Welcome to the Family, Silas!

This weekend (Saturday, February 17) was our second touch of Gospel Conversations Training in Boone, NC. Leading up to the training, Kelly had a sense that the baby could be coming soon, even though his due date was nearly 3 weeks out. I of course joked that she could have the baby any day – as long as it was Sunday, or preferably Monday. She didn’t think it was as funny as I did.

This little guy must be a Movements catalyst who knew what was happening, because he did exactly what I joked about. Kelly was up late Sunday night into Monday morning with early labor. We checked into the hospital at 9:30am Monday morning, and by 2:50pm Silas had arrived bewildered but healthy! Kelly was a superstar!

We have already had some sweet moments as a family with this little guy. His big sister was SO thrilled to meet him and was ready to jump in and hold him right away.

We expect to be released tomorrow and we’re really looking forward to getting Silas settled in to his new home and establishing rhythms that work well for all 4 of us!

Preaching at Radiant Life Fellowship

On Sunday I had the honor of preaching at Radiant Life Fellowship for my good friend Chris Thompson from Acts 4.

You can listen to my sermon here.

Chris was my youth pastor many moons ago and now we are brothers and co-laborers.

Lori Hines (L) and Jenny Thompson (R) taught my Sunday School class from 9th grade through 12th grade.

So grateful for the opportunity to serve these awesome people!

My Story and Motivation (Video)

Last month, I spent 5 days at a Strategy Coordinator Training in Raleigh, NC learning from movement leaders from all over the world (US / Canada / South Asia / Africa / Haiti). I was asked to share a devotional to open the training for one of the days. Chuck Wood captured it so I thought I would share it here. He has some excellent content and resources on his YouTube channel, so go dig deep.

Memorizing Extended Scripture

First Corinthians takes about 60 minutes to read aloud. It took me about 14 months to memorize the whole letter, and I’ve been spending the last several months reciting the entire letter each morning to lock it in.

Andy Naselli shares some wisdom on how to memorize an entire book of the Bible. I’m not undertaking 16 chapters, but I am starting the process of memorizing Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 13-14; Galatians). Just in the first couple of weeks of memorizing the opening verses, I’m starting to see things I’ve never noticed before.

(via The Gospel Coalition)

Bullet Journal

I enjoy using technology – especially when it helps me work more efficiently and effectively. I have noticed that I have the tendency to jump from one task manager app to the next. The grass is always greener, apparently. As I jump back and forth, I tend to dump anything and everything into the task manager, and when I eventually make it back around to the app, it is filled with the fires of overdue tasks and projects. It’s not that I’ve forgotten to do everything – I just have a big mess of cluttered and unmanaged digital work to deal with. The set it and forget it nature of these apps can get the better of me more than I’d like to admit. Sometimes (maybe a lot of the time) I am more interested in working on the task manager than I am working on the tasks themselves.

For the last month I’ve been trying out the Bullet Journal as a way of staying a little more connected to my work. It is forcing me to be more in tune with everything and it is easier to see when I am allowing too much onto my plate at one time.

The official Bullet Journal website has some basic instructions.

This video offers a simple presentation of how to get started. It’s surprisingly fun to set up. It is simple and effective.

Five Big Benefits of Blogging

Most new bloggers don’t realize the demands a blog can place on time and creativity. However, once the discipline of blogging is developed, it can benefit you in other aspects of life. Maintaining a blog practically forces you to develop routines and content plans. These routines can be mimicked in your dietary planning, workout regimens, personal discipleship, and relationships. A successful blog may not always mean more page views. Personal growth through the discipline of blogging can be success in and of itself.

In 2016 there were 4 months when I didn’t publish a single blog post. There were 2 months where I only posted one single blog post during the entire month. I published 24 posts from January-October. I published 16 posts in December and 1 post per day in January so far.

Over the course of most of 2016, I lacked discipline with my blog. It simply wasn’t a high value for me. Looking back, I can see missed opportunities personally (growing myself) and professionally (helping others grow), but I’m OK with how the year went. I am discovering the truth of the quote above. As I have shown greater discipline over the last month to publish something more regularly (at this point, daily), I’m finding it more natural to be disciplined in other areas of my life too. The final sentence is correct – page views are not my greatest measure of success – my own personal growth through the process of publishing regularly is my measure of success. I hope you’ll find what I write to be helpful. It is helpful to me just to write and publish in the first place.

(via Auxano)

Books I Read in 2016

  1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  2. Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  3. Praying the Bible by Don Whitney
  4. Food Rules by Michael Pollan
  5. The Big 50 by Arliss Dickerson
  6. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
  7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effectice People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
  8. Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
  9. Apostolic Church Planting by J.D. Payne
  10. Pioneering Movements by Steve Addison
  11. The Five Temptations of a CEO by Patrick Lencioni
  12. Eat & Run by Scott Jurek
  13. 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse
  14. Building a Discipling Culture by Mike Breen
  15. H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick
  16. Do More Better by Tim Challies
  17. We Are All Weird by Seth Godin
  18. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink
  19. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
  20. The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken
  21. Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
  22. Be Mean About The Vision by Shawn Lovejoy
  23. Deep Work by Cal Newport
  24. The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler
  25. Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Intro by Chris Sim’s
  26. Crush It: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion by Gary Veynerchuk
  27. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
  28. The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs
  29. Church Planting by the Book by E. Elbert Smith
  30. Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations by Jimmy Scroggins and Steve Wright
  31. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  32. Living Forward by Michael Hyatt
  33. The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
  34. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
  35. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
  36. Church Planting Movements by David Garrison
  37. The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
  38. Prayer by Tim Keller
  39. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  40. Onward by Russell Moore