Anne Lamott Quotes

planbAnne Lamott is one of the best writers I think I’ve ever read – and funny too. Anyway, this morning I started listening to her audio book (she reads herself) called “Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith.”

Anyway, I just thought I’d share a few quotes that struck me:

Peace is joy at rest. Joy is peace on it’s feet.

One of the top five most annoying things about God is that He rarely answers right away. It can take days or even weeks. Can you talk about God like this?

Maybe it was the ‘Ham of God.

She describes how seasonal showers fill up potholes in the rocks in the desert and frogs live in them. Then she says, “it seems you can go from parched to overflow in the blink of an eye.”

Here’s another quote from a talk she gave to a bunch of Pastors:

She explains that cat’s fur is highly flamable, but God has also placed an oil in their skin which puts the fire out. Then she says, “Cats ignite, but luckily there’s grace.”

Leadership Quotes

I was reading about leadership on-line the other day
and found these quotes. I just thought I’d share them ’cause they’re good. I
especially love the second one from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Something about that
one just rings true in my heart. There’s this sort of resounding
“Yes!” that just wants to rise up out of me when I hear it.


“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when
people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. But of a good leader,
who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, ‘We
did this ourselves.'”
— Lao-Tse

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us
to be what we know we could be.”

Ralph
Waldo Emerson

“If
the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch.”
— Jesus Christ

“Dictators ride
to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting
hungry.”
— Winston Churchill

“The task of
the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not
been.”

— Henry Kissinger

“The task of
leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness
is there already.”
— John Buchan

“Great leaders
are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and
doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”
— General Colin Powell

“Men make
history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership,
society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize
the opportunity to change things for the better.”
— Harry Truman

“A leader is one
who influences a specific group of people to move in a God-given
direction.”
— J. Robert Clinton

“All Leadership
is influence.”
— John C. Maxwell
Injoy, Inc.

“You cannot be a
leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow,
too.”
— Sam Rayburn

“Your position
never gives you the right to command. It only imposes on you the duty of so
living your life that others may receive your orders without being
humiliated.”
— Dag Hammarskjöld

“The final test
of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men, the conviction and the
will to carry on.”
— Walter Lippmann

“People ask the
difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss
drives.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“The first
responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.
In between, the leader is a servant.”
— Max DePree

“Management is
efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the
ladder is leaning against the right wall.”
— Stephen R. Covey

“He who has
great power should use it lightly.”
— Seneca

“As a leader,
you’re probably not doing a good job unless your employees can do a good
impression of you when you’re not around.”
— Patrick Lencioni

“The older I get
the less I listen to what people say and the more I look at what they do.”
— Andrew Carnegie

“I think leadership
comes from integrity – that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there
are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a
friend, a neighbor makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do
things. Leadership does not need to be a dramatic, fist in the air and trumpets
blaring, activity.”
— Scott Berkun


“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you
become a leader, success is all about growing others.”  — Jack
Welch

Enoughness

EnoughI’ve had a few more thoughts about the quote from class the other night. Here’s the quote again:

Nathaniel Brandon, “In considering the many parental messages that may have a detrimental effect on a child’s self-esteem, there is probably none I encounter more than some version of “You are not enough”. . . The tragedy of many people’s lives is that in accepting the verdict that they are not enough, they may spend years exhausting themselves in pursuit of the Holy Grail of enoughness.”

Enoughness – isn’t that what God addressed when he gave us the Sabbath? Here’s what I mean. Before the institution of the Sabbath, the nation of Israel was in slavery in Egypt. Their value and worth was directly related to the number of bricks they could make – or how many blocks they could move – or how much dirt they could shovel. Their value was tied to what they could do – how much they could perform. When God rescued them from Egypt, one of the first things he did is institute the Sabbath – it was kinda like God was saying, “Look, you guys are valuable to me simply for being who you are. I want you to  spend one day a week doing nothing so that you can remember that you are my chosen people. Remember that you don’t have to do anything to earn my love and acceptance. You are enough because I made you enough – not because you did anything to earn it, but because I chose you. Remember how much I love you.”

As a Christian, I am enough too! I have been chosen, not for my works, but simply because God saw it as His good pleasure to choose me. Wow! That’s what I want Kasen to understand. For that matter, that’s what I want everyone to understand. How can I communicate that better? Maybe, there’s not a “better” way to say it – maybe I just need to keep saying it – to keep bringing it up – to pound it into people’s heads. Maybe I should say it enough that people can finish my sentence – I don’t know – I just know that I think it’s that important!

Identity

The other night in class we were talking about how a leader’s identity effects how he leads. How we view ourselves makes a difference. As a new father, this subject really jumped out at me. Dr. Ayers showed us a quote by Nathaniel Brandon, “In considering the many parental messages that may have a detrimental effect on a child’s self-esteem, there is probably none I encounter more than some version of “You are not enough”. . . The tragedy of many people’s lives is that in accepting the verdict that they are not enough, they may spend years exhausting themselves in pursuit of the Holy Grail of enoughness.”

When he showed it to us, I couldn’t help but think about my own son, Kasen, and I wondered how I would communicate his enoughness to him. How could I communicate his value and worth? How could I show him that God Himself thinks he’s worth dying for? I was reminded of something I read in “Wild at Heart” by John Eldridge. Here’s the excerpt I thought about:

Wildatheart
A Man’s Deepest Question

On a warm August afternoon several years ago my boys and I were rock climbing in a place called the Garden of the Gods, near our home. The red sandstone spires there look like the dorsal fins of some great beast that has just surfaced from the basement of time. We all love to climb, and our love for it goes beyond the adventure. There’s something about facing a wall of rock, accepting its challenge and mastering it that calls you out, tests and affirms what you are made of. Besides, the boys are going to climb anyway – the refrigerator, the banister, the neighbor’s grape arbor – so we might as well take it outside. And it’s an excuse to buy some really cool gear. Anyway, when I climb with the boys we always top-rope, meaning that before the ascent I’ll rig protection from the top of the rock down, enabling me to belay from the bottom. That way I can coach them as they go, see their every move, help them through the tough spots. Sam was the first to climb that afternoon, and after he clipped the rope to his harness, he began his attempt.

Things were going well until he hit a bit of an overhang, which even though you’re roped in makes you feel exposed and more than a little vulnerable. Sam was unable to get over it and he began to get more and more scared the longer he hung there; tears were soon to follow. So with gentle reassurance I told him to head back down, that we didn’t need to climb this rock today, that I knew of another one that might be more fun. “No,” he said, “I want to do this.” I understood. There comes a time when we simply have to face the challenges in our lives and stop backing down. So I helped him up the overhang with a bit of a boost, and on he went with greater speed and confidence. “Way to go Sam! You’re looking good. That’s it. . . now reach up to your right. . . yep, now push off that foothold. . . nice move.”

Notice what a crucial part of any male sport this sort of “shop talk” is. It’s our way of affirming each other without looking like we’re affirming. Men rarely praise each other directly, as women do: “Ted, I absolutely love your shorts. You look terrific today.” We praise indirectly, by way of our accomplishments: “Whoa, nice shot, Ted. You’ve got a wicked swing today.” As Sam ascended, I was offering words of advise and exhortation. He came to another challenging spot, but this time sailed right over it. A few more moves and he would be at the top. “Way to go, Sam. You’re a wild man.” He finished the climb, and as he walked down from the back side, I began to get Blaine clipped in. Ten or fifteen minutes passed, and the story was forgotten to me. But not Sam. While I was coaching his brother up the rock, Sam sort of sidled up to me and in a quiet voice asked, “Dad. . . did you really think I was a wild man up there?”

Miss that moment and you’ll miss a boys heart forever. It’s not a question – it’s the question, the one every boy and man is longing to ask. Do I have what it takes? Am I powerful? Until a man knows he’s a man he will forever be trying to prove he is one, while at the same time shrink from anything that might reveal he is not. Most men live their lives haunted by the question, or crippled by the answer they’ve been given.

When will this moment come for Kasen? Will I recognize it? Will there be lots of opportunities? What kinds of activities can I be involved in with him that would bring out these opportunities? (I’m pretty sure I’m not a rock climber – of course it does sound fun, but. . .)

As a youth minister, I recognize this question being asked. I have even had the opportunity to give the answer sometimes (although I wish their own father could have been the one to give it). My job as a leader is to equip others to serve and that means delving into the character questions – into the identity of those I work with. What a huge task. . . what an incredible privilege. . . what an amazing opportunity. . . Thank you God for allowing me to be a part of Your work!!

Cool Quote

Just a cool quote:

“Discipleship saves us from the tragedy of a
wasted life.” – Warren Wiersbe

Franciscan Benediction

06-03-07Here’s a Franciscan Benediction (from St. Francis) that I think is cool. I found it on a Charlie Hall CD.

“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”

Wow – I love it! Cool stuff! Yes God I pray that for all the Christians I know and for me too!

Awesome Quote

What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God.

I’m not sure where this even comes from, but it’s pretty cool stuff huh? God has given us everything – our spiritual gifts, our families, our money, even life itself. What we do with those things is how we can honor Him and give back to Him.