leadership, Life Goals, outdoors, Yosemite

Yosemite/Half Dome Hikers Club

Just wanted to posted a few pics and reflection from my week in Yosemite National Park.
Each year 4 million people enter Yosemite Valley and every one of them sees Half Dome.

(double click the pic with your mouse to enlarge for a better view)

A very small percentage of them consider hiking to the top.  Of that small percentage, an even smaller percentage make it to the top.

This hike has been on my list of “Gotta Do” Hikes for a long time.  For years I’ve wanted to make this trip, but I have never found the time to prepare or train for this trip.  Last week on August 17th, A group lead by my friend Joel Malm of Summit Leaders and I made it to the top.

http://www.summitleaders.org/

The top of Half Dome was worth the wait and the journey was definitely an adventure to remember.

The first view of the cables is intimidating, but the set of switchbacks cut into granite are equally intimidating.  These switchbacks are more of a Class 2 scramble than a Class 1 trail.

The “Cables” are the cable system that help you get to the top. The Forest Service requires you to have a permit to climb the cables.

The cables are very intimidating because:
• If you slip you will fall to your death, no doubt about it
• It takes a lot of energy to climb up the steep slope.
• The high elevation (8,836′) makes it very difficult to climb up the steep 50+
degree slope.  It’s steeper than the pictures render.
• You are tired from walking 8 miles uphill just to get to this point.

Once on top you feel amazing, tired and challenged…..because you have to get down.

We enjoyed the view at the top for about one hour before we headed back down.  When we were at the top, there were probably 100 other people also celebrating.  When we came back down the cables, there were at least another 100+ people climbing up the cables.  We fought our way down squeezing past the climbers.

Some overwhelming desire forces me to identify the ledge I stood on which overlooked the Yosemite Valley.  I don’t know why, but since I’ve been to the top, Half Dome looks different.

So glad I went up – So glad I listened to a friend of mine who told me “don’t even think about it Steve, just climb it”.

Here are just a few pics of some other spot in this amazing place called Yosemite.

The Valley with deer that have no fear.

El capiton had four climbers that were in day three of their five day mission….We had binoculars and could see them make the ascent.

The Valley at night is magical.

The Muir trail on the way back was fantastic.

Big time thanks go out to all the friends that joined in and Joel Malm with Summit Leaders. I highly recommend this organization if you are looking for a top drawer adventure and first class experience.

What a great event!

Steve (HALF DOME HIKES CLUB since August 2011)

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Arizona, Environmental Stewardship, leadership, Ministry, outdoors

Restoring Eden

Had a great discussion and conversation  with founder Peter Illyn from http://restoringeden.org/ today in Sedona.

Restoring Eden emphasizes three major ways to engage in stewardship of God’s creation:
*Enjoying God’s creation
*Hands-on service and restoration projects
*Civic engagement and public advocacy
Mission:
Restoring Eden’s mission is to make hearts bigger, hands dirtier, and voices stronger by rediscovering the biblical call to love, serve, and protect God’s creation.
Description:
Restoring Eden is a movement of like-minded people who see a strong connection between our Christian spirituality and our role as caretakers of creation.
Company Overview:
Christians for Environmental Stewardship
I think this ship will be going place in the coming season aheadd….really looking forward to partnering with tis visionary.
Steve
psalm 104:24
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books I'm reading again, leadership

28 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

John Mason emailed this to me this morning and I just had to copy it to my blog.

Steve,

Here are some important questions to ask yourself today.

  1. Both enthusiasm and pessimism are contagious. How much of each do you spread?
  2. If someone were to pay you a hundred dollars for each kind word you spoke and collect fifty dollars for each unkind word, would you be rich or poor?
  3. Are you a creature of circumstance or a creator of circumstance?
  4. Are you ready for your opportunity when it comes?
  5. Do you make others feel bigger or smaller when they’re around you?
  6. Are you spending your life answering questions nobody is asking?
  7. If you have God’s promise for something, isn’t that enough?
  8. Why worry when you can pray?
  9. How old is your attitude?
  10. Do you acquire the doubts of others?
  11. Are you willing to follow the truth no matter where it leads?
  12. What progress are you standing in the way of? (Tim Redmond)
  13. How much has fear and worry about things that never happened cost you?
  14. Do you go through a problem—or try to go around it and never get past it?
  15. Do you say, “There ought to be a better way to do it” or do you say, “That’s the way it’s always been done”?
  16. Are you deliberately planning to be less than you’re capable of being?
  17. If not you, then who?  If not now, then when?  (Hillell)
  18. Are you willing to give up what you have in order to become what you can be?
  19. What do you believe in the depth of your being?
  20. What is the first, small step you can take to get moving?
  21. “If you don’t have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true?” (Oscar Hammerstein)
  22. Do you look at the horizon and see an opportunity, or look into the distance and fear a problem?
  23. Do you put off until tomorrow the things you’ve already put off until today?
  24. Has failure gone to your head?
  25. Are you traveling or going somewhere?
  26. Do you see difficulties in every opportunity, or see opportunities in every difficulty?
  27. How many people of great potential have you known? Where on earth did they all go?
  28. Ten years from today, what will you wish you had done now?

I love John Mason’s wealth of wisdom. He is the author of  An Enemy Called Average and other amazing books that are a must for your personal library.

Have a great day.

Steve

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leadership, Ministry

DON’T QUIT WHEN YOU ARE IN THE PIT

I love the story of the 14th Century Emperor Tamerlane (descendant of Ghangis Kahn) was badly defeated in battle. As he lay hidden in a barn, enemy troops scoured the countryside looking for him. Suddenly he noticed an ant trying to push a kernel of corn that was many times bigger than he, up over a wall. Sixty-nine times the ant tried and failed, but on the seventieth attempt he succeeded. Leaping to his feet, Tamerlane said, “If you can do it, I can too.” That day he changed his outlook, reorganized his forces, went back and soundly defeated the enemy.
If you’re under attack at the moment, listen to the words of Joab  in 2 Samuel 10:12 , “Be strong and let us fight bravely for…the Lord will do what is good.” Joab knew that if you do your part, God will do His. So keep fighting! As long as you’re on the battlefield God can give you victory. But if you turn and run, what more can He do for you?

Today as you face your difficulties keep these 7 things clearly in mind.
(1) Never give up when you know you’re right.
(2) Believe that all things work together for good, if you just persevere.
(3) Don’t let the odds discourage you; God’s bigger than all of them.
(4) Never let anyone intimidate you or deter you from your goals.
(5) Fight and overcome every limitation.
(6) Remember, every winner has dealt with defeat and adversity.
(7) Keep trying, confident that in God’s strength you’ll surely succeed.

I love this quote by Lance Armstrong;  “Pain is temporary – quitting is forever”

Don’t quit while you are in the pit.

Steve Lummer

Lead Pastor PFA

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leadership

ROAD TO SUCCESS

Someone posted this on Facebook and I just had to post it if for no one else but me.

The Road To Success Is Not Straight. There Is A Curve Called Failure A Loop Called Confusion, Speed Bumps Called Friends, Red Lights Called Enemies, Caution Lights Called Family. You Will Have Flats Called Jobs.

But, If You Have A Spare Called Determination, An Engine Called Perseverance, Insurance Called Faith, A Driver Called Jesus, You Will Make It To A Place Called Success!!

Good stuff it you ask me.

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church family, Just sayin', leadership, Ministry

AGING OR SAGING?

I woke up early this morning thinking about an old friend who is living in a assisted care home today.
Harvey Smith used to say, “I’m not aging …I’m Saging.”
Harvey and his wife Jean came to my church in Lake Saint Louis Missouri on my birthday in 1995 and they have been a gift ever since.
I can’t stop thinking about this guy and his amazing zest for life. He is a wizz at making you feel like there is more to do and more to accomplish.
Harvey would on more than one occasion say, “Steve, we never run out of vision ….we just run out of time.”

That statement reminds me of a great quote I read by Michael Jordan;
“Even when I’m old and gray, I won’t be able to play it, but I’ll still love the game.”

And another great said it this way; ” Let us not dread old age. Let us grow old graciously since the Lord Himself is with us in fullness of grace. …CH Spurgeon

A challenge to us Baby Boomers

I am 51 years old—. I am surrounded by 78 million boomers, ages 43 to 61. Over 10,000 turn sixty every day. If you read the research, we are a self-centered generation.

* Likes: working from home, anti-aging supplements, climate control
* Dislikes: wrinkles, Millennial sleeping habits, Social Security, insecurity
* Hobbies: low-impact sports, uberparenting, wining and dining
* Hangouts: farmer’s markets, tailgate parties, backyards
* Resources: $2.1 trillion
* We are over weight and soft.

What will it mean to get old to the and still be a fully devoted follower of Christ as a baby boomer in America? It will mean a radical break with the mindset of our peers. Especially a break with the typical consumer dream of retirement. Ralph Winter was the founder of the U. S. Center for World Missions and is in his early eighties, traveling, speaking, and writing wrote an article titled “The Retirement Booby Trap” almost 25 years ago when he was about 60. In it he said,

“Most men don’t die of old age, they die of retirement. I read somewhere that half the men retiring in the state of New York die within two years. Save your life and you’ll lose it. Just like other drugs, other psychological addictions, retirement is a virulent disease, not a blessing. . . . Where in the Bible do they see that? Did Moses retire? Did Paul retire? Peter? John? Do military officers retire in the middle of a war?”

Millions of Christian men and women are finishing their formal careers in their fifties and sixties, and for most of them there will be a good twenty years before their physical and mental powers fail. What will it mean to live those final years for the glory of God? How will we live them in such a way as to show that Christ is our highest Treasure?

King David said it way before Michael Jordan did when he said;
Even when I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me live to tell the people of this age what your strength has accomplished, to tell about your power to all who will come. Psalm 71:18

I guess David is saying is that it is his desire to make God look great to the younger generation.

Harvey Smith has sure done that for me and I hope to visit him this June when I visit friends in Missouri.

Thank you Harvey for every encourging word and your unending zeal.

Steve  (lead pastor Prescott First Assembly)

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election, leadership, nation

Portrait Of Presidential Players

I love these two portraits by artist Andy Thomas.

Just had to put them on my blog post.

Republicans Players

George Bush senior, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Dwight Eisenhower, (down in front is Abraham  Lincoln), back up to Teddy Roosevelt, down to Gerald Ford, and up to Richard Milhouse Nixon.

Here are some quotes by these guys.

Ronald Wilson Reagan  (1981–1989)

“America is too great for small dreams.”

“We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And that makes us special among the nations of the earth.”

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

George Herbert Walker Bush  (1989–1993)

“If anyone tells you that America’s best days are behind her, they’re looking the wrong way.”

“Don’t try to fine-tune somebody else’s view.”

“I want a kinder, gentler nation.”

George W. Bush

“If you don’t feel something strongly you’re not going to achieve.”

“We will bring the terrorists to justice; or we will bring justice to the terrorists. Either way, justice will be done.”

Gerald Rudolph Ford  (1974–1977)

“Truth is the glue that holds governments together. Compromise is the oil that makes governments go.”

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

Richard Milhous Nixon  (1969–1974)

“A man who has never lost himself in a cause bigger than himself has missed one of life’s mountaintop experiences. Only in losing himself does he find himself.”

“I like the job I have, but if I had to live my life over again, I would like to have ended up a sports writer.”

“Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you. Those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”

Dwight David Eisenhower  (1953–1961)

“I never saw a pessimistic general win a battle.”

Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)

“You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
“If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.”

Teddy Roosevelt (1901-1909)

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.”
“The only man who makes no mistake is the man who does nothing.”

Democratic Players

William Clinton, John F.Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Franklin Delano Roosevelt  , Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Andrew Jackson, Lyndon Baines Johnson

William Jefferson Clinton  (1993–2001)

“There is nothing wrong in America that can’t be fixed with what is right in America.”

“If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.”

“We need a spirit of community, a sense that we are all in this together. If we have no sense of community, the American dream will wither.”

James Earl Carter, Jr.  (1977–1981)

“We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.”

Lyndon Baines Johnson  (1963–1969)

“A president’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.”

“You ain’t learnin’ nothin’ when you’re talkin’.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy  (1961–1963)

“And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt  (1933–1945)

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

“A good leader can’t get too far ahead of his followers….or they might mistake him for the enemy.”

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”

Andrew Jackson (1865—1869)

“If the rabble were lopped off at one end and the aristocrat at the other, all would be well with the country.”

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leadership, Ministry, what I am working on right now

the TIPPING point

Can’t wait to start our new series at Prescott First Assembly this weekend called the TIPPING point.
There is something about the story of Paul Revere’s ride as an historical example of a word-of-mouth epidemic – a piece of extraordinary news that traveled a long distance in a very short time! Or how a yawn in a room can start a ripple effect of yawns to others in the room.
There are trend setters, fashion forecasters and things that for just some reason take off like wildfire.
As the church we need to know what the difference between just living life and creating a future that changes everything.
The right thought, plus the right people, in the right environment, at the right time, for the right reason, always produces the right result.
The difference is the TIPPING point.
See you Sunday.

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leadership, Ministry

ARE YOU A CRITIC OR A CREATIVE?

The definition of a critic.—  “Someone who comes down from the safety of the woods after the battle is over to strip the dead.” I love that

They are not willing to fight with you in the battle but there are more than willing to criticize you and explain in great detail why you lost!

How Thick is Your Skin? the art of handling criticism?

It is much easier to be critical than to be creative.

No one ever erected a statue to a critic.

It happens to all of us…and the longer and higher you serve in leadership the more common is the experience. Leadership in any organization and at any level is subject to critique, second-guessing and outright criticism. It simply goes with the territory. Whether the venue is a small non-profit organization or a multi-national for-profit business; a church or civic organization; your decisions and conduct as a leader will be examined, analyzed, scrutinized and criticized.

The only way to avoid this appraisal is to “…say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.” Stay out of the fight and maintain the status quo and you’ll be left alone. But if your vision for the future includes venturing into uncharted waters don’t be surprised when your leadership is  under attack and the torpedoes of criticism explode all around you.

Criticism can either be just or unjust; objective or totally unfounded; constructive or pernicious. But whether the motivation behind the criticism is envy or deep loving concern, the personal injury that is caused pains us just the same. The motive behind the disapproval is almost immaterial, as your response is limited to that which you can control – your reaction. How are you going to react to criticism? How are you going to handle it? Let me suggest four principles:

1.  Consider the Source

The first step in handling criticism is to wisely consider the origin. Criticism can spring from a variety of sources: superiors, subordinates, peers, friends or the public. And your reaction and appropriate response will be determined by considering the source.

Frequently jealousy, anger, complacency or hostility motivates criticisms. There is a marked criticsdifference between genuine, constructive reproach prompted by a loving concern from a friend and the habitual complaining from a malcontent. Chronic critics are those individuals who go out of their way to find fault with fresh ideas, new procedures or original thinking. They tear down rather than build up and in the process often attack the individual rather than the issue at hand. You’re familiar with their rhetoric: “It’ll never work,” “We’ve never done it that way before,” “It’s not our responsibility,” “We’re doing just fine without it,” or “We can’t afford it.”

Some people who criticize may simply be expressing a negative outlook on life (Remember, out of the overflow of one’s heart the mouth speaks, Matthew 12.34). People who hurt the most often hurt the most! The sting of unexpected criticism from an unexpected source may reveal deep personal struggles. Take the time to investigate.

2.  Maintain your Dignity

When criticized our natural reaction is to become defensive and fight back, offering excuses for the behavior under attack. Defensiveness almost always results in an emotional reaction rather than a rational response. Resist the urge to lash back or to launch a counterattack. If you first keep your mouth shut, you’ll never regret what you didn’t say!

3.  Consider the Observation

It’s hard to see reproof as anything other than a threat. But if we ate to grow and develop as a leader, we need to see beyond the criticism and consider the truth behind it. Is it possible that the criticism is justified? Could this possibly be used to sharpen my effectiveness as a leader?

Robert A. Cook, former president of King’s College in New York, told the story from the early years of his ministry. He had been receiving some rather pointed criticism and he sought the counsel of pastor friend, Harry A. Ironside. Pouring out his heart, Dr. Cook asked what he should do about the accusations being made against him. Ironside responded, “Bob, if the criticism about you is true, mend your ways! If it isn’t, forget about it!”

The only worthless mistakes are those from which we do not learn. Proverbs 12.1 speaks plainly: “…he who hates correction is stupid.” Even under the most negative and unfair circumstances we can grow and criticism can bring new insights to ourselves and our organizations.

4.  Exercise Grace

Relinquish your right to revenge. Don’t seek retaliation. Remember the biblical counsel, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15.1) Practice “grace living.”

Twenty-sixth US president Theodore Roosevelt wisely evaluated criticism when he observed, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly…Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

Mark it well, if you are trying to accomplish anything great, you will be criticized by those that are doing nothing. Your motives will be questioned; your character may be assaulted. But as leaders we need to develop the self-confidence and thick skin so to manage criticism constructively. If you are overly sensitive to the opinions and criticisms of others, you’ll end up carrying a burden of guilt and inadequacy that will manifest itself in ineffectiveness. Keep in mind that God’s love for us is based on His faithfulness, not our ability to be perfect. And a purpose derived from a sense of calling from God will help provide you with the courage to confront criticism. Ignore the empty faultfinding; refuse to be swayed by others’ chiding but never disregard the dream the Lord has given you!

Don’t be critical ….be creative and help make the world you live in a greater, cleaner, loving place.

I will close this blog by an awesome quote by George Burns

“Too bad the only people who know how to run this country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair. “

Love it!

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