Month: May 2011

Totally Devastated

Joplin, MO Tornado Relief

Yesterday, I met a man named Jackson.

A giant tornado ripped through his home of Joplin, Missouri last week. At nearly 150 deaths, this was the single deadliest tornado to hit the U.S. since 1947.

As the storm raged and the tornado absolutely ravaged his neighborhood, Jackson and his family sought shelter in his small concrete basement.

He literally draped himself over his wife and daughter for their protection as his house was ripped up and completely swept away. After the tornado passed, he was forced to put together a small shelter out of some debris and a door in order to protect his family from the rain and hail.

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Drowning in An Ocean of Glory

Ocean of Glory

As I stood by the ocean this past weekend, I couldn’t stop thinking about just how incredibly vast it is. There are 332 million cubic miles of water on the Earth. That’s 36.6 sextillion gallons. If sextillion isn’t a readily accessible number, think of 1000 trillions.

Still lost in the magnitude? That’s ok. There is nothing I can do to help you wrap your head around the sheer volume of water contained on the surface of this planet. It’s an unfathomable quantity.

We must accept the fact that we aren’t able to comprehend it.

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The Entrepreneur You Won't Read about on TechCrunch

Conexion Americas California Fashion

I want to tell you about Maria.

Where She Came From

Maria grew up very poor in a small town in Mexico. She married young. Her husband died much too early and she was left to support 3 children. After years of poverty and scraping a living, Maria moved to be with some family in California.

Maria spent several years in California, continuing to scrape by. She worked 7 days a week in order to provide for her 3 growing children. Eventually, she made her way out to Nashville, TN, where she would continue to work 7 days a week cleaning houses in up-scale Brentwood.

One day, Maria was so broken down that she physically could not get out of her car after a long day of work. Her son looked her in the eye and told her that something needed to change. He had saved some money and said she had to stop breaking her back (literally.)

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The 7 Traits on Pastors.com

7 Traits Paul Looked for in a LeaderAfter a much needed vacation, I’m back in action and looking forward to sharing a few of my experiences and insights from the trip. For today, however, I’d like to share a guest post I wrote for Pastors.com on the 7 Traits of a Great Leader.

Excerpt:

Virtually all of the leaders I know take on many different roles in their churches and organizations… In the process of wearing so many different hats and doing so many different things, we can easily lose focus. I’ve learned an invaluable set of lessons from Paul’s 2nd letter to Timothy.

These are roles and traits that we need to focus on in order to be most effective…

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3 Simple Lessons From the Greatest Leader Ever

Jesus Leadership LessonsI’m out of town this weekend, so today’s post is a guest submission from Lee G Turley. Lee is a Nashville entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and consultant. You can read more about him below this post.

I can go ahead and sum this post up for you if you’re in a hurry: Religious or not, if you’re aiming to become a great leader you’d being doing yourself a disservice by not spending some time studying Jesus’ leadership style.

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The Key to Influence: Can I Trust You?

Trust in Leadership

This is the first question that people ask about you. As leaders, this is our chance to win or lose someone forever. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new leader in a company or you just started a small church group. If you don’t pass this test, you don’t gain influence.

Without influence, you cannot lead.

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The Art of Losing Myself

Art of Losing Myself

I was driving home tonight and the well-known worship song, ‘From the Inside Out‘ came on. This is one of my favorites. I’ve heard it a thousand times, but this lyric caught me tonight:

“Your will above all else, my purpose remains. The art of losing myself, in bringing You praise.”

Last week, I wrote a post about the believer’s identity in Christ and how Jesus makes us each a new creation. He gives us the Spirit and the power to put our old selves to death. This lyric is a beautiful reminder of God’s master stroke in this work of art that we call creation.

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Make a Decision

Make a Decision

What if you could make one big decision today?

You’re suffocating to death in a dead-end job when you know that you were made for so much more. You can stick it out and continue living an unfulfilled life or you can make a plan to get out.

It’s your decision.

There’s a ministry opportunity out there with your name on it. Every little bit of your heart says “go,” but the pesky little voice called the resistance is telling you to stay. Still, God has called  you. Will you go?

It’s your decision.

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Please Help Me Send A Few Kids to School

Ellie's Run for Africa

As a number of my fellow Nashvillians may know, Ellie’s Run for Africa is coming up on Saturday May 21st. In case you’re not familiar with the run, it is a 5K that was started right here in Nashville. Proceeds from the race will go to help impoverished children in Africa.

What’s most remarkable about this event is that it was created 7 years ago by a 10 year old girl named Ellie. She had seen some photos of mothers in Africa who could not afford to feed their children. These children were so poor that they didn’t even have the opportunity to go to school.

Heart-broken, this 10 year old girl decided to do what none of the adults around her would. She took action. The result is what is now the 7th annual race and family fun day. In the past 7 years, Ellie has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for schools, uniforms, books and other health and education-related needs in the slums of Africa.

Ellie is now 17 and has been to Africa four times.

In efforts to help spread the word and help this great organization, I’ve decided to join up with them as an Ellie’s Run Sprinter. Since I’ve got flat feet and I’m built like a brick, I won’t be “sprinting” in the race, per se. What I am doing, however, is asking for you all to help us out.

You can join my team by donating $25; enough to help 1 child in Africa go to school. Think about that. For the price of a Blu Ray that you’ll watch once and forget about, you can send a child to school for an entire year. That’s pretty significant.

Click here to join the team.

If you’ve already donated, or you don’t have the cash right now, then that’s totally fine! What you can do to help us is spread the word. Re-tweet this post, forward it to a friend, Like it on Facebook, and so on. Thank you all so much for your help.

 

Dead Trees Don't Grow Apples

Religion LiesToday I wrote a guest post for my good friend Grant Jenkins.

Here’s an excerpt:

We seem to be under the impression that we have the power to fix people; that we can simply tell them to stop sinning and that they will. We even go so far as to expect people to make that life change before they’re allowed to meet Christ.

This is a lie called “religion.”

You can read the rest of this post on religion’s lies about morality on Grant’s blog.