Friday Stream of Consciousness – 152

Featuring Orlando, Gun Control, and fathers

stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this morning:

  • I’ve spent this week with an uncatchable lizard I named, “Cholula,” running around my car. Yesterday, she ended up, alive, in the cup of water I keep in my car for hydration. She has been liberated.
  • The North American Christian Convention is coming to Anaheim in just a few weeks. I’ll be teaching a session there…
  • but come anyways 🙂
  • It really is one of the spiritual highlights of my year.
  • In case you missed it, the 85-cent principle is worth thinking about.
  • One exercise I do with churches wanting to restructure their ministries is to have them take an empty dayplanner and put the entire church calendar in there–as well as any cost (deleneate between church and participant costs). Add up the hours, volunteers, and cost of all things they ask people to do over a year. What they usually find is they are substantially over-programmed and are asking people to spend many hundreds — if not thousands of dollars on simply doing ministry with the church (not including giving to the church). It’s clarifying.
  • The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership by Steve Sample remains one of the best leadership of the last twenty years. It’s a very easy read, and as the title implies, there is some contrarian (but sound) advice for leaders from a world-class college president.
  • One of my favorite chapters talks about the leader’s reading diet. He reads, but not excessively–and he reads very little news. Instead, he reads “super texts” (books that have stood the test of time). So, he reads Machiavelli’s, The Prince, Aristotle’s Politics, etc., but very little news.
  • My sense is we might all be better off taking a similar approach.
  • He also suggests we read things again that we read in college–now through the lens of life and experience rather than inexperience and for a grade.
  • The dishonesty of the media today is absolutely astounding. I don’t know which bothers me more—dishonest but rather civil, or more honest but full of rancor. Probably the former.
  • I don’t know about you—but the thought that Google, Facebook, and Twitter are censoring by politics gives me the willies—and they should be ashamed of themselves…not because it’s illegal—but because it’s not honest when done in the dark or denial.
  • I’d feel the same if their politics slanted the other direction, too, by the way. Those companies either need to admit the political biases of their product–or stop doing it. No more doing stuff in the dark.
  • The root reason sensible gun control isn’t on the table and likely never will be isn’t because everyone is irrationally attached to guns–most don’t own one. The real reason is because people don’t trust the government. It isn’t a gun issue—it is a trust issue. If the people believed the government’s intentions and motives—they’d be less resistant. They don’t…and they therefore won’t.
  • That mistrust has been well-earned. On numerous occasions within the last few years–the government has asked for an inch and taken ten miles. In others, they hid what they were doing because they knew the public would hate it—or haven’t accepted responsibility for their mistakes or demonstrations of incompetency. The good news—it is repairable. The bad news—it likely won’t happen until a President enters office who understands how to build real trust with the public and legislators through use of the aforementioned means.
  • Gun sales have tripled during the Obama administration. The primary reason is the law of unintended consequences. By calling for gun control in the way he has and with the frequency he has without taking concrete action to lower anxiety, we are buying guns faster than ever because we feel both unsafe and distrustful toward the government–that latter is born out in every poll everywhere.
  • I’m aware of the fact that many will read the three comments above as political statements rather than simple leadership analysis of a current problem-which might show us how politicized our outlook on things has become.
  • I wish we would offer at least basic business training to would-be ministers. I was lucky to have some academic training in business and law at both the high-school and college levels…and it has helped immensely.
  • I believe our society completely underestimates the role of fathers–despite nearly all empirical and experiential evidence. Dads: never think you don’t matter. You matter A TON. Thank you for all you do for your families.
  • With that, comes great responsibility. Make fatherhood a priority that you work to improve at and enjoy every day. It’s a sacred responsibility.
  • Song of the week goes to the greatest dad song of the last 30 years: The Living Years, by Mike and the Mechanics. Grab a box of Kleenex and listen.


Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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