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feeling empty…


I have been working at Panera bread this morning and have been getting so much done!  I think I’m going to try to work here a half-day a week or so, my productivity is through the roof!

I had gotten into the habit of keeping my e-mail inbox at 0 by creating archive folders, and sorting everything that came in, putting things that didn’t require followup in the archive folder, and flagging the things that needed followup, and working through the flagged folder (mac os x mail… nice!)
The last few weeks I’ve just been inundated with mail and just got snowed.  So this morning I have plowed through it and went from 405-ish e-mails with 95 unread to 0 e-mails with 0 unread in my inbox.  
I can’t tell you how this frees my mind.  I can conquer the world now!!
 
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Posted by on October 18, 2007 in busy, random stuff, time

 

Unsettled…

You know those people that seem to have everything figured out?  You know, the ones who know exactly what they are supposed to do every step of the way in their lives?  The ones who know every next step and follow “the plan” precisely?

That’s not me.  I have spent most of my life uncomfortable.  I think anytime I start feeling comfortable I do something to insert chaos into the equation.  Maybe it keeps it lively.  Maybe it keeps things interesting.  Maybe it’s immaturity.  Call it what you will.
I envy my friends that work the same job for 10-15 years.  That have great stability.  That walk out of meetings and don’t second-guess what they said, don’t over-analyze every conversation.  I envy the ones that seem to say the right things at all the right times.  The ones who are able to speak well at both services and not just the second one.
I’m glad I’m who I am.  I’m glad I’m who God made me to be.  But I’m one of those people that lay in bed at night and can’t sleep, thinking about my next step, how I can be better at what I do, how I can honor those in authority over me better, how I can be a better husband and father, better lover of God, etc.  For what it’s worth I went to bed an hour or more ago.  I’m up again.
I sometimes think I wish I were more content with everything.  But in my heart I know God has wired me this way to spur change when necessary, both in me and in those around me.  I know He uses me in ways I can’t imagine.  I wish I could be content with that!
How about you?  Are you unsettled?  Are you discontent?  Why do you think that is?  What do you need to change and why?
 
 

It’s time

a few months ago on here I mentioned I was going to start a new workout (new as in actually start working out).  But that petered out quick.  Things at the church were 90-nothing (always are, that’s a good thing) and I was taking 6 hours of graduate coursework.

But it’s time.  I’m tired of being fat.  It’s been 10 years since I got fat.  I’m tired of the way I feel.  I’m tired of the way I look.  And I’m tired of not being able to take my shirt off at the beach 🙂
Seriously though.  Tomorrow, I’m going to the gym and getting a membership.  I’m gonna start with some healthy stuff this weekend, heading towards Monday where it’s go-time.  Protein shakes, chicken breasts, weights 3x a week, cardio 3x a week,gazelle-intense as Dave Ramsey would say.  I’ve been working very hard at getting some thing organized in my life and I’m really ready to go.
I hate asking for help but I thought if I posted here and you guys checked on me there’s no going back.  So would you help encourage me?  Pray for me that I’ll be dedicated, focused, gazelle-intense.  That my wife will get the husband she’s wanted for a long time.  
I’ll post updates as I go, looking forward to the new me!
 

Glitch in the matrix

I’d like to announce that there is a glitch in the matrix. This is seriously for me a big big deal. Today I (after several days of working to get ultra organized) developed a system for organizing e-mail and getting caught up and managing new e-mail. This is the first time I’ve seen this since when I first booted my mac… when I left for vacation I had 6607 messages in my inbox.

MY INBOX HAS 0 IN IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Jesus!
I’m using the smart mailbox feature to flag messages that I need to follow up on and the rest I dump into archive so I still have it…

 
 

Your day off…

I’m doing some research for a little project I’m working on and thought I’d do a quick poll. This research is primarily targeted towards pastors and their day off. I’d love it if you’d answer the following questions (and thanks in advance):

1. How do you typically spend your day off?
2. What are some ways you’ve been able to creatively spend your day off?
3. Do you struggle throughout the week with the inability to stop thinking about work (church and ministry)? If so, how do you combat that and get your mind focused on family/other things?

I’d be interested in hearing anyone’s thoughts. I have a real hard time not thinking about church stuff and it seems like it’s an ongoing project, “it’ll slow down after easter” type stuff. Anyone else struggle to “turn it off”? Anyone else’s wife or husband ask “will you focus on us?” or “you’re with us, but your mind isn’t”.

Looking forward to you’re response.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2007 in busy, church stuff, health, time

 

What do I reflect?

Several years ago we were living in Oklahoma City, and my oldest son was about 2 years old. A tornado was coming through and I had him in the car with me headed home. I was listening to the radio and they described where this tornado was crossing a certain street in the city, and I knew that’s where my wife worked, so I slipped and said “s**t”. My 2-year old promptly repeated me! (never swear in front of your little kids, they WILL repeat it, usually at the most inopportune times!

We probably have no idea how much influence we have with the leaders we work with and lead. They’re watching more than our platform time or training times. They are watching how we lead in life in general, our demeanor when approached with potential problems, how we respond to criticism, etc.

Craig Groeschel is doing a series on Breaking Barriers in the church over at his blog. He was discussing your mindset and the need to change as you go. Here’s one quote “You are going to have to change your mindset. Much of what you’re doing now won’t work later.” Then he goes on to make a statement along the lines what I was saying earlier that really spoke to me: “If you are unwilling to change and grow, your organization will not likely follow.” Ouch my brother!!

This rings so true. The people we serve and lead will likely follow after the model that we set. What they see will help them become what they are. Just as my 6 year old son watches me and tries to be like me (anyone other than me WAY intimidated by that and trying to get my act together?), our churches look at us and follow us.

Here are just some ways I think churches (and ministries) mimic their leaders:
if we want our people to reach out and grab other people, we have to do that as well. We can’t expect our people to make relationships in the community if we don’t do that ourselves. Actions speak louder than words.
if we say we want to reach a certain demographic of people, we have to adapt our methods and become a student of our culture
people watch our actions and expect us to take ownership of them. If you offend someone, apologize. If you mess up in some way, apologize. Don’t just say “that’s just how I’m wired.” If you want your people to grow in their lives, you have to grow in yours, and by the way, you’ve never arrived!
if we want our people to pray and be in the Word, we have to, believe it or not, pray and be in the Word. I love the simplicity with which Jon Courson speaks: “Read your bible and pray, every single day.”
if we expect our people to put their families above the church, we HAVE to model that! We can’t be there all hours of the day. There are some things that can and must wait! We need to take time off with our families, shut the cell phone off, don’t check e-mail, etc
we must model balance. We can’t always be busy! Not everything is a crisis, and our crisis doesn’t necessarily constitute a crisis in someone else’s life!
we must be relational. If I expect my leaders to pour into the lives of those in their groups, I’d better pour into them. I better model what I expect them to do. Theory is nice, talk is cheap, again, actions speak louder than words. (I need to practice what I preach here better, but I’m on a mission to pour into my leaders like never before)Senior pastors, if you want your staff to do more than manage ministries, but rather, pour into leaders, you need to pour into your staff.
We can’t try to do it all. Have you noticed the 20/80 rule in your church, where 20% of the people do 80% of the work? The small group leader is also an usher, a nursery worker, in the praise team, and helping with youth on Wednesday nights? We have to model a culture of sharing the load and not trying to do everything. What are the 3 things that only I can do and must do? I have to do those and enable others to do the other things that need to be done. If the same old people are doing the same old things in church (and in 4 ministry areas), it’s possible that they watch their leaders do a poor job of setting boundaries and focusing on their strengths/passions. Hmm. What do I need to cut out of my schedule, and how do I need to model to find 1 or 2 passion points and pursue them?

Just some thoughts. Obviously I’m learning and a work in progress. I need to daily ask the question, “Am I willing to change, and how does my willingness/lack thereof affect my church?”

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2007 in busy, church stuff, goals, health, ministry

 

Whirlwind

Hey folks!

I noticed my last post was March 28- almost a month ago…! The last month has absolutely been a whirlwind, do you have those? We had 4 easter services, with nearly a thousand adults in attendance!! I’ve had ComGroup activities the last several weeks in addition to that! For the kicker, I just finished 6 hours of graduate work 2 days ago!

Sometimes I think I must be crazy taking all of this on, but I do like being busy (okay, maybe not that busy!). I am more convinced than ever that I (and everyone I know, for that matter) need to do a better job organizing my schedule. I don’t want to be a stranger to my wife and kids. I want them to know me as Daddy and Husband first, and associated with the church second. I love how Craig Groeschel talks about that fact on a regular basis. SO important!

Well, I have 8 weeks of freedom. Going to read some books I’ve been wanting to catch up on, build my son a playhouse, take my family on a vacation, clean and paint my office, streamline my schedule, write some devotionals, plan my calendar (the best I can) for the rest of the year, meet with some folks, go to dinner with some folks I haven’t had time to meet up with, get back in the gym, eat right, etc. HOLY COW, going to be a busy 8 weeks!

Oh well, that’s just the way I like it!

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2007 in busy