Monday Morning Mind Dump… [Late Edition]

mind dump

  • It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted my mind dump.
  • A lot has happened in that time.
  • Hence, the late edition.
  • We spent one week on vacation in San Diego and last week Katie and I were in Florida for the Acts 29 pastor’s retreat.
  • While it was nice traveling, it was nice coming home.
  • There are a ton of things happening for me right now: finishing up the rough draft of my book (which is due August 1), hiring 2 staff members at Revolution, planning our fall sermon series (Multiply on 1 Timothy and Waiting on God on Habakkuk), working behind the scenes to improve our systems of MC’s and elders as Revolution continues to grow.
  • All good and fun things.
  • I was reminded today why every pastor needs a coach after I talked with mine.
  • Having someone who can help you crystalize what you are thinking, give you pushback to improve something is so helpful for a pastor.
  • Doing the wedding of a couple in our MC this Friday.
  • Always love being a part of weddings.
  • The only problem with weddings in Tucson is everyone gets married an hour away from me on the NW side of the city.
  • The timing of the Acts 29 retreat could not have been more helpful for me.
  • This summer is all about how do we continue to grow as a church and stay healthy (or get healthier in certain areas) to shepherd and care for everyone God sends us.
  • Honestly, this is the most excited I have ever been about Revolution.
  • It is also causing me to dive deeper and deeper into prayer which is a good thing.
  • In some ways I feel like I did when we planted the church almost 6 years ago.

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • This is one of those Monday’s that I feel like I am moving through the fog.
  • Last week I spoke at Exponential in Orlando, which was incredible.
  • Walked away with a lot of ideas and was challenged personally in some good ways and had a great time speaking and interacting with other leaders.
  • Then Friday I pulled off some great surprises for Katie’s birthday.
  • Her step-mom flew out from Kansas City without Katie’s knowledge and showed up at Katie’s surprise pedicure appt.
  • Then, I pulled off a surprise dinner with some friends on Friday night.
  • Then after preaching yesterday I feel run over.
  • But in a good way.
  • Revolution Church is in a good season right now.
  • I started doing something different at the end of our services that has yielded me meeting a ton of guests each week, which is exciting.
  • I met 8 first time guests yesterday.
  • Love that opportunity.
  • I spoke about figuring out God’s will yesterday and how we often miss it because of how we think of it incorrectly.
  • It was an honor to see people stand saying they were in a desert right now and being able to pray over them.
  • If you push through the desert and pull closer to Jesus in that time, it yields a heart and character that is impossible to get without going through the desert.
  • Wish I would’ve thought of that line yesterday.
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here.
  • I’m excited this week for our next preaching lab.
  • This is how we seek to develop new preachers and see where guys in our church are at and how they are developing.
  • We have 3 guys doing it this week.
  • So excited and honored by the leaders God is sending to us right now.
  • One of the great things about flying across country this past week was the chance to get some reading done.
  • Got through Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of YouWhat’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things DoneReplant: How a Dying Church Can Grow Again and The Heart is the Target: Preaching Practical Application from Every Text.
  • Stay tuned for some reviews coming soon.
  • I have my coaching with Brian Howard today.
  • Can’t express how much I have grown as a leader and preacher through this time with him.
  • So, so helpful.
  • Just a heads up, I turn 35 tomorrow, so get your gifts ready!
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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • I was reminded yesterday why preaching through books of the Bible is important.
  • I preached on a topic I don’t struggle with as much as other topics and one I haven’t preached a lot on, because of that.
  • I feel a blog post coming on that.
  • I preached on approval and our desire to be liked.
  • It was stretching and convicting at the same time as I realized last week I easily make my relationships about others getting my approval.
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here.
  • Over the past week, Katie and I have been reading a book together that is so good. It’s John Ortberg’s new one: Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You.
  • Can’t recommend it enough.
  • I’m excited to be heading to Orlando later this week to speak at exponential.
  • I’m doing a breakout on how to transition a church with small groups to one with missional communities.
  • Should fun.
  • And humid.
  • Katie’s birthday is on Friday, so if you think of it, be sure to send her a birthday greeting.
  • I usually do a terrible job making her birthday special.
  • But not this year.
  • I have a lot planned for her (that is all a surprise).
  • Boom!
  • The downside for me is I’m not very good at keeping surprises from her.
  • Have to make it til Friday.
  • We had our newcomer’s lunch yesterday after church.
  • Blown away by how many people continue coming to Revolution.
  • We’ve had one every month this year and had over 20 people each time.
  • So cool.
  • I’d appreciate your prayers as we are pushing through a busy season as a church and a family.
  • We knew it ahead of time, but would still appreciate your prayers as we get closer to summer.
  • Time to finish my sermon for this Sunday and my exponential talk.
  • Here we go…
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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • Having a hard time getting going this morning.
  • Most Monday’s feel like that, but Easter has a way of taking it out of you.
  • If you’re a pastor and struggling today, here are some ideas to help you.
  • Blown away by God’s grace to Revolution Church this weekend.
  • The Stations of the Cross on Friday were incredible.
  • Love exposing our church to a practice they haven’t done before.
  • I loved hearing from people who have done the stations with us before talk about how powerful they are doing them again.
  • Yesterday was incredible at Revolution.
  • We had 2 baptisms and 7 people take the step of beginning a relationship with Jesus.
  • That never gets old.
  • We had over 100 kids yesterday in Planet Rev.
  • Praying God’s timing speeds up so we can find a full-time kids director.
  • If you know of someone who would be a good fit or is interested in the position, let me know.
  • Loved hearing Davin and Derrell’s story as they got baptized.
  • Humbled by how God uses our church in the lives of people.
  • We kicked off our series on the book of Galatians yesterday.
  • I think the timing of this book will be incredibly helpful for our church as we continue to live in God’s grace.
  • It feels good to be back preaching through a book of the Bible.
  • That is definitely my favorite way of preaching.
  • If you missed yesterday, you can listen to it here.
  • Over the weekend, I started to read John Ortberg’s new book Soul Keeping
  • So good.
  • It reminds me of this fantastic book.
  • Both are much needed reading for pastors.
  • We have our kids homeschooling end of year celebration tonight.
  • Should be fun.
  • I told someone I met over the weekend that we homeschool and he asked, “You can have tattoos and do that?”
  • So funny.
  • One of the things that was cool to see yesterday was to see some people we had invited to church come.
  • Such a cool feeling.
  • You hope, you pray and then when they are there, you pray really hard that something hits them.
  • And that the preacher doesn’t say anything stupid.
  • I’ve been working through my book and I am about 50% done.
  • Excited to keep working on it and see what God has in store for it.
  • Last night Katie and I sat on the back porch talking about it and reminiscing of where we came from in the past 5 years.
  • Crazy to think where we are as a church now.
  • I have my next coaching appt. with Brian Howard today.
  • I can’t begin to describe how helpful this has been.
  • Time to get back to it…
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What You Need to Know to Make Easter Great at Revolution

book

Easter is next week. Here are 10 ways you can help make it great this year at Revolution:

  1. Don’t miss Easter. Easter is April 20th, next Sunday. At Revolution, we are starting a brand new series Change on the book of Galatians. On Easter, we will be looking at how the first step to change is to be rescued from what is broken in our lives, what needs to be changed.
  2. Don’t miss Good Friday. On Good Friday we walk the stations of the cross to come face to face with the cross of Jesus and the sacrifice made to purchase our salvation and to right all the wrongs of the world.
  3. Join our prayer challenge. This year, we laid down the challenge to pray 30 minutes a day during the week of Easter. So far, 75 people have taken the challenge. If you want to join in, email Ciara Hull and we’ll send you an email each day with things to pray for Revolution, our city and other churches about.
  4. Invite someone. Stats say that most Americans would go to church if someone invited them. So, grab an invite card this Sunday, share a link on Facebook or twitter, send an email, shoot out a text, make a call, show up at their house and drag them to church or at least bribe them with lunch. Put invite them.
  5. Serve somewhere on Sunday morning. Every week, Revolution happens because everyone plays a part. As we continue to grow, this is even more important. At Revolution, there’s for everyone to play and lots of help is needed. If you aren’t sure where to serve, email Ciara Hull and we’ll get you plugged in.
  6. Pray some more. 
  7. Get baptized. What a better way to celebrate Easter than getting baptized. If you are a new follower of Jesus or have never been baptized, you can sign up here.
  8. Be friendly on Sunday morning. We will have tons of guests on Easter Sunday and many of them have had a bad church experience, are nervous, think Christians are unfriendly. Prove them wrong. Have a smile on your face. Say hi to them. If you see someone who looks lost, ask if you can help. If they don’t know where something is, show them, don’t point the way, walk them to where they need to go.
  9. Pray again. 
  10. Take time to remember, thank and worship Jesus. In the bustle of Easter, having family and friends get together, serving, praying, it is easy to forget that we celebrate and remember a Savior and King who died in our place and rose from the dead. Take time to do that this week.

Thanks to Mars Hill Church for this blog idea.

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • Today is the beginning of a different sort of week for me
  • I’m not preaching this coming Sunday
  • One of my targets to stay fresh in my preaching and leadership is to make sure I never preach more than 10 weeks in a row
  • Josh Watt, the student pastor at Redemption Gateway, in Phoenix is coming down as we kick off our brand new series All In
  • If you missed the last time Josh preached for us, you can listen to it here
  • You definitely do not want to miss it as Josh talks about our motivation for going All In and changing the world
  • It’s going to be a powerful morning
  • We’re also having one of our up and coming worship leaders lead worship
  • Which will be great
  • I’m excited for a different sort of week to be able to work ahead on our series called Change that is kicking off on Easter through the book of Galatians
  • Every desires change in their lives, but few ever see it
  • I think it will be very timely
  • So many great things happening at Revolution right now
  • I got to spend Friday evening with many of our Planet Rev volunteers at a training/thank you night
  • Love the passion they have for the families and kids of our church
  • It was also great interacting with the team that is heading up our search for a kids ministry leader
  • So excited to add this person to our team
  • Yesterday was a great day at Revolution as we wrapped up Fight
  • It was great spending 5 weeks speaking on manhood
  • Blown away by the response to this series from men and women
  • If you missed yesterday, you can listen to it here
  • Started reading a book on gospel centered productivity over the weekend called What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done
  • I’m excited to get better at being more efficient and productive and thinking about it from a godlier perspective instead of “I want to accomplish more”
  • Last night, Katie and I tried a new place for date night: 47 Scott
  • Highly, highly recommend it
  • So good
  • Started putting together my crossfit box in my garage
  • Love working out at home
  • My kids even are loving doing crossfit kids
  • Time to get to it…
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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • What a weekend at Revolution Church
  • I love the first day of a series
  • And yesterday did not disappoint
  • As you can see here
  • Katie and I taught together on what it means to be made in the image of God
  • The implications of this is not just for women and how they see themselves, but also for men and how they see themselves and the world around them
  • Lots of people getting prayed for after the sermon
  • Love seeing that
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • We also celebrated baptism yesterday
  • Love hearing the stories of life change and seeing the power of the gospel
  • Nothing like it
  • We also had one of our highest attendances ever
  • Love seeing our volunteers jump into action and helping guests park and find seats
  • We are getting ready to kick off our next FPU class
  • If you want to change your finances, get out of debt, plan for the future, go here
  • Friday, I got to perform the wedding of Joey and Bernadette Morrin
  • So fun being a part of their wedding
  • The weather was incredible for an outdoor wedding in Tucson
  • I’m blown away the emails I’ve gotten about the Beautiful series so far
  • It seems like it is definitely striking a chord
  • It’s sad the bondage that many women live with
  • I’m talking this Sunday about how to be free from your past as you move forward into your future
  • So many people let their past be a compass for their future and it is heartbreaking
  • All of this makes me really excited to kick Fight off in a few weeks and talk to men
  • I’m sad that this Sunday is the last football game in a long time
  • Love football season
  • Thankfully the Olympics start soon afterward
  • My kids can’t get over how excited they are for the Olympics
  • Having lunch today with a new Revolutionary
  • Love meeting new people at our church and helping them get better connected
  • Say a prayer that this coming Sunday is even bigger than this past Sunday
  • Lots of freedom waiting to happen as we apply 2 Corinthians 5:17 in our lives
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The Best Books I Read in 2013

book

It’s that time of year again, time to share my top lists of the year. Monday, I shared the top sermon downloads from Revolution Church. Tuesday I shared the books that almost made my “best of the year” list. And yesterday I shared the albums that almost made my “best of the year” list.

To see my list of favorite books from past year, simply click on the numbers: 200920102011 and 2012.

To make this list, it does not have to be published in 2013, I only needed to read it in 2013. As always, this list was hard to narrow down, but here are the top 13 books of 2013. Buckle up book worms:

13. How to Deliver a TED Talk | Jeremy Donavan

If you speak for a living or are a pastor, this is a must read book. Donavan takes the best and worst of TED Talks and breaks them down into do’s and don’ts for speakers. You can read my review here.

12. Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail | Larry Osborne

I love Larry Osborne’s stuff. It is so simple and straightforward. In this book, he looks at why some churches and organizations works and others don’t. His chapter on mission statements is worth the price of this book. You can read my review here.

11. Eat Move Sleep: Why Small Choices Make a Big Difference | Tom Rath

Health books are everywhere. Good health books are hard to find. This is one of the great ones. Two things stood out in this book: One, every choice we make matters. They all impact every part of our life. Two, Tom Rath looks at how to eat, move and sleep so that those choices make the most positive impact in our lives. You can read my review here.

10. Sex & Money: Pleasures that Leave You Empty and Grace that Satisfies | Paul David Tripp

There are some authors you should read everything they write. Tim Keller is one of them and Paul David Tripp is another one. No matter the book, you should read their stuff. Tripp takes the two biggest temptations and sins in our culture and shows how they leave us empty. Definitely a convicting book. You can read my review here.

9. Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge | Henry Cloud

The primary message of this book for leaders is you get what you create and what you allow. You can read my review here.

8. Chasing Francis | Ian Cron 

I read this book one Saturday night, one of those hard, dark Saturday nights many pastors have. I could not put this book down as it resonated with me on so many deep levels. So, when you have that dark night, this is a book to read. Here’s my review of it.

7. The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the work of Christ in Your Life & Ministry | Jared Wilson

This book is very similar to Paul David Tripp’s book Dangerous CallingA challenge to pastors to apply the gospel they preach to their own lives and hearts. A great book for doing the deep dive for a pastor and confronting their idols. It also helps that Wilson is hilarious in this book. You can read my review here.

6. Discipleshift: Five Steps that Help Your Church to Make Disciples who Make Disciples | Jim Putnam, Bobby Harrington, & Robert Coleman

The effects of this book will be felt at Revolution for years to come. As we’ve moved more and more towards a missional community model, this book has helped us hone our system of making disciples. This graph has been huge for us. You can read my review here.

5. Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus | Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson 

If you are a parent or will be a parent, this is the one parenting book you have to read. It shows you how to parent to your child’s heart, which is the only way to change a child and see them become who God created them to become. You can read my review here.

4. Leadership as an Identity: The Four Traits of Those Who Wield Lasting Influence | Crawford Loritts

What set this book apart was that it had very little “here’s what a leader does” advice. This book is all about what influences and shapes a leader. Ultimately, what shapes a leader will eventually come out in their actions. You can read my review here.

3. A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World | Paul Miller

This is the book on prayer.  So good. I love the idea of prayer cards and have since created them on Evernote to use. You can read my review here.

2. In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness, and Heart of Christianity | Jim Belcher

This book almost made the jump to #1, it was close. This book is part parenting book, part history, part travel, and faith. It shows the roots of Christianity and how to bring those into your family. One thing Katie and I want is for our kids to know the history of Christianity and that it is not a faith that just appeared in the last 100 years. You can read my review here.

1. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action | Simon Sinek

I love leadership books, so it makes sense that one of them is #1. A leadership book was #1 last year too. This book was insanely good. If you are a leader, this is the one book you have to read in 2014. So good. You can read my review here.

Tomorrow you’ll get my last list of the week: the top 13 albums of the year.

The Almost Best Albums of 2013

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In case you are new to my blog, I love music. My life is rarely silent, whether at home, working on a sermon, in the car, or working out. Music is on. Our family loves music because of this.

So, every year I like to look through my music library and share the albums that have been getting the most play in my life. And as it is the end of the year, it is year end list time. If you’re curious which albums I liked last year you can look at the honorable mention list and the top albums of the year.

On Monday I shared the top sermon downloads from Revolution Church. Yesterday, I shared the almost best books of 2013. Tomorrow I’ll share my favorite 13 books of the year and Friday I’ll share my top 13 albums of the year.

But today. We’re listing the albums that were good, but not good enough to be in the top 13 list of the year. Here they are in no particular order:

Youth Lagoon | Wondrous Bughouse

A great follow up to The Year of Hibernation. A really good, introspective album.

She & Him | Volume 3

“She” is so talented. End of story. All of their albums are worth owning, and this one is no different.

Denison Witmer | Denison Witmer

I went to high school with Denison and have loved his music ever since then. This album is easily his best. I wanted to put this in the top 13 for sentimental reasons, but couldn’t.

Matt Redman | Your Grace Finds Me (Live)

Normally Matt Redman songs are only good when other people sing them, not this album. I’m not sure what happened. Maybe since he’s hanging around Chris Tomlin more he’s gotten better. Either way, this worship album is incredible.

Local Natives | Hummingbird

Hard to believe this is only their second album, but it is good.

Ra Ra Riot | Beta Love

Best way to sum this album up: fun. Good, upbeat fun.

Pickering Pick | Tropic

Make a good cup of coffee on a cold day, grab a blanket, a book and this album. You’ll thank me.

Olafur Arnalds | For Now I Am Winter

His albums are perfect background music to working, reading or hanging with friends. So good.

City and Colour | The Hurry And The Harm

As one review said, “If you’re looking for heartbreak, purpose, and tears, then step on board City & Colour’s The Hurry and the Harm.”

Pacific Air | Stop Talking

A great dreamy pop album.

Washed Out | Paracosm

I never get tired of this band. Perfect for blasting in the car when you just want to rock out.

The Avett Brothers | Magpie And The Dandelion 

Every year The Avett Brothers release an album, they make this list. They are that good.

Courrier | Cathedrals of Color

Great indie pop record. You will not be disappointed with this one.

Hillsong United | Zion

The second best worship album of the year. Matt Redman was third, this one is second.

The Digital Age | Evening:Morning

This is the best worship album of the year.

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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • This weekend was one of those as a pastor that you despise and love at the same time
  • It was brutal preaching yesterday
  • On Friday, I found out that good friends of ours, people we used to live in the same neighborhood as, he became a Christian in our MC, baptized in our church that she has stage 4 pancreatic cancer and it has spread to her liver and lymph nodes
  • It was a punch in the gut on Friday when Katie and I found out
  • Sitting with them at the hospital was one of those holy moments you don’t forget as you could just sense the Holy Spirit there
  • It was raw, tense, hopeful and yet realistic
  • Brutal
  • There are no words that can describe that
  • You can read more about their situation here
  • Be praying for them and their family
  • I was able to pray with their MC leaders today
  • Love the leaders God has placed in our church and their desire to shepherd and care for the family of God
  • All weekend then I felt unsure about my sermon, where it was going but I didn’t have any better ideas than what I had already written
  • Until…
  • 11pm Saturday night
  • I ended up staying up til 2am rewriting my sermon and then got up at 6am to keep my morning routine to pray over my notes, listen to the worship set and focus my heart
  • By the time I got up to preach I was beyond spent
  • God definitely carried me through
  • The connection during my sermon was incredible
  • I talked about how a follower of Jesus should handle adversity and walk through pain and suffering
  • Timely as I planned on preaching this passage in John over 18 months ago
  • If you missed it, you can listen to it here
  • Next week, we’ll look at how God turns pain and tragedy into joy
  • Speaking of pain and adversity, how about my Steelers
  • Holy cow we are horrible
  • Unreal
  • I mentioned today a book that has been helpful to me on the topic of pain, suffering and adversity is Tim Keller’s Walking with God in Pain and Suffering 
  • It has definitely been a long season for me and our family and I’m looking forward to my monthly retreat day tomorrow
  • Always helpful to get away with my bible and Jesus, listen to worship music and walk around the woods praying and refilling my soul
  • Speaking of working ahead, we landed on our preaching calendar for 2014
  • We’re going to go through Habakkuk, do a series on the life of Samson and walk through 1 Corinthians
  • Should be fun to cover suffering, heaven, hell, adultery, divorce, homosexuality, speaking in tongues, healing, getting drunk at church and a whole host of other topics
  • So cool to meet so many guests at Revolution today
  • I’m blown away by how many new people keep coming to our church and are getting plugged in
  • Awesome to hear how Rev Up and Planet Rev are growing
  • So excited for the leaders we have in those areas
  • Huge prayer need for our church: praying up new MC leaders