I want to be thoroughly used up!

A few years back, I was honored to receive recognition from Time Warner, Inc, the parent company when I was working for Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, for community service efforts I did outside of the company. It was a tremendous honor. I was the one person selected to represent Turner Broadcasting; another person for HBO; another for Warner Brothers Studios, etc. All the lines of business under Time Warner were represented. All told, there were about 5 or 6 individuals honored, including me.

The company flew my wife and I up to New York City for a “big deal” luncheon. I sat at a round table with the head of CNN as well as a handful of other executives. Each honoree was given 5 minutes to give an acceptance speech after receiving a beautiful glass award on stage from the CEO of Time Warner.

In my remarks that day, I expressed gratitude, as you might imagine. Then I boldfully quoted a George Bernard Shaw speech as my mantra for my life:

“I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life in no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

George Bernard Shaw

Now, years later, I’m wondering if that was the correct alignment for my life. Still today, I find myself extremely stretched thin, constantly on the go, eager to help my fellow man/woman in our community, and filling as much as I can into my daily routines. I lay my head down many nights exhausted. Thoroughly used up….

Some of you might be the same.

This week’s assignment, Chapter 3, is a great gut check into resisting exhaustion. You will find yourself asking, “What am I gaining and what am I losing with all that effort?”.

Phil Duncan

Very excited that Phil Duncan is leading us this Friday, his first time in the batter’s box! Everything else remains the same; gather at 7:30 am, with both Zoom and in-Treehouse options available.

Enjoy the rest of today…and I’ll see you tomorrow morning!

Now, go get some rest!

Calling Out American Idol

Happy Thursday, friends….or, as one of my colleagues likes to say, “Happy Friday-eve”! We’re tackling the first “resistance” themed chapter this week, Chapter 2, titled “Worship Must Resist Idolatry”. Get your yellow highlighters out and underlining pens….this is a great chapter filled with noteworthy nuggets!

Growing up, like many of you, I often recalled one of the Commandments, “Thou shalt not place false gods before me…..”. Insert “idols” into the “false gods” narrative. As a kid, I would think about false idols such as golden calves, statues, and other Biblical representations of this “thou shalt”.

As an adult today, I think of “idols” much differently. Our author does a great job describing this too. At a very high level, Jon Tyson refers to idols as “the worship of an unworthy object”. Where are we spending our time and how are we spending time away from God?

Earlier this week, while I was on a run, I got to thinking about American Idol, the very successful television show. Wonder if the choice of “idol” in title is the best one? Perhaps it could be worded differently:

-American Distractions?

-American Not Worthies?

-Or….my favorite….Thou Shalt Not Place American Idols Before Me…..?

Full transparency….I am a huge fan of former American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood’s talent…!

Jason Schubert

Jason Schubert leads us this week. Be sure to scan the study guide in the back of the book as a way to augment your preparations. Hybrid options for meeting on Friday. Zoom or in the treehouse! Bring your hot coffee if your joining me in person….temps are starting to hint at Fall!


A Church Coming Back to Life

Similar to the title of this week’s “reminder”, I feel like this is my “coming back to life” with respect to posting a weekly update. Apologies as I have have been somewhat lapse in creating the weekly messages. Truth be told, work has been a little busy AND I’ve tried to also enjoy the last few days of Summer!

Mike Lenhart

But here we are …. the start of a new study series, “Beautiful Resistance” by Jon Tyson. Last week, I introduced the book. This week, I’ll continue with Chapter 1, “A Church Coming Back to Life”. If you’ve ordered the book, you’ll notice the study guide in the back section. This week, I’m going to key in on a few questions to drive our discussion.

“Pro Tip”…. browse the questions under the section called “During the Session”, then think about those questions as you read the chapter.

This is a great chapter; a baseline for the book, of sorts. If, like me, you’ve ever had moments in your life where church hasn’t mattered, or hasn’t motivated you, or simply was on the back burner, then this chapter will (hopefully) be a good nudge. On page 9, our author writes:

I have written this book to try to stir your faith that God can again use his people to bear witness to his rule and reign.

We all need a little stirring these days so grab your pen and highlighter, find a quiet place to read, and dig into Chapter 1.

Couple admin reminders:

-Sign up for a Friday or two to lead during this study series. SignUp Genius link is located in the right navigator panel on the group’s main website.

-Same Zoom invite as before. We’re continuing in a hybrid model, allowing for both in-person and virtual gatherings. Treehouse remains open on Friday mornings unless we announce otherwise!

See you this Friday beginning at 7:30 am ET. I’ll kick off our lesson at 7:45 am.