fun.

Do you remember your FIRST CAR? What was it? Here is mine.  This was the color and everything! It was a 1984 Cutlass Sierra. I bought it for $200 from I girl I knew that was going off to college. I actually bought it with money I made selling candy with my friend Ray.

So here it is. My first bucket! Post a link of a picture of your first car in the comments.

800px-1985-88_oldsmobile_cutlass_ciera

Pray for Amanda Smith

Hey blog family. 

I ask that you fervently pray for Amanda Smith. She’s the mom of one of the people in my youth church. She had an aneurysm last year and  now she has to have more surgery to correct it. Major brain surgery. She’s going in tomorrow and her 15 year old son as well as her 12 year son are FREAKING OUT. 

Please, pray for them just as earnestly as you prayed for my mom-in-law. 

Thanks and I’ll keep you up to date on her status.

What’s your legacy going to be?

As a resident of New England for the last 6.5 years, I have come to despise the Indianapolis Colts.  Patriots vs Colts is well on its way to becoming the best rivalry in football.

On the other hand, I have become a HUGE fan and admirer of Tony Dungy. And my admiration goes FAR beyond the fact that he was the first African American to coach a SuperBowl winner. My admiration is for the legacy he’s established as leader and a man of  God.

As a leader, he’s not only responsible for recruiting effective coaches of color, he’s responsible for mentoring some of the most successful coaches leading their respective teams. His legacy as a leader includes a list of the who’s who in head coaching. Herm Edwards, Ron Meeks, Jim Caldwell, Lovie Smith and Mike Tomlin are people who have taken their cues DIRECTLY from Tony Dungy on a personal level. All of them have been hired by him and mentored by him.  He has generally produced effective leaders. Edwards, Smith and Tomlin have led successful teams to the playoffs – Smith to the SuperBowl (where he lost to his mentor’s Colts) and Tomlin is coaching the SuperBowl favorites this year. Meeks led a GREAT defense in Indy and Jim Caldwell was the assistant head coach there (we’ll see how he does this year).

Then, he proved you can be strong in your faith and lead a football team to victory. He’s famous for being the coach who NEVER cusses at his team and doesn’t allow it in the locker room! Check out this quote from Dungy when talking about his mentee Lovie Smith before they coached against each other in the SuperBowl:

I really wanted to show people you can win all kinds of ways. I always coached the way I’ve wanted to be coached. I know Lovie has done the same thing. For guys to have success where it maybe goes against the grain, against the culture … I know I probably didn’t get a couple of jobs in my career because people could not see my personality or the way I was going to do it … For your faith to be more important than your job, for your family to be more important than that job … We all know that’s the way it should be, but we’re afraid to say that sometimes. Lovie’s not afraid to say it and I’m not afraid to say it.”

His legacy will be one of strong leadership, he developed other strong leaders and showed the world that you can be the best without acting like the rest. He showed you can be effective without losing your soul in the process. He showed people you don’t have to abandon your convictions so that you can succeed. Not only did he display it, he duplicated it in others.

You may not be into sports. You may never have to lead millionare athletes to victory. But you do have the chance to leave a legacy. Your children, the people who attend your church, the people on your sports team, the people on your cheerleading squad, your closest friends or the people who just look up to you – they are all in position to be the testament of your legacy.

What’s your legacy going to be?

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