Friday, January 25, 2013

Orange Tour 2013 Learnings

I’ve always been honest in saying I’m biased.  I have favorites.  The reThink organization( is one of my favorites and has been for over 10 years now.  For the past several years, the staff of reThink has traveled around the country to put on a one day event for church leaders—focused on family team staff and volunteers. Most of these are quotes directly from Reggie Joiner, Sue Miller, Carey Nieuwhof, Amy Fenton-Lee and Jeff Henderson. 

Here are some of my take-aways from yesterday’s conference in Dallas:

·         We have 3 possible responses to change: 1) Ignore it and drift nowhere, 2) Hold on and let it drive you where you don’t want to go, 3) Make an adjustment and use it to get where you want to go.

·         Leadership is leveraging change so you can move in the direction you need to go.

·         When you lead change, you decide to make adjustments to present methods for the sake of a sacred mission.

·         Only 25% of our families in America are the traditional mom, dad (who are married to each other) and kids.

·         Children will one day decide what they think about Church based on how the church treats their parents (and vice-versa)

·         We need to be willing to change anything we have to for the sake of the mission.

·         The greatest enemy of your future success is your current success.

·         The audience’s interest is directly tied to the presenter’s preparation

·         We can’t get so accustomed (and caught up) to “Sunday’s Coming” that we forget the POWER of the message.

·         Great leaders think more than they react.

·         If we’re reacting, we’re not leading

·         It’s just as important to know what you are not as knowing what you are.

·         1 Thessalonians 2:8—“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become  so dear to us”

·         The concepts in “Lead Small” are amazing!

·         It’s not our job to make everyone the same.  The Bible says “LOVE your neighbor” NOT change your neighbor

·         You should be packing a student’s (or kid’s) bag the day they enter your ministry.

·         We HAVE to lead in TEAM!

·         The best leaders call out the best in their teams—they don’t just let them slide by.

·         I should always be thinking “What can I do better for my teams to fly?”

·         When making a big change, always start by telling volunteers what they are doing right.

·         Helping kids engage is as easy as dollar store “tools”—there are too many tips I learned here to list!!!!

·         There was no way for Jesus to do what he did without getting messy.  The same applies to us.

·         Jesus didn’t die to make us HAPPY.  He died so we’d be FORGIVEN.

·         Jesus didn’t call us to follow him to safety.  He called us to take up a cross and engage in mission.

·         We have 2 choices:  1) We can protect them or 2) we can engage them.

·         This generation will never understand until they experience.  They won’t love until they serve.

·         When it comes to discipleship, it’s less about how many attend your programs and more about how many engage in the mission.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What Happens when you take your Kids to the Store with You

When you take your kids to the store with you, you just might end up with these beauties:

What's even worse is when YOU are the one who spots them and points them out to your kids...

Do Something Amazing

Beginnings are fun.  We all look forward to the beginning of a marriage.  The beginning of a new baby in the house.  The beginning of school.  The beginning of a new year.

New things are exciting, but if you’re like me, the newness wears off after a while.  With children, we don’t give up on them, but the joy of the newness starts to get drowned out by the lack of sleep and the many other demands on our time.  We stop dreaming and start living in the “good enough.” 
How do we get over that hump?  Many marriages fail because we aren’t willing to continue dreaming.  How many times do you remember starting a semester determined to study hard and get great grades, only to find yourself doing enough to get by?  Have there been times when you’ve given in to your kiddo because you just want to survive the night?

I could give you a bunch of “holier than thou” ideas here on how to not let these things become ordinary—how to stay amazing.  But, I don’t think we need one more person making us feel guilty because we don’t measure up.

So, I’m asking you.  And I don’t want the “church” answer.  We all know we need to trust God—that’s a given.  But I think He gives us opportunities to do amazing things. So, here goes…

·         What do you find hardest to continue to do after the newness wears off?  How do you push through when it gets monotonous? 

·         What amazing thing do you think God is calling you to do today?  This week?  This year?  In your lifetime?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pay It Forward 2013

Several months ago (ok--really a year ago), my friend Rene posted this on her facebook page:

"Pay It Forward 2012:
I promise to make something handmade for the first 5 people who comment.  They, in turn, must post this and make something for the first 5 who comment on their status.  The rules are it has to be handmade by you and they have to receive it before 2012 can be as simple as making a friend a cup of coffee."

I always like a free deal, so I responded. And she made me something incredible (you can see it here: 

But I never followed through on my end of the bargain and 2012 turned into 2013.

So, six months later, I’m ready to do that.

Comment here and I will make you something before the year is up (see how I’m giving myself a whole 12 months). I can’t promise it will be as cool as what she made me, but it will be handmade by me and will have love and prayer put into it (depends on how much I like you as to just how much love-ha!).

At this point, I won’t limit it to a number of people, but just know, if I get a big response, it may be a while before I get yours done. I had these great Christmas presents I was gonna make for friends and family this past Christmas, but was “banned from crafting” by my sweet hubby trying to keep me from becoming a vampire. So we’ll see how it goes…

So respond here if you want me to make something. You don’t have to put it as your facebook status that you will do the same, but I’d love to see you pay it forward in some kind of way—you decide how.

Happy 2013!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I read a blog today about making forgiveness one of  your New Year's Resolutions.  Letting go of grudges and moving forward.  Easier said than done, but anyone who has ever done it will sauy it's worth it and life is so much better when you do.  It's just getting to that point of being willing to forgive and not hold anything back that's hard.

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have & it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”
—Mother Teresa