Supporting military families.

Love that Concordia looks for ways to support military spouses. Got a call from a friend asking for recommendations of military spouses that can meet with First Lady Michelle Obama in Los Angeles and help Hollywood understand the special challenges of the military family.  I am so excited about our upcoming “small town” 4th of July Support the Troops event and parade.  If you want to be part of this day, let me know.  –Melissa

Hollywood guilds to host Michelle Obama in event honoring military families

June 4, 2011 |  4:10 pm

Hollywood’s guilds are teaming up to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to help military families.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America West plan to host Obama at an event honoring military families June 13.

The forum, to be held at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, will highlight stories and issues faced by today’s military families so their experiences can be integrated into film, television and digital media, according to a statement from the guilds.

“The entertainment industry has the opportunity to help Americans learn more about the unique challenges and needs of military families and to showcase the families strength, resilience and service to our nation,” the statement said. “The guilds have joined Mrs. Obama’s effort to ensure America’s military families have the support and recognition they have earned.”

— Richard Verrier


Prayer Life….

Prayer is powerful because God is powerful.  I follow a blog by a pastor and loved what he wrote about prayer and I have copied it below…..

It is true that we think of prayer as something small and I wonder how many secretly don’t believe that God is really interested in our concerns.  I think that is a human inclination.  Prayer, however, is all about divine inclination.  But, how do we think outside of our human expectations?  It is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and as we spend time in the Word and in prayer, we are reminded —- REMEMBER, who God is!  Thoughts like those expressed in this blog help us remember.

I hope this is a helpful reminder to you.

Have a wonderful day.  Enjoy a wonderful God.  Share with Him your thoughts and concerns…..He already knows them…..and He is powerful to act.  Why?  Because God’s word is TRUE and He keeps His PROMISES!


(from the blog of

In the morning I lay my requests before you and I wait in expectation.
Psalm 5:3

Prayer is so much more than the puny, ordinary thing we make it out to be. And that’s because the One we’re praying to is not only so much bigger than we’ll ever be able to comprehend. But also so much more willing to respond to us than we’ll ever be able to comprehend as well.

Think about this:

  • Our galaxy has approximately 250 billion stars and it is estimated that there are 100 billion other galaxies in the universe, each with hundreds of billions of stars. And He’s named each one.
  • The universe is so vast in relation to the matter it contains that it can be compared in this way: A building 20 miles long, 20 miles wide and 20 miles high that contains 1 grain of sand. And He’s holding it all in the expanse of His hands.
  • The largest star to date, Canis Majoris, is so large that if Earth’s Sun were replaced by it, its radius would extend beyond the orbit of Saturn. And He merely spoke it into existence.

Prayer isn’t just an empty box on your morning checklist. Every day you get to speak to the One who created and is sustaining a universe that makes you look like less than a grain of sand in comparison.

But now think about this:
The same God who knows the names of every star knows your name.
The same God who is holding the universe in the expanse of His hands is holding you in His hands.

God is infinite, but He is also intimate. Prayer isn’t just lofting up requests to a distant God with little chance of Him responding. Every day you get to have face time and collaborate with the Creator of the universe.

That’s why Psalm 5:3 says that you can wait in expectation when you pray. You should actually expect God to respond to your prayers. When I’m expecting something my mind is preoccupied with it. My schedule is arranged accordingly. I’m actually anticipating it to happen. Prayer isn’t just having a little five-minute conversation in the morning and then going about your day. Prayer sets the agenda for your day.

God expects you to expect Him to be able to answer your requests. But He also expects you to expect Him to want to answer your requests.

You might be as small as a grain of sand, but you have a privilege no star or galaxy will ever have. Take advantage of it today. Lay your requests before God. And wait in expectation.

Working with your “weaknesses”

We all have them.

They can paralyze us if we let them.

They can make us believe something is true….when it’s only our fear to confront a weakness that is to blame.  (I can’t do this…….  I’m no good at this…. etc.)

I have many.  One of mine which is probably a common one is the fear of speaking in front of a large group. Ironically, I do this quite often.  Is it easy?  That would be a big NO.  I do several things that help me do this DESPITE the fact that it’s hard.  I talk about it … yes, even as part of the speech…. it seems to help difuse some of the nerves.  I script my remarks (and edit incessantly).  I sometimes talk about scripting everything carefully….. “that way, if I faint, don’t panic.  Just dust me off and stand me up and I can continue where I was, thanks to my script!”

Anyway, I read this article today and thought it was a good one.

What is one of your “weaknesses”?  Leave me a comment.   Come on, confession is good for the soul … and will help you face that weakness!





1. Just stop doing it

Some things that we think we need to be doing might not be necessary at all. Originally they may have been, but circumstances and needs have changed — and our thinking just hasn’t caught up yet.

So for some things, ask “do I need to be doing this at all?” And if in doubt, maybe stop doing it for a while and see what happens.
2. Partner up

As Buckingham puts it, “seek out someone who is strengthened by the very thing that weakens you.”

The power of partnering should not be under estimated. In one of his other books, Buckingham points to Bill Gates as  example and points out that “Bill Gates’s true genius, the genius that differentiates him from the masses, lies in his ability to find just the right partner at just the right time.”

In response to those who would say “of course he can find the right partners; he’s Bill Gates,” Buckingham responds: “The causal arrow actually goes the other way. He is ‘Bill Gates’ in part because he had a genius for finding the right partners.” “Whatever your assessment of Gates, when faced with a role that repeatedly calls upon your weaknesses, you would do well to remember that effective partnering is the quiet secret of the successful.”
3. Sharpen your strengths to make your weaknesses irrelevant

This means becoming so effective in your areas of strength that your weaknesses are overwhelmed; they become a non-issue.

He gives Tom Brady as an example here. He writes:

Brady holds the ball very tightly, which makes his passes exceptionally accurate, but it also prevents him from throwing the ball as far as other quarterbacks like John Elway, Brett Favre, or Brady’s predecessor at New England, Drew Bledsoe. Rather than try to transform him into someone he wasn’t, his coaches built their game plan around a series of short passing plays that would demand, and capitalize on, Brady’s awesome accuracy. When he took over from Bledsoe as the Patriots starting quarterback, Brady threw a record 162 passes in a row without an interception.

4. Look at your weakness through one of your strengths

This means finding a way to use your strengths to do the activity that weakens you.

Buckingham gives Rudy Giuliani as one example here. As an attorney, Giuliani was very effective at arguing his cases in court. But when he became mayor of New York, he struggled giving speeches to a roomful of people behind a lectern.

He worked at it and hired a speech coach, but still struggled. Then his coach said to him: “You love arguing. So turn every speech into an argument. Come out from behind the lectern, leave your notes behind, take questions from the crowd, and then walk around where everyone can see you and make your case.”

As Buckingham points out, this worked perfectly and has been Giuliani’s style ever since. “He comes across as comfortable, powerful, authoritative; exactly what a leader should be. He took his weakness — public speaking. He looked at it from the perspective of his strength — arguing. And he neutralized it.”

Buckingham adds:

“And oh, by the way, he has also gradually become better and better at doing regular public speaking. You’ll find this too. You’ll find that when you fall back on one of your strengths, it has a side effect of helping you with your weakness.

5. Suck it up and do it

Sometimes, obviously, this is just what you have to do.

But don’t go here too fast. That’s the mistake most people make — and thus they short circuit better approaches that will make them more effective for everyone.

So treat this as a last resort, and seek to minimize the time you have to spend here so that most of your time can be spent on your strengths.