The PRE-COVID You:)

Do you ever compare yourself today to your PRE-COVID self?

This week last year, I was preaching onsite and in a room full of people (imagine that) Parkview Christian Church in Chicagoland. I was leading a marriage retreat w/ Rene Clark for the couples at Refinery Christian Church in Arizona. And I had the privilege of preaching a few nights pre-fight for Senator @MannyPacquiao and crew in Las Vegas.

All this week, last year.

It’s hard not to compare this summer to last summer in so many ways. Right!?!? And I know that we often talk about comparing ourselves to others as it has never been easier to do.

We know when we compare what we know about ourselves to what we don’t know about others … we will ALWAYS come up short.

We know that comparing ourselves to others is unwise and only leads to either pride or jealousy.

But what about the detrimental mental effect of comparing ourselves to ourselves.

I do this daily, even though I understand it’s unfair. I hold myself today up against me last year w/ Pacquiao and Parkview and Marriage Retreats.

Here is what I do.

I compare my highlight reel to a regular day.

And when I do that, I always lose. I siphon significance from the highlight and I rob joy and beauty from the gift of today.

So, here are four things I keep reminding myself during this COVID season. Maybe these will be of value as you marinate on them this weekend.

1. Give myself some grace.
I do not have to mirror this year with last year. In fact, if I get stuck in recreating last year, I will completely miss the unique opportunities and people that God has placed in front of me today. If I surrender to mentally living in the past, I will not be present in today. And this will inevitably lead to squandered opportunities and weak memories from this whole COVID season of life. So, I will choose to honor the past, without living in it!

2. Do one good thing.
If I can do one good thing today … I am doing good. I do not have to do 39 good things today. This could sound lazy, but it’s actually very freeing and energizing. I just need to focus on doing one good thing, and being thankful for that moment and opportunity. As pastor @AndyStanley says, “Do for one, what you wish you could do for everyone.”

3. Allow myself to be a beginner.
During this strange season I can chose to be resistant or resilient. I can choose to double down on what I’ve always done or dream forward on what might one day be. I can give myself permission to not be a pro, and learn and grow in something new. I can add new tools to my belt that will allow me to repair and even upgrade what exists and simultaneously build something exciting and new.

4. This is a base camp.
A “base camp” is where mountain climbers pause to rest, get on the right gear and acclimate to the new normal so their lungs don’t explode as they continue to climb higher. Basecamps are mandatory experiences for healthy and successful climbers. I am at a base camp. Driven extroverts and Enneagram 3’s mostly hate basecamps. But I would be wise to pause and pivot. I should become aware, informed and acclimate to the new normal. I must remain open to what’s new and what God is certainly doing during these uncertain days. I need to get on the right gear and adopt the right mindset … because I / we are going to be climbing again soon!

How To “Pivot” During A Pandemic.

My mind is blown as I see Ford and Tesla factories making ventilators for COVID -19 patients in hospitals. Distilleries and beer companies producing alcohol for hand sanitizer, in addition to bourbon and brews.

Budweiser becomes the King Of Beer / Hand Sanitizer!

Their ability to pivot is incredible, but not un heard of.

In the Spring of 1941, Ford factories began to build B-24 bombers for WWII. Ford had never built a bomber, and experts insisted it could not be done. But Edsel Ford, Henry Fords only son, made a pivot and cranked bombers out of Detroit factories. And Chrysler built tanks.

And GM, General Motors, built he amphibious “duck” truck and tens of millions of rounds of shell casings for artillery.

The ability of nations and people to pivot is astounding.

Here are some thoughts I’ve had the past few days
on how and when to pivot.

1. Pivot, and give your full energy and attention, when you know that you have the ability and duty to bring something important and benevolent to the world.

2. Pivot when what you used to do is no longer necessary or valued and you have the creativity, resources, insight and ability to introduce something new.

3. Pivot if you can look at the same thing every else is looking at, but see something completely different and important to our nation and world.

4. Pivot as you understand the shift between what is essential and what is non-essential.

5. Pivot because you can bring new life to a depressed situation.

6. Pivot, before you have to.

Life is full of unknowns and obstacles. Our ability to pivot, or not, is what determines if those obstacles become road blocks or new road ways for our future.

WorkJoy & Pancakes – The Personal Side

In part one of this article we realized there’s really no right or wrong way to eat a pancake.
There is not one side that tastes better.

Neither side of a pancake is more important.
Both sides matter.

Likewise, if one side gets burned it affects the taste of the other side.

It’s the same way when it comes to your work.

To experience joy at work there are two equally important sides.

You should make your work a better place,
and your workplace should make you a better person.

In part one of this article we considered how to evaluate if a person is making their workplace better. We looked at this subject from the perspective of the organization.

Today, we are taking a look at the personal side. We are going to discover several ways you can become a better person as you make your work a better place.

Here are three ways you can find value from the personal side of the work relationship:

  • Work in teams. This will make your product better.

It doesn’t matter what you are creating, a team will enable you and others to accomplish more with less stress (eventually) and in less time.

  • Work in strengths. This will make your potential better.

It doesn’t matter what you are creating or leading, if you create and lead from your strengths (delegating your weaknesses) you will produce better things, in less time and with less stress.

  • Work ahead. This will make your process better.

Good things happen in the margin. When you “work ahead” you make your career, calling, family, friendships and personal life taste better.

WorkJoy occurs when you add value to a place and that place adds value to you as a person.

Who you become is more important than what you do.

Decide today to strive for double-sided WorkJoy!

 

Are you more eggshell or semi-gloss?

We just had the Clark Cottage painted recently and I learned a lot over the five day period from the painters.

Did you know there are 5 levels of sheen in the world of paint?

– High gloss
– Semi-gloss
– Satin
– Eggshell
– Matte

When it comes to understanding your life …

Do you know your sheen?

Did you know that you are the most important person you will lead this week?
And you are the most difficult person you will lead this week.

Most leaders who are no longer leading others have found themselves in that spot because they quit leading or couldn’t lead themselves.

Over the years, understanding who I am has been critical to understanding who God is calling me to be and where He is calling me to invest my one and only life.

It has given the the ability to say yes.

And it has given me the ability to say no, with confidence, to great opportunities.

Here are my top four ways to gain insight into your unique sheen.

1. Get a LifePlan. In January of 2017 Rene and I spent four days in the Patterson LifePlan process and it revolutionized our lives. You can find more information here – Paterson Center.   And my wife Rene also leads people through 2-day personal and private LifePlan retreats at our cottage in Huntington Beach, CA. More information here – ReneClark.Com

NOTE: A LifePlan is not about you crafting your dream for your life, but unearthing Gods dream for your life.

2. Do the Enneagram. This diagnostic tool not only reveals your sheen that looks beautiful, engaging and everyone wants to see, but it also gives insight into the potential pitfalls and “dark side” of your sheen / personality. The side that often creeps up on you but you don’t know why. This tool, when facilitated by a pro, can help you see the other side of you.

3. Give trusted people permission. Allowing trusted friends and family members to speak openly into your life could surprise you. They stare at your exterior all day long. And though they might not know how you feel on the inside all the time … they will have a pretty accurate appraisal of how shiny or dull you are on the outside.

4. Get alone. Get away with only a blank notebook and ask God to speak to you. If you are feeling stuck and like God is quiet … then write everything you want to say to Him. Then just draw an empty box or circle on your paper … and wait for Him to speak words into your heart. Write down what your heart says. Then meditate on those things.

Seven People Who Are Inspiring Me This Summer

In this unique, crazy, divergent season of my life I am running into so many who are living curiously. My goal in these “Who’s Inspiring Me” posts is to share with you those who are inspiring me … so I can instigate a curious life in you. These seven leaders will wreck you … in a good way!

Summer 2017

 

CJ Casciotta – I have known CJ from a distance and followed his podcast “Sounds Like A Movement” (which he just sold) for many months. But I just got to have a coffee with CJ in Huntington Beach last week. He is an instigator of all things curious. He feels like an old friend who I just met. CJ is a writer, director, and advocate for weird-thinking. You are going to love this fellow!

Twitter – @cjcasciotta
Instagram – @cjcasciotta
Web – cjcas.com

 

Shaun Smith – I don’t know Shaun personally but this dude is curious and has a wicked eye for wave photography. He inspires me with his craft and infectious personality. I am hoping to have some of his photos on Eat Art this summer!

If you are around the beach in Laguna, Newport or Huntington you might see Shaun with his GoPro in the water. I’m stoked to s)(oot with you this summer Shaun.

Instagram – @smitherspix

 

Rene Clark – I have known this girl since she was 15 years old … and this has been her best year yet. Check out Rene’s new website for all her curious and Kingdom minded endeavors. Including LifePlan retreats at the beach!

Twitter – @ReneClark
Instagram @ReneClarkca
Web – www.ReneClark.com

 


Tim Ferriss – If you have not read this guys books (The Four Hour Work Week | Body | Chef)  or listened to his podcast … go do it today. Tim never ceases to instigate curious thoughts in my mind that can sidetrack me for minutes or days. I am reading the thickest book I have ever read this summer – “Tools for Titans” by Tim.

 

Twitter – @tferriss

Instagram – @TimFerriss

Web – www.tim.blog

 

 

Jason Jaggard – I have known Jason for many years and he just keeps comin’ on! His creativity, knack for business, entrepreneurial savvy, humor, style and smarts are pretty nuts.

Only check him out if you want to write books and build benevolent businesses that inspire people.

Twitter – @jjaggard 

Instagram – @jjaggard 

Web – www.jasonjaggard.com

 

 

 

 

I am a huge fan of the Hurley brand and Ryan Hurley. From their clothing to their efforts for students and benevolent causes – this is a guy I hope to have coffee with in Newport Beach one day this summer.

Here is the latest post on Instagram from Ryan: This Friday, Jon, the founder of @wavesforwater, will be showing you how he’s built a life around doing what you love and helping along the way in an intimate setting complete with live music, food and more. Hit the link in our bio to reserve your spot for the event happening in Los Angeles, CA this Friday June 16, at @winstonhouse

Web – www.hurley.com

Ryan Hurley Instagram – @ryanhurley 

Hurley surf club Instagram – @hurleysurfclub

 

Chad Veach – I don’t’ know Chad but as a former church planter in the LA area I am so inspired by this fellow Los Angeles / SoCal planter. Chad is the Pastor of Zoe Church in Los Angeles, California. Chad has three kiddos and a wife, Julia, who I hope my daughter Ruby can meet some day for coffee!

Chad has insane faith, style, energy, Bible-based messages and an Instagram feed that includes backstage footage of Justin Beibers latest tour. He has written an incredible book “Unreasonable Hope” that documents the families journey with their daughter Georgia and dealing with the pain of a diagnosis of a debilitating disease.

Chad is normal and not normal all at once.

Church – Zoe Church 

Twitter – @chadveach

Instagram – @chadcveach

 

 

3 Differences Between Powerful And Perfect Talks

Over the past six months, I have consulted with churches and communicators about the effectiveness of their messages.

Some messages are incredibly powerful, and some are not, which leads to the question, “What is the difference between a perfect message and a powerful message?”

Let me answer this question through these lenses:   Continue reading “3 Differences Between Powerful And Perfect Talks”

5 Things To Remember When Team Teaching

Recently my wife, Rene Clark, and I did some team teaching at Parkview Christian Church. Parkview is a multi-site church of 9,000 weekend attenders in the Chicagoland area where I am stoked to be a teaching pastor.

We have spent time teaching together in the past, but I have never shared any of our rhythm for preparing, praying and presenting as a team. So … here you go, friends:

Our message on LEVITICUS / “Take Me To The Cleaners” and 5 things to think about when team teaching:

1. Know your subject more than you know your notes.

I believe Carey Nuiewhof is the first person I heard talk about how a communicator should know their subject not just their notes.

This becomes even more true in team teaching because you must bounce off each other, and you alone do not have control of the flow at all times. There are times you must build a bridge in team teaching and insert something you know about the subject that appears nowhere in your notes!

2. Transitions matter.

It is much more difficult to team teach than teach alone, in my opinion. But team teaching also adds an element that a solo person teaching can rarely achieve. That being said, when you are teaching with another person you must take time to think through transitions.

You will each have different …

  • voice
  • inflections
  • intensity
  • content

And as much as possible these things need to match up when you make the hand off. This is not always easy to do as you will see in our message on Leviticus. We still have some work to do in transitions.

But we do work hard and spend much time talking through transitions so we can keep things as congruent as possible for the congregation.

3. Create space for each person to prepare on their own.

No two people prepare themselves or their message in the same way.

You should take time to prepare your sections of the message on your own … but also spend time during the preparation process bouncing ideas, intros, endings and illustrations off of each other. This is the genius of team teaching.

In addition, when it’s an hour before go time … each person prepares their heart, mind and soul in different ways.

Allow time to speak through the message together 2-3 hours before the message arrives so that when you are 30-60 minutes out, each person can come to God and prepare their heart, mind and soul in their own unique way.

4. Do a walk through.

When you are on stage by yourself … you are by yourself.

When you add another person to the often small stage space, it can make even little movements awkward. As you will see in our Leviticus “Take Me To The Cleaners” message, we had to make sure we were not stepping in front of or behind each other at odd times. This is super distracting for the congregation.

As you will see our movements were pretty choreographed as we spent time on the stage before the message actually “blocking out” our movements like a theater or dance production.

5. Know who you are talking to.

There will be three potential audiences for your message in most churches these days.

You will be talking to …

  • Each other
  • The congregation that is in the room
  • Those who are watching at a multi-site campus or online

Therefore, it is important to makes notes concerning who you are talking to during each sentence or section.

Most of the time you will be talking to those in the room or the camera that is capturing the video for the sites and online audiences. This requires that you not regularly look at or bounce off the person who is standing just a few feet from you on stage.

Then there are certainly times when teaching as a team that you want to interact mainly with the person you are teaching alongside.

This is part of the special sauce of team teaching.

Interacting with each other adds intimacy; often humor and spontaneity will make teaching as a team powerful and meaningful in ways that teaching alone can rarely match.

When To Poke The Bear

Bear: A person from your past who might harm your future.

I was recently made aware of a bear who had spoken some harmful and untrue words about me to a another person, and those words negatively affected my future. It’s important to note that even the person to whom the bear spoke, didn’t believe the bear, but I was still concerned …

  • Had the bear done this to me before, and I was unaware of it?
  • Would the bear do this again?

I went to bed that night planning to poke the bear the next day.  In fact, I had already spent much time and energy preparing my arsenal to unload on the bear. This bear didn’t stand a chance.

However, when I woke up the next day I felt different. A good night’s sleep had recalibrated my confidence and refreshed my perspective.

I decided not to poke the bear.

Here’s why …

Continue reading “When To Poke The Bear”

Watch Full Movie Get Squirrely (2015)


Quality  : HD
Title    : Get Squirrely
Director : Ross Venokur
Writer   : Lenore Venokur
Release  : 2015-03-01
Language : English
Runtime  : 85 min
Genre    : Family, Animation, Comedy.

Synopsis :
‘Get Squirrely’ is a movie genre Family, was released in March 1, 2015. Ross Venokur was directed this movie and starring by Victoria Justice. This movie tell story about After breaking out of a rehabilitation zoo, Frankie, a squirrel with all the angles, returns to his forest. He learns from his dim-witted best friend, Cody, a porcupine and street-con, that while he was in lock-up, the entire forest was picked clean by The A.C.O.R.N.S. Institute (Alternative Cosmetic Oils for Regenerative Natural Skin-care). No acorn was left behind. With winter just around the corner, it’s a potentially devastating blow to all forest critters. So, Frankie has no choice but to bust into the brand new, state-of-the-art, rodent-proof A.C.O.R.N.S. Processing Plant and take back all of the acorns! Though a seemingly impossible heist, success would not only save the lives of his forest friends, but it would also give Frankie a chance to win back the love of his life, Lola, a local “show squirrel.” Sadly, Lola has been burnt by too many of Frankie’s false promises in the past.

Watch Full Movie Get Squirrely (2015)