We just had the Clark Cottage painted recently and I learned a lot over the five day period from the painters.
Did you know there are 5 levels of sheen in the world of paint?
– High gloss
When it comes to understanding your life …
Do you know your sheen?
Did you know that you are the most important person you will lead this week?
And you are the most difficult person you will lead this week.
Most leaders who are no longer leading others have found themselves in that spot because they quit leading or couldn’t lead themselves.
Over the years, understanding who I am has been critical to understanding who God is calling me to be and where He is calling me to invest my one and only life.
It has given the the ability to say yes.
And it has given me the ability to say no, with confidence, to great opportunities.
Here are my top four ways to gain insight into your unique sheen.
1. Get a LifePlan. In January of 2017 Rene and I spent four days in the Patterson LifePlan process and it revolutionized our lives. You can find more information here – Paterson Center. And my wife Rene also leads people through 2-day personal and private LifePlan retreats at our cottage in Huntington Beach, CA. More information here – ReneClark.Com
NOTE: A LifePlan is not about you crafting your dream for your life, but unearthing Gods dream for your life.
2. Do the Enneagram. This diagnostic tool not only reveals your sheen that looks beautiful, engaging and everyone wants to see, but it also gives insight into the potential pitfalls and “dark side” of your sheen / personality. The side that often creeps up on you but you don’t know why. This tool, when facilitated by a pro, can help you see the other side of you.
3. Give trusted people permission. Allowing trusted friends and family members to speak openly into your life could surprise you. They stare at your exterior all day long. And though they might not know how you feel on the inside all the time … they will have a pretty accurate appraisal of how shiny or dull you are on the outside.
4. Get alone. Get away with only a blank notebook and ask God to speak to you. If you are feeling stuck and like God is quiet … then write everything you want to say to Him. Then just draw an empty box or circle on your paper … and wait for Him to speak words into your heart. Write down what your heart says. Then meditate on those things.
Are all of our wishes compatible?
Can we accomplish all we wish and dream to do?
The short answer is no.
I have found that many people are plagued and ultimately left feeling tremendously guilty by a pursuit of “incompatible wishes.”
Incompatible Wishes: A series of good and noble dreams that cannot be realized in unison.
Here is an example of my recent incompatible wishes.
I want to be the lead pastor of a mega (giga) church AND I wish to write a book, spend time with my family, build a benevolent photography brand and lead the senior team at Slingshot Group in staffing and coaching.
These are all good wishes.
But they are incompatible when considered in unison.
When I stood at the ledge of leading one of the largest churches in the United States, I realized I could not do that and accomplish the other good things God had placed in my head and heart.
So I had a choice …
Which wish to pursue … because finite amounts of time, energy and resources make these good wishes incompatible.
Look at all of the wishes you have before you right now in your life.
- You may have some giant, good and noble dreams.
- Incredible opportunities.
- Once in a lifetime invitations.
Here is the good news … if Gods calling on your life is simply to “work in His Kingdom” then you have a lot of latitude on how, when and where you do that.
Invest your life in the area that makes your heart beat fast.
And don’t heap guilt on yourself when you can’t “do it all.”
“All” is not possible because many of your great wishes and awesome opportunities are just incompatible.
These good and noble things could possibly be accomplished in a sequence, but not in unison.
Admitting some of your wishes are good, but incompatible, will allow you to live infectiously and curiously.
I wonder if you have jumped into bitcoin / altcoin and crypto this New Year?
I have a small stake in BTC (Bitcoin), XLM (Stellar Lumens), XRP (Ripple), ETH (Ehteruim), TRX (Tronix) and XVG (Verge) as we begin 2018.
It has been a tumultuous 10 days as I watch these coins crash.
Then crash yet again.
Here is what I wrote in my journal this morning as I listened to Bethal Music w/out words on my Apple AirPods.
“Here is what is true … every earth based financial investment I make in this life will eventually fade, disappoint, stress, rust, collect moths and crash.
But my investment in God, His Kingdom and His Holy Word does not ever fade, disappoint, stress, rust or collect moths. It is crash proof.”
This is what I believe.
This is where I must live.
Can you make a buck while you make a life?
But too much focus on a buck will also crash your life.
< = > New Year.
It’s simple …
One push-up never equals just one push-up.
When I make myself get on the floor for “just one” push-up it always becomes 10, 20, 30 or more.
“I’m here now … I may as well do a few more.”
And that is how just one push-up has changed my fitness level.
So, how has it changed my LIFE?
- Just write a few sentences … always becomes a few paragraphs.
- Just walk around the block … always becomes a mile or two.
- Just send one text of encouragement … always becomes three or four.
- Just one minute in the Bible … always becomes 20 minutes.
Just one little anything has the potential to become a whole lot of something and change your life.
I have decided to write more and less in 2018.
I am not sure about you, but the “less is more” mindset has never been more real or relevant to me.
Time seems to be my most precious commodity.
Therefore, in this New Year, I plan and pray to write less, more often.
In fact, I am working on a post now that I plan to publish in the next 12 hours.
It’s short but sweet and won’t eat too much of your time.
You can apply it, or not.
You can Evernote it, or not.
You can agree with it, or forget it.
It’s a little less is more kinda year.
Ten hours before the horrific shootings began at Mandalay Bay I was speaking to three Sunday morning services at Verve Church, just off the Las Vegas strip.
I was talking about how we “should on God” when God doesn’t act like He “should.”
Midway through the message God led me to pause and say …
“I am going to share something with you now
that could save your FUTURE FAITH in God.”
At some point in the future, it could be today or tomorrow or next month, God is not going to act like we think He “should.”
And you will have choice to make …
Will you continue to trust God,
even when He does not act like
you think He “should?”
Little did I know that less than 10 hours later I would be inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel watching a band about 10:30pm and in the midst of this surreal event.
Police / SWAT moving by us as we hid inside Mandalay Bay
Police outside Mandalay Bay. Thousands being evacuated an hour after shooting began.
Here is my message from Verve Church this past weekend.
How do we act when God doesn’t act like we think He “should?”
NOTE: This message is from the forthcoming book “Meet The Shoulds” and the teaching series “SHOULD HAPPENS” that will be available at the end of this year.
Generally speaking, in life, would you prefer something to be full or empty?
In most areas of life we would prefer something be full rather than empty. It’s better to have a full can of soda, plate of cookies or gas tank … than an empty one. When it’s your birthday you would rather your Facebook or Instagram timeline be full of birthday wishes … rather than empty. And what about Thanksgiving or Christmas? Would you rather have a house full of friends and family … or a quiet, empty and lonely house?
We tend to prefer fullness over emptiness.
And listen, God is all good with fullness. He wants you to have life and have it to the fullest.
But there are times when God prefers emptiness.
Sometimes emptiness is the only thing God can bless.
In this short message I spend some time talking about the importance and genius of collecting emptiness.
We know more about each other and our world than any other era in human history.
We are as connected as ever
but also as lonely as ever.
This three-minute video takes a fun and sobering look at our online lives.
As I live a multi-hyphenate life I often get questions from people wondering if I am diluting my influence or gifts.
I do have to keep this in mind because it’s easy for a curious person to hide in their curiosity and never really accomplish anything.
That being said, when I ran across this “triple threat” concept I had to share it. It comes from Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip.
The concept is
if you want to live an extra-ordinary life
you basically have two choices …
1. Become the best at one thing.
2. Become very good at 2-3 things.
The first strategy, becoming the best at one thing, is unbelievably difficult. After all, very few people will ever sell a million records or books or win even one olympic gold medal.
The second, becoming very good at 2-3 things, on the other hand is doable! I believe all of us, with some discipline and desire, can become very good at several things.
Not over night, but over time.
For instance, I am not the best …
But over time I have be able to move from good to very good, some might argue this:), at all three.
Developing a “triple threat” of skills can become your genius.
Of course everything in life is essentially a remix of gifts, skills and passions … but what is your unique version of the remix?
Running in more than one lane
can actually lead you further in life
than running in only one lane,
when those multiple lanes begin to merge!
Live curious friends.
It feels so good to wake up here.
I am waking up this Father’s Day at the Clark Cabin in the mountains of Southern California. I have a loving and adorable wife and two incredible, unique, strong, brave, faith-filled kids, one in college and one in high school.
And I am thinking, “How did we get here?”
First of all, we didn’t drift here. Our goal from the “early days” of parenting has been to have a WORLD CLASS FAMILY. And because that is true, I knew we couldn’t just drift.
I was young and didn’t know much about how to be a good parent, but I knew enough to rely on God for His guidance as the only Perfect Father. As Rene and I leaned in to God’s Word, seeking His wisdom for our family, God gave us some ideas that have allowed us to have a great family and personal relationships as our kids have moved into high school and college:
- Daddy Day (Time) – When Ruby and Cole were small I would take off work each Friday. This was our Daddy Day. It did not matter who called or what else become urgent – these two were most important.
- Camp Clark (Energy) – When I was a youth pastor I would spend weeks and months planning a retreat for students. That caused me to wonder, what if I put the same amount of energy into my family that I put into our youth group? What could be the result? From a decade of experience as a youth pastor and a decade of experience as a lead pastor, I have seen far too many families who give their everything to their career and their leftovers to their family. And that is what led to “Camp Clark.” I spent several weeks putting together a full blown weekend retreat complete with personal journal, devotion schedule, worship time, recreation time and lights out … JUST FOR MY TWO KIDS! What if you decided to give the same amount of energy and creativity to your family as you do to your job? How WORLD CLASS would your family be?
- Little Notes (Encouragement) – From the time Ruby was old enough to write, she started slipping little notes under our bedroom door at night when she was scared or just wanted to say one more time how much she loved us. Her sweet little notes got us in the habit of leaving little notes for each other. These handwritten notes on bedroom doors, bathroom mirrors, Keurig coffee makers, Bibles, shoes, backpacks, lunch sacks and a hundred other simple places have become a big deal for our family. We keep the notes. They remind us on the tough days that we have a family behind us that believes the best.
- Sand Holes (Boundaries) – I remember the first 10 times we took our preschool age kids to the beach. I would lug all the chairs, shovels, umbrellas, towels and coolers to our ocean-front camp. We would only be there for about 10 minutes, and Ruby and Cole would be upset and ready to go home. I can vividly remember picking up and leaving prematurely time after time. And then the event that changed everything happened. We were packing up to the leave the beach, and as we were leaving we noticed a family next two us with two little kids. Their dad had dug a huge hole for them in the sand, and it had become their world. As we started to leave, Ruby and Cole migrated over to “the hole,” and before we knew it, they were in this new world with the other two kids. They played for 5 minutes, then 10, then 20 minutes had gone by, and they weren’t even thinking about leaving “the hole.” I thought to myself, “Could this be it?” Could this be the answer to all our premature beach departures? To make a long story medium length, it was the answer. The hole actually translated into boundaries for our kids. When we arrived at the beach with no boundaries it was intimidating and expansive and scary. But the hole created a safe place. The hole was the answer, and for the next 10 years it was my first duty upon arriving at the beach.
- NOTE: Today we don’t dig holes in the sand for Ruby and Cole as they are 16 and 19 years old, but we do still create healthy boundaries for them that make life feel less scary and intimidating. We create boundaries that allow them to enjoy and soak up life just like they did on the beach all those years ago.
- Family Dream Sessions (Vision) – Each summer since Ruby and Cole were in elementary school we have gathered together at the beginning of June to consider our summer. This 1-2 hour family dream session has become a family tradition, and this is one of the main ingredients that has led us to experience a WORLD CLASS FAMILY.
If you’d like to know more, I have written a whole post called “How To Lead A Family Dream Session.” Check it out.