Saturday, January 28, 2012

Are you Rewriting the Dictionary?

It's Science Fair time at my house. Nothing creates tension in our home more consistently than this season of home laboratories, deadlines and display boards. We have made it a team effort, playing to each contributor's strengths. My wife, Angela, is the project manager. That means she checks the assignment sheet daily to see what needs to be completed and when. I am the Project Encourager as well as provide "Adult Supervision" for power tools and sharp objects. Our kids do the work with an occasional hand from us with glueing objects and proof-reading.

As we were working on this year's project, Angela and Logan (this year's "scientist") ended up in a typing war to see who could type the fastest on the computer. The only thing missing was the music from Dueling Banjos.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Are You Leveraging Your Life?

Like many people, I began 2012 looking ahead to what I wanted to accomplish this year. Not so much drafting resolutions, but more about what I wanted my life to look like in December. As any good planner would do, I sat down with a pen and paper to compose my master plan.  Then I just stared at the paper.

I had some objectives that I wanted to accomplish, but that wasn't what I was going for in this particular composition. I wanted something I could use as a filter for decision-making, planning and ambitions. A mantra to guide me toward a desired outcome. I still stared at the paper.

A few days later I was in my car listening to a talk by Gabe Lyons who wrote the book, "The Next Christians." I listened as he painted a picture of a generation of Christ-followers who want to engage culture and leverage the life God gave them to create change. The more I listened, the more the word "leverage" loomed in my mind.

Leverage. How could I leverage my life for good? But as a follower of Jesus Christ, my life is not my own, so leveraging it for MY good is really not the point. All that I do needs to be for His glory.

When the talk finished, I played it again. As I listened, and pondered the leverage angle, I grabbed a pen and scratch piece of paper and began crafting a sentence that would describe what I wanted my life to look like. After many different drafts and edits, this is where I landed:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Have You Blown the Magical Moments?

I have.

I heard a speaker say once, "The wise man learns from his mistakes. The wiser man learns from other's mistakes. But the wisest man learns from other's success." You're about to learn from my mistake, thus making you a wiser person than me.

I was out for a run yesterday, and listening to the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast on the topic of "When Work and Family Collide." Normally it's just Andy and his host bantering back and forth over specific leadership topics. This particular episode had a special guest, Joel Manby. Here is a great video (4:30) produced by Giant Impact and Jeremy Kubicek (Leadership is Dead) that will give you a snippet of Joel's story (and a great leadership conversation).

In the podcast, Joel mentioned that his wife was the catalyst to his personal "re-org". As they went away for a long weekend to work through how they would make the necessary changes to save their family and their marriage. He mentions asking, "What are the things you need from me at home?" Her response: "I want you to put the kids to bed, not send the kids to bed." Then Joel added, "Because that's where the magic happens."

I almost stopped running.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Have You Ever Laughed At God?

I'm SOAPing through the life of Abraham. I have a new perspective on him. I no longer see him as the old, feeble, long grey-beareded Abraham.  I now see him like a Brad Pitt sort of dude. He's rich, has a smoking hot wife and can kick your tail if you make him mad. Go see it for yourself: Genesis 12:11, 13:2, 14:14.

Today I peaked in on a conversation between Abraham and God. By this stage of his life, Abraham is up in years (100 to be exact.) His wife, Sarah is not far behind (90). God has just announced to Abraham that he and Sarah are going to have a child. What does Abraham do? He busted out a LOL! Literally, he fell on the ground laughing at the Creator of the Universe (Gen 17:17). Then, in an attempt to salvage God's reputation, Abraham offers him an out by suggesting that God should just bless his other son, Ishmael and move on with His day.

As I simmered over this account, I began to wonder what kind of event in my life would cause me to laugh at God. What could He do that would make me chuckle and say, "Yeah...Right!?!" 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why I Run in the Rain

Surely you've heard the creed for the United States Postal Service (USPS) that goes something like "Neither rain, snow, sleet or hail will ever prevent us from delivering the mail." Truth is, there's not an official creed. This phrase happens to be on the wall of a post office in New York City and has somehow made it's way into our minds as the official creed for the entire USPS. Nonetheless, it communicates the intent of our postal carriers to do whatever it takes to get us our mail. It's a picture of commitment.

Commitment is what separates the "doers" and the "watchers." It separates those who gets things done and those who get done by things. It's the determining factor in success and failure. Commitment to our daily tasks will determine the level of our success. It's why I run in the rain.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Are You Thinking Responsibly?

My small group recently began a DVD study entitled, "Taking Responsibility for Your Life" by Andy Stanley. [watch here] The premise is simple: before we can make changes in our lives, we must first make changes in our minds. We have to think responsibly.

One thing Andy mentions is that all of us are designed to be responsible.  It is when we act irresponsibly that we create tension in our lives. A tension that only we know. After all, no one knows the real us better than us.

I happened to be flipping through some files and came across this piece of work that makes this point a little clearer.  My apologies to the author as there is no name included on the document in my file.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Do You Have A Vision You Will Never See?

A new year is underway. As "Dr. Phil" would say, "How's it working for you?" Did you draft any resolutions or goals? Did you write out your Year In Review letter for 2012? Or did you just get up and keep moving like you did before taking a break for the holidays? If so, there's always time to get a plan and get moving. Remember: "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time."

When you think about the "you" that you want to become in 2012, let me encourage you to think about the "you" that you want to be in 2112. Wait...that's 100 years from now. It's highly probable that we will not be alive in 2112. So why would we concern ourselves with a life that's non-existent?

It's called our Legacy. It's how we want to be remembered and how we leverage our lives now for the success for others later. It's allowing those who come behind us to stand on our shoulders. The choices we are making today can set the tone for the success of our family, our co-workers and our peers tomorrow. We need a vision that we will never see.