Posted in Leadership

The Most Important Thing Everyday

I posted this quote below from George Muller on our bathroom wall this morning. No matter how long we follow Christ, this reminder will always be true.

 

“I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord.

 

The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord or how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man may be nourished.

 

I saw that the most important thing I had to do was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditation on it.”

Posted in Books, Leadership, The Word

Maybe We Aren’t Underdogs? -Malcom Gladwell

I was able to hear Malcom speak a few weeks ago and he blew us away with his insight on the Biblical account of David and Goliath. If you have 15 min. watch the video below, if not then here it is short summary from my notes.

Maybe David was not an underdog? He was well equipped; with his sling which he had practice using over and over. In those days, slingers in the military were a part of the artillery unit, just like the archers. A rock from a sling rotating and 6 revolutions per second is like a shot from a 45 caliber hand gun.

Everyone thought David would fight him in hand to hand combat, but David was too smart for that. While he was made to try on armor, he realized that their armor (expectations) didn’t fit him or he didn’t fit it.

Most importantly he had Faith in God.  David refused to be passive and is the only one who properly understands the situation.

We are not underdogs! We have had our behind the scene experience that have trained us.  We know our skills and we don’t have to fight like others expect us.  We have The Lord al mighty on our side!   The world doesn’t have a chance as we bring God love and grace to bear on those around us.


 

Posted in America, Culture, Friends & Family, Leadership

The Inner Ring- Our Desire to Belong

It starts out when we are young; our desire to fit in, to belong, to be accepted. I see it in my kids, or should I say I recognize it in my kids, for I have first seen it in myself. The truth is that even as we grow into adulthood, we still desire it. Maybe the inner ring is being in management at work. Maybe it’s a desire to fit in with a certain crowd at a social club or church. God created us with a desire to belong; primarily this is realized through connecting and belonging to “Our Father in Heaven.” And it is also legitimate to want to belong to the “Inner Circle”. It’s not the inner circle that inherently evil, it’s our wiliness not fully be ourselves in order to belong. Years ago C.S. Lewis delivered a lecture entitled, “The Inner Ring“, which he gave at King’s College, at the University of London, in 1944. In it he warns of the dangers of desiring to fit it. I encourage you to read the entire speech at the link above, but I have posted below the parts of the Inner Circle that really spoke to me.

That is my first reason. Of all the passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.

My second reason is this. The torture allotted to the Danaids in the classical underworld, that of attempting to fill sieves with water, is the symbol not of one vice, but of all vices. It is the very mark of a perverse desire that it seeks what is not to be had. The desire to be inside the invisible line illustrates this rule. As long as you are governed by that desire you will never get what you want. You are trying to peel an onion: if you succeed there will be nothing left. Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain.

This is surely very clear when you come to think of it. If you want to be made free of a certain circle for some wholesome reason—if, say, you want to join a musical society because you really like music—then there is a possibility of satisfaction. You may find yourself playing in a quartet and you may enjoy it. But if all you want is to be in the know, your pleasure will be short lived. The circle cannot have from within the charm it had from outside. By the very act of admitting you it has lost its magic.

Once the first novelty is worn off, the members of this circle will be no more interesting than your old friends. Why should they be? You were not looking for virtue or kindness or loyalty or humor or learning or wit or any of the things that can really be enjoyed. You merely wanted to be “in.” And that is a pleasure that cannot last. As soon as your new associates have been staled to you by custom, you will be looking for another Ring. The rainbow’s end will still be ahead of you. The old ring will now be only the drab background for your endeavor to enter the new one.

And you will always find them hard to enter, for a reason you very well know. You yourself, once you are in, want to make it hard for the next entrant, just as those who are already in made it hard for you. Naturally. In any wholesome group of people which holds together for a good purpose, the exclusions are in a sense accidental. Three or four people who are together for the sake of some piece of work exclude others because there is work only for so many or because the others can’t in fact do it. Your little musical group limits its numbers because the rooms they meet in are only so big. But your genuine Inner Ring exists for exclusion. There’d be no fun if there were no outsiders. The invisible line would have no meaning unless most people were on the wrong side of it. Exclusion is no accident; it is the essence.

The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it. But if you break it, a surprising result will follow. If in your working hours you make the work your end, you will presently find yourself all unawares inside the only circle in your profession that really matters. You will be one of the sound craftsmen, and other sound craftsmen will know it. This group of craftsmen will by no means coincide with the Inner Ring or the Important People or the People in the Know. It will not shape that professional policy or work up that professional influence which fights for the profession as a whole against the public: nor will it lead to those periodic scandals and crises which the Inner Ring produces. But it will do those things which that profession exists to do and will in the long run be responsible for all the respect which that profession in fact enjoys and which the speeches and advertisements cannot maintain.

And if in your spare time you consort simply with the people you like, you will again find that you have come unawares to a real inside: that you are indeed snug and safe at the centre of something which, seen from without, would look exactly like an Inner Ring. But the difference is that the secrecy is accidental, and its exclusiveness a by-product, and no one was led thither by the lure of the esoteric: for it is only four or five people who like one another meeting to do things that they like. This is friendship. Aristotle placed it among the virtues. It causes perhaps half of all the happiness in the world, and no Inner Ring can ever have it.

 

Posted in Bloggers, Books, Culture, Education, Homeschooling, Kids, Leadership, Parenting, Technology, Theology

Navigating New Technology and Spirituality (Tim Elmore)

Last week I was able to hear Dr. Tim Elmore give a talk entitled, “Marching Off the Map: A Compass to Help the Next Generation Navigate New Technology and Spirituality”. Last year, after reading his book, “Artificial Maturity” I started following him at his website www.growingleaders.com.

Below are the notes I took during his talk. If you have or work with young adults (teens through 30 year olds) I suggest you start reading the blog , books, and resources from Growing Leaders.

 

This is the first generation that

  • Doesn’t need adults to get information (They need us for interpretation)
    • They don’t need us to access it but to process
    • Helping our kids learn how to think not what to think
  • Can broadcast their every thought or emotion
  • Enjoys external stimuli at their fingertips 24/7
  • In social contact at all times yet often in isolation 
    • Extremely social but not relational
    • Most sleep with phones
    • Showering with a cell phone
    • Low Emotional Intelligence for kids and Adults
  • Will learn more form a portable device than a class
  • Adults have actually been enabled to be narcissistic
    • Every year Narcissism is going up in Students
    • People are into themselves – Selfy Pics
    • However, The real world is not about them
  • Uses a phone instead of a wristwatch, camera, wall calendar or board game.

     

Dr. Elmore refers to the Millennial generation as, Generation iY, because life is pretty much about “i” (Self Centered)

 

Generation iY S.C.E.N.E

  • Accustom to S- Speed: They Assume Slow is Bad
  • Accustom to C- Convenience: They Assume Hard is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entertainment: They Assume Boring is Bad
  • Accustom to N-Nurture: They Assume Risk is Bad
  • Accustom to E-Entitlement: They Assume Labor is Bad

 

So, How should we lead them?

 

1.  Don’t think Control, think Connect (Be authentic, Real)

        We must build bridges of relationships that can bear the weight of truth.

        Balance Screen time with face time. Every minute on device is a minute in person.

2.  Don’t think Inform, think Interpret (How think, not just what)

3.  Don’t think Entertain, think Equip. (Share why they need what we teach, before what)

        Churches are good at preaching, but not equipping.

4. Don’t think “Do It for Them”, think “Help Them Do It.”

        Let them fail (They took the monkey bars off playgrounds becuase we didn’t want them to get hurt now in their 20s they won’t take risk.)

5.  Don’t think Impose, think Expose. (Expose beats Impose every time)

6.  Don’t think Protect, think Prepare.

       Unbelievable, some school district no longer use Fs , the lowest is D is “Delayed Success”! Graces does not take away truth.

7. Don’t think Tell, Think Ask (Learn to ask good questions)

8.  Don’t think Cool, think Real. (To these kids the only thing that is worse than being uncool, is being unreal)

9.  Don’t thin Prescriptive, think Descriptive

10. Don’t Lecture, think Lab. (Missional experience: Serving Others)

 

Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting other notes from this conference (Catalyst 2013) I recently attended.

Posted in Church, Leadership, Prayer, Theology

Don’t Pretend When You Pray

We’re studying Prayer Does it make any Difference on Sunday mornings (check out www.lifechange4us.org). One of Philip Yancey’s quotes from the book reads, “In prayer we should lay before God what is in us, not what out to be in us.” In other words when we pray we shouldn’t pretend to be righteous and that all is well in our world. When you read the Psalms you find people that are ticket off, stressed out, scared to death, lonely, tired, searching, and broken. From these people you never hear shallow prayers. Jesus informed us that God knows what we need before we even ask (Matthew 6:8). Therefore, ” Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Heb 4:16 (NIV) God wants the real us, not someone we’re pretending to be.

Posted in Bloggers, Books, Leadership, Technology

The Straight and Narrow

When I was learning to write in school, my teachers made me put the little triangular grip on the end of my penciled to train me to hold it correctly. It never really worked. I have always held a pencil or pen awkwardly and my penmanship reflects it. But God knew that the digital age was coming and I wouldn’t have to be encumbered with old fashion hand writing. While I don’t write nearly as much as I type, I do highlight most of what I read in printed form. Because of my grip on the highlighter it’s usually difficult for me to draw a straight line over a sentence, but not anymore! These extra large Bic highlighters have made my life a little easier. I guess its simply because they are easier to hold, but I can pick one of these babies up and draw one straight and smooth line. Being able to draw straight lines with this highlighter has kept me from going insane due to my perfectionistic tendencies.

If you haven’t check out the blog Cool Tools you need to. The author has dedicated this site to reviewing a wide variety of products, similar to what I’ve done here. He picks out things that he’s discovered that make his life a little easier.