Tuesday is for Training::Desiring God 2011

I tweeted on Saturday that I was listening to David Platt’s message at the 2011 Desiring God National Conference. The sermons are now up on the web now and are well worth your time to listen to/watch. Some of my favorite heroes of the faith are all there! Great stuff indeed!

Here is one of my favorites of all time right here!

If you know me very well, you know I have a bit of a man crush on Louie Giglio! Ha! I had my youth groups follow him all across the country for Student Life Camp every year. A huge part of my growing as a Christian has come under his teaching.

Video and Audio from the 2011 National Conference – Desiring God.

I Like Giving

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Ran across this yesterday and think it is a really cool concept! I love to watch these great stories of how someone was a blessing to another person. What I love about it is that they are seemingly small acts of kindness that make a lasting impact. I know that we have been the beneficiaries over the last several months of many people who simply gave to us no strings attached. I hope that we can do the same as we get our financial feet under us and be a blessing to those around us. I believe that generosity is the antidote to greed and I know that I want to be able to kill that greed my own life and teach our boys how to live a generous life.

On the same topic, I watched an amazing sermon last night from Andy Stanley and their series “Recovery Road.” Absolutely nailed it. He challenged every believer to use what we’ve been entitled, to bless and serve those around us. [pullquote]He challenged every believer to use what we’ve been entitled, to bless and serve those around us.[/pullquote] Spot on…hit me like a ton of bricks. I am going to go back and watch the entire series (I don’t think yesterday’s message is up yet on their site) because it was such a powerful message at such a poignant time for America as well as here in Belle Glade. We talk a whole lot about entitlement up in here, but we don’t often talk about using that entitlement to serve and bless others with that entitlement!

All of these things (coincidentally, because God surely isn’t trying to speak to me about my greed;-)) dovetail nicely with what I am learning in my coaching network as well as several books on missional living that I’ve been reading. There is a pastor in Springfield, MO that always says that “we are blessed to be a blessing” AND that the Church is “in the blessing business.” I hope that I can apply these principles in my own life and the Kingdom will be positively impacted because of Christians getting out and blessing others around them!

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

(John 13:12-17 ESV)

About | I Like Giving.

Bloodlines::John Piper

This looks like an awesome documentary from John Piper that goes alongside his new book Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian. I really look forward to reading the book as well as watching the entire documentary when it is released. Here is the trailer. Praise Jesus for the Gospel!

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9 Ways to Stay Motivated for Ministry

Great article from Rick Warren! Not earth-shattering, but definitely things I needed to read this morning to be more organized and motivated for ministry!

  1. Put your plans on paper.
  2. Break big tasks into small steps.
  3. Decide where you want to start.
  4. Establish check points to track your progress.
  5. Start on the task whether you feel like it or not.
  6. Remind yourself of the benefits of completing the task.
  7. Do a small part right now.
  8. Be optimistic.
  9. Establish an action environment.

I really gleaned a lot from number 7 and especially number 9 (if you’ve every seen my desk and office before!).

He talks about a “game” he plays to get started and do things he doesn’t want to do called the “Five Minute Game.”

Get started! Don’t stall. I play a game with myself all the time called The Five-Minute Game. When I have a big topic or task I need to do, I just say, “I don’t want to do this, but I’ll give it five minutes.” Once I get started, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore.

I absolutely needed to hear number 9 and I am working diligently on that step as I get settled in (finally) to my new office here in Belle Glade! I hope to have a lot more progress in getting the “file cabinet” off of my desk soon! Here is what he says…BOLD is my emphasis…

Create a place in your office where you can get all of your tools together for your task. If you’re preparing a sermon, find a place to get your Bible and your study aids all within reach. You need an environment where you can focus on the task at hand. I clear everything off the desk when I’m going to study because I don’t want to focus on anything else.

I’ve noticed some people use their desks as file cabinets. They say it is because they don’t want to forget what is there. But that’s the problem! You sit down to prepare a sermon and you see your phone list or a book you’ve wanted to read and, suddenly, you’ve drifted off task.

Success comes from focusing on one thing at a time. Clear off your desk. Make a to-do list so you won’t forget what you’ve taken off of your desk. Put a tickler file on your desk of stuff you need to look at every day, but then, when you pull it out and look through it, always put it back – so it won’t distract.

I have to figure out a better workflow as well with my “virtual desk”–my laptop and my phone. I am working on a system of responding to email so I don’t get pulled away from important things by a “ding” advertising for the next best thing…or even worse…an invitation to a Facebook game! I have moved away also from Tweet Deck and Hoot Suite for the same reason–FOCUS. I can be totally rolling along on my message or an email message and that little sounds lures me away on a 5,10,15 minutes excursion of ADHD bliss!! Squirrel! See what I mean? I will open up Hoot Suite on my phone when I have a down time every now and then, but I simply can’t make that work with my personality right now. It’s not that it doesn’t fit with my distracted personality, it is just that it fits TOO WELL with my distraction prone personality for me to get any good level of productivity.

The main problem I have is that it is much like diet and exercise–there is DISCIPLINE involved in setting up these workflows for productivity. I can set up the workflow, but if I don’t have the discipline to use the workflow; I’ve just wasted a lot of time setting up a system that doesn’t help me, but hurts me in the end.

So tell me, how do you stay motivated and on task in your work? What things have worked for you? Not worked?

9 Ways to Stay Motivated for Ministry.

In My Seat

Check out this pilot’s story of the 9/11 tragedy. It is a powerful testimony and God-honoring. Well worth the 15 minutes for sure!

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Are You Ready for Some Football?

The college football season just started last weekend with a bang. The Glades Day School Gators had their first home game last Friday night. And Taylor boy had his first several tackle football practices this week. It is going to be a great time for him…and me as an assistant coach. (Huge difference between assistant coach and head coach, for sure!) Oh, and the Rolling Stones are rolling along again starting tonight! We are headed for another season as a perinial cellar-dweller in my fantasy league with friends from SW MO. Here are some pics of Taylor’s first practice in full pads! He is so grown up!! Amazing!