Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Burn

::: English and Chinese
A lasting memory of my visit to China: more people now studying Eng in China than speak Eng. in US; Chinese assume we're studying their lang

::: What To Read on Movements
I like the one written by the "Spirit, Holy and Luke."
Steve Addison's list

::: The rich culture of Gypsies

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Origins-Catalyst West 09 - Notes

Here are all the notes I took from Origins - Catalyst West. Warning - long post. Unless you are super interested, you might want to skip reading this one. Look for a post later [maybe this week, maybe next month] on what really hit me. It was a huge amount of information to digest. Even better than the info, I'm inspired.

++ Context
Origins, lab day - Wednesday
about 1200 people, mostly church planters and pastors
really out there on the edge in terms of content and audience

Catalyst - Thurs/Fri
3300 people - much more mainstream

Twitter was mentioned most every day - Catalyst used ParaTweet. The hash tag was #catwest.

Mariners Church in Irvine - unreal facilities

++ Origins
+ Session 1 - Erwin McManus
goal is to create a better world, not necc to create a church community
is what I'm doing making a difference
if we succeeded at plan A, does it change the world?

Alex and Erwin loved to play Star Trek when they were kids - but they loved to play the aliens. Star Trek is a story about humanity's struggle to come together - the space between us.

Acts 17 - interdimension of space
Paul - distressed so he goes to the synagogue - the absolute worst place to make an impact - country club of the religious

First space -
comfortable in our normative expression
people like us
are we creating a place for us and those like us or a place for others?
Mosaic has become a human space, not a Christian space
Paul - the synagogue

Second space -
where we live
where there is discussion, questions, thought processes
we are afraid of the second space
you have to live a life of credibility
Paul -

Third space -
where Paul actually converses with the city of Athens
'they took him' - you must be invited in to this based on your expertise, character, authenticity
first space of others - earn the right to get in
they follow you first because they don't know God

God knows the optimal time and context for people to be born to know His son.

We want to be popular in the first space - we may lose the confidence of the first space when we are invited into the third space

First space - Fireproof
Second space - Exorcism of Emily Rose
Third space - Scott Erickson invited to direct The Day The Earth Stood Still

First space - Blake [Tom's Shoes] goes to Mosaic
Second space - Making shoes
Third space - invited to speak at TED, ATT commercial

When you do anything great, you are an expert at everything. Invited by accomplishment.

1960's musicians that became Christians - Maranthna music - created CCM - all focused on the first space

Everything we do in the first space is visible in third space.

+ Breakout - Jamie from TWLOHA
hugely articulate
started from one person sharing her story
organically grown

+ Breakout - Rick Yamamoto

+ Breakout - Mark Batterson
[swapped sessions]
40% turnover in congregation=new community every two years

+ Breakout - Alan and Deb Hirsch
Romantic love will get you to the mission field but sacrificial love will keep you there.

Every time I open the door, I see the lostness of the world. I need that because I get lazy. [About the house they own in the red light district in Melbourne]

'Status anxiety' - Alan De Botton

Refocusing the family - there is no justification in Scripture for the nuclear family. Family is much bigger, not just bloodline. The nuclear family has become an idol for Christians.

Mission Possible episode of the Simpsons - distorted view of God

If you've been a Christian for greater than 5 years, you should read the Gospels like you are the 'religious.'

Difference in slums in the US vs. Africa - slums in Africa still have vibrant life. In the US, there is no hope.

Final session - Erwin talks again about spaces
Q&A with leaders of The Origins Project

++ Catalyst - Thursday
video open
[still gives me goose bumps]

+ Hillsong United
[they could have led worship all day]

+ Andy Stanley - Leading in Uncertainty
The higher you move up in an org, the greater complexity and the less certainty.

when uncertainty goes away, we don't need you anymore. This is why we need leaders - see it as job security.

Leaders are not needed to manage certainty. God created the gift of leadership - it's not for everyone and it's a gift to be used.

Life is uncertain but God is not - Christian leadership. Uncertainty will not go away.
If you like the status quo - then this is irrelevant. otherwise you will always face uncertainty.

This should be okay with us as Christians.
Every story in Scripture has uncertainty - conflict, tension, God showing up in uncertain times. God gets maximum mileage in uncertain times.
As Christians we don't see time as cyclical. Isn't God up to something? There is more to the story.

- clarity
ok to be uncertain - not ok to be unclear
pull back to what God called you to originally
hang on to it - leverage from clarity
There is no correlation between clarity and uncertainty - and this fact is not intuitive.
[reminded me very much of Buckingham's The One Thing]

- flexibility
plans change - vision remains the same
a vision is not equal to a plan
if the plan changes, sometimes people imply that there is something vitally wrong with the vision - not true
don't confuse a plan with the vision.
in times of uncertainty, plans change a lot.
We fell in love with our plans and forgot the vision.
Right now - no easier time to abandon bad plans - blame it on the economy.
When plans and a vision collide - sacrifice the plan.

Leadership is not about making decisions on your own, but owning the decision once you have decided.

+ Guy Kawasaki
[if you don't know him, you should look him up]
The Art of Innovation

1. Make meaning
this is why we exist

2. Make a Mantra
most mission statements suck - too long, broad, can't remember them
mantra - define why it exists
2 or 3 words
[you know what the mantra is around here, don't you?]

3. Jump to the next curve
perspective of innovation - create or jump the next
1.0 - ice worker
2.0 - factory to create ice
3.0 - refrigerator

most define what they do as what they currently do.

4. Roll the DICEE
Deep - lots of features, powerful
Intelligent - anticipation, smart
Complete -
Elegant - great design, intuitive, simple
Emotive - generate strong emotions

5. Don't Worry Be Crappy
can't wait for perfect or you will never ship
don't wait for the perfect world
can't get it perfect until you hit the consumer

6. Polarize People
can't appeal to everyone

7. Let 100 flowers blossom
people who are not your intended audience will love your product
wrong people will use your product - take the money
If people don't get it in the first 15 minutes, they don't get it ever - move on.

8. Churn Baby Churn
ignore bozos - ship - then listen to them

9. Niche Thyself
unique vs value - all you need to know about marketing
Clear Card
Briton Emergency Watch

10. 10-20-30 Rule

11. Don't let the Bozos Grind You Down
bozosity is like the flu - inoculate just a little bit.

+ Catherine Rohr - Prison Fellowship

+ Lunch - World Vision Global Poverty experiential lunch
While the rest of the conference got free Chick Fil A, we went and had a bowl of rice. Actually, they gave us more food at the end. We got a free book, The Monkey and the Fish by Dave Gibbons [you know me and free books...] I read most of it on the flight home and it's good.

The focus was on inviting people to go on a World Vision 'vision trip' and building relationships between WV and churches. They also had some very well done handouts titled "The World in the 21st Century.' I probably grabbed 15 of them to bring home, they were that good.

+ Jud Wilhite
[you will definitely hear more from this guy]
pastor of Central Christian Church - Las Vegas
fabulous speaker - about distorted view of self - wrote terms on a mirror - broke it at the end. 40 minutes with no notes.

his 1st 6 months at Central - over 1000 people left

Biggest mistake - engaging homeless to work as greeter team for Sunday mornings. They gave off the wrong impression to visitors and one of them was making money off the others.

'We should talk to ourselves more than we listen to ourselves.' Martin Lloyd Jones

Nothing left to prove, nothing left to lose.

+ Ravi Zacharias
eternity, morality, accountability, charity
[zoned out during this one. this was one of those speakers, though, where no one made a sound while they spoke.]

+ Brian Houstan
Hillsong Sydney
[also zoned out]

+ Nick Vujicic
Life without limbs

I would be dishonoring God if I didn't believe I could change the world' - Henrietta Mears

++ Catalyst Friday
+ Social Justice panel with IJM, Nightlife and Wellspring Intl.
[left me wondering what percentage of audience had never heard these stats before]
+ Erwin

His session was interspersed with two dance routines from Mosaic arts team illustrating his points. The whole thing was phenomenal. [One of the videos] He's speaking from inside a cage in the picture on the left.
The world needs each one of us to live our most heroic life.
Acts 7:17 - visions/dreams -> nurturer/educator
Ordinary Gospel is the most narcissistic narrative ever. Instead Jesus calls us to live a heroic life for others - this demands too much of us.

There has never been one ordinary child - but we live ordinary lives as adults.
Churches are not the portals to hope/imaginations/dreams/freedom.

Leader as a vision caster is almost an impossibility. Instead, maybe leaders need to be people that awaken vision in others.

+ Rick Warren interviewed by Andy Stanley
30 year anniv of Saddleback on Easter
Easter - 46 services, 50K people

Pacing schedule long haul
A church that grows too fast is not healthy - it will only be transfer growth.

Divert daily. Withdrawal weekly. Abandon annually.
Practice energy management not time management.
Never compare yourself.
Learn from everyone.
Incremental intentional growth plan - from unbeliever to missionary.
Jesus is constantly redefining what it means to follow. Keeps turning up the heat.

+ Groeschel
I was taught and I thought

1. Church should be a safe place == church should become dangerous again
correction via seeker sensitive
time to be edgy again
invite people to a safe god unintentionally
better life, marriage, finances, etc.
You are called to preach a dangerous message.
Lukewarm pastors build lukewarm churches.

2. Build my church vs. build my kingdom
build on what you are about - not what you are not about
25K churches downloading material provided from

3. success is only found in the big numbers vs. the score card is changing [reference to Reggie McNeals book - Missional Renaissance]
redefine the win
Line 3 believers
line 1 - benefit from God - sin management
line 2 - contribute comfortably
line 3 - give my life to it

+ Luis Palau, John Bishops, Kevin Palau
impacting Portland OR

5 areas of impact
public ed

+ Francis Chan
Cornerstone Simi Valley
Not many notes on this one but I thought he was the most moving. You had to be there.

Do you hear your name more than Holy spirit in the conversation at church?

Diehards vs. the people who need it perfect
I'll follow even if vs. I'll follow only if.
Our churches are so stoppable.

Acts 4:13 - boldness, astonished, recognized
We have raised a generation of terrified believers.

+ Perry Noble

Ez 37
There are some leaders here who this session is their last shot. Unless they hear from God, they are going home to resign.
[insightful and true]

The size of the vision God will give me is related to the amount of pain I'm willing to endure.

++ My Twitter feed
[ps mpm is now on twitter.]
home from #catwest. major processing to do. happy to see the fam, except for one of the dogs. 1:22 AM Apr 26th
@bradlomenick more notes soon 4:45 PM Apr 25th
Thanks for the great times LA see you next time 4:44 PM Apr 25th
World malaria day. Look it up. 10:12 AM Apr 25th
@BenArment @bradlomenick - thanks for all your hardwork for #catwest - fantastic experience! 1:26 AM Apr 25th
Mpm is going into the pacific 10:26 PM Apr 24th
Balboa island ferry 9:41 PM Apr 24th
Aaron keyes #catwest 6:21 PM Apr 24th
@decart @dawnnicole @djchuang @cynthiaware anyone get the 5 areas of influence in Portland? Homels Hunger public ed free med... I missed 15:18 PM Apr 24th
Loved my catalyst cupcake yum delicious! #catwest 4:34 PM Apr 24th
Just met virtual friend @bethanyhoang face to face ngo for human slavery #catwest 2:08 PM Apr 24th
OMG @erwinmcmanus and mosaic life wife awake wow #catwest 1:32 PM Apr 24th
fun seeing @catwest tweeps f2f - @benarment, @cynthiaware, @dawnnicole, @djchuang 12:24 AM Apr 24th
great day2 at #catwest. 1 insight - i'm tired of my season of rest 12:18 AM Apr 24th
Saw prescreen for To save a life youth movie hmm #catwest 11:23 PM Apr 23rd
Nick from life without limbs wow #catwest 8:09 PM Apr 23rd
Global poverty lunch while free chick fil a outside hmm poor guys I brought with me #catwest 3:39 PM Apr 23rd
Open of #catwest so moving church poised to make a difference 11:47 AM Apr 23rd
amazing day at origins. will take weeks to percolate. 3 hours of discussion with @jmldad and mpm. #catwest 1:05 AM Apr 23rd
Batterson session stand room only #catwest 5:54 PM Apr 22nd
Rick y from mosaic on two models of org entrepreneurs - amazing session #catwest 5:29 PM Apr 22nd
First session was nuts @erwinmcmanus everything you would expect and of course more now in twola lab #catwest 1:59 PM Apr 22nd
My bionic travel friends mpm and @jmldad 12:39 AM Apr 22nd
Hello LA when I grow up I want to be as cool as you 12:09 AM Apr 22nd
minor travel details at the last minute. plan B, it's always about plan B. 11:02 AM Apr 21st
RT @d_ehart @tonytsheng so whats catwest to you? its a local strip joint here! [haha uh no just about the opposite #catwest] 11:05 PM Apr 20th

[Update: What I'm Going to Do About Catalyst]

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Catalyst West Origins 09 - Notes - Becoming an Expert

I'm posting these notes because this was a fantastic session, even though I'm still in LA. Like my friend DJ Chuang said, this lab was a gold mine. More processing from Catalyst West later next week.

Rick Yamamoto
Becoming an Expert/Managerial vs. Entrepreneurial

fund researcher/venture capitalist
researcher for Erwin
elder at Mosaic

strong Belief strength - 'no, I cannot do that'
John 4 - Samaritan woman

++ 2 models of strategic thinking
#1 - Managerial - "Conquering"
traditional, business plan, maximize performance, predict the future
typical MBA strategy
a. a goal or objective
b. have resources lined up
c. act on the plan
key - control efficiency/resource allocation
failure in this context is fatal - it is your fault

#2 - Entrepreneur
minimize risk - creating the future
a. start with what you have done before
b. acquire resources in stages - resources acquired through relational capital - resources determine the goal
whatever I get, that's what I'm starting with
c. goal - adjustable
key - empowerment, depth and breadth of commitment
failure early, not large, adjust from it
contingency plan
piece meal-raised up resources, localized, contextualized

'Mosaic will never be the same' - statement when someone shows up - perspective on expansion of the goal since a new resource has just arrived
When resources come, adjust the goal - expansion

You will interact with someone differently if you are always a headhunter. When you are an entrepreneur, you are always looking to resource and unleash

Permission issue in managerial vs. entrepreneur
I'm either willing or not willing to release people to do things.
People that are process oriented will go crazy with the entrepreneurial strategy.

++ Talent Spelunking
share accomplishments - what did you accomplish in the past?
people don't want to brag.
do they people working with you know about your accomplishments?

Create environments where we are interested in others accomplishments - acknowledgment of great resources.
What would you love to do - What were you meant to do?

++ Characteristics of an expert
- somebody has practiced for 10K hours [right from Gladwell]
- perception is different
holistically vs. individually
underneath vs. outward
experience vs. formula
patterns vs. no patterns - fills in gaps
- knowledge and experience - rethink information differently than the novice - org info around their principles
- problem solving
short term vs. long term
experts transfers short term into long term
experts come sooner to most critical factors
high self awareness
accurate memory of their performance

If you want to be an expert at something, be an expert at relationships.

3 phases to job performance
1. don't get fired
2. minimize mistakes/maximize performance
3. do the job with your eyes closed
Experts never let the job get to #3. They are always raising performance.

[See my full post of notes from Origins/Catalyst West.]

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cheap Labor

Or supporting student missions with significant growth projects. Ok ok the developer in me...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Off to Catalyst

I'm off to Catalyst West Coast for the rest of the week, there might be one or two posts that are scheduled to fire later this week. I will probably be updating via twitter but won't be updating with too much of the content. In light of my past experience at Origins, I've got a feeling that a lot of the content from the conference is going to need to percolate - it's not an open-the-box type of thinking. So the plan is to flush some of that out here on the blog at a later time.

If you are at Catalyst West Coast and you see me, please introduce yourself.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Replacing Me

There are leaders that talk of replacing themselves and then there are those that actually do it. I talked about it a lot [like here] but in the end, I prepared the people around me nominally when the time actually came.

It's always difficult when leaders walk away - both for the person and for the team left in place. I've been fortunate to observe a team step into SPACE [the student missions initiative I helped start] this spring and it's been a relief and super encouraging. But to be honest, I miss it.

A few things come to mind about leader replacement:
- The leader that left still has at least a little wonder. They will still spend at least a little time thinking, "What if?" or "I would do it this way." But it's not their time anymore.
- The new team in place now has freedom to do it however they want. Most of the time, nobody tells them, "Now you have permission." But someone should or they should tell themselves that. It's now theirs to reinvent.
- All the more to ensure that it is the right time and fit for a leader to step away. It might be the absolute perfect time - those two above will still happen.

Giving it away is an non-negotiable task of true leadership. These three dynamics will always be in play with transitions - they make it difficult but not impossible.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Book Notes - The Blue Sweater

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, Jacqueline Novogratz.

Amazing book. You normal readers of this blog will love this book. Not only does it include the vast story of the author's life and experiences between Wall Street, Africa, international development, and the Rwandan genocide, it's all framed with incredible optimism about personal growth, humanity and the future.

Chapter 8, "A New Learning Curve," was my favorite because it touched on important international development concepts such as:
+ agricultural inputs and production
+ tangible examples of microfinance successes.
+ why some development projects look good but fail.
+ philanthropy and innovation.
+ why technologies need to be transferable to be successful.

There were of course a few other amazing stories:
+ Charlotte who recovered from the Rwanda genocide, starting with only $3 and borrowing and earning enough to eventually own a restaurant that currently served 250 meals a day.
+ Pakistani microfinance company called Kashf; IDE India, distributing thousands of treadle pumps; A to Z Textiles, manufacturing 150K malaria bed nets per year, based in Tanzania; and Aravind Eye Hospital, which now examines more than 2.3 million patients a year, and on average 80 surgeries a day, with a future vision for telemedicine for low-income areas.
+ The Rwandan genocide and evil and good among all of us.
+ The growth of Acumen with an insider look at the values that drive it.

A few other ideas:
+ The world will not change with inspiration alone, rather it requires systems, accountability, and clear measures of what works and what doesn't. Our most effective leaders, therefore, will strengthen their knowledge of how to build organizations while also having the vision and heart to help people imagine that change is possible in their lives.

+ [Writing about the Acumen Fund fellows program] On the third day of the fellowship in New York, we take away their cell phones and wallets, give them only $5 and a New York City transit pass with two rides on it, and ask them to come back at the end of the day ready to share their perspectives and insights on how new York City's services for the poor might be better designed if low-income people were considered customers, not just charitable recipients.

+ I believe this next generation will change the world. Everywhere I go, I meet young people who are hungry and ready to contribute. University students and freshly minted MBAs from across the globe ask me what skills they'll need for meaningful work in serving the world. They should gain skills in the functional areas of business - marketing, design, distribution, finance - as well as in medicine, law, education and engineering, because we need more people with tangible skills to contribute to building solutions that work for the poor.
Like I've said to many of you readers that I know, if you want a significant role in solving global poverty, get educated in a tangible skill because just about all fields have or will have a role in the future in solving humanity's greatest problems.
+ Build a vision for the people and recognize that no single source of leadership will make it happen. This is our challenge for creating a future in which every human being can participate.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time and Speed

Despite what all of us think now and then, we don't have a lot of time left. Some of us move and act like time is an infinite resource - quite the opposite, it is very, very finite.

Get up and get moving. Generate some momentum. Make something happen and if you are waiting for them for too long, then move ahead without them. Of course, as the world whizzes by, I'm writing this advice to myself.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday Burn

::: Milwaukee - the silicon valley of water
Situated on a Great Lake, with four great universities in the area, a history of producing top engineers and a dying industrial sector, a vision focused on bringing forth technologies for clean water on a global basis is thrilling.
Link via @acumenfund

::: Parents tracking mission trips via text messaging

::: Mars Hill [Seattle] Global
Combination of church/campus AND movement/network with a 10 year plan. [Love this multiplication trend. But 10 years, that's too short isn't it?]

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Will Smith and Redemption

Does Will Smith love redemptive analogies? I think so, he just might not know what they are called.

Great movie. Ask some big questions with those you see it with.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Support Metrics by Day

Because some of you are in the midst of raising support for your teams right now and I'm not, I was curious about support by day - compared among years - for teams I have coordinated in the past. This particular chart [click for full size] is a graph of support raised by day with the years plotted as each data series for comparison. [For example, for each year, how much was raised on June 6?]

A few notes about the data:
+ only for overseas teams
+ highly affluent suburban demographic
+ mostly high school kids raising support via support letters - with the exception of a few support raising events

If you would like the raw data to do your own charting, trending, comparing, etc. let me know. I'm willing to send it to you - cleansed of any personal information, of course.

What might also be helpful to know would be data points such as departure dates, percentage marks and team size. But I couldn't figure out a good way to do that. Maybe you can.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday Burn

::: Acumen Fund hosts questions from future social entrepreneurs
Some excellent questions in the comments.

::: Managing Generation F
+ Tasks are chosen, not assigned.
+ Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it.
+ Users can veto most policy decisions.
Link via Alan Hirsch

::: Small foundations
small foundations (less than $10 million in assets) account for 105,000 of 110,000 of America's charitable foundations - @rudycarrasco

::: Bethel Sem Masters in Transformational Leadership info session [For those of you in DC]

::: wants to hear from youth pastors
Favorite comment:
Biggest challenges:
- Doing ministry in a context where a lot of people (adults at the church and parents) want nothing more than a fun, safe environment for their teenagers. My new favorite answer is, "I'm not running a Chuck E Cheese."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Second Time

The day will come after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, that we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Book Notes - Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker, M.D.

I picked up this book after seeing it on the recommended list of Jeff Henderson. I expected it was going to be good but I was completely blown away right from the introduction. Here is a snippet:
What you say in a sentence, communicate with a smile, or do with regard to family rules has infinite importance for your daughter...
I want you to see yourself through her eyes. And I don't want this just for her sake, but for yours, because if you could see yourself as she sees you, even for ten minutes, your life would never be the same. When you are a child, your parents are the center of your world. If your mother is happy, your day is good. If your father is stressed, your stomach is knotted all day long at school...
Your daughter gets up in the morning because you exist. You were here first and she came into being because of you. The epicenter of her tiny world is you. Friends, family members, teachers, professors, or coaches will influence her to varying degrees, but they won't knead her character. You will. Because you are her dad...
I have watched and listened to your daughters for many years and have heard what they say about you. I have talked to countless fathers. I have treated daughters and counseled families. I have read psychiatry texts, research papers, psychology journals, religious studies, and pediatric journals. Doing this has been my job. But I will tell you that no research paper, no textbook diagnosis, no instructions can begin to change a young girls life as dramatically as even a handful of interactions with her father. Nothing.
The rest of the book is just as good. Not only does she have great tangible suggestions about the roles of fathers, like in the areas of being a hero, teaching her humility and defending your daughter, she frames it in the context of a culture that is toxic to our daughters. I agree with her observation and if you've read this blog for a while, you know what I think about 'culture' - we must understand how to 'see' culture. This book is a fabulous resource for engaging life with our daughters. Some of this book - like very sobering statistics and the all-too-real journal of an eating disorder - will scare the crap out of you - and it should. For as scared as you get, you'll also be just as inspired.

Here is some more:
+ Nowadays, the idea of assuming authority makes many men uneasy. It smacks of political incorrectness. Pop psychologists and educators have told us that authority is suffocating, obtrusive and will crush a child's spirit... But the greatest danger comes from fathers who surrender leadership, particular during their children's teen years. Authority is not a threat to your relationship with your daughter - it is what will bring you closer to your daughters, and what will make her respect you more.
+ One of the best things fathers can do is raise their daughter's expectations of life. That will directly affect how your daughter talks, how she dresses, how well she does in school, even what sports or musical instruments she chooses to play. You can help her se goals, help her define a higher purpose for her in life, and as a result, her self-esteem will skyrocket. And it will bring you closer, because she'll recognize you as a leader and an ally, helping her to chart a better course.
+ One of the primary treatments for girls with eating disorders is to spend time like this [one on one] with their dads. These fathers learn not to harp on problems, but to focus on having fun together, which helps daughters center themselves on this healthy relationship and disassociate their illness from who they are.
+ Kids get depressed when they experience a loss for which they cannot express a healthy emotion. This is very common with sexual activity.
+ When she dates, sweep the garage. Every boy who dates your daughter needs to know he is accountable to you.... And when he brings her home, be sure he sees you.
Got daughters? Read this book.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Worth The Unimaginable?

Seth writes about having to deal with the accidental death of a student serving with AIM. Unbelievable.

The longer we do this - taking students out of the familiar and comfortable to act upon a world of great need - the odds get better and better for accidents and tragedy. You cannot prepare for this.

I've lost kids, had a kid call his parents joking that they were lost, almost left my seven year old in an Austrian subway station by herself. Had kids get hurt - knife wound to the thigh, bit by a dog, dragged through Paris subways with sinus infections, stomach and intestine issues - one kid self medicated himself with Cipro, another one threw up right upon passing through customs after landing back in the US.

But all of that is trivial compared to this. And it must make you ask, is it worth it?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Burn

::: Gmail in Indian languages

::: See Africa Differently
Since 2003, 29 million more African children have started primary school.
Rwanda now has the largest proportion of women in parliament than in any other country around the world.
Some African countries - including Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda - already have mobile phone coverage of well over 90%

::: How To Lead When You Aren't The Boss
Real leadership is never a matter of mere formal authority. Leaders are effective when other people acknowledge them as such--by listening seriously to their ideas, valuing and following their suggestions for action, and turning to them for advice.
Opportunities to lead aren't limited to times when you have formal authority over a particular team or venture.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Myers Briggs in Community

I spent some time with a high school guys small group the other night, facilitating them through the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. I always have a lot of fun walking teams through this assessment and this was no different. [And it made me miss my small group that I ran from 1999-2003.]

I was surprised at how different each one of these guys was - all kinds of different talents and interests, ranging from the very cerebral to the artistic to the entrepreneurial. The group had math geniuses, musicians, writers, athletes, one kid owned his own landscaping company [with employees] and another one had just started a t shirt company. Even more interesting, there was a real sense of community among them - they have been meeting for four years - different people with different interests but a common and deep sense of belonging. In this case, their cause was to seek God while encouraging each other through their high school careers.

Uniqueness + community + cause = the perfect intersection for talking about Myers Briggs.