stream of consciousness

Here are some things on my mind this Friday morning:

  • Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela. If you are interested in getting to know Mandela while gleaning fine leadership lessons from him at the same time, allow me to heartily recommend Richard Stengel’s, Mandela’s Way: Lessons on Life, Love and Courage. Mandela himself wrote the preface, and Stengel had uncommon access to Mandela. It’s an outstanding read.
  • Here are some pearls I liked…among many…
  • In the face of intimidation by prison guards, Mandela was known to stand his ground or even fight back verbally. He admitted to being terrified even as he did so, saying, “I can pretend to be brave.” Stengel writes of Mandela’s view of courage, “Pretend to be brave and you not only become brave, you are brave.”
  • Stengel writes, “Yes, as a young man he often tried to create a stir, but the idea for him now is that it is better to be a little dull and trustworthy than fiery and unclear.”
  • The longer I’m in church leadership, the more I find the writings of Edwin Friedman profoundly on target.
  • Yesterday, I had a church member see me and another minister from the neighborhood at a local restaurant. She picked up our check without us knowing. How nice was that! Things like that do so much for a pastor’s heart.
  • It reminded me of another time when a fellow pastor did the same for Emily and I during a time in our lives when money was extremely tight for us. It brought her to tears–and I cried on the inside. To this day, he and his wife don’t know how huge that was for us.
  • All this is to say…thoughtful generosity makes a huge impact. You never know the good you’re doing when you’re recklessly generous toward someone else.
  • If given a choice between a porch overlooking a stunning mountain scene or a porch overlooking the ocean…which would you pick?
  • Yesterday was the third annual NVC Day–the day the first small group met together as what would eventually become New Vintage Church. We’re now about 2 years, seven months since launch…and I’m as sappy and nostalgic about our church’s short journey as ever.
  • Hey, if not, who’s gonna be?
  • When people ask me what it’s like to start a new church, I have a difficult time describing it. There really is nothing quite like it in ministry. It’s brutal and wonderful at the same time. In our case…it’s been mostly wonderful with some dashes of brutal along the way.
  • I love the show, The Blacklist. Holy cow, how great is that show?
  • I have a new blog layout and new address coming soon…as in, around the first of the year. I hope you’ll like it. It’ll add some new features and upgrade the appearance of the site.
  • These days we often call heresy “progressive,” and legalism, “orthodoxy.” This of course doesn’t mean either is altogether legalism or heresy. I’m suggesting we sometimes label things too quickly, without thinking critically about what various theological streams are actually saying.
  • If we resonate with the larger arguments these camps make, we too often accept everything these camps say…because we get caught up in the theological jet stream of their larger arguments.
  • We can also assume too quickly that if one camp is wrong on a major point–they are wrong on every point.
  • Caricaturing is so much easier than responding to the credible critique of others.
  • I like the hiring of Steve Sarkisian at USC. I think the way Ed Orgeron handles his departure is evidence USC made the right decision not to retain him. However, I wish him the best.
  • I would love to have seen Washington hire Orgeron. What a grudge match that would have made. However, Chris Petersen…can’t argue with that.
  • I’m really hoping the BCS, for once, comes through for college football and doesn’t provide the SEC with a virtual automatic bid. What a jip that system has been…and I can’t wait for its demise.

What’s on your mind this Friday morning?