THE PASSION TRAILER
Mel Gibson has produced a new movie about the life of Christ. Check out the preview here!
Wednesday, July 30
THE PASSION TRAILER
Tuesday, July 29
WEDNESDAY ITINERARY, CARTOON & CHICKEN TERIYAKI
Well, I'm here in Atlanta. Bad traffic capital of the world... Atlanta is a big city. I'm from Chicago and I know big cities and this is definitely one of them. It's not as big as NYC or LA or even Chicago for that matter, but it is big and it "feels" big.
Tomorrow is a crazy day. 9:15am meeting at Northpoint Community Church (Andy Stanley - Lead Pastor), 11:00am meeting at Injoy (a.k.a. John Maxwell's company) and a 12:30pm lunch w/ a recent acquaintance who just joined the staff at Crossroads Community Church in Lawrenceville, GA. Busy day - but filled with great connections and a great opporunity to be around top notch leaders in the Christian community.
On a whole other note... I guess this cartoon is upsetting some people. According to the cartoon's creator, Michael Ramirez, the cartoon was meant to illustrate the "the political assassination of our president". Apparently the Secret Service got involved after this cartoon was published in the LA Times and they weren't too happy about it. Check out this article to find out what happened.
By the way - today I had lunch at a place called "Maui Teriyaki" in Gainsville, Fl - right next to University of Florida. Had the chicken teriyaki bowl. Grilled chicken with rice and vegetables with yep, you guessed it - teriyaki sauce. Pretty good and I even did pretty good eating it while I was driving. Watch out I-75 drivers! Scott Hodge on the road eating and driving!! DUIOT = Driving Under the Influence of Teriyaki. For some reason, DUIOT looks a lot like the word IDIOT.
Monday, July 28
JESUS TATTOOS, CHEWING TOBACCO & PLAYBOY
Arrived in hot & steamy Orlando tonight. Just weeks ago I was here on vacation and it's amazing how quickly you forget how humid it is down here.
Plane ride: Sardines. That's the best way to put it. We were packed on the ATA flight like a can of crowded sardines.
Picture this: Here I am flipping through my Fast Company and highlighting leadership articles that I printed from my email and all of the sudden I look over and see my (immediate) neighbor excitedly flipping through Playboy magazine (no link here...). I'm sure he only reads it for the articles, but none the less, I made it a point to stay FOCUSED on my reading material. (It's a good thing my neck was hurting tonight - I couldn't really move it that well anyway...)
About 10 minutes later, out came the chewing tobacco (not saying this like, "shame on him..." - but read on...). He asked the flight attendant for a cup and unfortunately it was a clear, plastic one. And there was reason #2 not to look to my left.
The ironic part about this was that as I was getting off of the flight I noticed a large "Jesus Tattoo" on his right arm. I wish I would have seen that earlier - it might have made a good conversation starter. But I didn't know how to begin a conversation based on Playboy or chewing tobacco... "Hey man, she's hot... kind of like hell..." No, I don't think that would have worked.
(Don't get me wrong - this is not being said in a 'judgemental' way. People are just amazing creatures - and REALLY, REALLY funny!)
The other fun fact: I was sitting in the back near the bathrooms and sure enough, someone used it - in a big way. On top of that, a man a couple rows in front of me opened up his Chinese left overs from hours earlier. That didn't help the odor situation.
That was one flight I was GLAD to be off of.
So, tomorrow it's off to Atlanta. Great city... More updates then. Goodnight.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Spent the morning at home today before taking off for a week. Getting ready to go jump in the pool w/ Elise before heading to Orlando. I'll also be visiting Atlanta and Cincinatti in the next few days as well. Check back often for up to the minute travel logs. Ok, well maybe not "up to the minute" but daily, at least...
Bob Hope died last night. It's funny, but for some reason I thought he was already dead. WOOPS.
Saturday, July 26
A few days ago I was having some work done at my local garage. A woman came in and asked for a seven-hundred-ten. We all looked at each other and another customer asked, "What is a seven-hundred-ten?"
She replied, "You know, the little piece in the middle of the engine, I have lost it and need a new one." She replied that she did not know exactly what it was, but this piece had always been there. The mechanic gave her a piece of paper and a pen and asked her to draw what the piece looked like. She drew a circle and in the middle of it wrote 710.
He then took her over to another car which had its hood up and asked "is there a 710 on this car?" She pointed and said, "Of course, its right there."
Click here to see a picture of what she pointed to...
DON'T FORGET TO FEED THE DOG!
Friday, July 25
SKOKIE; STARBUCKS; CHEESECAKE FACTORY & BOOK THOUGHT
I'm sitting in Starbucks in Skokie, IL and this "older" woman with big hair is walking around with a Frappuccino in her hand asking, "Is this cold? I don't drink coffee cold." I'm just curious why she would think that something called a "FRAPPUCCINO" would be a "typical" coffee drink in the first place.
I'm on a day and a half break in Skokie w/ family. Skokie is actually a pretty nice place. The Old Orchard mall is nice. Amanda is happy - she found a pair of $80 jeans for $14. My Visa card is happy about that too.
Had dinner last night at Cheescake Factory. All I can about that place is: HUGE MENU!!!!! I've been there a million times now and every time I go I get overwhelmed as I sit and stare at the menu. That menu sends me into sensory overload and my A.D.D. kicks in full gear. Then it's all over.
On a "reading" note... I started re-reading a great book last night entitled, Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Annie McKee, Richard E. Boyatzis. It's a Harvard Business School Press book. Talks about how emotions are at the heart of effective leadership. Lots of practical advice backed up by strong research.
I read this about a year and a half ago and it's amazing how when you are at a different place in life/leadership how you can pull out a totally different aspect from a book.
Thursday, July 24
BRITISH SCIENTIST KILLED BY ANTARCTIC SEAL
Ok - check out THIS story. A couple of questions:
1. Why was this woman snorkeling in the Antarctic? I mean, if a seal hadn't gotten her, hypothermia would have.
2. Why did all the by-standers just stand by and watch? I guess they earned the title "bystanders" with this one.
3. What was up with this seal? I mean, look at this little guy and tell me why he would do something like that.
The article states, "Leopard seals are incredibly inquisitive, but are not normally aggressive. If a diver can see a leopard seal, then they will not go in the water because there is a small risk. But to our knowledge, this has never happened before."
The seal was quoted as saying, "Hey, don't blame me. I'm just a sucker for a woman in a tight rubber suit. I can't help it, so step off and talk to the flipper!"
A Seal, on an iceberg in sunny Antarctica
There's a reason they call this a "wild" animal...
Tuesday, July 22
SADDAM'S SONS CONFIRMED DEAD!
Click here for full story at Foxnews.com
Yes, it's true. Odai should now be pronounced O-DIED and Qusai should be pronounced GOOSE-EGG. Sorry, that was lame.
Anyway - good news for the poor people of Iraq. Now we just have to take care of the old man...
FLICK REVIEW & LATE EVENING THOUGHTS
Saw The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen tonight. On a scale of 1-10, I give it about a 6. It was a fun movie, but certainly not "extraordinary". The movie is basically about a group of "heros" who come together to wield thier powers to save the world.
You've got a group consisting of Dr. Jekyll (this guy is UGLY!), a vampire, an immortal, a hunter (Sean Connery), a spy, Captain Nemo (not the fish...), and an invisible man who come together to kick some evil butt. A few good effects, but not as good as XMEN 2.
5:30am wake up call so I'm off to bed. Here's my quote of the day:
"If you really want something in this life, you have to work for it - Now quiet, they're about to announce the lottery numbers!"
Homer Simpson, Modern Day Philosopher
Monday, July 21
Top 11 Signs your ISP has given you up to the RIAA as a dangerous KaZaA user:
11. All the files in your favorite MP3 play list are now "Lars Ulrich sings 'Feelings'"
10. Your KaZaA rating changes to "Defendant"
9. Eminem insults your mother in his next single
8. Recording Industry Association of America president Hillary Rosen sends you e-mail messages with embedded .wav files of heavy breathing
7. All the spam in your inbox is from Motion Picture Association CEO Jack Valenti
6. You get a bill retroactively charging you 99 cents per downloaded track. Total bill: $29,700
5. A Tommy Mottola screen saver suddenly pops up on your computer
4. Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer picket your home with signs that read, "Piracy don't pay my bills"
3. You receive a request from someone using outdated hacker wannabe slang claiming a friend said you could "hook me up" with the latest Snoop Dogg album
2. You suddenly have numerous songs from someone named Avril Lavigne
1. CD-shaped crop circles appear in your backyard
Sun Night/Mon AM update; Bill Bright in Heaven!!
1:45am here in Chi-town. Storms tonight...again. Pretty good day today. Services were good - Ted Egly spoke on "community". We had a Ministry Leaders meeting (about 30 "core" leaders) today.
We watched a Bill Hybels DVD entitled, "360 degree leadership". Fantastic stuff. The "jist" is that as leaders, we often focus way too much attention on leading DOWN (those under us) and not nearly enough time leading UP or HORIZONTALLY - or more importantly, leading OURSELVES. Good points.
Heard today that Bill Bright passed away on Saturday. He was 81 years old and perhaps one of the most influentual leaders in the Evangelical church world. He was the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ and was the man behind the Jesus film.
According to the "Jesus film" website, over 5 billion - YES, you read right - BILLION people have viewed this Jesus film which has resulted in over 188 MILLION decisions for Christ. Amazing.
Check out the memorial site when you get a chance...
I can only imagine the party Heaven had when this guy walked in. I'm sure that the party is still going on...
Thanks Mr. Bright for your inspiration to all of us.
Friday, July 18
SIX WAYS I QUIT CHURCH
Check out this article - some good thoughts. Click Here.
Thursday, July 17
POP UP WINDOWS & TELEMARKETERS
I'm serious about this... There are 2 things that I absolutely, dogmatically cannot stand: Pop-up ads & telemarketers. I'm convinced that if computers and telephones were around back in the days of Pharoah & Moses that God would have most certainly used pop-up ads and telemarketers as a way to curse Pharoah for not letting the Israelites go free.
It's actually ironic to me that I can't stand telemarketers because that is actually how I "made a living" (and a pretty good one at that!) for a few years after graduating high school and while in college. I can even remember thinking to myself, "Why do people hate telemarketing so much?" But now that I am on the receiving end of it all, it makes plenty of sense to me. I guess the "hundred fold return" really does work. ;-)
Pop-up windows (a.k.a. the curse of satan) should be outlawed. Now that I think about it, there is one thing that really drives me nuts too... Whenever I visit weather.com to check my daily weather, a part of the ad on the front page jumps out at me and begins taking over my entire computer screen. I call this terrorism. While we are at it, in our "War on Terrorism", let's take care of these moronic marketing tactics too.
NOTICE TO MARKETING PEOPLE: A quick way to get me NOT to buy your product is by bombarding me with your pop-up ads.
I don't need larger body parts, I don't need generic Viagra, I don't need tickets to Guam and I certainly don't need a free Pasta Pot Set.
Wednesday, July 16
A reply from my latest "blog" - see below (entry made 7/16 @ 5:10pm)
Good blog. I think you are right- consistency is the key; looking at the BIG picture keeps us in check. Just look at people who, with the exception of genetics, have constant physical fitness issue. These people own gym memberships and $3000 worth of Suzanne Sommers exercise equipment- but only use them sporadically. Inconsistency happens because people feel lazy as a result of not keeping their eyes on the prize of healthy, physically fit lifestyles. I think the same is true in all areas of life. When we forget our mission, we lose the drive to do the daily mental or physical tasks required to help us fulfill our incremental goals.
I am convinced that if there is anything that will hinder us from being long term, effective leaders it is the tendency that we often have to not keep a proper handle on our emotions.
There is no way around the fact that the role of leadership in our lives will bring with it "ups" and "downs". There will be days when we, as leaders, will feel excited, motivated, and optimistic.
Then, there will be those days when we feel completely out of our "element" and even question whether or not we are truly "called" to be a leader. There will be times that we look around us and say to ourselves, "I am the worst leader in this world - I am making no impact on the environment around me whatsoever!"
So with all that said, I truly believe that one of the things that will help us keep our emotions in "check" is to keep our eyes focused on the BIG PICTURE.
The tendency that most of us have is to hang out in a ditch. We either become negatively jolted by every bit of bad news or we have the tendency to jump over on the other side of the ditch and sometimes "over" celebrate accomplishments and get into this "everything's cool - let's just stop pushing now" mentality.
I think there has to be a balance in between the two. When I read and study successful business people, the one thing that I see over and over again is that those CEO's keep their eyes on the big picture - not on the wavering stock market or bad news that might come in on occassion. They don't ignore those things, but they also don't allow those "temporary" DISTRACTIONS (and let me tell you - that is exactly what they are - distractions...) to knock them off their path.
Speaking from the aspect of an organization that is in transition, I can say that one of the things that will continue to push us through to "success" is staying "die-hard" focused on what God wants us to do - no matter how bad it looks, no matter what people say, no matter what the 'market' says - but staying consistently focused on what we believe we are here to accomplish.
That means that, as a leader, not everyone will like you and me and there may be times that Newsweek will give us a downward pointed arrow. But then again, Newsweek can kiss my....
Can I get a big "amen"? Tell me your thoughts - I'll post them... firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, July 15
Ok - today's topic: Ice Cream. As I write this, I have just finished up an Edy's Creamy Coconut WholeFruit Bar. It has taken me on a journey to Hawaii where the sun is shining, the ocean waves are high in the air and ok, nevermind... I'm sitting in the dark chewing on the wooden stick that is left after the bar and wondering why it tastes so bad. Truth be told.
Speaking of ice cream... Have you ever been to Cold Stone Creamery? I'm talking HEART ATTACK CITY. When I drive by that place my arteries scream at the top of their lungs. So does my mouth.
If you don't know how this works, you walk in, decide which flavor of ice cream you want and then you pick from like 2.8 million types of add-in's - everything from pipin' hot fresh brownies, sponge cake, caramel to fresh fruit. And I'm figuring that if I add in fresh fruit then it MUST be healthy, right?
Then, they take the ice cream and mix in all this stuff on a "cold stone" - given the name... They mix it all up and you eat it and die. It's unbelievable. This stuff will definitely make you slap your grandma. Watch out granny!
Ok, enought about that. I'm going to go to bed and dream about swimming in a giant ice cream cone filled with Germanchökolätekäke ice cream. Yum!
Monday, July 14
Started a new book today - Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. Check it out here. Fast Company hails Allen as "The personal productivity guru." So, he might have something useful to say.
He says 3 good things about managing commitments:
1. If it's on your mind, your mind isn't clear. (i.e. Anything you consider unfinished in any way must be captured in a trusted system OUTSIDE your mind (a collection bucket) that you know you'll come back to regularly and sort through.
2. You must clarify exactly what your commitment is and decide what you have to do, if anything, to make progress toward fulfilling it.
3. Once you've decided on all the actions you need to take, you must keep reminders of them organized in a system you review regularly.
Another good quote:
"We've never really taught that we have to think about our work before we can do it; much of our daily activity is already defined for us by the undone and unmoved things staring at us when we come to work, or by the family to be fed, the laundry to be done, or the children to be dressed at home."
Good stuff - I'll post more as I read.
Saturday, July 12
The power of writing is amazing. There is a book that contains the personal diaries of Victor Klemperer - who was a German Patriot who served during the first World War. He married a gentile and converted to Protestantism. His diaries were kept in secret during the 12 years he suffered under the Nazi regime, from 1942 to 1945.
The book begins with a quote by Victor, "I shall go on writing. That is my heroism. I will bear witness, precise witness!" May 27, 1942.
I think that writing must have some sort of sanity "magic" to it. If you stop and think about all of the writings that have evolved out of someone's personal struggles and/or times of persecution, it is rather amazing to see how it was their act of writing (in many cases) which kept them from going crazy. Think of John - from the Bible - who wrote the last book of the Bible, Revelation, from the Isle of Patmos - completely removed from society, his friends, etc...
I've not done a study on this, but I would imagine that if you or I were stranded on an island all alone, one of the things that would help us keep our sanity would be finding a way to write and record daily happenings. It's interesting, I did a google search tonight and typed in the words, "therapeutic writing" and interestingly enough found an article written about a year ago in The Observer - a UK publication on this topic. You can check it out here. Interesting article...
So anyway - don't worry, I'm not depressed or sad or going crazy, but I think we could all value from the therapeutic power of writing. Even if no one else sees it, it's a good thing.
Busy, busy Saturday! Study day for me (teaching tomorrow) - but with a nice break! Getting ready to shoot over to Naperville for lunch - BD's Mongolian Barbecue click here.
Friday, July 11
It's this type of stuff that worries me. "SECRET SERVICE BUSTS STOWAWAY ON BUSH PRESS PLANE "
Check it out: Click Here
Thursday, July 10
Get this... Jerry Springer running for Senator in Ohio. (Read story here) The problem with all of this is that he may just very well have a good support base. From the article: "Springer says if people concentrate on his message, rather than his controversial show, he believes he will win." Yeah, ok no problem. We'll just forget about the "I Married a Transsexual" or "I'm Here to Dump You" or the "My Sister Stole My Husband" and the exciting "I'm 12 and I Take Care of My 680 Lb. Mom" episodes.
Campaign slogan: "Former talk show hosts who wish they were senators and if they DO by chance win, Scott Hodge will move to Canada."
Ok - definitely time to go to bed... 1:49am here in the Windy/Rainy/Hot/Sunny/Schizophrinic city of Chicago. What a day it was. It's hard to believe that we are already approaching the middle of July. It's amazing how different summer feels when you're all grown up.
By the way - anyone want to take a quick trip with me to FL? It looks like we are buying a car down there so I need to go pick it up. I'm thinking of making a couple of stops on my drive back - Atlanta and Cincincatti. I've always wanted to visit the studios of WKRP. No - seriously....
Also, if anyone is interested in purchasing a 2002 Ford Focus I might know of someone who is selling one.
Ok, for real. Goodnight.
Wednesday, July 9
Good thought -
3 C's of Hiring:
Chemistry - Probably one of the most important ones... A person can have great character and tremendous competence, but if there isn't good chemistry you and your team will end up in trouble.
Ok, I'll admit it. I'm addicted to caffeine. I guess that is what happens after daily visits to Starbucks. I'm pretty sure it's an "age" thing. I began drinking coffee in college, but would only drink the "fru-fru" drinks from Caribou Coffee or Starbucks - Mint Mocha's, Caramel Machiatto's, etc... Since then I've graduated to just the "regular" coffee - which I must say seemingly contains more caffeine than the "fru-fru" variety. The problem now is that my teeth are not wanting to stay white (coffee stains) and I get headaches when I don't have my coffee. I guess I could sip coffee through a straw to avoid the teeth coloring alterations, but then I'm afraid that my throat would become scorched and I'm sure I would deeply regret that. And in regards to the headaches... The only solution to that is to quit drinking coffee altogether. But the problem with that solution is that I would probably be found curled up under my desk fast asleep (can you say George Costanza??).
Anyway - There is absolutely no benefit to you in reading my post and for that I'm sorry. But I just needed to think aloud for a few minutes.
PS - Check this quote out. LOL...
This is the reason why mothers are more devoted to their children than fathers: it is that they suffer more in giving them birth and are more certain that they are their own. Aristotle
Tuesday, July 8
"Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they've started."
David Allen, Productivity Guru
I've had a few people recently ask me what books I've been reading this summer so I thought I would list a couple of them... I have tried to remain "balanced" in my reading - meaning that I try to read different type of books (history, political, Bible-based, leadership/business, travel, etc...).
While on vacation to Florida, I read a fantastic book entitled, More Ready Than You Realize by Brian McLaren. Check it out by clicking here.
This is a "breath of fresh air" book on the subject of evangelism. It really speaks to us about how to effectively develop "spiritual friendships" with the unchurched. It gives great insight on how to present God's love in a very authentic and relevant way to our postmodern culture. Our staff has been reading this book and we all got so excited about it that we are teaching a class by the same name at our Tuesday night Real Life Classes. Great, great stuff!
A couple of other books I've been reading:
The Change Monster: The Human Forces that Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change by Jeanie Daniel Duck. Check it out here.
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. Go here to check it out.