I feel ya – the empathetic heart of Christ 

I shared last week that my daughter started a blog, Divinesixght.

Her latest post is about the empathetic heart of Christ.

One of the greatest things about life is that you get to do it with other people. I love people and I love reading about how much Jesus loved people. When it comes to loving on anyone and everyone, Jesus lead the way. Lately, I have felt God putting the word empathy on my heart.

Read the entire post here: I feel ya – the empathetic heart of Christ 

Syd’s Blogging, too – The Perfect Fit

I’ve shared that my wife is now a contributor to the Dayton Moms Blog. Her recent post, Her Name is Kate, has taken off and has been shared a number of times. Over the weekend my wife found out it had over 23,000 views! Pretty exciting. 

My daughter is now blogging. She had a WordPress blog, but it was hacked and had to be deleted. She is now blogging at divinesixght.wordpress.com

Her most recent post deals with how God is able to help us as we seek to build our lives. Here’s a snippet:


“Good architecture should make you feel as if you are in a cave with a view of the horizon.” -Jonathan Safran Foer

Architecture is defined as both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing structures. We try and shape our lives like a good piece of architecture. We try to plan, design, or construct what we believe is artwork. This involves the two perspectives, in the cave and then the open view. Inside of the cave we entertain the present and we meet needs. We meet our own needs, we meet others needs, and we attempt to balance what we want to do and what we ought to do. But if it’s good architecture, if it’s a solid life, then it should feel open with a view of the future looking out to the horizon…

Read the rest in her blog

Selfie Obessession

The “selfie” has become a pretty popular thing (no news flash there). I have actually found myself taking “group selfies” on our trips with students. And the last couple pics have turned out pretty well…if I do say so myself.

But then I wonder if a group selfie is really a selfie because there are many “selves” and not just a “self” in the picture.

Anyways…this infographic is pretty interesting as it gives the stats on how many selfies are out there. Just think – 93 million selfies taken each day. WOW!

There is a story of how damaging the selfie obsession can be and some tips for people to consider as they take selfies.

Interesting information for parents, teens and those who care about students.

Selfie_Narcissism-Infographic-20151222-03

Jimmy Fallon and the Worship Leader

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon - Season 4I have to admit that I don’t normally stay up late enough to watch The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. (If I am up that late, I’m probably catching a basketball game.) I have been known to watch some of his lip sync battles online and I marvel at the caliber of TV and movie personalities that Fallon is able to get on his show. I watched (after the fact) his Super Bowl of lip sync battles which featured Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell. There was a surprise appearance by Drew Barrymore. Needless to say, it is apparent that Jimmy Fallon has connections in Hollywood.

Last week I saw a link on Facebook to an article about Jimmy Fallon as one of the best worship leaders in the world. The title captured my attention, but the content was solid. The writer of the article, Josh Maze, made some great points that apply to those who lead worship. He made five observations that I found myself thinking about this past Sunday during our service. It is definitely worth reading. It is posted on Josh Maze’s blog and I have pasted it below.

5 REASONS JIMMY FALLON IS ONE OF THE BEST WORSHIP LEADERS IN THE WORLD

No matter the guest, they’re the “absolute best” on the “absolute best” TV show or film. Isn’t it amazing that every. single. night… Jimmy’s “favorite” person is on the show… and we believe him? I believe him. I follow him. All the way to the desk where he is absolutely enthralled by the special guest. Completely engaged. As a matter of fact, he’s so engaged – I’m engaged. I’m engaged through him. All the sudden I find myself interested in the guest / the subject / the conversation. Through Jimmy’s excitement & passion, I find myself involved. I never knew that I could become such a fan of some random C-list celebrity… but seeing Jimmy as such a fanatic about this person, here I am. Participating.

Here are 5 things every worship leader in the world should learn from Jimmy Fallon.

1. He’s always smiling.
This may be the most important and underrated aspect of Jimmy’s career. He smiles. A lot. Like… constantly. And that’s really good because, he’s in our living rooms and our bedrooms. And we want happy / positive people in our home. Smiles break down barriers. Smiles invite you in. Every worship leader who doesn’t smile while singing about Love… Grace… Hope… Jesus… is completely missing the mark. If you’re not smiling, you’re not winning. If you’re not smiling, you probably don’t look friendly. You might even be coming across too serious, overly spiritual, or arrogant. Let’s avoid that at all cost.

2. He’s got great energy.
It’s rarely hype. It’s always excitement. He loves what he does, and it’s obvious. But check this out… Jimmy Fallon has bad days too. He’s a human being. But you may never know it. We don’t see it. He presses through and does his job… making us feel at home. People need a confident leader to bring the energy to the room. Energy is contagious. Bad / low energy is contagious. Great / high energy is contagious. Be yourself, yes. Be vulnerable, of course. But get excited about what you’re doing!

3. He’s humble.
I’ve heard a ton of different people make comments about Jimmy. “He’s awesome… He’s the best… I love him… I have a crush on him… He’s literally perfect…” (And those are just from my wife… 😉 But I have never heard anyone say anything about his ego, his pride, or his arrogance. Yet – he’s one of the biggest stars in the world. He’s self-deprecating. He knows his strengths – He knows his weaknesses. He doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s quick to laugh at himself. That’s endearing. I like being around people like that, don’t you? With his ratings up 27% in the households & up 40% in the 18-49 demographic. Yes. You do. We do.

4. He’s prepared.
Monologues, singing, dancing, bits, sketches, dialogues, interviews… he does it all. And he’s ready. We think we have something to get ready for on Sundays? Once a week? Imagine having to be fresh, funny, smart, & interesting 5 nights a week. He nails it. And yes, he’s got a great team around him that help him prep. What can we learn from this as worship leaders? What can we take away? Very little excellence happens in life without proper preparation and planning. Let’s do our part to prepare, and let God do what only He can do.

5. He’s relevant.
‘Relevant’ isn’t my favorite word ever. But let’s remind ourselves… It’s a real word:

Relevant adjective rel·e·vant \ˈre-lə-vənt\ relating to a subject in an appropriate way

If I tried doing what we do at Highpoint at the big Episcopal church down the street, it wouldn’t work. I’d be dead in the water. You have to speak the language of the people you are speaking to. You have to relate. You have to know who is in the room and have an idea of where they are coming from. Jimmy’s show is so relevant, it’s ridiculous. The monologues are literally centered around the day’s news, the day’s gossip, and even the day’s tragedy. The interviews are centered around the film or TV show that just premiered or is about to premier. Why do so many churches miss this? We at Highpoint have decided to teach timeless truths in a timely way.
That’s a Non-negotiable.

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So, all in all, while Jimmy is leading us in the worship of the people he adores – like Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Tom Cruise, Justin Timberlake, or Brad Pitt, we still have a lot to learn. And if we are leading people in the worship of JESUS, how much more than should we be smiling, energetic, humbled, prepared, & relevant? Jimmy, if you’re out there, I for one, am inspired to be a better worship leader. Thank you.

Syd’s Got A Blog

10455035About a week ago, I saw a tweet with a link to a WordPress blog and I discovered – my daughter has a blog!

So far she has just a few posts and I’m not sure what brought on the idea to blog. But, speaking as unbiased observer, it is pretty good. You should go check it out. Click here to go to Syd’s blog.

She has written about choosing joy and quotes The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews (a good book by the way).  She’s talked about being ready when opportunity comes knocking and how being prepared and opportunities coming your way seem to be related. Her third post looks at social media and our culture’s desire to be known and have influence in that arena.  All in all, I would say there are some good observations…coming from an a totally unbiased perspective, of course.

Happy reading!

The Accident by Chris Pavone

Cover_AccidentThey say it’s not what you know, but who you know. That statement was someone what true as I came across this book. I had not heard of Chris Pavone before let alone read any of his writings. As I was looking at The Accident, I noticed that Michael Connelly was quoted on the cover. I’ve enjoyed a few Connelly books so was willing to give this a read. It turned out to be a good choice.

The Accident is a manuscript of a book that is written by an anonymous author that contains damaging information against a powerful media mogul with ties to the CIA. Through the course of the book, you meet various people who want the manuscript destroyed while others are looking to cash in on the publication of it or even turn the story into a movie. Part of the mystery of the book is not only trying to determine the identity of the author of the manuscript, but also if what the author has written is true or fabricated.

The open chapters were a little confusing to me as various characters were introduced and I had to connect the dots as to how they were all related to each other and what intentions they had for the manuscript. After that information fell into place, I was engaged in the story line and curious to see how the plot unfolded.

The Accident was a good read and keeps the reader interested in what happens with the bomb shell of a manuscript. The ending will surprise you a little bit…but you will need to check it out yourself.