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Someone said “Worry is distrusting the promises and power of God” and I think that is a good definition of it. One of the things I’m trying to help readers realize is that what we worry about or what we fear really reveals two things. First of all, it reveals what we value the most. For example if we’re worried about our kids’ safety, we value our kids. If we worry about financial stability, we value financial stability. But on a deeper level, what we fear reveals what we value the most and, too, it reveals where we trust God the least. If I’m always worried about my kids, I’m not trusting God with my kids. If I’m always worried about financial stability, I’m not trusting God to provide for me. And so what I try to do is get beyond the surface of “Hey, everybody worries” to say that worry is a sign of a deeper spiritual problem that we need to take to God and let Him cleanse.
More here… So… what do YOU worry about? Todd

That is one of my favorite hymns from growing up. This morning I received an email from Dan Koch, a member of the Christian band Wayfarer. The band ‘repurposes hymns’. According to Dan, “We do something a little different than most bands: we take lyric sets from old, largely forgotten hymns or Southern Spirituals, and we write entirely new music to those lyrics: melodies, chords, arrangements, etc.  We call it “Repurposed Hymns” I listened to their version of “Alas and Did My Savior Bleed” (that you can download here for free) and really liked it.  Not sure what style I’d classify it as… but it was fresh and different. Take a listen…  Let me know what you think. Todd

Scott Cochrane has some great advice for all of us the communicate for a living.  Scott rightfully feels that leadership is really all about communication.  And many times as communicators, Scott feels that while we may have the message right, the medium wrong.  Scott says:
But when little or no action has resulted, usually the problem doesn’t lie with the message, but with the medium. Using the appropriate platform is critical when it comes to leveraging your words for maximum impact.
Scott suggests four communication buckets so that you can match the medium with the message: Bucket #1: No urgency Use Social Communication When stirring appropriate action is of virtually no consequence you can get away with a notice on the staff bulletin board or an “all staff email”. Most social media falls into this bucket. Your Sunday morning announcements fall into this bucket. Never over-estimate the potential for impact from a church-wide announcement. Bucket #2: Minor urgency Use Impersonal Communication When stirring appropriate action is of relatively minor importance your communication can be impersonal, such as an email or a note left on someone’s desk. Bucket #3: Moderate urgency Use Verbal Communication If it’s somewhat important that you generate a particular response, up your game to verbal communication, such as a telephone call. Note that leaving voicemail doesn’t count; that’s the same as Bucket #2 (Impersonal Communication) Bucket #4: High urgency Use Face-to-Face Communication When it’s absolutely imperative that you receive an appropriate response, ALWAYS use face-to-face, one-on-one communication. I think this is extremely helpful. When was the last time you got frustrated with your communication?  When it seemed like nothing was getting through.  Was it your message, or the medium you were using? Read more from Scott here… Todd

What do you think of this idea?  It’s a wedding ring that essentially “brands” the word MARRIED on a man’s finger when he takes it off. I guess it would sure help the causal guy who takes off his wedding ring to pick up a woman. But I’m not sure that it would deal with the real issue that would make him want to cheat. It is an interesting piece of innovation though. What are your thoughts?  Great idea, or silly? More here… Todd

More details on the upcoming Hinn wedding. Date:  Friday, October 26 Location:  Calvary Assembly in Orlando, FL Presiding pastor:  Jack Hayford According to Benny, Jack has been instrumental in helping restore his relationship with Suzanne.  The couple was married for about 30 years. At the time of the divorce, much public debate went on as to the cause of the divorce, including rumors of an affair on Benny’s part.  The official story from the ministry is that Suzanne was addicted to some prescription drugs that impaired her judgment. Regardless, I guess we should rejoice that they were able to work things out.  I wish them the best, personally, as I would any couple. But for some reason, my invitation must still be in the mail.  🙂 Todd

I hope you’ll join me for the Catalyst Conference (www.catalystconference.comOctober 3 -5 , 2012 in Atlanta, GA, where 13,000 young leaders will converge for the leadership experience of the year, including high-octane speakers, powerful worship, innovative programming, and a leadership experience unlike any other. Hear from leadership authorities including Andy StanleyPatrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, David Platt, Christine Caine, Craig Groeschel, Perry Noble and Matt Chandler, along with several innovative thinkers and practitioners like Emmy award winning executive producer of Survivor Mark Burnett, Harlem Children’s Zone founder and TIME 2011 Most Influential People list Geoffrey Canada, Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, musician Israel Houghton, uber blogger and best-selling author Jon Acuff, , and best-selling authors and TED Talks sensations Susan Cain and Simon Sinek. Plus, Catalyst Labs will feature innovative thought leaders like Reggie Joiner, Michael Hyatt, Mark Batterson, Tim Elmore, Lysa Terkeurst, David Platt, Carlos Whittaker, Eugene Cho, Bob Goff, Lynne Hybels, Tullian Tchividjian, Jen Hatmaker, Jon Acuff, and others. special registration rate of $199 is being made available to you (over $120 savings). To take advantage of this Exclusive offer, call888.334.6569 to speak with the Catalyst Concierge team, or register at and use RATE CODE FOB.
This rate expires on Thursday, June 28th, so make sure and register early. 

My friend Kent Shaffer has put together a really great resource for all you creative types.  As Kent puts it, Environment can have a remarkable influence over how people feel, behave, and learn. So while nothing replaces the power of preaching the gospel and God’s Word, a creative church set design can accomplish two things if done well:
  1. Make a sermon more memorable.
  2. Create an atmosphere that is more worshipful, reflective, and in awe of God.
Check it out here.

If you’re like most ministry peeps, your email in-box overflows.  Internal emails, requests, complaints, ideas… just about everything you can imagine hits your email at all hours of the day and night. Tim Sanders has some tips to help you ‘not stink’ at email.  I think they’re helpful: 1.  Kill your inbox every Friday.
Letting your Inbox get full of once-read but not-answered emails stresses you out.  It also sends a signal to your bizmates that you don’t have your act together OR you are way over committed.
2.  Review BEFORE you click send.
 In most email situations, we write, send, then review.  That’s the ready-fire-aim approach to communications.  Take a few seconds to read what you just wrote, and do so from the reader POV.  Remember, this is work and you are trying to get stuff done.  If you are mad, then really reread what you are writing.  Consider picking up the phone instead, so you can convey your intentions instead of raw emotions.
3.  Craft effective subject lines.
What if the New York Times sucked at writing headlines for their stories? What if their headlines read, “RE: The Economy”?  Today, to be effective at email, we need to use subject lines like publishers use headlines.  Most of your email recipients are on-the-go, so your subject line is your advertisement for their attention.  If you are requesting some specific action, say it in the subject line.
4.  Don’t reply to all unless you have to.
More email from you equals more reason to ignore you in our high noise to signal life.  In the study I did on email usage for EmailAtoZ, only 12% of reply to all occurances were necessary.
5.  Write email during your professional hours.
Sipping and sending can be as dangerous as drinking and dialing/driving.  When you write all your emails on a plane, at 10pm with five glasses of red wine in you (Todd’s note:  hopefully this isn’t you!), you suck at email.  When you setup your laptop on a coffee table on a Sunday, and plow through 100 emails while watching the game, your notes don’t make much sense and you likely display a tone of resentment.
How do YOU handle email? What are your tricks to keeping up with the deluge of email? Todd