i got skipped

when God was passing out all the technical/mechanical type abilities... I GOT SKIPPED. i totally got left with NONE. seriously. ask my wife.

took me over an hour to do something "electrical" today that any guy could do in like 10 minutes.

at least i recognize my weakness. i think from now on i need to always just have someone else do it. i'm wasting my time.
i need to stick with something i can do.

the homeless in charlotte and the kingdom of God... where do i fit in?

(This was originally written and posted on renown - September 18, 2008.)

I went downtown again yesterday. My friend Todd goes every week and feeds as many homeless people as he can. He buys them all pizza from Fuel & then blesses them any other way he can, shows them love any & every way he can, we all pray for them, etc... I wrote about it another time HERE.

**It's probably one of the most raw & greatest expressions of the Kingdom of God! It's an unbelievable thing to experience. I love it! There were almost 100 homeless men & women there yesterday at College & 6th. Me & Todd had tears in our eyes. God was there... His presence filled that pizza joint crammed with "street people". Jesus was on mission at Fuel pizza. Jesus loves the homeless, He loves the poor, He loves the outcast... A lot of these homeless people are "weird" in our culture. They're definitely outcasts. His kingdom comes to Fuel every week when Todd decides to put these peoples' needs above his own comfort.

It jacks me up every time I go. I don't fork over any $. I don't even put myself out in any way. I hold the door, put the biggest smile on my face that I can (most of them have beaming smiles back at me), I give out some hugs & hand shakes & kind words, I pray for people who ask me to... but I don't really sacrifice anything - except maybe an hour of my day.

Then they all leave. it's a pretty moving sight to see almost 100 homeless people walking right past you and dispersing out into the streets of Charlotte. I stood talking to a few of them and watching the rest of them going their own ways. I started looking at each individual... wondering where she would find a spot to sleep that night... wondering if he would find something to eat the next day... wondering if ANYONE else shows love to these people... wondering if I would if I met them on the street one night and found them hungry... found Jesus hungry.

It breaks my heart. My heart literally hurts for them. I want Jesus' kingdom to come to downtown. He loves them intensely & I want to do the same. I want to do more. What can I do? What should I do?

Today I go back to my normal, comfortable, American way of life. I go to pray with some guys 1st thing in the morning. I go to the office to work. I go to lunch and get full. I go back to work the rest of the afternoon. I come home to my amazingly beautiful wife. She gives me a big hug and a kiss. We go downtown... (only blocks from where the homeless gather on Wedensdays for a free meal & hopefully a taste of the kingdom) & meet friends for Oktoberfest at my favorite restaurant, Rock Bottom Brewery. I get full again. We walk to the epicenter for Live After 5. We just chill in the beautiful weather & amazing view of the city. God did this & made all this. I'm thankful.
The sky is beautiful. HE is Glorious & I thank Him for that glory under my breath. We listen to a pretty decent band cover some 80s & 90s hits. then some Bob Marley. We walk 8 or 10 blocks back to our cars. I hold my beautiful wife's hand as we walk in the night air. She's awesome & I'm so thankful for her. We all drive back to our house we've been blessed with. It's way bigger & nicer than we need and full of free furniture. The girls do some girly stuff upstairs while us guys go down to the basement & watch the football game & shoot some pool. Me & Myrick talk a little about some books, Sproul, Driscoll, & McLaren... Then we start the all night poker game. We talk about life. Kooter Browns in FL - the best wings ever. The best movies ever. I lost $5. Shouldn't have happened... I folded my flush on a big hand... got bluffed. My wife and I are about to fall asleep in our awesomely comfortable bed...

I wonder where that guy is right now that had on the Yankees 
hat yesterday? That woman, Marie, that I prayed for yesterday... I wonder if she has found a safe place to sleep? What can I do about it all? How can I live the way of Jesus? How can I more fully bring the kingdom of God to the people of Charlotte? Shouldn't I be doing more for the poor and outcasts that Jesus loves so much?

Or was the raw community I experienced today with my friends also an expression of the kingdom of God - during the poker game, and over dinner at Oktoberfest, & listening to the guy with the bad haircut cover Everyday People. + my short experiences of awe & thankfulness for God's creation & blessings. I'm guessing those things are the way of Jesus too...

I don't know. These are just random thoughts. I'm just writing them on here like they are bouncing around in my brain. I'm just being raw & not putting up any facades. Should I feel this guilty about sitting on my leather couch while the very people I hung out with yesterday are going to sleep hungry on the steps of the library downtown? Would Jesus live with these comforts if He were here? I don't know. I'm trying to figure that out. I DO know I want to live the way of Jesus. I want to see His kingdom more fully here on earth. I want to do whatever it takes.

the fever (repost)

(This was originally posted June 28, 2010.)

do you know anyone with iPhone fever? i know some people who have come down with a severe case of it. the iPhone 4 is pretty awesome and i understand the "fever". there was the same craze for the 3GS & the iPhone before that, etc...

There is a "fever" that breaks out for all the latest and greatest new stuff in our culture. The "fever" is this overwhelming desire and perceived "need" to HAVE THAT THING. that thing that is so awesome and that thing that everyone else has.

i was thinking about this tonight. is this "fever" that comes on us something we were created with? did God make us that way? i know God made us with strong desires and He put in us an insatiable desire for satisfaction.

but where did this all out "fever" come from to have the latest and greatest thing?... whatever that thing may be this week. (because next week it will be something else new.)

i don't think we were created this way. i think it's from our culture. i think our culture tricks us and dupes us into this fever.

tonight i was asking myself if other cultures... non Western cultures experience the "fever" in their context? i don't think so. (i may very well be wrong though.) it doesn't seem like a cross-cultural fever to me. i think we have created "the fever" with our consumeristic, materialistic, gotta have it now, society here in Western culture.


that friday buzz

there is a buzz in the air on Fridays... (even at 6:57 AM as i'm sitting here at this Starbucks.)

around town.

in Starbucks.

everywhere you go really.

people are excited.

there is a buzz.

it's that Friday buzz.

it reminds me of elementary school. or college on Fridays. there is such a buzz. an anticipation! "It's the weekend! It's almost here! It's coming! No more class!" That's what you would see in everyone's eyes.
And now that school is long behind me I see it in all these people from the work force. There is a NATURAL excitement just because it's Friday.

i know there are hundreds of parallels and applications to draw from this, but here is the MAIN thing in my head today that i would like to figure out:

i wonder how you create that kind of anticipation and excitement for something else important?
because if that's possible... wow.
that's what i'm dreaming about today.

it just is

"Your self is too small to waste your entire life on. It just is." 
- Andy @ Ridge on Sunday

still thinking about it on Thursday.


i pulled up behind this guy here in Charlotte the other day.

all i could think was REALLY?

i don't even want to say much about this. i'm not saying it's bad to have nice stuff. i'm not saying it's bad to drive around in this Maserati.

But is it even POSSIBLE to have money to BLOW? i can't imagine a scenario in which anyone would have money to blow on a Maserati. i'm just sayin'.
As long as thousands of children are still dying every day because they don't even have water to drink... i'm pretty sure it's not cool to blow money on a Maserati.

if i ever have "money to blow" on a Maserati, i can think of about a million things i would "blow" it on 1st.
just to name a few:
starting churches, helping my church, orphans, widows, building orphanages, building hospitals, CLEAN WATER, feeding the hungry, helping the sick, helping missionaries, lifting the poor out of poverty, BLESSING OTHERS, i don't know - maybe i would buy cars for single moms who don't even have 1 car before buying an extra car that could buy 250 regular cars... etc... etc... etc...

my heart is jacked up for this city (repost)

(This is a repost from November 6, 2008.)
A couple weeks ago driving back into Charlotte from ATL I was overwhelmed when I got into Charlotte. I just saw all the headlights. Headlights with people in those cars. Souls in those cars. Tens of thousands of people & souls in Charlotte and they don't know God. 

God wants them to know them. God wants their praise! I was worshipping and was overwhelmed as I was shouting along with the chorus = "Here is our KING, Here is our LOVE, Here is our GOD who's come to bring us back to Him... He is the ONE, He is JESUS!" (Crowder) I just want all those peeps to know that God came to rescue them! He came to be their King, their love... He came to bring them back to Him. I want them to know! I want them to know His name is Jesus.

I am going to spend these years of my life in Charlotte consumed with making sure they know. I'll do whatever I have to do. God wants their worship and they won't be satisfied until they're giving it to Him. I was still worshipping God and the next words of that soundtrack were so profound and my heart was beating out of my chest as I was singing the truth to God = "You should be the praise of every tongue! You should be the praise of every heart!" (Redman)

God should be the praise of every tongue in this city. There's a lot of worship He's not getting from peeps in Charlotte. There is a ton of praise that's going somewhere besides God.
I just want them to know that rescue is here... His name is Jesus and He wants their worship. I'm going to leverage my days to relevantly communicate that to the people and souls of Charlotte.

my final 2011 reading list

these are just the "books" that make my final 2011 list. you can read my new reading philosophy HERE and see that most of my reading this year will come from non-book sources. HERE i posted all the books that were on my rough draft list but were bumped for the sake of these books below.

So, these are my FINAL 15 books i'll be reading in 2011. (then below are an extra 17 books i'm sneaking in to read in 2011 because i'm able to justify them and say they don't "count". so i'm still able to limit my book list to 15. haha.) trust me. the 17 at the bottom don't count... just read below to see my justifications.
here's my final 2011 reading list:

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard - Chip & Dan Heath
The book these brothers wrote a year ago was the #1 book i read in 2010. This is their latest and is a no brainer for my 2011 list. my life is and will always be about CHANGING THINGS! it's why i was put on earth. And there's a lot of change that needs to happen for the Kingdom's sake. of course i need to read this book!

Humility – Andrew Murray
This book is a very old copy that belonged to my late grandmother. i even found an extremely old sheet of paper inside it that she had written to lead a Bible Study discussion group around this book. (that paper is dated January 6th, 1982... that's before i was even born.) i only wish that she and i could discuss this book together as i read it!
Andrew Murray is one of the dead guys that i always talk about that i want to be mentored by. i desperately want God to change me into someone full of humility. looking forward (and of course nervous) to reading this book.

Strengths Based Leadership – Tom Rath & Barry Osborne
Strengths Finder focused for leadership. what a powerful combination. couldn't wait to dive into this book. literally. almost finished with it.

The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal – Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
Recommended highly by Jeff Henderson. his top read from 2010. nuff said. that's all it takes to make my 2011 list.

The Ragamuffin Gospel– Brennan Manning
a classic. but i've never read it. many say it's their #1 or at least in their top 5 of all time. i'm approaching it with big anticipation and expectations. i'm sure it will shove me to live my life in a much more radical way than i ever dreamed.

The 17 Indispensable Laws of Teamwork – John Maxwell
i've learned so much about leadership from this guy by trying to read everything he wrote. i desperately want to master the beauty of teamwork. i want to experience the best and most effective teamwork for the rest of my life... i hope there's at least 17 great tips in here for that.
Holy Discontent – Bill Hybels
it's been sitting on my shelf for a while. i think i know exactly what he's going to say. i'm going to pick it up when something is causing me to doubt the dream and vision God birthed in me. then i'll read this book & my soul will probably errupt.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 - Travis Bradberry
"EQ" is the big buzz word for the past however many years. i want to have very high emotional intelligence. i want to never let it be a weakness of mine.

Everything Must Change– Brian McLaren
probably my favorite author. i'll probably always read at least 1 book every year by him.

The Pocket Guide to Adulthood: 29 Things to Know Before You Turn 30 – Jason Boyett
This year or next is the year i have to read this one. i figured i'll go ahead and get a jump and read it this year. pretty funny so far. i think i know at least half of the 29 things too :)

Evil and the Justice of God – N.T. Wright
an awesome book that i "read" and wrote a report on in seminary. now i'm going to ACTUALLY read it and wrestle with this very difficult topic for me.

The Likeability Factor– Tim Sanders
i've always liked what Tim has had to say and am intrigued by the content of this book. i'm ready to give it a go. if i like this one, next year i might read Love is the Killer App.

The Mission of God – Christopher J.H. Wright
This has been on my reading list since i read the 1st couple chapters in seminary in 2007. i'm determined to finish it this year. it's a 600 page beast. but it's so worth it. amazing amazing book.

The Act of Marriage – Tim & Beverly Lahaye
i always read at least 1 book per year on sex. this is a very tame one compared to my choice for the past couple years, but i've heard it's a good one. Plus the pic of the authors on the book cracks me up and will make my day every time i look at it.

More Than Enough – Dave Ramsey
i also read at least 1 book on money every year too. since this is the only book by Dave i've never read i'll go ahead and finish them all off. maybe he'll write a new one by next year... or else i'll have to find a new money author (and add balance to who speaks into my life in the area of money - haha).

***Now, these are the rest of the books (17 more) i'm going to read this year, but they don't technically "COUNT". i wanted to limit my reading to only 15 books. i'll tell you why the ones below don't count toward the 15 above in my own way of justifying it. haha...

Audio Books - these can't count. i ONLY ever "read" them (listen to them) in my car. i never listen to an audio book any other time. just through the normal course of driving this year i'll be able to listen to all 8 of these awesome books:
Purple Cow – Seth Godin
Getting Things Done – David Allen
Making It All Work – David Allen
Freakanomics – Levitt & Dubner
SuperFreakanomics - Levitt & Dubner
What the Dog Saw – Malcolm Gladwell
A Briefer History of Time – Stephen Hawking
The Grand Design – Stephen Hawking

JUST FOR FUN - These books don't really count because they are 3 i'll just read for fun. when i don't feel like learning and i just want to be entertained and have fun reading i'll turn to these 3 for the year... 2 fiction and 1 about my fav band:
Under the Dome – Stephen King
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2 – Steve Stockman

 XTRAS - 1 is a book my wife and i are reading together and the other 2 are "pot books" that i only read in a certain room of my house. they don't take time away from reading the real 15 books, therefore they don't count.
The Love Dare - Stephen Kendrick
Simply Strategic Volunteers - Tony Morgan
Taste and See - John Piper

TOO SHORT - these books are just so short that i'll read them in 1 afternoon or something. nevertheless, they are important for me to read this year.
Why We Can’t Wait – MLK
Fields of Gold - Andy Stanley
Cold Tangerines – Shauna Niequist
The Orange Leader Handbook – Reggie Joiner = this one is not actually that short, but it's a work book i'll be working through from time to time... not as much reading. it just doesn't count, ok and i didn't know where else to stick it.

quotes of the week #34

here we go - quotes of the week #34... great stuff i've read lately

“Mission is an acted out doxology.” - Lesslie Newbigin (Godfather of the missional movement)

If we could explain everything there is to explain about God, He wouldn’t be God.” – Reggie Joiner (Godfather of Family Ministry)

"It’s not a matter of how much of my money I give to God, but how much of God's money I choose to keep for myself." – Mark Driscoll (pastor & author)

"The only thing worse than training employees & losing them is not training them & keeping them." - Zig Ziglar (surely you know Zig)

“Our actions in the public life of the world are acted prayers for the kingdom.” - Albert Schweitzer (famed medical missionary and author)

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic.” – Mike Foster (author, leader, entrepreneur)

“Without a global vision, there will always be a missing focus resulting in a church out of balance.” – Ed Stetzer (author & church planting missiologist)

"The church doesn't exist to meet our needs.. we exist as the church to meet the needs of others" – Joel Houston (leader of Hillsong United)

the honorable mentions

not to be confused with "unmentionables", these are the honorable mention books who made my initial 2011 book list, but when the final cuts had to be made these had to go... they're still sitting on my shelf, so maybe i'll get to them one day.

the point of this is hopefully to highlight my new reading philosophy that i wrote about HERE. these are some REALLY GOOD books i'm intentionally choosing NOT to read. to focus on just the great stuff, a lot of good has to be sacrificed.

boiling it down to the final 15 was REALLY hard. here's some of the books that made it so hard:
Lynchpin – Seth Godin
Radical - David Platt
Wild Goose Chase – Mark Batterson
Bioethics – Gilbert Meilaender
A Primer on Postmodernism – Stanley Grenz
The End for Which God Created the World – Jonathan Edwards
Tribes – Seth Godin
Mavericks at Work – William Taylor
Rework – Jason Fried
Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long – David Rock  
Wide Awake – Erwin McManus
The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship – Bill Murphy, Jr.
Making ideas happen - Scott Belsky
Rescuing Ambition – Dave Harvey
Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long – David Rock 

When I Don’t Desire God– John Piper
The Jesus of Suburbia– Mike Erre
Trusting God – Jerry Bridges
Brothers We are Not Professionals – John Piper
Primal – Mark Batterson
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
Microtrends – Mark Penn 
Justice – Michael Sendel
The Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing Your World – Heather Zydek
Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love – Saint Augustine
The Gospel of the Kingdom – George Ladd
Humility –Andrew Murray
The Biography of George Muller – A.T. Pierson 
The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
Corageous Leadership – Bill Hybels
Leadership – Rudolph Giuliani  
The One Thing You Need to Know – Marcus Buckingham

Crazy Good Sex – Les Parrott
The Modern Kama Sutra– Kamini and Kirk Thomas
Think and Grow Rich - Napolean Hill
This is over 40 great books that didn't make my list! maybe another year.

my new reading philosophy

i mentioned earlier this year while scripting my 2011 reading list that i'm going to be reading fewer books... like maybe only 12-15. not because i'm just lazier this year - but it's very strategic and intentional.

my new reading/learning philosophy/strategy actually came from a book i read in 2010. Phillip Jenkins (a new authority on Global Christianity) wrote "The world is simply changing too quickly for printed books to keep pace."

That line actually had nothing to do with his book, but it was the most impacting for me when i read it back in September. i haven't stopped thinking about that and have changed my philosophy accordingly. That line is strikingly true. In our age, print media is dying. Print newspapers and magazines will be obsolete in my generation. Printed books will never go out of style (i don't think), but they are extremely behind.

my new reading philosophy/strategy:
1.  so, part of my new strategy is to obviously read fewer books this year. But i'll keep reading just as much... it just won't be books.

all the pressure is off me to try to read 50 books again this year. i'm gunning for 12-15 at a chillin' pace. [that 12-15 ends up turning into around 30 pretty easily with all the books i'll read that don't "count". more on that later.]

2.  i will be reading a TON more magazines, online articles, blogs, and e-magazines. These are the mediums that CAN keep pace with our changing world! so i'll turn my focus more to these resources.
[i have a couple subscriptions (CT and Relevant) that i haven't read in over a year because of book reading being my #1 priority.]

i hesitated at 1st to do this because it's harder to measure progress with articles. when you finish a book, that's a big accomplishment. when you read 50 then that's awesome. Articles are so different that they're difficult to measure. but i'll read a minimum of 10 articles per week = Catalyst articles, New York Times, the above mentioned magazines, top blogs, etc... that will be at least 500 articles in 2011 - which will realistically end up being more like 1,000 as i'm already reading closer to 20 a week with the help of my iPhone when stuck in a line somewhere and situations like that.

3.  a way bigger focus on compiling my notes/takeaways from the books i read. The whole purpose is to put into practice what i've learned. it's all about helping me be more effective in life, not just reading a certain amount of books. so, i'll read less for more. (less books, more effective results.)

4.  a change in the kind of books i'll read. i'm mainly going to read the TOP books. i can't waste time on books that everyone isn't raving over. and i'll only read books that contain helpful stuff i can't get anywhere else.

5.  + i read books to improve. all about the knowledge i get that can make me better. if i can get that same helpful knowledge from a book summary or a blogger's takeaways on a book then that's EVEN BETTER. i'll read that instead of committing to read the whole book. i'll still learn probably almost the same stuff, but it only takes 5% of the time!

there you go. that's why my reading list is WAY smaller. i'll be posting my 2011 reading list (and maybe the books that got cut) soon.

you'll never "make" it until you're SURE!

this is a follow up post from Friday titled "CLOSED MINDS".

The question i asked in that post was WHY do the closed minded people (especially "Christian" people) always talk the most and the loudest about everything they're closed minded about?

my theory is that you'll never "make" it until you're SURE!
(and not "sure" like those old school deodorant commercials. i used to love those.)

only the people who are dogmatic and have it all figured out can be the prominent figures in their field.
it's easy to see in the "christian"/church world. It's pretty much only the loud, dogmatic, and seemingly closed-minded peeps who become the prominent & well known speakers/influencers/leaders that we listen to!

nobody wants to listen to someone who is not sure. (or at least we think we don't.)

think about it - that's just how it works. that's how we're set up.
in my humble opinion we're set up this way because it's EASY! it is SO EASY to be sure and dogmatic and closed-minded. you just read it out of the book from the last guy and accept that 100% and then say it in a little bit newer, fresher way and you're good to go.

it's HARD to be open minded and admit you don't have it all figured out, yet keep pushing on confidently in the mission. i think that's why most turn into dogmatics and closed-minded or just give it up... because they think it's all or nothing.

but the world is changing. at least i think the world is changing.
(+ there are already several exceptions [for different reasons] - peeps like McLaren and Francis Chan.)

Postmodernity is a new word where we don't have to always be sure about everything. and i think that's a good thing because it's usually just fake anyway. it will be a world that's less arrogant, more transparent, more vulnerable, and the closed-minded people won't always be the loudest people we hear.

my mind is not closed. it is constantly open to the possibilities. the day i'm dogmatic and have it all figured out is probably the day i'm worthless.
but i am not so naive to think that my mind is truly totally open. i am aware that, unfortunately i am arrogant and closed minded in many areas that i don't even know about.
God, help me.

going public

a lot of things probably go through different people's minds when they hear the word "baptism".

here's a quick list of what jumps off the top of my head when i think BAPTISM:
going public
commemorating life change
drawing a line in the sand
1st step
new association

Sunday @ Ridge was a really special day. we were celebrating something awesome. God changed the lives of these 6 students and they wanted to let everybody know about it by being baptized!

God did this radical thing in their hearts - it's called redemption. At different points for each of them they put their faith in Jesus to be their Savior. they decided to follow Him.
And Sunday they WENT PUBLIC with that! and we CELEBRATED it!

because that's what the angels in heaven do when someone's life changes and they decide to follow Jesus. they throw a big party. i've actually always wondered what an angel/heaven party looks like? i bet it's pretty raucous.

when i look at that picture above i can't help but smile & get really excited. because those aren't just 6 students who took a dip in the pool. that's 6 students whose lives were changed by Jesus. and they had the COURAGE and BOLDNESS to let everyone know it in a radical way = baptism.

they each told us a little of their story and we caught them on video + their baptism. if you want to watch any just click the links below:
(in the order of the pic above) Robert, Serena, Paige, Hunter, Madison, Logan.

i've noticed something - there aren't many dry eyes when we have baptism celebrations. i think i know why. we're watching lives that were radically changed. we're seeing people who are going in a different direction. Sunday we watched these students who are going to make a difference in the Kingdom. you can't help but tear up i guess.

so unbelievably proud of you guys!

happy valentine's day!

happy valentine's day to my awesome wife, Crystal!
our 6th one married and 12th one together total :)

closed minds

"Why do people with closed minds always open their mouths?"

That's a great question because we all know it's so true.

think about it for a sec if you need to.

Unfortunately, this applies to Christians way too much. The close-minded people have their minds made up on everything, they know everything about most things, and they tell everybody about it.

i have some thoughts on why this is the case that i hope to post tomorrow. but 1st i would love to hear YOUR thoughts. 

renown (repost)

(This is a repost from July 25, 2008.)

the 100th blog on Renown.

I've been thinking for the past couple weeks about what I could write on this 100th post. I asked myself - "I wonder if people even know what 'renown' means?" I've never really explained/defined it here. It's definitely not a word you hear everyday, but I'm hoping this blog might help bring it into mainstream culture.

Patrick's humble definition: Renown = unending fame; unmatched glory.

Renown is fame that will never, ever fade away. Lasting memory. Ultimate glory.

Renown is the enduring, non-fading fame that belongs to God alone. Seriously, who or what else really has true renown??? Nothing else can, ever has, or ever will. Because as "famous" as anything or anyone else could be - that fame will eventually fade away... the applause will end... their name will be forgotten! God is the ONLY ONE who has true renown. We know He is the most famous & His fame covers the universe and will never end. So, anytime the word "renown" is even mentioned it can only apply to God. (hence the title of this blog...)
Louie has by far been the biggest influence on my understanding of God's renown. So, props & credit to him for many of my thoughts and understanding of this. Louie says we should "leverage all we have and are for the name of the One who embodies lasting glory."
YES! And that's what I'm all about. I pray that millions will embrace this mission. Honestly, what else is there to live for? EVERY other name, EVERY other story is fading... it won't last. IT ENDS. Why spend our years on that? What a waste.

We all live in the story of a great and limitless God and I just want to play my small role as I humbly attempt to amplify God's lasting renown. In my opinion there's nothing else to live for.
I want to spend every second of my life for His renown until every single human on earth hears the greatest story about a matchless GLORIOUS God.
So, that's what RENOWN is all about. That's what this blog is attempting to be all about. Much MUCH more to come on this subject in the future. Happy 100th to renown! peace...
(Some time today check out Psalm 19:1-4)

saddest summary of a life

“The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” Mike Foster  

i am NOT gonna let that be me. God willing. with all the control i have over it that will NOT be the summary of my life.

it might be = "did a lot of stupid stuff, took too many risks, and died poor." but that's cool with me.

the former summary is not cool with me at all.

i don't want to have to wonder

i don't want to have to wonder.
when i'm old. at the end of my life. in 5 years. never. never do i want to have to wonder.

in Visioneering Andy Stanley said - “A clear vision, along with the courage to follow through, dramatically increases your chances of coming to the end of your life, looking back with a deep abiding satisfaction and thinking. I did it. I succeeded. I finished well. My life counted.” 
no doubt that's what i want.
without vision I get to the end of life and WONDER… “Wonder what I could have done—what I should have done.”

and I would rather freakin’ die now than have that happen.

open arms

Yesterday in Proverbs was chapter 31 for me.
it's basically talking about the things that an awesome wife does. Every time i read this chapter many things describe my wife and make me thankful for her. but 1 thought, especially, came alive to me loud and clear yesterday.

"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy."
- Proverbs 31:20

wow. that hit home. that's an awesome thing i love about my wife. i got to see her do it big time when we were in Kenya. i wrote about how beautiful that was to me HERE.

it's awesome how generous, giving, and "open armed" she is. even yesterday we were talking about an opportunity to serve kids who are poor - many orphans... it would be basically impossible for us to do but she was like "i want to do it."
still impossible but it makes me smile to have a wife like this.