The problem of fatherlessness is not new but it is dangerously increasing to an epidemic level. Pornography and sexual promiscuity has programmed young men into baby makers but little or no education on being a father. Boys as young as eight are being introduced to pornography through internet searches and phone apps.

When it comes to fatherlessness the statistics are staggering:
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (U.S. Dept. of Health).
85% of all children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Center for Disease Control).
According to the Texas Department of Corrections, a whopping 85% of youths in prison come from a fatherless home.

And that is just the beginning. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said 71% of pregnant fathers were from a fatherless home.
These statistics tragically translate into 24 million homes with children are without their biological father. That’s one out of three homes in America.

When I have spoken to men’s groups across the country, including police departments, I have found most men feel powerless, worthless, incapable and further, feel they are not effective in the family. However, a dad who spends prime time with their children has shown an extreme benefit and amazing influence on the lives of their family.

When men gather they always ask three major questions:
• How can my family become financially secure?
• How can I make my wife happy?
• And, how can I be a good Father?
God brings life and healing to the home when a Father turns his heart towards his children. Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. The curse has been smitten: rapes, imprisonment, drugs, and suicides. But we can change the moral climate of our community by father’s turning their heart towards their children. I dream when there will no longer be a generation of children trying to live a balanced life without a father.


Here are three things a father needs to know today.

THERE ARE NO PERFECT FATHERS – start where you are today. Be willing to admit to your child your mistakes, even to the point of asking for forgiveness for past failures. Admit you have not spent enough personal time with them. You can’t compare one child to another – they each have their separate personality and gifts, allow them to be themselves.

THERE A NO FATHERS WHO KNOW EVERYTHING – allow your children to make mistakes. Let your children know you are their greatest fan. Coach them in their particular gift. A father doesn’t have all the answers but is learning how to be a father while their children are growing up. Embrace their personality rather than resist it and try to change it – it will only pull them further away.

THERE ARE NO FATHERS WHO HAVEN’T FAILED – while my children were still young and I was pastoring a church with growing pressures upon my shoulders I angrily took it out on my children. They sensed my frustration and lack of understanding, then a horrible realization came to me, my children were getting on my nerves instead of being in my heart. I humbly confessed before God, it wasn’t my children had gotten increasingly worse but I had become increasingly frustrated with the ample stress of my ministry. I had failed.
I wrapped both children in my arms, looked them in the eyes and confessed my failure and my frustrations, I cried. They hugged me and forgave me. I hated that moment so much that I committed to God to not allow myself to get into that position again. I knelt and prayed, “God, help me to be a good father to my children.”
Fathers, you have what it takes. Now do it.

Some information derived from TheFatherlessGeneration.wordpress.com, Fathers.com and FocusontheFamily.com

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission of the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or professional advice.



“Every time I scroll through Facebook, I see an acquaintance bragging about their dynamic spiritual life, perfectly obedient children, and vibrant career. I want that for my life, but I seriously don’t know where they find the time.” (echurch quote)
Facebook has become the idol of many. Facebook is the connection tool from February 4, 2004, created by two Harvard University students to keep the classmates in touch with profiles, posts and pictures. Now some 2 billion people use Facebook, some checking Facebook multiple times per day. Mobile FB has made it easy for users to check their status or their friend’s status many times throughout the day sometimes creating an addiction to “likes” and “shares”.

The problem is, while we connect with others we have found ourselves drowning in a pool of information, an addiction to “being in the loop” and a host of other philosophical dilemmas. Facebook addiction is common and there is even a Facebook Addiction Test online. (Now I know you are secretly going to see how you score on it – aren’t you?).
Maybe it is time for a Facebook fast. Occasionally I will read someone post, “I’m going to be off Facebook for a while.” Or, another will dramatically comment, “I can’t take the drama anymore – getting off FB.”

A Facebook fast is when a time is set aside away from Facebook for vacation, renwed focus or a fresh mental picture of life. Maybe it is time to take a Facebook Fast, let’s look at the next few reasons why a person would want to take a season of time to withdraw from Facebook.

FOCUS ON INVESTING IN INSPIRATION From Facebook to face look. Honestly, we could spend more time in prayer, Bible reading, and reflection, if we prayed to the proportionate amount of time we have been spending on FB we could settle into  peaceful and fulfilling spiritual refreshment.

CREATE REAL RELATIONSHIPS Instead of having platonic relationships via the computer, step into the real world and strengthen a relationship that is waning or fractured. Invite someone to have a cup of coffee or get together with another couple for lunch.

One of the major, hidden mental and emotional dangers of FB is to compare my life with my FB friends. Examine the list below and evaluate how many times we have compared ourselves to someone’s post.

WOW! Look where they went on vacation
My friend’s marriage is more romantic than mine
There children are so much better behaved
They have the dream life – my life is so ordinary
My friends just got a new car – we are still driving a “Junker”
How come they get to do that?
They must have a lot of money

“LIKES” AND “SHARES” DON”T DETERMINE YOUR SELF VALUE If we get minimal “likes” we have a bad day but if we get elevated “likes” it changes our mood and our emotions. There are people who really care for you but don’t express it openly on FB. Value is determined by who you are not a fabricated or perceived lifestyle on FB.

DEPRESSION ABATED Deep concern over our Facebook image can bring about bouts of depression. Finding ourselves with “nothing exciting to post” can bring us to a state of withdraw and intense loneliness. Connecting digitally while avoiding personal encounters can be damaging in our psychological and/or physical health. Taking a break and spending quality time with our family, friends or relatives can create healing bonds and emotional outlets. Having a week or month of not comparing weight, looks, opportunities, children, homes and other subjects could lead to a happier and more satisfying life.

FOCUS ON IMPORTANT ISSUES Is it just me or have you noticed how magnetized a person is to their phone, tablet or laptop while missing moments with their spouse, their children, their friends or other acquaintances? Several guests are having an important conversation and they are sitting in a corner sharing a comical post on FB. A FB fast may bring a renewed focus on what is important. Certainly we will have more time to devote to a hobby, family or other activities.

Let’s take a FB Break or a FB fast and give our emotions, mind and family a break. (Even though I’ll be participating in a FB Fast several posts may appear on FB through a Twitter post or with Buffer).Do you think a FB would help your family? What’s your thoughts about a FB Break?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal, counselling or professional advice.

A Different Kind of Book List

If you like reading then you may find yourself admiring the book list of bloggers, pastors, leaders and others who contribute. Often, you may find yourself grabbing one book off the list from Amazon, Christian Books, Barnes and Noble or any of the other myriads of booksellers available.
Life, work, family and ministry are ever changing and finding the right book for the right time is of utmost importance. However, most are lacking in a particular topic of interest. Going through my library it may be difficult to remember the content but remembering the episode of life around the book is clear.
Take for instance, being enrolled in Bible School with a full senior load, newly married and working a fulltime job was excruciatingly painful. My devotional time was nil, prayer was often a sleepy response at the end of the day and emotions were frayed. Someone handed me a book, Ordering Your Private World by Gordan MacDonald. My outside life rambled on in much of a chaotic state but my heart was full. While I may not remember all the content (I rereading it now) I do remember the experience in my life. Here is a compilation of my favorite books in topical preference leaning towards personal experience.

I must confess my discontentment with boredom. I want to do it all, experience it all and be it all but in all honesty, I can’t. The book, Ordering Your Private World by Gordon McDonald (as mentioned above), has helped be an anchor to discern between driven and the calling. I can’t always live with a bucket list mentality – it takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of energy and it takes a lot of money, Yes, I have scratched numerous things off my bucket list but Ordering Your Private World has helped maintain sanity and focus. Worthy of mentioning also is, Today Matters by John C. Maxwell.

Two quotes have arrested my attention, “The mind is an awful thing to waste” and “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” Purpose to think right, think well and fill up your mind appropriately. There are two book that have been essential in the area of clear and proper thinking, The Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Myers and Thinking for a Change by John C. Maxwell. One book, that I wholeheartedly recommend, is the classic, Guarding Your Heart by Dr. Gary Rosberg.

Passion must be rekindled and the books are numerous but I have narrowed it down to a few of my favorites but anything by Leonard Ravenhill is worth reading and taking into the prayer closet with you. John Bevere has two books that moved me closer to God, Drawing Near, The Fear of the Lord and A Heart Ablaze. Dr. Bruce Wilkinson’s book, 30 Days to Experiencing Spiritual Breakthrough is a must. I would certainly be amiss if I didn’t mention the classic A. W. Tozer and his works.

Just go into any bookstore and the shelves will be filled with church management, church leadership and books for pastors but there are only a few that stand out peering over the shelves. Anything by Thomas Rainer will be attractive but particularly the book that has been read and re-read and alluded to in my congregational messages has been the book by Charles Swindoll, The Church Awakening. A terrific book for pastors burdened by comparison, Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome, by Kent and Barbara Hughes, the title says it all. Last, but certainly not least, for leaders, a personal book for the inner life, The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzero.

While this list is far from complete it does provide a small list of books for the avid reader to check out for his or her self. However, there is one book, I must mention, which covers all of the above scenarios, The Holy Bible, and I wholeheartedly endorse its contents.

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal, counselling or professional advice.



When to Say NO

noThere is probably not a harder word to say with conviction than the word, “No!” For the motivated and vision driven leaders we have a tendency to lean on “more is better.” Busy is the key word in business – so we work harder, schedule tighter, press on more and push until exhausted. When we do say, “No,” it is usually with a bowed head and droopy eyes; as if we had just been informed someone had passed away. No is negative – is our perception but I would like to introduce you to the positive no; the positive way to say, “No” with conviction and tenacity. Should I be able to say, “No!” without guilt? We like to please people but by saying, “No” at the right time is to be able to live with a light in your eyes even though you have turned down a worthy request.

Here are several reasons why “NO” needs to be your next answer:

To Have The Freedom To Say “Yes” To The More Important. When you refuse the insignificant and choose the important, you have just made a mature and essential choice. You have freed up your time to dive headlong into your vision and to intensify your efforts towards your dream. Doing what someone else deems important keeps me from doing what I feel is important. Ask yourself this question, Does this lead me to my important goals I have set?

To Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Worry And Fear. More to do will bring on more stress – give yourself some breathing room. Over committed translates underachieved. Set your focus around the necessary instead of the weighty. Ask yourself this question, Does this contribute to my stress or my delight?

  • Schedule your day, week and month with opportunities not jobs.
  • Set goals with liberty and room to reset the goal when necessary
  • Scratch items that can be delegated or dropped without repercussions

To Have More Thinking Time The ability to think is having a vacation in the mind. Writers, authors, speakers, leaders and pastors need time to think – creativity flows into spontaneous delivery. A short trip to the coffee shop, a walk in the park, or time with the family can have an amazing flow of energy and excitement back into the heart of the artist. Sometimes simply changing location will broaden your horizon. Ask yourself this question, Does this add to my life or subtract from my time?

To Enjoy Life Schedule time off, relax and enjoy moments of inactivity. This is one of my greatest difficulties is doing nothing. I am not advocating laziness or slothfulness nor procrastination but rest, sleep, relaxation and a day off. While writing a particular chapter in my last book, Highpoints, I had come to a place where my mind just wasn’t as sharp. My words were scrambled more than my eggs were for breakfast. I put on my jogging outfit and went for a couple of miles, upon returning fresh words filled my mind and I finished the chapter with greater ease than before. Ask yourself this question, Does this bless me or mess with me?

To Follow My Dream When pursuing the ideas of others I forfeit the dreams in my heart. To accomplish what the vision within me I must say, “No!” to the distractions around me. Don’t feel guilty about saying, “No,” when you are fulfilling the dreams within you. Focus is the supreme key to productivity. Ask yourself this question, Does this take me into my dream?

Comment: When do you say, No”?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

Minimizing Criticism in Your Life

angerUsually life runs its normal course of activities from the normal, to the extreme of awesome or the other extreme of awful but when most of the drama is eliminated, life is pretty well normal. When you subtract the unfolding negatives and highlight the positives, life begins to bloom.

Life only runs normal for those who choose to fly under the radar. Now enter public life. Once you enter into the public arena, per SE, the glass house, then you become the target.

Criticism comes. Say anything, write something, risk everything, step forward, commit yourself or decide to try and the somebodies will say something about everything. But, if you wish, there is a way to avoid this criticism; never dream, never risk, never try or never dare.

The best way to avoid criticism is to do nothing significant – Carey Nieuwhof

For those who step out of the comfort zone and step into the next arena – avoiding criticism isn’t possible. You have a passion. A calling. A dream. You can’t hide under a rock to avoid the critics. Zig Ziglar quips, “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember ~ the only taste of success some people get is when they take a bite out of you.”  Why not keep going forward but step forward with a few cautions:

Criticism can be minimized by surrounding yourself with men of character. What you cannot do alone can be accomplished by the protection of qualified and noble people. Focus on seeking their counsel.

Criticism can be contained by exhibiting a heartfelt concern for others. Eliminate hard feelings. Focus on committing to value and honor all people regardless of their opinion.

Criticism can be overlooked by concentrating on the people who need what you are doing. Focus on the hurting instead of the hurtful.

Criticism can be helpful. You may need to put “eyes” on the project before it goes public.  Critics often have good insight but harsh and demeaning words. Separate the people from the problem – did they just say something I need to hear? Focus on listening to the right words not the wrong words.

Criticism can be ignored. Remember even Jesus was criticized for His message. Love them but leave them. Don’t devalue your vision based on the few. Focus on your dream.

Criticism can be temporary but it doesn’t have to be terminal. Critics come and go but the  ones who launch out are the leaders who make a difference. Focus on your journey.  

Comment: How do you handle criticism?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.

Are You Ready to be a Mentor?

1548_1548_5Do you feel a shift in your life? Are you ready to embark on an amazing and prolific life shining with inward joy?  Why not become a mentor? Is my life best invested as a mentor? Is my life more fulfilling when I influence someone for the best – to make a difference in their life – to dramatically and intentionally invest in growing and developing leaders?

School teachers, educators, pastors teach in whole with corporate bodies of learning yet the most fulfilling and most productive is when the lecture becomes connection, when the sermon becomes discipleship and the lesson becomes a life well lived. Being a mentor will bring untold results. If each person has purpose and a God-given plan – where do we start and dramatically important, will we finish well?


Mentor Moments

An interesting benefit of working at Google is the 20 percent time program, allowing its employees to use up to 20 percent of their work week to create/invent/research special projects. Google claims several ideas turned into projects as a result of the 20 percent time program.

John Maxwell introduced the Pareto Principle in his book, Developing the Leader Within You. The Pareto Principle states, “20% of your priorities will give you 80% of your production If you spend your time, energy, money and personnel on the top 20% of your priorities.” Of course, the first element of this process is to gather your priorities on a list, evaluate each item till you discover the top 20% then begin to put your time, energy and money into the top 20%.  John Maxwell added, 20% of our time produces 80% of the results.

Some Christians live on the 20% rule of giving; the tithe (10%) to church and pay yourself, by placing 10% into a savings account and living off the 80%.


What would happen if I invested 20% of my time into another

individual’s ministry, talents, abilities or gifts?


Life is better when we invest into another person’s life with time, energy and finances – to reenergize their spirit to become a writer, a speaker, an educator or a leader. A field sown in mentorship will yield an abundant and bountiful harvest. To be an influencer in the lives of others is the law of replication. We do more becuase we have more leverage.


Mentor Matters

A mentor must be wise in choosing the aspiring and growing student. Age, success or position is not a prerequisite but a passion for heights, a love for learning and a mind for more must be mandatory. Simply picking a once a week spot isn’t enough – we must be educational, spiritual and intentional. Every mentor must gauge his involvement, evaluate his progress and live for a reason. Sometimes mentoring is more of a volleyball game of communication – each of the participants adding to the volley of ideas. Not a brainstorming session as much as a heart to heart resource of new visions and dreams.

Discipleship and mentoring must include life lessons, heartfelt communication, insights and wisdom, people matters and leadership principles but this is not a conclusive list. To mentor one must first know the person being mentored and the subject of the mentoring. The WHO and the WHY must be answered immediately. A cookie cutter mentor cannot serve each individual correctly. We must carefully sow the correct seed in the right field.


Mentor Motives

Steadfastness  A mentor, above all, will be an example to steadiness. No awkward or quirky turns but consistent and concrete decisions. Mentors don’t bring their battles into the growth process. This is not an emotional relationship but a life lesson. There will be time for tears, time for transparency and time for “aha” moments but a life of character and Christ likeness becomes the best teacher.   

Significance  A mentor must be willing to impart his life, this is not a list of do’s and don’ts but a life well lived, bringing significance to the table, teaching and living brought together. For mentorship to move from one level to the next both mentor and student must grow. Selfishness is left behind; there is no room for it. The mentor pushes the learner out of comfort zones and into accomplishments.

Spirituality  Encouragement into a close relationship with God is the quest of both the mentor and the learner. Both must grow in God if they intend to grow in any other area. The mentor doesn’t push religion but exemplifies that “he walks with God.” Pride and subjection are not allowed in the process and counseling is not the purpose. Mentor both teaches and learns both ways. Honor is given and is reciprocal.  

Comment: There are a lot of things to be added to this list but what would you add to this list of being a mentor?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author. This post should not be construed as medical, legal or counseling advice.


Fasting from Social Media

For as long as I remember the first month of January has always been a time of personal reflection, goal setting, extended prayer and fasting. Fasting is defined as an abstinence of food but I have broadened the meaning, personally, to abstain from extra curricular activities, reading anything other than inspirational or spiritual content, and social media. Doing without these “daily” activities has been the highlight of the year. Even though the first few days of going without food, reading content and social media, is difficult, it has been extremely rewarding.

Before you quit reading, please, let me explain. Practicing the Daniel Fast for 21 days has been better for me physically and mentally. Daniel, in the Bible, ate only fruits and vegetables for 10 days. later, he entered into another fast continuing for 21 days. The 21 day fast consists of eating only fruit, vegetables and grains, especially abstaining from sugar, fat, and chemically induced foods.

Reading material consists of inspirational materials only, basically, not reading the news, (which usually I do every day). Starting a Bible reading plan has been fundamental and writing regularly in my prayer journal during these 21 days, has been paramount. A prayer journal has been a record of prayers, thoughts and ideas during the 21 days, however, writing occasionally through the year has been a regular practice also. Sometimes picking up a devotional book has been invigorating, pick up a copy of Highpoint Book, for your 21 day Daniel Fast.

Through the last ten years a 4 to 5 day stay in a cabin or condo has been the highlight of the 21 day Daniel fast. Staying alone writing, praying, jogging, thinking, goal setting, and prioritizing has been a true delight. Working harder with greater determination without a time of rest, reflection and relaxation only wearies the spirit and damages our thinking.

Abstaining from social media has been a retreat from blogging, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Checking email becomes less frequent. Sorry if I don’t acknowledge your birthday, update my status or send out a Tweet of something I just read but a 21 day break will enhance my social media later.  I have set some automatic Tweets and may send out some automatic blogs but my next written blog will be towards the end of January.

Why would anyone want to do so a grueling task? Before you count me as a legalist, I have no force, duty, work or command obligating me to this 21 day fast. Fasting for 21 days is a joy, a love, a complete step of “knowing what is best.” Many may start a diet, a budget, or “turn over a new leaf,” but for me starting the year off with a 21 day fast has a long list of benefits.

Focus is increased To see clear – clutter must be removed. While subtracting lesser elements from my life the important comes to the top. Priorities are maximized in my life.

Writing is clearer Clarity is grasped by every writer. Clarity is best when you have eaten right, prayed well, and removed less meaningful tasks from your schedule.

Prayer is richer You are no closer to God than when you pray. Prayer is intensified and enriched.

Bible reading is enlightening While not striving to be a scholar the love for the word of God has naturally increased during the 21 day Daniel fast. The Holy Bible is a mirror of who I am and a testimony to who Jesus really is.

Thinking is clear Just eating the right foods can clear your mind but withdrawing from the clutter of life can expand your vision. If you are trying to find the will of God, the purpose of God for your life or the reflection of God’s character in your life, the 21 day Daniel Fast may be for you.

Life becomes sweeter It isn’t because troubles go away but the courage to face them has been the reward of spending more time with God. Worries become dim, complaints don’t sting as much and steadiness abounds.

Time is fulfilling Finally feeling the benefits of a day well done is an outstanding reward of abstinence. Goals are achieved, time is invested rather than spent, the day finishes with contentment.

God’s presence is near Finding a closeness to God is the real reason behind the entire 21 days.

Comment: What would you add to this list of benefits?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author