Homeless Man Joins Music Video Shoot

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Artist Carlos Whittaker was recording this music video (below) for his song, “God of Second Chances,” in a bad neighborhood of Atlanta when it took an unexpected turn. A turn for awesomeness. Danny, a homeless man, walks up and kneels in worship with Carlos and adds his powerful impromptu vocals.

At the end, if you listen carefully, Carlos tells Danny to “Keep trying to make it man.”

Danny looks him square in the face and says, “Trying to make it? No man. I ain’t trying to make it. I’m making it. Jah puts His soldiers everywhere. Jah says, ‘Yea though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death.’ So He places some of us, in that valley.”

Amen.

***UPDATE: https://www.facebook.com/CarlosWhittaker/posts/10151729834640759

Wealth Inequality in America

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What’s the visual that pops into your head when asked how you believe the wealth of income earners in America is distributed across the various classes; from poor to wealthy?

Now how about comparing that picture with what you think it should be?

Watch this and see if they compare…

Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised…Thoughts?

DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee

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Fellow coffee addicts…

Many coffee shops offer seasonal Pumpkin Spice Lattes (PSL) and other coffee drinks during the fall. They’re delicious – no doubt about it – but they can also be expensive and contain 400+ calories for a single PSL from Starbucks!

The truth is, however, you can make your own, extremely simple, version of DIY Pumpkin Spice Coffee right at home (or work) all year long.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs Coffee grounds for every two cups of coffee (or to your liking)
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (McCormick’s or make your own – ingredients below!) for every two cups (or to your liking)
  • Optional: Plain or vanilla creamer (liquid or powder)
  • Optional: Sweetener

McCormick's Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions:

Put your usual coffee grounds in the filter (or a French Press for me) and blend in the Pumpkin Pie Spice. Let the coffee brew, pour a cup, and enjoy!

How awesome is that? Delicious. Easy. Inexpensive. 5 calories.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice (make your own!)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp Ginger
  • 1/8 tsp Cloves

Directions:

Mix the above spices together, store in an airtight container and use for anything that needs Pumpkin Pie Spice!

No Starbucks Needed

Deeper Conference 2013 – Christine Caine

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Deeper Conferences

The Surrendered Ones

Day 1: August 14, 2013

Opening Session – Christine Caine (Hillsong Church; Founder, A21 Campaign)

  • It’s not OK for the people and church of God to be like everything else.
    • We don’t need more of what we’ve been hearing, seeing, saying; if we’re going to do what we’re called to do, we need to be doing, hearing, seeing, and saying what no one else is.
  • God isn’t building anyone’s career or platform. He’s been building His church for 2000 years and that’s what He’s going to do.
  • God is the only one that can remain exactly the same but do something entirely different.
    • We can’t remain the same if we’re going to do what we’re called to do.
    • Isaiah 42:13
  • We miss the new things God is doing because we’re so busy looking at the next thing.
    • God doesn’t need a next. He’s too busy doing the new thing now while we’re out there chasing the next.
    • “I’ve got a lane for every single person in my Kingdom. I’m doing a new thing now and I’ve got room for all 7 billion people on the Earth to be a part of it.” – God
    • Stop comparing. Stop competing. Stop looking for the next.
    • “If you’re too busy chasing the next, you’re not beholding Me now.”
    • We don’t just need contemporary; it’s not the goal, it is just a byproduct of being ministers in this age.
  • We miss the new thing that God is doing now because we’re not in the place that He has set us.
    • 1 Corinthians 12:18 – God has set every part of the body in place, just as He wanted them to be.
      • Many of us have sacrificed our destiny on the old term; the position we wanted because we wouldn’t embrace the place God wanted to set us in.
      • We attend a place that gives us a position, rather than attach ourselves to where God wants us to be.
        • “Embrace the place.”
        • Too many of us care more about how many are following us on Twitter than how many aren’t following Jesus on the Earth.
          • “We need to get our face off Facebook and get our face in the Book.”
          • Care more about how many “like” and “follow” Him than how many like and follow you.
          • This is not a career, it is a call.
    • Mark 7:13
      • The tradition of man stands in the way of what God is doing.
      • When we use the performance indicators of the world to gauge the ultimate health of the church there is something wrong; we’re not a business or an entertainment industry.
      • The highest honor we have is to be co-laborers with God. He invites us into His mission to build His church.
        • We don’t need to be an architect, HE is the architect.
        • “Jesus does not need a celebrity to make him cool; celebrities need Jesus not to go to Hell.”
    • “Is Jesus name enough? Or do I need you to build your brand and your platform so I can piggyback off of you?” – God
    • The new thing isn’t “either, or”; it’s “both, and”
      • Is the church local or global? Both.
      • Is it faith or works? Both.
      • Male or female servants? Both.
      • Use wisdom or zeal? Both.
      • Young people or old people? Both.
      • Is our teaching deep or wide? Both.
      • Are we theological or practical? Both.
      • Do we use novice people or seasoned people? Both.
      • Is it skill or passion? Both.
      • Do we like big church or small church? Both.
      • Are we proclamational or affirmational? Both.
      • Is it preaching or teaching? Both.
      • Do you use your heart or your head? Both.
      • Is it spirit or truth? Both.
      • Are we attractional or missional? Both.
      • Is it the gifts of the spirit or the fruit of the spirit? Both.
      • Is it discipleship or evangelism? Both.
      • Is it attendance or do we serve? Both.
      • Is it small groups or large services? Both.
      • Do we give or receive? Both.
      • Do we minister with mercy or truth? Both.
      • Is it grace or obedience? Both.
      • Is it something we manage or take risks? Both.
      • Are we fun or serious? Both.
      • Is it order or freedom? Both.
      • Is it prosperity or austerity? Both.
      • Are we flexible or structured? Both.
      • Is it longevity or fresh blood? Both.
      • Do we be strong or gentile? Both.
      • Are we leaders or followers? Both.
      • Are we into counseling or deliverance? Both.
      • Is it focused on today or tomorrow? Both.
      • Is this a hospital or boot camp? Both.
      • Are we an organization or organism? Both.
      • Do we have budgets or faith? Both.
      • Do we have accountability or freedom? Both.
      • Are we traditional or contemporary? Both.
      • Do we believe in healing or use medicine? Both.
      • Are we into relational or revelation? Both.
      • Is it spontaneity or order? Both.
      • Is it God’s sovereignty or man’s responsibility? Both.
      • Is it submission or do we have oversight? Both.
      • Is it outreach or discipleship? Both.
      • Do we occupy until he comes or prepare as if He is coming tomorrow? Both.
      • Are we into holiness or relevance? Both.
      • Do we pray or act? Both.
      • Do we believe God or accept what He does? Both.
      • Are we leading victoriously from victory or fighting for the victory? Both.
    • The reason we’re burning out in the church is because we’re chasing the wrong things.
    • “Everything God has put in place, no one can displace.”
    • There is no next, I’m looking to run my race.
    • When your heart is pursuing the wrong thing, you’re stressed out.
      • Know what your assignment is.
    • “Your gift has almost taken you to a place that your character cannot keep you”
    • “The gift that is on you will destroy you; if what is in you cannot sustain you.”
    • “Jesus is not coming back for an adolescent bride; He’s not a pedophile, He’s coming back for a glorious bride.”
    • “Promotion does not come from North, South, East, or West; promotion comes from God.”
      • Philippians 2:3-4 – Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
    • Keep running the race. Keep fighting the good fight.
    • “I could make a fortune on government funding because they fund people like me and give me a label, victim, and we’ll pay you every week to remain that way.  But I read the Book and what my Bible says is that He has redeemed my life from the pit. That I don’t need to live as any kind of victim; that we are more than conquerors.
    • Unless we are willing to be broken, how is anyone’s life going to be transformed?
    • Do nothing out of selfish ambition.
      • “Don’t think less of yourself, just think of yourself less.”
    • 2 Samuel 18:18 – Absalom had built a monument to himself in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to carry on my name.” He named the monument after himself, and it is known as Absalom’s Monument to this day.
      • If you’re too busy holding up your position, you’re not raising up others.
    • We expect to speak to a cancer and see it shrivel up and die but we can’t even honor an agreement to our pastor.
    • Divine Destiny vs. Selfish Ambition: destiny draws you and ambition drives you.
      • Destiny marks you; ambition markets you.
    • “It is better to be marked by God than marketed by man.”
    • Destiny is about the Kingdom; ambition is about our empire
    • Destiny evokes loyalty; ambition is selfish

Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit – Day 2

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Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

Satellite: Granger Community Church (Granger, IN)

Day 2: August 9, 2013

Session 5a – Joseph Grenny

Mastering the Skill of Influence
  • Leadership is intentional influence.
    • If you amass a strategy of influence, people change.
  • If our own experiences aren’t translating into other habits and experiences, we aren’t leading.
  • We often believe the reason people do what they do is because they lack commitment and resolve; that’s naive.
  • When somebody fails, we deliver a sermon, which often isn’t what’s needed. We don’t understand influence.
  • As an influencer, make the bad things bad and the good things good.
    • Our job as an influencer is to make the good stuff feel pleasurable and the bad stuff feel bad.
  • Don’t just teach principles. Connect to people’s values.
    • Help people frame specific daily decisions in Godly ways.
  • Skills are a substantial part of influence.
  • Involve more people in deliberate practice
    • Hands-on, realistic conditions in small bites
  • The most effective influencers start with ability and then move to motivation.
  • Want more influence?
    • Model. Give praise. Help. Enable.
  • Structural ability
    • The influence of space, data, cues, tools, processes, and other environmental influences.
  • Make bad behavior harder and conscious
  • Make good choices easier and obvious
  • The space we inhabit influences our choices.
Session 5b – Vijay Govindarajan

The Innovation Challenge: Getting it Right
  • Ongoing operations are at odds with innovation.
  • Strategy is not about celebrating the past, or the present, but it’s about leadership in the future.
    • If you want to be a leader in the future, you have to adapt to change.
  • Strategy is asking the question: How do I create the future while I am managing the present?
  • Dominant logic is extremely useful. Left unchecked, it can create self-imposed boundaries.
  • The central leadership challenge is preserving dominant logic while overcoming it.
  • Innovation is more than ideas. Innovation isn’t creativity. Innovation is commercializing creativity.
  • Innovation = Idea + Leader + Team + Plan
  • Making innovation happen is not just the responsibility of the leader.
    • The role of an innovative leader is to be humble and to harness the abilities of their organization.
  • Preserve your organization’s dominant logic while at the same time working to overcome it.
  • Be bold when choosing people for the task at hand.
  • Conflicts are healthy, providing you know how to handle them for the benefit of the future.
  • When you’re testing your assumptions, spend a little and learn a lot.
  • The job in the innovation phase is to learn to resolve the unknowns.
  • We must do a lot more. With a lot less. For a lot of people.
    • Innovation is no longer value for money. Innovation is now value for money.
Session 6 – Dr. Brené Brown

Daring Greatly
  • As a leader you are always going to get a combination of two things: what you create and who you allow.
  • Love and belonging are two irreducible needs of men, woman and children. In their absence is suffering.
  • Connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives.
  • People need three things: to be seen and loved, belong, brave.
  • Connection is why we’re here. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives.
  • Love is messy and hard. It’s a struggle.
  • It’s very difficult to love people more than we love ourselves.
  • We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable selves to be seen.
  • Love is not something we do by ourselves; it is something that grows in connection with other people.
  • A leader models the courage to ask the questions, not to have all of the answers.
  • The bottom line is we can’t give people what we don’t have. We can’t give people courage when we don’t have courage.
  • People are great at helping others who are in need of help but almost never seek out the same help for themselves.
    • You’re judging others when you offer help because you’ve attached judgment to needing help.
    • We cannot give help when we cannot ask for it.
    • You well up with self-judgment when you offer help to someone else.
  • The space between how we behave and how we act every day; the things we believe in. That gap is where we lose people.
  • Love is a practice. Professing love means little compared to practicing.
  • Shame can only rise so far in an organization before people disengage to self-protect.
    • A deathly fear of failure produces nothing new.
  • Blame is the simple discharging of pain and discomfort.
    • Blame is toxic in organizations as much as it is in relationships.
  • Feedback is the function of respect.
    • “How did you fail? How quickly did you clean it up? What did you learn from it?
    • Without failure, there can be no innovation.
    • You can’t be good at giving feedback if you’re not willing to be vulnerable.
      • Feedback, by definition, should be vulnerable. We don’t like it because it’s uncomfortable.
  • You have to make a space for people to show up and be seen for who they are.
    • The number one barrier to belonging is fitting in.
    • Belonging can’t have check boxes attached to it.
    • People want to be a part of something that’s bigger than themselves.
  • What kills love, kills organizations.
    • Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and withholding of affection.
  • Be here. Be loved. Be Respected. Feel Belonged.
  • We were born to be brave. Never in our lives do we feel more alive than when we’re being brave.
    • Shame is universal.
  • You can choose courage or you can choose comfort; you can’t choose both.  They are mutually exclusive.
  • If you are not in the arena exposing yourself and getting your butt kicked too, I am not interested in your feedback.
  • Contribute more than you criticize.
Session 7a – Oscar Muriu

Viral Leadership: Multiplying Impact Exponentially
  • Matthew 9: 37-38
    • The size of your harvest depends on how many leaders you have.
      • There are not enough harvesters (leaders) to get the job done.
    • If you don’t have harvesters around you, your leadership will be constrained to your personal capacity.
    • Who have you raised up? How many will remain after you have left?
    • It’s not about how hard you worked but how many leaders you have raised up.
    • Don’t live for your own generation. Live for those who will come by raising up future generations.
    • The impact of your life will depend not on how hard you worked, but on how many young leaders you were able to bring up.
    • Always surround yourself with younger leaders you are pouring your life into.
  • Numbers 11: 10-17
    • You’re not to go it alone! Allow others to lead with you.
    • Some of the best leaders are right under your nose but they’re so close to you that you can’t see them.
    • Identify the budding leaders around you and take them to God in prayer.
  • Five C’s of love: Character. Conviction. Comprehension. Competence. Compassion.
    • Love God with all your heart (character), soul (conviction), mind (comprehension), and strength (competence)…love your neighbor (compassion)
  • To be alone is to waste an opportunity to be a mentor.
  • Start simple. Innovate. Create a leadership culture. Increase your impact exponentially.
  • The harvest is plentiful but the planters are few. The key is in leaders raising up the next generation.
Session 7b – Dr. Henry Cloud

Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader
  • We need knowledge, but ultimately we need to do the work.
  • As leaders we are people that take charge and do stuff.
  • Leaders don’t blame, they take ownership of what they are called to steward.
  • The hardest thing a leader has to be in charge of is him or herself.
  • The ones who can’t do it, but believe they can, will win every time.
    • Do you believe it can be done?
  • The hardest part of leading is managing yourself.
  • #1 trait for leaders to get from here to there is belief.
  • We need knowledge but ultimately we need to do the work.
  • 3 P’s of how the brain interprets failure:
    • Personal
      • Everybody meets obstacles.  Those who succeed don’t take it personally.
      • Your brain begins to change when you are out of control of circumstances that affect you.
    • Pervasive
      • In a situation out of your control, the brain begins to get pervasive.
    • Permanent
      • In a situation out of your control, the brain believes this is permanent.
  • Science and the Bible always agree in a place called reality.
  • When we take failure personally, a spiral begins. It turns to pervasive thoughts and snowballs into permanent negativity.
  • Successful leaders don’t view failure as personal, pervasive or permanent.
  • When you begin to look at the whole picture, you change. Your life is a movie, not a scene.
  • The best predictor of the future is past behavior.
  • The opposite of bad is not good; it is love and relationship.
  • Your brain can turn into a spiraling cesspool of stress if you are constantly focusing on things outside of your control.
    • Connect. Connect. Connect.
    • When you’re going from here to there and you feel a spiral happening…CONNECT.
    • Your brain runs on oxygen, glucose, and relationship
Session 8a – Bill Hybels

  • If you want your leadership to matter, lead in ways that matter to God.
Session 8b – Andy Stanley

Closing Session
  • Jesus didn’t predict a place. Jesus predicted a people. A gathering. A movement.
  • The only thing we have in common is exactly what Jesus predicted: that He would build something and nothing would stop it.
  • It doesn’t matter what you do, Jesus is going to continue to build His kingdom and nobody’s death is going to stop it… not even His!
  • Our Savior will build His church whether we participate or not. What’s your decision? Are you in?
  • James might be the strongest argument for the deity of Jesus. What would your brother have to do to convince you he was the Son of God?
  • If a guy can predict his own death and resurrection and pull it off – I’m with him.
  • In the future, people will name their children Paul and Peter; they’ll name their dogs Nero and Caesar.
  • You will never do anything more significant with your life than serving the local church.
  • When Jesus said he was going to build His church, he MEANT IT. – and that’s exactly what He did!

More: Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit – Day 1

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