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Have you ever wanted to UNPLUG from the hectic busy pace of ministry life? That is the entire point of Yosemite Summit. It is a week where you are unplugged in every sense of the word. No computer, no e-mail, no phone calls, no work, no deadlines, no ‘emergencies’, no pressure. Better than a day off spent catching up on personal things – it is a complete break for the sake of complete rest and renewal.
I was once told by a very wise mentor, “Karl, you need to stop being a human doing, and learn to become a human being.”
That is what Yosemite Summit is all about. It is an annual cessation of activity. Too often we confuse busyness with what God is truly seeking from us. Not that we aren’t busy doing good things! But we get so busy doing these good things, that our relationship with God can grow distant, and soon God is wondering, why or who we are truly busy for?
Stopping, completely, once a year is an opportunity to recalibrate. It is a time for reflection and renewal. It is not a time of evaluating ministry goals and seeking a new “ministry vision” from God! It is a time of setting all that down and walking away from it.
Why? God did not save us to gain a worker. He can manage quite fine without us. (Something to consider when you are working so hard – God doesn’t need you!) He saved us that we might enter into a relationship with Him and get to know Him. If we are so busy working that we aren’t getting to know Him – than the working isn’t working. It is actually counter-productive to what God’s true aim is.
We are busy “making Him known,” but we forget the first half – “To know Christ, and to make Him known.” If we forget our relationship in the pursuit of the second half, we are then working to reproduce something that isn’t what God wants. No wonder many non-believers have no interest in becoming a Christian! They see a lot of busy-bodies, instead of disciples of Christ, men and women who walk with God.
To be in awe of God again…
So once a year I stop all the activity and simply walk with God for a week doing nothing else but enjoying Him. And I invite a small group to join me. It changes me and helps me continue that walk when I get back to my God-given work.
Will you join me this May? Only three spots remain.
Take some time and browse through the blog on YosemiteSummit.org – you’ll discover inspiration and the answers you have about this unique event.
I’m already praying for you… I just don’t know who you are yet.
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PS: If you need this Summit and can’t afford it, please let me know.
Before the Game…
This was an amazingly fun year to be a Bronco fan. I feel bad for those who only joined the season for the Super Bowl, where we got soundly defeated, because they missed an incredible season that was extremely entertaining! I don’t deny the Seahawks fans their gloating just as I would have were it reversed. But in the end, we spectators can take no credit nor share no blame for what happens in a football game. We can only watch and cheer or groan. Only the players are champions or losers, not us. So go be a Champion in life in the arena that is yours – that is worth cheering on, Denver, Seattle or Anywhere!
Tebowing at Half Time… (it didn’t help)
As I listen to all the “experts” whether on TV, radio or sitting in an armchair discuss this Bronco defeat… my thoughts go immediately to the words of Theodore Roosevelt who made the point so clearly that it is easy to criticize – the credit goes to the men on the field, win or lose, for they are the ones who are actually in the arena playing the game! The rest is just words. Read how Teddy said it:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt
My brother’s attempt to “fix” my picture after the game.
I enjoy football. You are watching the best athletes in the world. Even the most athletic man you know might only last one game in the NFL. The most unsung, unknown NFL player is still an incredible athlete to be competing at that level. I watch in amazement at their skill, passion and fearlessness as they try to get a ball across a line more times than the other guys.
There is always next year!
While everyone is focused on the final loss, I choose to congratulate the Seahawks on fantastic win, and then reflect on an amazing year led by a quarterback who many wrote off as too old or too injured. To come back and make it to the Super Bowl in two years and break so many QB records in the process is nothing less than amazing. Can’t wait for next year!
When it comes to ministry – it is easy for us to be critics of what others are doing. To sit in our “armchairs” and point out all the faults, missed opportunities or mistakes of others. My question is always, “what are you doing for the Kingdom?” Go out into the arena of ministry God has given you with the same passion, developed skills, and fearlessness that football players do. Our cause is far greater than a ring or a pay raise, it is reaching kids and impacting eternity. So what are you waiting for? Stop analyzing, or go play!
I just got an e-mail that MADE 2014. It defined why I do what I do. I share it with his permission:
Click to View or Read Below
Subject: I’m Going to Be a Children’s Pastor!
This Sunday I am going to be appointed as the Assistant Pastor of Children’s Ministries at my church. I am so excited to finally get to be focused on Pastoral ministry to kids and their families. However, when I think back over the years, I know I need to thank you. You were a HUGE encouragement to me and one of the reasons I kept pressing forward in this call.
At one point I was simply a 6th grader with a call from God, but you were one of the touch-points God used along the way in order to keep me focused on that call. I know I was not the best employee at times, but you still saw through my work and saw the call God had put on my heart. I wanted to thank you for supporting me through the years I was blogging and working for Kidology.
Honestly, I’m not always sure why you were so willing to empower me, because I know I was all over the place at the time. However, you did and you helped me continually be reminded about what God has called me to. You gave me the opportunity to have a job where I could continue to learn and prepare for the ministry that was to come.
Lord, THANK YOU for Karl! I pray that you pour out a blessing over his ministry as he humbly serves you and press forward in reaching kids for your Kingdom.
I met Brandon at a CPC a several years ago. He was trying to meet as many experienced children’s pastors as possible so he could interview them for a podcast he had going of interviews about children’s ministry. I took him out to lunch and interviewed him. I learned of his call and passion for kids ministry and offered him a paid job at Kidology writing, collecting, and editing content so he could get into the middle of the flow of the best of kidmin content and content providers in kidmin today. I took him to conferences so we could room mate and work the Kidology booth together. We became friends. I saw a young version of myself! I visited him when I was in Californa. (His house is amazing at Christmas time!)
I constantly encouraged him in his pursuit of kidmin – but I learned from him too! I knew in time God was going to bring all his hard work to fruition and his dream of becoming a children’s pastor would come true in God’s timing.
This Sunday is that day! And I am celebrating that I got to play a part in that process, just as many others did for me. Just as he says he wonders why I kept believing in him – I used to wonder the same about those who believed in me and encouraged me when I was young. But as I told him on the phone, (I called after I read his e-mail… and after I wiped my eyes) us “older folks” have a way of seeing beyond youthfulness and seeing heart, passion and potential. Folks saw that in me… just as I saw it in him.
Congratulations Brandon, I’m so proud of you!
And to everyone out there investing in young people – for every e-mail like this, there are many others who never take the time so say “Thank You,” but you DID make a huge difference in their life, so keep on keeping on!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
It’s that time again!
I think because New Year’s Resolutions often don’t last or are forgotten after several months, some people give up even making them. Others even encourage people not to for this very reason. I disagree. I think they are fantastic! Even if a ‘resolution’ only lasts three months, that’s three months of bettering one’s self. So I say go for it!
Evaluation and reflection are always healthy, and new habits start with some effort in a new or corrective direction. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a new years resolution I was still thinking about in November, but I know they have served to keep moving me in the right direction. Having a better year than your last is a great motivator.
Resolute means: “admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering”
I agree, it is admirable to be purposeful – to be determined to be better. An unwavering focus is never a bad thing, even if it wavers a bit over time… a ship that corrects its course for awhile, even if a storm or neglect gets it off course later, will still be closer to its destination for the time it worked to stay on course. That’s why I like the annual reminder to do a course correction. Maybe we need Summer Resolutions and Fall Resolutions too in order to renew these new year’s commitments?
As you reflect on a New Year, what goes through your mind? New opportunities? New habits you’d like to form? Books you’d like to read? Changes in your character you’d like to see? Better physical habits? (lose weight?) Places you’d like to see or projects you’d like to complete?
If you would like to take a systematic approach to evaluating and planning for the new year, let me encourage you to check out Kidology’s Leadership Lab #5 – Define, Refine and Shine. This lab will guide you through a process of listing, organizing, evaluating and choosing what matters most and set some priorities for the new year. (There are other ministry evaluation tools on Kidology if you search for them there.)
But do take some time to reflect on your new year and how you’d like it to be better than 2013. Go for a walk or go for a drive to a quite place – but whatever you do, even if you can only get away to a coffee shop, take some time to reflect and write down some goals for the new year. Writing them down is key – things somehow become more real the moment they are written down. Next, share your goals with someone you trust, someone who will nudge you but not nag you and drop it if you ask them to.
Then go for it!
It’s not about perfection, it’s about course correction. Moving a little more in the right direction each year.
If you’d like to post your resolutions to encourage others and have a record of your goals, post them in this Kidology Forum thread.
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I was on the Dave Logan Show today on 850AM in Denver, yeah, a Sports Talk Show! (And you thought only my brother could talk sports! Though I did confirm some of my facts and get a few corrections via text from him while on hold!)
The topic was great memorable wins you will never forget. I was on my honeymoon, and yes, Sara and I were watching basketball!
Listen to what I said. Thanks Jordan for recording it! It’s very short: http://tinyurl.com/Karlon850
“Do you have time to think about it? You better be ready or else you shouldn’t be out there,” said Paxson of his series-clinching shot in the 1993 NBA Finals.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)
Want to read about this amazing game?