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Our Deepest Fear…

This weekend our message at church was inspired by the movie Coach Carter. Overall it was a great message; however the reciting of an excerpt of Marianne Williamson’s poem “Our Deepest Fear” was truly inspiring. Check out the 39 sec. typography video from the movie Coach Carter as it was recited by Timo Cruz in the movie. Below is the full version of Marianne Williamson’s original poem… let these words inspire you to believe and not fear:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Share your thoughts on these words…

Pastors, Christians & Rated-R Movies!

pgAccording to the blog rating system BigIsTheNewSmall.com is Rated “PG” and this rating was determined based on the presence of the following words: sex (3x) and abortion (1x).  A little over a year ago this blog was Rated-R based upon the presence of: sex (16x) dangerous (6x)  and abortion (1x); apparently I don’t talk about sex as much.  I thought this blog had always been a family friendly blog… well not according to this unscientific rating system; which poses another question in itself, is there a scientific rating system.

This got me thinking about the whole “Rated-R” thing and whether or not it is appropriate for Christians and Pastors to watch “Rated-R” movies.  I understand that there are varying opinions on this subject and plenty of people won’t touch “Rated-R” movies with a ten foot pole and that is definitely a persoanl prerogative.  

I was previously a Warden and worked in the Corrections System for over 13 years.  According to the rating standards, my job would have definitely been considered “Rated-R,” as I witnessed, experienced and heard things that would surpass any “R” rating.   I have friends who have been in the military and law enforcement who will attest to similar accounts in their jobs.  As a Pastor, I have to counsel couples and individuals on a regular basis that share some “Rated-R” stories and “Rated-R” experiences.  This Rated-R thing seems to creep up in quite a few places!

Although they’re definitely not my first choice, I personally will watch a “Rated-R” movie and I believe that as we grow in our relationship with Christ some things will be more personally convicting than others.  We are all affected in different ways by different things and I believe we have to use discernment and good personal judgement.   Is it the rating, the content, or the content rating? Ratings, Ratings, Ratings!  I had someone ask me before, what I thought the Bible was Rated?  Well, I know that the movie The Passion of The Christ was Rated-R, for sequences of graphic violence; you do the math!

Should Pastors, Christians… watch “Rated-R” Movies?  Do You?  Share your thoughts!

Important Leadership Lesson For All Leaders

do nothingLeadership is one of those constantly fluid moving pieces of work.  Great Leadership happens in motion, it happens in movement, it happens in action it happens in planning, it happens with thinking, it happens with vision… and it doesn’t happen by accident.  This premise creates a problem for some leaders, because they always feel the need to do something, to control something and to make something happen.

In my opinion, an Important Leadership Lesson For All Leaders is to realize the fact that it’s important to “Do Nothing!”  I know that sounds crazy; however it’s imperative as a leader to find seasons when you sit back and “Do Nothing!”  Not only do you sit back and “Do Nothing!” you must find contentment with that season.  This doesn’t mean be a dead-beat, lazy bum of a leader; it means you have developed systems, developed leaders, created margin, experienced success… and you are in a season where your “Do Nothing!”   Embracing the “Do Nothing!” seasons allows you to be fully prepared and energized for the upcoming seasons of “Make It Happen!”

Leaders have to embrace the fact that they are like a team in a row boat:  They have plotted the destination, they are rowing hard, they experience momentum, they catch a tail-wind and they must embrace that brief season and “Do Nothing!”  The destination of success is a long ways out and if the leader and the team keeps rowing and rowing and rowing in the season where the momentum and and tail-wind will carry them… they will prematurely tire out.

Don’t unnecessarily exasperate your leadership or your team, embrace the seasons of “Do Nothing!”

Can you or your leader embrace the “Do Nothing!” seasons?  Are “Do Nothing!” seasons necessary?  Share your thoughts!

Don't Be An iPhony

big phonyThere is a lot of discussion about the Internet and social media and whether or not they are creating Illegitimate Experts, Gurus, Leaders… or iPhony’s.  Lets’ look at the definition of Illegitimatenot in accordance with the principles of valid inference.  By this definition the Internet and social media may be creating illegitimate experts, but that’s the beauty of the Internet; a person does not have to be in accordance with a “valid inference.” 

In the www. world you have to create your validity and my thought is “If people are listening and if you have an audience, influence, a voice, knowledge, experience, personality, talent, information… that people want to hear, you have just been legitimized” and therefore are not an iPhony

Let’s take a look at a recent product that in my mind was not legitimate and it’s a product that everyone has seen, The Snuggie.  Seriously a backwards robe is not a legitimate product and doesn’t serve a legitimate need.  The Snuggie has sold over 4 million backwards robes; therefore legitimizing them.  “So who am I and what do I know?”

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…  One woman’s phony is another woman’s expert.

Do you think the Internet and Social Media is Creating Illegitimate Experts, Gurus, Leaders… or iPhony’s?   Share Your Thoughts!

It's Not Enough!

not enoughSometimes we have to realize that It’s Not Enough! 

  • It’s Not Enough to say that you want to be a good parent… Be one!
  • It’s Not Enough to not be alone with someone of the opposite sex… Capture sinful thoughts!
  • It’s Not Enough to be a ministry leader… Feel the weight and responsibility of your calling!
  • It’s Not Enough to be a leader… Make more leaders!
  • It’s Not Enough to not use profanity around certain people… Don’t curse at all!
  • It’s Not Enough to say you don’t have a problem w/ female pastors… Let em’ lead & Let em’ preach!
  • It’s Not Enough to say that you want to be a difference maker… Make a difference!
  • It’s Not Enough to say that you love your spouse… Put their needs above yours!
  • It’s Not Enough to be a copy-cat… Be an original!
  • It’s Not Enough to say “I’ve Seen Enough, Had & Done Enough”… See More, Want More & Do More!

It’s Not Enough!  Think big… Think Small!

Voicemail Is Dying & Google Voice Will Change The World!

google-voiceI’m not sure that I’m writing this post because it’s true or because I want it to be true.  Over the years and especially in this text message day and age I’m feeling that e-mail is dying.  Personally, I’m horrible about checking my voicemail and sometimes I can go a week or longer without checking them.  Before you say ‘That’s Crazy” or “You’re a pastor, how can you do that?”  My answer is, just because I don’t check my voicemail doesn’t mean I don’t respond to those leaving a message.

I actually have my voicemail message say something like “This is Scott sorry that you missed me, either try back in a few or send me a text message.”   As far as I know, every cell-phone has a missed call ledger and what I do is call back every single missed call.  I have returned some calls and received a random person answering the phone from a restaurant or business, but they are few and far between.  It’s pretty much that simple: if I miss your call, I will call you back, if you text me, I will call you back and by the time I listen to your voicemail there is a high probability that we have already talked.  I’m not going to address the fact that you can connect with me via e-mail or Twitter… that’s a whole nutha story.

I am waiting for Google Voice to go public with their application, which will totally change the world.  It may not change the world; however it will change the world of cell-phone call management.  Currently Google Voice is only open to Grand Central users and I have some friends that use it and it’s amazing… everything from persoanl call screening to translation of voicemail messages to text messages. Voicemail Is Dying and Google Voice Will Change The World.  Click here to learn more about Google Voice.

Am I the only one that thinks Voicemail is Dying?  Do you check your voicemail’s regularly? Share your thoughts on my process or voicemail in general.  If you’re a Google Voice user, please share your experience!

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading BigIsTheNewSmall.com  Think Big… Think Small!

Jesus Was A Self-Promoter

tebowThe art of self-promotion is more important than you think.  When it comes to self-promotion, often times you will hear people make comments like: “I don’t want to be a self-promoter or He/She is just a self-promoter.”  Self-promotion is seen as some negative or derogatory thing.  If I ask you to think of some self-promoters, you will come up with names like Chuck Norris, Donald Trump, P. Diddy. I would argue that we are all self-promoters, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Self-promoter and even Jesus Was A Self-Promoter.  Check these definitions of self-promotion:

Self-promotion: A message issued by or on behalf of a person.  Encouragement of the progress or growth or acceptance of a person.

Every time you have an interaction with anyone whether be online or in person, you are promoting yourself.  You are promoting a message online, at church, at work, in your business, at your kids school, at Starbucks, in your commercials, on your business cards, your life, your handshake, your swag, your non-verbal communication, your vibe, interaction with others…  The bottom line is that you’re issuing a message about yourself, by yourself in everything that you do. 

The sky is not falling Chicken Little, Everything Is Not Doom and Gloom and Self-promotion does not have to be viewed as pejorativeYou’re A Self Promoter… Like It Or Not!  Jesus Was A Self-Promoter and today He is still in the business of promoting grace, mercy and redemption. 

The question is not whether you’re a self-promoter, but rather “What are you promoting?”  Are you promoting the good stuff?   Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow has been called a Self-promoter, take a look at his picture at the top of this blog post and look at his highly promoted eyeblack; he’s definitely promoting something (John 3:16) and it’s the good stuff.  Are you promoting the good stuff? 

Was Jesus a Self-Promoter?  Why is Self-Promotion viewed negatively?   Share your thoughts on Self-promotion!

Stop Lusting After Your Pastor!

lustI remember having a conversation with a pastor friend of mine who happens to be a female.  She was sharing the various unique things that women in the church have confided in her about; one of the things that she shared made me have one of those hmm moments.  She stated that women have shared that They Think Their Pastor’s Sexy!  Not to be confused with the popular country music song “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”   Not only do they think their Pastor’s Sexy, but they struggle with their mind wandering; in addition to having lustful thoughts as they are watching and listening to their pastor speak.

Pastor Craig Groeschel teaches the art of  “Bouncing Your Eyes” in other words don’t keep your eyes focused on someone of the opposite sex for too long… keeping your eyes moving can keep you out of trouble.  This is something that is stereotypically geared towards guys… but what about the ladies?

After my conversation with my friend; it’s probably fair for me to make the assumption that there are women sitting in pews and seats of churches all around the country that may be struggling with the inability to “Bounce Their Eyes.”  As their eyes are having to fixated on their “Sexy Pastor,” who happens to be in front of them for lengthy periods of time each and every week.  The fact that their pastor is a man of God, tells great stories and seems to be rather put together only increases the the sexiness factor.

The thoughts running through their head might be something like this: He’s Hot, I like that suit, Are those True Religion Jeans, I wish my husband treated me like that, He’s so Handsome, Nice Hair, He dresses so fly, I can tell he’s been working out, I know he’s married but, I would, I bet he… After thinking these thoughts, their mind wanders for a moment or two or three or four and unfortunately, this cycle can repeat itself on a weekly basis.  The Bible says this… “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28  Ladies this passage applies to you as well, so please Stop Lusting After Your Pastor! 

  • Do you think this a common/legitimate problem or simply isolated cases?  Thoughts in general!
  • Does this struggle for women contribute to the vulnerability and moral failures of pastors?
  • Any suggestions for the ladies, Do the ladies just get a pass?

Christians With A Tattoo Is Not Taboo!

jesus-tattoo“Christians With A Tattoo Is Not Taboo” seems to be the place that society has landed; especially within pockets of the Christian Community.  As a Pastor a common question that I’m asked is “Should Christians Get Tattoos?”   The answer to this question is an argument that has been debated thoroughly with people outlining scripture for both points of view.  I personally don’t have a problem with tattoos; however I believe that we should always use good judgement, which applies to what we permanently tattoo on our bodies. 

I got a tattoo when I was in college and it was relative to my Fraternity.  Although, my tattoo is very appropriate and still relevant; at times I have considered getting something added to it, or over it.  I have come to the realization that my tattoo represents part of my story and my journey so I have left it alone. (I personally wouldn’t get anything below the short-sleeve line… however there are some great-looking sleeve tats, just not my deal)

There are a lot of church staff members, worship leaders, youth pastors, senior pastors… at my church and churches around the country that have tattoos;  some of which are evangelistic in nature and others are not.  If you have never seen the Director of Service Programming at Buckhead Church in Atlanta, Mr. Ragamuffin Soul Carlos Whittaker’s  LA Ink segment you should check it out here

Times are changing, church leaders and church congregants have spoken and they’re saying: “Christians With A Tattoo Is Not Taboo!”

To Tat or No To Tat… That Is The Question?  Share your thoughts/opinions!  Do you have a tattoo?

I Don't Want To Go To Your Church!

Dear Mr. Church: I wanted to formally let you know that I Don’t Want To Go To Your Church.

I don’t really understand the God thing and your rules make it even more difficult to understand.

I know you say come as you are, but let’s not go too far because you really don’t mean that.  Don’t you really mean come as everyone else in your building is?

Mr. Church: I really don’t understand this God thing and when I come through your doors and try to sing, for some reason the elevator just doesn’t go ”ding” because I just don’t get this whole God thing.

I am out here doing my thing, you know all the stuff you church folks call sin… No matter what I do I just can’t seem to win.

I’m out here doing my own thing and wished I knew of the God whose praises so many people sing; but in my mind the elevator just doesn’t go “ding.”

Dear Mr. Church: I want to find God, but I don’t know where to search, to the best of my knowledge I can find him at your church.  Mr. Church, I know that your people will look at me funny and simply just want my money.  They expect me to dress and act a certain way and they will keep me in your service all day.   They will make a scene if I’m new and beat me up with all the rules until I’m black and blue.

Dear Mr. Church: I Want To Know God, but I Don’t Want To Go To Your Church!

Sincerely,

Non Church Attending Searching Lost Hungry Far From God Guy/Girl

 

~Scott Williams~

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