Trevor Noah on Biases

Saw this video today.

My favorite part:

 

“We live in a world where people are too enthusiastic at jumping at stories that confirm their biases instead of just pausing and going ‘what do I make of the story?’…Does it confirm your biases? That’s when I always think you have to be even more vigilant, when it confirms everything you believe.”

 

Some times it’s important to stop and ask yourself “do I have the courage to be wrong?”

Starting My Second Draft

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This is the first draft of my book.

Today I started writing my second draft.

It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

The first draft was easy because first drafts aren’t supposed to be good. You’ve just got to vomit up all your thoughts just to get them onto the page. You’ll edit and rewrite later so don’t even worry about the quality. Just get it out!

That was easy. That was fun.

But now I’m having to fix up all that word vomit.

I wish this was easier.

God is not your guest in worship

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Cameron Combs wrote about Eugene Peterson’s comparison of modern worship with Ball worship in the Old Testament.

You should read the whole thing but this is my favorite part:

 

“Worship is a response to the Word. Worship is not a human gathering in which a bunch of like-minded individuals get together and hope to entice God to come and be present. True worship recognizes that God is not the guest but the host. God has invited us to come and be a part of his wonderful, Triune life.”

 

God is not our guest in worship, but that’s exactly how we treat Him. We talk about inviting Him in. We ask Him to show up.

But isn’t He already with us? Aren’t we His Holy of Holies? Isn’t He the one inviting us in and worship is our response to that incredible invitation?

Showing Empathy

comic by  Paul Noth

comic by Paul Noth

 
 

“Isn’t that what empathy is? Putting myself in someone else’s shoes with the knowledge and awareness that I, too, am human and, therefore, susceptible to this tragedy or any number of tragedies along the way?”

-Everything is Horrible and Wonderful by Stephanie Wittels Wachs

 

Is that what the apostle Paul means in Galatians 6:1 when he says:

 

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself."

 

This is why it bothers me when someone is discussing a scandal in the church and they say “how come someone do something like that?” In reality, we’re all 10 steps away from making a horrible decision that ruins our lives. No one wakes up on a random Tuesday and thinks “I’m going to steal a bunch of money today” or “I’m going to cheat on my wife.” It’s a series of small steps that we might not even notice we’re taking.

Respond in love and empathy because we’re all broken and sinful and it could easily be you in that situation.

The Full Focus Planner Changed My Life

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I am not the kind of person to talk about productivity, setting goals, being organized, and planning ahead. You’re more likely to hear me speak on things I’m an actual expert in: “how to poop your pants without anyone noticing.”

My friend Matt and I often talk about how whatever got you where you are now probably isn’t going to be what gets you to where you want to go next. In the church world what got you from 500 members to 1000 isn’t going to be what gets you from 1000 to 2000. There will need to be changes in your approach, communication, leadership structure, and more. If you want to be able to handle that growth you’ll need to change things around.

I’ve been really afraid of that in my life. I wanted to move on to “the next level” in my traveling and speaking but I wasn't doing anything differently to get there. I was still doing things exactly how I did them when I first started traveling full time.

That was a problem.

I needed to be willing to try something new. So I got Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner.

I feel ridiculous talking about it but it has legitimately changed my life. On my own I’m terrible at staying motivated and following through with goals. This thing has held my hand through the last few months and helped me stay on the path I’ve wanted to walk down for a long time. It always seemed impossible to walk it when I was on my own, but, man, Hyatt made the perfect guide.

Without this planner I wouldn’t have posted a blog every day for 90 days. I wouldn’t be writing a book. I wouldn’t be going to Disney World in September. I wouldn’t be as consistent as I am now with my Bible and prayer time.

It’s worth it.

P.S. I wasn’t, like, paid to write this. I know it sounds like a commercial but this is how I really feel. I WISH this was a commercial. I’d love to get paid to talk about the things I’m already doing. Pay me to talk about cookie cakes or naps.

This is where I write

 
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Actually, this isn’t really where I write. I moved the yellow chair to this side of the room because I thought it looked better for the photo. I usually have an IKEA rocking chair in that spot.

I just wanted a nice picture that made you assume my whole apartment was equally nice and put together. It’s not. If you saw my bedroom you’d be very disappointed in me, unless you’re my mom, then you wouldn’t be surprised at all by the mess.

How can you use a comedian at your church?

 
 

At the beginning of December I did a 3 night outreach event in Little Rock. Preaching, training, and a big fun comedy show.

There's all kinds of events we can do together in your community.

I redesigned my website last month and added a page with different types of events I’ve done in the past for churches. You can click each one and get more info.

What does it look if you have me do comedy for a banquet? It tells ya!

Can he preach on a Sunday morning? It tells you that too!

Will he perform comedy at the birth of my child? That’s not listed on the page, but as I’ve said before YES.

Learn more about events we can do together

90 Days of Daily Blogging

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I set a goal in my Full Focus Planner (I feel ridiculous recommending it but it really changed my life) to write a blog post every day for 90 days starting November 1st.

TODAY IS DAY 90!

In the planner you’re supposed to designate a specific reward for when you complete a goal. Well, I was running out of ideas so I said when I’d celebrate by eating a whole cookie cake. So that’s what I’m doing tonight.

Daily blogging has helped me so much

  • I feel like I’m becoming a better writer

  • It’s helped me with ideas for chapters in the book I’m writing

  • Now I know for a fact that I DO have time to write every day. No excuses!

I owe a lot to Austin Kleon. He’s championed daily blogging for a long time and I totally get it now.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m feeling very sick because I just had cookie cake for dinner and I feel like I’m going to die.


Taking Notes in Church

I started carrying a pocket sized notebook with me to church for sermon notes. If I’m not writing or doodling to help me pay attention then there’s nothing stopping me from getting on my phone and zoning out. This has helped me out so much.

I know I have a terrible handwriting and my drawing skills aren’t that impressive but doing this every Sunday has really helped me stay engaged. Even tonight as I went back and looked at my notes I saw several things I wrote that I’m really glad I saved.

It’s cool that churches hand out bulletins with space on the back for notes but I don’t know anyone who keeps them. No one has given me a tour of their house and said “and here’s my filing cabinet full of every church bulletin in chronological order. I look at them often.”

Maybe everyone should have a church notebook.

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I just noticed that during this Christmas Eve service message I decided to ask the important question “What celebrity would not surprise you if you found out they were an alien?” Wow. Yes. Powerful.

Give yourself permission to get off topic or wrestle with what the pastor is saying. You can see (if you can actually read my handwriting) I do this several times. I don’t know if I even agree with some of my notes but it’s nice to see what I was thinking.

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