Saturday, September 22, 2018

Nine Rounds for your soul

I love my wife but this morning was a sort of test.

She asked if I wanted to do something with her. Of course, I answered affirmatively but should have asked about the fine print. When you love someone you can say yes without knowing the details, right?  Of course!  I did have a bit of sticker shock though. Before I knew it we were off to visit the good folks at 9 Round in Mockingbird Station. It was a boxing-themed workout based on nine stations. One does each station for 3.5 minutes and rotates. Total workout time just over 30 minutes. 

I actually enjoyed the workout and the concept was cool, I also enjoyed getting to know the group trainer named Hammer. He was knowledgeable and nice and super motivating and encouraging. Before you stop reading and think this is about a physical workout, it is not. It is about a SOUL workout and to a lesser degree a Saturday morning rendezvous with my girl. 

 I was immediately in love with the simplicity of the stations, the ease that we moved through them, the unified them, clear directions and instruction and because we have a Replenish trip coming up next week I have post Replenish initiatives on my mind. 

This post is part sharing an idea, part brain dump and mostly a plea for creative thinking. How can this concept be adapted to a 30 workout to keep one's SOUL healthy?

I could totally see a virtual environment set up to run people through a series of 3.5-minute exercises focused on the six domains of soul (Emotional, Relational, Physical, Financial, Intellectual and Spiritual) and sponsored by a super healthy encourager named Hammer or Beast or Sargent Tough. 




I actually was happy to go and happier we did it.  We had a blast, worked out laughed walked around afterward and grabbed coffee.  I just had to impose some drama at the beginning so you would read.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Pastors Leaving Ministry

Pastors Leaving Ministry

Image result for pastoral burnout statistics infographic


Some stats say up to 1,500 Pastors a month walk away from ministry for good.  Wow.  Some challenge that number.  There are more gloomy stats out there (above infographic) but the reason I am posting this is because I love Pastors.  We have a team that loves Pastors.  We are raising money and spending time and resources to help Pastors.

When we help a Pastor, we help thousands and probably hundreds of thousands of people.  Pastors are leaders and influencers.  They need our prayers, help, resources and assistance to keep doing the work God has called them to.  We need healthy Pastors in ministry and long term.

That is why we created Replenish.

Check us out at www.re-plenish.org

If you are a Pastor or know one who is need of rest and replenish or know one who is, please let me know.  If you have resources that would help (retreat center, vacation home, or would like to sponsor a trip or a pastor) I would love to chat with you about that as well.



Some additional reading

* https://thomrainer.com/2013/09/seven-reasons-pastors-burn-out/
* https://www.barna.com/burnout-breakdown-barnas-risk-metric-pastors/
* http://www.pastorburnout.com/pastor-burnout-statistics.html
* https://www.lifeway.com/pastors/2016/09/28/pastors-are-not-quitting-in-droves/
* https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/nyregion/02burnout.html

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

16 Million Dollars for What??

Image result for most expensive violin     

     What would you do if you had $16 million dollars?  Buy a new car, a house, take the trip of a lifetime, pay off all your debt and all the debt of all your family and friends?  How about purchase a violin?  Believe it or not, the highest price paid for an original Stradivarius violin was $16 million by an unknown buyer in a sealed Sotheby’s auction. 

That is a lot of cash for a violin; what in the world makes it so valuable?  There are two big reasons; one because they are very rare and secondly because they are the undisputed best sounding violins in the world.  They can create almost perfect sounds that no other violins can create.  The reason why is fascinating.

Antonio Stradivari began making violins (and other stringed instruments) in the last 17th century in Cremona Italy.  He made approximately 960 of them and his sons continued his tradition.  It is estimated that 450 – 512 are still in existence today.  They are one of the most expensive and sought-after instruments in the world.  Hundreds of thousands of copies have been created throughout the centuries and musicians and scientists alike have sought to mimic its acoustic tones and perfection, but none have succeeded.  Most experts agree that the wood makes these instruments special.  How or why the wood was special is another story.

The wood was most likely grown in a unique environment; some claim a mini ice age, others say a special microclimate that subjected the trees to stresses: wind, altitude and cold could have caused slow growth and intense density.  Still, others say Stradivari buried the wood in Venetian canals to give it the special extra compact composure.  Yet others claim he treated the wood with special chemicals like borax, sodium and potassium. In actuality, no one knows why the wood is so incredibly dense, but we do know that it is unique, stands the test of time, is extremely valuable and cannot be fast-tracked or recreated. 

This wood is like us.

Our lives, our character, our authority is something that needs to but cultivated over time through unique and usually adverse conditions.  It’s the tough times that produce the amazing product.  The Apostle Peters calls these less than comfortable conditions trials; he further goes on to convince us how powerful and beneficial they are.  They make our faith like another valuable item - gold.
Our faith is valuable, worth eminently more than $16 million dollars, it is priceless, it cannot be purchased at all. 


God wants you to be the best, be made of the best, play the best sound the best, have infinite value…… but are you ready for the adverse conditions?  

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Replenish Update April 2018

"You can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed." --Robert Schuller



AMAZING

The above quote reminds me what we do and how important Replenish is. Help a person and that is nice, help a leader like a Pastor and you are helping thousands.

This year we will share the Replenish message with thousands, take almost 200 on trips, raise $85,000 and make the world a better place.  

DUCK HUNT, BOARD GATHERING, MARCH REPLENISH, APRIL REPLENISH

We began the year with a duck hunt in Jonesville LA.  God moved huge ways.  We saw new doors open up and favor with other fellow hunters and a local lodge that let us hold services there.  

Our board met at an amazing B & B in Ennis, TX. called The Culpepper House.  Thanks to Josue and Lorena Martinez for hosting.  If you are looking for a great B & B or meeting place, it is awesome.

Our March trip was adventurous.  We had Pastors from three states join us on a journey took us to three cities; LA, Bakersfield and Las Vegas.  This is not our normal journey, but one thing about Replenish trips - they are not boring.  We had great van conversation and became intense brothers as God moved, connected us deeply and bonded us together.  

April in Edwards was brisk, building and beneficial.  We hosted Pastors from Southern Illionios.  This trip was intense!  God moved so powerfully and personally.  

WHATS NEXT

We have 9 more trips this year.  Our website has more info on trips as well as how to get your Pastor or your self on a trip.  We have several domestic trips and an international destination in 2018.  

We are seriously praying and thinking about a couples Replenish - please pray for us as well.

We have spaces open for our August and October trips.  If you are interested in coming or getting your pastor on one of them, please contact us ASAP, we will fill up.

SCHEDULE

August 28 - 31
September 25 - 28
October 16 - 19

More Dates at www.Re-plenis.org


 






Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tale of Two Batteries


I just got a new phone.  I really didn't want to upgrade because the price for smartphones is getting insane; still, on some levels, it is a necessary evil.  I had learned to live with my old phone.  It was slow, the battery only lasted a couple of hours, the camera didn't work and the screen was cracked and actually getting more cracked as time passed.  I was able to look beyond the discomfort to my ear and the shard of glass in my finger from continuing to use the screen, despite the continued dilapidation.  Ya, I missed a few pics here and there because the regular camera didn't work, but I became a pro at using the front facing cam for more than selfies.  The speed became a problem but the battery was a real pain though.  I was charging it multiple times a day.  I got used to it and even justified it but finally, after a family intervention, I acquiesced and upgraded.

I didn't know how behind the times I was.  I looked it up, my previous phone was 4 years old.  This is beyond antiquated, especially considering technology doubles about every 12 months.  It was a slow side to where I was and I didn't realize it.  Things weren't working, they weren't normal and I didn't realize it because it had happened so gradually.  

This can happen with other things in life too.

I'm reminded of what a Pastor said last year on a Replenish Trip, "I didn't realize how tired I was and how much I was doing it on my own, without God."  Ya, his battery needed an overhaul too.

How long has it been since your last full battery charge?  Are you running slower, is your memory full or are those closest to you getting cut by your abrasiveness?  Time for re-evaluation, time for re-freshening, time for re-plenish.  

www.re-plenish.org


Friday, December 08, 2017

Replenish 2017 Update

Inline image 9




2017 in review

2013 Pismo Beach
After 5 years of minimal effort we embraced God’s challenge to do more. We put together a team and forecast 5 times the trips we did in 2016. We spread the news of Replenish in churches, conferences, board rooms and online.  Developed a cohort concept took over 40 Pastors on 4 trips, created 4 Cohorts that meet monthly and developed a Replenish strategy that works for denominations.  


Rawd giving a Replenish talk at a conference in CA
2018 is coming

Our team is ready to really make things happen.  We will do 10 domestic trips, 2 internation trip, plan for 10 Cohorts, engage in major networking, finish our denominational strategy pilot  program and roll it out for test groups in Chicago and just outside of Winston-Salem.  We are also working on a Replenish In-service for larger churches and organizations. Needless to say, 2018 will be very busy for Replenish.  






Some voices from our 2017 trips

 “I didn’t realize I had been doing it in my own strength, I need to pray and trust God to build His church.”

 “In 25 years of ministry, no one has ever done something so nice for me.”

 “When we arrived at the ranch I looked at the stars and the mountains and wanted to stay there forever.  I needed a break, a God thing a didn’t even realize how weary I was.”

 “I didn’t realize there was such hatred hiding in my heart.”


The faces of Replenish

How do you do all this free?  Maybe a better question is WHY do you do all this free?
Inline image 8  
Our first international trip for Haitian and D.R. Leaders

Replenish trips are free for all Pastors and missionaries.  

Pastors are burning out at alarming rates, up to 1,500 Pastors each month walk away from ministry for good!  We have seen the disastorus effecrts of Pastors leaving ministry and people are hurt, churches fail and thousands of lives are put at risk.  When a Pastor is healthy and leading from their strength, the exact opposte is true.  The question we are faced with is not how or why but WHY NOT?  How much is a healthy Pastor worth?  How many thousands of lives are impacted by a healthy church?  

We need your help

1,  If you know a Pastor or church in need of Replenish, please let us know.  
2.  We need prayer to help meet the right people and have access to resources.
3.  A one time donation of $500 or $50 a month will sponsor one Pastor on a trip,  $5,000 will sponsor one domestic trip.
4. We love year-end gifts and need to finish this year strong and start off next year well.  Any size gift helps.



More in 2018


Inline image 1


Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Soul Care

What is the value of a healthy soul?



We spend billions annual on health-care.  Americans are addicted to supplements, enhancements, fads, clothes, gyms, and lots of externals but we don't often talk about our souls.

The old Methodist preachers used to greet each other by saying, "How is it with your soul?"  

I like that.  I want someone to ask me how my soul is doing.  It will probably freak me out though.  It would kinda be like greeting someone by saying, "How are you?" and they actually answer.  "Hey, not good, actually, not real bad either.  Well, I'm hungry, had to skip breakfast because I'm using a cream that makes me sensitive to dairy. I got a new shirt too.  Thanks for asking.  How are you?"

I would still be OK with it though.  

Probably, before we could tell what is a healthy soul we would need to find out what a soul actually is.  Good luck with that.  The answers are probably as varied as the person answering.  So we probably won't nail that down anytime soon.  So let's just look at what some current thinkers on issues of soul are telling us.

There are six soul domains and they all impact us.  I just wanted to surface these for now but we can deal with them later.  I wonder if we should add or subtract from them?

o Spiritual
o Emotional
o Relational
o Physical
o Intellectual
o Financial



Here are some great resources on soul care:
  www.re-plenish.org
  www.soulcare.com/about/
  wesleyan.org/thrivingclergy
  wesleyan.org/6516/five-necessities-of-soul-care