Penetrating Culture

I took this picture at a local bookstore today and I am not sure what commentary it deserves but I thought that the placement of books on this sales table was very strategic. How cool would it be if someone who is attracted to the bunny noticed the tag line of the book beside it and picked it up? Purpose Driven

DecembeRadio

Don’t know much about this group but I am digging their album (I know that I am probably late to the party on these guys, but I’m here). There is a little bit of everything on the album.

I really like this one:

Blue Like Jazz

BLJI am sooooooo embarrassed to say that I just read this book but I am so glad that I read it. If you were brought up in the church, have strong opinions of what church should look like, think Christians are all Republicans or you are breathing, then this is a must read.

This book so challenges me in areas that I need to be challenged, especially in rituals of the church and unconditional loved that is not so unconditional. Whether you agree with everything in the book or not, you will have to wrestle some ideas to the ground and you will have a stronger foundation when you are done with it.

I can’t do this book justice on a review but here is the one thing for me. People have been turned off by churches, crusades, rules, prejudice, conditional love (you have to look, act, fit a certain mold to be accepted) and religious systems, these have nothing to do with the message of Jesus. We have to be sensitive to what has turned people off, even to the point of apologizing for the misrepresentation of Jesus and let people know the real deal and how much God loves them.

I’m An Idoit

I can’t believe that I went to the midnight showing of Spiderman 3 last night. I feel like I have been hit by a tank and I ate a dirty shoe.

I thought the movie was alright. It was somewhat entertaining and the plot was like any other action flick (good vs. evil). Always good to hangout with friends.

I was totally blown away at how many peeps showed up at midnight to watch this deal (I think our local theater sold out four theaters online and then opened more up).

In The Movies

It is great living in Wilmington, there is always something going on. Bet you didn’t know it but Wilmington is a big movie hub (I have heard third behind LA and New York but I can’t confirm this).

Anyway, with all these movies going on, I have gotten a chance to have a few cameos. I appear here and here in a new movie called “Short Bus”.

I would like to thank my Producer Jeff for getting me this gig. I can’t wait for my next gig.

Generosity Factor

Generosity FactorJust listened to an audio book on the way back from South Carolina called the Generosity Factor by Ken Blanchard and Truett Cathy and it was off the hook. I love redeeming drive time when I drive alone so I usually listen to books or leadership talks. I had this trip all planned out, it was two John Maxwell books (Winning Attitude and 360 Leader). I have been looking forward to these books for a while. Long story short, ipod dead, computer dead so I was forced to more primitive means of listening. I had some cd’s (yes they still make those) in my truck and the Generosity Factor was the winner (on a side note, I put the cd in when I pulled out of the driveway in SC. I changed to disc 2 in Lumberton and when I pulled into my driveway the book ended. Weird).

I love Ken Blanchard books, they are usually parables and they keep my attention. This one was told in story form and was good. Here were some of the highlights for me.

  1. The Generosity Factor is a formula of some sorts and here is the formula:
    1. He owns it all (God)
    2. Everyday is a new opportunity – look for new ways to impact others lives through your generosity
    3. Action is required – it is one thing to think about something but it another thing to actually do it
    4. Remember your blessings – not just the material ones, but health, family, life lessons
    5. Thank Him (God) – This is a reminder that we are not at the center of our universe and we are not all that self sufficient.
  2. This book had a fresh perspective on Success vs. Significance and on using your time, talent and treasures generously.

Starfish And The Spider

BookJust read a book called The Starfish And The Spider. This was a business book that contrasted companies that have centralized leadership (spiders) and decentralized leadership (starfish). Spiders have eight legs coming out of a central body and a tiny head and if you chop the head off of the spider it dies. Starfish on the other hand do not have heads and all major organs are replicated throughout it’s arms.

The book talks about the benifits of being an organization that is decentralize (ie. has a very flat structure and everyone has ownership) as well as the weaknesses and how to do a combo of the two.

Personally I probably lean more toward the centralized structure but this book definitely made me think of the benefits of decentralizing different aspects of the church. Here are a few of the things I highlighted:

  1. When no one is in charge, you’d think there would be disorder, even chaos. But in many arena’s, a lack of traditional leadership is giving rise to powerful groups that are turning the industry and society upside down.
  2. (History Lesson) – The Spanish easily defeated the Aztec’s and the Incas (which had a centralize leadership structure) after they killed their leaders, but when they faced the Apaches, they were defeated (Apaches had a decentralize structure and were harder to defeat).
  3. An open system (decentralized) doesn’t have centralized intelligence; the intelligence is spread throughout the system
  4. Open systems can easily mutate.
  5. Decentralized organizations can grow quickly and take over an industry overnight.
  6. As industries become decentralized, overall revenues decrease.
  7. Some examples of decentralize organizations are:
    • Skype, Craigslist, Wikipedia (these are interesting to read about)
  8. Quote – “put people into an open system and they’ll automatically want to contribute”.
  9. When you give people freedom, you get chaos, but you also get incredible creativity. Because everyone tries to contribute, you get a variety of expressions.
  10. Instead of rules there are norms. Members of these groups enforce the norms with one another.
  11. Another characteristic is that these groups have what are called catalyst. Catalyst gets things going then cedes control to the members. In letting go of the leadership role the catalyst transfers ownership and responsibility to the group.
  12. Once people gain a right to property, they quickly seek out a centralized system to protect their interests. The moment you introduce property rights into the equation, everything changes: the starfish quickly becomes a spider.
  13. Starfish systems are wonderful incubators for creative, destructive, innovative or crazy ideas.
  14. Managing a decentralized network requires someone who is a cheerleader, architect and awestruck observer.