Legacy

Today I officiated at a funeral service for Jack Beans. It was a pleasure to meet his family and hear stories about this man. I could tell his family loved him deeply and that he had influenced them in a profound way. The legacy that he was leaving behind will go on for generations.

He was married for nearly 58 years to Esther whom he adored. He loved to be with her and spend time with her. They did everything together. What a great example to the rest of us on how to love your wife. He also was a very humble and self-less man. He loved to help and serve other people. He used his gifts and abilities to fix things and build things to bless his family and friends. He was always thinking about other people and how he could serve them to make their life a bit easier. He served his family, friends, country and community.

The family shared with me that he did not go to church much over the years. However, recently they started attending NewPointe with his daughter and grandchildren and he loved it. Before he got sick he came as often as he could. He loved the music, the messages and the environment. He felt welcomed and was growing in his faith. He also loved to see his grandchildren and great grandchildren loving church.

He recently shared with someone close to the family that he had faith in Jesus Christ as the forgiver of his sins and the leader of his life. Wow, that gets me excited, to know that he came to that understanding late in life. He was a forgiven man.

That is the best gift he could give to his family; the assurance of where he is going to spend eternity. The Bible says that God has placed eternity in the hearts of men, and that means that we will spend forever somewhere, either in the presence of God, or separated from Him. How great to know that Jack is with God right now and that we can see him again someday.

PDA

Here are some insights from Mark Sanborn on leadership. Mark was a speaker at the Maximum Impact Simulcast last Friday. He has a new book out called “Encore Effect”.

What if you were so good at your work, such an asset to your company (or family), such a remarkable leader that your boss (or spouse) or board of directors would do almost anything not to lose you to a competitor.

PDA stands for Performance Development Agenda. He challenged us to think two levels up instead of just one. Try to think about being a more remarkable performer, thinking two levels up. Be a more remarkable person, understanding who we are is critical. Help others become more remarkable, help others surpass themselves.

Mark said that both passion and process are needed for success. Passion is not enough, you need a process. This is the process he described:

  • Prepare – This is where remarkable performances always begin. You prepare for what you love. How are you preparing for your performance at work and life?
  • Practice – It won’t make you perfect, but it will always make you better. Learn to summarize critical activities and learn essential skills. Ten thousand hours of practice leads to greatness. Some critical activities of leadership include persuading, vision-casting, coaching, communicating and executing. Are you practicing your critical activities and skills?
  • Perform – This is where preparation and practice payoff. Great performers move people to act, think, feel good and laugh.
  • Pitfalls – Avoid them when you can and be prepared to handle them when you can’t. Most pitfalls can be avoided. Remarkable is not perfection, it is being authentic and real in the midst of pitfalls.
  • Polish – Good is never good enough, keep polishing and improving every aspect of what you do, so that your next performance is even more remarkable than your last.

School is never out for the encore performer. Passion is the fuel for remarkable performances.

Simulcast

I have been sitting in the Maximum Impact Simulcast at NewPointe today. I just finished listening to Liz Murray talk about her story of going from being homeless to attending Harvard. What an amazing story of growth. Her parents were both drug addicts and they lived in welfare her entire childhood. She described going days without food, eating ice because it felt like eating food. Splitting a tube of toothpaste with her sister and on.

She talked about making empowering decisions or dis-empowering decisions. Those moments in time when we can go either way. She said that self-pity will always lead us to dis-empowering decisions. After losing her mother to AIDS, she started to realize that she had to change something. She started to make empowering choices, like going to school, working hard, getting up ever morning. She ended up applying for a scholarship and getting it, which allowed her to get into Harvard.

Hearing her story was worth the entire day. You can check out her website to learn more. You can also learn more at this site as well.

Also heard from Linda Kaplan Thaler, John Maxwell, Kevin Carroll, Tony Blair, Al Weiss (Disney CEO), Mark Sanborn, Jack Nicklaus and Bill George. More on some of them later.

Living Life

I have been reading the Message version of the Bible. Today I read Colossians. Chapter three is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. There is such good instruction on living life and how to handle our relationships and our work. Reading this really challenged me today and I hope it will challenge you as well. Take some time and read this several times. Ask God to speak to you about your life.

Colossians Chapter 3:

“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

3-4Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

5-8And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.

9-11Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

15-17Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

18Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master.

19Husbands, go all out in love for your wives. Don’t take advantage of them.

20Children, do what your parents tell you. This delights the Master no end.

21Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits.

22-25Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.”

Tribute to Jim Mason

This past week my friend and mentor Jim Mason turned 88 years old. I have gotten to know Jim over the past 10 years. I have had the privilege of serving with Jim in the Pastoral Care ministry at NewPointe Community Church. Jim is a retired pastor having served many Free Methodist churches over the past 40 plus years. Jim also served his country in WWII. He has shared some incredible stories with me about the war, pastoring a church, loving his family and his wife.

Jim is one of the most godly men I know. He is also the most humble man I know. I have had the honor of seeing him serve his family in times of crisis. I have gone to the hospital with him to call on sick people. I was amazed at his compassion and how he interacted with the nurses and staff. They loved him and many of them knew him.

He has been through some real hardships in his life, but through everything, he has kept a strong faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

He lost his wife last year and once again I was amazed at his level of compassion and faith. He served her through those hard days and never blamed God. He recently shared with me the final moments he had with her before she passed away. He has been an inspiration to me and has challenged me to be a better man, pastor, husband and child of God.

At 88 years old Jim continues to serve at church. He is in our prayer room every Sunday for all three services. He prays for every prayer request that comes in over the weekend. He writes letters and calls people that are struggling and hurting. He goes and visits people as much as possible. He stops in my office once or twice a week and always encourages me. He also encourages most of the other staff members as well. We pray together and talk about how we can help more people through the prayer/care ministry.

He also is passing on to his family a legacy that will out live him for decades. Jim I love you and appreciate your friendship, thanks for being a great example to me and others. Thanks for your obedience to Christ and your humble servant spirit. I know your rewards in heaven will be great.