Archive for December, 2010

@maurilio:

17

How Generous Are You?

I remembering seeing an episode of the Celebrity Apprentice where Sharon Ousborne was thrilled she was able to secure a 15 thousand dollar gift from a wealthy donor. She was ‘shocked’ because according to her, she had never seen anyone give that much money away before. Well, I was shocked but for a different reason. First, her reaction told me a lot about Mrs. Ousborne generosity quotient or lack thereof and then it reminded me how many truly giving people I have met over the years. People who have given a lot more with a lot less money. So during this giving season, what does it mean to be generous? Here’s a few thoughts about generosity: It’s not an amount. a 15 thousand dollar gift might not be as generous as a 15 dollar one.  Remember the story of the widow’s mite? It’s not about money. Sometimes your most generous…

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13

Sometimes You Need a Fresh Perspective to See the Obvious

As a consultant, too often, I feel I’m telling my clients the obvious. After all, it doesn’t take me long to figure out what they should do next. I forget how immersed I am in my professional career and how much it has become second nature to me. In my years of consulting I have learned that there are three key components to helping a person or organization: expertise, experience and perspective. I tell my clients that they are not paying for my time, but for my expertise. If you’re going to be helpful you have to understand your professional arena well, and expertise that’s paired with experience is a powerful combination. Expertise tells you that A + B = C , but experience knows that if you don’t start with B first and then add A, your C will not be good. Experience gives context to expertise and produces…

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21

Before You Go To Church Readjust Your Expectations

We love to complicate simple things. The simple bottled water has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry that features flavor infused, protein added and whatever we can find to add in water and sell it. Human nature seem always  to want more, better and bigger. And while this desire to improve on what we have, reach for new heights and possibilities keeps us growing, it also can rob us from the very essence of the simple and foundational purpose.  That’s ever so true on how we have complicated church. This Sunday morning as I’m preparing to go to church, I’m aware of how much we have complicated church as well. I’ve caught myself anticipating the music, the new set, the featured video or even getting my favorite parking spot near the side door more than looking forward to worshiping with my church family or hearing from God. I’ve managed to…

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15

Growing Love in Your Kids at Christmas

Guest post by Dr. Tim Elmore Love. We probably talk about this concept more today than ever before, but actually practice it less than ever. At least in the way God intended us to do so. We find love in movies, romance novels, in Hallmark cards, on YouTube, and on bumper stickers. At Christmas time, especially, love is promoted by stores to push sales, and by cinemas to sell tickets. We all love the idea of love! But how do we practice it on the people we are closest to — like — in our home? Sometimes, the hardest people to love are not the strangers we meet out shopping, but our own family members. Try this simple idea. Sit down at dinner one night and talk about “love languages.” You may be familiar with the concept. Author, Dr. Gary Chapman, introduced it to us in his 1992 book: The…

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30

Should I Wear a Hat?

So what’s the deal with men’s hats? Who should wear them and what style? Hats have been a staple of men’s fashion since Adam decided to wear a nice crown made of bay leaves, so the rumor goes. Some hats are more utilitarian, like Beanies, keep our heads warm during the cold months, even though they have become a fashion statement from gyms to red carpet events. Others, like the Fedora, set men apart in a crowd.  But no matter what kind of hat you decide to wear, it will make a fashion statement. While the modern-day hat is not quite as elaborate as its ancestor. Here’s a helpful news segment from CBN’s Early Show featuring the Editor of GQ magazine: No matter what hat you wear, keep these few rules in mind: Make sure the hat fits your head. Go to a hat store, or one that sells hats,…

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11

Mannequin Evangelism: A Faith Discussion When You Least Expect

Yesterday was an interesting day. I spent most of it carrying a mannequin around downtown Nashville in sub freezing temperatures. I carried “Pat,” our androgynous articulated dummy, through busy streets for a video shoot. For this piece, we placed Pat strategically around crowds, street corners and traffic and filmed “life” happening around a stiff, gray representation of a man (even though Pat is technically a woman dummy dressed like a man, but I digress). While I knew people might find the whole scene curious, I didn’t expect it to open the doors for a faith conversation. Periodically throughout the day someone would approach me and asked what we were doing. “Do you ever feel like life is passing you by and you’re paralyzed or stuck? People come and go but you’re not moving?” Most just shook their heads in agreement. “This mannequin represents us when we feel stuck and in…

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15

Are Non Profits Dying Because They Don’t Pay Well?

My friend Wayne Elsey is an extraordinary guy. He has built one of the most successful non profit organization in the world. During the last 5 years, Soles 4 Souls has gone from 0 to over a 70-million dollar annual budget organization. I’m thankful to have been a partner from early on. My company, The A Group, has developed soles4souls.org and their online fund-raising site. Wayne has written a book I believe every leader should read, “Almost Isn’t Good Enough.” This is not only his story of starting and growing S4S, but a very practical tool for business and ministry leaders everywhere. Chapter 2 has stuck with me, and I can’t get it out of my mind: Build the Community You Want, Not the One You Can Afford. According to Elsey, finding the best people for the job and hiring them at competitive wages (competitive with the market place and…

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11

Ambiguity and the New Business Normal

The pace of change has picked up. Not only is the world flat, the world adopts technology, new standards at a much faster pace than ever before. Just look at what Google and Facebook have done for business and cultural expectations. Yesterday Facebook introduced a new profile feature and Google introduced an ebook store. Millions of people immediately adapted and adopted the new options. As a matter of fact, we have come to expect this kind of dynamic change. This fast pace has created a lot of opportunity for some and has been the demise of others. To me, this new business model is defined by ambiguity. What does that mean? It means that as a leader I still need to know where I want to take my organization, but I no longer have the luxury of planning my trip all the way to its final destination. Along the way…

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23

Is Your Church Boring People with The Gospel?

He’s only twelve years old but he convinced his whole family to try a different church. After spending the night at our house one weekend, Josh attended a service at the downtown campus of Cross Point Church. He sat quietly through worship and teaching but afterward spoke his peace “wow, I wish my church was like this. It’s so boring and I hate going.” Weeks went by and Josh visited again with us. Three weeks later, he was back. This time with his whole family: mom, dad and older brother. They sat next to us and left the service with big smiles on their faces and these parting words, “we will be back!” I love my church and I’m definitely biased about what happens there, but I also know the congregation Josh and his parents use to attend. I understand their feelings. When was the last time someone bored you…

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29

The Day I Lost My Life (or My iPhone)

Yesterday I panicked like I haven’t panicked in a long, long time. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember feeling so lost and out of sorts like I did at the Orlando airport. Most of the time,  I’m very decisive. When things don’t go as planned, I usually have a plan B or C ready to deploy. But that was not the case yesterday. As I walked away from the Hertz rental car return into the terminal, I realized that my iPhone was not with me. It took me all of 5 minutes to notice it was missing. But it was too late. A worker had already taken it from the rental car and kept it. Suddenly disbelief, loss and sheer terror joined me as I raced across the airport trying to not to lose my flight since I had already lost my life, uh, I mean, my phone.…

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