Greg King

Five Stones

Tools of the Trade

SummerI always love it when people post the tools that they are using to help them in both their personal and business life. Here are some of the tools that I use and love on a daily basis.

Computer: MacBook Pro

Web Browser: Firefox

Cell Phone: iPhone 3G

iPhone Apps That I Love:

TwitterFon, Things, Evernote, eWallet, Keynote Remote, Mint, Streaks, Moleskineery, Sportacular, vlingo

Music: Pandora

Task Management: Things

Social Networking: Twitter

Twitter Desktop: TweetDeck

Video Chat: Tokbox

Identity Protection: LifeLock

Personal Finances/ Money Management : Mint

Creativity: Dabbleboard

Brainstorming: Mindjet

Journal: MacJournal

Meeting/Project Notes: Notebook

URL Shortner: TinyURL

January 16, 2009 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Juggling Elephants

istock_000005330534smallOccasionally, a book comes along that presents leadership concepts in a new and exciting way. That’s exactly what these authors have done. I was hooked from the introduction and didn’t quit reading until I finished the last sentence. The book I’m talking about is  Juggling Elephants: An Easier Way to Get Your Most Important Things Done-Now by Jones Loflin and Todd Musig. The tension the book creates is, “What do you do when your life feels like a three ring circus?” The authors do a great job of taking some key leadership thoughts and placing them into a memorable story.

Each year I always try to pause and take a hard 360 look of my life the past year. I think its fair to say that my life this past year has been a circus at times. I have struggled to balance my many responsibilities of husband,minister, Dad, boss, and friend while trying not to crack under the pressure. One of my biggest flaws I have is that I’m always trying to get everything done. You learn very quickly from the book that trying to get everything done is like juggling elephants…impossible. The premise of the book is for you to look  at your life the way in which a ringmaster looks at the many acts in his three ring circus.

The three rings in my circus consist of my professional ring, relationship ring,  and my self ring. The fact is the ringmaster cannot be in all three rings at once. When I read that line I realized this book had great potential to help me implement some changes I need to make for the new year. So many times this year I would be in my relationship circle with my kids and wife and would be mentally checked out because I was thinking about what I needed to do at church. Below are some of the key talking points you can find on the books website:

The result of trying to juggle elephants is that no one, including you, is thrilled with your performance.

The ringmaster cannot be in all three rings at once.

The key to the success of the circus is having quality acts in all three rings.

There is no shortage of acts for the circus.

The relationship between the ringmaster and the performers affects the quality of the circus.

Intermission is an essential part of creating a better circus performance.

Your circus is only as good as your last performance.

I will be posting on some of the things that I want to see happen in my three circles over the next month. If you are looking for a book to help you manage your personal circus and can handle one more book using a story to tell a story then I would highly recommend this book. I actually just finished my second reading on it last night. Can you tell I need to make some changes in my circus?

December 29, 2008 Posted by | Leadership, Life | 1 Comment

Bury Me With My Cell Phone?

istock_000005475259smallDid you happen to see the article on MSNBC about some of the latest trends in regards to how attached people are to their cell phones? The article says that it is becoming common for relatives  to bury their loved ones with their cell phones. Some people are even keeping cell phone accounts open so that they can continue to call and hear the voice message of their dead loved one. The cell phone is becoming so much a part of who we are that it is becoming natural for people to include that as part of the burial. To be honest I’m ready to bury my cell phone now. I have this love hate relationship going on right now with my iPhone. While I love to be connected I also hate being connceted. I love being able to reach people when I need to but I hate it when my phone buzzes with a text froms omeone at 1:30am in the morning. This year I need to focus on not being on my cell phone or playing around with it when I am in the company of my family. I am trying to learn how to focus on that time and to not allow any other distractions take away my attention. I’m sad to say that I have cheated on my family a little too much this year. What I mean by that is that I can cheat them by being with them but having my mind connected to work.

Bury Me With My Cell Phone

December 27, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

The Average Person Lies Three Times per Ten Minutes of Conversation

istock_000000446279small1At least that is what an expert on a new Fox Tv Show called “Lie to Me “says. This show is based off of the studies of psychologist Paul Ekman who is the author of Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage and is also a renowned expert in emotions research and nonverbal communication.

The truth is  lying has become one of those acceptable sins of the day. Feel free to lie as long as it really doesn’t hurt someone is how most people live. However God views what comes out of our mouths very seriously. Take a look at what the writer says in Proverbs:

God can’t stomach liars; he loves the company of those who keep their word.  Prov. 12:22

It’s only human to want to make a buck, but it’s better to be poor than a liar. Prov. 19:22

I have to ask do you think most people really lie three times in a ten minute conversation. I know for us preachers if that includes exaggeration then we are in big trouble. People most likely exaggerate all the time but who flat out lies this often? So do you agree or disagree? Do you lie in almost every conversation you have? I don’t think I do, but now I’m going to be doing a little personal research over the holiday break to see where I land. I know my weakness is to exaggerate so I will be trying to see how bad that has gotten in my normal conversations. So let’s see how many Pinocchio’s are out there.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | Life | 3 Comments

Becoming or Stalled?

istock_000004378490smallWhat would be the one word you would use to describe the  spiritual growth among most of the Christians that you know? What would be the one word you would use to describe your personal spiritual growth? I would use the word “Stalled.” For whatever reason so many people that I come into contact with have stalled out in their spiritual growth and intimacy with Father. The Bible points to a much different picture of spiritual growth. According to Scripture a believer’s life is to be transformed more and more. Our transformation is not supposed to be a past event. There is to be a great progression or movement.

We are to be BECOMING!

In 2 Cor. 3:18 Paul is taking the reader back to Moses. You can break it down like this. God calls Moses to climb Mount Sinai to meet with Him face to face. Moses would be transformed during this meeting. His appearance becomes altered, his face is glowing with the radiance of God. The very first time he comes down from the mountain the people were afraid, the change was that dramatic.

In 2 Cor. 3:13 Moses wore a veil over his face when he came down to cover his fading glory. Once Moses left the presence of God, the glory would fade. With each step away from the mountain, the glory would decrease.

Here’s what I know: Moses had a veiled face. We have unveiled faces. We do not have to wear a veil because the glory is not diminishing because we are never without the presence of God. We in fact never come back down from the mountain. Moses had to go to the mountain to behold the glory of God. We don’t! We have the mountain in us. Because of this we actually have a greater level of intimacy possible because God is actually in us.

God is the one who does the transforming. He does it each time we spend quality time with Him in His Word. Let me challenge you to take a pause today and spend some quality time with this Loving God.

December 4, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Next Level Leadership

Helping to make greaterEvery Holiday I try to read several books to help improve my leadership. This time I am trying to finish three books The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshal Goldsmith and Leading the Team Based Church by George Cladis. I believe each of these books is going to challenge me to move past my own personal leadership lid. One of the major leadership lessons I’ve learned is that sometimes you stop growing in your leadership ability because of of your own annoying habits. While you may be doing well in your field you have found yourself stuck at a certain level. It may be that the very characteristic that you believe got you where you are is now the one thing that is holding you back.

What is that one thing in your life? I know for me it has to be my mouth. I have always been that guy in a meeting etc. that is never afraid to say the thing that every one else is afraid to say. In fact the elephant in the room and myself have been best friends for many years. So two of the things that I am asking God to help me change this year is how I view things in life and how to control my prophet based gifts. So right now I am doing a little personal inventory list on where I desire my life to be. I think this is a great first step in remembering how certain behaviors can hold you back in life.  Here are the four questions that I am working on.

1. My vision for my life (including my health) is?

2. My vision for my work, career, job and team is?

3. My vision for my relationship with my wife and children?

4. My vision for my relationship with God.

I would love to hear how you would respond to the vision God has given you in these  areas of your life. I would also love to hear what you beleive is keeping you from breaking through to the next leadership level in your life.

Side Note: I’m only a few chapters through in The Energy Bus and I’m not sure that I would recommend it just yet.

November 25, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Glorified Fire Stations

As I was taking the kids to school this morning the reality hit once again that the world I live in is not the real world. We have a brand new Fire Station going up on Providence Road which has caused quite a stir with the high end subdivisions around it. One of the major concerns for some (not all) was that the Fire Station would be an eye sore for them as they entered their neighborhood. The word on the street is that someone donated $500,000 to upgrade the front appearance of the Fire Station. Needless to say as you can see by the picture this is one of the most gorgeous Fire Stations in the State. Please don’t take this as being judgemental becasue that person has the right to spend his or her money anyway they desire and for all I know he or she may be a big giver to charities that I do not know about. The problem I’m struggling with is that I know you could build at least three medical centers in Kenya for less than the cost of beautifying a Fire Station. If I was really honest the bigger problem I’m having is that in comparison with the person who donated that type of cash, I sure do waste and mishandle a lot of the money that God has allowed me to manage. I waste it on so many things that have no lasting impact. I know that the amount of money that I waste on trivial things could easily sponsor another child through Compassion International or BrightPoint for Children. God I pray that you would show me areas in my life that are glorified Fire Stations so that I wouldn’t waste your money. Give me wisdom to stop beautifying my already gorgeous life and compel me to beautify the slums of this world.

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Teachers Cowboy Up

So what are your thoughts about teachers packing heat? Check out this article about what the Governor has approved in Texas. Now I lived in the heart of Texas for two years and knew that at any given time at our church that at least 50 percent of the men were carrying a concealed weapon. So while I recognize that carrying a sidearm in Texas is also a cultural thing, I still think this is a little over the top for me. Don’t get me wrong I love to shoot and I believe that citizens should have the right to bear arms but I’m not sure it should be at a school. So let me get this straight a teacher isn’t allowed to spank a child but were okay if they carry a Glock 19 on their hip? The culture in which our students have to live is so different from the one in which we were raised.

August 25, 2008 Posted by | Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mocha Club

The summer series God has been challenging me to go deeper in doing what I can to make a difference to the helpless. One of those ways is to use my influence to make people aware of the needs around the world. If you have fa desire to make a difference let me share with you one of the organizations our family supports. The Mocha Club is dedicated to redefining the typical coffee break. We support the Mocha Club Darfur Project. Darfur has been entangled in a deadly conflict for over three years. At least 400,000 people have been killed. More than 2 million innocent civilians have been forced to flee their homes and now live in internally displaced-persons (IDP) camps in Sudan.By supporting “Sudan Regrowth,” you will be sustaining two projects:
The first is in the village of Nyamlel, where you will help fund an orphanage for 400 children that have fled as orphans, as well as provide care and rehabilitation for former sex slaves. This work provides all the necessities, including medical care and education.

The second is the relief efforts for those who have fled to the wild with no shelter. You will provide mosquito nets to prevent malaria, wells for clean water, tarps that serve as shelter from the elements, food, and desperately needed medication.

Two Rebel Groups have the political aim of compelling the government of Sudan to address underdevelopment and the political marginalization of the region of Darfur. In response, since early 2003, the Sudanese government’s regular armed forces and the Janjaweed (gov’t backed militia) have targeted civilian populations and ethnic groups from which the rebels primarily draw their support. Please become an active part of the solution. If you are looking to make a difference let me recommend the Mocha Club Project. You can join our team by clicking on the link below or you can choose another project that Mocha Club offers. You can see who has decided to be a part of the team. Our family does not receive anything for having you join our team. However, it is powerful to see the people that decide to participate in our spheres of influence. We would love to see at least 100 people join and support Mocha Club. Please click on the link below if you are interested.

Mocha Club Team

July 30, 2008 Posted by | Life | 1 Comment

Car Doors and Grace Collide

Tonight on my way to our annual Student Leader Christmas Party I went to unlock my car door and came across a foot long scratch down the side of my car. So heres the deal, if you don’t run in my circle than you probably aren’t aware that I treat my 4 runner like the Holy Grail. I have rules in place about what you can and can’t do in the car or around the car in an effort to keep it clean. Let’s just say that this is the first major scratch that I’ve had on the car in 3.5 years.

So I went and found my 5 year old bike riding son to ask him about the scratch on the car. As we began to go through the whole scenario and how he broke the rule of riding his bike in between the cars, God allowed me the wisdom to show Him love and grace. In fact my heart melted when he said, “Dad you can go and scratch my bike so that it will make it fair.” Actually I wanted to run his bike over with my car but I was able to keep that thought to myself. After a great talk and many hugs I was able to tell him that tonight I wasn’t going to be fair but instead I was going to grant grace.

I am so glad that God was not fair with me in what I deserved for my sin. That instead of fairness He gave grace. That instead of what I deserved He gave grace. How thankful I am that God granted me restraint and wisdom tonight to teach Cooper and myself a valuable lesson. So now every-time I go to open my car door I”ll always be reminded of God’s grace.

December 10, 2007 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment