College Football is back!

Really excited about the football season getting started back up. As most of you know, I am a huge Oklahoma Sooners fan, having grown up in the state and being a proud alum. I am also a Georgia Bulldogs fan, so with both teams in the top five this year, it could be the year we see Oklahoma and Georgia in the National Championship game. But the road is going to be tough for both teams, and several other teams looked good after the opening weekend. Here are my predictions for conference champions and also the national championship game:

Big 12: Oklahoma (over Missouri)

SEC: Georgia (over LSU)

Pac 10: USC 

Big Ten: Ohio State 

ACC: Clemson (over Virginia Tech) BORING!!!!!

Big East: West Virginia

Conference USA: East Carolina (over Tulsa)

National Championship Game: Oklahoma vs. USC

Winner: of course Oklahoma! the key- offensive and defensive lines- arguably the best in the country on both sides of the ball. Whoever controls the line of scrimmage controls the game. 

Your predictions?


North Point and Buckhead Interviews

I’ve spent the last two days interviewing several staff members from North Point Community Church and Buckhead Church for a new DVD set we will have available at Catalyst in October, based on Andy Stanley’s talk on Systems. The interviews will serve as discussion material and bonus footage to give practical insight into how the North Point system operates- all giving greater context to Andy’s talk. Yesterday was at Buckhead Church interviewing Carlos Whittaker and Jeff Henderson, and today interviewed Jenny Boyett and Andy. Hearing them each describe the environment, culture, and incredible focus on developing leaders within North Point Ministries was incredibly encouraging and inspiring. One of the things that stood out was the intense system for hiring new staff. Jeff, Carlos, Jenny and Andy all talked about the process of hiring new staff- most new hires have somewhere between 12 and 18 interviews and talk to staff across all departments within the North Point culture. But such a strong focus on hiring means that once someone is on the team, trust is very high and allows them to run with freedom and flexibility. Many times we just hire someone because we have to fill a role, and time becomes the priority instead of absolutely making sure someone is the right fit.

The great orators of our generation

Watched Bill Clinton’s speech last night at the Democratic National Convention. Whether you like Bill or not, you have to admit- the man can flat communicate. He is an incredible speaker. His pauses, tone, inflection, facial expressions, and body language are all extremely engaging. 

For me, watching Ronald Reagan was similar- he could draw me in and keep my attention whether he was talking about foreign policy or discussing the weather. Didn’t matter- he just had the gift of communicating. 

Most of the great orators of our generation who I would include on my favorite list are all pastors. But outside of the church, who did you think brings it the best? 

Gold Medal Winner in Tetherball

The best ticket rates for Catalyst expire tomorrow (Thursday the 28th), so we thought we would spice it up a bit in how we communicate regarding the registration deadline….. Call Chad and congratulate him on his recent victory at 888-334-6569.

Interview with Delta President

Here at Catalyst, we get the chance to hang out with some pretty amazing folks. Ed Bastian, President of Delta and soon to be CEO of Northwest Airlines, is one of those amazing leaders. Ed recently stopped by the Catalyst office and was gracious enough to sit down for an hour interview. We will be releasing the full audio and video interview soon, but for now, wanted to post a short clip. Enjoy.

Together #1

Alright, I am going to be writing a series of posts over the next 7 weeks leading up to Catalyst on October 8-10. These posts will all tie in to the concept of “together”, which is our theme for this year’s event. Let’s get started.

TOGETHER thought #1: How about we PRAY for Michael Guglielmucci, the writer of the song Healer, who recently admitted that he never had terminal cancer and has also been battling a porn addiction for the past 16 years, instead of all secretly reveling in the fact that someone else who was high on the pedastal of being known for an incredible song has now been knocked off the perch.

We as Christians are notorious for rejoicing in the unfortunate demise of stars, or celebrities, or those of influence within our camp. It drives me crazy. I have had at least 10 people in the last week who have done the typical “did you hear about the guy who wrote the Healer? All a scam. What a loser.” Once a superstar, now trashed and thrown into the ditch while we wait on someone else to come along and hype us up once more. 

Michael needs us as the body of Christ now more than ever. Just ask all the other people of influence we’ve left in the ditch. He’s battling with sin, the same sin that we all battle with every day. Whether lust, or lying, or pride, or adultery, or deceit, or slander. There by the grace of God go I. 

Action item for TODAY: Pray for Michael. Pray for his family. Pray that he would be healed. And when someone talks to you about this unfortunate incident, just stop and pray with them. For Michael and his family.

We Can Campaign

Have you seen the ads for the “We Can Solve it” Campaign? It is an initiative to come together around the issue of climate change. Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection is behind this innovative campaign. Whether you agree or not, and regardless of whether you like or agree with Al Gore, the beauty of this campaign is its simplicity and the strong pull towards working together, no matter what the differences are of those involved. It feels to me initiatives like this are portraying a much greater sense of unity and purpose than some of our churches. Can you imagine hundreds of Churches getting behind an initiative that encouraged unity? Well, I think we saw a glimpse of that with One Prayer, and hopefully some more opportunities in the coming months.