Surviving An Omni-Aware Christmas

More than ever this Christmas season we are omni-aware.

We are, like no other time in the history of humanity, aware of all the good and all the bad in the world the moment it occurs.

Think about that …

We see every heroic act immediately …
creating all kinds of unintended heroes.

We see every violent act immediately …
creating all kinds of super villains.

And we have to metabolize and make sense out of all of it.

What I want us to realize is that it has not always been this way.

For instance, in 1989 I was on a bus with a soccer team from the United States sitting at the Olympic training center in Hong Kong. We were on our way into China to play a match against their national team. We sat on the bus for several hours without moving and finally were told to get off and go back into the training center.  That afternoon we sat and watched uncensored television video of the tanks rolling down Tiananmen Square.

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What is crazy is that what I saw in “real time” that day, much of the world did not see for days because of the censorship of television at that time.

That is not the case today … we do not even need television to be aware today.

As Leonard Sweet says, “We are living in a T.G.I.F. Culture!”
Twitter.  Google.  Instagram.  Facebook.

These mobile technologies have made us instantaneously omni-aware of all the good and bad, evil and heroic moments that happen. And we experience all of this in real time all around the globe.

In any given day we will digest …

  • An airstrike in the middle east
  • A Tsunami in Asia
  • A fire at a concert that kills 40 young people
  • A dad who saves a boy from drowning
  • A police officer who risks her life to save children at a pre-school
  • A police officer that shoots an apparently innocent man
  • Children who are being trafficked
  • Parades for World series baseball teams
  • New diseases from mosquitos
  • New iPhones from Apple

When I think about our current culture,  it feels like we are living in a comic book because we are globally aware of heroes and villains like never before.

And what often happens to Christians when we get a real-time look at the world is that we get depressed because it often looks like the Church is losing.

From our perspective, things do not look good for the Church.

So I give you this true story to offset the omni-aware moments.

A few years back CNN did a special from France about the 50th Anniversary of the allied invasion of Normandy. This battle marked the beginning of the end of World War II. In this interview CNN interviewed two elderly men who had been young soldiers and participated in the Normandy invasion.

The first interview was an infantry soldier, “We landed on the beach and I made my way through dead body after dead body … I saw my whole unit killed!   I fought hand-to-hand combat paying a high price for every foot of territory.   I looked all around me at all the dead bodies and I fell to my knees in defeat and I said to myselfthere is no way we can win.”

The second interview was a reconnaissance pilot, “It was my job to fly over the entire area of the battle and then report back to the allied command everything I could see from my aerial perspective.    And as I flew over the battle field with every hour I became more and more confident with what I saw and I said to myself there is no way we can lose!”

As we continue to make efforts to make sense of this omni-aware world from our perspective I believe all heaven is looking down upon us saying, “If you could just see what we see! If you could see this world from our perspective you would see that the message of Christ is advancing every single day.  And there is no way we can lose!”

I believe it’s our job as followers of Jesus this Christmas
to remind people
about God’s view.

It is our job to help people who get to see ALL the good & ALL the bad instantaneously … to realize that God is still in control!

Yes, our world is taking on a different shape,
but God is the one shaping it.

The omni-awareness of this culture this Christmas gives us the opportunity to not only hear the “bad news” but also be a part of spreading the Good News of Jesus.

When To Poke The Bear

Bear: A person from your past who might harm your future.

I was recently made aware of a bear who had spoken some harmful and untrue words about me to a another person, and those words negatively affected my future. It’s important to note that even the person to whom the bear spoke, didn’t believe the bear, but I was still concerned …

  • Had the bear done this to me before, and I was unaware of it?
  • Would the bear do this again?

I went to bed that night planning to poke the bear the next day.  In fact, I had already spent much time and energy preparing my arsenal to unload on the bear. This bear didn’t stand a chance.

However, when I woke up the next day I felt different. A good night’s sleep had recalibrated my confidence and refreshed my perspective.

I decided not to poke the bear.

Here’s why …

Continue reading “When To Poke The Bear”

What Happens When Your Passions & God’s Purposes Collide?

Shout out to @DCCowan and The Crossing Church in Las Vegas for this high definition description of what can happen when your passions and God’s purposes collide.

 

 

I have a passion for global missions, children who are hungry and photography.

 

And when you combine those passions with my entrepreneurial tendencies and God’s purposes … you get Eat Art!

 

Together we sent hope and over 30,000 meals to hungry kids through the Eat Art Show at The Crossing Church on one single weekend!

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If you would like to host an Eat Art Show at your church or business and begin artfully ending hunger, we would love to partner with you.

 

You get the art, and the kids get to eat.

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 At The Crossing Church we sold out of all the images we sent for the Sunday art show!

 

Here are a few of the images people purchased that sent thousands of meals to hungry kids.

 

Welcome HomeA nearby faraway place.
Ko Olina, Hawaii
Ko Olina, Hawaii

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Waikiki
doortoheart50percent logoAntigua, Guatemala
Zuma Beach, CA
Zuma Beach, CA
Waikiki
Waikiki
Antigua, Guatemala
Antigua, Guatemala
Table For Two
Table For Two – Dominican Republic

Watch Full Movie Get Squirrely (2015)


Quality  : HD
Title    : Get Squirrely
Director : Ross Venokur
Writer   : Lenore Venokur
Release  : 2015-03-01
Language : English
Runtime  : 85 min
Genre    : Family, Animation, Comedy.

Synopsis :
‘Get Squirrely’ is a movie genre Family, was released in March 1, 2015. Ross Venokur was directed this movie and starring by Victoria Justice. This movie tell story about After breaking out of a rehabilitation zoo, Frankie, a squirrel with all the angles, returns to his forest. He learns from his dim-witted best friend, Cody, a porcupine and street-con, that while he was in lock-up, the entire forest was picked clean by The A.C.O.R.N.S. Institute (Alternative Cosmetic Oils for Regenerative Natural Skin-care). No acorn was left behind. With winter just around the corner, it’s a potentially devastating blow to all forest critters. So, Frankie has no choice but to bust into the brand new, state-of-the-art, rodent-proof A.C.O.R.N.S. Processing Plant and take back all of the acorns! Though a seemingly impossible heist, success would not only save the lives of his forest friends, but it would also give Frankie a chance to win back the love of his life, Lola, a local “show squirrel.” Sadly, Lola has been burnt by too many of Frankie’s false promises in the past.

Watch Full Movie Get Squirrely (2015)

3 Tips For Transitioning Pastors

In the past few months both Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant have announced their retirements. Peyton Manning, in his press conference, referred to the number 18 he has worn on his back for the past 18 seasons. “There’s something about 18 years – 18 is a good number,” said Manning. He also uttered the words that everyone already knew …

 “You don’t have to wonder if I’ll miss it. Absolutely I will.”

Today I spend much of my time coaching pastors in transition / succession seasons of life in ministry. It is a tough season indeed, and eyes often get wet like Peyton’s did as he talked about stepping away from pro football.

Several pastors who have been at a church for 25-35 years have asked how I can possibly understand what they are going through. I then share with them my story of launching, leading and then handing off Discovery Church in Simi Valley, California.

Four years ago I transitioned away from a church that I had launched and led for ten years.  It was one of the most difficult decisions of my life.

I often ask pastors … “Is it easier to hand off a 10 year old kid or a 35 year old kid?” Continue reading “3 Tips For Transitioning Pastors”

What’s Next For The Clark Crew?

It is with much sadness but extreme peace that I share with you that God is calling the Clark family to transition away from Christ’s Church of the Valley. It has been an adventurous season of life as we wrap up 3 1/2 years of ministry at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona.

CCV has been an amazing experience for our family as we have watched God work in supernatural ways. 

Thank you for accepting and loving our family.

We are thankful for the time God has let us share together.

We have been inspired, stretched and made better by so many of you!

It has been a true honor to be part of the executive team, leading, preaching and serving God’s Church.

This June we will be moving to Huntington Beach, California.

HIU

Ruby will be attending Hope International University. She will place herself in an environment where God can grow her heart for people and challenge her comfort zones.

 

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Cole will be attending Huntington Beach High School.  There he will be able to attend an amazing public high school and also an arts school where he can learn music, theater and journalism.

 

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Rene will be taking care of all of us. She will also be launching a new blog and taking her “Bible Boot Camp” to the beach!

 

 

I will continue to serve God’s Church and people in a curious way.  I have always been a bit of a divergent personality … even before the movie. (You can read more about that in this blog post from a  few months ago.)

In this next season of life, instead of putting all my eggs in one basket, I plan to put eggs into three different baskets. These areas of service are all very important to me, and they all leverage my one and only life to grow God’s Kingdom and Church!

Here are the three baskets that I will be putting my eggs into over the coming months …

The Preaching Basket.

mepreachI will no longer be preaching at CCV, but I will continue to consult and preach on a regular basis at many amazing churches.  You can see a list of those churches on the Speaking tab of this blog site.

In addition, in this new season of life, my wife Rene and I really desire to do more ministry together.

We will be seeking opportunities where we can speak, write and serve God and His Church as a team!

 

The Leadership Basket.

logo-blackI will be leveraging my previous 25 years of church experience to serve the Church in the future. I will be doing this primarily through the Slingshot Group. I am leading the senior division in coaching and staffing with teaching pastors and lead pastors.

This gives me the opportunity to be a “strategic confidant” to pastors and coach Next Level Leaders and place them with Next Level Churches.

If you are not familiar with Slingshot Group, you can learn more about this amazing organization here.

 

The Art Basket.

EALogo-artfullyI launched Eat Art roughly 5 years ago, and it is never far from my heart. Eat Art is a non profit organization that is committed to Artfully Ending Hunger. Over the past 5 years we have been able to send hope and over 300,000 meals to hungry kids through the sale of photography.

I believe with everything in me that we can send 1,000,000 meals a year to hungry kids!  

In Huntington Beach there is an art fair on Friday nights on the pier. We will be seeking to secure an opportunity in that environment where people can purchase art and partner with Eat Art.

You get the art and the kids get to eat!

Friends at CCV … we love you!

May you continue to live a curious life for Jesus.

A life that stands out and points people to HIM.

 

3 Things That Could Sabotage Your Future Self

You are the most important and difficult person you lead every single day.

That being the case, here are three ways you can completely sabotage your future self.

1.Caring too much about what others think about you.

 

If you are doing big, adventurous, faith-filled and curious things, there will always be people who feel small around you. Your desire to live a curious life that is full of faith will illuminate some people’s desire to live a life characterized by safety. And they will belittle you as a result of their own insecurities.

Do not take this personally. This is often more about them than it is about you.

Not everyone has the same level of risk tolerance, and not everyone is at the same place in their faith.

Take careful inventory of your words.

Ask God to protect your heart and continue to bring clarity to you as you lead and leverage your one and only life.

2. Caring too little about what God thinks about you.

 

From heaven’s perspective you are a magnificent creation of the most high God. And there is no doubt that God has woven abilities, talents and gifts into your life that you have not even come to realize yet!

Little stuff that other people never even notice are things that God notices because He made you on purpose.

God recognizes and keeps track of every detail of your life.

One of my favorite stories to illustrate this truth is of the Statue of Liberty.

Oscar Hammerstein had seen a picture, a photograph of the top of the Statue of Liberty from a helicopter. And he said, “This picture reveals the intricate detail that has been sculpted on Lady Liberty’s head, her hair and her crown and all of those things at that angle which no one could ever see,” and he said, “I got to thinking that sculptor must have realized that never will anyone see the top of the Statue of Liberty’s head, since there were no airplanes or helicopters when the statue was set in place. But he spent the same kind of detail and care and painstaking craftsmanship on the top of Lady Liberty’s head as he did down at the feet and everywhere else that would be seen by everyone.”

ladyliberty

God has carved things into you that only He can see.

You were created by the oldest, most famous, skilled, loving Creator in the history of the world.

Believe what God says about you and don’t get fearful and fail to fulfill the purpose and plan for which you were created.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

3. Living in the future and neglecting the now.

 

Leaders are built for the future.

But our faith, friendships and family are all requesting that we live in the now.

I can tell you from personal experience that one of the quickest ways to sabotage your future self is to live constantly in the future.

I would say to leaders that instead of “living” in the future you should be content to “visit” the future … but continue to live in the now.