Weekend Listening: Children of Pop - Manic (Texas edition)

Changing it up a bit. Since we're moving to Texas, I'm going to be sharing some tracks from Texas musicians that I'm digging. First up: Children of Pop. The name is deceiving. Listen below.



Podcast Fridays: The Moment with Brian Koppelman

You may have heard of Brian Koppelman as a filmmaker. But film making has little to do with his podcast. Koppelman has an incredible ability to dig into people's process–what makes them create and lead the way they do. He's clearly, genuinely interested in each of his guests and how they have refined the skills that make them who they are. I have learned so much about self-care and skill development from this show. If you haven't listened, I recommend you start by listening to his conversations with Seth Godin and Killer Mike.

Limbo

 
Have you ever felt like you were in a state of limbo? Caught in between? Waiting? Wondering what's next?

That's kind of how things feel at the moment. We put everything in our house that we didn't need while showing it to potential buyers in a container. That container is now on it's way to Houston while we wait for the house to sell, while I finish work here. At the same time, I get to the end of a long day and go home ... but can't really live in the home because we never know when someone is going to want to come look at it. Not quite living here anymore but certainly not where we're going to live yet. Right now kind of feels like we're in limbo.

I'm sure you've had this feeling before. You're in between jobs. Between semesters. Out of a relationship but not in a new one. Limbo.

Here's the thing about limbo that dawned on me this morning: In those "in-between" times–those "not-here-but-not-there" spaces is often where God shows up in the most meaningful ways. Think of all the encounters, the "others" that Abraham comes in contact with along his journey. Or Israelites as they wandered in the desert for 40 years. Or the early church as they waited for what they thought would be Christ's second coming in their lifetime. We wouldn't have their stories, we wouldn't have the Gospels or Paul's letters if it weren't for their long state of limbo.

I'm reminded that in these seasons, whether short or long, the task is not to simply wait and worry but actively anticipate–watching for where God is on the move in the strange and precarious ways that only seem to come while in a state of limbo.

So, if you're in between jobs, or relationships–or any other kind of limbo–be assured that you are not alone. God has not abandoned you. You just might find God showing up in ways you've never experienced before if you pay close enough attention.

Why Are You Moving To Texas?

Why not?!

I've only got one life. Why not seek out new adventures?

Here are some of the other common remarks we've received:

"Oh, it's because the Episcopal Diocese of Texas has lots of money?"

No. It's not the fact that they've been wise with their money that was attractive. Though, that certainly is a good thing. It was because they set some carefully considered but courageous goals. They put a number to those goals. Set a deadline. That's what caught my attention. Any Christian institution can do this. It doesn't require lots of resources. Yet, most don't do this well. They tend to be so afraid of failure that they refuse to set real goals. Or they set such audacious, unreasonable goals that no one will blame them if they fail. The fact that the Diocese of Texas was willing to set some bold expectations upon themselves was exciting.

"Church work must be easy in Texas since everyone's 'Christian.'"

Apparently, you haven't been in a coffee house in Austin or Houston on a Sunday morning.

But 'open carry'?! Rednecks?!

Have you seen my neck? You should hear the assumptions people make about Washingtonians ... and Californians.

"What will you be doing?"
In short, cultivating the start of new missional expressions across the Diocese and teaching/training leaders.

"How does Brooke feel about this?"
A blank slate to create and decorate (otherwise known as a "house")? Are you seriously asking this question?

"How do the kids feel about this?"
They're stoked! When Brooke and I made the decision to move, they did a happy dance around the house.

We all love exploring new things. We are all excited about this.

"... but why?"
Tacos.

Weekend Listening: Lyle Lovett - That's Right, You're Not From Texas

Thanks, Sarah. I'm embracing it ...


Keep Making Mistakes

One of the reasons why I am so grateful I went to Fuller Seminary is that this school encourages theological and pastoral students the study leadership–a subject of study sorely missing at too many seminaries. Most Fuller alums will be familiar with Dr. Robert Clinton's work which came from studying Christian leaders over decades. But there's a problem with what some people derive from leadership studies. Leadership experts often write about a point in which leaders hit their stride. At some point you know your field well. While you may not be considered an "expert" you are at least highly competent in the area of work you focus on. You increasingly get to do more of what you do well and less of what you don't do well. You know what you're good at and find greater fulfillment. Things aren't as hard as they once were. Things get easier. Let me just say that I think this is nonsense.

If this happens in your development as a leader you haven't "arrived."

You've "plateaued."

Let's set aside that this assumption about leadership is totally skewed by class and ethnicity. Women, people of color, working class folks wouldn't experience this in ways that those Clinton and others would have been studying. Executive leadership has long been skewed towards white males. Even if this weren't the case, the idea that there is a point in your career that it gets easier is a fallacy. It's always hard. It's always challenging. I'm now in my 40's. In a couple of years I will be able to say that I've been doing much of what I do for 20 years. Half way into my "career." Guess what: I don't experience a success rate any higher than I did in my 30's or 20's. I still make way more mistakes than not.

If you're not making mistakes, you've plateaued. You're not learning. You're not growing.

If you are making mistakes do not be discouraged. Don't buy into the lie that it's supposed to get easier. It's not. Yes, you get better at letting the mistakes roll off your shoulder–you don't take it as personal. Yes, you get faster at learning from your errors. But, please don't stop. Don't get safe. Keep making mistakes. It's the only way to keep things moving forward, to keep improving yourself, to making the world a better place.

Podcast Fridays: Code Switch

I've previously mentioned journalist Gene Demby's PostBourgie podcast. Well, he has another podcast at NPR that's taking off. Code Switch is a podcast on race and identity. It's honest, provides a perspective from voices not yet heard enough in journalism. Check out their most recent episode, "Black and Blue" for some heartfelt reporting on the recent race related madness in our country.

Weekend Listening: Burn - We Don't Stand A Chance

Burn is a innovative New York hardcore band from that emerged in the 80's. Their influence on one of my all time favorite New York bands, Quicksand was really evident. But now they're back with a fantastic EP entitled ... From The Ashes which came out this week on Bridge Nine.