Links for Your Weekend Reading

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Patrick Lencioni on The healthiest organizations win.

A healthy organization is one that maintains a cohesive leadership team, establishes clarity about what it stands for, communicates that clarity repetitively, and puts in place processes and systems to reinforce that clarity over time.

 How one church is using orderliness to attract millenials.

Jen Wilkin on Daughters and dating and how to intimidate their suitors.

Here’s the problem with shotgun jokes and applications posted on the fridge: to anyone paying attention, they announce that you fully expect your daughter to have poor judgment. Be assured that your daughter is paying attention. And don’t be shocked if she meets your expectation. You might want to worry less about terrorizing or retro-fitting prospective suitors and worry more about preparing your daughter to choose wisely. And that means building a wall. Instead of intimidating all your daughter’s potential suitors, raise a daughter who intimidates them just fine on her own.

The #1 lie parents believe about social media.

The #1 lie parents believe about social media is that that they have to be as tech savvy as their kids. Why is that a lie? Because you will NEVER be as tech savvy as your kids.

Thom Rainer on 10 tips to becoming a more productive pastor.

Pastors are thus expected to “run the race” constantly. But how can a pastor keep the pace in this marathon of ministry without burning out? How can a pastor remain productive with such demands? Allow me to offer ten tips to becoming a more productive pastor.

6 Tips to getting a better night sleep.

OK GO new song (Always blown away by the creativity of this band and this is incredible)

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How to Reach Your Goal of Losing Weight

I got to share my story over the weekend at a health seminar. It was awesome to see the amount of people putting in the time and effort to live a healthy lifestyle.

If you don’t know my story, I used to weight almost 300 pounds and have a 42 inch waist. Over the course of 18 months, I lose 130 pounds and have kept it off for the last 5 years. It feels incredible. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about what does work and what doesn’t work to lose weight, keep it off, pass on healthy habits to your kids and enjoy life.

So, I put together all the blog posts I’ve ever written on the topic.

Being free from bad eating habits, a food addiction (and other addictions that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle) and poor body image:

  1. What to do on “Fat Days”
  2. Food, Weight, and Stop Being the Victim
  3. How to Examine Your Heart/Motives
  4. When Eating Becomes a Sin
  5. Why We Aren’t Healthy
  6. Women and the Cycle of Defeat
  7. Two Ideas that Should Change how We Think about our Bodies, Weight Loss & Food
  8. Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace

How to lose weight:

  1. My Journey of Losing Weight
  2. How I got to where I am 
  3. The idol of food (the spiritual side of weight loss)
  4. Have a plan
  5. It’s for the rest of your life
  6. The effects
  7. Do your homework
  8. The idol of exercise & staying in shape

Staying healthy (eating well, avoiding burnout, etc.):

  1. Every Time You Say Yes to Something You Say No to Something Else
  2. What I Wish I’d Known About Energy, Family & Mistakes
  3. Making Room for What Matters
  4. How I Structure my Week
  5. How to Know You’re Too Busy
  6. How to do Crossfit on Your Own
  7. 6 Ways to Stay Motivated to be Healthy
  8. Thoughts on Burnout, Sleep, Adrenaline, Stress, and Eating
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Making Room for What Matters

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As part of our  Breathing Room series at Revolution I shared 6 simple ways to create margin in your life so that you are able to enjoy what really matters. If you missed them, here they are:

  1. Get a good night sleep. 
  2. Take a break every 90 minutes.
  3. Control electronics instead of letting electronics control you.
  4. Pay people to do what you hate.
  5. Life the life you want, not the life others want you to live.
  6. Use your schedule for your advantage.

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Making Room for What Matters | Sleep

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On Sunday, I finished our Breathing Room series at Revolution by looking at how to find breathing room between work, life and everything that has to get done. This week, I want to share 6 simple ways I’ve done that and you can to. I’m going to share one each day so you have time to process them and hopefully put some things into practice.

The first one: Get a good night sleep. 

This might seem like a silly way to start. Everyone knows how important sleep is. We know how we feel in the afternoon if we don’t get a good night sleep. If you have kids, you know that you are a better parent when you get good sleep. You are a better student, boss, employee when you get a good night of sleep. You are more creative, lively and all around, more enjoyable when you get a good night sleep.

Yet, how often do you find yourself laying on the couch watching TV when you should be laying in bed? How often do you find yourself staring at a computer screen checking email, scrolling through Facebook when you should be in bed?

More than you want to admit?

Then you need better sleep.

What is fascinating to me in the Bible is how a day starts at night. When God creates things, when he establishes the Sabbath, talks about time, he starts at night. He starts at sleep.

What if you had the mindset that your day started when you went to sleep instead of when you get up?

It changes how you think about things. Talking about starting your day off right starts at 10pm.

Why 10pm?

That’s when your body begins to shut down.

When people talk about a second wind, they get that around 9:30-10pm. If you don’t go to bed then, you will struggle to fall asleep.

Don’t believe me?

Stay up past 10 tonight and see if it is hard to fall asleep. Go to bed by 10 tomorrow night and see how it goes.

Sleep matters. 

So, how do you get a good night sleep?

It isn’t taking sleeping pills (unless your doctor thinks you should, but even then it probably isn’t a good idea). Here are 5 things to do to get a restful night of sleep:

  1. Sleep in a dark room.
  2. Turn off the ringer on your phone.
  3. Don’t look at electronics before going to bed.
  4. Don’t eat after 8.
  5. Set your alarm to get up at the same time each day.

There are more things you can do, but this is a good start.

Tomorrow we’ll look at how to create margin in your day by staying alert and awake.

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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. Trevin Wax on Don’t give your child a trophy for losing. Couldn’t agree with this more.
  2. Regular bedtimes help kids behavior.
  3. John Piper on Hijacking your brain from porn.
  4. Thom Rainer on 7 reasons your church needs to go on a diet. Being simple is the one of the defining characteristics of Revolution Church.
  5. Ryan Williams on 8 things I learned as a young lead pastor.
  6. 10 productivity tips for pastors.
  7. Ron Edmondson on 5 tips to be a better dad this week.
  8. Sleep & productivity.
  9. Mark Driscoll on 7 sabbath killers.

Elevation Creative: I Have Decided

Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

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  1. How to wreck a pastor. A lot of truth here.
  2. Bob Franquiz on Green room pastors.
  3. Why Andy Stanley is such a great communicator.
  4. Jenni Catron on Takeaways for leaders from the leadership summit. Great stuff here.
  5. 7 ways to keep your MC from growing. This is sarcastic, but so true.
  6. Luke Simmons takeaways from the leadership summit day 1 and day 2. Wish I was there but appreciate how many people blogged about it.
  7. Why we really sleep in.
  8. Casey Graham on 3 reasons you are a lonely leader.

What’s it like to be 7 feet tall and dunk (Watch Roy Hibbert dunk while wearing google glass)

I Can’t Sleep

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Sleep is an important part of overall health. In spite of this and people knowing this, most people complain that they don’t get enough sleep. One of the things we talk about at Revolution is how to redeem all parts of our lives, sleep or lack of sleep is one of those areas.

So, what do you do if you can’t sleep?

If you are like most people, you take a pill, watch some TV, drink some tea or warm milk. Maybe you read a book.

I used to get up and watch TV a lot when I couldn’t sleep. But, a couple of nights ago I couldn’t sleep so I tried something different.

I prayed.

Now, I know that sounds really spiritual. Many people complain about lacking a connection to God and then we waste all kinds of time. I simply asked God, “Is there some reason I’m up for? Is there something or someone I need to be praying about or for?”

Every person or situation that came to mind, I started praying about it. Whatever I knew about them or that situation.

At some point, I fell asleep.

And yes, falling asleep while you are praying is okay. What better way to fall asleep than talking to your Father?

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Favorite Posts of 2010

In case you missed them this year, here are the top posts for 2010:

  1. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
  2. Radicalis Notes
  3. Being a Pastor’s Wife
  4. How a Wife Handles Her Husband’s Sexual Addiction
  5. Thoughts on Burnout, Sleep, Adrenalin, Stress, Sex and Eating
  6. Don’t Malign Your Spouse
  7. Someone Pays the Price
  8. The Role of Men in the Family
  9. Why We’re Homeschooling
  10. Leadership Lessons from the Dancing Shirtless Guy

Top Posts of June 2010

In case you missed them, here are the top posts for the last month on the blog:

  1. Thoughts on Burnout, Sleep, Adrenalin, Stress, Sex and Eating
  2. Being a Pastor’s Wife Part 1
  3. What a Pastor Does on a Break
  4. Being a Pastor’s Wife Part 4
  5. Soccernomics
  6. Being a Pastor’s Wife Part 3
  7. What He Must Be…If He Wants to Marry my Daughter
  8. Being a Pastor’s Wife Part 5
  9. Saturday Night Mind Dump… (6/5/10)
  10. Being a Pastor’s Wife Part 2

Thoughts on Burnout, Sleep, Adrenalin, Stress, Sex and Eating

Right now, I am on my summer preaching break. I am very grateful for an elder team who makes it a priority for me to get rest, refreshed, have time to work ahead. I am also grateful for a leadership team who doesn’t miss a beat while I am taking a break from preaching. During this month off from having to prepare a weekly message, I have the opportunity to think about some big picture things for Revolution (things like, what does Revolution look like this fall after we move, in 2011? What is the next mountain for us? What needs to happen for Revolution to continue growing past 200, 300, 500 and beyond?), I’m working on upcoming sermon series and study guides (The Perfect Kid, Ultimate Fighter (2 Timothy) and The Blessed Life (Philippians), our Acts 29 application and I’m jotting out ideas for a book.

Today I was taking a break from studying and writing and I was thinking about stress and pace. Someone left a comment on the blog the other day asking some questions about it and so I thought I would give some thoughts. Right now, one of the books I’m reading is Archibald Hart’s book Adrenalin and Stress and Katie is reading his book on Sleep (I can’t recommend these books high enough). One of the topics I read a lot about in books or magazines has to do with stress, anxiety, adrenalin and ultimately, burnout. The stats on pastor’s making it to the end of their ministry career are dismal. Here are some stats about pastors and their wives according to George Barna and Focus on the Family:

  • 1500 pastors leave the ministry each month due to moral failure, spiritual burnout, or contention in their churches.
  • 50% of pastors’ marriage end in divorce.
  • 80% of pastors and 84% of their spouses feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastors.
  • 50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
  • 80% of seminary and bible college graduates who enter the ministry will leave the ministry within the first 5 years.
  • 70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
  • Almost 40% polled said they have had an extra-marital affair since beginning their ministry.
  • 70% said the only time they spend studying the word is when they are preparing their sermons.
  • 80% of pastors’ spouses feel their spouse is overworked.
  • 80% of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose another profession.
  • The majority of pastor’s wives surveyed said that the most destructive even that has occurred in their marriage and family was the day they entered the ministry.

Those last two kill me.

What I’ve learned personally, through reading and watching other pastors is that we forget the basics in life. When it comes to stress and adrenalin, we live off of those things in our culture. In fact, according to Hart, not all stress is bad. Some stress can be good, but our bodies need to come down and recuperate. When we have stressful seasons of life and ministry, we need to be aware of it and not stop doing certain things.

Think about it, when we get busy, we cut things out of our lives. It makes sense because we are busy. But the things we cut out first are the things that can help us the most to get through those seasons. For couples to survive marriage without stress, they need a weekly date night. To survive stressful seasons, this becomes even more important. For guys, when the stress level goes up in ministry and life, they need sex for that connection to their wives and that release. Yet, this is one of the first things to go because of being tired, not having date night so their wife is not in the mood, not feeling relationally connected because they are tired. You see how the circle goes. When we are stressed, we eat terribly. We eat quickly, late and do not eat food that is healthy. We drink more caffeine and we drink it later in the day. Even if you claim that caffeine doesn’t affect you, studies show we should not have caffeine after 4pm. Every person needs to have at least 8 – 9 hours of sleep. When a person tells me they can get by on less I look at them and know burnout is not far away.

What about a day off. Even though every pastor preaches Sabbath is good, studies show that pastors rarely take one, let alone a vacation. Our bodies have to have that down time. I have learned that it doesn’t matter if I work 7 days, I actually get more done and better quality of work done if I am taking a day off. Our bodies need it. It reminds us that we are weak, that we need God and that we are not in charge. All good things for leaders to remember.

What is interesting about all of this is that we all know this. In fact, God created us this way. I think it is interesting that many Christians try to prove God wrong. We will be the first human to show God how we can work against his creation when it comes to our health.

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