Archive for June, 2007

We are all the Same. Unique.

June 29, 2007

We are all the same. Unique.

We are unique. We are all the same in that we are unique. We share uniqueness.

No matter how hard you try you are going to be different. You can’t be like anyone else. Don’t try. You can’t.

You are unique.

You were born unique and you die unique. Some were born into wealth and others into poverty. Why? One little girl was born into the poorest of homes and became the richest woman in the world. Her name is Oprah.

Why is it that we see those who are poor as unfortunate?

It doesn’t make any sense does it? Is it meant to?

Why do I weigh 110 and feel so sick (at the time of writing this over a month ago)? Is it because God wants to teach me something or make me better? Maybe. Maybe not. Is it okay for once to accept there may not be an answer? YES, it is! Embrace the mystery, but more importantly-embrace your uniqueness in this mysterious maze of life.

How to stay humble

June 28, 2007

One day I was having lunch with Josh McDowell and two businessmen. One of them asked Josh how he stays humble. But Josh kept talking. The guy grew kind of irritable so he asked him again, “How do you stay humble as you accomplish so much for God?” Josh’s answer: “I’m too busy to think about it.”

That’s it.

There’s something to be said about working hard for God and not looking back, but keep your head focused on the now, on our God. Many of us in our culture spend so much time evaluating, which is a good thing, but sometimes it causes us to outthink what really matters. Josh works hard. He gives what he can and leaves the rest to God. That’s the way Jesus led his disciples. He told them what to do, in fact, he pretty much threw them in the fire and they obeyed. After they obeyed they went to sleep ready to give God another day. We live what we can have for ourselves; another vacation, a retirement fund or a new house. We work hard so we can reap great things for ourselves. But I don’t read anywhere in the gospels about the disciples doing anything remotely like this. Jesus didn’t lead them that way. He didn’t tell them if you do this and follow me like this you will reap things for yourselves to enjoy. He called them to die to their selves, and to live for eternity.

We know one thing: you won’t be humble thinking about being humble.

Top 10 Lessons I Have Learned From Being Sick

June 28, 2007

Last Sunday, I shared at my Dad’s church some of the top lessons I am learning right now through all my health deficiencies. Here’s a look at my short-notes:

1 “I didn’t know how to be sick.” All of us are suffering. No one is immune to suffering. We all suffer because of the fall.

2 “Sometimes, I don’t feel spiritual.” Feelings are fleeting. Feelings are fickle. I didn’t know it was there. I had to relearn what it means to be a spiritual being. I put some stock in what God made me feel, but when I became sick I was forced to realize how dangerous this was.

3 “I took for granted the good times.” It’s amazing how much it hurts when we can’t operate like we used to. And it’s unfortunate how many of us don’t stop and consider how fortunate we are. We misuse the gifts and sometimes we control and overpower people with our strong personality and ability to outsmart people. Well, what happens when that’s all taken away? Then what do you do? We should remember whose we are and what we were created for. While I have been sick I have been able to reflect and I’ve realized how much I live for myself. It’s sad, really. I think of me far too much and place far too much attention on me. It’s quite embarrassing once you think about it in light of our God and eternity. It’s hard to imagine what it feels like when your personality changes. Yes, when you get sick it affects your personal makeup, the way you interact, the way you lead, the way you communicate, everything. If I depend on achieving I will eventually get depressed.

4 “Being sick doesn’t change your life.” It reveals who you really are. And being sick is a good time to let people into your lives. It’s an opportunity to see how we respond and struggle through hard times.

5 “Suffering without meaning is despair.” And meaning might not be a two-step formula. It might mean there is no reason at all, just a loving God whose allowed you to hurt. And while he allows it, he hurts with you.

6 “You can’t deny yourself unless you know yourself.” Sure, it helps to study others and how God worked in and through them, but it’s far more impacting to study ourselves, and how God wants to uniquely lead us. I think there’s something drastic missing from our lives when we ignore the study of who we really are. God made us to be unique. He made us with specific distinctions and purposes, yet we don’t put emphasis on learning what those are.

7 “Sometimes we’re so worried about the what, while God is more concerned about our motives.” I may not be able to “discern” or “feel” (if that matters) if my whole heart is not in line with him. I have to be completely surrendered in order to do the what. It’s amazing how “simple” the what is when we’re this way.

8 “Your misperceptions might be perceptions.” When I was a young, brash 17 yr old who was transformed by Christ, following Him was simple, thrilling and impactful. I read the Word and obeyed. Simple as that. I shared my story with others and saw fruit almost every day. Five years later, I started trying to figure everything out and do it “better”. At that moment something began seeping out of me. I have to work hard to remember my salvation, and what matters and doesn’t matter. Misperception: I am called to do this or that. Perception: I am called to “live in Christ, die is gain”, “to make disciples of all nations”.

9 “People will fail you, but our Heavenly Father never will.” I will fail my wife. My wife will fail me. Your earthly Mother and Father will fail you. But our Heavenly Father will never fail you.

10 “Why are you afraid to make a mistake?” Those who do most make the most mistakes. God doesn’t bless leaders. He blesses faith.

Also, this is a word I wrote in my journal the night before:

    I am not seeing God as he really is, as the Old Testament prophets saw him. When I pray and when I ask what he wants I have my own agenda in mind because I doubt that what he wants is what I would want. I have too little respect and perspective of who this Great and Mighty God really is. When I pray in the back of my mind is this little tug-of-war of thoughts saying what I think is best for me and not what he thinks is best. Yet, I am doing this with the Creator of Heavens and earth – the Mightiest thing that my mind can’t even comprehend. Yikes!

As I try to constantly recall this thought, it is changing me!

Nice People Don’t Change the World

June 28, 2007

I just came across this book and idea that resonated with me. It’s by Lynne Hybels, wife of ministry guru Bill Hybels, and I believe it reflects the struggle of “many”. I don’t think this book is for women only, and in my opinion it might as well be called Nice People Don’t Change the World. Yet, she’s writing to women who only in general terms struggle with this more than men (men struggle with it their own ways). But I like how she uses that to help spur women to use their untapped potential, to “respond compassionately” to the world with the “talents, skills, education, and financial resources that women didn’t dream of in the past”.

    cover.gif

Nice Girls Don’t Change the World is also about Lynne’s transformational story “from a people pleasing ‘nice girl’ toward becoming a change-maker (or as she prefers to say, a ‘dangerous woman’)”, one “that has taken her through a painful crisis of identity, a pitch-dark night of the soul, and a fierce battle with fear.”

We’ve got to let go.

We’ve got to let go of the things that are tying us down, like fear, perfectionism and pride – and use what God has given us to change the world! We’ve got to stop hesitating and move far and away from passivity and indecisiveness, and have courage. Faith is having hope in the future. Fear is losing hope in the future. God says to never worry about tomorrow, but have hope in it – and focus on today. This is what makes a person come alive!

It’s so hard to motivate those who are gripped by fear because they’re afraid of making a mistake, and with so many options to choose from choosing anything can be a daunting thing. This is why we are afraid of commitment and would rather use our time to watch a few hours of Television than serve the world. And as our confidence drops and our focus hazes we become nice people. When we are too concerned about what people think of us it’s a sign of meism, which is rooted in selfishness and fear. All we have to do is re-surrender our lives to God and put our faith and motives in him, and we’ll move from nice to dangerous.

As Erwin McManus says (as I recall in my head, misquoted), “When we are out of God’s will, we are in danger, but when we are in God’s will we become dangerous.”

Dick Wynn

June 11, 2007

Six years ago Amber and I were graced with the chance of a Lifetime. Amber was interning with Tim Elmore at EQUIP yet he gave each person another mentor to meet with every week. I was interning in Dallas at Josh McDowell Ministries at the time and remember hearing all about her new mentor Dick Wynn. Dick was creating a new division at EQUIP focused on training emerging leaders. Previously, he served as President of Youth for Christ International.

As soon as I made my way back to Atlanta to see Amber I was introduced to Dick and since then he’s become of the most impactful people in my/our lives.

The last few years Dick served at Crown Financial Ministries as the Senior VP and Presidential Advisor. He had a small goal to train a couple hundred million leaders overseas. Dick’s the kind of guy I could share an idea to and he’d make it bigger, better, stronger and wiser. Trust me, you’ll be hearing more about Dick on this blog.

Just recently, Dick and his wife Janet decided to leave their role in George to be closer to kids in Florida. I had the opportunity to write about Dick on his Crown farwell guestbook:

“You are the model leader. When I think about leadership I think about you. You know how to cut through the fog, how to make the right decision at the right time – how to cast a masterful, memorable vision for the future. Among so many other qualities! You certainly know how to distill wisdom in me and you do it with such natural, unforgettable ease. What else can I say? You are the leader inside my mind. So, for the rest of this guy’s life there you will be. You’ve enriched my life, Dick. That, I am grateful for! Love, Bryan Davidson (btw: and Janet, what a jewel, what an inspiration you are to us!)”

That moment

June 11, 2007

Seth Godin articulates what’s been on my mind. It’s called That moment

    “When you are sitting right on the edge of something daring and scary and creative and powerful and perhaps wonderful… and you blink and take a step back.

    That’s the moment. The moment between you and remarkable. Most people blink. Most people get stuck.

    All the hard work and preparation and daring and luck is nothing compared with the ability to not blink.”

Presuming on God

June 11, 2007

A few nights ago, I slowly and carefully read (and digested) Robert Clinton’s systematic masterpiece The Making of a Leader. Words can describe how much I needed this right now. One thing I was particularly struck by was his section on presuming on God, what he calls flesh acts. Here are my notes. Please read!

I don’t want to presume on God any more…ever again!!!! Though, I will. We all will. But we can fight and do our best can’t we? Thought you’d enjoy it too.

Presuming on God

In The Making of a Leader, Clinton writes about the flesh act (pg 136-138. A flesh act, according to Clinton, “refers to those instances in a leader’s life when guidance is presumed and decisions are made either hastily or without proper discernment of God’s choice.” Clinton says, “Such decisions usually involve human manipulation, which brings ramifications that later affect ministry and life negatively.”

(more…)

Contrast #1: The Dream

June 9, 2007

I love Tom Peter’s book Reimagine. It’s one of my all-time favorites. The book itself is a picturesque experience, chock-full of thought-provoking ideas and insight. I want to take the next couple days to share my notes in five posts about five contrasts.

First up, the dream.

We are in the dream business. The “experience” idea is a big stretch for many people in business. But we must stretch our minds, and our vocabularies, even further. Next stop on the value train: Dreams. As one business visionary put it, a dream amounts to “an opportunity to help clients become what they want to be.” This is not pie in the sky. “Dream” products provide returns to shareholders that far outpace the returns from “common” products. So, are you ready to enter the Dream Business?

DREAMS

! Contrasts

WAS to IS

    “Mere” experiences to Wild imaginings…and dreams fulfilled
    Things done well to Things not thought possible
    “It’s really good” “You can do that?”
    Pleased to Elated
    Surprised to Stunned
    Selling to customers Tempting customers
    “I’m not sure I need it.” to “I GOTTA HAVE IT. NOW.”
  • • Dramatically. ALTER. Perspective.
    • Adventures….in “Dreamketing”
    • Project: Dream
    • Extreme Dream
    • Transformation Guaranteed!
    • Dream Language
    • Insane Solutions and Cultures
    • Dream Weave
    • Dream Metrics
    • The “Feel” of Dreams. If you build it….
  • Touch people’s dreams. Tell stories and entertain. Promote dream, not product. Build brand around Main Dream. Build a buzz, hype, cult.

      Excitement. That’s right.
      Surprise. That’s right.
      Impossible. That’s right.
      Destiny. That’s right.
      Change. A lot of it.

    Dreams. Just do it. Just be it.
    Re-imagine it! Go for the things that are nuts! Take the leap. Once more, with feeling!

    Souly Business

    June 9, 2007

    Had lunch today with my good friend Kevin Latty. I’ll tell you more about Kevin and Souly Business (the ministry he co-founded) later. All I gotta say is this: it is anointed!

    I wrote a piece for their Summer Newsletter. I don’t there’s a link yet, so here it is:

    An invitation to the seat of your soul.

    As I pondered the idea of going to Souly Business, I have to admit that I wasn’t too keen on anything resembling a “camp.” When I think of camps, I think of dirt and games—two things that are not in my desire box. So the thought of going was not particularly appealing. However, I was convinced to attend and now, I’m another one of those “this is the best retreat I have ever experienced” guys. In fact, I have yet to meet a person who did not experience something unique at a Souly Business weekend.

    Coincidentally, on the way to the retreat, I stopped by to see a friend in Gainesville who shared some thoughts about the church in a post-modern culture. He believes that events and programs are the way of the past when it comes to spiritual growth and life change. He believes the church must learn and embrace a new model- something he calls “transformational communities.” Little did I know, I was on the way to experiencing my first transformational community. Souly Business opened my eyes.

    At most events, I feel ambitious. I sense a few new pointers and ideas. But Souly Business created a way to help leaders connect with leaders. They facilitated hands-on conversation. It’s an open and safe environment- to connect, to question, to dialogue, and to learn.

    At Souly Business, I felt safe to let go, to dive in, to express my innermost longings, and to simply listen to God and his servants. When I left Souly Business, I felt rejuvenated, uplifted, encouraged, connected, cleansed, and rested.

    As I reflect on the weekend, I find it extra meaningful to know that I now have over 50 new brothers. Not just any kind of brothers, but faith-full, grace-full, spirit-ual, dependable ones. Today, I feel like I am riding in a bigger boat, with better men and a stronger faith as we navigate the high tides of life.

    Now, it’s my goal for all of my friends to attend a Souly Business retreat. I have no doubt – if they do, our relationships will go to a new and deeper level. I believe this is the perfect environment to shape ethos and I honestly don’t know of anything else that actually accomplishes such a thing.

    I’m filled with gratitude for- Brian Cork and his gracious invitation that made it impossible for me to say “no”, Kevin for his initiative and humble leadership, and Larry for his compassion and heart.

    It is evident that the Spirit of the living God is facilitating this community. I’m touched by the leaders and speakers, who focus their attention on what the Spirit desires to do. Their focus is not on an agenda or a desired outcome. Their focus is to facilitate what God wants to do- seeing and experiencing that blew me away.

    Back in my life

    June 9, 2007

    Can’t wait to see my homeboy Matt George who’s flying in from Chicago. Man, do I feel blessed to be in good company. Matt was my best friend all the way through middle school until my family moved from Greenville, Texas to Apopka, Florida (A year later we landed in Cartersville, Georgia). Matt and I connected twice in 15 years until he got a hold of me via MySpace last November. A little over a month later I caught a flight to Chicago to reconnect and it’s been non-stop ever since.

    In the near future, I promise to showcase some of Matt’s work. He happens to be one of the most gifted artists in the world. His company is called VSA Partners and they’re a go-to company for the elite, the ones who can pay top notch for the best. For example, this is the company that named, branded and designed the famed Cingular brand, which I think is the best logo ever.

    Needless to say, I’m super proud of Matt. But most of all, his heart is gold.

    A hole in my sheets

    June 8, 2007

    I’ve been staying up late a lot lately. I used to say “I feel like I’m burning a hole in my sheets.” I feel that way right now. I can’t sleep. The fire is burning. Man, it feels great.

    I love Rob Bell’s church philosophy, “People will drive a long way to see a fire.” So would I. So would I.

    The Crazy Ones Change The World

    June 8, 2007

    Just had a long late night conversation with my boy Freddy Williams. Freddy leads a big flock of crazy kids in the St. Louis area. I happen to believe that Freddy is crazy enough to CHANGE THE WORLD. Trust me – keep this guy on your radar. It’ll happen. Check out this video he pointed me to created by Apple. It’s about the Crazy Ones. You know, the ones who think they can change the world actually do.

    What One Hour Means to David Letterman

    June 8, 2007

    A few years ago, I was in Nashville and had a late dinner with a comedian named Mike Williams. During the conversation he brought up the human struggle a lot of us have of comparing ourselves with others. A perfect example of this is a fellow Comedian, The Tonight Show Host David Letterman. Mike friend and Letterman’s former line writer told him that Letterman is a man who lives for one hour every day, and for the rest of his day he is miserable. Purpose ain’t to be taken for granted is it, and it doesn’t just appear does it? I often ask myself: Do I know who I really am? Do I know what I am called to do? (that’s a trick question, since we all have the same one, right?)

    God Rarely Works the Same Way Twice

    June 8, 2007

    One of my favorite quotes, that’s a good reminder:

    “Christian organizations should take careful note that, throughout Scripture, God rarely worked in the same way twice. God’s activity was always unique to the people with whom he was dealing and the time in which he was working. God’s activity cannot be reduced to a formula because God is more concerned with peoples’ obedient response to his will than with what means of communicating his will.” Henry and Richard Blackaby, Spiritual Leadership, pg 59

    The Group That Changed The Way I View Discipleship

    June 6, 2007

    About six months ago, a friend of mine asked me a question. He was a little curious, and wanted to know what I thought was the purpose of this mentor group I was a member of. It was a group of businessmen and ministry leaders led by Boyd Bailey a man who is very special to me and many others. Well, I wrote my friend and said some things I’ve never said before. I didn’t realize until it was almost over that this group and this one man helped changed the way I view discipleship.

    So, when I recieved my friend’s email many thoughts rushed through my head and then I wrote the following:

    I admit I had lots of reservations coming into this group. My reservations came from this lack of desire to join another Bible Study or accountability-type group. I guess it’s because I’ve been in so many of them that pumped me full of new knowledge and wisdom. I’ve found myself getting caught up (without admitting it of course) in the celebrityness of being around all these great men of God who have written all these great books and accomplished all these amazing things for God and culture. And I felt so high after soaking in their knowledge and wisdom. But it rarely changed me.

    So when I felt the Spirit nudging me to be a part of Boyd’s group I was restless, until a few weeks in, when I begin to feel a deeper connection to some of the guys. I began to enjoy Boyd’s laid-back approach and it was evident he cared about us and would do whatever he could for us…with us.

    To me, the purpose of the group was to come together and see what God had in store. And I saw amazing things happen throughout the year in each person’s life, including mine, and together off-group time. I looked forward to each meeting because I knew I didn’t have to do something in order to feel respected and loved by the guys. I just innately knew this was an environment of trust and unfailing love. One of the guys in the group lives around the corner from me and has become one of my closest friends, which is one of the most special things to experience in a lifetime that doesn’t just happen.

    As a format, it was refreshing to be a part of something that was simple, that just flowed (the kind of flow I enjoyed personally), even without a slight of expectancy (I mean that in a very good way). Different, indeed.

    To me, Boyd is an example of grace. He doesn’t try—he just listens, serves and learns with you. I’ve been around too many leaders who feel like it’s their job to present the knowledge and wisdom God has bestowed upon them. That’s not a bad thing. But it seems I’ve never once been changed in the right way by such a process. What has changed me is the people I get to know God with. Those who allow the Spirit to form a bond between brothers and sisters, who open their hearts up to whatever God has in store.

    Example: As you know I’ve been able to get to know Josh McDowell who is well-known as someone who has a lot to say. And he does. But knowing Josh McDowell didn’t begin to change me until I begin getting to know him personally. I learned some great information and was affected by the piercing biblical Truth he presented day in and day out, but it was his life that I watched and listened to that awakened me to the unfailing love of God. I could have never experienced that without spending a lot of time with him. I could not have experienced that just hearing him preach and teach every day. Not a chance. Josh actually teaches what I am writing that it’s all about relationships – a perfect blend of truth and relationships. You know, I’ve never even thought of it this way before. Your questioning has blessed me. It’s revealed to me that I am changing. I feel slightly shocked while writing this. Josh’s teaching has taken years to truly resonate with me, to actually become a part of who I am becoming.

    ~Bry

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