Showing posts from February, 2013

Cross Training - Week Two "My Own Worst Enemy"

This week I am continuing the sermon series, "Cross Training," a series that is focused on the teachings of Jesus.  Our Scripture passage this Sunday comes from Luke 6:27-36 which reads thusly:

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But …

10 Leadership Lessons I Learned from Disney

I worked at Walt Disney World for nearly 10 years (1984-1993) and served in a variety of locations and in a variety of roles.  I was an Operations Lead (on-site supervisor) and I was one of the youngest (at the time) graduates from WDW's management training program.  I trained as a manager in Monorails and I served for over a year as a manager at Magic Kingdom Guest Relations and Main Street Operations.  

The leadership lessons that I learned during my tenure at Walt Disney World have stayed with me all these many years later.  Here are ten of the most basic leadership lessons that I learned.

1.  No Matter What Happens--the Park Is Going To Open. 
I remember when I was working as a Lead in Operations that it didn't matter if every single one of the cast members on your team called in sick, you'd better beg, borrow or steal personnel to get your rides running before the park opened.  This is a great rule to live by in your business or organization.  The "show must go o…

Cross Training - Week One "Eyes On The Goal"

This Sunday is the First Sunday of Lent, and the beginning of a new sermon series that will take us all the way to Palm Sunday---a series entitled "Cross Training."

The focus of this series is on lessons that we can learn from the life of Jesus that will enable us to endure hardship, have faith during times of trouble and draw closer to Christ in our journey toward ultimate redemption.

Sound good?


Let's roll.  Read this passage of Scripture so we can get started:

Luke 6:17-26
7 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

20 Looking at his disciples, he said:

Blessed are you who are poor,
    for …

The Idolatry of God: A Review

Last year I had the opportunity to hear Irish theologian, author and philosopher Peter Rollins speak at Stetson University.  Although his latest book The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction had not yet been published, he spoke from its outline and offered a critique of Western Christianity that was convicting and unsettling.  When the talk was over, Rollins was gracious enough to sign one of the event posters for me.  He wrote, "I pray God rid you of God.  Peter Rollins."

At first blush that might seem like an odd line for a theologian to include in his autograph.  You would think that of all the things a theologian might assert, the idea that it might be preferable to be "rid of God" would not be among them.  I must admit, listening to or reading the work of Peter Rollins is alternately enthralling and maddening precisely because of the provocative ways that he presents his ideas.

And then you get to the truth beneath the provoc…

Who Is This Man? A Glimpse of Glory

This week I am preaching on a strange story in Jesus' life called "The Transfiguration":

28Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” —not knowing what he said. 34While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35Then from the cloud came a voice …

Rob Bell's CraftLab - Reflections on Preaching Pt. 1

Two weeks ago, I attended the first CraftLab event, hosted and led by Rob Bell.

That's me to the left of Rob Bell in the picture you see here.  I'm the guy with the computer.  My friend Mike (sitting to my right) and I look vaguely like one another except he has more hair a cooler beard, and he's way smarter than me.

But this is proof that I was hanging with Rob Bell.  If you needed it.

CraftLab was billed as a two-day, twenty-four hour workshop primarily for preachers and church communicators/teachers, although anyone working on a creative project like a book or film was encouraged to attend as well.  

The pre-event instructions were vague.  Participants were asked to come with an idea to share, and to be familiar with Rob's teachings on creative communication as expressed in the Poets, Prophets & Preachers videos from a conference he hosted several years ago in Grand Rapids, MI.

Other than that, everything was fairly wide open.

There were 50 participants in t…

The Worst First Sermon Ever. Part 2

This week I am preaching the second part of the two-part sermon, "The Worst First Sermon Ever"--focusing on the first part of Luke chapter 4.

Last week we heard the sermon that Jesus preached and learned about a surprising twist that he included in order to teach about the expansive grace of God.  Then he said a few more things that didn't sit too well with everyone gathered.  Then it got real.  The people who were listening turned from being pleased to filled with rage, and then these people, who had known Jesus his whole life, tried to kill him.

Some altar call, eh?

Let's read.
21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. 23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Cap…