Monday Morning Musings for 10.03.16

  1. People often wonder what Jesus did in the 18 years between age 12, when he returned to Nazareth with his parents, and age 30 when his ministry began. We know at least part of the answer: he worked. We know this because when he arrived back in his hometown after his ministry began (Mark 6), the people identified him by his trade. It is a stunning thought: Jesus spent three years in ministry, yet at least 15 years working. Why? We who are made in the image of the Creator are hard-wired to create and produce – to work. Thus, work was part of Jesus' nature as "fully human." Further, the Bible tells us that Jesus grew "in wisdom and stature" during the years he worked. Just as Jesus learned and grew through the dynamics of His work, so can we. Yes, work has been corrupted by sin, but when properly understood, we realize It is God's gift to us, allowing us to find purpose in this life by creating those things that lift both people and cultures. Therefore, whatever we do, we do with excellence for our work is a reflection of the Father. 
  2. As a result of the truth in #1, we are thrilled to announce the launch of The Collaborative for Cultural and Economic Renewal. Resulting from three years of work and study, The Collaborative is a 50-year initiative that will change the face of our city as more and more people discover the Kingdom purpose of their work. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:9, we are "co-laborers" with God as He brings His plan and purpose to bear in this world. When we align our work with Kingdom perspective and then align ourselves with others in the same industry, influence and impact result. Check out all the elements of The Collaborative at
  3. I loved the Arnold Palmer stories being shared all week in honor of The King's passing. The fact that so many could share stories reveals the true nature of the man: he was charismatic, but he always loved to be with people. My story: I played 18 with him at Bay Hill in 2007. On the first tee, exceedingly nervous, I hit three tee shots in the identical spot in the trees on the left side. After each, Mr. Palmer would kindly say, "David, it's fine. Don't worry about it. Hit another one." After the third one, he went to his cart, got a sleeve of his personalized Calloway balls, and returned. He hands them to me and says, "Looks like you're going to need these" and then walks up the first fairway. I still have those golf balls. 
  4. SAD BUT TRUE: Men are far less likely than women to seek help for depression, believing they can "snap themselves out of it" because such feelings are a sign of weakness. Guys, don't do that to yourself. It doesn't have to be that way. To those who love us, watch for signs like withdrawal, outbursts of anger, loss of interest in things normally enjoyed and a defeated or negative attitude. Encourage them to talk about it!
  5. TWO SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE: An over-served LSU fan lights the oak at Toomer's Corner on fire. Two, Steve Donnelly, a boxer from Ireland in the Rio Olympics, was found guilty of betting on his match. He bet he would lose and then went out and won. When asked why he did it, he said: "In case I lost, I wanted some money to make me feel better."
  6. WE'RE ALL RELATED: In this age of cultural polarization and separation, a new study published in the journal Nature answered the question as to how human beings spread out to populate the earth. The answer scientists found, after years of studying the DNA of people all over the world, was this: between 40,000 and 80,000 years ago, we all came out of Africa. With one exception of a small tribe in New Zealand, every one of us started out in Africa. It is the scientific echo of Acts 17:26, "From one man He made every nation of man, that they should inhabit the whole earth." #irony #ilovescience
  7. I came across an old truth from Steven Covey last week: your system is perfectly designed to produce the results you're getting. Too often, we miss this. I miss this. If I want different outcomes, I need to change my system – my economy – of how I do things.
  8. FULL CIRCLE: I am so grateful to have my old friend, Ben Sparman and his wife, Linda, join our church recently. Ben and I played 8th-grade basketball together for the legendary Kellis White. I should say Ben played and I watched from the bench. He went on to be a missionary with CRU in China for 25 years and is now back in Orlando at CRU headquarters. Who would have thought?
  9. The Ryder Cup was absolutely as good as golf gets. I may enjoy the Masters a bit more, but for pressure and theater, it was unbelievable. The Reed/McIlroy match was pure fun, especially to see Reed win – and Phil played out of his mind. Great to see the US finally close the deal!