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Posts tagged with: leadership

Arrival in Uganda Africa!

We left PHX, AZ at 10 am on Monday and arrived in Entebbe Uganda at 10 PM on Tuesday. Crazy Air Miles. My first 10 hour flight I sat next to a 25 year old lady who was born in Israel. She was raised in a cult-like church. The exact name is escaping me right now but I believe its called Hebrew Israelites. They practice animal sacrifices and have some major legalistic rules they must follow. This explains why she left it all and moved to America and was traveling home to visit her 10 other siblings. She was very outgoing. Told me all about how to use Mushrooms as a drug, but she didn’t recommend it because… “It will make you trip out like you’ve never experienced!” She has no idea. I”ve barely drank an entire beer in my life. Once I told her I was a Pastor she got out of the mushroom discussion and opened up the Marijuana one! Really! She explained all the diffrent kinds of highs you can get, etc. Anyway…she actually asked me a lot of questions about Church and about Jesus and she said that her biggest fear about the Bible is that it could be just a big hoax that somebody wrote. We talked through it all. I asked her if she would really take a good look at who Jesus is in the near future and she said she would. I wish I could tell you that I had her praying to Jesus and we all stopped the plane to do her baptism, but that isn’t the case. She did ask if my family facebook page would friend her on facebook though. Maybe someday she’ll fully acknowledge Jesus as Lord of her life. She was intereseting to speak with and she made the 10 hour flight go a little bit quicker.
That flight took me to Amsterdam where I had to run to catch the 8 hour flight to Uganda. We arrived and I have just checked into the hotel with a group with Hope 4 Kids International. There are about 60 of us. Big mix of people. Young and old from all over the US. Im in my hotel room right now typing this. The room is about 15 feet long and 8 feet wide with a single bed in it. The bathroom is decent and I”ll have to duck to get in the shower. I have always heard the phrase… “You can cut the air with a knife.” I’ve experienced humidity before, but now I know what it means to cut the air with a knife! Wow. No AC in my room. The window is open and there is zero air moving. Going to be a long night. Not complaining. I’m actually excited. What a wierd and cool expereince. I intend to be the hands and feet of Jesus tomorrow as we head out to meet the people of Africa! That’s it for now. Just been traveling and now am going to try to get some sleep. The time here is 9 hours ahead of AZ time. My clock is reading 1:02 A.M. right now, which means its 4 in the afternoon in PHX. I’ll represent AZ well. Stay tuned! I can’t really communicate with my family, but I sure miss them. Don’t take your family for granted. We may all irritate each other but its good…my heart goes out to military families. I can’t imagine the fear they think about daily and how their heart aches to be together. That is one extremely large ocean between me and my family. Love you all!
Trent


My Trip To Africa!

I’m waiting at Sky Harbor Airport to head to Portland and then to Amsterdam and then to Entebbe Uganda! I have 20 plus hours of flying ahead of me. The lady behind the counter with Delta got me an exit seat to Portland and I pray for the same as I fly the 10 hour flight to Amsterdam.
I am excited about the trip. I am curious what set of emotions I will experience as I arrive in such a mysterious and mystical place. Will I be disgusted at the unjustifiable poverty I find in Africa? Will I be frustrated at what is a lack of gratefulness and thankfulness of the quality of life we have in America. I wish I could pack up the whole “Occupy whatever town” in America and drop them in a 3rd world country so they could learn to count their blessings instead of cry out with entitlement mentalities.

I am asking God on this trip to make it clear to me if I am to dedicate the rest of my life to missions work or if I am to step back into a Lead Pastor Role of the Church. When did we ever separate the words Missions and Church? What a travesty. They are the same thing!

Anyway…time to go check in and get “comfy” on the plane. I ask for your prayers that I may return home with an expanded mind and experience in life.

I am honored that you are reading this post and the future ones to come. You matter to me and I want the very best for your life. Stay tuned!


Leader…SHIP!

What style do you lead with? You are a leader. Everyone leads in some form or another. I don’t want to oversimplify leadership because there is no such thing as simple leadership. So, humor me for a moment and let me cause you to think about two very famous forms of leadership and then you can decide which one you are and whether or not you are okay with your type of leadership. I do believe that you and I can change our leadership. Whether you have the gift of Leadership (Romans 12:8) or not, you can change your leadership style. Do you need to change your leadership style? If you do, will you?

Antoine Sanit-Exuperty was an aviator and an author. He wrote the following statement about leadership that I want to expound on. The simple statement below expresses what I think are the two most popular forms of leadership that I am asking you to meditate on and discern which one you are. Maybe someone else would be more truthful to you than you are to yourself as to which one you are more like.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t recruit the men to gather the wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead teach them to yearn for the vast and open sea!”

There you are. Two very effective forms of leadership. Both, effectively get a ship built.

The first form of leadership gets the ship built just like this image portrays.

This ship is magnificent. Inspirational. This is the kind of ship where men work hard to get it built. This is the kind of ship that men will do all they can to fix the problems and tweak the ship as its built so that it is just perfect. This is a ship that is built in a way that is reproducible, catches attention and people come from all over the world to walk around it and gasp at its incredible-ness. Who wouldn’t want to be recruited by the Leader of this vision so they could gather the materials, be a part of the divided work and complete the orders to build it?

I wouldn’t. I have a problem with this ship. Oh, its breathtaking and inspirational. It is quite an accomplishment. Something to be held in high honor and something to be very proud of. Not too many people get to build a ship like it! Its just not my kind of ship.

You might ask, “Why?”

Because all it is, is a ship, stuck on land. The problem with this ship, is that it is complete. The Leader wanted to build this ship, so he recruited the men to gather the materials, divide the work and gave the orders. Mission Accomplished! Built Ship.

The other form of Leadership… This second form of leadership builds this kind of ship…

This is the kind of ship that is built by the kind of leadership that I long for. Somewhere there was a man that taught a group of people to YEARN for the VAST and OPEN sea. They got together and began to dream about what it would be like to be out in the open sea with the wind blowing and the whales breaching and the waves carrying. These men got tired of dreaming and they discovered amongst them abilities and strengths that could make this yearning become a reality.

This is a boat that probably took a bit longer to build, it may have been a bit of rougher completion process. Mistakes would have to be forgiven, new lessons learned and the product that was brought to fruition was not a ship completed and still on the dock, but a ship completed, full of men who were proud of the accomplishment and an actual ship that is built to accomplish what the dream was all about.

I don’t want to be the leader that just builds the ship. Glorious as that may be.
I want to be a leader that inspires men to build the ship, un-dock the ship, navigate the ship, and then EXPERIENCE the VAST AND OPEN SEA.

Both are very effective styles of leadership with very different results.

What is your Leader…SHIP?


The Journey…

The following poem is called “The Journey” by Mary Oliver. I can absolutely relate with her as God has led me to make the decision to merge as one church with CCV. The reactions and realities that have happened since the decision are perfectly spelled out in this poem. I hope it inspires you to think deeply about your journey and what you MUST do.

THE JOURNEY
One day you knew what you had to do and began
Though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice
Though the whole house began to tremble
And you felt the old tug at your ankles
“Mend my life,” each voice cried, “Mend my life”

But you didn’t stop – you knew what you had to do
Though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations
Though their melancholy was terrible
It was already late enough, and a wild night
And the road full of fallen branches and stones

But little by little, as you left their voices behind
The stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds
And there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own
That kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world
Determined to do the only thing you could do
Determined to save the only life you could save.

Journey On,
Trent


Mirror, Mirror on The Wall…

In a previous blog I wrote about how you are your own boss and I am my own boss. Are you being “bossy?” If you and I are our own boss then its not good to “stick it to the man.” You’re the man! Are there times in life, maybe often times, where we think we are doing good, because its what WE want to do, but in all reality we are actually preventing something better for our lives, thus  hurting ourselves?

Proverbs 16:9 says, “we can make our plans but the Lord directs our steps.”

What if God has something really amazing for you or me, but we are so focused on what we FEEL is right, that we actually miss out on what God intended for us? My feelings and my fears (same thing aren’t they?) have a tendency to guide me. My fear says, “if you do that, you will lose everything that I love.” Our mistake is that we think, when fear says “I” that its actually talking about us. We think whatever fear loves, we should love it to. But, fear loves comfort, safety and loves things the way they’ve always been.

If we really think about it, fear screams at us when we are considering stepping out of our comfort zone. If we are guided by our fear, then we will always get what we always got…because we will have always done what we always do. (please read that again)

If we obey our fear, then we will remain in our comfort zone. Comfort zones are comfortable, safe, un-dangerous, un-impactful, un-difference making, un-influential, un-inspiring. But safe!
What if your fears are actually lying to you? What if you gave ear to your fear, and then went ahead…carefully, intelligently, alert-ly, and stepped through your fear?
Isn’t it fair to say that God, throughout Scripture, asked people to do things for Him that scared the crap out of them? What if Paul, James, Elijah, Esther, Job, Samson, David, Stephen, or Jesus would have obeyed their fear?
The Bible says that Perfect Love casts out all fear.
Playing it safe is…well…safe. My fears continually tell me to play it safe.
I think my fears are a like a liquid mirror that I stand in front of and stare at the reflection I see, admiring my life as it is, enjoying what I see and the familiarity of it all. It looks and feels so comfortable. In the movies…every “liquid mirror” has something amazing on the other side. Curiosity says, “stick your head through the mirror and take a look.” Fear says, “stay right here, look how good you look, you like your life like it is.” So, today, I’m going to stick my head through that liquid mirror and take a peek at what my fears have been hiding from me and keeping me from. I have a few good friends who will try to force me through the mirror.  We all need friends like that. Somehow they see through the mirror better than we do ourselves.  So, I’m not going to just stick my head through it, I’m going to push my whole body through the liquid mirror.  There are no guarantees on the other side of the mirror, except the fact that you will no longer just be standing and admiring what you think is right and good for you. So I say…Let your fear guide you…but in a different direction than normal? Fear usually gets strong when I have multiple choices before me. Fear WILL guide us. So the next time fear rises up in your life, and is telling you to go in a specific direction, turn in the direction it wants you to go and then do an “about face”…180 degree turn and march on. It won’t be the easy direction. It won’t be the safe direction. But it will be the HOLY and right direction.
What is fear telling you to do right now?
Take a look in the mirror.
Better yet…
Conquer the mirror!