Tag Archives: Creativity

Weekend Picks ~ 6-30-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

The Case for ‘Christian’ ArtSteve Turner
https://storage.googleapis.com/relevant-magazine/2017/06/Hero-64.jpgNo one ever told me that it would be wrong for a Christian to become an actor or a songwriter, a novelist or a dancer. It was implied…

But because art is also a record and reflects the questions and anxieties of the time, I would like to see contributions that reflect a Christian understanding of that time. I also would like to see them in the mainstream arts rather than in the religious subculture.

I am not saying this for evangelistic reasons. I don’t expect art to convert people, although I realize that art plays an important part in shaping our understanding of the world. I am saying it because debates are taking place in cinema, painting, dance, fiction, poetry and theater on issues where Christians have something to say, and yet they are not even being heard.

I think we should be in those debates as part of our mandate to look after and care for the world rather than because of the command to make disciples. We are not entering the debates to tell people what to believe. Art tends to show rather than to tell. It allows people the opportunity to experience another way of seeing the world. But if we are not there, people are denied the opportunity of encountering our perspective.

Finally, Jackie Robinson’s Faith Is Getting the Attention It DeservesPaul Putz
Finally, Jackie Robinson’s Faith Is Getting the Attention It DeservesTwo books shine a long-overdue spotlight on the Christian convictions of the man who broke baseball’s color barrier…

…There is a God-shaped hole in the heart of 42, the 2013 film that depicts the inspiring story of Jackie Robinson. Observers noticed it at the time, pointing out that the film mostly ignored the role that faith played in Robinson’s life and in Branch Rickey’s decision to sign him to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947…

From Long and Lamb’s book, Robinson emerges as a committed and thoughtful mainline Protestant comfortable within black and white Christian communities. Well versed in the Bible and connected to Protestant institutions throughout his life, Robinson saw faith as a source of inspiration, hope, and American identity. He grew up with a personal moral code taught by most white and black Protestants in the early 20th century—no smoking, no drinking, no premarital sex. But he was also shaped by the social witness distinct to the black church, believing that Christians had a responsibility to combat racism in American society, that anti-racism was a mark of true Christianity, and that many white Christians were failing to practice what they preached. As for June Fifield’s concern that Robinson recognize the help of Branch Rickey, she need not have worried. “When I came to believe that God was working with and guiding Mr. Rickey,” Robinson wrote, “I began to also believe that he was guiding me.”

Creating DiscomfortSeth Godin
http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/images/og.jpgIf you’re seeking to create positive change in your community, it’s almost certain you’ll be creating discomfort as well.

Want to upgrade the local playground? It sounds like it will be universally embraced by parents and everyone who cares about kids. Except that you now bring up issues of money, of how much is enough, of safety. Change is uncomfortable.

It’s way easier to talk about today’s weather, or what you had for lunch.

Usually, when we’re ready to launch something, we say, “this is going to help people, this is well crafted, I’m proud of it.”

What’s a lot more difficult (but useful) is to say all of that plus, “and this is going to make (some) people uncomfortable.”

I Hope I Die Before I Get OldJared C. Wilson
cristian-newman-67308What makes Richard different from these old coots who go out shaking their fist at the things of grace? Well, God. But also: Richard decided to die before he got old. He decided to die before he died. May we all do the same.

I think I’m more like Hobbes, how about you?
Calvin and Hobbes – Click image for a larger view.

Tuesday Picks ~ 3-7-2017

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Wanted: Christians Who Defy CategoriesTrevin Wax
lightstock_56703_medium_tgc…I find myself longing more and more for a Christian witness that defies political categories.

Unfortunately, our attachments to political parties make it challenging to be truly prophetic. We fall back into politicized ruts. Our imaginations have been shaped by our partisan affiliations, to the point it becomes difficult to hear the Bible break in with a fresh word…

Like Jesus, we should defy categories. Our witness through our churches and in our communities should defy stereotypes and shut down prejudices…

You may think I am calling for Christians to be “non-partisan” or “apolitical.” I am not.

I am calling for Christians to engage in politics differently, as salt and light in multiple areas, not just in the ones that help us rise in the ranks of the party we belong to…

If we are going to defy the categories in the next generation, then we should always feel in the world but not of the world, in America but not of America, in a political party but not of a political party. Embracing that tension is not weakness, but faithfulness.

Pastors: Have Uncomfortable ConversationsDarryl Dash
160307I’ve found that I encounter two idols in my life that cause me to fear if I’m not careful: the approval of others, and comfort. I want others to think well of me, and I want to take the easy road rather than do the right, uncomfortable thing. A pastor who lives for the approval of others and for comfort is disqualified from ministry. I must kill both of these idols, or they will destroy my soul and my ministry…

…Every dysfunctional church I know is one in which difficult conversations should have taken place, but didn’t. Every time I don’t have an uncomfortable conversation, I’m helping the church take a step toward dysfunction.

Five Reminders As We Serve the Dying and Their Families Joel Woodard
I never imagined that I would find myself so familiar with death as a pastor. I studied theology in seminary and learned about expositing a text and leading the church, but I don’t ever remember reading a book about what to do when visiting someone on their deathbed.

Looking back over the past seven years, I’m astonished at how many times I’ve found myself in that exact position, feeling very unprepared as I kneel beside someone’s bed, hold their hand, and pray with the family.

… I remember thinking that I was putting on the mantle of a pastor approaching a death bed, which I’ve learned means five things…

Napkin RevelationsManuel Luz
https://manuelluz.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/butterflies-rachel.jpg?w=566&h=400There’s something pure and uncomplicated about pen on paper, as if it were the most direct path from thought to depiction, from idea to reality. And I think that this is one of the tricks of creativity. For creatives, we must strive to minimize the barriers—both real and perceived—which keep us from actually being creative…

If you are an artist of faith, what are the barriers that keep you from creativity? What are those impediments that keep you from easily expressing yourself artistically? And perhaps, what are your internal excuses as well? If there are any, what can you do to eliminate or minimize those barriers? How can you re-orient your life in such a way that creativity is a more natural expression of it?

The Wedding of Frankenstein…

Weekend Picks ~ 11-11-2016

Picks Weekend

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

7 Ways Successful Creatives Think Differently than Unsuccessful OnesMichael Hyatt
creative teamThe easy answer is the wrong one. It’s not talent. Talent definitely plays a role. But it doesn’t explain why some creatives with marginal skill become successful and others with extraordinary abilities never really make it…Instead, I think the determining factor is to be found in how they think. Successful creatives cultivate a different mindset than unsuccessful ones. This is evident in seven ways…

Yes, He Thought Trump Would Win. No, He Didn’t Use Hard Data.Jennifer …the thing I like most about being right is that it puts some pressure on conventional punditry, which I think is really a pernicious influence on our nation.

Punditry has no scientific basis but simply reacts to the latest polls, which miss the fundamentals of an election and what really drives our politics…

7 Simple Ways To Raise Non-Materialistic Children
Bob Lotich
If you want to raise kids who aren't always obsessed with the latest and greatest, and who don't wrap their self-esteem in their possessions, then check out some of these tips to raise non-materialistic children ...Ironically, many children raised in wealth demonstrate the same tendencies as those who are raised in extreme poverty: depression, despair, attempted suicide, drug and alcohol use, and shoplifting. Why this behavior? The parents, who are often too busy making money, sacrifice meaningful time with their children....
Admittedly, raising children in a world obsessed with stuff is a tough, tough job.

As savvy advertisers target these kids from early youth, and as their peers are quick to sport whatever the latest and greatest may be, the parents must be vigilant in teaching their children that such possessions do not make one happy, and, in fact, are detrimental to true happiness.

So . . . in this materialistic society, how does one go about raising non-materialistic children?

These tips will help…

How Churches in America’s Least Religious Region Talk About SexualityTone matters, he said, since being contentious will get you nowhere. But being bold matters, too.

“I don’t take the approach that we shouldn’t talk about the issues,” he said. “I preached this Sunday on family. I explained the sexual ethic Jesus lays down. You’re either going to be married or live like a eunuch. If you haven’t been married, that’s how you’re supposed to live.”

When Mabry preaches on tough topics, he often hears, “I can’t believe you talked about that.”

His response: “You talk about it. Professors talk about it. Why can’t I talk about it?”

We’re living in Improbable Times…
Wrong Hands

Thursday Picks ~ 7-28-2016

Picks Thursday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

The Dangers Of Career-Driven WorshipDavid Santistevan
THE DANGERS OFWorship Leaders…this isn’t about a career. This is a calling. It’s not enough to “land” at a church and collect a paycheck.

Because here’s the bottom line: Worship Leaders are worship leaders based on how they lead with their lives…

…If you’re merely looking for a career…there’s other things you should do.


Leading worship isn’t glamorous – you’re not entertaining fans like Coldplay is at the arena down the road. If you are, you’re abusing your role as a pastor and servant of God’s people. It’s not about the glam of the spotlight.

The best worship leaders don’t overthink worship. They think about Jesus.

This article, ironically, is somewhat lengthy, but I found it interesting…

The Oppressive Gospel of ‘Minimalism’  –Kyle Chayka
It has become an ostentatious ritual of consumerist self-sacrifice; people who have it all now seem to prefer having nothing at all…

But it takes a lot to be minimalist: social capital, a safety net and access to the internet. The technology we call minimalist might fit in our pockets, but it depends on a vast infrastructure of grim, air-conditioned server farms and even grimmer Chinese factories. As Lerner’s protagonist observes in “10:04,” even a dull convenience like a can of instant coffee grounds reaches him thanks to a fragile and tremendously wasteful network of global connections, a logistics chain that defies all logic, one undergirded by exploited laborers and vast environmental degradation.

There’s an arrogance to today’s minimalism that presumes it provides an answer rather than, as originally intended, a question…

An encouraging word for creatives in any area…
Refrigerator ArtManuel Luz
Justin ElephantThink about this. How many of you, at one time in your life, took one of your children’s crayon drawings and hung it on your refrigerator door? Why did you do that? Because the art was really good? Maybe, but probably you hung it because you loved your child. And that artwork represents a part of who your child is. That creation was an expression of someone you love…

Well, this is how God feels about us. About the things we create. Especially about the things we create for Him. Every song, every word, every dance, every painting, done for the King delights the King. He takes who we are, and the expressions of who we are, and He delights in it. Expressions of our life in the Kingdom not only bear witness to God, they directly put a smile on God’s face. He delights in the creations of His children. We all are, in a real sense, God’s creations, God’s art. And He takes what we offer Him, and He hangs it on the door of His heart.

Awesome! These young guys are pretty good, but wait for the ending…

Click image for a larger view. Pearls Before Swine

My Picks for Tuesday 6-14-2016

Picks Tuesday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

A Rocket Scientist’s Advice On How To Do Impossible Things
Todd Henry
rocket2I recently had a chance to interview Adam for my podcast about his new book The Right Kind Of Crazy, and learned a lot about the nature of collaborating on impossible things and leading teams into uncertainty.

Here are a few of the takeaways…

The BasicsDarryl Dash
The older I get, the more I try to remember the basics.

This is what I appreciate in the pastors I love. These are the qualities I want to see in my life…

…It’s just the basics. Nothing fancy. It’s what I pray will characterize your life and ministry. It’s how I want to live and die.

Weapons of Hate and The Danger of Doing Nothing
Miles Adcox
hands-in-fullMaybe if we use half of the time spent posting, reporting, and talking about who’s at fault and what “they” should do to fix it, and instead spent some time looking at what ‘we can do’—then maybe empathy, hope, and sustainable change could have a chance.

Hate is born from division, exclusion and misused fear.

Love is born from inclusion, empathy, understanding, and grace.

Not the kind of inclusion and love practiced within our likeminded communities and comfort zones, but that which is lived out everywhere with everyone. We are all in this together and are all part of the problem & solution.

It’s an “us” problem, not a “them” problem.

And perhaps, the most important of all…

Jack Bauer May Return to the New ’24’ After All
We may not have seen the last of super-agent Jack Bauer. Despite early statements from Fox that Kiefer Sutherland would definitely not be appearing in the upcoming reboot of the popular action series 24, a producer has hinted that Jack Bauer may be back after all.

Click image for a larger view. Source: Non Sequitur


My Picks for Tuesday 5-24-2016

Picks Tuesday

This is the stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

As a worship leader, this has always been a struggle…

What Dietrich Bonhoeffer Preached On Memorial Day
Trevin Wax
“Should a church commemorate Memorial Day? And if so, how?

Pastors and church leaders grapple with this issue every May and face similar questions around the Fourth of July. How do you balance gratitude for our nation with the truth that we are citizens of another kingdom? Can patriotism and Christianity mix? Should they?

We are not the first generation of believers to face this question.

As a young German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was asked to preach on National Memorial Day in Berlin, on February 21, 1932. These were tumultuous times for Germany. Hitler’s party was on the rise, and Bonhoeffer felt the need to equip the church for suffering in the days ahead.

What should a preacher communicate on a day that memorialized the Germans who died in the first world war? What words would be appropriate, or more importantly, Christian?

I loved reading her conversion testimony…

Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life“Like many atheists (who are generally lovely moral people like my father, who would refuse to enter heaven and instead wait outside with his Miles Davis LPs), I started out snarky and defensive about religion, but eventually came to think it was probably nice for people of faith to have faith. I held to that, even though the idea of a benign deity who created and loved us was obviously nonsense, and all that awaited us beyond the grave was joyful oblivion…

…I did not wish to believe. I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t…

…I never possessed much chill, to be honest. Now I have none whatsoever.

There are times I feel a bit like a medieval peasant, in that I believe wholly in God now, but don’t always do what he wants, or, like Scarlett O’Hara, put hard conversations with him off until I’ve done the thing I wanted to do. It’s a thrumming backdrop to the rest of my life. My Christian conversion has granted me no simplicity. It has complicated all of my relationships, changed how I feel about money, messed up my public persona, and made me wonder if I should be on Twitter at all.

Obviously, it’s been very beautiful.”

The Crayon EffectManuel Luz
Colorful Crayons
“Today’s current trend toward coloring books for adults is rooted in an implied understanding that focusing on the act of coloring relieves stress and anxiety. Some also argue that coloring is an act of anti-technology, something that allows our brains an opportunity to unplug and recharge. And some argue that coloring  is an invitation to the boomer and buster to re-experience some aspect of their childhood. And while I believe all of these reasons to be experientially true, I think that we may have somehow missed the point.

You see, the very act of creativity is a life-giving act. That’s how God made us.

Because I believe that it is not just the re-experiencing of one’s childhood memories that we crave. It is more so the act of once again being a child, with child-like curiosity and wonder and a natural craving for the creative process. Our adult souls are filled through the act of creativity, but in our high-tech, entertainment-filled, internet-saturated world, we adults have simply lost the means to express it.”

Thom is great at compiling lists like this. I think this one is particularly important…

Seven Ways Church Outreach Has Changed in 15 Years
Thom Rainer
“So what are churches doing to reach people today, Thom?”

I hear some version of that question on a regular basis. The difficult response is that more churches are doing nothing rather than something.

But, to be fair, thousands of churches are doing some type of outreach to their communities and beyond. But the times have definitely changed. Here are seven of the most common changes in church outreach practices over the past one to two decades…

…These are not merely shifts; they are dramatic changes. And most of the changes took place in a relatively brief period.”

“I am Groot.”
Source: Off the Mark

My Weekend Picks for 3-18-2016

This is the stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

Lots of excellent and thought-provoking reading for your weekend…

I completely agree with Russell Moore on this!

Are Millennials Selfish and Entitled?Russell Moore
urban-438393_1280“Most of the Millennial-age gospel Christians I know are far more theologically rooted than their parents’ generation. Most of them are far more committed to reaching outside of Christian subcultures to share the gospel with people not like them. Would some of them rather discuss theology than evangelize? Yes, just as many in the last generation would rather discuss evangelism than evangelize…

One of the gripes I often hear is that Millennials tend to avoid taking counsel from their elders. This is seen as evidence of their self-obsession. I have seen some Millennials chafe when the only interaction they have from past generations is criticism of how they’re doing everything wrong. But I hardly see Millennials eschewing guidance from those older. As a matter of fact, I see them begging for such guidance…

…it’s also a perpetual temptation for older generations to react to the younger with envy, seeing in them a sign of coming irrelevance and mortality. It is much easier, like Saul, to throw spears at the next generation than it is, like Paul, to pour one’s life into the next generation.

Let’s stop the Millennial bashing, in public and in private. Let’s thank God that he has given us a vibrant, gospel-focused, Christ-following next generation.”

The Modesty DebateSam Powell
“The assumption of the modesty debate is that men are creatures of lust who can’t help it – especially if a woman is dressed immodestly. Really, it’s her fault. The woman that you put in front of me, Lord, she gave it to me and I did look.

Piffle. Men, get this through your head… The problem is your heart, not her skirt. Further, the Bible teaches us that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

In other words, we men do not need modesty laws to have a pure heart. What we need is Christ. We need to stop blaming the girls, the advertisers, the catalogs, the TV shows, and point the finger right where it belongs. At our filthy, corrupted, sinful hearts. We need to fall on our knees and beg God again for the Holy Spirit to create in us clean hearts that look on women as creatures made in God’s image, worthy of honor and dignity.

The strongest modesty laws of all are in sharia law, and those who hold it the most strictly are so consumed with lust that they keep slaves…”

I think David Miller is onto something here…

Let’s Resurrect The Federalist PartyPaul David Miller
Let’s Resurrect The Federalist Party“The Republican brand will be irreparably tarnished by this year’s election if the party nominates Trump. When the prohibitive frontrunner for the party’s nomination actually hesitated before denouncing the Ku Klux Klan and re-tweeted Benito Mussolini on the same day, that party has lost all moral credibility. It can no longer expect to be trusted by voters, which means it can no longer expect to win elections.

This is a welcome opportunity. The problems of the Republican Party have been piling up for years…

A new political movement might succeed as either the animating spirit of a completely reformed overhauled Republican Party, or as the gorilla that finally puts the old elephant out of its misery. Either way, it must start with a common understanding of the central political challenge of this generation. The topic deserves an entire book, but here is the first draft of my answer: The central political issue of our generation is the assault on human dignity and self-government by the “progressive” left and the Trumpist right.”

I admit that I have truly appreciated some of the really good “reboots” but I have also thought about this every single time…

It’s Not the Years, Honey. It’s the Mileage.Samuel D. James
For a little while now I’ve been critical of Hollywood’s creative stagnation. The sequel, the reboot, and the franchise dominate the box office every year, and the result is an industry that simply doesn’t seem able to produce new worlds, new stories, new characters. Audiences want to see what they’ve already seen 2 or 3 times, 20 or 30 years ago. If familiarity had been this profitable back when George Lucas was trying to get the original Star Wars financed, it’s almost certain the world would never have seen his movie.

That kind of critique makes lots of sense to me, but it doesn’t make much sense to a lot of my friends. When I posted some tomato-throwing thoughts about the Indy film on Facebook, I predicted, accurately, that certain folks would dismiss me as a snob and a crank. It seems that most people understand the idea that reboots and sequels really are an enormous proportion of the film industry right now; they’re just OK with that. I don’t know how to convince people to not be ok with that without sounding somewhat condescending, and risking what would ultimately be a lecture of “culturedness.” A lot of my friends simply have no category for a reasonable person who would think there was some sort of objective problem with more Star Wars, more Marvel, and more Indiana Jones.”

Source: Wrong Hands



My Weekend Picks for 3-11-2016

This is the stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

For worship leaders…

Thinking in ThirdsJamie Brown
1“There are few responsibilities that a worship leader should take more seriously than choosing songs for his or her congregation to sing. In the words of the theologian Gordon Fee, “show me a church’s songs and I’ll show you their theology”. With centuries of older songs, and an ever-increasing library of new songs from which we can choose, how is a worship leader supposed to prioritize what to put on their congregations’ lips?

I have found it helpful to think in thirds. Visualize each of these thirds as a slice of one whole pie. The size of each slice will change depending on your own context, culture, and even particular service and/or venue. But a healthy repertoire, with the goal of shaping your congregation’s sung theology in a balanced way, will typically draw from these three thirds…

…as worship leaders, if we’re thinking discerningly, and choosing songs wisely, then hopefully the songs that we’re choosing will help our congregations have a sung theology that has sufficient enough roots that it’s also able to branch out.

I think I’ve begun feeling some of these effects…

These Are The Long-Term Effects Of Multitasking
Vivian Giang
“A study at the University Of London found that subjects who multitasked experienced drops in their IQ comparable to someone who missed a night of sleep. Even if multitaskers feel like they’re getting more done, they’re working at a much lower cognitive level and costing companies billions of dollars in lost productivity...

“High-quality work produced is a function of two things—the amount of time you spend on the work and the intensity of your focus during this time,” said Newport. “If you can increase your focus, you’ll get more done in less time.”

So, unless you’re just way ahead of the curve and can afford your brain performing at a much lower level, then you’re going to have to stop multitasking if you want to beat the competition.”

For guest services volunteers…and all church members…

“I’ll See You Tomorrow!”Danny Franks
Except the mumbled thank you didn’t happen. Instead of canned gratitude, the Wendy’s lady said, “I’ll see you tomorrow!”

It caught me off guard.

I don’t think anyone in the history of drive throughs has ever told me that.

But it made me think: what kind of a job do we do inviting our first time guests to come back for a second round? Instead of “Thanks for coming” or “Have a great week,” would we ever consider “See you next Sunday”?

This made me chuckle…

If Pastors’ Kids Had Their own ConferenceBarnabas Piper
If PKs had their own conference . . .

. . . their parents would sign them up to volunteer at it.

. . . if they showed up late someone would call their parents.

. . . they would all try to sit at the back.

. . . half of them would be clamoring to lead worship.

. . . the rest would refuse to participate.


Seth draws some creativity insights from George Martin…

GalvanizedSeth Godin
“When George Martin first met the Beatles and became their producer, he liked their sound and their energy, but he didn’t think they could write songs. So he licensed a song, handed it to them and had them record it. John and Paul hated doing this, so they asked if they could write one. That became their first hit. Faced with opposition and competition, they became better songwriters…

Often, our best work happens when we’re in a situation we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves. The hard part is choosing to be in that sort of situation in the first place, the uncomfortable one where we have no choice but to do better work.”

Source: Bizarro

My Picks for Tuesday 1-26-2016

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

I’ve been trying to get a balanced view of what’s really happening with the Texas indictment of the makers of the undercover sting videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the selling of human body parts. It’s hard because the sources are usually publications that are actively campaigning one way or another. I suppose that’s unavoidable on an issue like this. I have no doubt that Joe Carter has strong opinions opposing abortion (as do I) but I found his FAQ post about the charges, as well as some general info on the workings of a grand jury, very informative…

The FAQs: Grand Jury Indicts Filmmakers Who Secretly Recorded Planned ParenthoodJoe Carter

While we’re on the subject, here’s an excellent article from Frederica Mathewes-Green explaining why she moved from supporting abortion to opposing it…

When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense
Frederica Mathewes-Green
http://c6.nrostatic.com/sites/default/files/styles/original_image_with_cropping/public/uploaded/roe-v-wade-abortion-era-end.jpg?itok=heSKsodf“There I was, anti-war, anti–capital punishment, even vegetarian, and a firm believer that social justice cannot be won at the cost of violence. Well, this sure looked like violence. How had I agreed to make this hideous act the centerpiece of my feminism? How could I think it was wrong to execute homicidal criminals, wrong to shoot enemies in wartime, but all right to kill our own sons and daughters?”

Don’t miss this excellent and creative post from Carey Nieuwhof…

10 Quotes from The Eagles That Will Challenge Every Leader –Carey Nieuwhof
eagles“The lyrics below are Ecclesiastes-like observations on life that make me think…again and again.

With poignant honesty, the lyrics reflect the reality of life, ambition, relationships, success and disappointment.

Here are 10 Eagles lyrics that challenge me as a person and leader every time I hear them…”

All my best posts are the posts I haven’t writtenSeth Godin
“Sometimes I’ll get a great idea for a post while out walking or showering or generally not in front of a keyboard. Not just great ideas, but fabulous ones.

And then, after rehearsing the keywords over and over so I don’t forget before I write it down, I forget.

And that post, the post I didn’t write, the post that never saw the light of day–that’s the best post ever.

I think most dreams work this way.

The thing is, an unwritten post is no post at all. It’s merely a little bit of gossamer on wings of hope. Doesn’t count.

The only good posts are the ones I’ve written.

I think most dreams work this way, too.”

Kathie and I were watching The Man in the High Castle last night and chuckling over the fact that one of the characters has the title of “Obergruppenführer,” so this seemed timely…

Source: Off the Mark


My Picks for Tuesday 12-22-2015

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

Dear God, I Don’t Want to Serve You This Way
Jeanne Harrison

“I imagined myself holding out a Christmas gift to God, only it wasn’t the present He wanted. It was the present I wanted to give Him, like buying your husband a weed wacker when he asked for golf clubs. Really, it was a gift for myself. Let me honor You by becoming a world-famous author! How about that? Let me do something big and impressive in my church. Let me put this college degree to use . . . You will be so glorified, I promise!

Jay Pathak on “Speaking of Jesus”Steve Cuss
Jay-_twitter“I’m amazed at the great lengths we go to to make people weird in the way they share their life with Jesus.” Jay talked about being a waiter at a restaurant when someone left him a ‘tract’ as a tip. “Why would you do this?” he asked the customer. The customer replied, “I don’t know, our pastor gave it to us….we have 20 of these and we have to get rid of them!” Clearly the people were in some version of an “evangelism class.” The goal of the class is getting people to share their belief in Jesus, but it actually pushed people away from following God because of how weird and unnatural this makes us.

But following Jesus is supposed to make us more human, more empathetic, so why do we do weird things when we’re representing Jesus, rather than be more human toward people?

So here are the 4 things I do:
1. Share the life you actually have with Jesus, not a bunch of facts about Jesus.
2. Never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, argue with someone.
3. When you love someone, you sacrifice money and time for them.
4. When you talk about life with God, just talk about Jesus.

Read the article for more explanation on each point.

Don’t just make your guests at church feel welcome. Surprise them!

Nine Surprises in Worship Services That Made Guests Return
Thom Rainer
Nine-Surprises-in-Worship-Services-That-Made-Guests-Return“In a recent Twitter survey, I asked respondents to share with me a singular event that impressed them in a church worship service. In fact, most of the respondents said they were “delighted” or “surprised,” and that the one event made them desire to return to the church. I am appreciative for all the responses. A pattern developed around nine factors. Here are some representative quotes around each of the issues…”

The NextSeth Godin
“Two hundred years ago, we had great-great-greats who lived in the dark, without much in the way of healthcare, commerce or opportunity.

Today, we complain that the MRI was chilly, or that the wifi on the transatlantic plane wasn’t fast enough or that there’s nothing new going on at the mall.

It’s human nature to recalibrate. But maybe it’s worth fighting that off, for an hour or even a day.

The world around us is uneven, unfair and yes, absolutely, over-the-top amazing.

Boring is an attitude, not the truth.

Possibility is where you decide it is.”

Holidays with loved ones…
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