Sunday, April 28, 2013

Moving parts

We are learning a lot of lessons as a growing church.

One lesson many others are beginning to learn with us is how many moving parts there are. Everything affects everything.

We have awesome volunteers and when u have a lot of people involved there will no doubt be things that won't go according to plan.

When one thing happens, sometimes it isn't a big deal but when one thing happens to many people - it becomes a big deal.

When people hear how one thing affects everything else, it motivates them to really own their part to ensure the experience is as great as it can be.

Our leadership lesson tonight was about doing the best u can with what u have. We discussed how we can even do better and got some great feedback.

My point: when we were smaller the glitches were easier to fix or cover up. As we grow, the missteps affect more people and are tougher to repair.

The best thing we can so is keep tying what we are doing to the LifeChange people are experiencing. We also need to make sure we are properly training and communicating. After that, people will be who they are.

Do what you can and be ready to make adjustments. The more moving parts you have, the more the machine can be affected.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Video Vine

I wasn't sure about the Vine app when it first came out. I signed up but only tried it once.

Since then I have seen it grow in popularity and have seen some hilarious videos.

It is amazing how funny people can be in 6 seconds. I thot twitter was crazy limiting a tweet to 140 characters and thot Vine was even crazier to limit someone to 6 seconds. I was crazy for thinking people couldn't utilize the very limited time.

I started thinking how it forces you to prepare more when u have limited time or space. Sometimes its easier to ramble for 30 minutes than to prepare a strategic 5 minute message.

Companies pay thousands, sometimes millions for 30 second commercials. In this day of multimedia, it is not difficult to find something to entertain us. When someone tells me to watch a video I always ask "how long is it?". If it is longer than about 3 minutes I usually don't want to "waste my time".

My point: time is valuable and it only proves if we are strategic with it, we can accomplish a lot. We don't need to say a lot, we need to say meaningful things.

I am a fan of vine because I can watch a lot in a little amount of time.

I remember reading a book called "say it in 30 seconds or less" - exactly

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Reuben, Lil Bill & Billy Ray

Last week the biggest problem I had to solve was how to stay cool in the hot sun. I know, u feel sorry for me.

Well, it seems the Dominican Republic had a solution called a "cool tub". Not to be confused with a hot tub.

I met some interesting people in the cool tub. I don't know their names but I will can tell u what I called em. One guy looked just like Reuben Studdard from American idol so I called him Reuben. Another guy was from Poland and his friend was from the Ukraine so that's how I referred to them. The last guy had a striking resemblance to the cartoon character based on Bill Cosby called Lil Bill, so we called him Lil Bill.

We were all having a great time in our new cool tub community then Reuben realized everyone had a name except me. Since I don't resemble anyone famous so they were struggling, but then Reuben made the parallel to my facial hair "soul patch" and the facial hair of Billy Ray Cyrus. That is all it took, from then on, every time I saw my new cool tub friends, they called me "Billy Ray".

My point: people love community. It doesn't take long to connect with people and create memories but it does take an intentional effort. I will never see these people again but they will be forever in my memory. I don't even know their real names but I will always remember our cool tub community.

To create great memories, you don't have to share a cool tub of water full of who knows what - but u do have to share life.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

To do: Nothing

Well we hit the ground in Miami today after 5 nights in the beautiful Dominican Republic.

I will remember many things about this trip but the theme that kept coming up was "nothing".

We woke up whenever we wanted and did whatever we wanted. If we wanted to do nothing, that's what we did. There was access to food pretty much anytime. Transportation would take u anywhere u wanted at just about any hour.

We made a plan that went something like this: wake up whenever and do nothing. Then go eat and go back to doing nothing. After that we will lay at the beach or pool while doing nothing. After hours of doing nothing, we were hungry again so we would eat at a diff restaurant then resume- yep, nothing. This continued until we decided to turn in for the night to resume doing nothing the next day.

My point: we live in a fast paced world but it was absolutely incredible to do nothing for so long. It took us 10 years to take this trip but hopefully it won't be another 10 before we can do nothing again.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


This sept will be my 10yr wedding anniversary. We are finally going to go on a vacation together. We are going to go to the Dominican Republic. I heard great things about it.

Each anniversary is a milestone but it really made me think about why people say "happy" anniversary.

People say "happy" whether they know if it is actually a celebration for the couple or not. Whether it is happy or not, I agree it should be celebrated because they chose to stay together.

Most people say it because they just don't know what else to say. Have u ever heard of anyone saying "crappy anniversary" or "not too bad anniversary"?

My point: we decide whether we have a happy anniversary or not. Staying together is a choice and happy is also a choice. My happiness does not depend on anyone else. Having an anniversary is a choice and making it happy is also a choice.

Of course I am talking about a marriage anniversary. There are definitely some anniversaries of very tough times that will not bring happy memories.

Happy is depends on me.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

If nothing ever changes...

The word "change" stirs up a lot of emotions. I guess it all depends on the lens you are looking thru. Uncertainty, excitement, anxious, cautious, angry, sad, uneasy, indifferent and joy are just a few of the words people use to describe change.

C3 is going thru some changes. Come to think about it, C3 always seems to be in a season of change. The one thing that stays the same is the consistency of change.

People are affected by change and I have had to have some tough conversations, some uncomfortable ones and some pleasant ones.

I started saying this statement (be ready, it's pretty profound): "if nothing ever changes, nothing ever changes".

Did u get the full effect of it. Did it impact you deeply. Did it hit confuse you. Did it insult you. Did it make you think - yea, me too.

My point: if C3 is constantly changing, everything & everyone has to continue changing as we'll. I have learned to love it and hate it at the same time. I think others have too.

We don't get to rest because change causes you to adjust. We don't get to celebrate long because the next change is coming soon. We don't get to coast or set the cruise control because the speed is never the same.

Here's the truth: if nothing ever changes, nothing ever changes. If everything stays the same, then everything stays the same. But If everything changes, then everything changes.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Checklists, serving and smart mouths

Hannah made her checklist for tomorrow. It may look like she needs Gatorade for school and dance but to her it says "get ready".

I had the privilege of driving a C3 student home tonight to a neighbors house. He came to C3 tonight to help with childcare. He told me he loves serving.

I had a conversation with a school teacher and she was saying how you can tell if the father is in the home of her 3rd grade students. You can tell by the way they talk, the way they treat others and definitely in the way they show respect or disrespect to her as a teacher.

All these examples are of kids modeling what they see their parents do. My wife and I put everything into our calendars for each to see. I have to do lists and checklists everywhere. Hannah is modeling what she sees her parents do.

The student I drove home has two amazing parents at home who were serving as community group leaders tonight and that is why their son needed a ride home. They are both very active in our church and so are their other 2 children. This kid loves doing what he sees his parents do.

The last example of the kids behavior at school is sad. Instead of some of them having a positive example at home, some of them have a poor example or no example at all.

My point: parents can't u underestimate our role in our children's lives. They will do what they see us do not necessarily what we tell them to do. If we see qualities or traits in our children, chances are they see it in us. Whether its positive or negative, most of the responsibility is ours to carry.

What are your kids doing that drive you crazy - look in the mirror.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

No sweat

There was a commercial that said "never let em see you sweat".

When I was in the Air Force my job was "emergency action controller". Basically I was trained by the United States military to stay calm in high stress situations.

The way we responded to situations set the tone for the entire base so it was very important for us to stay calm.

This is a good principle for our team as a church. When there is a situation, everyone is watching how we handle it. If there is a misspelled word, if someone sings the wrong words to the song, if a mic squeals, if a speaker blows, if a light burns out, if a kid takes off running while screaming, our reaction should always be the same - calm.

If we stay calm the people around us will feel like we have everything under control whether we really do or not.

My point: the perception everything is under control brings calm. When we overreact, others may freak out and make the situation even worse.

Overreacting is always a bad idea.