Friday, November 04, 2011

Innovation and Productivity: Addressing that Stack of Work on Your "Plate"

I found this old post that should have been posted here...

It's from 07/27/09

Just had a great discussion with Bernie Michalik, a Senior I.T. Architect.
We talked about Innovation and Productivity.

Bernie and I are both interested in innovation. We talked about how read blogs (using a feedreader) (or even reading twitter feeds) allows us to hear about new topics that we otherwise wouldn't have thought of, which also helps with "out of box" thinking.

I mentioned to Bernie that I had someone just a few weeks ago talking about how their work was more than they could get done. Bernie made some great points that come from the 7 Habits of effective People and Getting things done books. I've melded them here with my thoughts into some major points:

Don't get in a panacea of being bogged down in logging and analyzing tasks. Getting things done mentions that if something only takes 5 minutes, then do it right away rather than logging and tracking it. This is generally good advice, but sometimes I've found that I end up just doing 5 to 10 minute tasks and the important items are skipped. Don't get stuck in analysis paralysis of your tasks.

Instead, follow this general timeboxing process (adopted from Agile Development methodologies)
1. Log: Get a list of tasks
2. Decide: determine the length of the time box (an amount of time you will execute tasks before starting the next timebox). This can be 2 hours, a day, a week or whatever
3. Analyze: Prioritize the top tasks to fit them into the timebox.
4. Validate: Get agreement on the task list with someone in authority (your manager, client, yourself, your spouse, your family...)
5. Execute: Do the items on the task list (don't look over your shoulder to see the list of new tasks coming in)
6. Record: Document your results / lessons Learned
7. Repeat

Analyze - A few thoughts on this important step.

Bernie mentioned that, as per the "7 Habits," concentrate on the items that are important and urgent. Look for what is critical and essential. What would burn you if it didn't get done?

Bernie also gave me an acronym he learned several years ago that he still uses to this day for the "Analyze" step:

E : Eliminate: Remove items, delegate, say "no." Either way, get rid of items you can
S: Simplify : take the list that's left and try to reduce the steps needed for the tasks
S: Standardize: try to use common standards to make the work repeatable and more efficient. Work from a standard set of tool(s) and a standard approach
A: Automate: work towards automating the work
I: Integrate: Merge together items to reduce the work

Bernie made the point that we need to start at the top of the list and work down the steps. If we start with the integration step (which is often done when integrating two systems for example), then many times it would have been better to have first started with the "Eliminate" step to remove some items in thus reduce the amount of overall work.

Thanks Bernie, I hope this information will be of use to others!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Traffic websites and apps for smart phones for traffic

Here are some traffic sites we use (and some apps for smart phones too)
I hope this helps you!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Eric Mataxas Lecture on Bonhoeffer

This past summer, Eric Mataxas came to Ocean Grove for the new Elwood Stokes Lecture Series. He talked about his biography on Deitrich Bonhoeffer.

Here are my short notes taken on my mobile device.

2011-07-12 Eric Mataxas - OG Tabernacle
First in Elwood Stokes Lecture series

About Eric
Eric wrote part of Lyle Viking for the Vegie Tales videos and also was the narrator for the Esther Vegie Tales video. He attended Yale. His website is There are video interviews there.

Eric read the book "The Cost of Discipleship" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
He wrote a book "Everything you Wanted to Know about God, But Were Afraid to Ask" He talked about it on CNN. He also wrote a book on Wilberforce. Someone convinced him to write about Bonhoeffer.

About Bonhoeffer
Bonhoeffer, after obtaining a doctorate in theology from Berlin@ age of 21, then came to USA and attended Union theological seminary. A friend invited him to Harlem Abyssinian Baptist Church and that moved him.

2 days after Hitler made was made chancellor, B. gave famous speech on radio:
Legit leadership is submitted to God and is a servant.

The Nazis didn't advertise neo-paganism, they just said it was the German church.
B. Felt it doesn't pay to run down corridor of train in opposite direction, need to get off the train, so he separated from the German state church.

in 1933: he preached about death, the final station on the way to freedom. If we've glimpsed the kingdom, our lives are forever and totally changed, we are homesick and live to walk in God's way.

Two central beliefs he had:
1. Church is a church for others: we are blessed to be a blessing to others. Who can't stand up for themselves? Those are the ones who we need to stand up for.
2. Religion-less Christianity: Religion to B. was pejorative: not just being moral, but to bless, serve, and help others.
We are to live our whole lives and give them to God. But, he would say we were just religion-less Christians, so the Nazis prevailed. This parallels our church today.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Origami !

I've always enjoyed Origami.

I really got interested in it a few decades ago when we visited the Japan Airlines Origami Christmas Tree in New York City. Then, in the 1990's a coworker friend made me some wonderful Origami. He made a mobile to hand from my car mirror that had a few Origami stars and a fish.

Tonight, when we ate at the local Chinese Buffet, one of the young ladies there had made a 3 Dimensional Origami swan. I also saw she made some stars and remarked about them. She made me one!

So, I thought it would be interesting to post some info on Origami.

I have to get my paper out and make a few things!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Notes from the "Love Worth Fighting For" Marriage conference

My Notes from the "Love Worth Fighting For" Marriage conference in Ocean Grove NJ on 2011-09-17)

Note: We have a DVD of the Marriage Conference and would like to loan it to you for 2 weeks if you just ask.

Kirk Cameron (from the old TV show Growing Pains) was the main presenter.

Four points:

1. The Heart of the problem is the problem of the heart: it is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Only God can heal that heart bent on selfishness. Kirk realized he has a heart that could destroy the marriage from the inside.

In the Fireproof movie, the main character got the Love Dare book from his dad. The turning point was not the Love Dare, but it was when God changed him.

You can go for all the counseling, speak the love language, fill the love tank, do the love dare, but if your heart is wrong on the inside, it will not be possible to fix your marriage on your own.

You have to go to God who can transform you.

It isn't about saying a prayer to be saved, it's about a change of heart.

When he grew up he was "too smart" to believe in God. But then someone took the time to explain the Gospel to him. If we look at the ten commandments, many of us have stolen, used God's name in vain, lied... We've broken the 10 commandments.

When we lie to a child, the child will do nothing. If we lie to our wife, we will sleep on the couch; If we lie to our boss, we may lose our job; if we lie to the government, we could go to jail. It's all the same offense, but it's who you offend. We have all offended God. The good news (the "gospel") is that God sent his son to die in our place for the forgiveness of our sins.

What does it have to do with marriage? Everything! If we don't have that power of the Holy Spirit, we won't be able to live the marriage God intended.

2. There is only one person you can change and it's not your spouse. If you're trying to change your spouse, how's that working for you? Kirk believes that God reserves the right to change your spouse. And God reserves the right to change you.

We need to look for separateness and send off alarms when it happens. We need to move toward togetherness. If you see yourself drifting apart, it's time to go into rescue 911 mode.

When we start to realize how much God loves us and what Jesus did for us on the cross. We realize how much God did for us when we realize that we didn't care about him; he died for us when we didn't have a heart toward him. This realization is so great that when we realize God forgave us of so much, then we can forgive those around us.

Surrender yourself to the Lord. It's not about changing yourself, it's about asking God to give your spouse a new you!

3. I must have an effective war strategy to destroy sin in my life or it will destroy me.

This is also a change of heart. We can put up safeguards (like internet filtering for example) and that will help for a while, but we need God to change our heart and give us a new heart in order to make the change.

One sign of being a Christian is that there is a battle going on between sin and God's Spirit within you. The Bible says In 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Be so dazzled with God's love for you on the cross that you love your spouse more than your sin.

4. God has ordained for the man to be the head of the home. We are to be the leaders. This is a message to men for women

Kirk used the following material from a sermon by James MacDonald (from Walk in the word)
1 peter 3:7. The 6 verses before this one are for the women, but this one verse is for the man. God knew he had to keep it simple for the guys!

There are several points in this verse:

1. Dwell with them, spend time with them. Invest and share. This will radically transform your marriage. The way you get good is by spending time at it, whether it be getting better at playing music, golf or whatever. Spend time one-on-one 15 minutes a day just talking. Then, after a while, one night a week, then one day a month, then one weekend a year.

2. Dwell with them in understanding: study her, know her. Before you were married, you studied her like crazy. You wanted to know everything about her.
You have to keep studying: what fires her up, what brings her down, when is a good time to approach her, when is a bad time to approach her. They love when you understand them.
Romance springs from sacrifice and planning, not convenience.
Intimacy with your wife is icing on cake after a good day.
Being nice and giving complements can't be overdone.
A little help goes a long way: washing dishes or helping with something stressing her out. Keep a little 3 by 5 card of notes of what works and what doesn't

3. Give honor to your wife
This means more than respect; treat her as rare and precious. Think of a military general singling out one man to honor him. Be her biggest fan, honor her. Kirk told the story about kissing his wife instead of the actress in the movie fireproof.

You can honor your wife by how you talk to her amongst your friends. You could give her some money to buy whatever she wants. You can honor her in front of your children by giving her a day off and doing her work for her.

4. The wife is weaker
This is about protection, you are supposed to protect her. You should put your arm around her to give her Security to make her feel safe,
When she feels she's in danger, be patient with her, like if you're driving too fast.
You can make her feel safe in her absence. Many men have to travel, have neighbors or family watch out for her. Call her to let her know you're checking on her safety.

Protect her by managing your aggression during an argument with her. If you have to talk fine, but don't raise your voice or punch the walls or throw things.

Here they showed a clip of the fireproof meeting when Caleb lost his temper.

If your wife ever cowers in front of you, then you're being the coward

5. Joint heirs
In order to have that long term relationship you have to keep opening up to her. Wives want you open up so she knows who you are. She wants you to let her know about you. Are you a closed book to her? Maybe your wife has a good friend because this friend is listening and sharing feelings. (You should be the one she talks to). God revealed himself to us, we need to open up to her.

6. So that your prayers will not be hindered
If you feel your prayers are a struggle, cut off, or hindered, maybe because you're not doing these things.

When a man does all these things above, then a marriage can have life breathed back into it.

Yes, the wives need to be changed too, but "Everything rises and falls on leadership" and God has ordained men to be the leaders of marriages.

We have a DVD of the marriage conference and would like to loan it to you for a few weeks if you like.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The FREE IBM Think Exhibit in New York City

IBM is opening the FREE IBM Think Exhibit to the public in New York City on Sept. 23 and it will run through October 23, 2011.

This exhibit is tied into IBM's 100 year birthday this year.

We went to a preview of the exhibit the other day. It was fun, well done, and informative. Here are my photos on flickr.

Someone asked me what it was like, so I thought I'd post something for all to see.

This Exhibit is FREE to the public, however you have to obtain tickets for a scheduled entry (I think plans are that you can walk up and get tickets for the next showing depending on how busy it is, or you can get them in advance on the

The exhibit is explained on the website at

The exhibit is placed on a ramp near Avery Fisher hall (Lincoln Center) in Manhattan (New York City). Here's a Satellite view from Google maps. Zoom out to see the surroundings.

The Exhibit has four parts:
1. Waiting Outside at the "Data Wall"
Outside waiting area on the ramp where you can sit 0r stand and watch the 123 foot long "data wall" which is a constantly moving digital display of information presented in a very attractive media experience. People were stopping by the street and very interested in it. You can get your tickets at the end of this ramp and watch the data wall while waiting. There are also bits of information written on the opposing wall that help you to think about possibilities of what can be done to help our communities (locally and globally). The Data Wall was a real attention getter and very interesting!

2. Movie 12 Minutes
When you enter with your group, you go into a "room" at the bottom of the ramp that has 40 display screens, each one 7 feet high. Once everyone is in the room, the doors are closed and you watch a 12 minute media rich film that spans several of these screens. This was a great film to watch, well done. I liked the part when the showed people and sort of visually showed data within them.

3. Interactive Touch Screens: as long as you want, up to about 30 or 40 minutes
When the film ends, the display screens all turn into interactive touch screens. Each screen covers one of the five main topics of the movie (seeing, believing, mapping, Understanding, Acting). You can move to other screens to see the other topics. We saw adults and children of all ages interacting with these.

4. Exit walk: IBM's 100 Icon's of progress
After you leave the exit, there is a long white glass wall with all of the 100 IBM Icon's of Progress on it. You can read them all, or only the ones you are interested in, or you can just bypass the whole thing and exit. You can also see these icons of progress on the IBM100 website:

Here are some of my photos on Flickr that I took of the Lincoln Center area after seeing the exhibit. It was a bit dark, so I'm sorry for the darkness of the photos.

IBM has also posted photos on Flickr of the exhibit.

There is more about IBM Think on this website:

Coverage of the Think Exhibit in Media:

Friday, September 09, 2011

Could Your Marriage Be Better?

Could your marriage be better?
I think everyone would answer that question with an emphatic "Yes!"

Here is some help if you want your marriage to be better:

1. Watch the movie "Fireproof" (if you want see it, or see it again, we can loan you a DVD).

2. There was a book showcased in that movie called "The Love Dare." I would suggest the Love Dare 40 day challenge book for you (here are some stories about it). I can get you a copy if you like.

3. Here is the link to the movie's Marriage 911 page to get help for your marriage:

4. Also, Kirk Cameron, the star of the Fireproof movie (you might also remember him from the TV show "Growing Pains" that ran from 1985 to 1992), is involved in LIVE marriage conferences being held around the country. The Conferences are called "Love Worth Fighting For." You can find out more about local conferences here: (and here's an interesting article about the making of the movie)

One of these Marriage Conferences will be one held in Ocean Grove, NJ ("God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore) on Saturday Sept. 17, 2011. Here's a link for info:

Here's a short YouTube video from a past one of these conferences:

I hope this information helps your marriage. Please share your thoughts in comments to this post. Also, please pass around this information and ask people to subscribe to my blog at - thanks!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Prayer conf call for OG hurricane

My wife, Ruth Will, and I are sponsoring a prayer conference call on Saturday Aug. 27 at 10am to pray for Ocean Grove in the face of the coming hurricane.

Ust this information to call in:
1-760-569-7676 access code 142349#
(note: This is NOT a toll-free call)

We will also have that line open throughout the day as a prayer line. See for details.

Please join us and pass the word around.

If there is a specific time you'd like to pray other than 10am, please let us know by commenting on this post (or contact us another way if you've seen this posted elsewhere). We might be able to have other prayer times during the day too if there are several people who want to pray at other times. If we find out about any, we will post them here.

Questions and Answers:
Q: If we can't make the 10am call, can we pray later in the day
A: We will keep the conference call line open for the day. You'll hear "hold music" if you're the only one on the line. But, pray anyway please. Actually, you don't have to join the conference call to pray. Pray wherever you are!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Global Leadership Summit 2011 Closing Session - Erwin McManus - Chasing Daylight

Global Leadership Summit 2011 Closing Session - Chasing Daylight

Erwin McManus - Activist; Filmmaker; Innovator and Cultural

Ecclesiastes Chapter 1:

...Everything is meaningless... The sun is forever...

He struggled with Solomon's sayings in Ecclesiastes Chapter 1. He told his wife that he disagreed with Solomon and she said “You're going to Hell. Please don't tell anyone.” He said he can prove Solomon was wrong.

Especially he had trouble with the statement “There is nothing new under the sun.” Many faith communities use that phrase. He was thinking of new things we can do to help our race, or people looking for God, or to reflect on the reality of God. People would give him a “theological pat on the head.” and say this phrase (“There's nothing new under the sun.”).

Solomon was wrong. There are new things under the sun. Why should we let someone who says “Everything is meaningless” shape our day. Is life just about “eat, drink, and be merry?” This has created an apathy that is killing the Church.

God walking among us, that was new. God being Crucified, that was new. The Resurrection of the dead Christ, that is new. In Isaiah 43:19 God says: “Behold I am doing a new thing.” His mercies are new every morning. You can't put this new wine in an old wineskin.

God began as an artist. God rested on the 7th day, not because he was tired, but because we have to take a day to celebrate. But, God's not finished, he's still creating.

We can say “Let's make history” but saying “Let's create the future” is something we have difficulty with. We are more than the created order. When we live our lives in the life of our creator, we become the creating order. We were created in his image. Good people sit idly by waiting for God to create a better world.

God saved humanity in the flood (though Noah) and he saved the world. But, we have a harder time saying Noah saved the Human race. But, he did! He chose to obey and build the ark.

What needs to happen to create the future:

1. We need to be curators of yalent

We need to be the creators of talent and develop people to their fullest potential

Acts Chapter 7. He worked with his church group on the Super Bowl commercial for Doritos and it won. He believes that the church has to be the epicenter of human creativity. There is no conflict between human talent and the glory of God. We don't have to have a false sense of humility. The best of us can't be a threat to God.

2. We need to be narrators of the Human story

We used to be the best poets. People would listen and realize “that's me!”

What would happen if you needed to tell the King what he did wrong? You'd probably write a book or make a movie about it. Nathan did this with King David in the Bible.

Whoever tells the best story shapes the culture. We're just not telling better stories than Star Wars or Avatar.

He told a story about how his church is helping artists to come to Christ and use their talents for God.

Jesus makes all things new!


For more information on the Leadership Summit and Ocean Grove (“God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore”) where their mission of Spiritual Birth, Growth and Renewal is lived out in community, visit my earlier post:

You'll also find links there to other great bloggers and tweeters on the conference.

You may also like my post about "Drinking from a Fire hose or quenching your thirst with a cup of water"

Leadership Summit 2011-08-12 Session 6b: Henry Cloud: The Evil, The Foolish, The Wise

Leadership Summit 2011-08-12 Session 6b: Dr. Henry Cloud: The Evil, The Foolish, The Wise

(I like his first name :)

Leaders will talk to him about this “guy” that they're having problems with. If you can implement what we talk about today, you can save years of time.

Wherever you are, God has called you to be a steward over a vision, to change a world, a nation, a city, a family.

Are you going to let this “guy” prevent you from fulfilling the vision. It robs you of your job, and keeps you up at night. Sometimes this “guy” stops the organization and stalls the vision.

Truth / Reality - First task is to figure out what reality is. Most people don't like to deal with reality. How many of you like to tell people about reality.

He was having issues with exercising, he lost structure with his traveling.

Where you are not able to structure your own life, get someone/something external to help you get the structure. He got a trainer and said a few weeks in that they forgot to take the “before” picture, she said “it's ok, we still can.” Some feedback just is difficult.

Some people, maybe you, take the feedback and adjust and get better. The problem is that you lead like that. But, not everyone is the same, not everyone is like you. You can't deal with everyone you lead the same way. You need to diagnose the people you're talking to and deal with them appropriately.

Three categories of people:

This comes from the Bible and other research.

A. Wise

B. Fools

C. Evil

Everyone has all these parts, but some make a career out of one of them.

Wise – When the light comes, they adjust themselves to the light. When the truth comes to them, they change. Bible says that if we correct a wise person, they get wiser.

Another quality of the wise person, when you confront them you see a smile and get thanks. You coach these people and give them feedback, give them resources. The leadership challenge: make sure they are a match for what you need them to do. Give them good feedback and coaching, keep them challenged appropriately.

Fools - May be the smartest and brightest and most gifted, often they are. When the light shows up, they adjust the light (it hurts their eyes), they try to dim it. A wise person changes themselves, the fool tries to change the truth or shoot the messenger. They will also point things back to you, or find blame. When they start to externalize the problem, you know you're dealing with them. They will deny, minimize, externalize, shoot the messenger, they aren't happy to hear it and get angry, they will have a meeting after the meeting and try to triangulate against you. This splits the organization and the church.

One of the worst feelings of the leader is hopelessness. The reason is that the problem isn't in the room. The fool doesn't own the problem, they can't make themselves part of the problem. A nice responsible leader has hope that a fool will one day start listening.

As a leader, you need to get hopeless. Insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results. The Bible says don't try to correct a fool; Don't confront a mocker. The Bible tells us to stop talking becase the fools are stopping the vision, the plan. Their reality has now stopped the vision. Bring them in and talk to them and tell them you're not talking to them any more about the problems. Take it up to the pattern that you don't know how to give you feedback that changes anything, it makes me hopeless. When it happens, I have to protect the vision (protect the quarterly results, protect the vision of the team, etc.). I am going to limit my exposure to this problem, I may have to remove you. Please let me know how I can talk to you that will make a difference. Sometimes this softness will make it work. Maybe they will ask you to make a change that will make it work. But, what will we do if I do that and the change doesn't happen. What will we do then? What are the specific consequences?

Change comes to fools when they are confronted with the truth, own it, and know the consequences. The pain of not changing needs to be greater than the pain of changing.

Good news about fools is that many of us are recovering fools, Christ changes fools.

Leadership challenges: Limit your exposure, clarify consequences, give them a choice, follow through.

EVIL – They want to inflict pain, they have destruction in their hearts. Paul says we should reject a desicive person after the second warning.

We go into protetection mode with these: Lawyers, Guns (sometimes you need to call the police), and Money.

Leadership is about getting the people to work the plan. Take the challenge to not let someone's character stop the vision.


For more information on the Leadership Summit and Ocean Grove (“God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore”) where their mission of Spiritual Birth, Growth and Renewal is lived out in community, visit my earlier post:

You'll also find links there to other great bloggers and tweeters on the conference.

You may also like my post about "Drinking from a Fire hose or quenching your thirst with a cup of water"

Leadership Summit 2011 Day 2: Drinking from A fire hose or being quenched by a cup of Water? Time to Apply it?

Drinking from a Fire Hose or being quenched by a cup of water?

Some have said, as they did last year, that the Global Leadership Summit was like drinking from a fire hose. If you've ever seen a fire truck pumping water on a fire through their hoses, you can see the imagery here that drinking from a fire hose would just be so much more water than you could ever take in. I can see why people would say that. There is so much to learn at the Summit and it's all filling us up so fast that there is hardly enough time to soak it in and assimilate it.

Maybe you've felt the same way when you've had the opportunity for some learning opportunity.

I'm attending The 2011 Global Leadership Summit at a satellite location in Ocean Grove NJ, God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore. So, yesterday during the lunch break, my wife and I took a walk along the shoreline. I was talking to her about how usually when I go for learning opportunities (which are abundant in my church, my profession being a PMP, and the company I work in), I usually take the approach of observing as much as I can and hoping that some of it will soak in and take root. I am thinking that maybe instead of "drinking from the fire hose" and hoping some will "soak in, maybe it's time to just take a cup of that water and drink it fully and be quenched by it. It's time to figure out how to apply it.

I was talking to God about it last night. Maybe, it's time that I stand back a bit from the "fire Hose," of all this teaching, and consider how to apply it. A few years back, this was same idea was given to me by my career coach when he told me "Henry, you know so much, you need to work on applying it."

Sure, today I'll spend more time at the Summit, but just maybe I'll take some time aside to pray and ask the Lord how he wants me to apply all of this.

What are your thoughts?


For more information on the Leadership Summit and Ocean Grove (“God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore”) where their mission of Spiritual Birth, Growth and Renewal is lived out in community, visit my earlier post:

You'll also find links there to other great bloggers and tweeters on the conference.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Global Leadership Summit 2011 – Session 3b Seth Godin “Poke the Box”

Global Leadership Summit 2011 – Session 3b Seth Godin “Poke the Box” and

Someone watching this today is going to change everything and do something that matters: not because their boss says so, not because it's their job, but because they want to and it's important.

Seth talks about the founder of ASPCA, Nathan Winograd. He was one guy.

This is the opposite of Betty Crocker, a ficticous person. They went on the radio and had many people signing her name to letters. The ledend is faded. They were promoting from a position of power, that is the notion that we are based on the concept of “more.”

Seth mentions someone in Kenya who is a millionaire: she owns land and animals. She found the resources she needed and moved ahead.

The TV-Industrial complex is a model: buy ads, sell products, buy ads: Products that appeals to the masses: average products, mass marketed so they appeal to everyone by definition. The record industry, the newspaper industry, the book industry: all going away.

30,000 items in most supermarkets, look in the phone book at churches: many choices.

Revolutions destroy the perfect and allow the impossible.

The death of the industrial age. It is being replaced by different people wanting different things: tribes. People who want different things and share a common bond.

Experiment: Clap your hands slowly and in unison. The crowd was able to do this. That is what a tribe is: people in sync with each other.

People want us to show up and get us in sync. Some tribes are invented: like Nike. Others, like the Beatles, didn't create teens, they already existed.

The Laptop lets you connect around the world, let's you order, give, help. It is the new tool. It's up to us how we use it. A long time ago, it was hunting, then it was farming, then in the industrial revolutions people could get a job. Now, we have an economic crisis. There is something after the job, Seth calls it “Being an Artist.”

Art is a risky human act of doing something you haven't done before with someone and for someone. Experiment: Raise your hand as high as you can, now raise it a little higher. The reason is that we have to hold back when serving our boss because they will ask for more. Henry Ford changed the economy by putting the assembly line together so people can be most productive: the factory. Managers just try to get everyone to do the same thing. But faster. Not just interchangable parts, but interchangable people. People need to fit in, because that's what makes the factory work: compliance. We do that in churches and in schools. If you can write it down, then anyone can do it.

Free hugs movement (see youtube) is undercutting the people who are charging high prices for hubs. If all you can offer is that you're the local church, it's the same as saying you're cheap. It's like bottled water, if it's all the same, we just buy the cheapest. Everyone has seen the brown cows, so they won't talk about them. People talk about the purple cow though.

We can find answers on the internet, what we need is for people to solve interesing problems. We need people to find better answers. Don't wait to be picked, pick yourself. The internet is giving you the way: there is a microphone, there is you tube, there are blogs so you can write. You can pull people together for a goal. You will do art and you will fail, but that's what makes it art. The blackberry is there so we can just keep checking to make sure everything is alright.

Lizard Brain: We have a part of our brain that protects us in dangerous situations. It has a good use, but it also stops us from going forward sometimes.

You need to go something worth talking about. You give gifts, hoping that someone will spread it. It's like the carrots at the end of the day of the farmer's market. If you don't give them away, they will rot. Many people are walking around with the carrots and they're rotting.

We are constantly looking for a reason not to do our art, to blame it on someone else. How many people want your seat, for your platform, for your place to influence people.

Go. Make something happen.

If it's worth doing, what are you waiting for.

Inside the box, it's too dark to do anything. Outside the box, nothing to lean on.

On the edges of the box, there is a place to a place to dance, connect and lead.

A six word invitation: What the world is saying, what they're begging for is that they need you to lead them.

(note: Seth had some rather entertaining slides in his presentation, one of the last one's was a team of firefighters posing in a group photo with a building on fire in the background. Also, there was a photo of a seagull on top of a sign that was a seagull with a cirle and line drawn through it. He said he has the worlds largest collection on photos of cafeteria ladies and showed some. There was also an early one of a boy crying next to a tombstone with Santa Claus on it. So, if you can find the video someplace, you may find it worth the time to see them)


For more information on the Leadership Summit and Ocean Grove (“God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore”) where their mission of Spiritual Birth, Growth and Renewal is lived out in community, visit my earlier post:

You'll also find links there to other great bloggers and tweeters on the conference.

Global Leadership Summit 2011 Session 3A Courageous Leadership for Catalytic Times

Global Leadership Summit 2011 Session 3A Courageous Leadership for Catalytic Times

Rev. Brenda Salter McNeil

Chuck Yaeger was the pilot that broke through the comfort zone and into space.

Acts 1:8 You will receive power... you will be witnesses

The mandate is to take the message to others: the whole human race.

Jerusalem is symbolic of our home turf, where we're comfortable, our place of connection: the place where people are most like us. We need to witness to the good news there.

Judea – this is where we look alike, but there are divisions and differences. It is where people are all from the same place, but people don't understand each other. But, there is a church in NJ where an elderly woman had been a victim of predatory lending and the church bought her home and sold it back to her for one dollar.

Samaria – these are the neighborhoods where we drive through and lock our doors. It's a prison, places of the poor, sex trafficing, child soldiers, corporate greed, drug dealers, poor. This is also were we need to witness. There are stories of christians helping in these places. We need to be witnesses of the Good News in these places.

The church needs a catalytic event to push them beyond their “sound barrier.” In Acts 2:1-11. They were in the prayer meeting and they caught on they caught on fire!

Maybe the economic crisis is God's way of bringing us together. Maybe he's bringing together people who wouldn't work together to partner together.

So, the questions is: are you ready to break through your sound barier.

1. Pray for a divine mandate

  1. Ask God what things have my name on it? What is it our organization should be doing?

  2. Name your catalytic events


For more information on the Leadership Summit and Ocean Grove (“God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore”) where their mission of Spiritual Birth, Growth and Renewal is lived out in community, visit my earlier post:

You'll also find links there to other great bloggers and tweeters on the conference.

Global Leadership Summit 2011 Session 2B – Corey Booker “Stand Up”

Global Leadership Summit 2011 Session 2B – Corey Booker “Stand Up”

Mayor of Newark NJ

Every life has the ability to gift to you life and understanding. He is a learner.

He didn't learn it from Yale or Harvard, he learned it from his parents. The value of parents is that you can see the lessons are the same and so are the stories over and over again. The stories change over the years and become better and better.

His father tells the story about what it means to “stand up” for something. He was in class at the first day of school. Teacher asked people who thought they were dumb or stupid to stand up. Finally his dad stood up. He said “shucks ma'am, I don't think I'm stupid, but I didn't want you to be the only one standing.”

You will always face terrible adversaries. Things will happen to you, but regardless of the storm, you must be willing to stand. You were born as a grand experience of love. Freedom, liberty and opportunity come to you from your ancestors. Will you grow drunk on the wine of the benefits given you from others, or will us them to stand up and more forward. Love in action, unyielding faith and fearless hope came together in order for Corey to live in this world. His father tells him about envelopes of 5 and 10 dollar bills that came so he could go to college.

People stormed beaches in Normandy for you. People cleaned bathrooms and prayed for you. And, what will you do. Forces will try to crush you and move you into mediocrity. Lincoln: people are born unique, but die a copy.

Don't let the world tell you who you are. Rise!

As a teen, he was working in a summer program with children. He pulled out $5 and said it would go to the one who raises their hand the highest. Then he looked and the youngest of all the children was next to him. He wanted to instill him that he could compete and survive. When he went over him, he ran to the door. The boy said, “let me go, I know a way to get to the roof.”

We are here because of people with extraordinary vision and stood up to do something about it. Corey is still learning from the people of his city. He moved onto Martin Luther King Boulevard when he moved in Newark. It was full of violence, drug dealing, and adiction.

He went to see the person who was the tenant president of the projects there, Miss Jones. He remembered his parents saying he could learn more from someone in charge of the projects than from professors at law school. She asked him what he saw. He described graffiti, drug dealers, and such. She said that what you see in the world is a reflection of what you have inside. When you start to have the hope of God in you, you will see hope in the world.

We can talk about the climate and point blame, but in truth it's all just spitting in the wind. The only way to make change, it has to start with ourselves. If it's to be, it's up to me. He sees people with faith in God and the nation's ideals. The believe if we live our ideals we can achieve the impossible.

Instead of preaching and teaching, show it by how you live and spend. It's about your thoughts you put into action. There are so many distractions from living God's will. His father would say “Right now, in this moment, you can change this world.”

In every situation, we can accept circumstances as they are or work for a better change.

Some stars, when we look at them, have already burned out, but their light is still reaching us. We need to transform doubt into faith, obstacles into opportunities.

He tells about how, he didn't know what to do. In this great country of freedom, how could we allow parents to be imprisoned in their own homes, in fear for the lives of their children. He asked Miss Jones (of the project). She said you have to do something. He read in Matthew about having faith as a mustard seed. He decided to fast and pray in a tent. Others started to stand up and be with him. They stood together. People of all faiths came together to pray in all languages. After 10 days of not eating he felt the strongest power he ever felt.

E Pluribus Unum – United we stand.

“Liberty and Justice for all” must be a passion. If we stand like this, we'll find a way to get to the roof!


For more information on the Leadership Summit and Ocean Grove (“God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore”) where their mission of Spiritual Birth, Growth and Renewal is lived out in community, visit my earlier post:

You'll also find links there to other great bloggers and tweeters on the conference.

Global Leadership Summit 2011 – Session 2A -Len Schlesinger “Action Trumps Everything”

Global Leadership Summit 2011 – Session 2A -Len Schlesinger “Action Trumps Everything”

It can be simplified:

1.Find out your customers

2.Find out what they want

3.Give it to them

We are currently “Here” and need to get “There.”

The Martin Luther King “I have a Dream Speech” is a vision that people watch to see how they can have a vision just as compelling and articulate. But, MLK spent 3 to 4 years before that working on that vision.

You can't get “there,” without being clear about aspects of “Here” that are unacceptable.

There are lots of issues “Here”: Unemployment, poverty, unequal education, malnutrition in the world, violence and destruction, inadequate political answers to the issues at hand. What am I going to do about it?

Believe in the future by creating it first.

Entrepreneurship goes a long way to get there.

Trying to predict the future isn't something easy to do. Many entrepreneurs don't do anything too risky or the big idea that nobody else knows. Many times they are decisive, egotistical at times. It is lots more than technology based startups.

Generations: first creates, second enjoys, third destroys

How do we overcome that generational approach. The half life of the fortune 25 is only a few years. In order to stay vital, business models need to change. You need to reinvent yourself 3 to 5 years in your career.

Peter Drucker says “most of what you hear about entrepreneurship is all wrong, it's not in the genes, it can be learned.”

Quote (Missed the owner): We are all entrepreneurs, only too few of us get to practice it.

Don't look at your limitations, just realize that serial entrepreneurs are successful and you can be too. Just realize that everything you learned was based on cause and effect and predictability. This works well when we can extrapolate the past to predict the future. What do they say at the end of financial vehicles “Historical results don't predict the future.” Well, we're in a new world. Change is the new norm.

We start to become paralyzed. In 1921 Univesity Frank Knight talked about risk which could be objectively managed contrasted and the unpredictible future. So, since you can't predict, what is available to you? Act! Yes, do something.

Example: You're Indiana Jones. You're stuck in a hole in the dark and need to get out. Thinking about it doesn't get you out, you need to act.

1. Take Small steps with what you have at hand

2. Limit Risk

3. Build off what you find from taking that step

4. Have some friends and resources standing by to help

So, what do you care about. Then, looking at your ability to accept risk, what is the first step?

Instead, usually what we do is to look at what others are doing and do what they are doing.

Once you're taken the step, look to see where you're at. The bankers look at risk, but since we're in a world of an unknown future, we realize that we just count what we spent to get here as lost cost. Now, look around and enroll people to help know what you've done and where you are. What have you learned.

What prevents us from doing this? Two things:

1. We get caught up in worrying about “what do I want to do.” Stop worrying about what you want to do and start working on what to do next.

2. We are also concerned about failure. What do we do with people who fail? They disappear. We need to look at failure as a learning experience. The failure rate is around 60% in the business world. Failure doesn't mean “Game over,” it means “try again with experience.” You probably learned something that nobody else knows.

Each steps results in learning, experience with others.

1. Know what you want

  1. Stop obsessing about what you need, start what you have

  2. Build with what you have

  3. Take steps with what you have to play with

Small wins are how we solve problems

Bring others with you, remain flexible in what you want and how you do it.

Keep trying over and over. With action trumping everything, you get more “at bats” which increases chances of success.


For more information on the Leadership Summit and Ocean Grove (“God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore”) where their mission of Spiritual Birth, Growth and Renewal is lived out in community, visit my earlier post:

You'll also find links there to other great bloggers and tweeters on the conference

The Global Leadership Summit Kicks off!

The Global Leadership Summit Kicks off!

August 11, 2011 Ocean Grove NJ -- The Satellite simulcast of the Global Leadership Summit kicked off this morning here with a bang! It started with announcements about the mission and programs of The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting (OGCMA) and a powerful prayer by Scott Hoffman. Then the simulcast started with a video and a picture of the moon. The script included “... it's always darkest before the dawn....” Could this statement be an indication of a theme of the conference?

Exuberant singing erupted. People were on their feet clapping! And, the leadership speakers hadn't even begun yet. Songs included “We Love you Lord” and “Praise To The Lord, The Almighty.”

Bill Hybels Kicked off the speaking

Introduction to the Summit:

  • This conference is unapologetically Christian, but also agnostic as to who we invite to speak

  • Here, leaders humble themselves to learn from each other

  • Please respect our beliefs, we promise not to engage in weird religious behavior

  • Leadership really matters across all disciplines

  • When people are better leaders, everyone wins: followers, causes and all

5 Critical Questions

1. What is your current challenge level at work?

On a continuum, where would you place yourself?

A. Appropriately challenged – “to do” list at begin of day, can say you completed things at end of day

B. Under-challenged: shop on internet, do crossword puzzles, don't fill fulfilled at work

C. Dangerously Over-challenged: get up, look at list and say “OMG!” At work, the list gets longer, you get a stomach ache mid-day, but not because you're hungry. You're not present with your family, because you're focused on work.

When are you at your absolute best on this scale?

Research shows that the best place is a bit above Appropriately Challenged. You need to stretch. Just like muscles, they need a little challenge.

You need a challenge, but not to be overly-challenged. If you're overwhelmed, you need to ask for help.

If you are a leader that is putting everyone in a over-challenged environment, you're not being

your most efficient as a team. You can't stay in the dangerously over-challenged environment for long. You need to replenish.

People need to be appropriately challenged and stretched a bit: not under-challenged, not over-challenged.

2. What is your plan for dealing with challenging people in your organization?

They use the “line exercise.”

If revenue dropped 50%, what programs and people would you need to get rid of?

Are these people under-performing, not challenged, or not in tune with the values or mission?

Team Poison: How long will you let them be a poison for your team. You need to talk to them and give them a deadline to improve.

Under-performers: We start a performance improvement plan and the team works together to improve things.

Values Violations: This usually results in an immediate firing.

If you leave this challenged people without being checked, it drags down the great people on your team!

3. Are you naming and facing the problems that exist in your organization?

In the Bible, Acts Chapter 6, they addressed the problem, then the Church grew rapidly.

Every program has a lifecycle. Nothing “rocks” forever. Just like Ecclesiastes, everything has a season.

We need to arrest tired ideas on the downward curve and regenerate them.

4. When was the last time you reexamined the core of what your organization is all about?

Have you re-examined your goals and values?

The best leaders do this often. Is your message clear? Can you put it on a t-shirt? Do people know what it is?

Churches are in the people transformation business. There is only one power on this planet that is able to do this: the Gospel (The good news of Christianity). We all know what that Gospel is, don't we? Well, sometimes we are “fuzzy” about it.

Take time to define the message. Draw a circle in a meeting. Ask them to come up with 5 words to summarize the central message of Christianity (no “God words”). For business leaders, this would be the 5 words that best describe your organization goals. This exercise can cause lots of disagreements, it's not as easy as it seems.

Bill puts these 5 words in the circle: Love (Christianity is the one global religion that is driven by Love: John 3:16), Evil (because of the atrocities in history and in our world today), Rescue, Choice (Salvation is a gift, by we have to choose to take it), restore. Example: he tells people to fight for their marriage, but God loves you, there is evil, but there's also rescue and restoration that's available. God has the power to do it!

5. Have you had your leadership “bell” rung recently?

Has any book, speech, or discussion inspired you. You need the refreshing challenge every now and then.

After he spoke in Thailand, another speaker got up and set a challenge to lead people to Christ and laid out a plan.


How you finish is how you'll be remembered. Don't end it with a whimper. Do you want the next 5 years to be the best 5? We call leaders to decisions! It's time to pray and make a commitment.



For more information on the Leadership Summit and Ocean Grove (“God's Square Mile on the Jersey Shore”) where their mission of Spiritual Birth, Growth and Renewal is lived out in community, visit my earlier post:

You'll also find links there to other great bloggers and tweeters on the conference.

Info on Leadership Summit I'm attending today

I took 2 vacation days today and tomorrow to attend the Global Leadership Summit and will be blogging here ( and tweeting on Twitter ( You don't need an account to follow either one of these.

I have attended the past few years (and will be attending again this year) at one of the many satellite locations: the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association in Ocean Grove NJ. More than 300 people are registered at this location.
About the Global Leadership Summit (GLS)
  • The GLS is an annual event started in 1995 and is produced by the Willow Creek Association - more about Willow Creek and GLS
  • According to the Wikipedia entry, alumni speakers have been Bono (U2), Ken Blanchard ("One Minute Manager"), Marcus Buckingham ("StrengthFinders"), Jim Collins ("Good to Great" and "Built to Last"), Mike Singletary (NFL Hall of Fame linebacker for the Chicago Bears). Also, Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter as well as Karen Hughes, Special Advisor to President George W. Bush and and former United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell have spoken. Other speakers: Texas pastor Bishop T.D. Jakes, University of Southern California president Steven Sample, Tim Sanders (Yahoo), Rick Warren (pastor Saddleback Church, author: "The Purpose Driven Life")
  • Downloadable notebook of the formatted program.
About The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA)
You can also follow news about the GLS at these other places:

I hope you'll take a look at some of the items I'll be posting over these two days and comment on them!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Harmonica Resources

Ok, I've posted Ukulele and Guitar resources, it's about time I gave the Harmonica some equal

Music to print out for playing:


Please add comments if you know of others!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Prostate Cancer Information

People have asked me about Prostate Cancer, so I am posting this information.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month. So, "Man up" and get your PSA screening and blood test every time you have your physical. It's easy to include the PSA as a part of your blood test! Here's a video that tells about Prostate Cancer, awareness month, and shows the robot used in robotic surgery (it's from a news show, so no blood is shown).

I'll be adding information here as time goes by.

First of all, if you have any questions, please contact me directly. I would be happy to talk to you on the phone. Issues with Prostate Cancer can be very personal, so I have found it best to talk directly one-on-one.

Frequently asked Questions and Answers (FAQs, Q&A) :
  • Question: People ask "How does someone feel if they have it?" or "How do you know if you have prostate cancer?"
  • Answer: You don't "feel" anything. There is no difference in how you feel. Cancer is usually found through a routine annual physical, especially by a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test. The PSA is an additional test that can be ordered when your blood is drawn for other tests at the time of your physical.

Making the decision on treatment options:
  • There are many options available for treatment. The options available are based on a patient's stage of the cancer, health, and age.

Aspects of having Prostate Cancer:
  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual: There can be lots of encounters with mortality. Your faith can be challenged and strengthened. The Bible talks a lot about our human condition and the hope of salvation in Christ.

Websites of interest:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ukulele Praise and Worship sites

I had a post a few months ago with Ukulele (Uke) website Resources: lessons, chords, etc.

Since then, I've been looking for websites for playing Ukulele Christian Praise and Worship music. They are very difficult to find.

Here's what I've found so far:

If you know of any other Ukulele websites that have Christian Praise and worship music, please let me know (add a comment below).

Saturday, June 04, 2011


So, three days in a row I've seen different children skipping.

The first time was a child skipping alone. Last night a father and daughter locked arms and skipped across the parking lot. Today it was a mom and her daughter coming down the street here. The daughter was skipping along with her.

That's interesting because I don't see children too often, let alone children skipping.

So, I decided I should try.

It's been so long, I had to remember how.

It was FUN! And, it made my wife laugh!

When was the last time you skipped?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ukulele Uke resources

I started learning the Ukulele in the summer 2010 after having started to learn guitar in July 2008. The Uke certainly is a lot of fun.

If you want to purchase one, or if you have one already, here are some great links below.
(note: I also have another post about Ukulele Worship resources)

Purchasing a Uke and strings:

Music for the Uke:
Uke Chords:

Other Uke info:
Enjoy! And, please leave a comment here on my blog about your Uke playing or your questions!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

IBMs Computer "Watson" to Play Jeopardy In February 2011

IBM will have it's computer named "Watson" play in Jeopardy in February 2011.
The games will be televised on Feb. 14, 15 and 16, 2011.
These shows will be definitely worth watching!
I'm really looking forward to this since I worked with Alex Trebec in Los Angeles back about 1992 while working in a different company on a Jeopardy Video game! He's a great person!
Here are several articles on Watson (several have links to videos within them)