Shai Agassi: Pursuing a Dream

shai_agassiShai Agassi is a 40 year old wildly successful founder of Better Place, a company deep into the green energy production boom.  He left a very lucrative career with software giant SAP just before they were to name him CEO to take a giant leap towards his dream.  Harvard Business Review recently interviewed him.  Here is an excerpt from that interview.

HBR: How did you go from global corporate executive to energy entrepreneur?

Agassi: I had a sliding-doors moment in 2006—a moment when if you turned one way, your life and career would go in one direction, and if you turned another way, you would go off on a completely different track. I was in Paris, and I was pondering whether to continue on and become co-CEO at SAP. It was a job I had been groomed for, and I was ready to lead. But I was also fascinated by the idea of powering vehicles with wind- and solar-charged batteries. At that point, Better Place didn’t even have a business plan—it was just an idea. And the moment could have passed me by quite easily.

I remember walking down the Champs-Élysées, so that I could think. I paced it one way, imagining myself at 50 years old having decided to stay at SAP. I imagined not only that SAP had succeeded under my leadership but that we had beaten Microsoft—we were number one. Then I walked the other way, picturing myself at 50 but having left SAP and pursued my dream. I pictured the worst-case scenario—that Better Place had been a failure. At five o’clock in the morning, after walking all night, I said to myself: “This is the sliding-doors moment, and there’s no question which path I should take. I’d rather fail at Better Place than succeed at SAP because no other job could compare to trying to save the world.”

I love it!  That was so inspiring for me to read.  Read the rest of the interview HERE.

Do you have a dream?  Perhaps it is time to “GO FO IT”!  (Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all…Someone else said that…not me!)

Adoption Love

Yesterday we were blessed at Grace Community Church by paying special tribute to the Garcia family who are in the process of raising money to adopt and   raise a special needs child from overseas.   The Garcia family have hearts bigger than most of us can imagine.  They already have one child with downs syndrome, but their desire is to adopt another one.  The child God has placed on their heart to bring home has already been selected and they are just waiting until God provides the resources.  You can read more about the Garcia’s HERE.

We showed this video in each of our services yesterday as another way to share their story.  I hope you are as encouraged as I am by this family’s faith.

Tribute to Church Volunteers

sound-boardThis morning something I already knew was reinforced. We have some of the most awesome volunteers in the world at Grace Community Church.  It takes 150 or more volunteers each week to make a Sunday work. All our volunteers give selflessly to the vision of Grace from the parking lot, to working with children, to greeting and the stage crew.  Their dedication each week amazes me.

I was especially impressed this morning at the expertise of our tech team.  We had a rough start to the day. It seemed every piece of equipment had a bug in it.  Microphones wouldn’t work, chords were missing adapters, projectors didn’t connect with the computers and nothing seemed to work the first try.  With 10 minutes before the first service they were still checking my microphone for a problem.  All the while no one lost their patience and I even heard a few jokes passed between the crew.  When the service began, everything went smoothly and we had another great day.  These folks are incredible!

A church cannot run efficiently without volunteers.  I am thanking God tonight that we have so many dedicated people who give of their time and resources to make Grace Community Church the church that it is.  The Kingdom grows through their efforts.

For whom are you thankful?

An Example of Simple, Child-Like Faith

pugHave you ever had a family pet?  If so, you probably know the emotion of losing one or the thoughts of what would happen if you did.  We can get very attached to our animals.

Recently some friends of ours 12-year-old dog was lost in their neighborhood. The dog has numerous health problems, so they naturally assumed the worst. They were obviously upset about it and asked us to pray.  Thankfully a few days later they found their pug.  I wanted to share the story of how their 3-year-old son reacted to the dog’s disappearance and the example he is for us of a child-like faith.

Here is an excerpt from my friend’s email (I inserted some parenthesis explanations so you can follow along):

First, let me start by saying that God has shown me what an unwavering faith can do.  On Sunday, when we lost Lucy (the dog), Steve and I were sad.  I was careful not to cry in front of Aiden (their son) because I did not want him getting overly upset but he knew we were sad.  He told Steve and I, “not to worry, Jesus would take care of Lucy.”  Sweet and true, but I wasn’t sure if he really knew what he was saying. Then on Monday morning Steve was on the computer and I heard Aiden tell him, “Jesus will bring Lucy home,”, to which we answered, ”I hope so.”  That night as we were going to bed and Aiden was saying his prayers he said, ”Jesus, thank you for bring Lucy home”, not will you, not please do, but thank you.

This is when I knew that Aiden believed what he was asking and I was amazed and wanted to so badly to believe with him.  I must even admit that part of me was worried that he would be disappointed. He never wavered, he was sure, so I figured I would join him.  If he believed that strongly and was that convicted, I would go along with him.  I started agreeing with him and praying like he prayed, but I must admit I still had that piece of me that was a tad doubtful.  I even prayed that God would use this to help teach Aiden how powerful faith is.  Today when Aiden saw Lucy, he didn’t seem really surprised, as a matter of fact he said, “I told you Jesus was taking care of Lucy.”

Anyway, I learned so much on faith from a 3 year old this week and what I pray is that God will teach me how to be more like my son and help me to be a mother that builds that faith in this child, not let life destroy it.

What a great picture of a child-like faith!  I agree with my friend.  I want a faith like Aiden’s faith!

It reminds me how much I have learned from my own children.  What have your children taught you about God and faith?

Economic Good News: Not All Domestic Car Dealers Suffering

clarksville_tn_car_truck_01

I loved a picture article in our local newspaper today. Our local Ford dealer, Jenkins & Wynne, is expanding, although the national press would have us to believe everything is gloom and doom for domestic automakers.

Click HERE to read some good news.

A lead story in the same paper, of course, was about the many dealerships Chrysler and General Motors will be closing across the nation, but thankfully the article, being locally written, goes on to say that our local dealerships for these brands are holding strong also.

The simple fact is that economies like this cause all companies (and churches) to get better, refine what they offer, or close.  The organizations who survive will be stronger and better, creating real value to the economy through jobs, local investments, owner equity and long-term growth.

Are you ready for some good news?  I wonder if we had more good news if it would improve things for everyone…  Feel free to share some good news you know about here.

20 Reasons I Love My Momma…

This year, instead of another card that someone else wrote, I decided to make my own Happy Mother’s Day tribute.  My mother is one of the greatest women I know.  I am blessed to have her for a mother.   She is the picture of a Proverbs 31 woman. She is strong, hard working, loving, and kind.  Here are 20 random things I love about my Momma:

  • I love you momma because you always care for others more than yourself.
  • I love you momma because you forgive easily.
  • I love you momma because you never stop loving those you love.
  • I love you momma because you smell nice.
  • I love you momma because you look for the best in people.
  • I love you momma because you are the greatest cooks I know.
  • I love you momma because you have shaped my life for good.
  • I love you momma because you have seen many trials in life but have an unwavering faith.
  • I love you momma because you support me in whatever I do.
  • I love you momma because you refuse to give up on those you love.
  • I love you momma because you laugh at all our corny jokes.
  • I love you momma because you pray for your children daily.
  • I love you momma because you are resilient to the struggles of life.
  • I love you momma because you open your home to others.
  • I love you momma because you are still trying to learn more about God.
  • I love you momma because you hurt for the hurting.
  • I love you momma because you encourage me to excel.
  • I love you momma because you allow your children to pick on you (sometimes too much).
  • I love you momma because you always choose relationships over material things of life.
  • I love you momma because you love everyone.

Happy Mother’s Day Momma!  The fact is, I love you just because you are my Momma!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers.  Most of us would be far less the people we are today without your unwavering love, devotion, and influence.

Admitting Fault/Taking Blame/Confessing Guilt

Business Week had a great article this week on the need for business leaders to learn three powerful words, “I was wrong”.  Read the article HERE.

This is not just good advice for business leaders.  This is good advice for pastors, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers….well, pretty much all of us.  In fact, some might argue that those three words are necessary for one to become a believer in Christ.  I must be willing to admit I’ve messed up before I can recognize and believe the gift of Christ’s sacrifice on my behalf.

Admitting fault is hard on the ego, but humbly confessing fault is often a critical first step in restoring confidence in broken relationships.  The longer we hold onto our innocence the longer we delay reconciliation and the harder it is to build trust.

Have you done something wrong?  Have you messed up?  Are you guilty as charged? 

What three words do you need to say?

Perhaps some Scripture is in order here:

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”– and you forgave the guilt of my sin. ” Psalms 32:5 NIV

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:10 NIV

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:16 NIV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NIV

Rock Your Community with Building 429

I’m excited about an upcoming concert in Nashville called Rock Your Community. The event will be held Friday, May 15, 2009 at Brentwood Baptist Church beginning at 7 PM. More details are available at the website: http://www.rockyourcommunity.com/ This event is sponsored by Community Outreach Ministries, which “strives to model the love of God and to meet the needs of the broken and wounded of Williamson County by providing a spiritual and pastoral presence in the community.”

Why am I excited about this? Because Grace Community Church’s own Jason Roy and Building 429 are a part of this event. Jason has one of the greatest hearts for worship and community investment of anyone I know. Jason’s wife Cortni and another Grace member are the two original organizers of Grace’s own Operation Serve annual event to reach out to our community. It is a privilege to watch Jason participate in true Kingdom-building!

I love the kind of ministry heart the Roy family has! Let’s support their efforts!

Guest Blog: Nate Edmondson (Hope Encouragement)

Get a little encouragement (actually a lot) from my son Nate’s latest blog entry: http://www.nateedmondson.com

Do you need reminding that change is coming and there is a purpose to life?

Thanks Nate!

(BTW, I have 2 great sons, but only 1 blogs so far. If the other starts to you will hear from him here too!)

More Than You Can Bear (My Most Searched Post)

It’s amazing than in just over a month one blog post has become the most searched post of all time.


God Will Allow More Than You Can Bear (Alone)

People have found this blog through search engines using phrases like:

  • Verse that says God will not allow too much
  • God will not put more on us than we can bear
  • Why can I not seem to bear this?
  • What am I doing wrong, God said He wouldn’t give me more than I can handle?
  • More than we can bear.

…and hundreds of other such phrases.

I think this indicates to and reminds me of a few things true of the times in which we live:

  1. People are hurting.
  2. People are looking for answers.
  3. This myth is wide spread.
  4. More than ever we need to rely on Christ and His strength.
  5. With Christ all things are possible.

Please know this, God will allow times of struggle greater than YOUR ability to handle it.  He allows these times so that you might learn to fully and completely rely on Him.  Apart from Him you and I can do nothing.  When you and I learn that principle and live accordingly we will be free to experience His power, which is perfected in our weakness.

What are you facing today that you cannot handle on your own?  Are you willing to give up control and trust completely in Christ?