How To Tell A Story That Works
If you’re trying to communicate something, few things are more powerful than a story. Stories personalize ideas and illustrate concepts. And they can be told in a myriad of ways. For example, check out this 53-second ad from Google: Telling stories is good. Telling stories creatively in ways that resonate with people’s current experience is great. Once you know what you need...
God will often deliver us in a manner that seems, initially, to destroy us.– Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
I seldom drive past houses at Christmastime without thinking about my sister’s deep hatred for what she calls “grid lights.” These are the Chrismas lights that come prearranged in a grid pattern; you’ll often see them draped over people’s bushes and shrubs. It’s a whole lot easier than painstakingly threading a single string of lights back and forth across...
The Art of Thanksliving
Spoke at church Wednesday night about communicating our thanks to God through actions. Yesterday, a friend sent me this: THE ART OF THANKSGIVING By Wilfred Peterson The art of thanksgiving, is thanksliving. It is gratitude in action. It is applying albert Schweitzer’s philosophy: “In gratitude for your own good fortune you must render in return some sacrifice of your life for other life.” It is...
Happy Day of the Giving of the Thanks!
Okay, so here’s my requisite Thanksgiving Day post—a list (à la my wife) of the small things I’m thankful for this holiday: My MacBook Pro Not going to be obnoxious about it, but I converted to Mac in April of ‘06 and I will NEVER go back. Beautiful, smart, reliable, and fun. Reminds me of my wife. The first significant ding on my car After that first one, there’s...
Buy My House →
As I said earlier this week, we’re selling our house. Staying in Henderson, but selling the house we love so much. If you’d like to buy it or know of someone who would, check it out by clicking “Buy My House” above!
I’m off work today in honor of the pilgrims, so I thought a goofing-off post would be appropriate for a goofing-off day. Thus, here are 4 goofy websites for your surfing pleasure. They’re all ridiculous and at times stinking hilarious. If you’ve already seen one of them, I’m not surprised. If you’ve already seen all of them, then I bow to your interweb prowess. ...
In Praise of Dads With Guitars
I love playing guitar. I only play a handful of chords. I don’t know a lot of songs. I can never remember all the verses when I sing the songs I know. But playing and singing make me happy. Some of my best memories with my father are playing guitar together. We didn’t do it all the time, but every once in a while we’d end up with both our guitars out at the same time,...
Jen and I are in the process of some major purging. We’re selling our house in order to move into a much smaller one (as little as 30% of our current square footage). That means 70% of our stuff has to go. (Not really, but almost.) Goodwill thought they won the lottery last night—we dropped off over 300 pieces of clothing and a bunch of other stuff. More than one truckload is...
jlgerhardt.tumblr.com on having too much stuff →
[Click on the link above to hear about what’s going on in my life right now, as described by my insightful and funny wife]
Great; I Just Realized I'm A Bigot.
Jen and I had dinner at Subway last night. At 10:00. If it’s been a while since you had dinner at a fast food place at 10pm, allow me to let you in on something: you’ll be joined by an interesting crowd. While we were standing in line waiting for the tattooed sandwich girl to put cheese on our Italian subs (choices: cheddar, pepperjack, or American; for some reason, none of them...
Margaret Feinberg's Scouting the Divine
A few days ago I began reading Margaret Feinberg’s new book, Scouting the Divine: My search for God in wine, wool, and wild honey. It’s a good read. In an attempt to better understand some of the common imagery of Scripture, Feinberg spends time with a shepherdess in Oregon, a farmer in Oklahoma, a vintner in California, and a beekeeper in Colorado. What she finds is truly...
Okay, so has anyone actually listened to the words of Rock-a-bye Baby? When you start having to sing kids’ songs to your own kids, you think a little more about the lyrics. For example: Rock-a-bye Baby. Have a listen: Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetop When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bow breaks, the cradle will fall. And down will come baby, cradle and all. So let me...
Accusation and Praise
Preached last night on Lamentations. Heavy stuff. Chapter 3 is especially heartbreaking—a post-destruction-of-Jerusalem resident bemoans the punishment God brought through the Babylonians: Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked. Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, he...
Truth is such a rare thing it is delightful to tell it.– Emily Dickinson
How to Lead Effectively--Make Following Fun
Here’s a multiple choice for you: What’s the most effective motivator? A. Guilt B. Persuasive argumentation C. Stirring inspiration D. Fun Watch and see. The task was to get more people to take the stairs… Those of us who lead (in any context) need to remember: sometimes the best way to convince people to choose a certain path is to make it the one that makes them smile.
4 Questions Every Communicator Must Ask Before...
Any time you’re preparing a presentation, there are 4 things you need to ask yourself. They’ll help shape your content, clarify your message, and ensure maximum impact. If you can’t answer these questions concisely, you’re not ready to present. Here they are: What do they need to know? This is the bottom line. It’s the core content you want to communicate....
Naked, Helpless, Dirty
Fatherhood continues to enrich my understanding of my relationship with God. For instance, I sang a song in church on Sunday that made me think of my daughters, Eve & London. Here are the lyrics that jumped out at me: Nothing in my hand I bring only to the cross I cling only by Your grace I sing My King Jesus, Holy and righteous You found me You saved me from myself and for Your glory...
A Pregnant Question
Got a question for you today that I heard (again) recently: What would you attempt for God if you knew you would not fail? This question is pregnant with possibility. If success was guaranteed, what would you try? Where would you go? Who would it involve? What would you attempt for God if you knew you would not fail? I’m thinking one of three things is true for you: You have no idea...
I’ve been blogging while on vacation the past week or so, but I’ve decided to take a break for the last couple days of the trip. So thanks for checking, and I’ll crank up the daily posts again on Wednesday. See you then!
Leadership Fallout--Is It Valid?
I read a statement recently that really stuck with me. The statement was made in the context of being a primary leader in a local church. See what you think: “If people aren’t leaving, you’re not leading.” I would LOVE to hear some comments on this. Do you agree? Disagree? Why?
Where The Wild Things Are
Finally saw Where the Wild Things Are last night. Definitely not the feel-good movie of the year. It’s complicated, messy, unresolved, and a bit frightening. But then, so is the book. I pulled the book off our shelf a couple of months ago and read it to London before bed. About halfway through, I kind of felt guilty for choosing something that might freak her out. Max (the boy...
Last night at my sister’s church I met Doug. I knew that was his name because he came up to me and said, “Hi! I’m Doug.” I noticed one of his eyes opened much further than the other, that neither eye ever really met mine, and that his movements were stuttered and jerky. “I was in a real bad car accident a few years ago and wrecked my brand new Ford F150 and got a...
13 Things Jesus Did Not Say
Thought I’d share this post from Perry Noble’s blog. Brings home the truth that we often create the Jesus we’re comfortable with rather than become comfortable with the Jesus who created us. ————————- We get things messed up from time to time…especially the words of Jesus…here is what He did NOT say… “They will know you are my...
A couple of days ago, London looked out the window as she ate her peanut butter and jelly and said, “Leaves. Fall.” I looked out and saw the wind pulling the yellowed leaves from the maple tree in our backyard. “Yes,” I said. “The leaves are falling off the tree.” London pursed her lips and pushed her eyebrows down. Then she looked at me and said,...
2 Big Leadership Mistakes
I had lunch recently with a leader who’s at the top of his field. While we ate, I asked him to share two leadership mistakes he made early on in his career. Here’s what he told me: Mistake #1: NOT DEVELOPING BUY-IN “A lot of times,” he said, “I knew the right answer and I went forward. The problem was, I didn’t bring anybody with me.” I can totally...
A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our...– Ralph Waldo Emerson