Immeasurable by Skye Jethani

I picked up Futureville a couple of years ago on a whim. I had never heard of Skye Jethani and, to be completely honest, I didn’t fully realize what the book would be about (I thought it was going to be about technology).

But my mind was blown and my world rocked at this new vision of what the future would be like and how I can be a part of making it happen.

Since then I have read both of his other books, With and The Divine Commodity and listen to him weekly on The Phil Visher Podcast so I jumped on the opportunity to be a part of the launch team for his new book, Immeasurable: Reflections On The Soul Of Ministry In The Age Of Church, INC.

I would have read this book anyway, but it is especially pertinent to me as my day job is leading a college ministry at the local university.

Unlike his other books, this one doesn’t flow from one chapter to the next. Rather, it is a collection of essays, reflections he’s had on the state of the church and church leaders.

The reality is, our culture, both inside and outside of the church, have changed drastically over the years and Skye uses this book to explore those changes and how we should respond to them.

If you are a church leader or work in any sort of ministry, I highly recommend this book. You can buy it on Amazon or his website.

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November Goals

It’s normal to start setting goals in November, right? I mean, who waits until the New Year?

In an effort to put into practice some of the things I learned while reading Jon Acuff’s Finish, I want to start setting goals at the beginning of each month and sharing them here, so here are this month’s goals:

Writing: 2 blog posts for the Disney blogs that I contribute to
2 posts for this blog (which is great because this is the second blog for the month already.)
2 posts for the blog that I share with my wife
My other writing goal is to finish laying out the plot and characters for my novel

I also have a weight loss goal: My actual goal is to go to the gym four days a week but, in the spirit of Jon Acuff telling us to cut our goals in half, I’ll set my goal to two days a week
Ultimately, I’d like to lose five pounds by the end of the month, which includes Thanksgiving weekend.

I’m also excited because I’ve set up some rewards for myself for meeting these goals, namely these guys.

Here’s to the month of November!

Do you have any goals this month?

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Inktober 2017

I decided about a week into October that I wait participate in Inktober. One drawing, in ink, every day. It was a lot of fun and one of the conclusions I came to is that, if I can find a few minutes every day to draw a picture of Donald Duck, I can find a few minutes every day to do some writing.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite images from this year:

 

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Finish: Chapter Five – Leave Your Hiding Places and Ignore Noble Obstacles

“When we dare to focus, a thousand other things beg for our attention.” p75

I may or may not be watching an episode of the new Ducktales cartoon as I ironically type the above quote.

How to uncover my hiding places?

-Do I find myself going there accidentally?

-Do I have to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon to justify why I’m giving it time?

-What do my friends think?

I think my biggest hiding places include Netflix, social media and a couple of mobile games I play. So…basically my phone…which is what I’m currently watching Ducktales on.

So my phone is a hiding place that I definitely need to work on…right after this episode is over.

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Finish: Chapter Four – Make It Fun If You Want It Done

 “Perfectionism believes that the harder something is, the more miserable something is, the better it is.

The fourth lie it tells you is: Fun doesn’t count.” p47

Ain’t that the truth.

“Perfectionism and fun are like oil and water. They don’t mix. Perfectionism thinks fun is a waste of time and holds no value. Unfortunately, most of us tend to feel the same way.” p48

But wait, he’s not done:

“We think that for a goal to be right and true, it must also be difficult. It must break us in the process or it’s not a good-enough goal. The only way we’ll know we’ve made progress is by the amount of blood, sweat, and tears we shed….

Conversely, if we have fun, the goal doesn’t really count. A dance class isn’t real exercise. Walking with a friend is too enjoyable. Frisbee is for hippies. Those things aren’t hard enough.” p49-50

Does he have your number too or is it just me?

This chapter has been the hardest to read, not only because of the above quotes and ideas but also because he encourages us to use a system of rewards or fears to motivate us to achieve our goals.

“In the past, have you been driven by fear or by reward? Are you inspired by the thought of sailing back into the harbor successfully or preventing a shipwreck deep at sea? As Jonathan Fields says, is your goal to push a failure away from yourself or pull a victory toward yourself?” p62

I had a hard time with this concept because I have a hard time being motivated by either. As I thought through this process though, I came to the conclusion that I am motivated by reward, not fear, and that my biggest problem is that I am impatient. I don’t like waiting to get something I want, a book, a movie, etc… and, in general, I don’t really have to. So, I really need to get it into my head that, just because I can get it now doesn’t mean I have to or that I should. It’s very un-American but I have seen it work in my life in the past.

What about you? Are you motivated more by rewards or by fear?

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Finish: Chapter Three – Choose What To Bomb

“Kids are a crisis. They’re a beautiful crisis, but they’re a crisis nonetheless. No one tells you this because they want you to have kids too, so that the species survives.” p32

That quote has nothing to do with choosing what to bomb, but as the father of a newborn, I very much resonate with it.

So, this chapter was about choosing what to bomb, what you are ok with being bad at. The idea here is that, in order for you to make time to reach your goals, you’re going to have to take time away from something (or someone) else so let’s be intentional about what we give up.

This is a conclusion that I actually came to before I read this book. I was making a list of New Year’s Resolutions one year and realized that, in order to add new habits and goals, I would need to subtract other habits. But it’s still a good reminder and not something I’ve sat down to determine what I’m giving up intentionally in a while.

The biggest things I think I need to bomb are; TV, Social Media and my games. These, while all good things, are the biggest time wasters in my day and if I want to get back on track with my weight loss goals and my writing goals, I need to drastically diminish the time I spend on all of them.

“Strategic incompetence is…admitting you don’t have time to do everything and something will deliberately go by the wayside during this season of your life.” p37

I’m really loving how this book isn’t as much about how to meet your goals as it is about killing perfectionism. That, I think, is the core issue when I think about myself and my friends and family that struggle with their goals.

“Once you get beyond the initial guilt of not being about to get everything done, choosing what to bomb becomes sort of fun. The stress of perfectionism gives way to laughter as you list the myriad things you’ll no longer accept shame about.” p44

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Finish: Chapter Two – Cut Your Goal In Half

“Most of us believe the old adage, ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars,’ but that’s not how life really works. The all-or-nothing mentality of perfectionism tells us that close enough doesn’t count. The stars are not good enough.” p23

“Obviously,if your goal is to take medicine or something life-saving, by all means do not cut that in half. Or if it’s to not punch co-workers in the face, don’t start punching half as many as you desire.” p26

“Cutting your goal in half is kryptonite for perfectionism. It makes absolutely no sense and sends a bright flare into the night about your intentions. Not only are you refusing to give in to perfectionism, you’re setting yourself up for success before you’re even started.” p29

There are action steps at the end of almost every chapter which is a great way to turn the theoretical into the practical. This chapter, obviously, asked me to write out my goals and then, either cut them in half or double the time table.

For me this looks like losing 40lbs instead 80lbs, writing 6 posts a month instead of 12 for this blog plus three others that I contribute to and writing a book in two years instead of one. That last one was the hardest for me to reset because two years feels like an eternity.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this. The book came out today and you should definitely order it.

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