Catalyst Conference 2011

The Catalyst Conference is an incredible experience that I highly recommend to all leaders, especially those working in ministry.  It is two days (three if you do the labs) of basically drinking out of a fire hose.  Speakers from a variety of organizations come and speak to a crowd of 13,000.  It is basically impossible to try and wrap my head around all that I heard and learned at the conference, so here are some of the highlights!

 

  1. Fairness ended in the garden of Eden.  Don’t be fair, be engaged.  –Andy Stanley
  2. It’s not about personality, it’s about humility.  Humility + will = the essence of leadership.  – Jim Collins
  3. Bad decisions made with good intention are still bad decisions.  –Jim Collins
  4. Be known as a giver. –Blake Mycoskie (founder of TOMS)
  5. We are going to be hear awhile (meaning on this earth), so put on a cup. –Mark Driscoll
  6. Fear is not always a sing, but it’s always an opportunity to trust the Lord. -Mark Driscoll
  7. Whose opinion matters way too much to you? –Mark Driscoll
  8. Fear is vision without hope.  –Mark Driscoll
  9. The answer to fear is fear not. –Mark Driscoll
  10.  Am I missing out on the blessing of what is happening now because I’m thinking about where I want to be? –Priscilla Shirer
  11. Our eyes can be open to what God is doing, even in the midst of our circumstances. –Priscilla Shirer
  12. We are equipped with the Holy Spirit to see hope even in the midst of chaos. –Priscilla Shirer
  13.  Something is wrong when you’re with God and you’re doing all the talking. –Priscilla Shirer

Recovery Road

For the past couple of months our pastor did an incredible series at our church called Recovery Road.  In this series he addressed the state of our economy and our country as well as our responsibility in fixing it. It was such a good series and I highly recommend that everyone listen to it!

If you would like to watch the intro video to it, click here.  You can also watch all of the messages at that link.  If you would like to download the mp3’s for free, click here.

Party Hat (What I Learned From Supernatural)

I came across this show on Netflix and decided to give it a try. For some reason I started in the middle of the series…so I pretty much have no idea what is going on, but I learned something from it anyway. As a bonus, Dean, from Gilmore Girls, is on the show.

I can’t recommend the show (only because I have only watched 1.25 episodes of it and I totally don’t get it), but from what I gather, it’s about these guys that hunt and kill demons.  So in the episode that I was watching, one of the main characters actually dies and gets pulled out of hell by an angel because God is not done with him (please don’t get caught up in the weirdness of that and not read this post).  So, after they discover that it’s maybe an angel that rescued him and not a demon, this is the conversation that takes place.  Just for the record, Dean is the one that was rescued, Sam is Dean’s brother, and Bobby is…well, I don’t know cause I have only seen one episode.

Dean: Ok, say it’s true.  Say, there are angels.  Then what?  There’s a God?

Bobby: At this point, I guess money is on yeah.

Dean: I don’t know guys.

Sam: Ok, I know you’re not all choir boy about this stuff, but this is becoming less and less about faith and more and more about proof.

Dean: Proof?

Sam: Yes!

Dean: Proof that there is a God out there that actually gives a crap about me, personally?  I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it.

Sam: Why not?

Dean: Because, why me?  If there is a God out there, why would He give a crap about me?  I mean I’ve saved some people, ok (he means saved them from demons)?  I figured that made up for the stealing and the ditching chicks, but why do I deserve to get saved?  I’m just a regular guy.

Sam: Well apparently you’re a regular guy that’s important to the man upstairs.

Dean: Well that creeps me out.  I mean I don’t like getting singled out at birthday parties, much less by God.

Sam: Well, too bad Dean, cause I think he wants you to strap on your party hat.

That last line sent my head spinning.  I rewound it to listen to this conversation again.  Putting aside all of your feelings towards a show about demon hunters, I think this conversation applies to a lot of us.  It’s so hard for us to grasp that God would care enough about us, just regular people who mess up a lot, to save us.  I mean we may have done some good things here and there, but why are we worth rescuing?  But instead of questioning your worth, instead of trying to prove yourself, instead of constantly trying to explain and find reason for everything…

…maybe it’s time for you to put your party hat on.

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

 Romans 5: 6-8