Russ West's Story

Russ is a top gun software sales executive. Many years ago, I met Russ when he walked into a Grace@Work group I was leading. He shared a bit of his story and concluded by telling us his life just blew up! Now he and his wife have their own couples ministry. Take a look at their ministry by visiting their site. They are making a difference in many people’s marriages by sharing what it means to be intentional.

Take a moment and watch Russ tell his story. It is a compelling story of how God works.

Enjoy!

Charlie

Charlie Paparelli
Chairman

What are you doing that will matter in 10,000 years?

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Matt McConnell

Matt McConnell is a friend, long-standing HTM board member, former High Tech Prayer Breakfast keynote speaker and 13-year table host. He is founder and CEO of Intradiem, a private equity backed fast-growth company.

Matt told this story at a board of directors meeting during the chit chat time before the meeting started. After I heard it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted this message to be a part of me. I knew I had to live it for that to happen. —Charlie


“What are you doing that will matter in 10,000 years?”

It was the kind of question that stops you in your tracks–a truth bomb. Then she just walked out of the room.

There are those rare people in your life who have a way of cutting through the clutter. My wife is one of them. I had been struggling with something that many people struggle with: too much to do. I had so much to do that I was doing it all poorly, and I was exhausted.

I needed to reframe. I needed a north star. She could tell that I had lost my way.

What matters?

On the surface, it seems like a silly question. But when you think about it–really think about it–it puts everything in perspective. What am I doing that will matter in 10,000 years?

God had begun working on me after I became a Christian in my early 30s. I realized that, in spite of all of my selfishness, He had gifted me with incredible blessings. I reasoned that God had blessed me so abundantly for a reason.

As a young man running a company, I reasoned that God had blessed me so I would do something great for Him in business. I thought God was calling me to build a great business that glorified Him.

10,000 years

A few days later, I found myself sitting at the dinner table with my family. As a follower of Christ, I knew that I would be in heaven in 10,000 years. I imagined myself sitting at a dinner table like that one. In that moment, I realized how much it would grieve me–every single day for eternity–if someone I cared about was not there.

The answer became crystal clear. The only thing I can do that will matter in 10,000 years is sharing Christ with the people I care about. Nothing else I do will really matter then.

This has become my north star. It is the filter through which I prioritize my life. What am I going to do today that will matter in 10,000 years?

Bob Fletcher's Story

Bob Fletcher’s Story

Introduction by Rusty Gordon

I am excited to introduce my friend Fletch. He is a one of a kind in so many ways but the most important one is that he is a "what you see is what you get" kind of guy. He is a very good man and because of him, I am a better man.

As he will tell you his goodness comes from Jesus and the courage to get real. Jesus brought Fletch and me together. When Fletch speaks l listen. When he talks about Jesus I listen closely.
 
Watch now. I think you'll do the same.

Rusty

Rusty Gordon
Chairman
SpeedTracs America LLC

About the video

If you would like help in crafting your story, contact Todd Miechiels. His ministry, the 315project.com, helps people like you and me develop our story and then capture it on video. 

He will take you on a spiritual journey which will bring you closer to Christ. It is a great experience and the next step in growing your ministry. Go to 315project.comand watch the 2-minute video. Then contact Todd to find out more. -cp

The Essence of an Irresistible Invitation

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The Essence of an Irresistible Invitation

Charlie Paparelli

A recent conversation with my friend William caused me to reflect on how people get invited to the High Tech Prayer Breakfast. This got me thinking about my first prayer breakfast invite.

As I was having lunch with William, he told me how he was invited to his first Atlanta High Tech Prayer Breakfast. 

When he got the invite his immediate thought was, “If Joe asks me to do anything, I do it. But a prayer breakfast?” 

William continued, “Joe is a decade older than me. He is one of my most admired fraternity brothers and a guy who lives life right. He was such a great mentor while I was at Georgia Tech and early in my career. I have so much respect for him.

“So, I agreed to go,” concluded William.

My first prayer breakfast story.

Robert and I worked together on a startup. We spent many a night huddled in the computer room writing and testing software for the next release of the product. We were in business planning and review sessions together. We hung out after work. We grew to love each other. We were friends. Then Robert moved to Dallas, Texas.

Robert was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I didn’t want anything to do with religion. I’d had a bad experience with religion, and I wasn’t going back.

Eight years after we stopped working together, Robert returned to Atlanta. He invited me to the Atlanta High Tech Prayer Breakfast. Over those eight years, much had changed in my life. I was now married for 16 years and had four children. I had lost my best job ever and was attending AA meetings.

Robert did not know this was going on in my life. He didn’t know because I didn’t tell him. But having worked in the startup trenches together, we still had a relationship. He leveraged this relationship when he asked me to attend the prayer breakfast with him.

Timing is everything.

Robert didn’t know it, but I was sick and tired of being in charge of my life. I felt like an employee who was promoted to a position he was not equipped to handle. I felt alone and ill-equipped to be a good provider, good businessman, good husband, and good father. It all seemed too much, overwhelming at times. Little did Robert know; his invitation came just in time.

I was open to hearing about God.

Back to William’s story.

William said, “I was overwhelmed by the number of people in attendance. It seemed like thousands. Because it was Atlanta tech folks, I either knew or recognized many of them. I felt right at home.”

“But something happened at breakfast. One of the speakers asked, ‘Who is in charge of your life?’ I was stunned by the question. It hit me hard because I knew I needed God in my life. I believed in God but didn’t know him or how to connect with him.

“Then, the speaker asked the whole audience to stand if today was the day we would give our life to Jesus Christ and be reconciled to God. There were over one thousand people there, but I thought he was talking just to me. Before I knew it, I was standing.

“Joe came through again. I thank God he loved me enough to invite me to the Atlanta High Tech Prayer Breakfast. It changed my life!”

Here’s the key.

Our two stories track perfectly.

A friend who loved us invited us to attend the breakfast.

And that’s why we had to say, “Yes.”

Mark your calendar: High Tech Prayer Breakfast is Friday, October 4. Secure your table now.

Charlie Paparelli is president of High Tech Ministries, angel investor and blogger. Twice each week email subscribers to his blog receive his thoughts on being a successful entrepreneur and Christian leader.

The Story of Blitz Thru the Bible

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The Aha Moment Behind Blitz Thru the Bible 

Ask a Different Question, 
Get the Right Answer

Charlie Paparelli

I woke up with a start. I knew the answer. I was asking the wrong question.

The question I was wrestling with was this, “How do I get the High Tech Prayer Breakfast table hosts to invite their guests to an event after the breakfast?”

Suddenly I knew I was asking the wrong question.

The real question should be, “How do I get the guests to invite their table hosts to an event after the prayer breakfast?”

The answer was simple. Create an event the guests want to go to whether or not their table host is interested. 

Easier said than done, you might think. But God is big. He came up with just the thing.

In 1993, I was invited to my very first High Tech Prayer Breakfast. It was the second breakfast ever. I left that breakfast interested in knowing more about God and, more specifically, Jesus. The message from the speaker was clear: “You, too, can have a personal relationship with God.” 

I wanted to know more.

I contacted Bill Leonard who I found out was the founder of the High Tech Prayer Breakfast. He recommended going to a Bible study as my next step in learning more. I went but I was lost. I like context. I like to know where I am and where I am going. 

My previous experience with the Bible was church services. In the service, the Bible was opened and a selected reading was recited. Even though it might have been an interesting sentence or two, I didn’t have any context. Where did it come from? Why these sentences? How does it fit into the story of the book? The questions kept coming for me. I didn’t know where to go to get them answered.

Then I started leading a Bible study

When I started to lead a Bible study, I realized pretty quickly I was not alone. The people who attended wanted to know the same thing. They wanted context. So I asked them, “Who wants to take a year and go through the whole Bible with me?” The hands went up. I did this with them, and the result was amazing.

We learned about the God of the Bible, the significance of Jesus, the message of the Bible, and the organization of the Bible. 

We had context!

When I woke up that night, I knew this was the answer to the question. The next problem to solve was more simply stated. “How can I lead people through the whole Bible in less than two hours?”

I dedicated an entire week to solving this problem.

This was the birth of Blitz through the Bible. 

I went over the one-year curriculum we covered in my Bible study group. I then selected the readings which were most relevant to creating a context in the shortest amount of time. With these selected readings, I created a format which could be used to engage every attendee and keep it interesting, fun, and informative.

Blitz through the Bible was created.

The first time we announced this at the breakfast, over 400 guests expressed an interest in attending. 

We held the first Blitz at Villa Christina Restaurant in Sandy Springs. When I walked into the ballroom, I was shocked. There were over 200 present. 

The reviews were amazing. 

  • “In two hours I came to understand the message of the Bible.”

  • “I now know who the God of the Bible really is.”

  • “When you read, ‘They created man and woman in their image,’ it blew my mind.”

  • “Now I know who Jesus is and why he came. And I was surprised that he promises to return.”

  • “This was the best two and a half hours I ever spent seeking my spirituality.”


All this was so encouraging. I wish I could say I was smart enough to come up with this idea and curriculum. I’m not. I simply got to the right question. God gave the answer.

Come to the next Blitz through the Bible.

Come join us on June 19th at Atlanta Tech Village from 5 pm to 7:30 pm. If you ever wanted to understand the Bible, to get the context I talked about, this is your opportunity. Sign up here.

Charlie Paparelli is president of High Tech Ministries, angel investor and blogger. Twice each week email subscribers to his blog receive his thoughts on being a successful entrepreneur and Christian leader.

Amie Hood's Story

Do you need to be reaffirmed?

We commit our life to Jesus Christ. In what seems like a blink of an eye, we are living our life. We want to make the right decisions, hang with the right people, and achieve our goals. 

But it's not enough. 

We want to be affirmed. We need people to say, "Yes. You really are okay. In fact, you are better than okay. You're great!"

My co-worker and dearest friend Amie Hood shares her journey for affirmation. Her story begins in an idyllic setting which overtime is enveloped by the chaos of life. 

Every day I work with this woman. 

She shows me what it looks like to follow Jesus. What it looks like to know you are loved in spite of how you might feel today.

I ask you to take a couple of minutes and watch Amie's story. She will remind you God's got this, whatever it is.
 
Charlie 
 
Charlie Paparelli
President
High Tech Ministries

About the video

If you would like help in crafting your story, contact Todd Miechiels. His ministry, the 315project.com, helps people like you and me develop our story and then capture it on video. 

He will take you on a spiritual journey which will bring you closer to Christ. It is a great experience and the next step in growing your ministry. Go to 315project.comand watch the 2-minute video. Then contact Todd to find out more.