thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Thursday, September 30

Got Stress?

PRWeb offers ten tips to ward off stress at the office:

  • Organize
  • Plan
  • Prioritize
  • Take Mood Breaks
  • Decide
  • Delegate
  • Clear Your Desk
  • Get it Together
  • Divide and Conquer
  • Eliminate Interruptions
  • Take a Power Nap (Added by Scott Hodge...)

Read the entire article here. (via)


Wednesday, September 29

Why leadership is important to me...

I shared this at our staff team meeting today. Thought I would share it with all of you...

Why Leadership Is Important To Me

1. Because I feel "called" to be a leader.

There is nothing I can do to get away from this call. No matter how often I day dream about working just a normal 9-5 job, or doing something with less pressure, I cannot escape the call that I have to identify and raise up leaders.

It’s this call that keeps me up at night. It’s the call of leadership that takes away sleep and keeps me from becoming a couch potato. It makes me tired, it drains me – yet it energizes me more than anything in this world.

2. Because I can’t do it alone.

I’m not that good. Besides, who really has ever done anything of lasting value alone?

3. Because there is nothing more satisfying than seeing someone else positively impact another person's life.

Nothing brings greater fulfillment than impacting someone else's life in a positive way. When someone does that – it energizes me because I know a) how they feel doing it and b) how the person who was impacted feels.

4. Because with enough great leaders, the Church (everywhere) can transform our emerging culture.

Either we believe that or we don’t. Let’s admit it if we don’t and let’s proclaim it if we do. Better yet – let’s not just proclaim it, let’s dedicate ourselves to it.

5. Because it has changed my life.

God has used leaders to impact my life. Teachers, friends, family, bosses, pastors – who all found a way to exercise influence over me – which in turn makes them leaders.

6. Because I’ve seen “bad” leadership and there isn’t anything worse than that.

As many “great” leaders as I’ve seen – I’ve probably seen double the amount of “bad” leaders and there is nothing worse than working for the “bad” leaders. They disrespect, abuse and kill the creative talent that God has placed in our hearts.

7. Because people need to be led.

Let me rephrase that – people “want” to be led. They need it and want it. And there is no shortage of followers.

8. Because...I have no idea.

This might be the “calling” thing. But I just can’t figure out why I believe in and desire to make leadership my top priority in my life – in my family, in my job, in my relationships with my friends.

What are you passionate about? Why?


Monday, September 27


Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and contributor to the New Yorker has written an interesting article on...............ketchup.

Link (Thanks Jordon)


A Generous Orthodoxy

I've been reading Brian McLaren's new book, A Generous Orthodoxy and I initially considered using this post to write an open letter to Brian to thank him for really messing with my mind and my theology. But instead, I thought I would share a few of McLaren's thoughts that have really challenged my thinking in regards to the church (universal).

In speaking of embracing a more generous orthodoxy, he writes:

"...what we need is not new sectarian terminology or new jargon or a new elitist clique, but rather a humble rediscovery of the simple, mysterious way of Jesus that can be embraced across the whole Christian horizon (and beyond).

What we need is something lived, not just talked about or written about. The last thing we need is a new group of proud, super protestant, hyper puritan, ultra restorationist reformers who say, "Only we've got it right!" and thereby damn everybody else to the bin of five minutes ago and the bucket of below-average mediocrity."
(More to come...)


Saturday, September 25

World on Fire

Watched an interesting video clip tonight which reminded me of just how far a buck can go.

Worth a watch...

Link (via)


Digital Photos From A Kite

Have you ever wondered what life looks like from a kite's perspective?

Phillip Torrone tells us how to find out in a post over at engadget.

Link (via)


Friday, September 24

Waiting For The "Big Break"

Seth Godin had a great post the other day about getting noticed. People tend to think that their golden key to success is "knowing" a certain someone or that the secret to getting a product out there is all about who you know.

Seth suggests that our focus simply be kept on the following:

"...make great stuff, do your homework, build your audience and when you've got something worth talking about, people will talk about it."
What about your organization or idea? Are you all about making the "big break" or getting in with the "right" people? Take a step back and ask yourself, "Do I have something worth talking about in the first place?" If it's not worth talking about it doesn't matter who you know.



Wednesday, September 22

Biting My Lip...

Why is this man still on TV?



Julia Mei

Here's a better pic of Julia. Hair is definitely dark...

Middle name - MEI. Since Amanda is 1/4 Chinese, we decided to go with a name that would represent part of her heritage (and for some reason "Gyros" just didn't seem to go well, representing my Greek heritage.)

"Mei" is Chinese and means "plum" or "beautiful". Since she doesn't look much like a plum, we decided to go with the "beautiful" meaning. (Click here to see the Chinese characters of the name "Mei".)

Amanda is doing and looking GREAT! Here's a pic of us before leaving the hospital.


Tuesday, September 21

Monday? Tuesday? Who Am I?

It's almost 1AM CST and I'm finding myself having to look at my calendar to figure out which day it is. I've slept about 8 hours since Saturday night. Thank God for caffeine and grace.

Everyone is doing really, really well. We moved on Friday and Saturday and had a baby on Sunday. Not bad 'eh? I feel like I've invaded someone else's life and I'm trying to figure out who I am. But - it's all good.

I will be posting some more pics on Tuesday (hopefully...), so stay tuned.

BTW - Amanda is doing great! She is a freakin' trooper QUEEN. Julia is adorable. She is a tiny little peanut who cries like a little goat. So, so cute...

That's it for now - I'm off to bed. Shooting for some sleep tonight.


PS - Thanks everyone for the kind comments, emails, etc... Times like these remind me of how many awesome people my life is surrounded by.


Monday, September 20

Julia Mei Hodge

It happened!

Last night, Julia Mei Hodge was born around 9:30pm. ("Official" stats will come later...).

Everyone is doing great! Very, very tired. More details soon.


Friday, September 17

To Bed I Go...

What a day... Woke up early to begin moving stuff into our new home. The final inspection went really well. I was up all night the previous night with bad sinus trouble, blah, blah, blah. Now a fever... Always something.

No baby yet. Amanda is doing really well and it's actually nice to have this time to focus on moving, etc... BTW - thanks to Chris and Jason for their help today w/ the move! It would have been hard for Amanda to do all that moving by herself. Ha, ha... (Yes, it's a joke - I promise!)

Anyway, my day is over. I'm going to get fully medicated and go to bed.


PS - What an episode of The Apprentice Thursday night!


Thursday, September 16

Seth's Message to Marketers

Seth Godin posted his latest Fast Company column on his blog today. It's all about marketers and why it is that so many people hate them. He also offers some good thoughts about how to move beyond this as a marketer and become more effective, trustworthy and loved.

A few excerpts:

Somewhere along the way, marketers stopped acting like real people. We substituted a new set of ethics, one built around “buyer beware” and the letter of the law. Marketers, in order to succeed in a competitive marketplace, decided to see what they could get away with instead of what they could deliver.

RULE ONE: Smart marketers treat their customers like respected colleagues and admired family members.

If an organization makes a promise, then keeps it, delight kicks in. If a manager or an employee or a co-worker takes an extra minute or jumps through an extra hoop to honor a commitment to you, it’s something you’ll remember for a long time—precisely because it’s such a rare occurrence.

Do more than you promised, not what the contract says. Assume your colleagues are smart, and show leadership by respecting their work as if it were your own. RULE TWO: Treat your colleagues the way a smart marketer would. With respect. And keep your promises.


Kinda Freaky...

The FBI Guide to Concealable Weapons 2003

It's amazing what people come up with...

pdf Link (via)


Wednesday, September 15

Penza Bar

I must have finally spent enough money at Starbucks. In one week's time, I received a sample package of coffee and a coupon for a free Penza "nutrition" bar in the mail. So today I redeemed my free Penza coupon and picked up a Caramel Dolce bar. It's good, but I'm having a hard time believing that this is "nutritional". It tastes too good. In fact, it tastes a lot like a Watchamacalit candybar.

6g of protein, 31g of carbohydrates, a bunch of vitamins, soy lechtin, butter, sugar, cream, salt, rice flour, blah, blah, blah...

Gotta go now. I'm going to order a "nutritional" Caramel Frappuccino...


Cara's Birthday

Quick happy birthday shouts to my sister in law, Cara!


Tuesday, September 14

Customer Service

I think Seth Godin has hit the nail on the head with his new customer service proposal.




Oprah Winfrey gave away a new car to every person in her studio audience on Monday.

Audience member's friends and family members called in and gave the names of people they knew who needed a new car.

Customizing, taxes, etc... are all covered.

So anyway, thanks to all of my "friends" who called and put my name in. I'm assuming that Oprah just couldn't get through to me.



Monday, September 13


Ryan at citying has some excellent night pics of NYC. What a city...



Life Update

Just a quick update. Amanda is aggravated at me for trying to take a bunch of pictures of her for this post, but she finally gave in... Obviously no baby yet... I'll keep you posted and will be posting some pics of the newest Hodge child as soon as I get a chance after she's born.

(We're also going to be moving, so my posts might be a little light the next couple of weeks...)

Stay tuned.


Friday, September 10

JoJo The Christian Clown

James Kennison is a funny dude. His Christian clown character, "JoJo" is HILARIOUS. If you've been around church all of your life, you'll really appreciate the humor.



A Few Links...

In case anyone is looking to ship frozen horse semen... link (via)
Detailed map of Springfield (yes, that one...). Link (via)
Cool water bottles @ REI (Feel free to buy me one...) Link (via)


Thursday, September 9

The Apprentice

I'm stoked happy. The new season of The Apprentice begins tonight!

Are you watching?


Tom Peters Manifesto

Tom Peters is the man. He rocks. And so does his manifesto over at ChangeThis.

Link (.pdf)


Restless Leg

I have restless leg syndrome tonight. I think. I sit still and my leg feels like it needs to move around. If I try to resist it I almost go crazy.

I think I need potassium. Does Ben & Jerry's ice cream contain potassium? Gotta go...


Wednesday, September 8


india.arie is a great artist. Listening to her album, Voyage to India...

Her style can be described as R&B w/ an acoustic guitar thrown in. She reminds me of a mix between Sade and Lauren Hill.


Tuesday, September 7

The Other Side of Transition

Transition isn't easy. It's been a little over 2 years since we began an intensive rejuvination effort at our church. It was hard. We lost a lot of great people, we took a major hit financially and it was a lot of hard and stressful work. But we were determined that it was the right thing to do and tried to remain resiliently focused on our mission.

Now, 2 years later, we are regularly seeing the "fruit" of our labors. We're still learning, still changing, still transitioning - but it finally feels like we are on the other side of transition.

Seldom does a week go by when we don't get an email, letter or phone call from someone telling us how their life has been positively impacted by what's happening here at The Orchard. These are the mental and spiritual caffeine shots that seem to come around right when we need them. These are those moments when we just stand back and say, "It must be God."

I got this email Sunday night from a woman who recently began attending our church:

I want to thank you for the changes that have occurred at OVCC. If you hadn't made those changes I would not be a Christ follower today. How you described OVCC before the changes totally describes the church I was a member of for 15 years. The sad part, I never got it. I desperately wanted what everyone was talking about & feeling but I just couldn't get it. I mean no disrespect to my previous church or Pastor (who I deeply respected) but for whatever reason, it wasn't coming to me.

A year later, I have found what I have been searching for. I have accepted Jesus in my life & my life has been changed. I feel part of this family at OVCC. I have learned more about Jesus in the past year than I had in the years at my previous church. I have learned more about myself & who I want to be.
Another shot in the arm. Another celebration worthy story...


A Challenge From a Church Survivor

Renee Altson has recently written a book entitled, Stumbling Toward Faith. I haven't read it yet, but plan to - especially after reading her post on Andrew Jones' blog. She is doing a blog "tour" to promote her new book.

From her post on TallSkinnyKiwi:

"i believe that much of institutionalized christianity and its christian bubble culture has created a world that will inevitably leave us less human. the church has become a place that justifies its treatment of people with (in) the name of god. the church has a short tolerance for grief, for brokenness, but it has a timetable for treating it. the church has an instant answer, a heavenly prozac: the lord jesus himself."

"far too many people have experienced the kind of church that has been in my past. a judgmental, power-filled, women-squashing institution that has no room for life or messiness or grace. us church survivors are wandering the streets, seeking a place to feel at home. we are waiting for something new to present itself to us. we are wanting to find someplace where our stories can be heard."
Link (Renee's site)


Friday, September 3

Friday Afternoon

Starbucks Double Shot & Play-Doh.

The perfect ingredients for an afternoon creativity burst.


Rectal Witnessing

I just read one of the funniest posts I think I've ever read. Even if you're not the "religious" type, you'll get a good laugh.



Thursday, September 2


Bono was interviewed tonight on The O'Reilly Factor live at the Republican National Convention.

I was impressed. Not with Bill, but with Bono.

Bono is a man of passion. He lives like a man with a calling. This is a man who has a mission and knows what it is.

With as much money as he has made over the years, he could easily be kicking back right now on some resort island sipping pina coladas and having affairs with hot women. But instead, he is travelling the world trying to save lives of people dying with AIDS in Africa.

He believes in his cause - and seemingly more so than most politicians believe in their own. Whether you agree with his cause or not, you have to admit that Bono is someone worthy of respect.

And oh yeah... his music kicks major tail.


Wednesday, September 1


Is it just me or is there a resemblance between Andy Stanley (Northpoint Community Church) and Ron Reagan (son of former President Reagan)??

(Stanley, Reagan)


Tuesday Night

Last night I met Amanda and Elise for dinner at the White Fence Farm in Lemont, IL. Good fried chicken...

Here's a few pics:

Elise and her bling bling!

Is this a goat?

Elise in the magic mirror - she was cracking up!