What you will miss about Orange Conference

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Orange conference is very nostalgic for me. It’s the place where I first met up with the people who have become some of my closest friends. It was the first really large conference I ever attended. 6 years ago and it feels like yesterday. I ended up going 3 years in a row as a blogger and haven’t been able to attend the last three years due to conflicts in my schedule.

I thought I would take a bit of a different take with this post and tell you the unique aspects I miss most about Orange after a three-year absence.

  1. The tribe – Each conference has their own Eco system of regular attenders. I will attend most of the other National conferences this year defiantly miss my friends at Orange.
  2. Reggie’s Keynote – Orange has some of the best and the brightest out there. For me every year I personally enjoyed Reggie’s keynote most. Reggie is a thinker and strategist. Every chance I get to talk to Reggie I am challenged.
  3. The show – The production value of everything that takes place at Orange conference is second to none. It is big, exciting and fun.
  4. Family ministry from the church side of things – In my experience every conference out there has something they do really well. I think the thing that Orange Conference does better than anyone is talk about family ministry from the church side of things. This isn’t all they do but in my mind it’s what they do best.

I have been saying this the past 3 years but next year I really hope I can come back to Orange. I miss my friends.

Enter below for a chance to win a free registration to Orange conference.

The New Needs Friends

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In the book Creativity Inc, By Ed Catmull at one point he talked about the importance of protecting the new. He then quoted the amazing monologue delivered by Anton Ego in Ratatouille.

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to
our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and
to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the
grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more
meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times
when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and
defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new
creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something
new, an extra-ordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say
that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about
fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core.
In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s
famous motto: ‘Anyone can cook.’ But I realize, only now do I truly
understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a
great artist can come from anywhere. – Anton Ego

I have always been an innovative person who learns through iteration, trial and error. I find however as I grow older that I more easily stick to what I know because I know it works. The beauty of age is experience. The danger of age is becoming critical of the new. I meet many people who talk more about what they have done than what they are doing. 

Being a critic is much less costly than being an artist. Left to ourselves we slip into the criticism of the new rather than become a friend of the new.

Weekend Reading 2-13-2015

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What books I am reading right now

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull

Out Of The Silent Planet By C.S. Lewis

What blogs I am reading right now

No Grey Area – Kevin DeYoung Talks about he proper Christian response to the movie and book series 50 shades of grey. 

How to build a thriving Children’s Ministry in small town USA. I love Dale Hudson’s passion for the local church. This post is both practical and encouraging. Our founding pastor attends Dales church. They do an amazing job I am grateful for Dale’s voice and the influence of Christ Fellowship on the church in America.

The Enemy of creativity… – Seth Godin can do more in blog post that is more like a pregnant tweet than many people can do in an entire book. (Also I think he is the only person still blogging on the typepad platform.) Great very short post on creativity.

President Obama and the problem of religious Conviction – Great post by Trevin Wax on the problem religious conviction. Trevin explains that our certainty in the truth can and will be offensive to our present day culture. Loved his statement – “you don’t deal with violent expressions of faith by pretending that confidence is the problem and content doesn’t matter.”

37 Android Apps, Free Streaming Sticks, Build your Nas, and More Deals – In the next few weeks I am switching over to an android phone – check out these free Android apps I will be.

This Crazy Simpsons Theory Actually Makes A Lot Of Sense – Thought this was interesting for the cartoon loving conspiracy theorists out there.

 

8 Years ago today.

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Eight years ago today one the kids in our kids church suddenly went home to be with the Lord. This lead to me to try and  reconcile  how a loving God could do such a thing. Through that process inside my heart of hearts I let go of God, only to find out He never let go of me. One of the means of grace that God used to help me understand the gospel was Sally Lloyd-Jones for that I owe her and Tim Keller a debt I will never be able to repay.

Every year on this day I am filled with sadness and joy because one day, one day. I will see Robert and his family reunited. That is my prayer that is my prayer every day but especially on this day.

BY THE HAND!

When you’re in the dark or on a narrow path, you need someone to lead you by the hand, to hold your hand tight. You need someone to rely on.

God says you can rely on him:

I’ve got you by the hand
And I’ll never let you go!

No matter where you go,
No matter what you do,
You always have
A hand to hold you.

I will lead you,
Guide you,
Keep you,

Even through death
I won’t ever let you go!
(Taken from: Thoughts that Make your Heart Sing, Sally Lloyd-Jones)

Ask Why and What not How

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In my desire to lead well I have very often asked the wrong questions over the years. I tend to lean toward asking how and not Why. Because how seems like it will get me where I want faster. At times this is true. The problem with asking how is it very often can short-circuit the process that sustains the very things I am desire to obtain.

I never saw this in myself until a kids pastor I respect greatly said “Sam, when you have a platform what are you going to say?” I had honestly never thought of that before. What am I going to say? I had never thought anyone wanted to hear what I had to say.