Tag: bob shank

  • Foolishness is at an all-time high…

    Confession: some might call me a conference junkie (Google: 4.1 million results). I’ve always eaten my fill at church… but, from my early days, I’ve found myself hungry for more. Meat and potatoes are the mainline menu for most congregations; to expand your pallet and discover some of the rich – but, still nutritious – […]

  • The most important question you’ll ever answer to Jesus

    Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” That’s an incredible question – wrapped around an offer – that would be amazing coming from anyone; it’s even more astounding when it’s posed by Jesus. How would you reply? It happens twice, recorded back-to-back in Mark 10; each offers a weighty insight about […]

  • What are you building?

    “What did you do on your summer vacation”? In a bygone era, that question was a predictable “pop quiz” for the first day of school. Designed to get the cobwebs out of the students’ cursive grips, it challenged kids to put 10 weeks into 300 words. Today is “back to school” day, for me; my […]

  • Your plan or His plan?

    For the Jews – about 3330 years ago – God performed a miracle that showed his power and would forever define their family and mark His plan. It was Passover and Jews mark that divine intervention each year. For the Shanks – 25 years ago – God performed a miracle that showed his power and […]

  • Soil that bears fruit – He’s finished… but we’re not

    It’s what Jesus said to his Twelve Apostles – at the Last Supper, in the Upper Room – but his charge to them became his charge to us, through the centuries: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will […]

  • Is it a Wonderful Life? You decide.

    This month, millions of wonderful people will watch George Bailey – alone, on the bridge – as he looks back and wonders if his decision about his life’s direction was wrong and not wonderful. He’s only 38, but he’s given the best years of his life to the people of Bedford Falls as he operated […]

  • What would you grab before you go?

    It was just another crazy week… once I grabbed my travel bag. I boarded my flight in Orange County – my local airport – last Monday morning, headed to Minneapolis, through Dallas. Tuesday morning was an introductory briefing for the new cohort for The Master’s Program in the Twin Cities, and – beginning Tuesday evening […]

  • The shooter’s motive was…

    Motive. Why? The investigations in Las Vegas have moved past the what and how questions surrounding Stephen Craig Paddock’s attack on the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. It’s been seven days, but no manifesto or suicide note has emerged. Social media postings are – apparently – non-existent. A secret circle […]

  • Horrific. Yet you have the Ultimate Solution.

    Horrific. There are no words to describe the scene last night. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is a marketing offer; it has no enforceability this morning. What happened when Stephen Paddock – at this point, known only as an apartment manager in a retirement community in Mesquite, Nevada – unleashed hell on the […]

  •  Will Millennials “Get it?”

    “I know stuff Millennials don’t know. I do stuff Millennials don’t do. I do it because I see things differently than Millennials, and it’s my job to help other people know what I know, do what I do, and think the way I think…” Those are Paul’s thoughts, summarizing his written comments to the believers […]

  • Dealing with the deluge…rainfall

    “On that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights…” (Genesis 7:11-12) That’s the way it feels today in south Texas. Folks in/around Houston are dealing with epic weather conditions. Records abound: rivers cresting […]

  • On your horizon: regrets, or riches

    May 1, 2017 This message was written on a Mac by Apple. I don’t know where you are today, but I hope you’re not inside the infamous “Beltway,” hard at work on the national legislative agenda. A tax overhaul has been announced by the new administration that eliminates some categories and lowers rates in others. […]

  • Don’t buy the tombstone yet…

    April 24, 2017 Is truth dead? Time magazine sparked a cultural furor when – in April, 1966 – the cover posed the stark question, “Is God Dead?” The erosion of faith in America was the real story; God was not dead, but the relationship of Americans with him had been deeply eroded. It’s been 51 […]

  • Just another Monday (after Easter)?

    April 17, 2017 Easter. What a week! Imagine a dozen men – in the prime years of their adult lives – who had set their schedules and strategies aside under the powerful influence of a charismatic carpenter. With no backing or fanfare, he had come across their path and invited them to join him in […]

  • Insiders only

    April 10, 2017 Insiders: most people write checks/slide plastic/flash Apple Pay as consumers. Self-focused spenders want to “get what they paid for;” that’s the highest level of evaluation for the money they release from their grip. Not you: you’ve graduated from the spending-only demographic, as you elevate more of your cash flow from spending to […]

  • Don’t move to Norway until you go to Brooklyn

    Today’s your day, especially if you are near Brooklyn. It may not be on your calendar, but it’s on the Big One. Today – March 20, 2017, is World Happiness Day. Created by the United Nations, this is the sixth annual presentation of their World Happiness Report. How would one go about researching such a […]

  • Are you a casualty of the Space Program?

    March 13, 2017 We’re suffering the effects of the original Space Program. In May of 1961, President John F. Kennedy delivered a request to Congress for $9 billion over five years for one of what he called urgent national needs: the goal of putting a man on the moon – and bringing him back safely […]

  • Pry the baton from our cold dead hands…

    March 6, 2017 Jesus was a Millennial. William Strauss and Neil Howe took sociocultural anthropology to the broad market with their first/signature book together, Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069. From political campaigns to marketing initiatives, their description of four recurring generational types – and the likelihood of predictable mass behavior in […]

  • It ain’t over until after it’s over

    February 27, 2017 Blame the accountants. What a royal blunder: “And the Academy Award for Best Picture goes to… La La Land.” Oops; no, not really. What? Jordan Horowitz, one of the producers of La La Land, corrected Warren Beatty: “There’s a mistake; Moonlight: you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke…” Give […]

  • I know mine; do you know yours?

    February 13, 2017 When the story of the 2010s is added to American history, it may be said that it was a decade in which the Cold War was no longer waged between nations, but – instead – between worldviews. A worldview isthe framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and […]

  • We already know the winner…

    January 30, 2017 I don’t know what your plans are for next weekend, but you’d better get to the grocery store if you need any of the essentials. Avocados, six packs of your favorite whatever, chips of every nature and type – you know, the basic food groups – will be wiped-out by Saturday. Anything […]

  • Friday is big; here’s something bigger

    January 23, 2017 If your office was “open” last Friday, it’s likely that the productivity meter was barely registering. For hundreds of thousands of people, they were “live” in Washington; for others, they were there – virtually – on a variety of digital devices. Others were loading their protest magazines with antagonist ammunition, getting geared-up […]

  • Chasing Dollars, or Dreams?

    January 16, 2017 “I have a dream…” He wasn’t the first to say those words, but they are forever attached to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today is his 89th Birthday. His dream outlived him; that’s not unusual, for leaders. A bullet ended his earthly life at 39, but the bullet-points of his dream are […]

  • What would “rich” look like, for you?

    January 9, 2017 Is this the year to get rich… or, to live richly? The markets have caught some tailwind as ’16 ended and ’17 began; anticipation seems to be running high. If this is a season for economic achievement, what will it mean, to you? You might not have your plans clarified the way […]

  • Time is Running Out

    December 26, 2016 The hourglass of 2016 is running out of sand. It doesn’t get any better than 2016: Christmas and New Years are on Sundays, so folks can do their holiday thing with other people on the weekends, reserving the week between for pure, unadulterated self-interest, for most people. Proof: send the drone you […]

  • Have you been called to 5th Avenue?

    December 13, 2016 Something is going on. If you’ve ever been to New York City in December – whether for business or pleasure – you have some understanding of that iconic island at this time of year. The magnetic center of Manhattan during the Christmas season is Rockefeller Center. There’s a Christmas tree outside the […]

  • Don’t be caught by surprise

    December 5, 2016 “A date which will live in infamy.” Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack on the naval installation at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese navy and the 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft, launched from six aircraft carriers. At 7:48am, the attack began, with two waves of airborne destruction raining down on […]

  • New Holiday Schedule Announced

    November 28, 2016 You’re in a veritable vortex; can you feel it? It’s a calendar constellation that has developed its own gravitational forces, putting people into motion in a variety of ways. It started last week, with Thanksgiving. There were 47 million folks traveling more than 50 miles to sit down around a table for […]

  • On Thursday, show ’em how it’s done

    November 21, 2016 Get busy; you don’t have much time… Lots to do this week. At the office, you’ve got to pull a rabbit out of the hat. It’s the annual holiday magic: get five days of work done in three, so you can duck-out on Wednesday around noon, to beat the travel rush. At […]

  • Be Careful When You Pick a Fight

    November 11, 2016 Life happens; art remembers life. Man is unique among God’s creation. When people experience profound things, their memories are often complemented by creativity, to capture and retain the importance of the moment. Paintings, sculptures and statues, plays and performances, music: the varieties of expression allow the significant exceptions to the daily routine […]