Monthly Archives: March 2017

Ministry Tip: Always Tell The Story

People want to know why.  They want to know WHY you think you should create a new program.  They want to know WHY you believe it is time to end a ministry that used to be so powerful.  They want to know WHY you are sure it is time to pivot and change course.  People aren’t thinking about the thing you are planning or plotting as much as you are and have been – it is all new to them.  And they want to know why they should care…

When people want to know why, tell a story.  Tell them why by painting a picture of a preferred future. Tell them about someone who could benefit from this new idea.  Tell them a story.  People aren’t moved by data or motivated by “this other church I heard is doing it…”  They are excited by stories.  Tell them some.

 

Ministry Tip: Stop Being Yourself

I don’t always recommend this – but stop being yourself!  Let me unpack that.  Stop being yourself, when you want to understand someone else.  Most of us grew up hearing the expression, “walk a mile in their shoes.”  In ministry and life, we often need to see something from someone else’s perspective.  That is actually a pretty solid adage.   But it still has one obstacle in understanding someone else – us.  We are still imagining and envisioning the world from their perspective but with our history.   I heard Reggie Joiner say it this way at Orange Conference in 2016,  “Empathy is the ability to press pause on your own thoughts and feelings long enough to understand someone else’s.”  To imagine what they are feeling, we have to be able to stop being ourselves.  To press pause on ourselves and consider the issue as the other person.  Can you stop being yourself long enough to be someone else?  It is important if you want to understand those around you.

Fountain Pen Ink – Sheaffer Skrip Red

Sheaffer Skrip Red or Sheaffer Red is an ink I heard about from the Pen Addict Podcast when they had Mike Matteson from Inkdependance.  He is an established and thorough ink reviewer.  He knows his stuff. On the podcast, he was asked what his favorite Red ink is and he said Sheaffer Skrip Red.  It is a little surprising considering how many varieties of red inks their are to settle on a relatively commonplace ink.

Sheaffer Skrip Red in Lamy Safari

I got a sample from Goulet Pens and put it in my Lamy Safari with a Fine nib. I have to agree with Mike, this is a great color.  It is vibrant without being so “red,” that you can’t use it in day to day use. It is just a fantastic color.  The drying time is a little bit of an issue. Being a lefty stinks when it comes to most inks.  That isn’t Sheaffer Red’s problem, probably more of my writing style.
I would absolutely recommend it.  Again, go check out Mike’s post about it to get a fuller idea about what it looks like and how it handles on different types of paper.

Ministry Tip: Don’t Think Alone

I recently bumped into a ministry situation that had me stumped.  I didn’t know what to do.  This is typical for some of us pastors.  But the one thing that I know how to do is phone a friend.  So, I called a pastor friend who has been through a similar situation.  As I reflected on the solution I was reminded a valuable lesson – I should not think alone.  It rarely is the best option.  Get others involved in your processing so you find the best outcome.

My Favorite: Star Wars Films

I don’t confess to be, “that guy,” when it comes to Star Wars.  I don’t know the name of the moons around Hoth or exactly how Stormtroopers died on the Death Star.  But I have grown up watching the movies.  I, like many many people, have been in engrossed in the films with the release of the Prequels and the newer canon in the last two years.  It is just a great world to explore!  The characters are timeless yet approachable.  This past year I ramped up my geek cred by reading a couple of the Star Wars novels (Dark Disciple & Bloodline).  I was reminded how great the storytelling of the first films that caught my attention as a kid some 40 years ago!

So here is my ranking of my Favorite Star Wars Films:

  1. The Empire Strikes Back (V) – This film is just about perfect.  It transforms the story that we thought we knew so well in A New Hope (IV), and puts it on its ear.  It has more action and suspense that we felt when the Death Star blew up for the first or second time!
  2. The Force Awakens (VII) – I know. It was just “A New Hope remake.”  I don’t care, and I don’t totally agree. It was a party on a roller coaster and I loved every moment of it.  Ok…I didn’t love every moment.  I almost cried when I realized that HE was going to die.  But Rey, Finn, and Poe!  It was just fantastic.
  3. A New Hope (IV) – The film that started it all.  I’m not going to try and argue about when Lucas wrote what, but this IS the beginning of the story and it does it marvelously.
  4. Return of the Jedi (VI) – As a kid, this film was the best!  As I have rewatched it I am still moved but some of the campy-er moments rob it of the film it could have been.  It was a fitting ending both when we thought it was THE ending and now that the story has continued.  This might have edged out Rogue One because of the happy ending, I can admit that.
  5. Rogue One – I have wrestled with this film.  I was able to watch it twice in the theaters, so I have been able to see it from both a “wow, first time!” and an “um…do I really like that” perspective.  And I think I do really like it.  So much that it could be #3 on this list.  I wish they had done more to develop some of the characters and gotten rid of that mind reading monster (what was that about!?!).  It was a long movie running at 2 hours and 13 minutes.  But couldn’t they have added 5-10 minutes and let me care more about Jyn and Cassian?  I wish they had.  It was sad watching the ending unfold, but I didn’t feel like it was sad enough if that makes any sense.
  6. Mandatory Space for the gap that is between #5 and #6
  7. Revenge of the Sith (III) – We have gone from greatness to good.  I’m sorry to say that Anakin is unbearable.  I’m not trying to specific blame to the actor or the writers, but someone blew it.  It is just painful to watch…and this is the “good” one of the Prequels.  Of the Prequels this was not a return, but at least facing the right direction of action and adventure that we once believed about the Star Wars universe.   Having rewatched these in the Fall, I was reminded how great Ewan McGregor did as Obi-Wan, he really salvaged the films.
  8. The Phantom Menace (I) – We had hopes, but then Jar-Jar.  It was just Jar-Jar.  It was all of the parts of the Galaxy that we didn’t know that we didn’t care about.  It happened. Forgive and forget.
  9. Attack of the Clones (II) – As I mentioned I watched the films again in the fall in preparation for Rogue One release.  I had to force myself to finish this movie.  It is just so, so, bad.  Anakin is at his worst.  It literally feels like it belongs to a different movie franchise.  It is closer to Fifth Element than it is a Star Wars film…an no. That isn’t a compliment.

Thanks for reading.  Do you agree?  I would love to hear!