What To Do When Stuff Doesn’t Work Out

It is easy to stay motivated when everything is going well, but what happens when setbacks occur? What happens when your “well thought out” plans don’t work out, or your world get turned upside down by events beyond your control, what do you do?

You can cry.

You can crawl into a hole.

You can give up.

Or you can try again.


Napoleon Hill once said:

One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.

Life Lessons From America’s Hottest TV Show – Scandal

Scandal + Facebook is equal to The Wells in Jesus’ day…the place where everyone gathered to catch up on what’s happening.  Since Jesus met the woman at the well, I’m following his cue.  Last week, I decided to have some fun & teach life lessons during Scandal’s return.  What began as a joke, turn into something special.


Here’s my first installment of Life’s Lesson’s from Scandal:

  1. Scandalous Lesson #1: Power is a lot like real estate. It’s all about location, location, location. The closer you are to the source, the higher your property value.
  2. Scandalous Lesson #2: Friends make the worst enemies. Ask Vice President Sally…Fitz would’ve saw that coming if he wasn’t slobbing Olivia down.
  3. Scandalous Lesson #3: Love makes you do crazy things. I’m pretty good at this 😀
  4. Scandalous Lesson #4: There are two kinds of pain. The sort of pain that makes you strong. Or, the sort of pain that’s causes suffering….Olivia’s dad is wallowing in the latter.
  5. Scandalous Lesson #5: Here’s what Olivia’s dad was really saying: After all, we are nothing more or less than what we choose to allow others to reduce us to. Also, when the horse is dead (Pres. Fitz); dismount & move on.
  6. Scandalous Lesson #6: The story of Quinn teaches what happens when you’re gifted, but not wise. You can be the smartest in the room & have no clue how to apply what you know. That takes wisdom.
  7. Scandalous Lesson #7: Everyone needs a Huck in their lives…that crazy/genius person who’ll knock down ANYTHING & ANYONE who tries to harm you. Like Jesus, everyone needs a Peter in their circle.
  8. Scandalous Lesson #8: Here’s what Millie was really saying: “After they’re finished playing, they almost always come back home.”
  9. Scandalous Lesson #9: Olivia & Fitz please read Jeremiah 17:9; 29:11. The head has to legislate the heart because it has the ability to lead us down wrong paths. The heart blinds to what we MUST do…not what we WANT to do.
  10. Scandalous Lesson #10: Pastors must not insulate or isolate themselves from culture.

We must engage in culture. Jesus would do that. We must meet people where they are & help them discover their path to an abundant life. That’s why I’m watching #Scandal

Greatest Sermon Ever Preached – That's My King!!!

As a preacher’s kid (P.K) & pastor, I’ve heard many great messages throughout my lifetime. Some messages were quick cures for insomnia while others made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Dr. S.M. Lockridge preached a sermon 25 years ago that rocked my world!

That’s My King from Dustin Bankord on Vimeo.

Dr. Shadrach Meshach (S.M.) Lockridge (March 7, 1913 – April 4, 2000) was the Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, a prominent African-American congregation located in San Diego, CA.

Character: The Foundation of Leadership

King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived provides an excellent jumping off point for developing the character qualities essential to good leadership.  Leaders cultivate character by acquiring wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 2:1-11).  Of course, those possessions don’t come without a price.  They require the kind of dedicated and patient labor exercised in raising godly children.  Leaders must diligently “search” for the wisdom that is buried within God’s Word like diamonds covered by layers of earth and rock.


How leaders deal with the circumstances of life reveals much about their character.



Consequently, that means using the right tools and exercising patience and diligence as we spend time immersed within this life-changing book.  The writer uses words that call his readers to energetic and passionate action.  Take a moment to reread verses 1-4 and note the quality of effort Solomon is talking about here.

As we dig, we must ask God to provide us with insight and understanding.  Ultimately, only God can open our eyes to see spiritual truth and then enable us to apply that truth to our lives (see Ephesians 1:18).  As God fills our minds with wisdom, our character will develop so that we’ll possess the ability to consistently make right choices – choices that are just, fair, and moral.

As we seek to possess God’s wisdom we’ll be able to move beyond simply expressing the vision and values of a leader.  We’ll possess the kind of character which lofty visions and values flow.  Our character will be truly godly, so that others will delight in following us.


1. Character is more than TALK.

Anyone can say they have integrity, but action is the real indicator of character. Your character determines who you are and determines what you see.

2. Talent is a Gift, but Character is a CHOICE.

We don’t get to choose our parents, circumstances of our birth and upbringing, But we do choose our character.

3. Character brings with LASTING SUCCESS with people.

True leadership involves others and people do not trust leaders whose character they know to be flawed.

4. Leaders cannot rise above the LIMITATIONS of their character.

Steven Berglas, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author of The Success Syndrome, says that people who achieve great heights but lack the bedrock of character to sustain them through the stress are headed for disaster.

He believes they are destined for one or more of the four A’s: ARROGANCE ALONENESS ADVENTURE-SEEKING (IN A DESTRUCTIVE WAY), OR ADULTERY.



4th Dumbest Mistake…

4. DELEGATING TASKS INSTEAD OF RESPONSIBILITY.  In my humble opinion, the most overused and overrated buzzword in
ministry today is “excellence.” As a pastor
of a thriving urban church, I am committed to excellence in my life and the
life of Mars Hill.


Because of my commitment to excellence, I can become obsessed about every
detail.  I’ve noticed how I’ve made my expectations clear to our team and now they tend to obsess about every detail. However, it
didn’t take long for the team to realize that their interpretation of
excellence might not be the same as mine. Consequently, the team began to bring every decision about every detail
to me, their leader. They didn’t want to run the risk that they might not “get
it right.”  Over time, I found myself in a challenging predicament. I became overwhelmed
because I had to touch everything. Furthermore, what’s frustrating is how I
became responsible for generating every new idea.

"If you try to control things, that’s self-limiting,” said Michael
Dell, chief executive officer of Dell. “The easiest way to think about this is
that if all the decisions inside an organization had to roll up to the center
of the company or to one person, it’s a massive bottleneck to progress.” (Check
out the
rest of the interview

In the end, I learned that sometimes values collide.  My commitment to excellence wasn’t the
problem. Control was the problem.  My obsession
with getting it right became a roadblock to progress.  I discovered the need to empower the team with
broad responsibilities to fulfill Mars Hill’s mission while still holding them
accountable to the overall vision and values.  I needed to let the team take risks…and
sometimes fail.