Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category
December 1st, 2009.
Early morning flight to Ft. Lauderdale to spend a day and a half “having fun” in the middle of a giant swamp known as the Everglades. Not my idea. 100% Casey Graham. To be honest, I wasn’t even all that excited about it and almost backed out earlier that week.
So….I got off the plane….made my way to our planned meeting point in the airport….when lo and behold…I see my friend Casey. Standing next to Casey was this big dude that looked like he had just stepped out of a Bass Pro Shop catalog. I’ll never forget it because the contrast between this man and me….well, it was pretty much the size of the Grand Canyon. He was wearing a camouflage shirt, boots, and a yes, you guessed it – a Bass Pro Shop hat. He reminded me of my uncle from Missouri who owns lots of guns and enjoys sitting in a tree waiting and looking for animals to shoot.
I knew in this moment that I was in trouble.
Who was this Bass Pro Man? Billy Hornsby.
And who is Billy Hornsby? Billy’s the President of ARC – The Association of Related Churches. One of the most successful and impacting church planting organizations in the world. And as I was about to find out, he’s also one of the nicest, most down to earth guys I’ve ever been around.
It was only a day and a half…but by the end of our “excursion” (well for me it was anyway…), I felt like I had gotten to know someone very, very special. Not only did Billy and I share a room together (the two snorers…mostly me)….but in a matter of hours, this man had initiated me in the ways of nature, animal sacrifice, and alligator wrestling. (Watch this for proof.)
A week ago, Billy spoke at his son-in-law’s church (Chris Hodges) in Birmingham, Alabama at a service honoring his life and ministry. I watched the video this past Saturday night and was completely blown away by what I heard and saw. Aside from the fact that it was really, really tough seeing Billy sick from cancer, it was truly one of the most beautiful things I think I’ve ever seen.
So I grabbed the video, cut it to Billy’s part (no offense Greg Surratt…) and wanted you to see it. It’s powerful. And I think it speaks volumes about what makes Billy the incredible leader he is today.
Watch the video. And pray for my outdoor mentor, Billy Hornsby. Also pray for his wife Charlene, his family, and loved ones.
Love you Billy. Thanks for making a difference in my life.
And one more thing… Let me again say sorry about almost shooting you and the others…
- I’m declaring this to be a Miles Davis morning. “Kind of Blue” to be exact. I know I say this all the time, but wow, what an album. If you don’t own it, you need to. Today. And if you’ve never listened to it through a good set of headphones, you need to. Today. One of the. best. albums. ever.
- Had a good time in Minneapolis on Tuesday meeting with a great group of church planters, staffs, and leadership teams. I love speaking and teaching….but I also really enjoy (and thrive) in conversation & discussion formats. We had a lot of that and I left feeling energized.
- Minneapolis is such a great city by the way… Lived there for nine years and miss it a ton. Great culture, beautiful lakes, nice skyline, lots of art. Loved swinging through Uptown on my way to the airport for a quick lunch with my buddy Jamey Johnson before heading home. Love that guy…
- Excited about our Prayers of the Saints series. This coming weekend is #2: St. Melito! Powerful prayer. Can’t wait. (You can download last weekend’s talk here.)
- I have sleep apnea. It’s mild. But still….frustrating. I tried the breathing machine and just couldn’t do it. Looking for an alternative. Any suggestions? Would LOVE to try these.
- Have you seen The Event? Kinda diggin’ it. Kinda.
- Let’s talk books…
- Recent Reads: God Attachment by Tim Clinton & Joseph Straub, Fatherless Generation by John Sowers, The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working by Tony Schwartz
- Currently reading: Drive by Daniel Pink, American Grace by Robert Putnam
- And music… Been enjoying new stuff by: Sufjan Stevens, Flying Lotus, Interpol, Freelance Whales, Mumford & Sons.
Finally finished watching Julie and Julia last night. Watched the first half a couple of weeks ago. It was a fun movie. Quick fun fact: I was in NYC when it was being filmed and accidentally walked onto the set.
Video: Octopus Ballet. Um…wow. Amazing.
Excited to have the opportunity to work with Jarrett and Jeanne Stevens at this year’s STORY Conference. I’ve loved getting to know these guys. There was a solid connection from the moment we all met. Also loved having them at The Orchard a couple of months ago. You can download their talk here. BTW…love the direction STORY is headed this year.
I’ll be honest. I’m a sucker for cool hotels. I especially love finding affordable, non-chain, boutique hotels whenever I travel to major cities. Loved staying at this one on a visit to Austin last year. Speaking of hotels, truth.travel is a great blog from the folks at Conde Nast Traveler. Great photos too.
That’s it for now. Thank you for weeding through my A.D.D. Time for some Adderall.
Despite the sick and twisted gift Casey sent me in the mail a few weeks ago, I still want to recommend his book. LOL. But in all seriousness, few people I know are as passionate and serious about helping churches succeed financially than Casey. He’s been a great encourager and help to me personally as well as to The Orchard.
Excited about a ton of stuff right now! Here’s a sampling:
One thing is certain – summer is not dead at The Orchard! We’ve got teams headed to Uganda and El Salvador in the next couple of weeks. One team just returned from a stateside trip and I’m excited that our Orchard Students are heading to the south side of Chicago to spread some love there as well. This is an amazing tribe!
The Orchard’s annual BBQ & Baptism is a huge event for us every summer. It’s happening on Sunday, August 8th. If you’ve never seen one of our baptism videos, check this one out! (And if you want to get baptized, go here.)
This Sunday I’ll be speaking at one of my favorite churches in the world – NewSong Church in Irvine, CA! I LOVE the NewSong community and their pastor, Dave Gibbons. Dave’s a great friend and influence in my life. By the way, their services are broadcast live online and you can watch live here. (Times are: 9 am, 10:30 and 11:59am PDT)
Speaking of CA….. I’ll also be at the Origins Event in LA the following weekend. I’m excited about connecting with so many great people there. I’m also looking forward to leading two conversations: “City & Church: Flattening The Divide” and “Change: Transforming A Church To Transform a City”. Leave a comment if you’ll be at Origins!
Was asked to be a part of The Nine’s again this year. Will be throwing down some video next week. It’s a pretty cool idea from Leadership Network and Catalyst. Any ideas on what idea I should devote my nine minutes to?
Great concert by The Swell Season last night. Might expound on that later. Go see them if you haven’t.
That’s it for now. Lots of other exciting things, but I’ll save those for another time.