A Spiritual Cup of Coffee ….

May 7, 2009

Becoming a godly influence

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay Hanson @ 9:54 am

Getting the full Value from our Life Lessons is greatly enhanced when we have a influencer in our life, a coach, a mentor, a parent.

Life lessons occur around us all the time and generally go unnoticed and unappreciated. The role of the influencer is to help us recognize the lasting principles displayed in these moments. The influencer has the power to drive the point deep into the formative DNA of our souls so that we never forget the incredible lessons of life. Influencers are the memory markers. Life is the memory maker. Life presents the opportunities for memories to be made, but the influencer points them out and marks them in our soul. The influencers help us discover the full weight of the events in our lives. They point out the principles.

How are you helping others discover the significance of their days?


March 24, 2009

Making Progress on the Journey

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay Hanson @ 8:04 am

 My friend and often source of great annoyance, Dennis, once again challenged me to pick up the pace on my journey. Specifically he suggested that rather than simply share what the books I read said, I should share the impact they had on me. I think his point was to move the conversation from shallow information to a deeper level of transformation.


So here goes:


I just finished reading Andy Stanley’s book “The Principle of the Path” and it dove tailed into a conversation I have been having with my brother, Jeff Hanson and our other brother, Jay Jordon. Our conversation has been about the challenge to determine what to direct our attention and thus time towards. Jeff shared an article with us in which a successful man was asked “What is the most important thing that you do to achieve what you define a success?” His answer was profound. He said, “I spend one hour of every day deciding what to do with the remaining twenty three hours.”


My challenge is being disciplined enough to “decide” what I am going to focus on. All day, every day, I face the challenge of not allowing other people or urgent situations to determine what I pay attention to. It is a constant battle of prioritization, where feelings get hurt and people get mad because what I believe I must pay attention to is not what they would like me to focus on. However, as Andy Stanley says in this book our destination is determined solely by the path we travel. The road doesn’t care who you are, what your intentions were, or how smart you are, it simple takes it’s travels to where it leads. The direction of our path determines our destination, there are no exceptions. And our attention, what we pay attention too, what we think about, what we focus on determines our path. So “attention determines direction which determines destination.”


What are you paying attention to? Who are you paying attention to? We drift toward whatever we focus on.


I am going to pay more attention to my wife’s needs. I am going to focus on spending time with my kids. At work I am going to direct my time to: Discipling Leaders, Teaching on Sundays, and long term visioning. And to do this I am willing to take the licks for not doing the 3 thousand other important things.


Dennis, thanks for the guidance, I think this helped me personally process the material more deeply.      

March 20, 2009

Recent Reads

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay Hanson @ 9:17 am

Okay. So I have clearly not being doing very well with my goal of blogging my reading reflections. I will not waste the time with explanations, but will rather quickly try to catch up.


Recent Reading:

In the category of Finances/ leadership:

Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate by J. Clif Christopher.

This book completed my stint of reading books on money and was outstanding. It really dealt with the churches failure – my failure – to connect with people in a way that will help them give to the God’s ministries through the local church.  I wouldn’t necessary recommend this book to everyone, but it is a must read for every pastor or leader in the area of church finances.


In the category of Sociology/ business:

The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

A historical review of the factors which create momentum and result in a “tipping point” which cause something to catch on and spread like wild fire. It explores what causes things to become popular fads or go viral. It was a really pretty fascinating, but was a book in which it is easy to get a bit bogged down. The three principles of epidemic transmission are: 1) The Law of the Few 2) The Stickiness Factor 3) The Power of Context.


In The category of Ministry Systems:

Fusion by Nelson Searcy

Good book. Very practical information about how to turn first-time guest into fully-engaged members of your church. I recommend it for all church leaders.

7 Practices of Effective Ministry by Joiner/Jones

Excellent and totally enjoyable. I lead my whole leadership team through this book. It is a very easy read with clear and insightful wisdom. Everyone needs to read this book.


In the category of Leadership:

Go Big by Easum/Cornelius

Great book for pastors or ministry leaders about thinking on a different scale. Probably not for everyone but for the leader with the right personality some useful information.

Revolutionary Leadership by Tri Robinson

I actually reread this book while in the Holy land and had forgotten how good it was. Again probably best suited for pastors, but useful information about being a leader and developing systems to support ministry. It is basically the story of how Tri started the Vineyard in Boise.

The Radical Edge by Steve Farber

This is the sequel to his first book, The Radical Leap, but you could start with this one I suppose. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I loved his first one and think every leader of anything should read these two books. They are very short and very easy to read. They are written in story form and weave great wisdom and insight into the story through colorful characters.


Okay so that catches me up on my recaps.

I am currently reading or rereading:

“Ordering your Private world” by Gordan MacDonald

“The Principle Factor” by Andy Stanley

“The Relationship principles of Jesus”

January 15, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay Hanson @ 12:02 pm

One of my goals for this year is to write a brief review of the books I read to help me retain the insights gleaned. Part of the rationale for this undertaking comes from a book I read last year that I think said you know you are reading too much if you are not reflecting and apply what you read. (But I can’t make sure that is what it said because I can’t remember where I read it.)

So here goes:
All three of the books I have read this year have to do with money or more specifically our heart toward money and our habits of giving. This is unusual reading for me and has been significantly impacting. These books have grown me in some really neat ways. My entire outlook on giving has been greatly expanded.

The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
Basically the treasure principle is “you can’t take it with you – but you can send it on ahead.” There are several “keys” to unlocking the reality of this mentality.
Key #1 God owns everything. I’m His money manager.
Key # 2 My heart always goes where I put God’s money.
Key # 3 Heaven, not earth is my home.
Key #4 I should live not for the dot but for the line.
This was a really good point. The “dot” is our life on earth and the line is our eternal life.
Key # 5 Giving is the only antidote to materialism.
Key # 6 God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my
standard of giving.
After reading this book I made a commitment to be a generous giver. In fact, I signed a giving covenant and that begun an exciting journey.

The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
A simple and enjoyable read this book lays out a “powerful one-step plan to live and finish rich”. This is really a money management book which provides a simple practical step of making sure you are wise with your money. The concept is basically that you will not consistently make wise choice so take the choice out of your hand by setting everything up to operate automatically. Make the commitment one time and reap the long term benefits of the wise choice. I have redone several of my financial things because of reading this book. Specifically increasing my pretax retirement contribution and I am rethinking my current mortgage arrangement.

The Blessed Live by Robert Morris
This was an extremely challenging book for me, but I loved it because it really stretched me. He masterfully keeps from tripping into a prosperity gospel yet celebrates the generosity of God to generous people. I can’t really explain it, but my heart shifted during the reading of this book and I suddenly wanted to give. I wanted to give as much as I could. I wanted to give more than I could. I got true joy from giving. God has repeatedly shown me that He blesses givers so they can be even more generous givers.

I have now started reading “The Tipping Point” and the introduction totally hooked me.

August 12, 2008

Creating a Win Win World

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay Hanson @ 2:54 pm

I’ve been thinking again. I know it is dangerous on those rare occasions when my mind actually turns on and starts producing thoughts but wouldn’t it be great if we could create a “Win Win World”.


Yea, I know times are really hard right now for a whole lot of people. People are losing jobs and everything is costing more. Heck, if you have a job you can hardly afford the gas to get to and from work. Stocks are down and stress is up. I know it looks bad on the surface, but I’ve been thinking, what if God wants to use these times for something amazing. See here is what I am noticing, some people feel like they have nothing left but time on their hands others are being stretched so thin they can’t find the time to get everything done. So what if we started helping match people with time or talent with those who have needs.


Think about it. This is the perfect time to get some help with that project you have been putting off. Maybe it is a new web page for your business. Maybe it is landscaping your yard or building a new deck. You name it and I bet there is someone in our community of faith who could help you. Got an extra room and need a roommate? Looking for a carpool to school or work?


I am getting calls every day from people who are looking for work and they have lost more than income. They need to make a difference. They need to have some purpose to their days as well as a little cash to cover some bills. So let me know if you have a project and I will try and match you up with someone who can help.

July 16, 2008

I am leaving on a Jet Plane

Filed under: Life — Jay Hanson @ 11:58 am


Tomorrow at 5:00am Kim and I leave for a week in a cabin with no electricity in Colorado. We are both very excited about all the possibilities for this time, but we are approaching the opportunity very differently. We are going into it wanting and thus expecting such different outcomes. How do we manage to find that happy balance of meeting both our desires?


Clarifying expectations is so important yet it is seldom done effectively and there in lies much of our dissatisfaction in life. We fail to communicate our expectations or fail to do the honest examination required to make our expectations realistic and as a result fail to get our expectations met. Lately it seems like I continually meet with people who are unhappy. Initially they can’t decipher why, but eventually they discover “their expectations” have not been met.  Why are we so reluctant to really admit what we want? Are we even really aware of our driving inner desires? I have this theory that our expectations determine everything. Dissatisfaction is merely unmet expectation. Excellence is surpassed expectations. The same experience, the same service in story, the same meal in a restaurant is experienced differently by different people depending entirely on their expectation.


Now I am not suggesting the key to happiness is merely having low expectations of everything, but I am saying we need to be aware of our expectations. Name them.  Examine them. See if they are appropriate. See if they are realistic. Sometimes I wonder, why do we always have to have so many expectations? Sometimes can’t we just let things be whatever they turn out to be?


Anyway, I will let you know how it turns out.

July 7, 2008

Navigating Change

Filed under: Daily Donuts,Family,Life — Jay Hanson @ 9:11 am

My Son, Cole, is continuing to teach me through his learning to drive. Recently, I noticed how we change lanes differently. He, being the thoughtful careful one, slows down whenever he changes lanes. I, on the other hand, speed up when I change lanes. Now I suppose a good logical argument could be made for either approach, but the real lesson has more to do with life than driving.


I hope I am not simply attempting to defend my actions. My aim is to help all of you with whom my life is so beautifully connected to better understand how and why I behave the way I do. I speed up when I change. It doesn’t matter what change I am facing, when change is necessary I move faster. The increased momentum provides me greater balance. The reason for change, to me, comes from looking ahead and seeing the need or necessity to be in a different place. Looking ahead you can see what is and what isn’t there. The danger, the uncertainty, for me, of change is not in the future it is in the moment or even in breaking with the past. In other words, the risk comes from what is gaining on you from behind or what lays hidden beside you. So I speed up as I change to keep from hitting the hidden things around me. The rapid forward progress pushes me past the blind spots toward the open space out front.


For many people, perhaps most, the tension and uncertainty created by change makes slowing down the only logical option. To speed up seems reckless and dangerous.  So to those who for whatever reason have ended up riding through life with me, buckle up because I speed up when I change.


Do you speed up or slow down when you change lanes in life?

March 13, 2008

Honest Confessions & Fresh Starts

Filed under: Life — Jay Hanson @ 10:22 am

My son, Cole, just got his learners license which awakes all types of new emotions for both of us. I am excited by his excitement and glad that he is moving toward this new level of mobility and freedom and I am very aware of the resulting freedom Kim and I will enjoy. The role of teaching Cole to drive seems to have defaulted to me and I and that is where my confession begins.  

Cole has also decided to pick up the sport of tennis and has asked me to take him to play on several occasions. Again I am excited about this opportunity to be with Cole and the chance to return to the court my self. I spent several summers teaching tennis when I was in college. I have coached Cole in everything he has ever done, but this is a completely new endeavor for him and thus a chance for me to have a fresh start.


These new adventures have caused me to reflect over my previous attempts to invest in my son and have forced me to confess that I have not done a good job. I have tried hard. In fact, I have tried so hard that it has hurt more than it has helped. Looking back I have discovered that I have been too much of a coach to Cole and not enough Dad. He doesn’t need so much instruction from me. He needs love and encouragement.


So I am admitting my failure in the past and trying to keep from making the same mistakes in these new endeavors. They present me with a clean slate to become my boy’s biggest fan and loudest voice of encouragement. It is a different way to show love than I am accustomed, but I know it’s how he can receive it from me so I am going to learn to speak a new language.


How do those you love receive love? I am discovering that if you really love someone you will take the time to learn how they need to be loved and then love them that way.

January 25, 2008


Filed under: Daily Donuts — Jay Hanson @ 8:40 am

Lost is an interesting word to me and the concept even more complex.  I looked it up and there are a wide range of meanings and usages for the word. It ranges from referring to the inability to find ones way to implying meaningless as in “his jokes were lost on me”.


Even if I limit the scope of my reflections to lost in the realm of navigation it still stretches the limits of my mind. When you’re lost, I think it obviously implies you do not have the ability (knowledge or skill) to get to the destination you desire.  But are you lost if you don’t even know what the destination is? Are you lost if you don’t know where you are going? Or even more interesting to think about, are you lost if you don’t know where you are? Think about that for a moment. What if you are so focused on where you are going you fail to remember how you got where you are?


Why not take some time this weekend to read your old journals and reflect on how you got to where you are today. See the patterns, discover the progress, note the tendencies, celebrate the grace, remember the friends. Get lost in looking back and you might discover where you really are and in so doing find where you are heading.  

September 21, 2007

You would be better if you did

Filed under: Life — Jay Hanson @ 12:30 pm

You may not know Jeffrey Waters, but your life would be better if you did. You probably wouldn’t guess it at first blush and if you knew him back when you certainly wouldn’t have predicted it, but he is one of the wisest men I know. There was this one time when I had reached the end of my rope and had no idea of what to do or where to turn and in all honesty was paralyzed by despair. I needed some chairs, lots of chairs, and I could not find any anywhere. I walked into a room and in utter frustration proclaimed, “I give up! I can’t find any chairs. ” Jeffrey simply smiled down from some scaffolding where he was working and simply said, “Well, I guess it’s time for you to go pray some up.”  You see Jeffrey understood in a way that most of us don’t.


Last night I was leading a small group and asked the classic question: “If you could have a personal audience with Jesus and could ask him anything you wanted what would you say to him?”  That is a good question for us all to take a minute to ponder. What would you want to know? What mystery would you like revealed? What insight would you like uncovered? What would you say? Seriously, think about that for a moment. How would you use that opportunity?


Jeffrey answered immediately. He knew right away what he would say. Jeffrey said, “If I had a personal audience with Jesus I would say I am sorry!”


Jeffrey understands in a way most of us don’t.


By the way I did go pray for chairs and the phone literally rang while I was praying and we got all the chairs we needed absolutely free.

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