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Jesus came to change us!

I've been listening to the Mosaic Podcast for several weeks now and have been really enjoying the preaching of Erwin McManus.
In his latest message, McManus says that Jesus' mission wasn't to solve all the world's problems, His mission was to change us, so that we would change the world. 
That's awesome! 
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Design change

As you can tell I did some design changes here on the old blog. I'm finding I get bored pretty quick with the designs, hopefully though this one will stick around for a while with only minor tweaks here and there cuz I like it. Thanks to my buddy Jordan Hill for the awesome pic in the header (I hope he doesn't mind me using it! although you'll see a little credit on the right side). So whatdya think?

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More amazing pictures

By my friend Jordan Hill
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One of the ministry projects I have in mind is setting up a blog / website that can serve as a resource center / blog / idea-lab.  I can't decide though if I want to use Blogger, Movable Type, or Wordpress.  I'd like some customization capabilities, but I'm not super techie and I'd like it to look top notch.  Hmmmm.  thoughts?
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Tattoos & Guitars!

Quite an adventurous day! For starters, Rachel finally got her tattoo! It was her birthday present from last year!

The artist at work
The finished product
Secondly, I put a new guitar on layaway! Woohoo! It's a 50's style Fender Strat. This is what it looks like:Hopefully I won't have to wait too long to get it in my hands, but I guess waiting just makes it that much better!

Getting Organized

In an effort to rid ourselves of our cluttered ways, Rachel and I are implementing the following 5 Habits of Highly Organized People , one at a time, found in the new Radiant Magazine that Rachel got.

Here they are:

If you get it out, put it back ... quickly.

Apply the 30-second rule consistently. If something takes 30 seconds or less to do, do it immediately. Usually

it takes no more than 30 seconds to hang up your purse or take your laptop back to your desk.

Follow the camping rule: When you go into a wilderness area, leave it the same as you found it, or better.

When you take a shower, leave the bathroom the way you found it, or better.

Really look at your surroundings. Try walking up to your home as a guest, and you will notice how outsiders

see your surroundings.

Use little minutes. Don’t wait for a whole weekend to clean; clean a little bit every free moment.

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I need more sleep

Lauren Winner writes on our physical as well as spiritual need for sleep.  This solidifies what I've been thinking lately: I need more sleep!
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24 on itunes

I'm very happy to see 24 finally available on itunes, especially since I missed the last two episodes! 
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More Maximum Impact notes

It figures.  After trying to keep good notes of the Maximum Impact Simulcast, they put up summaries of each speakers presentation on-line.  Click here to see them.

What's your L-factor?

I scored a 4.6, ouch.  I would have thought of my self as a more likeable person.  I'd also like to see what my score is if someone I know takes the test for me.
Based off of Tim Sanders' latest book "The Likeability Factor."
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Maximum Impact - Live Blog

9:00 - Opening by Mark Sanborn.  "You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader."
6 Keys:

1. Center of self mastery.  Self mastery is the center of leadership


3 c’s:






2. Focused attention beats brains & brawn anytime


3. Power with people vs. power over people


4. Persuasive communication skills


5. IQ – implementation quotient


6. Contribution – giving


9:25 - Todd Duncan "Achieving Personal Success"


Analogy of a bike


Back tire – where momentum comes from.  People, process, profitability, productivity

Seat – where we purposefully rest.  Where we put our faith.  Purpose.

Front wheel – Where your passion is.  Vision, values, viability 


9:45 - John Maxwell "The 360 Degree Leader"


Most people never think of leading up


You don't need a title or position to be a leader




MLK – no official title or position, but major influence

Mother Theresa – no official position, but major influence


The 360 leader: Lead up, lead across, lead down


Leading Up:


1. Lead yourself exceptionally well

2. Be prepared every time you take your leaders time


Leading Across:


1. Put completing your fellow leader above competing with your fellow leader


Leading Down:


1. Find their strength and place them in that position.  Help them to work out of their strengths. 

Managers want everything to stay the same, leaders want things to change



Decision making us overrated; decision managing is underrated


When opportunity finally comes, its too late to prepare


What being a 360 degree leader is all about:


How can I add value to the people I'm going to spend time with today?

Who will those people be?


11:00 - Patrick Lencioni  "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team"


Teamwork is not a virtue its a choice


5 reasons teams fail


1. Absence of trust – If one member of the team is unwilling to be vulnerable it will spread to the rest of the team

2.  Fear of conflict

3. Lack of commitment

4. Avoidance of accountability

5. Inattention to results


2:15 (took a little break for lunch and skipped a couple speakers who I didn't really care about listening to.)


Dave Ramsey "Steps to Financial Leadership"


Steps to Financial Leadership


5 things that will change you financially


1. Live on less than you make

2. Get rid of debt

3. Be on a budget – on paper, on purpose

4. Save – emergency fund

5. Give


“Live like no one else so that later you can live like no one else.”


3:30 - Tim Sanders "The Likeability Factor"


Likeability -

The personal capacity to be consistent, regardless of the situation, in being able to produce positive experiences


4 personality traits that contribute to a persons likeability factor:







Improve your friendliness:


Think different


Be kind with e-mail


“Long after people forget what you did and said, they will remember how you made them feel.”


So it was a long & busy day.  I had to skip a couple of the presentations, but the ones I stuck around for where good.  I like the idea of being a 360 degree leader.  We got a workbook to go along with the presentations, so I'll take some time soon and go through it.  There were also some good books that I'll be adding to my wishlist.   


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Maximum Impact Simulcast

Tomorrow, our church is hosting the Maximum Impact Simulcast.  I'm not a huge John Maxwell fan, but I am looking forward to Tim Sanders.  I read his Love is the Killer App in college and really enjoyed it.  I'm going to make an attempt at live-blogging the event.  Should be interesting.

Coca Cola Blak

Tried the new Coca Cola Blak today.  Seems like Coke is trying really hard to get a piece of the premium beverage market.  Looking at the website (click link above) for the drink you'd think it was some sort of exotic expensive liquor.  As far as taste, it was ok, a little bit Coke a little bit espresso-ish.  I'll drink it on occasion, but it won't be replacing my morning cup.
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Change, Faith, and the Future

I don't know if I'm just in a melancholy mood, but the somewhat uncertainty of my future has got me in deep thought today. 
I know that God has called me to a particular vocation, a life calling.  And I thought, and still do to some extent, that I was heading in the direction of entering into this calling.  All the right doors seemed to be opening and for a while, things were looking positive.  However, lately there seems to be delay after delay after delay.  Now I'm not sure if this is God trying to cultivate patience in me or if it is a signal that this was not in fact the destination, but rather a brief road I needed to travel on my way to another place.  When I think about both options, I dont really prefer one to the other.  They both seem right and good, but quite different.  All I really want is to go in the direction that God wants me to go, but discerning which direction is the hard part.
Faith.  Faith requires risk.  It isn't the safe option.  One of the roads before me requires a bit more risk than the other and a part of me wonders if this is the path that I am to take.  But, do I take it just because it presents more "risk"?  Ahhhh!
While at lunch today, I read and meditated on Psalm 34.  While there wasn't a particular verse that jumped off the page and screamed in my face, I felt God speak to me.  What I felt Him saying was that I'm not pursuing Him, I'm pursuing a dream, a goal, a career.  What I need to do is focus on Him, cultivate my relationship with Him, worship Him, pursue Him.  I think what had happened was that I got caught up in chasing my calling rather than chasing after the one who does the calling.
So, while I still have lots of questions about where I am to take my next step, I have a feeling of hope now.  What to do now?  Stop worrying about tomorrow.  Stop pursuing a career.  Stop trying to plan my life out.  Start focusing on today.  Start pursuing God.  Start trusting in Him with reckless confidence and risky faith.

The Jesus Life

"The Jesus Way wedded to the Jesus Truth produces the Jesus Life." - Eugene Peterson
Good words.
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Weekend in review

Friday - Went to the wedding of our friends Renee & Shawn. It was a very nice wedding and the reception was huge. That had to be the biggest wedding I've ever been to. Congrats Shawn & Renee!
Saturday - The young adult group from church had lunch with our senior citizen group. That was pretty cool. However, we were kinda taken by surprise by a guest speaker (we thought it was just going to be lunch) who thought for some reason that we were teenagers, as he kept referring to us as "the youth." That was slightly odd.
Later that day a group of us drove up to Lancaster Bible College for an Enter the Worship Circle event. As I stated a few blog posts ago, Rachel and I are huge ETWC fans and were totally looking forward to experiencing them live. Well, after a long drive and a brief period of being completely lost, we arrived to a slim crowd and the ETWC crew on stage accompanied by worship painter Stacy Chech.
Here's a few pics:

"Worship experience" describes it better than "concert". We all had a great time.
On the way home we stopped at "Eat n' Park" for some food. We got there just in time for a fresh buffet!

Sunday - Went to church, a guy from Gideon's International was speaking. He was ok. I appreciate the work that the Gideons do with getting Bibles in peoples hands. However, I really wish they would drop the whole man/women thing. Thankfully this speaker didn't mention this as past one's have.
At Sunday night service, several people were baptized including my friend Tabitha, which was cool.
So all in all, another full yet good weekend. Thank God for another day!
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