Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Movie List 2015 (updated June 27th)


Each year I keep a running list of the movies I've watched from that particular year. As I watch more and more films, the list will grow. On average I see about 20 movies a year in the theater. My 5 star ratings system is pretty straight forward...

***** I would own this movie
**** I would watch again
*** A good and enjoyable movie but not worth seeing again
** Waste of time
* I'm dumber for having watched it

So with that being said, here's my list for 2015:

1) Inside Out *****
2) Paddington *****
3) Avengers Age of Ulton ****
4) Jurassic World ***
5)  Home ***
6) The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water *

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Struggle is Real...Why Hide It?


My friend Tami Rumfelt from www.tamiwithani.com and WBFJ radio shared the following post to her Facebook page yesterday. I love when transparency, vulnerability, honesty, and real life are able to be shared on a public stage without fear of rejection or judgment. Wouldn't it be great if more Christian leaders in the public spotlight were as open as Tami? 

“Yesterday, I was thinking about how difficult last year was for family. It was just one struggle after another, many of which were financial in nature. I became very discouraged and even depressed at times. But, now having a little distance from it all, I could see that we made it through. We never went hungry. BOTH mortgages were paid every month. We celebrated a beautiful and abundant Christmas with our three healthy children. By the grace of God, we made it. How much stress and worry was wasted on things that would eventually work themselves out?

As I continued to think about this, I wondered what it would be like if, this year, no matter what were to happen, I simply trusted God to work it all out. What if I didn't stew, stress or worry and instead really and truly allowed God to have my back? I mean, I've been saying that I trusted God to take care of me for years. But, maybe I've been faking it all this time. Hmmm....interesting thought.

This afternoon, my car broke down on the way home from picking Laura up from school. In the middle of Piney Grove Rd. it just completely died. I was able to push into the shoulder until it was mostly off the road. Andrew was on his way home from school and saw me on the side of the road so he was immediately there to help me. Unfortunately, the car's front end was in a slight embankment so we were unable to get it off the road any further. Thankfully, one of Andrew's friends saw us and stopped to help . He had a jeep and a tow rope (!) and was able to get the car completely out of the road.

Now I just had to figure out what to do to get this car somewhere where it could be fixed. Andrew remembered that our next door neighbor, John, is a mechanic who just so happens to also have a trailer for towing cars. Sweet Andrew even said he'd offer to do yardwork for John to help pay our bill. So, I called John and explained the situation. He said he would be happy to pick it up on his way home from work, take it to his shop tomorrow to work on it, and maybe even put it back on the trailer and bring it home to us tomorrow when he has it fixed.

Now, all I had to figure out was how we would pay the repair bill. When I got home after this little ordeal, I went out to get the mail. In the mailbox was a card from a family member who lives out of state. Inside the card was a check for $200! Here's part of what she said in the card:

"January has a way of sending costs, unexpected or expected, on a spiral. Holidays are over...credit cards come due; heating costs rise; the car needs to be registered, inspected, filled with gas or REPAIRED (emphasis mine). Here's a little breathing space or a step along the way."

I don't know what God may be preparing me for. Only He knows if this year will be less or more of a struggle than the last. But, today He showed me for, like, the gazillonth time, that He really can be trusted with everything. So often, it's in the times with broken cars, broken kids, bats in the attic and bills up to my eyeballs that I can see Him at work so clearly. But, when I become hyper-focused on the bad thing that is happening at that moment, and worried about what I am going to do to fix it, I totally miss God doing his best work!"

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 Ministry, Pastor, and Church Conferences

There are plenty of choices for church conferences in 2015. So whether you are looking for a youth conference, creative ministry conference, or just a general Christian conference, here are some events to consider.

JANUARY 2015

Jan 2 :: Passion Conference #1 (Atlanta, GA)
Speakers: Francis Chan, Louie Giglio, Carl Lentz, John Piper, Ben Stuart
Length: 3 days
Jan 5 :: National Conference Youth Ministries (Dallas, TX)
Speakers: Rick Atchley, Eugene Cho, Dave Clayton, David Fraze, Megan Hutchinson, Mark Matlock, Jonathan McKee, Kara Powell, Chris Seidman
Length: 4 days
Cost: $100-$375
Jan 13 :: Sentralized Conference (Chicago, IL)
Speakers: Brad Brisco, Dave Ferguson, Darryl Ford, Lance Ford, Michael Frost, Dori Gorman, Hugh Halter, Helen Lee, Eric Lerew, Scott Nelson, Sher Sheets, Tim Soerens
Length: 2 days
Cost: $89
Jan 15 :: Passion Conference #2 (Atlanta, GA)
Speakers: Christine Caine, Louie Giglio, Lecrae, John Piper, Judah Smith
Length: 3 days
Cost: $189
Jan 21 :: Children’s Pastors Conference East (Chattanooga, TN)
Speakers: Amy Dolan, Beth Guckenberger, David Laflin, Charles Lee, Chi Chi Okwu, Brittany Reedy, Jimmy Reedy, Aaron Reynolds
Length: 4 days
Cost: $393-$493
Jan 22 :: Catalyst Dallas (Dallas, TX)
Speakers: Jennie Allen, Eugene Cho, Charles Duhigg, Bob Goff, Caroline Leaf, Robert Madu, Robert Morris, Andy Stanley, Danielle Strickland, Lysa Terkeurst, Rich Wilkerson, Jr
Length: 3 days
Cost: $199-$299
Jan 22 :: PlanetShakers Awakening (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Speakers: Russell Evans, Sam Evans
Length: 3 days
Cost: RM80
Jan 23 :: PyroManiacs Conference (Houston, TX)
Speakers: Phil Johnson, Dan Phillips, Frank Turk
Length: 2 days
Cost: $80-$120
Jan 30 :: Passion Conference (Houston, TX)
Speakers: Christine Caine, Francis Chan, Matt Chandler, Louie Giglio, Ben Stuart
Length: 3 days
Cost: $199

FEBRUARY 2015

Feb 4 :: Next Level Conference (Savannah, GA)
Speakers: Dave Ferguson, Cam Huxford, Tim Liston
Length: 3 days
Cost: $35-$125
Feb 11 :: C3 Conference (Grapevine, TX)
Speakers: Mark Batterson, At Boshoff, Steven Furtick, David Hughes, Chris McGregor, Ed Young Jr
Length: 2 days
Cost: $99
Feb 12 :: Sentralized Conference (Kansas City, KS)
Speakers: Brad Brisco, Mischele Brisco, Darryl Ford, Lance Ford, Hugh Halter, Alan Hirsch, Deb Hirsch, Troy McMahon, Jo Saxton, Jon Shirley, Dan Southerland, Rob Wegner
Length: 2 days
Cost: $89
Feb 16 :: Children’s Pastors Conference West (Ontario, CA)
Speakers: Eugene Cho, Beth Guckenberger, Matt Guevara, David Laflin, Charles Lee, Megan Marshman, Brittany Reedy, Jimmy Reedy, Aaron Reynolds
Length: 4 days
Cost: $393-$493
Feb 19 :: Ligonier National Conference (Orlando, FL)
Speakers: Alistair Begg, Rosaria Butterfield, Tim Challies, Kevin DeYoung, Sinclair Ferguson, W Robert Godfrey, Peter Jones, Steven Lawson, Russell Moore, Stephen Nichols, R.C. Sproul, R.C. Sproul Jr.
Length: 3 days
Cost: $159-$219
Feb 20 :: Believers in Business (New York, NY)
Speakers: Thomas Healey, Henry Kaestner, Eff Martin, Diane Paddison, Shundrawn Thomas, Mark Washington, Mark Whitacre
Length: 2 days
Cost: $99-$189
Feb 20 :: Ignite Conference (Dallas, TX)
Speakers: Eddie Broussard, Craig Etheredge, Brian Haynes, Greg Ogden, Dann Spader, Barry St. Clair, Kennon Vaughan
Length: 2 days
Cost: $25-$45
Feb 20 :: Wheaton Evangelism Conference (Wheaton, IL)
Speakers: Gabe Bahlhorn, Jeff Bethke, Jon Bloom, Matt Brown, Richard Coleman, Roger Coles, Brandon Crouch, Will Graham, Carrie Headington, Jonathan Hulton, Pradeepan Jeeva, Sam Kim, Pedro Latorre, David McIver, Laurie Nichols, Jerry Root, Dominic Russo, Eric Samuel Timm, Frank Shelton, Dave Sterrett, Trevin Wax, Sammy Wanyonyi, Terry Weaver
Length: 2 days
Cost: $15-$30
Feb 21 :: NRB International Christian Media Convention (Nashville, TN)
Speakers: George Barna, Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Lord Robert Edmiston, Kristina Halvorson, Katie Harbath, Guy Kawasaki, Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick, Claire Diaz Ortiz, David Platt, Priscilla Shirer, Ed Stetzer, Michael Youssef
Length: 4 days
Cost: 350-$550
Feb 23 :: Velocity Conference (Cumming, GA)
Speakers: Matt Carter, Leonce Crump, J.D. Greear, Shawn Love Joy, Joby Martin, Larry Osbourne
Length: 2 days
Cost: $29
Feb 24 :: Catalyst One Day (Lexington, KY)
Speakers: Craig Groeschel, Andy Stanley
Length: 1 day
Cost: $79-$149
Feb 25 :: Bethel Prophetic Conference (Redding, CA)
Speakers: Shawn Bolz, Leif Hetland, Kris Valloton
Length: 3 days
Cost: $49-$95
Feb 26 :: Catalyst One Day (Parker, CO)
Speakers: Craig Groeschel, Andy Stanley
Length: 1 day
Cost: $79-$149
Feb 26 :: Navigating the Change (Fairview Heights, IL)
Speakers: Melissa Bishop, Shane Bishop, Ashley Cooper, Joseph Daniels III, Lance Winkler
Length: 2 days
Cost: $50-$75

MARCH 2015

Mar 2 :: TMAI International Symposium (Burbank, CA)
Speakers: Mike Gendron, Choolwe Mwetwa, Miguel Núñez, Benedikt Peters, Mark Tatlock, Paul Washer, James White, Chris Williams
Length: 1 day
Cost: $50
Mar 11 :: Seeds Conference (Tulsa, OK)
Speakers: Andy Chrisman, Steven Furtick, Whitney George, Willie George, Greg Laurie, Patrick Lencioni, Todd Mullins, Tom Mullins, Andrew Stone, Ethan Vanse
Length: 3 days
Mar 19 :: Northwest Ministry Conference (Redmond, WA)
Speakers: Michelle Anthony, Bruce Adolph, Duke Dejong, Clint Gresham, Brian Haynes, Mike Howerton, Ron Hunter, Craig Johnson, Melissa MacDonald, Dustin Nickerson, Dan Reiland, Richard Ross, Toby Rowe
Length: 3 days
Cost: $29-$99
Mar 20 :: SEU National Leadership Forum (Lakeland, FL)
Speakers: Nancy Duarte, Carly Fiorina, Daniel Goleman, Jon Gordon, Marcus Luttrell, Mark Sanborn
Length: 1 day
Cost: $225-$525
Mar 20 :: Surrender (Belgrave Heights, Victoria, Australia)
Speakers: Justin Duckworth, Wanta Jampinjimpa Patrick, Jarrod McKenna, Ruth Padilla De Borst, Neville Naden, Paul Sparks, Melinda Tankard Reist, Sarah Thompson
Length: 3 days
Cost: $115-$165 AUD
Mar 24 :: Ignite Conference (Chandler, AZ)
Speakers: John Fuller, Scott Ridout, Ed Stetzer, Jud Wilhite
Length: 3 days
Cost: $59-$79
Mar 25 :: Squares Conference (Grapevine, TX)
Speakers: Jina Bolton, Carrie Dils, Joel Glovier, Krystyn Heide, Marc Hemeon, Kyle Kutter, Cameron Moll, Doug Neiner, Zach Schmid, Cap Watkins, Drew Wilson
Length: 3 days
Cost: $220-$295

APRIL 2015

Apr 7 :: Planetshakers Awakening (Melbourne, Australia)Speakers: Reggie Dabbs, Chris Durso, Russell Evans, Sam Evans, Chris Hill, TD Jakes
Length: 4 days
Cost: $50-$199
Apr 14 :: Outcomes Conference (Dallas, TX)
Speakers: Christine Caine, Jonathan Evans, Israel Gaither, David Kinnaman, Ken Starr, Joni Eareckson Tada, Walt Wilson
Length: 3 days
Cost: $479-$799
Apr 15 :: Catalyst West (Irvine, CA)
Length: 3 days
Cost: $209
Apr 21 :: ARC Conference (Jacksonville, FL)
Speakers: Randy Bezet, Rick Bezet, Christine Caine, Nick Caine, Joe Champion, Herbert Cooper, Matt Fry, Willie George, Peter Haas, Chris Hodges, Scott Hornsby, Brian Houston, Matt Keller, Rob Ketterling, Joyce Meyer, Todd Mullins, Dale O’Shields, John Siebling, Dino Rizzo, Greg Surratt, Philip Wagner, Stovall Weems
Length: 3 days
Cost: $99
Apr 23 :: The Original Women’s Conference (Rockford, IL)
Speakers: Natalie Grant, Holly Wagner, Jen DeWeerdt
Length: 3 days
Cost: $69-$119
Apr 23 :: Q Conference (Boston, MA)
Length: 3 days
Cost: $475
Apr 23 :: The Uprising (Lexington, KY)
Speakers: Christine Caine, Pete Hise
Length: 2 days
Cost: $79-$119
Apr 24 :: Ignite Conference (Beaumont, TX)
Speakers: Ken Adams, Craig Etheredge, Jim Hamilton, Chris Moody, Greg Ogden
Length: 2 days
Cost: $25-$45
Apr 27 :: Exponential East (Tampa, FL)
Speakers: Brian Bolt, Dave Ferguson, Michael Frost, Derwin Gray, JD Greear, Alan Hirsch, Ajai Lall, Max Lucado, Joby Martin, Oscar Muriu, Steve Murrell, Greg Nettle, Bob Roberts, Danielle Strickland, Steve Stroope, Mario Vega, Larry Walkemeyer
Length: 4 days
Cost: $129-$299
Apr 28 :: ReachKeep Conference (Sinclair, WY)
Speakers: Dennis Fountain, Mike Holmes, Ted York
Length: 3 days
Cost: Free-$199
Apr 29 :: The Orange Conference (Atlanta, GA)
Speakers: Jon Acuff, Mark Batterson, Doug Fields, Jeff Foxworthy, Derwin Gray, Jeff Henderson, Reggie Joiner, Brooklyn Lindsey, Sue Miller, Perry Noble, Kara Powell, Joseph Sojourner, Andy Stanley, Virginia Ward, Heather Zempel
Length: 3 days
Cost: $199-$249
Apr 30 :: Thrive Conference (Granite Bay, CA)
Speakers: Nancy Beach, Lincoln Brewster, Chris Brown, Francis Chan, Wilfredo De Jesus, Tim Hawkins, Ray Johnston, Bob Smiley, Albert Tate
Length: 3 days
Cost: $169-$199

MAY 2015

May 4 :: Drive Conference (Alpharetta, GA)
Length: 3 days
Cost: $249-$329
May 4 :: Sticky Teams (Charlotte, NC)
Speakers: Chris Brown, Joby Martin, Larry Osborne
Length: 2 days
Cost: $149
May 12 :: The National Conference of Preaching (Jacksonville, FL)
Speakers: Jared Alcantara, Kristopher Barnett, Mac Brunson, HB Charles Jr, Charlie Dates, Ralph Douglas West, Michael Duduit, Chuck Fuller, Dean Inserra, Tim McKnight, Robert Smith, Dave Stone
Length: 3 days
Cost: $50-$125
May 19 :: National Worship Leader Conference (Washington, DC)
Speakers: Meredith Andrews, Jeremy Armstrong, Sam Batterman, Steve Berger, Debby Berry, Darren Brown, Brady Collins, Marva Dawn, Will Doggett, Scott Dyer, Vonda Dyer, Stan Endicott, Wayne Estes, Tim Foot, Chuck Fromm, Craig Gilbert, Gareth Goossen, Doug Gould, Shawn Groves, Erick Hailstone, Luke Hellebronth, Reagan Helms, Tim Hughes, Ray Jones, Joshua Kell, Ed Kerr, Reggie Kidd, Rich Kirkpatrick, John Lapham, Nikki Lerner, Luke McElroy, Rick Muchow, Joel Muddamalle, Steve Noble, Christy Nockels, Tony Payne, Andy Piercy, Steve Reed, Shawn Reed, Lester Ruth, Greg Scheer, Michael Smith, Scotty Smith, Aaron Stewart, Leonard Sweet, Tim Timmons, Dawn Vesco, Camron Ware, Aaron West, Vernon Whaley, Marcos Witt
Length:
 3 days
Cost: $149-$345

JUNE 2015

Jun 8 :: Pilgrimage UK (Sheffield, United Kingdom)
Speakers: 
Mike Breen, Keld Dahlmann, Rich Robinson, Mick Woodhead
Length: 4 days
Cost: $89-$169
Jun 23 :: National Worship Leader Conference (Leewood, KS)
Speakers: Mark Aardsma, Carl Albrecht, Meredith Andrews, Jeremy Armstrong, Greg Atkinson, Paul Baloche, Debby Berry, Ben Cantelon, Marva Dawn, Duke DeJong, Will Doggett, Craig Dunnagan, Cliff Duren, Scott Dyer, Vonda Dyer, Stan Endicott, Paul Finazzo, Tim Foot, Chuck Fromm, Bill Gaither, Gloria Gaither, Craig Gilbert, Gareth Goossen, Doug Gould, Shawn Groves, David Gungor, Erick Hailstone, Jim Hart, Paul Herman, Zac Hicks, Tim Hughes, Jay Jones, Ray Jones, CJ Jordan, Ed Kerr, Reggie Kidd, Rich Kirkpatrick, Tom Kraeuter, Matt McCoy, Wisdom Moon, Rick Muchow, Joel Muddamalle, Rory Noland, Roger O’Neal, Buddy Owens, Glenn Packiam, Tony Payne, Stephen Proctor, Steve Reed, Shawn Reed, Lester Ruth, Christy Semsen, Diane Sheets, Michael Smith, Aaron Stewart, Vaughn Thompson Jr, Tim Timmons, Camron Ware, Aaron West, Vernon Whaley, Lance Winkler, Eric Wyse
Length:
 3 days
Cost: $149-$345
Jun 22 :: D3 Conference (Louisville, KY)
Speakers: Dan DeWitt, Dan Dumas, Kurt Gebhards, Shannon Hurley, Albert Mohler Jr
Length: 4 days
Cost: $259-$354
Jun 23 :: North American Christian Convention (Cincinnati, OH)
Speakers: Mike Baker, Rusty George, Jodi Hickerson, Ajai Lall, LeRoy Lawson, Daniel Overdorf, Sean Palmer, Chris Seidman
Length: 4 days
Cost: $20-$99
Jun 29 :: D3 Conference (Louisville, KY)
Speakers: Eric Bancroft, Dan DeWitt, Shannon Hurley
Length: 4 days
Cost: $259-$354
Jun 29 :: Hillsong Conference (Sydney, Australia)
Speakers: Christine Caine, Mark Driscoll, Jentezen Franklin, Bobbie Houston, Brian Houston, Joseph Prince, Martin Smith, Rick Warren
Length: 5 days
Cost: $299-$349 AUD

JULY 2015

Jul 6 :: Experience Conference (Dallas, TX)
Length: 4 days
Cost: $229-$449
Jul 22 :: Hillsong Conference (London, United Kingdom)
Speakers: Mark Driscoll, Jentezen Franklin, Bobbie Houston, Brian Houston, Joseph Prince
Length: 3 days
Cost: £90-£120
Jul 28 :: National Worship Leader Conference (San Jose, CA)
Speakers: Ronald Allen, Meredith Andrews, Jeremy Armstrong, Debby Berry, Todd Brown, Dave Burns, Scot Camden, Ben Cantelon, Scott Clay, Scott Cody, Marva Dawn, Duke DeJong, Scott Dyer, Vonda Dyer, Phillip Edwards, Stan Endicott, Joey Jam Flores, Tim Foot, Chuck Fromm, Dave Fry, Don Fugate, Craig Gilbert, Shawn Groves, Erick Hailstone, Jack Hayford, Luke Hellebronth, Ray Jones, Ed Kerr, Rich Kirkpatrick, Wayne Mancari, Raymond Massey, Luke McElroy, Rick Muchow, Joel Muddamalle, David Nasser, Thom O’Leary, Buddy Owens, Tony Payne, Steve Reed, Shawn Reed, Rob Robinson, Bob Sabellico, Christy Semsen, Michael Smith, Scotty Smith, Aaron Stewart, Vaughn Thompson Jr, Tim Timmons, Cedric Tsang, Tommy Walker, Camron Ware, Evan Wickham
Length:
 3 days
Cost: $149-$345

AUGUST 2015

Aug 3 :: Send Conference (Nashville, TN)
Speakers: Ronnie Floyd, ouie Giglio, Eric Mason, Russell Moore, David Platt
Length: 2 days
Cost: $89-$169
Aug 3 :: Team Church (Tacoma, WA)
Speakers: Kevin Gerald, Sheila Gerald, Louie Giglio, Ed Young Jr
Length: 3 days
Cost: $99
Aug 5 :: Wave Conference (Virginia Beach, VA)
Speakers: Harrison Conley, Donna Crouch, Dharius Daniels, Steven Furtick, Willie George, Steve Kelly
Length: 3 days
Aug 7 :: BiVo Conference (Denver, CO)
Speakers: Brad Brisco, Lance Ford, Hugh Halter, Alan Hirsch, Brian Sanders, Joey Turner
Length: 2 days
Cost: $89

SEPTEMBER 2015

Sep 8 :: Experience Conference (Orlando, FL)
Length: 4 days
Cost: $229-$449
Sep 10 :: Circles Conference (Grapevine, TX)
Speakers: Kelli Anderson, Shawn Blanc, Dan Cassaro, Jeremy Cowart, Danielle Evans, Larry Hubatka, Bill Kenney, Helena Price, Charlie Waite, James White
Length: 2 days
Cost: $195-$235
Sep 16 :: D6 Conference (Louisville, KY)
Length: 3 days
Cost: $149-$299
Sep 18 :: Collyde Summit (New Brunswick, NJ)
Length: 2 days
Cost: $59-$129
Sep 22 :: Cutting It Straight Conference (Jacksonville, FL)
Speakers: HB Charles
Length: 1 day
Cost: $99-$150
Sep 22 :: WikiConference (Katy, TX)
Speakers: Oscar Benavides, Jeremy Erb, Chris Kopka, Justin Rossow, Tullian Tchividjian, Michelle Thompson, Bill Woolsey, Steve Young
Length: 3 days
Cost: $99-$129
Sep 25 :: KidMin 2015 (Chicago, IL)
Speakers: Jon Acuff, Greg Baird, Roddy Chong, Cynthia Crane, DeVon Franklin, Pat Verbal, Christine Yount Jones
Length: 4 days
Cost: $299-$385
Sep 30 :: National Worship Leader Conference (Dallas, TX)
Speakers: Ronald Allen, Gabriel Allred, Meredith Andrews, Trent Armstrong, Debby Berry, Pete Briscoe, Bob Brooks, Scot Camden, Brady Collins, Christine D’Clario, Ryan Dahl, Marva Dawn, Dennis Degen, William Doggett, Craig Dunnagan, Scott Dyer, Vonda Dyer, Phillip Edwards, Chuck Fromm, Craig Gilbert, Gareth Goossen, Doug Gould, Shawn Groves, James Mark Gulley, Erick Hailstone, Robin Harris, Reagan Helms, Dana Johnson, Mark Jonah, Jay Jones, Ray Jones, Stefanie Kelly, Ed Kerr, Reggie Kidd, Rusty King, Rich Kirkpatrick, Bradley Knight, Josh Lopez, Travis Maxey, Matt McCoy, Jeff McLeod, Rick Muchow, Joel Muddamalle, Rory Noland, Buddy Owens, Tony Payne, Bryan Popin, Steve Reed, Shawn Reed, Javier Rios, Christy Semsen, Diane Sheets, Alex Sherman, Phil Sillas, Amanda Singer, Michael Smith, Aaron Stewart, Tom Stipe, Leonard Sweet, Tim Timmons, Tommy Walker, Camron Ware, Aaron West, Vernon Whaley, Evan Wickham, Marcos Witt
Length:
 3 days
Cost: $149-$345

OCTOBER 2015

Oct 5 :: Exponential West (Lake Forest, CA)
Speakers: Dave Ferguson, Alan Hirsch, Greg Nettle
Length: 4 days
Cost: $99-$158
Oct 5 :: Gateway Conference (Dallas, TX)
Speakers: Jimmy Evans, Chris Hodges, Robert Morris, Todd Mullins
Length: 2 days
Cost: $109-$139
Oct 7 :: Catalyst Conference (Atlanta, GA)
Length: 3 days
Cost: $109-$299
Oct 19 :: Sticky Teams (San Diego, CA)
Speakers: Chris Brown, Larry Osborne
Length: 2 days
Cost: $149
Oct 21 :: Future of the Church (Loveland, CO)
Speakers: Drew Dyck, Josh Packard, Joani Schultz, Thom Schultz, Leonard Sweet
Length: 3 days
Cost: $275-$375
Oct 22 :: Hillsong Conference (New York, NY)
Speakers: Bobbie Houston, Brian Houston, Carl Lentz
Length: 3 days
Cost: $169-$179

NOVEMBER 2015

DECEMBER 2015

APRIL 2016

MAY 2016

** List made possible by http://churchrelevance.com/resources/church-conference-recommendations/

Friday, January 09, 2015

What Are the 3 Things You Want to Finish This Year? by Donald Miller

What Are the 3 Things You Want to Finish This Year?

Donald Miller
Today is the final day in my series “Start Life Over.” I hope you’ve loved it. Once again, if you want to download the entire series as a PDF and share it with friends, you can do so here. Feel free to e-mail it to anybody you want. Send it to your entire office, your church, or even your pets.
This last principle was the hardest for me to learn but perhaps the most powerful in helping me get things done.
The fifth and final principle is this: I can only do three big things in a year.
That’s it. Just three.
Most people I know who aren’t having much of an impact in the world suffer from one of two problems. Either they don’t know what they want to do or they are trying to do too much.
I’ve never really had trouble knowing what I’ve wanted to do, but I’ve had tons of trouble trying to do too much.

And this is a problem.

I used to think that’s just how life is. It gets busy. Responsibilities get piled on. And the more I believed that, the worse my life got. Something had to change.
Warren Buffet said, “The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
The key here is learning to let go of great opportunities to take advantage of even better opportunities. Once life starts flowing and you start succeeding the opportunities pile on. And people want something from you. But here’s the deal, you can either get a little bit done on a lot of projects or you can finish a few of them and change the world.

I’ve turned down many opportunities.

They are opportunities to endorse books, write forwards, do television interviews, serve on boards of directors, speak overseas and on and on, and I rejected them all gladly because if I did those things I’d have lost the ability to do something else.
These days, I give myself 3 big projects each year, and I intend to finish them. This year I’ll write another book, come out with an online course teaching people how to brand their companies using story, and I’ll release a series helping people live a better story. That’s it. I can’t do anything more than that.
computer-full
This all sounds arrogant and harsh, and I suppose it is. I get my feathers up about it because people can be quite demanding. Tim, the guy who runs my company, just sent me an email from the head of a non-profit who guilted and shamed us for not endorsing a book her non-profit is releasing.

She explained why we owed them something.

The e-mail made me angry, to be honest. I know she’s doing great work, but she also knows the value of focus. She was focused and determined, but she didn’t care whether or not we got off focus.
Picking three major things to do this year, whether it’s as fun as having the best family vacation ever or as big as starting a new business, will change your year. It may also ruffle some feathers. But we can’t do big things if we’re distracted. And you don’t really owe anybody anything. If you break focus for a second to help with something, that’s an awesome gift to them but make sure to know it came at a cost.
This last post will likely get the most negative feedback. It sounds like I’m saying that you should only focus on yourself. But that’s not what I mean at all. My hope is those three things you’re going to create will be beautiful and will help tons of people. They’re important. In fact, it might even be selfish of you not to focus on them.

Each day I fill out a one-page planner.

It’s a tool I created that has massively boosted my productivity. On that planner, I’ve got a to-do list that is full of stuff I need to get done, but the big part of the page asks me to write down the three projects I’ll allow myself to work on that day. My mind can really only focus on three. After that I’m toast.
I know you can do this. I’ve not met anybody yet who didn’t have incredible potential in them. It will require focus and you’ll have to say no to enormous and fun opportunities. But your work is important. The change you’ll bring to the world may benefit thousands.
This has been a fun series to write. I hadn’t realized how much these ideas have changed my life until I wrote them all down. Good stuff. I’m hoping Storyline can help thousands of people do thousands of big, life-changing things this year. Can’t wait to hear the stories.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Why You Can’t Be Friends with That Guy by Donald Miller

Why You Can’t Be Friends with That Guy

Donald Miller
I’m continuing my series called Start Life Over today. The series is about the real way people change. People don’t change by believing in hokey formulas; they change because they experience and understand serious, foundational paradigm shifts.
If you want to download the entire series in which I explain these shifts in a PDF, just click here. Otherwise, we’ll continue with the fourth principle.
The fourth principle is this: You will become like the people you hang out with.
If you’ve ever attended Storyline Conference or if you’ve already purchased Creating Your Life Plan, you know this is one of my core beliefs.

And it’s not just a belief.

It’s a fact. You are more than what you eat, how much you exercise, or how much sleep you get. You are a conglomerate of the people you hang out with.
I have a friend who runs a small business and is just now experiencing a great deal of success. His team is great, but there’s one guy I’ve noticed my friend has trouble with. When I asked him about it, he said dealing with the guy was like dealing with a 7-year old.
“Why do you keep him around?” I asked.
He told me he needed him, that he was sure his ideas were valuable. I told him what I’d tell anybody: Let him go. He’s going to corrupt your entire culture. Pretty soon you’ll have other team members taking on his characteristics.

My friend listened.

But he ultimately didn’t take my advice. Or at least he didn’t for six more months. He finally let him go when he just couldn’t take it anymore. The guy was causing too many divisions and spreading a negative culture.
Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton
Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton
These days, my friend’s company sings right along and he hardly even misses the guy. Isn’t it funny how much we think we need certain people when the reality is we really don’t? Often, we’d be better off without them.
One bad egg will make your life miserable. And worse, eventually you’ll become like them. If you hang out with bitter people, you’ll get bitter yourself. And the sure way to become a cynic is to hang out with cynical people. Want a Darwinian, cut-throat view of life? Just hang out with sharks.
Every once in a while I get some pushback on this idea.

Shouldn’t we be gracious and forgiving?

And my answer is yes. But what does being gracious and forgiving have to do with selling your soul? And if you’re people pleasing your way into relationships that are negatively affecting you, you’re definitely compromising your soul.
The idea isn’t that we’re viewing ourselves as better than others; the idea is that we’re protecting ourselves from becoming somebody we don’t want to become.
When Jesus talks with the rich young ruler, he explains the rules, grieves the ruler’s decision not to become like Him, and walks away. He doesn’t misappropriate grace by joining the ruler and forfeiting His mission in life.

Who do you want to be?

Do you want to be kind, smart, authentic, vulnerable, wise, and disciplined? If so, find people like that and spend a lot of time with them because that’s exactly what you will become.
Some of us pay more attention to what we eat than we do to who we’re eating with. The reality is, the latter has a more dramatic affect on the quality of our lives.
Now this gets complicated in a couple ways. The first is, well, there are certain people you can’t get away from. Perhaps your coworkers (though you really could quit if you had to) or maybe your spouse. These situations really stink.
In this case, putting up some boundaries would be great.

And while hard, it’s really doable.

Just refuse to become whoever it is they are. In time, you might even have a positive affect on them. After all, they’re also becoming a lot like you.
The second way this gets complicated is that it’s contextual. What I mean is, certain people have more strength than others.
If I’m around a really selfish person, I’ll become like them too easily. I have to keep my distance. I have friends, though, who are way less impressionable. They can stay in those relationships longer and not be affected. So our levels of tolerance vary from person to person.

The idea remains the same, though.

We can be way more proactive in choosing who we spend time with and this will make all the difference. Are there relationships you need to let go of? Are there new people you need to intentionally get time with? Let’s make some changes in who we hang out with and watch how powerfully we begin to change ourselves.
Tomorrow, the final principle in Start Life Over. I’ve enjoyed this series so far and I hope you have too!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Starting Life Over Means Learning When to Quit by Donald Miller

Starting Life Over Means Learning When to Quit

Donald Miller
I’m continuing my Start Life Over series today. The series is about the underpinning beliefs we all need to have to really change. If you want to download the entire series as a PDF, just click here. Otherwise, here we go!
The third principle of the series is this: Sometimes it’s okay to quit.
If you don’t have today off, you’re likely bored at work. Certainly not all of you, but studies show more than 50% of Americans are not inspired by their jobs. This really stinks. All that college tuition, all those hours searching and hoping for a job that fulfills us have come to this. Boredom.

I’ve been there.

I used to work at a company where I’d take an extra lap around the parking lot even though there were plenty of empty spaces, just because I didn’t want to go inside. And once inside, I’d waste time. But the horrible part wasn’t the wasting time, it was the guilt I felt because I was wasting time.
Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton
Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton
So what can be done? What do we do if we don’t like our jobs? Or for that matter, what do we do if we don’t like our lives?
My friend Bob Goff tries to quit something every Thursday. Most of the time it’s small stuff, like biting his nails and stuff. But sometimes it’s big stuff. He’s actually resigned from Boards because it was a Thursday.
The idea is twofold: 1. Get rid of anything that doesn’t need to be in your life and 2. Realize you don’t have to be stuck in a rut.

You can quit things.

If you’re in a dating relationship that’s been killing you, quit. If you aren’t happy with that small group you’ve been meeting with, quit. It’s not like you’re quitting your spouse or God, you’re just living out the God-given reality you’ve got choices and are completely allowed to make them.
And if you’re really bold, you can even quit your job. I know it sounds crazy and there are all sorts of reasons we should stay. We have to feed our children. We have to make our mortgage payments. But wouldn’t you just love to quit? Wouldn’t you love to wake up, perhaps a month from now, and love your work instead of being so bored?
Warren Buffet says the secret to successful people is they have learned to say no to almost everything. They aren’t people who go around seeking security. They seek the big life.

And because they seek it, they get it.

I had a friend years ago who hated his job. He complained all the time about his associates and his boss. That didn’t bother me too much, but one day when he was talking about his son, who also hated his job, he said “you know what my boy needs to learn? He needs to learn that everybody hates their job. They’re supposed to hate their job. Working isn’t supposed to be fun; that’s in the Bible.”
I stood there taken aback. I completely disagreed with him. I loved my job. And the Bible said work would be hard, not that it was supposed to be miserable.
Here’s something I’ve learned over the years. People who are willing to wait for what they want have a much higher percentage chance of enjoying life in the long run. And those who choose security over passion have a much higher chance of not enjoying life.
Now I’ve likely offended most of the people reading this. And I apologize for that. God knows I’m not asking all of you to quit your jobs. That’s a big step.

But do we really have to settle?

I mean were you really created to be born, be bored, then be buried? Is that what God had in mind?
Ask yourself this: how many decisions are you making because you want security? And how’s that going for you? What’s one thing you can do to make your life more passionate and enjoyable? If you did that thing, what would be the next thing that would make life more passionate and enjoyable? And then what’s the thing after that?
What if, by the end of 2015, you were doing something in your life you didn’t hate? Something that didn’t make you bored? What if?