Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem

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2013 As An Abolitionist

photoIt was a big year to be an abolitionist. I really wish I’d been ready for it! There were milestones and celebrations and remembrances—some worldwide, some national and some just for me. Over and over, I was given opportunities to honor the work that has been done, rejoice in the part I’ve played, and prepare for the fight still ahead.

Here’s a look back:

  • 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
  • 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address
  • 50th anniversary of the March on Washington
  • 50th anniversary of the death of JFK
  • Passing of Nelson Mandela
  • Got more involved with Not For Sale Georgia.
  • Took Out of Darkness training, and began volunteering for Solomon House.
  • Attended Lobby Day.
  • I heard Jason Russell speak for the first time.
  • I heard Mary Francis Bowley speak for the first time.
  • I heard Rebecca Stevens and John Richmond speak, both new to me.
  • Gave $25 to Kiva to help lift someone out of poverty, a factor in those at risk for slavery.
  • Saw Lincoln in the theater
  • Release of the movie, The Butler
  • Release of the movie, 12 Years a Slave
  • I read a lot of great books on the movement.

Overall, it was a good year to be an abolitionist. I feel really confirmed in playing a role to end slavery.

Looking forward to see what 2014 has in store.


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Catalyst Conference: Main Session Highlights

Me and my friend Daron at Catalyst

Me and my friend Daron at Catalyst

I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since I was at Catalyst East. It’s been a whirlwind since then. But hey, I guess the countdown continues until next year!

This year’s theme was “KNOWN,” which was awesome because there was a lot of talk about identity and foundational faith issues alongside leadership, which is the conference’s main focus. Good, deep stuff.

I would say of all the main stage speakers, my favorite would be Malcolm Gladwell. And really, I can probably say that any time he speaks. If you’ve never read his books, you’re really missing out. Utterly fascinating. I definitely feel a lot smarter after reading them. And, well, I’d like to say he’s someone I’d like to sit down over coffee with, but honestly, I don’t think I could keep up with him. But I’ll listen to him all day long!

And without further adieu…

Andy Stanley, Co-Founder of North Point Ministries

  • We all have an appetite to be known, but what level of known is enough? (family? friends? fame?)
  • We all want to be known for something, and known by someone.
  • There is no amount of known to satisfy. You think it’s the next thing, but it’s not.
  • What’s applauded as exceptional becomes expected. Applause is intoxicating and addictive.
  • To survive being known, remember who it’s from, and who it’s for.
  • You have been given a stewardship of known-ness, for making Him known.

Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruz

  • You don’t own anything. You are a steward.
  • Money magnifies the person you already are.
  • Who you hang around with is who you become.

Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark

  • Fear makes us small. Love makes us large.
  • The world you see outside of you is a reflection of what’s inside of you.
  • You can’t have great breakthroughs without great failures.

Malcolm Gladwell, Journalist and Author

  • We do not know our own strength.
  • David wasn’t actually an underdog.
  • We underestimate the power of heart.
  • We underestimate the power of our faith.

Jason Russell, Co-Founder of Invisible Children

  • Too often we let our mistakes define us.
  • The only way to Truth and freedom is vulnerability.
  • Declare your priorities and make them so.
  • I think God’s first miracle was at a wedding as a reminder to live abundantly.

Reggie Joiner, Founder of Orange (This is the company I work for.)

  • Make what matters, matter more.
  • Sometimes we get confused on what God is supposed to do and what we’re supposed to do.
  • The Bible doesn’t say change your neighbor as yourself.
  • Love over time is believable.
  • Legacy is about others. It’s about what you leave in others.
  • Until a person is known, they can’t feel love.

Jud Wilhite, Author and Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church

  • Love the calling you have, not the one you wish you had.
  • Go and love your calling. Go and love your church.
  • God didn’t call you to fruit, He called you to faithfulness.

There were some other great speakers I didn’t get to hear as well: Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry; Lecrae Moore, Hip Hop Artist; John Piper, Founder; Judah Smith, Lead Pastor of The City Church and Author; Priscilla Shirer, Founder of Going Beyond Ministries. You can follow @CatalystLeader on Twitter or search the hashtag #Catalyst to find notes from these amazing people, and dig deeper into my highlights.

And if you missed my Labs recap, have a gander here.

Hope you feel smarter, more insightful and ready to take on the world. That’s what Catalyst does for me!


Catalyst Conference: Labs Highlights

The iconic Catalyst "C" welcomed everyone to Labs.

The iconic Catalyst “C” welcomed everyone to Labs.

Last week I was at Catalyst, one of my favorite things each year. It’s a chance for me to hear speakers I love, speakers I’ve never heard of, and get in some quality learning time. My friend, Daron, and I always start with the Labs on Wednesday, because you can never learn too much. This year, I was able to hear some people that I love, but have only admired from afar. It’s awesome when that happens!

So, here are my highlights from Labs. The theme for the conference this year was KNOWN, you’ll see a lot of identity talk both here, and when I post the main conference highlights. Good stuff, and great theme.

Dr. Henry Cloud, Author and Psychologist (Read Boundaries immediately, if you have not. It’s life-changing)

  • The brain forms who you are and what you do through the attention it gives and is given. Attention brings things to reality.
  • Grace and Truth still allow for failure, but also provide acceptance.
  • The brain runs on food, glucose and relationships.
  • You were only designed to control YOURSELF.

Jason Russell, Co-Founder of Invisible Children (I’ve admired this org for a number of years.)

  • Your life is BIGGER than your best dream for it.
  • What’s worth living for?
  • What’s worth dying for?

Jen Hatmaker, Author and Church Planter (Her book 7 was probably my favorite thing to read this year.)

  • Jesus never said to start a church. He said to make disciples.
  • Does our Jesus look like our church?
  • The Church is currently malnourished. Young adults want: community, social justice, depth, and mentorship.
  • Incarnational living is the front door to discipleship.

Ann Voskamp, Author and Devotional Blogger (Never heard of her before, but she was great.)

  • Everyone you know is fighting a daily battle, whether they show it or not.
  • Battle strategy: 2 Chronicles 20:20, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.” Give thanks in all things. Give thanks for what He’s doing in your during the battle.
  • Count the ways God loves you, and you’ll learn one thousand ways to change the world.

Eugene Cho, Church Planter and Entrepreneur (Always enjoy him, and really excited for his new book!)

  • A study in Nehemiah Chapter 1.
  • How do I take my conviction from A to B? 1) Shut up and pray. 2) Have the courage to ask the hard questions. 3) Be committed to be an expert in what you start. 4) Clarify the vision/conviction. 5) Develop a strategic plan. 6) Build on the power of social capital.
  • If you take away free choice from someone, revolution will happen at some point.

Bob Goff, Recovering Lawyer, Philanthropist and Guy You Want to Know (Read Love Does.)

  • What if we stopped just agreeing with Jesus, and started acting like Him?
  • I’m trying to become love, and that’s really hard but worth it.
  • Everyone who stands at your door and knocks ain’t Jesus. Be careful who you let in and listen to.

These are just a few of my favorite things from Labs. If you want my full notes, let me know and I’m happy to share them once they get typed up. It was an awesome day, and probably my favorite of the three.