I really dig reading Seth Godin’s books. It’s amazing how these short compilations provide for deep thinking. Speaking of deep thinking my entire team is about to dive into his latest book “the dip.” As a team we have read Small is The New Big, The Big Moo and now we are about to knock out “the dip.” The Dip outlines the art of quitting, embracing challenges, being #1 and how to ask those challenging questions while on your quest. I highly recommend this book and you are sure to be able to knock it out in a couple of days. I will let you know what my team thinks about it and if you have read it share your thoughts.
Human beings have a wide range of appetites; ranging anywhere from sex to food, and many stops between the two. God created us w/ natural appetites; however it is up to us to have the self discipline to control our appetites and not vice versa. In today’s society we are consumed with the thought that more is better and bigger is better. Not only are we consumed with those thoughts, we top it all off with a heavy dose of excuses and rationalization. We need to begin thinking differently and realize that “Big Is The New Small.” This concept applies to many areas of our life, especially when we are referring to food portion size, substance consumption, organizational/personal focus, and exposure to stimuli. The average person in this day and age does not even understand the concept of moderation. As a matter of fact, they probably think you are saying modernization as opposed to moderation. If we want to experience a healthy and abundant life, business or ministry we must embrace the concept of “Big Is the New Small.” Here are a few quick steps:
• Limit exposure to particular stimuli
• Eat smaller portions throughout the day
• Learn the concept of “Bouncing your eyes”
• Ask the question; What am I, my organization, or ministry really good at? Begin to focus on those things and forget the rest.
This is a true story of a man named, Chris Gardner, who experienced deep adversity and affliction. As a child Gardner spent many years in and out of foster homes. As an adult and in the movie Gardner is a bone density scanner salesman who splits up with his wife and ultimately ends up homeless with his son. This passage in the Book of Isaiah speaks to his situation: Isaiah 30:20-21 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Gardner developed an unwavering perseverance, endures homelessness and ends up pursuing an internship for a stockbroker position at a major Wall Street stock brokerage firm. Despite the adversity, affliction and trials Gardner went through, his hard work and perseverance pays off. This passage in the book of James speaks to this: James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
The man that you see in the picture at the top of this blog was featured in the movie “Pursuit of Happyness.” They call him Larry “The Trashcan Man” Hunt and he is a bucket drummer on the streets of San Francisco. I took this picture yesterday and talked w/ Larry while my wife and I are on vacation in San Francisco. Larry’s story could be similar to the real Chris Gardner, he is pursuing his happyness and due to the break that he received by being briefly featured in the movie, happyness might just be around the corner. Of all the pan handlers and street hustlers that we have seen while in San Francisco, there is something different about Larry. Larry told me that he is scheduled to be on Oprah this fall……… and the rest will be history. Are you in the pursuit stage of achieving your happiness?
In closing: Galatians 6:9-10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Lifeonics: When LifeChurch.tv meets slang
This is the first of a series of lessons that I will call Lifeonics. These words, acronyms, colloquialisms and aphorisms are part of the unique dialect culture that exists among LifeChurch.tv staff, volunteers and members. These lessons will become more advanced in the future. J Here is the first lesson (Lifeonics 101) which is composed of five vocabulary terms; as well as five acronyms with their meanings.
Land the plane– Know when to end a message or speaking time. Don’t talk for the sake of talking.
In the weeds– Focused on the finite details, sometimes a form of micromanagement.
Altitude– Elevation of leadership, in order for a leader to look at the big picture and not the finite details.
Experience– Another name for church service.
Drill down deep– Really press to find out underlying reasons/causes of a particular situation. Method of finding additional information.
CP– Campus Pastor
ACP– Associate Campus Pastor
“F”– “Feeler” as identified in the Kiersey Temperament Sorter
“T”– “Thinker” as identified on the Kiersey Temperament Sorter
• Why do we pay for water?
• Why do people door ding our cars?
• Why is water with lemon so popular?
• Why is gas $3.00 plus a gallon?
• Why is Michael Vick so stupid?
• Why is ultimate fighting popular?
• Why are there so many Lawn/Landscape Companies?
• Why are there so many denominations?
• Why do meteorologists get more time than sportscasters?
• Why are you reading this blog?
I had the opportunity to spend the last 2 days w/ my Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel and the other 11 LifeChurch.tv Campus Pastors. I really don’t know where to start; I think I will have much more to say in the next few days. I am a serious “Thinker” so I just need to let it all soak in and then I will have a lot to say; as well as a lot to do. The only thing that I can say about the last two days is that they were extremely Holy Moments. If you could imagine Jesus sitting down, sharing and pouring into his 12 Disciples. That is exactly what Craig did; he sat down and poured into the 12 Campus Pastors.
I just found out that I received a “Life Sentence,” not really but now that I have your attention I would like to talk about a “Life Sentence.” I was revisiting one of Tim Elmore’s “Habitudes #3” Image Thirteen, entitled Life Sentence. Tim states “The contribution of a leader will ultimately be summed up in one sentence. Although we participate in many activities, we’re remembered for just one or two.” The question that needs to be asked is, “What is Your Life Sentence?” This is a tough question that I really think is going to take some serious thought. I mean we are talking about summing up our contributions as a leader, into just one little sentence. I am constantly evaluating past experiences, passions, family values, future forecasting, strengths, tough conversation, mentor/mentee experiences and the list goes on and on. What if you had to sum up your “Life Sentence” today, right now at this very moment? Would there be some unfinished business left on the table that you could have taken care of, would there be some conversations left on the table that you should have already had……. I will have to be honest my “Life Sentence” is changing daily; however if I had to sum it up today, as a leader I would definitely have some unfinished business on the table.
In a world that has began to break down barriers as it relates to race, ethnicity and color, there is still a serious question that we need to ask “Do we see color?” The feel good answer is “No, we don’t see color.” I beg to disagree; I believe that we do see color. We see color everyday and we even see color on the weekends at church. I am excited and very comfortable to say that we see color in a different way than we used too many years ago. Seeing color in today’s society is like seeing the beautiful browns, blacks, creams, whites and tans that make up Davinic’s Mona Lisa. If you didn’t have all of the colors the Mona Lisa would not be as beautiful and we “Yes”, we absolutely do recognize that her skin is light and her hair is dark. By the way, do you think Mona has a smirk on her face, because she knew that we were going to be having a conversation about race and color as it relates to her beautiful image?
I don’t know what it is about Target, but they have me really paying attention to the intentionality of their customer service. I enjoy strolling through the store and as I am walking around I get the opportunity to participate in a free customer service seminar. I know the Target staff probably thinks that I’m crazy, as I am walking around snapping pictures w/ my phone. The little picture of the phone at the top of this blog is my latest photo. Target has these little red phones all around the store. Notice the sign above and next to the phone doesn’t have information but rather asks 3 questions. Those questions are:
- Need Assistance?
- Can’t find it?
- Can’t lift it?
That is just purely simple and customer service perfect. I am going to paraphrase for what I believe target is really saying. “We are not going to have a bunch of extra employees running around to bother you, however if you need help no matter the need, you can call on us, we are just a red phone call way.” What does that sign look like and what are the questions for your business/ministry? Just think about those three questions that Target asks and imagine Jesus asking those same three questions, with the addition of one comment.
- Need Assistance?
- Can’t find it?
- Can’t lift it?
- Call on Me!
I was reading Seth Godin’s new short book called “The Dip” which talks about the art of quitting. One of his short writings is entitled “Time to Cancel the Space Shuttle.” This really makes sense to me and caught my attention. Godin discusses the fact that when pundits argue in favor of keeping the shuttle they don’t say, “We should keep doing this because it’s going to get safer/cheaper/more productive over time.” The only reason the shuttle still exists is because no one has the guts to cancel it. What are the things in your life/ work/ministry…. that you don’t have the guts to cancel. Maybe it’s a ministry that exists only because the founding pastor 50 years ago started it, and it does not make any sense now, does not change lives and is not linked with the current vision of your church. It could be some operational practices at your job that are just down right stupid, inefficient and ineffective. It could be a relationship that you don’t have the guts to sever. What are the things that you have not had the guts to cancel? Identify those areas and begin to make a list of those tough conversations you need to have and tough decisions that you need to make. Don’t be afraid of your boss, your friends, your spouse, your employees or your church members; instead remember the cliché’ “No Guts, No Glory.”