Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ways we should be more like Brittany

Today is my wife's birthday.  She's awesome.  On top of that, I think we all have a couple things we could learn from her (or at least I do):
  • Savor your tea.  Brittany can enjoy a good cup of tea for a long time.  Usually she's savoring the conversation that's happening over it as well.  In a 'chug it and go' society she slows down and savors.
  • Forget the clock.  I have to be honest, that in my weaker moments I wish she would remember the clock.  But truth be told, her ability to live without worrying about what time it is or what's next is inspiring.  If we could all live in the moment like that I think we would all be a lot happier.
Happy Birthday Babe!  I love you!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Three Free Thoughts

In no particular order:

It's amazing how many people say YES when you actually take the time to ask.

No offense too computers and technology, but a good dry erase board is one of the best teaching tools out there.

I think people should still put two spaces between sentences.  Only putting one space after a period is just silly. See?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

HIRI: T4T by Steve Smith

A few thoughts and points from T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution by Steve Smith & Ying Kai

Quotable:  "A common leadership mistake we make is by spending 90% of our time with the 10% who are least responsive. We cajole them and do whatever we can to move them off center." p264
"Until someone is willing to boldly risk living out and launching the disciple-making commands of the king, regardless of personal cost, movements lay dormant." p306, emphasis mine

What I Liked: The book Church Planting Movements gives a great vision for generations of self-reproducing disciples of Jesus.  This book provides a road map for how to get there.  Not many books inspire me to start working on a new idea right away, but I already have a two-page document started with takeaways from T4T.  I love a book that practical.  How much did I like this book as a whole?  I borrowed it to read it this time.  I'll be buying myself a copy soon.

What I Liked II: More than once while I was reading I paused, set the book down, and said "Wow." The reason I said Wow was because this book brought me back to the basics of Biblical discipleship in a way I had never seen before.  I like that.

What I Didn't Like: There were a few times I thought the author's wording or descriptions could have been better.  And at times the book tended so much toward practicality that some items or principles didn't feel fully developed. 

2013 Personal Impact Ranking: (As usual, the first book I read in a year is also the most impactful book I've read that year... at least until I finish the second one.)
  1. T4T by Steve Smith

Monday, February 18, 2013

Summer Fundraising

"Are you taking your teens on a missions trip or doing a summer project with your youth group this summer?  Do you or your group need to raise money but aren't sure where to start?"  

I know must plugs that start with those questions then have a fundraiser for you to sign up for.  (You know the usual: coupon book sales, car wash, Culver's night, etc.)

No fundraiser selling here. Instead, I want to invite you to explore the topic of Biblical Fundraising, specifically as it pertains to equipping youth groups and teenagers to raise money.  This is happening Thursday 2/21 at the Peoria Youth Network.  11:30-1 at the Christian Center.  Lunch is included for $5.

We'll dialogue issues, mistakes, and ideas.  But most importantly we'll take a look at Scripture and see how it can inform you, your teens, and your summer fundraising.

If you want to explore the topic early, or can't make it that day, check out this link for details:

Please comment or contact me if you're planning on coming.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

BOOR February 2012: 2 Articles + a Reminder

I read a lot of good stuff online last February.

But the cream of the crop, the Best Of Online Reading can be found right here:

1) What is Biblical Masculinity? by Skye Jethani.  This one is funny, thought provoking, and not too long.

2) How I Chose Movement Over Mega by Mike Breen.  This is a long story of the author's journey from a classic "mega church" to a spreading movement.  It's worth every minute you spend reading it because it casts a bigger vision than "Let's have the biggest church we can."  If you're intrigued I challenge you to read it.

Lastly, today is Valentine's Day.  Guys.. don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I recently talked about SMART goals as one key to personal and spiritual growth.

What's the opposite of a SMART goal?  A STUPID one.  A goal that is...


Aren't those great?  My wife thought of them, and while I may be biased, she's really great too.

May your life be filled with SMART Goals and not STUPID ones.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The End of a Journey

Our house-selling journey just ended (at least for now.)  We've decided to take a break from selling it and maybe try again later this year.  Some meandering thoughts on the topic:

Mental Roller Coaster:

We felt all of these emotions as we tried to sell our house.  And, hey, emotions happen.  I'm not sure what we could have done to turn any of them off.  But at the end of the run, God is still God and we're still blessed with a pretty awesome house now.  Next time I'd like to be aware of my emotions without riding them like a roller coaster.

Lesson Learned:
In addition to these house-selling lessons which we posted on our family blog, I have one final one:

Don't put your house for sale during the busiest season of your year.  Just don't.

And finally, in this scattered post: Josh Elliott won the Superbowl Pick contest and will get any book off of my 2013 reading list!  Way to go Josh!

Monday, February 4, 2013

2nd Gen

A little terminology here:

If you're seeking to make disciples you're the Zero generation.  The people you are discipling are a 1st generation.  The people that they disciple are a 2nd generation.  And so on...

I recently read about a movement with 18 generations of disciples following Jesus Christ.  EIGHTEEN! Awesome.

Currently the highest number I've seen is 2nd generation, and that only a couple of times.  Baby steps...

One common factor with the path to 2nd generation disciples was really intriguing.  It seems that the shorter the initial Zero generation to 1st generation disciple-making time is, the better chance that there becomes a 2nd generation.

I'm sure that breaks down at some point, we can't call one 5-minute meeting disciple-making and walk away.  But nevertheless, most of my 2nd generation success is linked to Zero generation meetings that lasted between 5 and 10 weeks, not months or years.