Archive for August, 2006

Getcha Some

If you are even slightly interested in checking out the original language of the bible, you have to check this out:

Mark Driscoll mentioned this site on his VodCast.  Apparently this guy goes to Mars Hill and has himself some free time.  Enough in fact to make this wonderful site that gives you the Greek text / the root / and parses each word.  It’s amazing.


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Food Network Musings

Guilty Pleasure Alert: I love the food network.  I watch it almost every day.  Erin and I have a ritual of sorts: I come home, eat a sandwich, and then we sit down to Everyday Italian.  When Essence of Emeril comes on, I know it’s time to go back to work.
As I was watching today, I wondered what happens to all of the food that gets made on the food network.  20+ shows a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year comes out to 7,280 shows.  Taking out 25% of those shows as re-runs comes to 5,460 shows.  Over 5,000 meals are prepared for basically no-one every year.  I wonder what is done with that food.  Does the crew eat it?  If so, I wonder how hard technicians work to get on the show where they enjoy the food.  I would never want to be on Barefoot Contessa, but I would be elated to be on Bobby Flay’s show(s).
I haven’t posted in a long time, and this is the best I can do???  I really do have a point, stick with me…
The reason I was thinking about the food, is because I have been feeling a bit like the chefs on the food network.  I have been using so much mental energy lately, and it feels like it hasn’t really been for anyone’s benefit.  I’ve been caught up in things at church, things I’ve read, things I’ve heard, and things I need to do.  It seems like I’ve been spending so much time just thinking, but not in a normal productive way.  I’ve been cooking for no one.  Seems like it’s about time to start doing something rather than just thinking about doing something.

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Leadership Summit Finale

Today’s sessions were good.  Cordeiro and Hybels were inspiring, but I didn’t walk away feeling like my mind had been stretched as far as the previous two days.  They reinforced some ideas that are always lurking and that made today a good day.

Final Thoughts of Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2006:

1. Strategic Living! Life is about to get somewhat-structured.  Not because it’s the only way to live, but it is the way I need to live.  I am going to try and live intentionally and with a strategy and plan and vision as opposed to living from one day to the next.  God has been opening my eyes to his vision for Athens, Texas.  I have gotten a glimpse…I want more.

2. Strategic Giving! Bono’s discussion on AIDS was a spark.  I think the key to the issue is figuring out a meaningful way for people to help.  I’ve said it a few times in conversation: I don’t think the question is "Will people serve?"  I think it’s going to be "How can we get all of these people significantly involved?"

3. Strategic Growth! I don’t mean growing the student ministry or the church.  I have got to be intentional about my growth as a follower of Christ and a leader.  The mission is too important for the wrong people to be invovled.  I don’t want to be the wrong person.

4. Strategic Explanation! How do I condense all of the learning I’ve done in the last few months into something tangible for leaders around me?  How do I help them catch the vision?

Lob your potshots.  Think I’m crazy.  Think I’m brilliant, whatever.  I don’t really know what I am except this: I am fired-up and excited!  The Summit has given me renewed passion and caused me to think harder than I have in a long time….peace.

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Leadership Summit Part Deux

Another solid day of training.  Here’s the highlights…

Ashish Nanda talked about satisfaction verses people’s experience & expectations.  He graphed it and showed that when people have a small decrease in their experience, it can significantly decrease their satisfaction.  But when people’s experience moves in a positive direction, it does not have the same drastic effect on satisfaction.  As people have more positive experiences, they may only be slightly more satisfied.  The point: It is important to provide consistently positive experiences as opposed to nailing it one week and screwing it up the next.

I was destroyed when I heard Jim Collins say that our mission is too important to entrust it to the wrong people.  It’s not that I’m keen on firing anyone, I just needed to hear that.

We have to do something about AIDS (and by "WE" I mean anyone who ever reads this).  Non-action is a non-option.

Thinking in short term (3-12 mo) goals is my new resolution.  I’m not abandoning big picture stuff, but I am sold on the importance of goals that can be reached or not reached in shorter periods of time.  Also, "the enemy of the perfect is not the enemy of the good."  I think that’s what Lencioni said.  And I think that means that I don’t need to have everything figured out before I get started.  That sometimes it’s better to get busy doing instead of planning something to death.

It hit me on the way home that I have absorbed more leadership training in the past 8 months than I had in 23 previous years.  I don’t know if I’m any better, but I am definitely beginning to synthesize some strategies and ideas.

One more day, and I’m a certified leader, woo hoo….peace.

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Leadership Summit Day 1

Here are my reflections on the Summit today:

Passion with no skill is better than skill with no passion.  Nothing trumps a heart passionate about pursuing the will of God.

It is imperative for me to have the faith that God can grow the student ministry / church.  If I don’t, then I shouldn’t be surprised when it doesn’t grow.

I should love my family (Ephesians 5:25).  God will build the church (Matthew 16:18).  Side note: Jesus is making a prophecy in Matthew 16 that one day people will gather together in his name.  I think I always knew that was a prophecy, but it never clicked that I am helping to fulfill a promise that Jesus made a long time ago.

I am a machine-gun-listener.  My wife is a storyteller.  We are a cross-quadrant couple.  All that to say that I need to hone my listening skills especailly when I am communicating with people who listen and speak differently than I do.

This wasn’t said today, but it seemed to be an underlying thought.  The best thing I can do is passionately pursue who God has called me to be.  Everything else flows from that.

Day 2 tomorrow…peace.

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But I Like Ice Cream!

I have spent the better part of 2 hours reading blogs and articles on the internet.  I don’t know why, but I am drawn to the musings and ramblings of crazy people who write the way my Senior English professor taught.  No one really cares about what they’re saying, but they ramble on like the world hinges on every last syllable.
All that to say that I am so upset right now.  And to make matters worse, I am unable to put my finger on exactly what is making me upset.  It goes like this: Imagine that I like Vanilla Ice Cream.  But then I start reading statement after statement attacking both Vanilla Ice Cream and everyone who enjoys it’s tasty-goodness.  And it’s not just their opinion, they back up their hatred of all things V.I.C. with references from Scripture and fellow authors who also condone V.I.C. disapproval.  I am not mandating a strict Vanilla Ice Cream diet for anyone, but I also don’t believe that Vanilla Ice Cream is the evil that it’s being portrayed as.
The analogy starts to break down, but here’s what I’m saying: Why is it that some people’s lives are wrapped up in tearing things down as opposed to building things up?  Why do some people find worth in stripping others of their worth?  Why do people only know the Bible as a Sword of destruction as opposed to the Living and Active Word From God?  And finally, why do I keep reading this junk?


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The Launch of Something New

Fall is just around the corner.  School starts for the A-Town homies in 11 days.  I can practically smell the HS / College / NFL football that is looming in the distance.  Cooler weather (hopefully) is on the way.

I believe that fall is my favorite season.  This fall will be no exception.  New things are coming.  Keep your eyes open.


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