29 October 2008

Rockin out

I've been home just long enough to update my wife on some of the wins from our U-Rock event tonight. Because our group is called United and we were featuring our new RockBand 2 game our leaders liked the name. To go on record... I had NO idea! We had just about half of the students participate in the RB2 contest and they were very into it.  Students arrived early for the night and started right in on the RB2 and didn't stop... ever! That would be great, but we had about 22 other game systems there. We had a PS3, some Wii systems, 360's, and then the old skool... super NES & N64. All in all it was a great night. 

I am so proud of our team doing so great tonight. Chris totally went above and beyond! He seriously hooked us up tonight.

Some of my favorite moments:
• getting a song dedicated to me.
• seeing some very creative costumes.
• rocking out to some talented students performing RB2 songs.
• Freshman guy with chocolate on his face after consuming LOTS of candy saying ... "dude, it's like a five o'clock shadow... with chocolate".
• seeing new students getting connected with new friends.
• connecting with parents and seeing them love what their kids are doing.
• scaring kids as we were cleaning up.
• the guy that said that there needed to be more groups like ours around.
• a guest of a volunteer that loved it and just may give church another chance.
• our leaders that did SO great.
• coming home exhausted after knowing I gave my all today.

I'm sure there are more... hopefully I can post a picture or two soon...

Lured in

Vote or else

28 October 2008

Man up

Love this carving.

27 October 2008

Obama's cowbell

This is about as political as I will get here. But this is about all either of these two are good for. Hopefully he quits his day job and focuses on his cowbell skills. He can change the cow bell.

23 October 2008

Handlebars

It was fun while it lasted...















most are glad it's gone.

22 October 2008

go BIG or go home

Go big or go home... I believe that at the core of this saying is a biblical principle.

Urban Dictionary defines "gbgh" as an expression the speaker says to the listener to encourage the listener to be extravagant, to go all the way, and do whatever you are doing to its fullest - and not flake out. A phrase describing a Champion's lifestyle. A way of life. An attitude.

To be extravagant... to go all the way... to do what you are doing to the fullest. A champion's way of life. Kind of sounds like an Urban Dictionary take on some bible stories.

It is my belief that God desires that we go all in on whatever we do. A lot of people have described this as the willingness to risk. Yes, risk is involved. Going big might mean stripping away the excellence to be authentic or being excellent in all you do. It might mean stepping out in faith and believing God's promise in your life.

Too many churches and Christians would rather go home than go big. When we go big we run the risk of missing the mark. But is the mark the goal? When God called people in the bible to go big the mark wasn't the goal, but the willingness to go all in and go big. When we take a step out the end result might not live up to our hopes, but in no way does it make the step a failure.

Tonight is an exciting night. We are baptizing students. Even if it was only one student that would be great, but as of right now we have about 50 students confirmed to get baptized. Who knows how many more will step up and go all in tonight. I love these moments!

It's time to go all in. I feel like there is more to say on this, but it's still stuck in my head. Hopefully it will get worked out soon.

21 October 2008

Fab 5 team killers

This year's Catalyst has stirred up quite a bit of conversation. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it this year. Dave Ramsey's session has been the hands down favorite of the conference.

Here is some of what I have gathered... and some of what I've been chewing on...

Dave Ramsey:
The 5 things that bring about confusion or disunity:
1. Poor Communication
2. Gossip
3. Unresolved disagreements
4. Lack of shared purpose
5. Sanctioned incompetence

Thoughts on going #2... Gossip

Your negative comments should go to a supervisor and your positive comments should go to a co-worker or someone that works for you. Don't talk about your problems with people who can't fix them. That's gossip! I have seen and experienced the destructive force of gossip. Gossip is so easy to do and to be a part of; it is a battle to not jump in and destroy. It takes so little strength to gossip. There is no risk of authentic relationships involved in gossip. I certainly haven't perfected this one, but I am determined that I will not play a part in gossip. My personal character and integrity is worth more than a few fleeting moments of lame conversation.

I have been in a work environments where a lot of these things have been present: incompetence, gossip, disagreements, and lack of shared purpose. Yes, they are destructive and drive a serious wedge. As a leader these 5 things must be fought fervently and fought daily. I don't know how to say it any differently... stop everything and evaluate the fabulous 5 team killers. Don't take another step until you are sure that you fighting the 5. They can creep up.

Meet Jack

Let me introduce you to Jack. My kids decided to name our Halloween pumpkin Jack.

This past weekend we took a trip to the pumpkin patch. Glenda suggested that it be a mobile-free family time, which was a great idea. We had a great time at the pumpkin patch, then again it's hard not to when it's 80 degrees and sunny... in October! After eating too much kettle corn and jumping off the bales of hay we finally decided on which pumpkin we'd take home.



I have great memories of carving pumpkins. So, I was excited when it came time to carve up our pumpkin and I was sure that my kids were going to love it too. The excitement was building as I cut around the pumpkin stem to open the pumpkin up and show its "guts".



As I slowly lift the "lid" on the pumpkin guts, both of my kids gag. Emma runs into the bathroom acting like she's going to throw up. I had to practically bribe them to pull the seed and goop out. That was my favorite part!



After they dug in they found out they loved it.





When it was all over they wanted to carve another pumpkin. They were so proud of Jack.

19 October 2008

New Star Wars fans

It started with the Star Wars Lego videogame and has come to this; my kids love Star Wars. Watching the movies brings back a flood of memories. Lately, every conversation has been about Star Wars. So, in honor of my kids and the fun of seeing them having fun with Star Wars.

Take R2 with you where ever you go...



















Star Wars in your driveway...

17 October 2008

Probably one of the best posts I have read. Not enough people shoot straight. Not only does Perry say it like it is, he is right on the money! This is a difficult subject to speak truthfully and speak conviction in love. Most people and denominations err on the side of legalism.

My favorite line that seems to sum up the post is...
"It’s SO SAD when pastors will talk about how bad it was that Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup…and then they will turn around and sell their ministry for an orgasm!"
My guess is that this post ticked a lot of people off and that's probably a good thing. This topic isn't spoken in love enough. Stuff like this needs to be openly discussed with pastors, church leaders, board members, men in the church... The question isn't if, it's a question of when and will you be ready for it?

I'd love to hear your thoughts... read the post and let me know what you think.

16 October 2008

Top 10 advertising slogans of all time

"Where's the beef!?"
"A Diamond is Forever"
"They're G-r-r-r-eat!"
"Gimme a Break, Gimme a Break"

These are among some of the most memorable advertising slogans of all time. Fast Company's article is great. Digg.com started the groundswell. There are so many great ones I can't even imagine having to rate a top 10.

What's your favorite?

15 October 2008

Seriously Ridiculous

I have been out in Sacramento the last couple of days at the YS conference. Their theme this year was "seriously ridiculous". I liked the theme. It was kinda frustrating because free wifi was hard to find, so there was a seriously ridiculous lack of blogging. I will be posting more on the conference soon, for now, let me introduce you to spiderman.

09 October 2008

Creative fizz



















Alka Seltzer has gotten creative. They have gotten these guys to document their "Great American Road Trip" very creatively linked back to Alka Seltzer.

Bent Objects

Just came across this guy's work. I love it... it is so creative.




Verizon Blackberry Storm

Could it be as big as they are saying? Is something revolutionary really coming to Verizon?

08 October 2008

Open up a can

This is hilarious! Thanks to Mark for a good laugh today.

07 October 2008

Simple Leadership

I love meeting with leaders. This past Sunday started a new chapter. We hosted our first leaders meeting at our home. As we sat down to start the meeting, it seemed like time slowed down and I processed through all of what was taking place and some things that needed to happen for the meeting to be a win. Here's some thoughts on making a leader's meeting a win:

  • Do it... what's stopping you? Why you do what you do won't and can't be transfered in quick passing moments. Leades on the team need to be invested into... they must be invested into or they will find somewhere else to go. Leaders on the team need just that to know who they serve with. Planning that first meeting is tough, just do it.
  • Location... be intentional about the location where you host your meeting. I always prefer to meet in my home. The home is a warm and inviting environment. Meetings in my home have always felt more open and relaxed.
  • Define the terms... why are you meeting? What are you trying to accomplish? Is the meeting going to focus on group discussion? Are you only interested in transferring information? In the meeting I hosted my focus was on discussion so I had to frame it correctly to invite discussion to happen.
  • Safe... this is especially important for a meeting focused on discussion. Help the team understand that the topics that will be discussed are open for discussion and that you value their input on the topic.
  • Don't assume. Never assume that people understand what you are trying to do. It is always better to explain yourself than to just assume that people understand.
That's it for now... still working on this. I am sure there's more to this. Thankfully these simple leadership points helped our kick off meeting to go great.

Five Hundred

A quick post as I get ready to jump into an all team celebration. This past weekend our 3 campuses joined together and did a huge baptism service. It was an unreal day. The energy in the place was off the charts. At my campus we had 34 people signed up to be baptized, which alone is awesome, but during the service the invitation was given for anyone that wanted to join in and be baptized to just jump in line. When it was all over we baptized 99 people on Sunday.

Yesterday as the numbers came in the total for all three campuses came to 500 baptisms. The stories of life change are so amazing. I love the fact that we are getting ready to celebrate what God has done and look ahead to what God is going to do out of this.

Redeeming Relationships

An interesting conversation got me started on this... Relationships. Many times a relationship that needs work is easier to cast off and start over. Divorce. Church hop. Quitting a small group. Quitting. Firing. Relationships. They take work and it's easier to skip out than do the work it takes to make the relationship great.

Is it really easier or just more convenient? I don't believe that it's easier. Ending a relationship is just as, if not, more messy than redeeming it.

There is no doubt it takes more effort to redeem a relationship. We love hearing the juicy details of drama. We'd rather not have to make the effort to dig in and see the relationship through the mess of redemption. Maybe it's that the grace required to redeem a relationship doesn't come easy. Sadly, the church could do a much more stellar job of redeeming and restoring relationships.

So, as I've started processing... here are some thoughts on redeeming relationships:

1. Initiate. Take the first step. Don't wait for anyone else or any circumstances to make the timing right. Honestly, the time will never feel right.

2. Be quick. Don't wait. Tomorrow never comes and the relationship won't be restored over time. Time seems to have the opposite effect.

3. Lead. Start from a position of grace. We don't often feel the necessity of grace until we've lived this out. We all need grace in different amounts and at different times. It is much easier when we start with offering grace as a road to redeeming a relationship.

4. Be open. Most likely I have gotten a few of the details wrong. Be prepared to be wrong... at least on a couple things.

I'm sure there are more... this is something I have been digging through for a while now. There will certainly be more on this topic.

06 October 2008

Unscripted!

There seems to be a ministry trend where we put a lot of effort into programming out a service down to the last drop. Programming is great and good planning is important but it's not everything. The programming doesn't own the service. With all of the programming we can miss the unscripted moments. The unscripted moments seem to end up leaving people most changed. God often uses our unscripted moments... those moments where I often cringe and think "ouch... that's gonna leave a mark".

Have you had an unscripted moment lately that made you cringe and think ouch? Those are actually great moments. They are moments to be fully aware of because some of the best things can happen in the unscripted moments.

I have been thinking about this past week of ministry. My unscripted moment of the week was using slingbox at our student service to interact between our campuses during a Q & A. We had a six second delay. If you know programming, six seconds is an eternity. At every delay, yes there were more than one, I would cringe because the transitions were so off. In reality the students loved the unscripted feel and totally engaged in the questions. I am blown away with the awesome questions from our students.

It's super easy, as a leader to get wrapped up in the moments that are unscripted and make us cringe and loose sight of the big win. Overall the night was a big win. The questions spurred on great discussion and led the students to grow relationally and spiritually.

My prayer is that I can be aware of the unscripted moments and celebrate those rather than cringe.

04 October 2008

Holy Hair

I think the hair is my favorite part of this picture. Maybe a close second is the name of the group or that they all look like dudes. You can even listen to this in stereo! It even sold on ebay.

03 October 2008

Election '08 decision maker

Can't decide who to vote for? Let them fight it out with Kung-Fu election!