Four Android Apps I Use Every Day


In the middle of last year, my Blackberry phone decided that it was time to power down forever. Since I had an upgrade available through our mobile phone provider, I decided I would leave the Blackberry platform and go to Android.* For the next several Mondays, I will offer a list of the Android Apps I use and hopefully, these might help you as well.

Here is a list of the four Android Apps I use Ever Day:

  • Pocket – Saving webpages to read later has always been something I have done and I could never find a good app to help me accomplish this task. The Pocket app allows me to efficiently saving pages in a great, readable format and read them at a later. I use this app everyday as I check email, open links and then save them using the Google Chrome Pocket extension to save the pages so I can read them later in the day.
  • Buffer – Instead of overwhelming Twitter followers and Facebook friends with 5 thoughts at a one time or as random thoughts occur, I use the Buffer App and they are placed on a schedule to post in the future.
  • Google Reader – Every morning and evening, I take a look at the websites and blog articles listed in my Google Reader. On most days, I end up reading close to 100 articles, but thanks to Google Reader’s app, I am able to read them wherever I want.
  • Evernote – I will do a full feature post on Evernote in a few weeks, but for now, here are a few ways I use Evernote: my digital filing system for illustrations and quotes, a filing system for online articles, to store ideas of upcoming articles, a filing system for emails I always need to have on hand, goals for the year, pictures, charts and much more.

Just some quick thoughts,


* – Yes, I know, I did not choose an iPhone to the regret of many, but it is OK. I do not own an Apple product and I still breath and survive. I will be OK, trust me.

New Social Media Policy and Info – 2013


Over the past year, I have changed the way I handle Social Media (i.e. – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn) and found several new ways to share personal thoughts, random events, news and articles. Throughout the year, I have made new friends and new followers which have created some great conversations. The avenue of social media had change the way information is delivered and the time frame in which we receive information. One of my goals this year is to utilize social media at a greater rate than this year and provide information to challenge you and motivate you to step up and take action.

My goals this year will revolve around four pillars: (1) God, (2) Family, (3) Work and (4) Service. These goals will encompass my life, my family and my ministry through 2013 and beyond. I will share thoughts on the overall plan in the weeks to come and how these 4 Pillars will also involve the varying interactions on Social Media.

To the 2013 Social Media Plan and Policy:


Personal Accounts:

If you are looking for random thoughts, quotes, news articles, articles and a variety of motivation, each category blended with comedy, you may take note of the links below. If you are looking for ministry material only, jump down to the section regarding social media for the Preacher’s Pen.

Personal Facebook Account – Next  year, I plan on posting the same amount of material as this year. I will post a variety of links, news,  articles, quotes and other material relating to the 4 Pillars, which will be based on values I hold close to my heart (mainly traditional, conservative, family values). I encourage you to participate in the discussions, however, do not feel the urge to nit-pick and post random diatribes of your opinions which are one sided and go on for ever. Basically, if you are not willing to learn, then just observe.

To stay update, you may subscribe to my Facebook posts and find out more information about subscribing by following the directions here. (

You may subscribe to my Facebook page here:

Personal Twitter Account -  My personal Twitter account usually contains a few more postings than Facebook. I interact more with Twitter to the the quick nature of the interactions. This year, more quotes will be posted via Twitter. Twitter has become an interesting way of communicating in short thoughts. I have found Twitter to be a get start but the discussion moves to email to create a long discussion.

You may subscribe to my Twitter account here:

Google+ Account – Typically I do not use my Google+ account very often. I have not gotten into the Google+ arena like I have in other social media networks. I plan on becoming involved more in 2013 than I have in 2012. If you are on Google+ and use it regularly, I would enjoy learning how I can do better.

You may add me to Google+ here:

LinkedIn Account – I maintain a LinkedIn account for several reason; primarily to share the message of the Preacher’s Pen. LinkedIn is more of my business networking site where I have my past work experience posted. On LinkedIn I do not communicate as much as I used to, but I still use it for business communication.

You may add me to LinkedIn here:



Preacher’s Pen Social Media:

If you are looking for religious material to motivate you for greater service, join the Preacher’s Pen on social media below. The goal of the Preacher’s Pen is to "assist others in creating better days today for a better life tomorrow based on the teaching of Jesus Christ."

Preacher’s Pen Facebook  Account – If you are interested in religious happenings, news, articles and ministry thoughts, I encourage you to become a fan of the Preacher’s Pen Facebook page. The Preacher’s Pen Facebook page will highlight articles and other postings on the Preacher’s Pen allowing you to comment, discuss and share your thoughts and ideas. The Preacher’s Pen Facebook page

You may subscribe to my Facebook page here:

Preacher’s Pen Twitter Account – The Preacher’s Pen Twitter account will repost articles and thoughts from the Preacher’s Pen website. Not only will current articles be posted, but also articles from the archives will be posted to encourage  and challenge you to live better each day. A new feature for 2013 is every Tuesday on the Preacher’s Pen website a guest article will be published. You can follow the posts on the website, but also through the Preacher’s Pen Facebook page and Twitter account.

You may subscribe to my Twitter account here:

Social Media Policy:image

Overall, the social media experience has been excellent and I prefer to keep it that way. There have been a few bumps along the road and I contacted the parties involved and addressed the situation. As a result, here are a few thoughts to remember:

  • Come to the discussion with an attitude to learn, not to make a random point of opinion without a desire to grow.
  • Do not write regarding others who cannot make a public response to the issue at hand.
  • It is not necessary to nit-pick my thoughts or anyone else, instead go to bed and get a good night’s rest.
  • Do not slander anyone regardless of their beliefs.
  • Do not use the phrase, “Your momma.”
  • If you start a discussion, be prepared provide evidence to support your point if you state it.
  • From time to time, I will make you mad at me, please go find a pillow or a tree to take your anger out on.
  • It is not necessary to comment and give your opinion to every  post, give others a chance.
  • Oh yeah, no cussing, swearing, vulgarity, and the like.
  • Be honest, be open and be respectful.

Violations of the above thoughts, will result in your comments being deleted and fleas infesting your armpits for 365 days.


Additional thoughts:

I have considered starting a separate Facebook page to highlight with news articles and current events of a conservative nature but decided it might not be the best choice as this time. This page would  have been devoted to discussions over news articles, but considering the feedback already received, I will just post these articles on my personal Facebook page. If the discussions grow larger, I will begin a news and discussion page all of its own.

Life + Ministry + News = Me. For me, it is hard to separate my life, from my ministry and even the current events from both of those. I do not make the separation because each of those aspects blends itself to one larger picture — the life I lead. There was some discussion about creating a new page to separate a personal page and a fan page, but no change will be made currently. This is me, simple me and a variety of comedy to follow.

Connect if you can.

Just my thoughts,


…but yesterday was different.



I probably should not tell you this, but yesterday I took it easy. I sat on the front porch for a while and read, drank coffee and pondered the week ahead. It was a unusual step for me as a recovering ”Type-A” personality. The morning is usually filled with email, Facebook messages, writing and whatever else appeared overnight. I try to get a jump on everything because as a recovering “Type-A personality,” I must continue to work or the world will end…but yesterday was different.

There is a big few months ahead; meetings, travels, studies, wedding to preside over, sermons, book deadlines, article deadlines, visits, Fall Bible School, teaching opportunities, speaking opportunities and still the other things outside of ministry, all of which I cherish as they happen…but yesterday was different.

Too often it is the behind the scenes aspects of ministry which wear ministers out. Having entered full-time ministry in 1997, fresh out of college, I never imagined what the behind the scenes work involved. There are the aspects of work that everyone sees, then there are others. Over the years there are things I can tell no one about, not even my wife. There are things that will go to the grave with me; private things shared with me that no one but the person telling me will ever know. The mind trap of ministry can take its toll from time to time…but yesterday was different.

Ministry is a full-time life goal, not a weekly to-do list. Almost every minister I know has the ability to see things years down the road, while most people see the here and now. Ministers are dreamers, planners and thinkers. We will ask questions to take the discussion in the way we would have it go, only to give the credit to someone else. The hearts of ministers are not on themselves, but they are on the future of people. It is a burden we bear, but a burden we enjoy…but yesterday was different.

Yesterday was different because I took a break. I sat on the porch with my tablet, journal and coffee in front of me and just thought. I thought about the rewards and benefits of ministry. I thought about the friends lost over the past year because of stances I took and friends gained because I took an unpopular stance. I thought of the way my children are growing and maturing and how soon (after they are 30! Ha.) they will be beginning families of their own. Each thought brought a smile to my face.

Yesterday was different because I stopped. I stopped to see the world around me and consider the ways the Lord has worked, and is working in my life. Have you stopped? Stop and consider how you have been blessed more than you know.

Oh, and one more thing, just because I stopped, the world did not end.

Just my thoughts,

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We must remember that even Jesus took a break:

The Withdrawals of Jesus

  • Matthew 4:1: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness.…
  • Mark 1:35: Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed.
  • Luke 4:42: Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place.…
  • Luke 6:12: Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
  • Matthew 14:13: When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself.
  • Luke 5:16: So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
  • Mark 3:7: But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea.
  • Mark 6:31: And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.”
  • Luke 9:10: Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
  • Matthew 14:22ff: Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on a mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
  • John 6:15: When Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
  • John 7:53f: And everyone went to his own house. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
  • Mark 7:24: From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it.…
  • Matthew 17:1: Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves …
  • Mark 9:30: They departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it.…
  • John 10:40: And He went away again beyond the Jordan.…
  • John 11:54: Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness.…
  • John 12:36: These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
  • Matthew 26:36: Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane …
  • Luke 22:41: And He was withdrawn from them.…

Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson’s complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (709). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Preachers: Salary, Finances and Benefits #4

20 dollars


Before reading this post, I would you to take a moment and

In this post I want to share some tidbits which many do not consider regarding preachers and finances. These short tidbits should not only  be considered not only by preachers, but also by elders, hiring committees and anyone involved in the ministry or hiring process.

Other topics regarding finances will be covered through the month of May. Topics like giving, health insurance, retirement, taxes and others will be written as separate posts.

Here are some random considerations of salary, finances and benefits:

Life Insurance

  • Preachers need to take care of their families in case of their passing from this life. Without notice a preacher (just as anyone) can leave this world only to have their families scrambling to pick up the pieces. While some companies provide life insurance in the benefit package, I have yet to meet a congregation who provided a life insurance benefit.
  • I would encourage ministers to purchase life insurance from the start of their ministry. In the event of death the death benefit will assist in taking care of his family, paying the bills, paying off debt and other situations a grieving family is going to have.


Disability Insurance

  • Most preachers do not consider disability insurance as something to purchase due to the fact most preachers do not have a labor intense ministry, but a preacher should consider disability insurance.
  • A preacher’s eyes and voice is the lifeblood to his ministry. Not to be morbid, but a preacher can lose a limb, or an eye and maintain his ministry, but the loss of his eyesight or his voice will be a huge factor in his ministry. I would ask preachers to consider major disability insurance in their planning.
  • Personal note: I know of preachers who are blind and even heard of those who have lost their voice and maintain a powerful ministry of speaking (for those that are blind) and writing (for those who lost their voice). It is possible to continue to have a major effect on people’s lives, but let us be sure to consider some disability insurance.


Debt Avoidance

  • Many preachers who attend colleges and universities are graduating with piles of debt.  While others are graduating with mounds of school debt as well, many other professions  have a higher pay scale than ministry. With this being said, I would encourage ministers to take a personal finance class to take better control of their finances before they even begin their career. Classes from Dave Ramsey and Steve Diggs would benefit preachers and their families.
  • Since college, I have thought colleges, universities and schools of preaching would do well to require their students to take a personal finance class to better themselves to handle money; as they graduate with debt.


Just some thoughts,

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Quotes on the Ministry and Preaching



“One man … called to God is worth a hundred who have elected to work for God.”

—Oswald Chambers

”If a man is called to preach the Gospel, God will crush him till the light of the eye, the power of the life, the ambition of the heart, is all riveted on Himself. That is not done easily. It is not a question of saintliness, it has to do with the Call of God.”

—Oswald Chambers

“Many preachers are good tailors spoiled, and capital shoe makers turned out of their proper calling. When God means a creature to fly, he gives it wings, and when he intends men to preach he gives them abilities.”

—Charles Spurgeon

”I knew an old minister once.… How I envy him.… I am listed as a famous home-runner, yet beside that obscure minister, who was so good and so wise, I never got to first base.”

—Babe Ruth


Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson’s complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (86). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.


Just some thoughts,

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My Greatest Compliment was not a Compliment



Critics can beat us down and destroy the work we are doing…or they can provide us with greatness.

I choose the second. Often critics are those we have either annoyed or offend and sometimes we have done so by telling them the truth. The old adage of, “The truth hurts.” has been the cause of angry critics for years. Even Jesus had critics while He walked the earth; namely the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees. Paul had critics, even those of his own countrymen.  (2 Corinthians 11.23-28)

As ministers of the gospel, you and I will have critics who seek to point out every mistake, every misspoken word and those who will get angry with the truth. While their words may mean cut our hearts and in some cases, destroy our ministry, they also provide us with a check to our lives.

The problem of many is not the messenger, but the message. The message seeks to move individuals from a worldly view to a life filled with Christ, but many may never be filled. Their satisfaction with worldly pleasures choke the truth of the message and they seek to tear down the messenger.

One of the greatest compliments was never meant to be a compliment, instead it was said with apathy and frustration. The words showed where my preaching and ministry reside. As I sat and listened the man said,

“Well I guess I can say I have never heard you say anything wrong. All your messages are from the Bible.”

Without any more words, I knew the message had an effect. It was nothing I said, but what God had already said. The truth of the message had its effect.

My friends, do not let the critics bring you down, but let their words remind you of the truth you are presenting.

Care you share one of your greatest compliments?

Just my thoughts,


Gospel Meeting–Day #5 (Peytona, WV)


The picture above is of the Drawdy Falls located west of the church building and hidden back from the road.

Tonight, the meeting in Peytona ended with a lesson on the Christian’s “Strength in Battle” from Ephesians 6.10-18.  A copy of the lesson is below:

Here are the outlines handed out throughout the week. To view and download the outlines, click the outline link and they will open on your computer. You may also “right-click” on the link and choose “Save as…”

Personal note:

I want to thank the congregation in Peytona, your support for the meeting, your constant encouragement and your love shown to us. My family and I are blessed to have spiritual family in Peytona.

My family and I wish God’s richest blessings on the congregation. If we never meet again this side of heaven, I will see you there.

Thanks again for your hospitality and care for my family and I.

Just my thoughts,


Gospel Meeting–Day #4 (Peytona, WV)

I am not like many, I believe gospel meetings have a place in the work of the church. Anytime there is an opportunity to speak of God’s word to an audience it should be taken with full joy and assurance that someone’s life might be changed through the preaching of God’s word.

Tonight’s attendance was almost the same as Sunday morning. Very impressive for a small congregation.

Here is the lesson presented this evening:

Just my thoughts,


Why I Love Gospel Meetings!



If I had my choice in a career, I would travel and speak at congregations, youth rallies, seminars, workshops, lectureships and my text would be, “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4.12; ESV) I would speak on the betterment of Christian Living founded on the teachings of Jesus Christ. I would encourage congregations to “Stop Doing Church and Start Being the Church.” I would speak as often and as much as I could. My family would travel with me and meet the brethren from all over…

…but for now, I will still speak as often as I can and deliver the same message, “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4.12; ESV)

Some say gospel meetings are a thing of the past, but I submit they are a factor of strength in the present. As the pendulum of life is making a swing back to conservative values, I also believe there is a hunger and thirst for the truth found in God’s word. While our country sputters into turmoil, more people want the truth of a powerful life found outside of this Earth. Gospel meetings till have a place in our world, let no one tell you otherwise.

Too many use this as an excuse (that gospel meetings are a thing of the past) because they do not want to make it a priority, let’s make the preaching of the gospel available as much as we can!

Ten Reasons I Love Gospel Meetings:

10 – I love meeting brothers and sisters across this land.

9 – I love seeing congregations pull together to encourage one another in attendance.

8 – I love going to a place and knowing very few and coming home knowing many.

7 – I love seeing people smile and hug one another because of their love for Christ.

6 – I love inspiring people, not with my words, but with words found in the Bible.

5 – I love seeing people make the meeting the top priority instead of their favorite TV show or other event.

4 – I love taking my family with me so they can become involved in learning, sharing and living the gospel.

3 – I love it when the preaching of the gospel is made available as much as we can make it.

2 – I love meetings which challenge everyone to their core.

1 – I love assisting others change by connecting them with Jesus.

Just my thoughts,


A Founded Renewal


I hit my knees in prayer asking the Lord to help. Carrie and I had been through our hardest year in ministry in the past 15 years. This was not a few months which seemed like a year, it was a physical year; 365 days. Together, our hearts were broken and our spirits were crushed. Together, we had been praying and asking for God to show us the path He wanted us to take.

Various doors had been opened and in the course of events, I tried to open a few myself. The frustrations of ministry were wearing me thin. The stage of burnout I felt at the beginning of the year was nothing compared to the one I was experiencing at the current moment. I had spoken to others regarding ministry burnout and I know the symptoms I was experiencing.

My prayer that day would be different than the rest. God and I had done a large amount of talking in the past, but not like that day. My discussions with God were always one sided; me griping, angry and frustrated and God listening.

I thought I knew where God wanted me. The door seemed wide open and becoming wider each week, yet I struggled.

That day I prayed with words hard to swallow and ones that were going to test my faith, "Lord, put me where you want me. open the door You want and shut the rest." Shut the rest – I said it. I asked God to open one and shut the rest. I knew my words would be hard to swallow, yet I put all trust and faith in Him.

With that simple prayer, the door I wanted to remain open shut with force. I never saw it immediately, but I began to see doors shutting in the coming days. The door God wanted to remain open, He kept open. In fact, the door opened wider. God never spoke to me, emailed me or called me…He acted. When He acted I felt like Gideon; I wanted a few more "signs" just to be sure. However, God had provided enough, I needed my mind to grab hold and trust.

In the light of the one door which remained open, I would have to make a tough decision. The decision before me was becoming easier every day. I knew in making the decision I would disappoint some and possibly lose some out of my life, but the door was open and it was time to step through it. Some decisions are for the long term and long term decisions may yield undesirable short term consequences. I have found when God opens the door, the short-term consequences are only speed bumps on a life in His light.

Is it time you find your renewal by asking God to open the door and close the rest? If so, be careful, He will act.

Just some thoughts,