Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gungor -- love the music!

I was blown away by the song "Beautiful Things" that was covered by the Willow Creek worship team during the recent leadership summit. When I went looking for the original I was impressed with how close Willow's team stayed to the arrangement by Gungor.

So here is a link to the Gungor website. Go to the media tab and listen to their amazing music.

Once you've heard it you'll realize that 'original' works on a whole lot of levels.


TRIBE: Kid's Matter to God and to Timberview

Coming up Sunday September 11 at TIMBERVIEW we will be celebrating the value of children. I love the reminder that Jesus took the little ones and held them on his lap. Mark 10:16 How cool would that have been?

So we get to hold some little one's on Jesus' behalf. How cool is that?

Leading the Way Moving into Fall

Renew the Vision
Everyone is inspired by a compelling vision. Our vision to reach people far from God and invite them into a life-changing relationship with Jesus truly is compelling. Remember too that sometimes just persevering and moving forward in tough times has a certain power in it. God rewards our faithfulness.

Rally the Troops
Meet one-on-one and in clusters with key members of your team. Tell them how much you appreciate them and remind them of their importance in the success of our ministry together. Be sure to look them in the eye. Can I count on you to be part of the solution? While you are at it identify a few key next steps – upcoming key events etc. and clarify some long-term goals and priorities.

Face Reality
Leaders define reality. So what are your challenges? How will we adjust to limited finances? We’ll need more volunteers. We also know that we’ll need more pay as we go events. All churches lose some members, just as businesses lose customers but it’s their response to such trends that will build the future. My friend Doug Murren wrote "Remember God is in the giving back business. You just have to have faith and the character to get it back God’s way. Loss should challenge us to appreciate what we have, intend to serve more intentionally, and inspire us to climb another rung on the ladder to becoming who we are."

Feed Your Own Faith
Get alone with God and make sure your spirit stays strong. Am I up for the challenge personally? My calling doesn’t change if I am in tough times. If you lose your focus you will lose ground. Take the time to find all the resources you can through relationships, online help, books etc to keep your own faith fired up.

Upward and Onward!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top Ten Leadership Quotes

1 We live in a world that’s crying out for better leadership. - Bill Hybels

2 Nothing rocks forever. Bill Hybels

3 There’s no map for being an artist. –Seth Godin

4 If it’s worth doing, why aren’t you doing it now? –Seth Godin

5 To be elegant is to love. To love is to give, to give until it hurts. –Mama Maggie Gobran

6 In silence we leave the many so we can be with the One. –Mama Maggie Gobran

7 The secret to finding the treasure of knowing the Almighty is silence. –Mama Maggie Gobran

8 I would much rather deal with anger than apathy. -Michelle Rhee

9 Humility is the noble choice to forgo your status and use your influence for the good of others before yourself. -John Dickson

10 Your job is not to look smart. It’s to help your team do more and better.
-Patrick Lencioni

Some of my favorite quotes from the recent Willow Creek Leadership Summit. Others have collected more quotes at Live Intentionally and at Executing Ideas.

Which one(s) speak to you?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mamma Maggie Groban

The single most moving moment at this year's Willow Creek Leadership Summit was the presentation by Mama Maggie Gobran. This humble woman once led a comfortable life in Cairo. A Coptic Christian from a prominent Egyptian family, she taught computer science and lectured at Cairo University. But following a conviction from God, she started a ministry to serve the poor in her city - Stephen's Children. A Nobel Peace Prize nominee this year, Mama Maggie has spent 20 years serving the poorest of the poor.

My Notes
The truth us that any of us could have been born poor. We don’t choose where to be born. But we do choose either to be sinners or saints…to be nobody or be heroes.
If you want to be a hero, do what God wants you to do.

In my younger years my family was quite affluent. I liked to be elegant in my fashion. But I have found that to be truly elegant comes from the inside, to love- to love until it hurts.

When I came here today I thought I’m the least because I’ve been forgiven of so much and given so little. But I chose to serve the poorest of the poor - the forgotten children of Cairo. These children are hungry for food and hungry for love. Whenever I touch a poor child, I’m touching Jesus. When I listen to a poor child, I’m listening to God’s heart beating for all humanity.

Among the poor God is hidden. There is mystery among the poor. I serve in a country where it is not always possible to build a church - but with God's love we build a church in the heart of every child we reach.

We are also called to have a pure heart and to love the Almighty. This is learned in silence.
I practice a discipline of silence - one day each week, three additional days each month, and one week each year.

In silence - first silence your body to listen to words.
Silence your tongue to listen to your thoughts.
Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beating
Silence your heart to listen to your spirit
Silence your spirit to listen to His spirit.

In silence you leave the many to be with the One.

Whenever I visit a country, I always kiss the ground and ask that God may bless this land and its people.

(Awestruck silence as she slowly knelt and kissed the floor.)

It was truly amazing - Mamma Maggie's presence spoke louder than her words.

Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2011

Here are some links to notes on the various sessions at the recent Willow Creek Leadership Summit. I will post some of my own reflections in days to come. For now check these out:

Relentless Leadership – Bill Hybels:
Live Intentionally,

Action Trumps Everything - Len Schlesinger:
Live Intentionally

Stand Up! – Hon. Cory Booker, Mayor Newark NJ
Live Intentionally

Catalytic Change – Rev. Brenda Salter McNeil
Live Intentionally

Poke the Box - Seth Godin
Living Intentionally

Digging Ditches – Steven Furtick
- Live Intentionally

Tough Callings Pt 1 – Wess Stafford
- Live Intentionally

Tough Callings Pt 2 – Mama Maggie Gobran
- Live Intentionally

Tough Callings Pt 3 – Bill Hybels
- Live Intentionally

Students First – Interview with Michelle Rhee
- Live Intentionally

Dealing with 'That Guy' – Dr. Henry Cloud
- Live Intentionally

Humility – John Dickson
- Live Intentionally

Getting Naked – Patrick Lencioni
- Live Intentionally

New Things – Erwin McManus
- Live Intentionally

Friday, August 5, 2011

Amy's El Shaddai

We complete the A.K.A. Series - about the Names of God with one more message this Sunday. God Almighty - El Shaddai. Which of course reminded me of this classic tune from back in the day.


Falling Forward

From Bishop David Roller's Blog

I had a great visual this morning. I was talking with a friend and he said something about an attempt he was making and how he might fall down in the attempt. I encouraged him to "fall forward," and then I saw it. Instead of walking forward or running forward, at the very least we can fall forward! That way, when we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, we will have advanced at least the length of our height.

Don't stand up where you fell down. Stand up where you landed! For me I'll advance at least 5 feet 7 inches every time I fall down. I may not get there as quickly as I want, but I'm gonna get there. Even if I have to fall all the way there.

To which I commented: "According to Professor Woergoetter, of the University of Gottingen, in Germany, in a recent study on how to teach a robot to walk like a human - he discovered that "About half of the time during a gait cycle we are not doing anything, just falling forward. We are propelling ourselves over and over again - like releasing a spring."
From an article on the BBC News Website.

Therefore to walk is to fall forward.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making Ripples

I just got back from Regan and Charlotte's new place. They were moved in by a team of last minute volunteers on Sunday afternoon. Their teenage son Emmet was diagnosed with a pretty serious medical condition which caused a potentially fatal blood clot in his right arm on Sunday morning.

Word came in the middle of the church service that Emmet was on his way to the hospital. But that was the day that the family had planned to move out of their old house and into their new one. So the body of Christ called Timberview rose up and stepped in. The family went to the hospital and the church family moved everything out of the old house and into the new.

Regan and Charlotte are still in shock. They feel more surrounded by love than ever before. Emmet is recovering nicely but has a long way to go. The church is being the church.

I love it when God's love makes ripples don't you?


Somehow for me summer is forever connected to times of rest and reflection. In grade school I so looked forward to summer vacation. In College and Grad School I did the same. Now as a pastor I anticipate the slower pace of the summer so that I can recalibrate my heart and mind.

For me - time to think and pray and reflect is essential to my soul. It gives me the bandwith to carry the mantle of leadership for the rest of the year.

Yet somehow this summer is half gone and I have not taken much time for soulish reflection. I better get at it.