Oct 19 2005

The “Twisted” Tree

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Oct 19 2005

Two Parks in Two Days

I had the opportunity to visit two state parks that I had never been to before. My family and I along with my mother in law, visited Mill Stream Gardens on Sunday afternoon. It was a very small park, but very beautiful as well. There is a small area called the “shut ins” and a large tree that was “turned” by a man over many, many years. An enjoyable afternoon with the family on a gorgeous day.

On Monday (my new day off!!) I spent the day with an old friend at Sam A. Baker state park. Again, a state park that I had not set foot in before. This park was much bigger than I anticipated. It was very beautiful with two campgrounds, a park/picnic area, cabins, visitor’s center, and a small restaurant that opens during the weekend. I loved the area, and certainly had an itch to go to the nearest camper dealer to see what I could find. But alas, the dollars say not at this time. Soon however!! I had a great day talking, hanging out, eating a great grilled hamburger, and thinking about days gone by. Thanks for a great day John!!

Now it is back to work this week, with much on the horizon. We had our first full time Saturday gathering this past weekend, and the vibe was very good. Over 550 in attendance this weekend, the second highest ever for a non-holiday. This could be the catalyst that sparks the next wave of growth. I’m excited to see where things are headed from here. Only time (and God!!) will tell.

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Oct 10 2005


The Catalyst Conference 2005 is now officially over. I had the opportunity to hear some great speakers, but mostly it was the same stuff I had heard before from them or from their books. It was nice to hear Donald Miller for a longer period of time. He is definitely a challenging speaker, with a great sense of dry wit and humor. Bill Hybels was also a highlight for the day.

By far the greatest highlight was the band. This band can ROCK!! Most of the vocalists and musicians are from North Point Church in Atlanta. The drummer was phenom as well as many of their vocalists. A great improvement from last year.

I enjoyed the conference again this year, but I enjoyed hanging out with the Emerging Leader group much more than the conference. It was great to watch them as they experienced this environment for the first time – it is always rewarding to watch others and share in their thoughts. We had some great conversations, and who can forget that wonderful van ride (thanks to Craig Mills here!).

Now I am back at work for the week, busily preparing for the permanent addition of our Saturday gathering starting this weekend. It is a busy week ahead!!

I am off for home and to see Kayla one last time before she heads back to school tomorrow. It seems like her visit home went too quickly, or maybe I am just getting much older. Probably a combination of both.

So for now, I bid you farewell.

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Oct 5 2005

Atlanta, Day One

Well, it’s our first day in Atlanta. We rolled in about 3:30am today (losing an hour to the Eastern time zone) and with little sleep managed to climb out of bed at about 9:30am. Then it was off to the Catalyst Labs. There were a total of three sessions, each with a different speaker. I must say that all three sessions were decent, but by far the best speaker of the day was Len Sweet. He was very articulate – VERY intellectual, and very challenging. He analyzed the marketing (image) strategy of Starbuck’s Coffee and made a great comparison that business is using strategies and ideas that are straight from the Bible. As a church, however, we are failing to use the very things that make companies like Starbucks extremely successful. It was very interesting.

I took two things away from his conversation. Number one, even though this is a leadership conference, Christ called us to “follow Him” and not lead. In order to be great leaders we first have to be great followers. Or in Sweet’s words, it’s not about discipleship, but followership. Secondly, we must open our eyes and look for “God” moments, or the study of semiotics (spellling?). This is basically looking for the “signs” that God is present. And not just looking for them but then knowing what to do once you find them. That, Sweet states, is the same concept that Starbucks has used successfully for years. Knowing the signs of their business, identifying them, and then knowing what to do with them. A great discussion for the short hour period.

There were two other speakers, but none that were as captivating as Sweet. I will add however, that the evening session featured one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) who was as witty as his writings. If you haven’t checked out his books, I encourage you to do so. You won’t be disappointed.

Tomorrow begins the main sessions in the big arena. Many, many talented authors and speakers to appear tomorrow, so I am off to bed to recoup from my day. More updates later!!

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Sep 29 2005

Like Father, Like Son

We’ve been having some awesome discussions in our Emerging Leaders group lately. We’ve been working through the Wild At Heart curriculum by John Eldredge and talking a lot about what it means to be a “man.” One of the issues we have talked about is the idea that our father’s have “wounded” us, or at least made some sort of impression on us during our childhood that we still carry around as an adult. This has really made me think back to my childhood (of which I don’t remember much) and the things my father didn’t teach me. Not that my childhood was horrible by any means, but I started wondering what exactly a father was supposed to teach to his kids.

I am now soliciting input on what you think are the top 10 things a father should teach his children, and even more specifically to his son. What sorts of things should young boys know growing up that their fathers should teach them? Things that you would consider the “staples” of manhood. Maybe even a fatherhood checklist.

Feel free to submit your responses directly to this blog, or better yet, send them directly to my email: goldie@meadowheights.com. I look forward to compiling the lists of “musts” to help guide fathers (including me!!) in this crazy and hectic world.

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