Do you live with vision?

At Catalyst, Andy Stanley quoted Michael Hammer in the quote below.  I now have it in my office.  This quote has challenged me about my own life vision… my dreams… my future.

When your memories exceed your dreams, the end is near.

I have a good friend (Mike).  Mike is one of the most encouraging people I know.  I worked with him in Albuquerque.  There was this one phrase he said often that stuck with me.  Anytime we were getting ready to do anything he would say, “Let’s make a memory.”  Living with that mindset one is always looking toward the future.  Do you live with vision or do you live with the memories?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

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Catalyst Day 2

There is so much to reflect on for Day 2. 

First, these are most of the people we had the pleasure of learning from today:  Tim Sanders, Jeff Foxworthy, Franklin Graham, Dave Ramsey, Matt Chandler, and Andy Stanley… There were others who spoke or shared I don’t have my workbook in front of me right now.  The icing on the cake was the experience of a lifetime in worshipping the Creator of all things and the King of kings.

I stood there on several occasions during worship and just looked around at the 12,000 people attending this conference on Leadership.  The noise that 12,000 people can make is amazing.  I leaned over to Brad at one moment while everyone was clapping and said something similar to this, “Listen to all of the clapping.  It’s kind of strange to hear how we humans have found a way to express our approval and gratitude to others.  We are no different from other animals in this regard.”  We want to express to people and to God in a manner that shows our approval of them and one way we do so is by clapping.  I paid attention a lot today to how people responded to what they were hearing. 

One of the greatest rounds of applause came for a Staff Sergent from the Army on a 15 day leave who was at Catalyst.  WOW!  He spent 2 of his 15 day leave at this conference… He left the war in Iraq and got his spiritual and leadership batteries charged.  It was an amazing moment to witness his introduction.

There is so much to say as to what I gained from this 2 day conference.  If you have never been to Catalyst I highly suggest going… Catalyst 2008 is by far the BEST conference I have ever been to!  For those of you on the West Coast, Catalyst is coming your way in April 2009!!  Catalyst will be in Orange County, CA. 

Seth Godin gave us his latest book, Tribes.  I have begun reading it tonight and haven’t been able to put it down.  I know I will finish it this weekend.  I have already gotten several ideas on how to implement his ideas in this book to my own “tribe” at work.  I look forward to being stretched this way… my title may be “Area Manager” but my function is to be a leader of those who make up my tribe.  As I apply some of the thoughts I have jotted down tonight as to steps I will begin taking I hope to write on how my team of employees respond. 

The short story about today’s sessions is this:  Missions was a large thrust of today’s topics.  I was challenged to preach the Word, reach people with the preached Word and not to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.  The goal of proclaiming Christ is Christ.  Nothing less.  For it to be less would be to lead people to think “you” (or I) did a great job in the presentation.  Doing a great job in presenting the Gospel should never be the goal.  Preach the Word and watch God do the work!

There was so much more that was communicated today that will apply to so many areas of my life.  I look forward to sharing this in the days ahead. 

I am so very thankful for the opportunity to go to this Catalyst.  I words can’t express my thanksgiving.  Thank you!

One more thought about both days.  God orchestrated so much for me over these two days.  From conversations with new and old friends, each of the sessions, the worship, the quiet moments by myself journaling, and the many tears that were shed…  I know everything I experienced was planned by God.  I am so looking forward to unwrapping all of this…

Catalyst Day 1

These are quotes I have walked away with today:

Jim Collins:

“Not all time in life is equal.”

“The difference between good and great is discipline. In greatness you’ll find a culture of discipline.”

Steven Furtik:

“Stay faithful and pure and God will use you to reach people for Christ.”

Furtik was phenomenal!

My take away from Furtik’s talk was that God gives the vision – God takes us through a process until “there is nothing there.” Once we have walked through this process God leads us to the payoff of the vision.

For me, God is reminding me of the vision… God’s hand on my life.

Bailout Patriots

Below is a list of those in Congress with the integrity to vote “No” on the bailout.  I’m very disappointed with this bailout… especially all of the PORK attached to it.  Come on Congress just be honest with the citizens of the United States… it’s not about the people but rather YOUR back pockets.

Sure something needs to be done with the economy… but is it really the governments job?  Afterall, it is the government that got us here.  We can look back to Jimmy Carter’s four years that got the ball rolling on this mortgage mess.  It’s unfortunate that no one stood up and said “No” back then… or since then.

Is the President of the United States really expected to be the CEO of our nation?  Is that the role of the Presidency?  If so, then why don’t we drop this democratic – republic label we so proudly use and call ourselves a socialist nation!

Our forefathers never intended for Congress and the Senate to be a career.  But that’s what it has become.  How about term limits?!  Afraid you can’t get a real job?  I think we need to take another look at the “Contract with America”.

Below are the Patriots that voted – NO!

In the list below those Democrats in roman, Republicans in italic, independents underlined.

—- NAYS    171 —

Aderholt
Akin
Altmire
Bachmann
Barrow
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Becerra
Bilbray
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Blumenauer
Boyda (KS)
Broun (GA)
Brown-Waite, Ginny
Burgess
Burton (IN)
Butterfield
Buyer
Capito
Carney
Carter
Castor
Cazayoux
Chabot
Chandler
Childers
Clay
Conyers
Costello
Courtney
Culberson
Davis (KY)
Davis, David
Davis, Lincoln
Deal (GA)
DeFazio
Delahunt
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Doggett
Doolittle
Drake
Duncan
English (PA)
Feeney
Filner
Flake
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gillibrand
Gingrey
Gohmert
Goode
Goodlatte
Graves
Green, Gene
Grijalva
Hall (TX)
Hastings (WA)
Hayes
Heller
Hensarling
Herseth Sandlin
Hill
Hinchey
Hodes
Holden
Hulshof
Hunter
Inslee
Issa
Jefferson
Johnson (GA)
Johnson (IL)
Johnson, Sam
Jones (NC)
Jordan
Kagen
Kaptur
Keller
King (IA)
Kingston
Kucinich
Lamborn
Lampson
Latham
LaTourette
Latta
Linder
Lipinski
LoBiondo
Lucas
Lynch
Mack
Manzullo
Marchant
Matheson
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul (TX)
McCotter
McDermott
McHenry
McIntyre
McMorris Rodgers
Mica
Michaud
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Moran (KS)
Murphy, Tim
Musgrave
Napolitano
Neugebauer
Nunes
Paul
Payne
Pearce
Pence
Peterson (MN)
Petri
Pitts
Platts
Poe
Price (GA)
Rehberg
Reichert
Renzi
Rodriguez
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Roskam
Rothman
Roybal-Allard
Royce
Salazar
Sali
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sanchez, Loretta
Scalise
Scott (VA)
Sensenbrenner
Serrano
Shea-Porter
Sherman
Shimkus
Shuler
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Stark
Stearns
Stupak
Taylor
Thompson (MS)
Tiahrt
Turner
Udall (CO)
Udall (NM)
Visclosky
Walberg
Walz (MN)
Westmoreland
Whitfield (KY)
Wittman (VA)
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

Source:  Office of the Clerk  House of Representatives

Sleepy Saturday, Gas Prices, and Thoughts on Personal Growth

Today is one of those sleepy-lazy days… I don’t feel like doing anything.  Gas prices are keeping me at home.  I left my Jeep at work yesterday because it was out of gas.  Gas stations were marking off pumps (saying they were out of gas… I kind of doubt it… I expect those to reopen once the others are out with much higher gas prices!!) If it gets as bad as the media hype!

I just went to my office and picked up the Jeep and found a Chevron station near my house with gas for 3.99/gallon (they are practically giving it away) with no limits on number of gallons allowed to purchase.  $85 dollars later my Jeep is full and parked!!

I am looking forward to October 9 and 10.  In fact, I can’t wait for these two days.  I will be attending the Catalyst Conference 2008 in Atlanta.  I have been hoping for an opportunity to get a way for something like this. God is good!

I want to grow.  I’m just not sure where to focus on my personal growth.  I know that all areas of my life are in need of challenge.  I know at the conference I will be challenged in all of these areas: (Spiritual, leadership, finances, and relationships). 

I’m reading Developing the Leader Within by John Maxwell this weekend.  This is the first book of many I have purchased by Maxwell.  Yet, it is the only one I haven’t read… I think I bought it in 1999.  It’s weird how at times I will buy a book and try to start reading it but for whatever reason it just doesn’t click.  I started on it this morning and the gears were engaged. 

As I read, I am reminded of successes and not so good experiences in leadership through the years.  It is really engaging my thoughts as it pertains to my work today and those I have the pleasure of trying to lead through my job.  It also is helping me think a bit more about my manager and things I can do to help myself maximize my time I get with him one-on-one each week. 

Leadership is Influence. That’s it.  Nothing more; nothing less.  My favorite leadership proverb is:  He who thinketh he can leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk. (John Maxwell, Developing the Leader Within You. Pg. 1).

Another way I desire to grow is by being coached by my good friend Jason through Ministry Coaching International.  I’m not sure when I will be able to get this going… but it is something I do want to pursue.  If you are looking for a way to grow I encourage you to check out Ministry Coaching International.

What are you doing to grow?  What are you reading?  Who are you meeting with?  In what areas do you see the need for growth?