9 Reasons Why We Are Adopting

Whenever I tell people we are adopting, I usually get two types of responses: very excited and somewhat interested. Whatever group you fall into, I thought I would take a moment to explain why we are adopting and why we fall into the “very excited” camp. This list is not exhaustive, but these are nine great reasons why we believe in adoption (and maybe you should too).

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 5.17.30 PM

How Facebook Is Affecting Your Real Relationships And What To Do About It [Series: Margin]

Imagine it’s the year 1999 (for some of you, that’s hard to do, I know). But just imagine. There is no social media, we only use the internet for a few things here and there, but we do have a wonder of modern technology: the cell phone. You love your cell phone. This wonder of modern technology keeps you connected to friends and family. No more pay phones for you. No matter where you are, all they need to do is call.

Now imagine that your friends and family – ALL of your friends and family – began to call and text you with updates every 15-30 minutes. Not important updates. Not things that were valuable or really useful to you. Updates like what they had for breakfast; what their 4-year old is wearing to school; that they just got their electric bill in the mail; things like that.

How long would it take you to ask them to stop calling and texting you with this random, useless information? Probably about a day. It would be annoying, distracting, tiring, and ultimately pointless.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where this is now the reality. It’s called facebook.

source: http://topnews.in/health/files/facebook-using.jpg

How My Toddler Taught Me To Ask God for Wisdom

“Daddy will you teach me this?” Those were the words from my three year old son recently. He was holding a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Junior. He received the box for Christmas, but his mom and I had not had time yet to begin teaching him the material. And as you know, toddlers are very inquisitive. He wanted to learn.

SONY DSC

His simple, heartfelt question made me smile. And then it made me think. He knew – he believed – that his daddy had the answers he wanted. And he knew that his daddy loved him and would help him discover.

The Power of Sacrifice

Why does this video make us emotional? It’s one word: sacrifice.

youtube-6dKWq0CzK-k1

We understand the sacrifice that the soldiers – and their families – make every day. And when those sacrifices are rewarded with a surprise homecoming, it brings us to tears. Even outside looking in, sacrifice moves us in powerful ways.

This is one reason the gospel is so powerful – it is the story of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.

“Now that’ll preach”, as we say down South.

Walt Disney on Leadership

I recently completed the Walt Disney biography by Bob Thomas titled “An American Original”. You can buy the book on Amazon here.

I have always been a fan of Disney, and after reading this biography, I have a better understanding of why. He was a man of vision, an extraordinary leader, and one of the biggest risk takers of all time. Here are 7 principles of leadership from the life of Walt E. Disney.

Walt Disney was…

1)      A Dreamer Disney coined the term “imagineers” to describe the creative element of his studio. Imagine + engineer = imagneer. Or, to spell it out: the team at Walt Disney Pictures dreamed big dreams and then went out and made them reality. Leaders should always take the time to stop and think. They should take time to dream about tomorrow and what they want to build.

2)      A Worker If there was ever a company that was built from scratch, it was Walt Disney Productions. What we now know as one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world began in 1946. That year, Walt boarded a train for Kansas City. He wanted to try his hand at cartoons and he had $6 to his name.

3)      Confident As Disney (the company) began to grow, no one could deter Walt from his intended vision for a particular product or process. He would not accept “no” from anyone trying to tell him that an idea wouldn’t work. If he had, the following would not exist as we know them today: cartoons with sound, color cartoons, full length cartoon features, Disneyland, and Walt Disney World.

4)      Intentional This is perhaps the most amazing part of the story. On reading his biography, one can see that every invention, innovation, and idea not only broke new ground, but intentionally led to other areas of expanse. The intricacy of decisions laying ground for future decisions, on purpose, is literally mind boggling. This, I believe, was the true genius of Walt Disney. He was a visionary, always looking forward, always planning for the next step. What seemed to others as random, creative decisions were calculated moves as part of a grand vision.

5)      Aware of his strengths and weaknesses Most people would never guess, but Walt Disney was never a good artist. He wanted to be. He even tried to be. But soon he realized that the other animators around him were better. So he delegated that task. What he was good at, great at in fact, was telling stories. He did not delegate that, but oversaw every story board that the studio created in the early days. The stories that Walt Disney crafted and oversaw are the same ones that engage children to this day.

6)      Committed to excellence Everything that Walt Disney produced was excellent. “Why would you want to build a theme park? They are all so dirty”, his wife said to him. “Exactly”, Walt said, “mine won’t be.”

7)      Family Oriented This one may seem out of place on this list, but it’s not. Walt was a family-man, always involved in his children’s activities and often taking his wife with him when he had to go away on business. He never sacrificed his family for success. His home life kept him grounded after he became the most influential entertainer in the world.

I would highly recommend you pick up a copy of the Bob Thomas biography. As a leadership exercise alone, the time spent would be invaluable. And with all of the Disney quotes and stories throughout, you are sure to be, well….entertained.

Question: Do the above seven characteristics describe you as a leader? What can you change to ensure they do?

note: the links above are Amazon affiliate links.

5 things I’ve learned in 5 days

My wife recently gave birth to our first child, Reece. Here’s some things I’ve learned…

1 – Babies do not like cold, wet anything touching them, at any time, for any reason.

2- Until you’ve been a father and you’ve held your child, you can’t explain it. It’s awesome.

3 -It is impossible to sleep in a hospital, even if you are just visiting. Don’t even attempt this.

4 – Our health care system is just fine, thank you very much Mr. President.

5 – My wife is an amazing woman.