Thursday, June 24, 2010


I can feel something swelling up beneath my feet. I'm not sure what it is, exactly, but it's a combination of God growing me into someone I've never been and bringing all kinds of blessings in the midst of some desperation.

I guess it all starts with a crisis. I don't really feel "stressed out" because I decided up front that I was not going to stress about things out of my control. So, I guess we're in a little bit of a financial crisis as a church. We've spent all the money that was raised up front and the regular income is not enough to sustain things yet. Couple that with a backup plan that was in place not being available at this moment and I guess things are scary.

But I don't feel scared. I feel excited. I'm filled with more faith and more expectation than ever before. I'm just beginning to get into another fund-raising push with my team and this time I actually am enjoying it a bit. And in the midst of the crisis, God has blessed us with some great gifts and even some unexpected cash coming our way. I'm so grateful for all that, but I'm even more grateful for who God is shaping me into through this situation. I'm praying more, I'm relying on God more and I'm getting comfortable (a little) with raising money. I faced the fact a while back that I would be raising money for the rest of my life if I'm going to even get close to the vision God has placed in my heart. It's nice to face it now with a glimmer of excitement.

God is cool. I am not. But with His help, I'm a little less hopeless than I used to be.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

thoughts on twitter

I've been thinking about Twitter a bit lately. Kind of a love-hate I have going there. It would be more accurate to say that I love Twitter and hate what many people are attempting to do with it as it gains popularity and thus influence. A couple thoughts that keep rattling around in my head:

1. Twitter is for your real friends, not the masses you befriend on facebook. Everyday, a few new people follow me, but it's not because they know me or care at all what I have to say. They follow anyone who tweets keywords that are linked to products or services they sell.

2. Having more followers does not make you popular. Just like having more friends on facebook does not make you popular. Popularity is achieved by investing in, adding value to and loving people. Clicking the word "follow" on a web page does not count as investment. Twitter is for you and your tribes. People you love and influence and those whom you are loved and influenced by.

3. Following an exorbitant number of people does not help you, even if you do it with the best of intentions. Can you really follow 10,977 people and have any idea what's going on with even 1% of them? You are a human, not a server harvesting information.

4. If you tweet constantly, you're not getting your message across, you're just annoying people. I regularly stop following people who have some really great things to say. The problem? They say them way too often. Some notable examples: John Maxwell, Rick Warren, Ed Stetzer. I'll read their books and blogs and learn like crazy, but I can't stomach these guys on Twitter.

There are a few more, but super-long blog posts are also not a good idea, so I'm done here. Of course, these are only my opinions. I would love to hear yours.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

could less be more?

This is a straight copy and paste from the newsletter I get from the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce. I think this is right on and some churches ought to consider following suit. Love your feedback on this one. Leave a comment, please.

Retailers cut choices to increase sales

After years of tempting customers with ever-expanding arrays of brands, hues, sizes and flavors, retailers are now reducing the amount of choice on their shelves. Storekeepers are culling their product lines to trim costs, reduce consumer confusion and ultimately boost sales.

Reducing the number of products can help companies increase sales by as much as 40 percent while cutting costs by 10 to 35 percent, according to a 2007 study by consultant Bain & Co. However, it's important to be careful when cutting products and react quickly to customer feedback.

When Procter & Gamble Co. recently reduced the number of its soap and other skin care offerings by about one-third at one retailer, sales grew. Shoppers reported they felt that they had more choices because the selection on the shelf was clearer.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

today I prayed

I set aside about half the day to "spend with God". Whatever that means. I guess I'm learning what it means, because every time I do this, God teaches me things and gives me clues about where to step next.

I had breakfast with Josh Schneeberger. It was a great conversation. Here is a young guy looking for a challenge, hoping to be stretched and asking for accountability. It doesn't get much better than that. I left our breakfast this morning realizing that God taught me a whole bunch about how much we leaders need to rely on Him. I know that sounds so weak and cliche', but there is something that God did in my soul this morning along those lines. Words don't cut it.

Next, I drove over to the area of the city where I lived as a young kids (like ages 7-12). Man, this is another one that I don't have words for, but I can say for sure I have a vision to plant a church in that part of town someday. Actually, I want to send a planter into that part of town. I so don't connect with the culture there - mostly Spanish and some Asian - but my spirit is on fire as I imagine a church operating in the abandoned car lot on 31st and 169. If you read this and God sets your heart on fire in a similar way, call me today. I think He might be up to something here.

Next, I spent some time walking and praying at Hicks Park. I played there endless hours as a kid and as I prayed for my boys today I believe God broke a generational curse that they may never have to deal with - at least not at the level I have dealt with it.

More than anything, the sermon I will preach this weekend about the wonder of God has come alive to me in some new ways today. I love living in Tulsa. Not so much because it's a better city than yours, but because God wants me here and I feel like I belong here. It's the first time I feel like I belong in a city since . . . the last time I lived in Tulsa.