Monthly Archives: April 2010

Orange Day 2: Transformational Leadership

Its Friday, our day to head home.  Our schedule here has been such that we are at the conference at 8 AM and home around 10 PM.  So I’m a bit behind on my blogs.  Maybe I’ll catch up on my airplane ride home tonight.

One of yesterday’s sessions was on transformational leadership by Dan Webster (  Dan used Matthew 23 as a model of Jesus’ teaching on leadership.

Transformational Leaders are:

  • TEACHABLE not Arrogant (vs. 2-3).  In order to be more teachable, we need to apply the discipline of LISTENING.

Teachable people are humble.  This creates space both in and around them.  This lets them hear God and allow others to flourish. Their honesty creates safe space.

  • KNOWN FOR INTEGRITY not talking (v. 3-4).  In order to have integrity, apply the discipline of DOING.

Integrity focused people are all about pursuing personal wholeness.

  • ABOUT ANONYMITY not notoriety (v. 5-7).  In order to be more anonymous, apply the discipline of RECOGNITION.

Recognize and promote others around you rather than yourself. Who should I be recognizing?

  • ABOUT CHRIST-DEPENDENCE, not co-dependent (v. 8-10).  In order to create Christ-dependence, apply the discipline of confession.

Matthew 23:10 – And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader and that is, Christ.

Do not place too much confidence in human leadership.  Trust in the Lord’s leadership. Do not communicate an over confidence in yourself.

  • ABOUT LIVING LAST not first. (v. 11-12).  In order to live last apply the discipline of serving.

    But the greatest among you shall be your servant… Matthew 23:11

    I know I’m becoming a Transformational Leader when….

    • I’m teachable, I am open to learn
    • Integrity matters, I am pursuing wholeness
    • I choose anonymity, I push others forward
    • I am Christ-centered, I point others to Jesus
    • I am living last, I serve others and make them better

    All material contained in this posting are developed and owned by Authentic Leadership, Inc. (All Rights Reserved)

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    Orange Day 1: Organizing My Life

    Orange is amazing as always!  There are about 4,000 of us from all over the world.  The focus of my workshops yesterday was how do I make sure I take care of myself while I am serving others.  I recommend checking out Jim Wideman’s website (  The focus of his workshop yesterday was how to we learn to be organized in a way that helps up implement the priorities in our lives.

    Jim had the following words of wisdom for us:

    1. You need to have a vision – where do you want to end up?
    2. Live by priorities – Get alone with God and ask him to show you His priorities for your life.  My relationship with Jesus, my family, my ministry, etc.
    3. Have a desire to change – change is a part of life
    4. Have the right tools – Your calendar, watch, cellphone and computer/internet can all be tools to help you master your life.
    5. Develop routines – work on life and develop routines to help you do things more effectively.  Have day each week to focus on specific events/activities.  Consider your time valuable.

    Four elements in Time Management

    • Planning – write down how you WANT to spend your time.
    • Preparation – Set priorities, assign due dates, think of every activity in steps – don’t just put the due date on your calendar for big events.  Break it into smaller deadlines and put those dates on your calendar as mini-due dates.
    • Evaluation – Write down what you do every day and analyze it based on your priorities.  If Jesus is your #1 priority, does your time reflect it?  If not, go back and make changes to your schedule
    • Delegate – What can others do for you?  “The bigger your ministry the more time you spend in leadership development.” Ed Young

    Have someone to hold you accountable!  Jim’s Top Ten things:

    1. Account for your time
    2. Plan time offensively – don’t book yourself too tight
    3. Keep the steps (priorities) in order
    4. Delegate to the faithful
    5. Plan for interruptions
    6. Respond rather than react to a crisis
    7. Don’t procrastinate
    8. Get some help – Use your network to learn how others are doing things effectively.  Don’t be afraid to use others ideas if they work.  Iron sharpens iron.
    9. Have a plan for growth – people follow people with a plan
    10. PRAY!  — How can I be the leader that God wants me to be?

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    What is Orange?

    This week, I will be spending most of my time at the Orange Conference along with our Children’s Ministry Staff.  My hope is to share some of the concepts and ideas that we are learning here on this blog.  But first, below is a introduction to Orange:

    The concept of “Orange” was created by the reThink Group based in Atlanta, GA.

    In it simplest form:  Yellow + Red = Orange

    Yellow stands for the bright lights of the church.

    Red stands for the love of the family.

    Combined these two resources make a much greater impact on the life of a child or student than either could on their own.  The key question/idea behind Orange is: How do we get these two resources to work together in the most impactful way?

    The average church has only 40 hours in a year to influence a life.

    The average parent has 3000 hours in a year to influence a life.

    In his book “Think Orange,” Reggie Joiner unpacks a ton of information about how the church can partner with parents to strategically impact the power of the family in the spiritual development of the child.  In the first chapter, he highlights 5 family values based in Deuteronomy 6:4-7.

    Family Value #1:  Imagine the End – Focus your priorities on what matters most.

    Family Value #2: Fight for the Heart – Communicate in a style that gives the relationship value.

    Family Value #3: Make it Personal – Put yourself first when it comes to personal growth

    Family Value #4: Create a Rhythm – Increase the quantity of quality time you spend together.

    Family Value #5: Widen the Circle – Pursue strategic relationships for your kids.

    My prayer this week is that the ideas and resources that we are exposed to will help us build more meaningful connections with the families and the children that enter the doors of our campuses every week.  I also pray that as a parent, I will see the importance of intentionally developing a values structure within our family that will help our children grow in their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    The above ideas were developed and are better described by the reThink Group at their website:

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    Facing Your Giants

    I’ve always been a huge fan of Max Lucado’s work and this is one of my favorites. My oldest daughter has a saying “Don’t tell your God about your mighty storms, tell your storms about your Mighty God!”

    This devotional talks about exactly that:  If we focus on the “giants” in our lives, we are sure to stumble, but when we focus on God our “giants” tumble.  The full text of Max Lucado’s devotional is below:


    Take Goliath Down

    by Max Lucado

    Goliaths still roam our world. Debt. Disaster. Dialysis. Danger. Deceit. Disease. Depression. Super-size challenges still swagger and strut, still pilfer sleep and embezzle peace and liposuction joy. But they can’t dominate you. You know how to deal with them. You face giants by facing God first.

    Focus on giants—you stumble.

    Focus on God—your giants tumble.

    You know what David knew, and you do what David did. You pick up five stones, and you make five decisions. Ever wonder why David took five stones into battle? Why not two or twenty? Rereading his story reveals five answers. Use your five fingers to remind you of the five stones you need to face down your Goliath. Let your thumb remind you of …

    Goliath jogged David’s memory. Elah was a déjà vu. While everyone else quivered, David remembered. God had given him strength to wrestle a lion and strong-arm a bear. Wouldn’t he do the same with the giant? A good memory makes heroes.

    “Remember His marvelous works which He has done” (1 Chron. 16:12). Catalog God’s successes. Keep a list of his world records. Has he not walked you through high waters? Proven to be faithful? Have you not known his provision? How many nights have you gone to bed hungry? Mornings awakened in the cold? He has made roadkill out of your enemies. Write today’s worries in sand. Chisel yesterday’s victories in stone. Pick up the stone of the past. Then select …

    Note the valley between your thumb and finger. To pass from one to the next you must go through it. Let it remind you of David’s descent. Before going high, David went low; before ascending to fight, David descended to prepare. Don’t face your giant without first doing the same. Dedicate time to prayer. Paul, the apostle, wrote, “Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long” (Eph. 6:18 MSG).

    Prayer spawned David’s successes. His Brook Besor wisdom grew out of the moment he “strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Sam. 30:6). When Saul’s soldiers tried to capture him, David turned toward God: “You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble” (Ps. 59:16).

    Invite God’s help. Pick up the stone of prayer. And don’t neglect …

    Let your tallest finger remind you of your highest priority: God’s reputation. David jealously guarded it. No one was going to defame his Lord. David fought so that “all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam. 17:46–47).

    David saw Goliath as a chance for God to show off! Did David know he would exit the battle alive? No. But he was willing to give his life for the reputation of God.

    What if you saw your giant in the same manner? Rather than begrudge him, welcome him. Your cancer is God’s chance to flex his healing muscles. Your sin is God’s opportunity to showcase grace. Your struggling marriage can billboard God’s power. See your struggle as God’s canvas. On it he will paint his multicolored supremacy. Announce God’s name and then reach for …

    David ran, not away from, but toward his giant. On one side of the battlefield, Saul and his cowardly army gulped. On the other, Goliath and his skull-splitters scoffed. In the middle, the shepherd boy ran on his spindly legs. Who bet on David? Who put money on the kid from Bethlehem? Not the Philistines. Not the Hebrews. Not David’s siblings or David’s king. But God did.

    And since God did, and since David knew God did, the skinny runt became a blur of pumping knees and a swirling sling. He ran toward his giant.

    Do the same!

    Let your ring finger remind you to take up the stone of passion.

    One more stone, and finger, remains:

    David didn’t think one rock would do. He knew Goliath had four behemoth relatives. For all David knew, they’d come running over the hill to defend their kin. David was ready to empty the chamber if that’s what it took.

    Imitate him. Never give up. One prayer might not be enough. One apology might not do it. One day or month of resolve might not suffice. You may get knocked down a time or two … but don’t quit. Keep loading the rocks. Keep swinging the sling.

    Excerpted fromDavid took five stones. He made five decisions. Do likewise. Past. Prayer. Priority. Passion. And persistence.

    Next time Goliath wakes you up, reach for a stone. Odds are, he’ll be out of the room before you can load your sling.

    From Facing Your Giants
    Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2005) Max Lucado

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    A Lineage of Grace

    One of the big differences about my life in Florida is that I have really come to enjoy reading.  The book that I just completed was big and huge and if I could travel back in time a year ago and tell the old me “you just read a Francine Rivers novel,” the old me would have laughed out loud!

    The book I just completed was actually a compilation of 5 different books.  It contains mini-novels about the lives of the 5 women who are mentioned as part of the lineage of Jesus in Matthew 1.

    Tamar – betrayed by the men who controlled her future (Judah and his sons), she fought for the right to believe in a loving God and for the right to claim what society offered her in those days.  Tamar was the sister-in-law of Joseph, the daughter-in-law of Judah and the mother of Perez.

    Rahab was a harlot who lived in the walls of Jericho and held the ears of the King and other men of great importance.  She hid the Israelite spies, who promised to protect her when they returned.  A Canaanite by birth, her society worshipped false gods.  But she trusted God and became part of the Israelite nation.  Rahab was the mother of Boaz.

    Ruth was a Moabite by birth.  She came from a society that was wealthy and worshipped pagan Gods and yet when she was given the choice by her mother-in-law to return to the easy life, she chose to stay with her mother-in-law, live a life of poverty and follow her God.  Ruth was the wife of Boaz and the grandmother of King David.

    Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam, one of King David’s elite warriors and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.  Even though she was married, she gave her heart to King David and became pregnant with his child.  In his desire to cover his sin, King David sent her husband to the front lines where he was killed.  After Uriah’s death, David took Bathsheba to be his wife.  Bathsheba was the wife of David and the mother of King Solomon.

    Mary was a young virgin with a heart for God who said “Yes” to being part of God’s plan not knowing all of the pain and suffering it would bring.  Or the joy.   Mary was the mother of Jesus.

    Joseph, Judah, Boaz, King David, King Solomon, Jesus…..those are all pretty big names in the Bible.   They were all men who changed the course of history, but what about the women who God used to make all of this happen?

    A couple of observations about them:

    • They had very little control over their lives – women in the Old Testament had marriages that were arranged by their fathers or other male relative.  They were married as soon as they were able to get pregnant and if for some reason their husband preceded them in death without children then the rules of society called for them to marry the next eligible male relative.  These women may have held respect for the man they were required to marry, but I’m sure love, happiness and happily ever after were not part of the initial equation.  If that did happen, it would come over time.
    • God used these five women despite their mistakes – these women were far from perfect in the eyes of society.  All of them fail the social standing test.  Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba failed the sexual purity test.  Ruth, as a Moabite, was an outcast in Bethlehem.  All of their marriages and family relationships had significant challenges that might have made them eligible for a reality TV show.

    But God used all of them in His big picture and plan, despite their imperfect lives.

    I think sometimes as Christians we believe that God uses people who are perfect according to the rules and laws spelled out in the Bible or in society.  These people manage their money perfectly, never yell at their kids, don’t have strains or stress in their family relationships and are blessed with good jobs and marriages that make them ecstatically happy.

    And if we can just do the right things to get ourselves into the right job or relationship then God can use us to make a difference for Him.

    The lesson for me in this book is the exact opposite.  I need to be less concerned about making everything perfect in my life and more focused on how God wants to use me right where I am.  I’m not the perfect daughter, wife, mother or friend.  I have made plenty of mistakes in my life and I continue to do so every day.  I try, but I fail because sometimes my flesh is stronger than my faith and most of the time my heart is stronger than my head.

    In fact if I took all the time I spent thinking about my past mistakes and worrying about what others thought of me and instead focused that time in prayer about how I can be part of God’s future plan, I can only imagine what He could do in my life.

    In this book, Francine Rivers does an incredible job of showing us how each of these women stepped above the judgment of others to be used by God.

    Sometimes when others judge us (or we judge ourselves), it is easy to get paralyzed by that judgment and give up on believing that God can use us as part of his plan.  But the lesson of these five women is to step above the judgment of others, to accept God’s forgiveness and grace and to never give up on the work that God is doing in our lives.

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    Things I need to remind myself of daily — Post 1

    Mark Batterson, Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity,  p. 153-154

    On a bad day, we tend to reduce God to the size of our greatest failure, biggest problem or worst fear.  On a good day, we tend to reduce God to the size of our greatest gift, highest hope or best attribute.  But either way, we are creating God in our image.  And what we end up with is a supersized version of ourselves.  A god who is just a little bigger, a little wiser and a little stronger than we are.  But in reality, God is infinitely better than your best thought on your best day.  In fact your best thought on your best day is at least 15.3 billion light years short of how good and great God really is. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

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    Our Spring Break Trip — Part II

    The second half of our Spring Break trip took us from Denver to Dallas, Texas where we spent time visiting with friends that we haven’t seen in 8 months.  This was the part of the trip our girls were most looking forward to and to be honest, the week was spent running from place to event so that they could visit with their old friends.

    Craig and I entered into this part of the trip with a bit of mixed feelings.  While we very much looked forward to visiting with our friends that had meant so much to us over the last 10 years, we have also worked hard to help the girls establish a foundation that Florida is now their home.  So there was a bit of fear that some of our work might be unraveled by bringing them back to Frisco (the only other home they really ever knew).

    In addition to visiting their old middle school and hosting an party at Main Event for all of their friends to gather, we also enjoyed many of our old Frisco haunts – dinner at Babe’s, lunch at 5th Street Patio Café and Jinbeh, brunch at Randy’s Steakhouse and desert at Double Dip.   On Saturday, Summer visited the School of Rock while I strolled up and down Main Street to visit with the Downtown Merchants.

    We spent Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday involved in church activities both for the girls and for the adults.  Craig got some fabulous shots of the Easter Service and Egg Hunt which you can view at

    One stop we did not make was Frisco City Hall, a building full of people who have been very influential in my life during our last 6 years in Texas.  My passion during our time in Frisco was my work at the City.  Many of my friends and family will tell you that I am still very attached to the work God gave me an opportunity to be part of while I was there.

    And yet, I know that God has brought us to a new phase in our life here in Florida.

    One of the books that I finished reading on this trip was “Primal” by Mark Batterson.  It is an amazing book about how as Christians we need to rediscover our true purpose as Christians to love God above all else.  I spent the end of the trip collecting the quotes I love from this book to share in future blogs, but in reflecting on our trip this one verse stood out for me.

    Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.  Romans 12:1 MSG


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