Monthly Archives: October 2014

Looking Back with Gratitude

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A year ago today, I was packing up my office at Mountair Christian Church and stepping out in faith into the unknown. I felt God calling me out of pastoral ministry and into leading Edgewater Collective full-time. We left behind a regular paycheck to jump into fundraising for my salary and we jumped without a lot of committed pledges.

Now one year later, I am filled with gratitude for what this last year has brought our family and Edgewater Collective.

I am thankful for my various work experiences which prepared me to lead Edgewater Collective. I often wondered what God was up to over the last twelve years but it all makes sense now. All these varied experiences prepared me to lead a nonprofit organization.

I am thankful for the over 70 donors who have contributed to Edgewater Collective’s success this year. Without you I would not be able to devote my full-time energy to help kids succeed from cradle to career. Your generosity is making a big difference in our community.

I’m thankful to CityUnite for taking a chance on a guy with a dream for city transformation and investing in our success. Your grant has really sustained us this year and your support for me personally is amazing.

I am thankful for my amazing board members who help lead our organization and whose advice and feedback is priceless. You each bring important knowledge and expertise to our work and I am thankful for your investment in our work.

I am thankful for our Community Partners who have joined this collective impact work and continue to do great work in our community.

I am thankful for the teachers and staff who work in our local schools. The roadblocks to success that they help children overcome are huge yet they keep on pouring their hearts into students.

I am thankful for area leaders like Dave Runyon, Dan Thoemke, Jay Pathak and Jeff Johnson who have freely given me wisdom and insight on how to invest deeply in a community. And much more than that, they invested in me personally. I stand on your shoulders.

I am thankful for my wife Hillary who trusted me enough to let us jump into the unknown of leading a nonprofit. In her role as a paraprofessional at our local elementary school, Hillary offers great insight into the classroom and the needs of our schools. She is my perfect partner in this work.

And most of all, I am thankful to the Lord for walking alongside of us through this season. The Lord only knows how my faith has gone through peaks and valleys even on a hour by hour basis. But he has provided  for us in ways that I know he is there and he wants this work to succeed. I can tell you multiple stories of how checks came in at the perfect time so we could pay our bills and provide for the family.

As we transition into November and the Thanksgiving season, I am filled with gratitude when I think back over the last year and how so many of you have come alongside us in our work. And I’m filled with excitement for what will happen in our work in the greater Edgewater area and how children and families will transition from surviving to thriving.

THANK YOU!

What I Learned From Steve Jobs

From Apple.com

From Apple.com

Three years Steve Jobs and his imaginative leadership left this earth.

I never met Steve Jobs but I was privileged enough to work in an Apple Retail store for two and a half years while he was leading Apple. I started just after the launch of the first iPhone and left after the launch of the iPad. These were exciting years for Apple and for us as employees.

Those years at Apple Retail were more transformative for my life and leadership than my years at seminary.

Here are just a few of the lessons I learned from my time at Apple Retail:

  • Focus on a few things and do them well
  • Give fearless feedback often
  • Enrich lives, don’t just sell products
  • Infuse values into everything that is done and refer to them often
  • Hire for fit on the team, not for qualifications or knowledge

I still remember that day three years ago when I heard that Steve had passed away. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted to go to the Apple Store where I used to work and mourn with my co-workers.

We mourn the passing of those whose life and actions impact our lives the most.

Thank you Steve for inspiring and challenging me to think different.