Art of War | Losses of Commanders

I have been reading the Art of War recently. It’s great bathroom reading. Sun Bin has a section called ‘Losses of Commanders’ in which he quotes things that commanders should not do:

1. When they lose purpose in their maneuvering, they can be beaten

7. If an army is out in the field too long, it can be beaten

18. If orders are repeatedly modified and the troops are dilatory, they can be beaten

22. If commanders hate to hear it when they’ve erred, they can be beaten

26. If they count on the other side losing heart, they can be beaten

27. If their actions hurt people and they rely on ambush and deception, they can be beaten

Today I will be mapping the vision and strategy for Impact Church. The Art of War is heavy on my mind.

Brocken Spectre

I spend time in the mountains as much as I can make time. There is a phenomenon called the Brocken Spectre that happens under really unique conditions, usually in the mountains. When the sun, the mountain and the mist or clouds align just right you can see a shadow of yourself that would seem to go on for miles.

Brocken Spectre

Upon stepping out to the terrace, I was very agreeably surprised to see my shadow some 200 feet high, s thrown on the mist by a strong lamp, rise up to the zenith! It was a very curious spectacle indeed. every movement of the hand or head was faithfully reproduced by the phantasm. But only the head and shoulders of the figure were neatly delineated. The remainder of the body was exceedingly indistinct. Giant rays of colour radiated from the head in all directions. A.M. Antoniadai, 1896.

You can’t force the Brocken Spectre to happen; the conditions will determine weather or not you will experience it. What you can do is anticipate it happening and be ready to do the work to get yourself to the right place to experience it.

So I will read the terrain, lean on past experience, those who have gone before and the voice of The One and be ready to move when the conditions present themselves_

Leadership Shift

I love the opportunities I get to visit my home church and talk with the people that were around me when I was growing up and sort of trying to figure out some kind of faith for myself. I eventually went ‘all in’ in college and found a strong calling for what I am doing. But I didn’t start off that way.

I was talking with the man who was my youth pastor growing up, and I appreciate his candor when he said that I didn’t look like I was going to be a pastor in high school. He added the thought that I wasn’t on his leadership radar. I took some of the leaders around me by storm when the news of my career would trickle home.

I believe leadership has shifted for our generation. I just happened to be under the care of people who were looking for the traditional modern leader and had no idea what leaders were going to look like in 15 years. Add to that the fact that I was a skateboarder and in the early nineties we were an outcast community.

I think the biggest thing that has become old hat is the ‘cult of personality’ leader. Baby boomers and those still living in the modern school of thought wanted the guy with the big personality and charisma to be the one running the show. My generation has grown up distrusting the authority, title and personality of this type of leader.

I have a passion for leaders. I have seen many of the young people I have worked with go on to be leaders of ministries. I would guess that very few of them would have been on the leadership radar had they been in high school 15 years ago_

All The Small Things

It’s true that I am a man of vision and action. Or at least I try to be. Here’s the trouble this causes. I tend to miss the small things. It’s not on purpose. It’s not that I think the small things are insignificant or otherwise unimportant. I know the small things add up to the big thing.

The problem is that I straight up don’t even think of them. Or at least the ones that broke someone’s heart because I didn’t indicate enough that I care. I do care, a lot. All the small things are very important to me.

Let me let you into my brain for a second. The following are some things that literally haunt my thoughts and dreams every day, even every moment. I lose sleep over these things. It’s a blessing/curse to have the weight of these things on a man. But that’s the calling that I must live out.

  • I hurt and cry for people all around me that do not have a belief in Christ that I do. And I lose sleep and toil over how to impact their lives.
  • I struggle with how to lead the people of the Kingdom of God into actions that show the world that they are for real.
  • My heart is broken for the injustice all around the world. Children dieing. People starving. Cities being bombed. I don’t feel a detachment from these things. They haunt me every day.

This burden is real. It’s probably taking a few years off my life. It’s certainly not leaving a whole lot of room in my life and mind for all the small things. But I’m trying. Give me a little time. I have a lot on my mind_

Forced Fruit

I have a tree that isn’t bearing fruit. So I tried some tactics to push it along
fruit tree

Reason
I reasoned with my tree. I used really detailed graphs loaded with facts that would make Ross Perot proud. This didn’t work. My tree had a counter to every fact and piece of evidence I offered. He had done his homework.

Threats
I threatened my tree thinking that a little fear would get it to give me some tasty fruit. I told it all the things I was capable of doing to it. My tree didn’t seem to care, he just shrugged and said; “Do what you will.”

Protest
I put up a blog and rallied a bunch of people who where angry about trees not bearing fruit. We made big signs and banners and even a miniature replica of my tree that we burned. My tree didn’t come any closer to giving me fruit.

I guess I will have to keep watering it and treating it like fruit trees should be treated. When the time is right, who knows?

How have you tried to force your tree to grow?

Severe Beatings | Setting Standards

As a leader with several hats (father, husband, pastor, business owner) I am scrutinized to the Nth degree. It is definitely something I signed up for and not to be taken lightly. Currently I am going through another incredible time of growth and I am excited to see what God is doing.

I got this video in my Seed Magazine feed today, and I thought I would share it with all the leaders out there. It is video of a classic experiment and it is some what creepy to see. But the impact it had on me, especially as a father was huge. What do I model to those around me?

People are watching us, and it should scare us. It should scare us into the arms of God.

Licking Wounds

I was sitting and talking with some friends yesterday about a trip they recently took up to the mountains with their kids. It was their 9 year old sons first time sledding and I was captivated by the description of how much fun he had. I can picture the look in his eyes as he flew down the hill, snow kicking up all around. As a nine year old boy he had tapped into his calling in that moment…to play.

Then it happened. A bump. A crash. A flip. A scrape.

Continue reading Licking Wounds