Archives For Miscellaneous

If you missed Day 1’s notes, click here first! Enjoy!

Joseph Grenny – Mastering the Art of Crucial Conversations

summit

Are there moments of disproportionate influence?
Moments where someone behaves has an enormous effect on every result you care about?
Big Idea #1:
The Principle of Crucial Conversations
Anytime you find yourself stuck, stop and ask:
What crucial conversation are we not holding or not holding well?
[If you don’t talk it out, then eventually you will act it out (negatively)]

crucial conversations

 

  • It is your job as a leader to make sure that you are paying attention to the crucial conversations that need to happen (model, coach, and act on these conversations!)  Candor is so critical!
  • They are either a pit or a path (accelerate to a new level – more intimacy)
  • Healthiest churches have better member growth, financials health, staff strength
  • Your individual influence is fundamentally based on your ability to have crucial conversations.

Talk it out or walk it out. Those are our options on crucial conversations.

Crucial conversations effect every area of ministry. The goal is to make the crucial conversations become the path instead of the pit.

The Bible is a history of crucial conversations.

What crucial conversation are we holding or not holding now?

Seven Crucial Skills:
1) Start with Heart
2) Learn to Look
3) Make it Safe
4) Master My Stories
5. STATE MY Path
6) Explore Others’ Path
7) Move to Action

2 Tasks in the Hazardous Half-Minute in order to be heard
1) Help them know that you care about their interest and their concerns (almost as much as you do). You create mutual purpose to allow the other person to exhale. This cannot be a gimmick. Must be sincere.
2) Create mutual respect – the other person knows that you care about them.

So how do you do that for someone you don’t respect? Let them know you are for them and always do it with respect.

The myth that we can’t tell the truth and keep a friend is keeping us from our greatest potential.

 

Erika Ariel Fox – Winning from Within

2014_Faculty_Erica_FoxThe reason we can’t negotiate well with others is because we cannot negotiate well with ourselves.

Have you ever said yes when you wanted to say no?

Have you ever really wanted to take a risk, but the other part of you told you to play it safe?

There’s a gap, called the performance gap, which is the distance between you doing your best (full potential) and what you actually do in real practice.

Identify your performance gaps and work to close those gaps to become the best of who you are.

How Do We Find Our Performance Gaps?
One way involves looking at yourself in a new way. Most of us think of ourselves as singular. But another way is to look at yourself in plural form. There are voices from centuries to centuries saying this.

The Dreamer: Creates Possibilities
Ex/ JK Rowling brought her book to 12 different publishers who said no. Then became the greatest selling author of a book series.
– Dreamers look at the dream underneath the dream.

The Thinker: Clarifies Perspectives (your inner CFO)

The Lover: (VP of HR)
– People want you to know that you care about them. As an end unto itself.

When you are feeling vulnerable or reactive, picture a person who you really love for 30 seconds. Then when you go into the meeting, let the other person know you care.

Find places in your life where you are saying yes and say, “Thanks but no.” Even if the only reason is burnout.

Choose the tough conversations and think about how you can find a loving way to have them.
erika

Don Flow – A Grander Vision

2014_Faculty_Don_FlowHow does your faith effect your business?
Faith drives the culture – bringing hope and Christ’s redemption to the world in a pluralistic setting.
1) Through Prayer
2) Daily Interactions
3) Culture
4) How this animates how the company engages employees and the community

For a grander vision, live love and bring hope. Begin each day by saying, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”

As a leader, your organization will not be more truthful or graceful than you are. It starts with you.

Don Flow’s Company Does:
Covenant: A personal commitment and unbreakable promise. This means telling the truth, doing the right thing, and always keeping promise regardless of the cost.
– they intentionally limit their profits on car sales to ensure they don’t take advantage of uninformed buyers.

If business should exist, what should it look like?
Cultivate & organize Creation.
Bring justice and mercy to the world.
Serve.
We must live faithfully to this vision, acknowledging that we will always fall short. 12 friends changed the world because they believe it happened.

You evaluate employees on the metrics you measure.

Leadership flows out of who we are, not just what we do.

SERVE:
Show Respect
Earn Trust
Reach for Perfection
Value Input
Energize Others

We will never achieve perfection, which means we must be a people of grace.

Allen Catherine Kagina – Ugandan Revenue Authority

just listened to her incredible story…wow!

Wilfredo De Jesus – In The Gap

2014_Faculty_Wilfredo_De_JesusPrayer is a weapon, but we must not rely on it as a crucial.
Your budget cannot dictate your faith!
When we see injustices, we can’t just say “Oh that’s so bad”. We must engage our community.
Ezekiel 22:30

Throw all sorts of lines/bait – the method doesn’t matter. The message does.

Fear is the absence of faith.

Nehemiah asked “How is Jerusalem?” and it changed everything. The walls were in ruin.

1) He Prayed
2) He Planned – we don’t like the process.
Ex/ in NFL they have 25 seconds to call a play. What if we got out of the huddle and into our communities?
3) He Proceeded
4) He Persuaded – there is always opposition, but God is with us and for us.

Courage is an inner resolution to move forward despite the obstacles.

Ivan Satyavrata: The Power Paradox

2014_Faculty_Ivan_Satyavrata On one hand you have an all-powerful God and on one hand you have overwhelming need all around you. This is the power paradox of leadership.

John 13:1-5

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet,drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Jesus knows that all things are under his power and his self-awareness assumes him in the role of the powerless.

A leader must be able to wield power, in order to lead effectively. At the same time, be genuinely vulnerable. Absolute power and absolute vulnerability.

Knowledge is power. Jesus had the most knowledge of any human. The wisest thing we can do is share his message of hope and truth.

Knowledge of power sometimes corrupts and can fill us with intoxicating pride. How are we stewarding our knowledge bank for others?

Boldly invade the darkness.

Be patient and resolute in the face of evil.

Great leaders hold the scepter of power in one hand and a towel and basin of service in the other.

The greatest gift you can give to followers is to give them the ultimate safe place so they can soar to greater heights.

Great leaders refuse to use influence or intimacy for intimidation or control.

Combine humility with fierce resolve.

We are not called to be a Christian terminator who wipes out all evil. It can feel overwhelming. But then comes a moment of truth. An exploding realization: Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness. I delight in my weaknesses…for when I am weak, there he is strong.” This is the joy in the power paradox.

When you feel the weakest, that is precisely when you are strongest. Your strength is made perfect in Him.

Is the world becoming a better place because of your power?

Power paradox leaders are accustomed to heartache, but have deep joy. Having nothing, yet possessing everything. Dependent conquers. Meek inheritors of the earth.

Tyler Perry: When Leadership Meets Inspiration

Tyler-Perry-to-headline-the-Global-Leadership-Summit What is your writing process? The artistic time needs to be separate for room to create – just in office for a few days a week. If the artist says I can’t stick to a schedule or a budget, can they work with you? “Nice to meet you, I wish you well on your struggle.” Clear the noise. Clear the clutter. How do you inspire people? Surround yourself with people who are like you in the sense of being an underdog who worked hard. Look for the best attitude, even if they are less qualified when hiring.

Below are my notes from the Global Leadership Summit 2014. This is Day 1 – and I plan to post more notes tomorrow!

Hard Fought Leadership Lessons by Bill Hybels

Hybels
True or False: All leadership is intensely spiritual.

Every leadership decision you make has a direct impact on the spirit and psyche of those you lead.

We can become obsessed with the thrill of leadership.

Leaders with the highest level of passion have the lowest level of awareness of the spirit he or she has been assembled to lead.

When you look at the team through the “they don’t care” eyes – the leader can begin to think they are either too passionate or that they shouldn’t care quite as much. None of this is discussed openly, but everyone starts to sniff it and sense it.

Grunts feel expendable, not valuable. God values people over everything. Hybels saw this in his culture at Willow Creek. He repented and worked hard to change the culture. It’s one of his highlights of being a leader.

What Practical Steps Are Needed to Change the Culture
1) Use an outside firm to run an engagement survey. “The Best Christian Workplace”

2) Executive Team to own the turnaround. It couldn’t have been delegated to the HR department. Your culture will only ever be as healthy as the senior leader wants it to be.

3) Get real serious about training all people who manage people. Not everyone can manage people. People join organizations, they leave managers.

4) Increase the level of candor in performance reviews. Every worker secretly wants to know how they are doing. “Do you notice my work? Am I adding value in any way?” It is cruel and unusual punishment to not give feedback. The kindest form of management is the truth.

3 words: Start, Stop, Continue.
3 Ms at Willow Creak:
Move: Start meeting with what you are talking about, what you are trying to move ahead.
Modify – change conversation to how to modify.
Motivate people before meeting ends. Thank, bless, and inspire. Create an environment of inspiration.

– Specificity is so important in performance reviews and they get fired up to get better. Everyone wins when a leader gets better.

5) Ruthless commitment to relational conflict, regardless of how hard it is. “Reconcile” book (recommended book): “What if we all looked at conflict as the opportunity to strengthen a relationship, rather than the ruin.” This encourages us to move toward people with conflict. This could result in deeper level of trust when we lean into it.

In the average Christian organization, only 54% of the employees are truly engaged in their work. In the US corporate world, only 30% are excited about their role and engaged. Internationally, the rate is 15%.

81% at Willow are engaged. Heartbreaking for Hybels that 19% are not there.

Another hard-fought leadership lesson:

True or False Great leadership is by definition relentlessly developmental.

Every leader knows this is true – we must be developing. But where there are thick clouds of confusion is in the HOW. Then they give up on leadership development and feel guilty about it.

5 Top Ways to Develop Leaders:
1) Put them in high challenging roles
2) Assign them to a short-term task force
– We don’t buy cars before we test drive. The task force must:
A) Success or failure must
B) The emerging leader must take full authority
C) Leader…?
D) Must have pressure
E) End product must be evaluated by a senior leader.
3) Offer real time feedback
4) Provide coaching/mentoring
5) Offer them classroom seminars

His Dad forced him to be resourceful. This greatly influenced his life.

You must figure out how to help someone know what to do when they don’t know what to do. Do they quit? Dig in? Collaborate? And figure it out?

No senior leader can be ready for everything coming their way. So learning agility is so important.

2 tasks for executive pastor “application”: In charge of budgeting process for one season. Completed building project.

When is the last time you assigned someone to a pass/fail test? Look at the young people.

3rd Hard-Fought Leadership Lesson:
John 10 – Two shepherds.

Higherling types – they don’t care about your sheep. Short-term. If a predator threatens, this one will run to safety.

Owner types – this kind of shepherd cares. Long term view. If a predator threatens, this shepherd will lay down their life for the well-being of the sheep.

We as leaders need to master to discern between these two.

Find and develop leaders with a legacy mindset.

Average tenure for a Fortune 500 CEO is 4 years.

Who are the legacy leaders around you?
– Legacy leaders ride out rough patches.
– Legacy leaders are working through tough economic times.
– Legacy leaders are fueled to please the God they love. They want to leave something beautiful behind. Ex/ Nelson Mandela, Warden Boro Cain.

Forgiven much. Worship much.

We’re all given a birth and end date. But we all have a lot of space in that “dash” between the two. We can be a legacy leader. You don’t drift into being a legacy leader.

Have you given any real thought to the legacy you’ll leave? What if we shifted into legacy gear?

Endurance
James 1:12 – blessed are those who endure trials.

The grander the vision, the greater the price tag.

The greatest vision ever: Jesus to redeem the sins of humanity and it cost him his life.

Legacy leaders have to develop endurance strategies to keep them in the game over the long haul.

It’s hard to hear God at Mach 2 speed. Solitude breaks are in his schedule.

If you’re feeling burnt out, humble yourself and call for help. This rough patch will require extra assistance.

Carly Fiorina – CEO of Hewlett Packard/Several Non-Profits

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Human Potential & Leadership Definition
Most important lesson: What you are is God’s gift to you, what you do is your gift to God.

We have more potential than we realize. Human potential is limitless and amazing.

We are often afraid to take the leap. Sometimes people don’t have the tools, training, education, or opportunity. Sometimes people lose faith – in themselves, others, or even God.

There are things that crush potential. Bureaucracy crushes potential – rules based, hierarchal system. Bureaucracy always implode on themselves. They worry about all the things inside rather than focusing on the outside customer.

If human potential is the only limitless resource that can solve problems, what unlocks it?
Leadership.

The highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential in others.

A leader tries to change the position. Leaders change the order of things.

Ex/ MLK Jr. – had a dream of “there” that was so different than where he was. Started by unlocking the potential in many nobodies.

What do leaders do?
– A great speech is not leadership. It is important in our words, but they are not enough.

Leadership Framework
Leadership Framework Global Leadership Summit
Strategy/Goals/Vision – Where are we going? Why are we going there? How are we going there?
– The more specific the goal and vision, the better. Where are we now? Where do we want to be (specifically)?
– Then measuring that is crucial.

Organization/Team/Process
– How are we going to get things done? Who is the leader? What kind of processes do we need in place?
– Problem: This doesn’t match the strategy/goals/vision
– Structure always has to follow strategy

Metrics/Results – How are we going to measure progress? How do we reward success? What counts as progress?

What gets measured, gets done.

Culture Behavior – Culture means “what’s it like to work around here.” This boils down to behavior. People will listen to the talk for a while. Then they start walking the walk. Watching the walk – seeing what the walk is like. Actions speak louder than words.

The leader sets the tone and models the behavior. Fancy value statements are nice, but people look around to know how to act.

20/20 Rule – When people embark on a leadership journey, 20% of the people in an organization are change warriors. They are people who get it right away. Harness those warriors.
There’s another 20% – “Hell no I won’t go!” – They have to be identified too. They are the source of resistance. That leaves 60% of the people – they are skeptics and they wait to see if it works. Success never happens unless the 60% are moved. When 80% are engaged, then forward momentum is possible.

Everyone has more potential than they realize. Everyone has the capacity to lead. Leaders are made not born.

True leadership requires faith. It’s not about the absence of doubt. A love of God makes leadership easier. Faith gives us the gift of humility. True leadership requires we understand it is not about us. It is about others. Faith gives us empathy. “I could be in the spot!” Faith gives us optimism. That people will rise to the occasion. Faith in others is so important.

Leadership is a choice. Choose to change the order of things. Choose the joy of unlocking the potential in others.

Jeffrey Immelt – CEO of GE: Positioning Your Organization for the Future

2014_Faculty_Jeffrey_Immelt

Your peers determine how far you can go. Be a giver, not a taker. Horizontal strength keeps institutions together and moving forward.

Be around a crisis if you can. That’s where your leadership shows and shines.

The best leaders go forward.

Leadership ideas that don’t change: Commitment to integrity, performance, change. But they also invest 1 billion dollars into it.

What about when the people you invest in leave? Don’t let them be in fear. You want them to be on fire.

What do you really love in someone? Or what do you want to get rid of in someone? Willingness to stand apart. Willingness to buck the system. You can’t run a big company without rules, but people who drive change and question authority.

Use authority wisely. Say “this is the way it is because this is the decision I’m making.” Don’t overuse this, but use it when it is needed (after discussion).

We’re all in the business of self-confidence. Give them feedback to help make them confident.

Susan Cain: Quiet: Challenging the Quiet Ideal

2014_Faculty_Susan_Cain

– 33-50% of people are introverted
– We must harness the power of introverts and extroverts
– At the end of 2 hours at a party, do you want more or are you really tired and want to be home? This is just a metaphor for what is going on inside our bodies.

Rethinking innovation and idea sharing.

Focus on service, not on networking.

Restore quiet to your culture.

Spend time reflecting on how to empower and equip those who are introverts to be able to use all their talents the best way possible.

Bryan Loritts: Instigating Change Through Personal Sacrifice

Bryan_Loritts_303
The last words Jesus said to his leaders before he left: Jesus doesn’t want it to be monopolized by the affluent, but to include the least of these.

Matthew 25:31-46

Story of William Wilberforce abolishing slavery:
William Wilberforce at 21 – runs for Parliament and wins.
At 25, Wilberforce understands the train wreck of the Gospel and puts his trust in Christ.
“The Clapinsack”
1807 – Wilberforce helps to abolish slave trade
1833 – slavery is abolished

Our leadership must be more than the things that will perish.

Jesus doesn’t say, “Do good things and you will get in.” His word: Fruit.

I will never accomplish enough good things, but we must look at our fruit.

John Wesley
At 19 years old, he decided he could live off of 28 pounds. That year he made 30 pounds and gave away two. Later in life he made over 1500 pounds and gave away 1482 pounds.
How much is enough? How much is enough houses? Purses? Golf clubs?
Our churches need to model this.

What is joy? Helping to pay someone’s medical bills. That’s joy.

Patrick Lencioni – The 3 Most Dangerous Mistake Leaders Make

lencioni
– when we do these, it isn’t just bad, it actually hurts people.

1) Becoming a Leader for the Wrong Reason
Why do we become a leader in the first place? Notoriety? Fame? Power? Money?

Real reason we should pursue leadership:
To sacrifice yourself for the well-being of others, even when they don’t know if there will be any return on investment.

The only real payoff for leadership is eternal.

2) Failing to embrace vulnerability
“You have a hard job, I don’t know how you do it.” – Good opening to a challenge

“This is the part of my job that is extra hard for me.” -what we as pastors should say

3) Making leadership too important
Do the people closest to you feel like you place too much importance on work/leadership (as opposed to family)?
A legacy leader does not hope that the people standing by his bedside will be the people he managed, but his/her family.

Pride- the antidote is humility. Jesus gave us the ultimate example and showed us what true leadership is: humility.

 

Click here to see day 2 notes!

I Do.

August 7, 2011 — 1 Comment

The best words I’ve ever said:

I, Jonathan, take you, Sarah, as a gift from God,

to be my lifelong companion through tears and laughter,

sickness and health, in times of plenty and in times of want.

I will love you consistently and prayerfully, now and forever.

I promise to be faithful to you and honest with you.

I will respect you and trust you. I will help you and care for you.

I will share my heart, my stories, and my laughter with you

because you are my best friend.

I will forgive you as we have been forgiven by God.

I will work with you to live a peaceful life

as Christ has called us to live.

And, with you, I will work to further compassion, justice,

and peace in our world.

I will love you and be thankful for the blessing of your love

until death parts us.

 

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Sarah Sigmon. You’re the love of my life.

 

 

My Day Today

January 4, 2011 — 2 Comments

calendar

One of the things Sarah and I love to do is share what happened in our days at the dinner table.  I generally forget about 80% of my day, so today I decided to write down some of the things that happened in my day.  Since I frequently get asked what a typical day looks like for me, I thought I would post it today.

  • Read/Commented on Proverbs 4 at the rCalvary church blog
  • Wrote a couple of thank you notes
  • Re-arranged a worship schedule problem
  • Called a potential youth teacher for a vacant week this month
  • Picked out a book (and my top 5 picks) to do later this Spring for our youth group
  • Cleaned my desktop from being filled with icons
  • Cleaned off my work desk
  • Contacted a Flower City Work Camp Executive Leader about an adult problem (and sent another note to someone with updated health insurance information)
  • Responded to ~25 emails in my inbox from the weekend.
  • Researched and wrote a youth group lesson for tomorrow based on the book of Proverbs (this was the biggest chunk of my day – probably 3 hours).
  • Had my ever-important lunch with the secretary
  • Uploaded, edited, and printed pictures for Girls Ministries and Christmas decorations
  • Filled out a leader recommendation form for Flower City Work Camp and mailed it (after a phone conversation)
  • Planned some worship and video ideas for FCWC as part of helping serve on the programming team
  • Hung up some sweet artwork we filmed for the Kids Christmas Play on my door (Picture below)

mikayla-art

  • Checked up on a student from church who was in the hospital on Sunday
  • Tweeted” (love this word)
  • Posted a video of Tim Keller which explores “What the Bible is Basically About” to my Posterous Site and Facebook
  • Watched a sermon on Proverbs
  • Set up my multiple meet-ups for the week with people
  • Came up with a creative way to address some of our student’s doubts that the told our youth team when we did a series on Doubt last year (pretty excited about this)
  • Made the final decision with Steve about how we would be backing up the computers at church (short-term and long-term)
  • Helped begin to clean out the sound closet with Kevin
  • Got about 30 notifications of about 50 new friends I suggested for Pastor Bob (our lead pastor)
  • Gave two friends public speaking advice (still confused why they asked me, but I hope I helped)
  • Filled in information for 12 youtube videos (still private, but public soon)
  • Made a couple of changes to Sarah and I’s new budget.  We are planning to track every dollar we spend this year.  We’ll see how long this lasts.
  • Talked to a parent about a potential FCWC problem with some students.
  • Put up a promo on facebook about youth group tomorrow

Then, I came home and had a nice night with Sarah.  I would call this a “typical” Tuesday for me (except I normally have a meeting with Pastor Bob, but he was out of the office all day).

What was your day like today?  Anything exciting?

Take a video tour of our church’s new website!  The address is www.rcalvary.org and I am SO excited to have this project completed.  It’s going to be such a good tool for ministry.

Thank you to Steve Otto for all his hard work.  I had so much fun working on this with you!

If you’d like to watch the tour in HD, you can click here. Enjoy!

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13 Engagement Questions

July 18, 2010 — 2 Comments

engagement bench

Sarah and I are getting married in less than 3 weeks now.  To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement and is a direct result of why I’ve been neglecting the ole blogosphere.  I was asked these questions by a bridesmaid friend to be read at our Rochester shower, which will provide you more insight into Sarah and I’s lives/relationship.  And some laughs too.

We also have one of those “The Knot” websites – and I tried to do it up pretty good, so you can check out some videos there.

Enjoy.

13 Engagement Questions:

1. When when and where was your and Sarah’s first kiss (with one another)?

Well the first kiss was actually when I asked Sarah to date me, which was on the cheek, but she denied me on that one.  This took place in October, and she said we had to wait until Christmas to kiss.  Then, Christmas came, and I did not kiss her.  When it came to New Years Eve, and we were driving home 6 hours in what was the worst blizzard I’ve ever been in, Sarah asked me why I hadn’t kissed her yet.  I kind of deflected the question and tried to get out of it, as I had already planned to kiss her later that night.  I did end up doing that, but the story also shows how open and honest our communication has been throughout our relationship.  I also got some sort of weird enjoyment out of having her hanging for that week in between Christmas and New Years, wondering when I would finally kiss her.

2. Describe that kiss in one word.

Faaaaaaannnnnnntastic!

3. If Sarah were a flower, which one would she be? Why?

She would be a rose, because roses are my favorite.  And they’re beautiful too. 🙂

4. After you and Sarah are married, what is the first thing of yours that she will get rid of?

Probably what she labels “my junk”.  Which would not be one or two things.  I am a pack rat and love my old trinkets.  I suspect one day to come home and be missing a significant portion of my childhood and to be very upset.  If there was one thing though, it would probably be my old clothes, making room for hers.

5. What is the first thing of hers that you will get rid of?

Her uncomfortable love seat.  It shouldn’t even be labeled a love seat, because it is uncomfortable and impossible to take a nap on.

6. When will you have children and how many? (Don’t worry, we won’t hold you to it. Accidents happen 🙂 )

We will have 2 children and we will wait a few years (probably 3).  No whoopsie-babies, Lord willing. 🙂  Sarah wants 3, but that is just because she grew up in a house with like 14 kids.

7. What is Sarah’s favorite flavor of ice cream?

Sarah does not like ice cream, as it upsets her stomach.  But she is a big sucker for frozen yogurt.  Her favorite flavor is chocolate chip cookie dough.  She recently bought peanut butter, and it’s been in there for weeks.  Bad choice.  Back to chocolate chip cookie dough we go.

8. Coke or Pepsi?

Water. She’s a health nut.

9. How many cups of coffee does Sarah drink in one day (currently)?

Well I have been trying to get Sarah to ween off of her ridiculously high coffee intake for a long time now.  Luckily (in a weird sort of way), she recently got sick and could not drink coffee for a week.  Now, she is drinking about 3 cups a day, rather than 10.

10. What is a petname/nickname that you have for Sarah?

We don’t really do pet names, but I call her “babe” or “Sar” a good bit.  This question makes me want to come up with one though.  I’m open to suggestions.

11. What is your favorite physical feature of Sarah’s? What is her favorite physical feature of you?

My favorite feature of Sarah’s is her big eyes and her cute face (I guess that’s two). Her favorite feature of me is either my abnormally large biceps or my eyes (lame).

12. What first attracted you to Sarah?

What first attracted me to Sarah was her personality and the way she communicated with people.  When we were at Sarah and John Cleghorn’s wedding, I observed her from a distance and how she interacted with others.  By the second day of the weekend, I was asking questions about her to John Cleghorn and Andy Allen, not worried at all about covering up my intrigue of this woman. 🙂

13. Now something gooshey to keep the old ladies happy: What about Sarah do you find most attractive/loveable/enjoyable/etc/?

The thing I love most about Sarah is her love of people.  She cares deeply about others and makes many sacrifices for those around her.  Her love of God shines through in this area of her life.  This also spills into her love for me.  She forgives me when I do something (or say something) stupid and cares for me when I have a bad day.  She is also a phenomenal listener, who is insightful at discerning when to simply lend a ear and when to speak up and re-direct the situation towards a solution.  She accepts those that are different from her and people feel loved after spending time with her.  She’s a keeper.

ring bling

If you are wondering how to help with the Nashville flood, there is a great church in Nashville that many of my friends attend that is working desperately to help.

The church has set up a fund which you can donate at here (select “Flood Fund”).  Money will go towards:

  • Helping people repair their homes
  • Purchasing equipment to assist with the relief efforts
  • Purchasing supplies such as water and food (all but one water treatment plant has been shut down!)
  • To feed people

Hundreds have been left with nothing.  Please pray and help if you can.

nashville-flood-1Moving building

nashville-flood-2Sinking Car

nashville-flood-3Man in East Nashville, walking out to his car

nashville-flood-4Downtown Nashville. Unreal.

nashville-flood-5

Tanker flipped on its side against some trees.

I read that if the accumulation had been snow instead of rain, it would have been the equivalent of 13 feet of snow in Nashville.  Crazy.  I hope you can join the relief effort.

The Exchange with Ed Stetzer, 05-04-10 from Ed Stetzer on Vimeo.