It's just my junk

We all have junk in our heads. This is mine.

Archive for the month “February, 2015”

Oscars … one poor decision makes the grade

I didn’t watch the Oscars, and have not watched it in the past but I do know some of those on the show probably would like to take that one moment back…. Maybe it was a wardrobe malfunction, poor choice in wardrobe, an act that wasn’t good, or even a comment they shouldn’t have made.

How do we compare? I know times I have worn the wrong outfit and even a time when I had a wardrobe malfunction… came to church in new pants, with all the tags still on them, I have said things I wish I could take back and even times when I do that daily.

So what can we do to change or avoid this Oscar mishaps? A couple things come to mind:

1. Wardrobe malfunctions happen… good luck on that one
2. Think through your actions prior to doing them… set yourself of to live without regrets.
3. Maybe review that speech or outfit with a trusted friend, a friend who is willing to be honest in love.. We all can find someone to say yes even when they should say NO.
4. Think about the words you are saying… would you like them said to you? Will you regret the time required to make them right?
5. Pray and pray… yes I believe prayer helps us in making the best choices, the choices we will not regret having made.

I would like to end this post with a simple thought…. Please work to know who you are and enjoy living your life to the full. Don’t allow your desire to be someone else (you know that celebrity or athlete) take away from the awesome person God created you to be and just because someone on the world of media wore it or said doesn’t mean you should.
God Bless you in being the best You that God created You to be…afterall it is the only one we the world get to enjoy and know.

Cancel a First

We planned to attend the Cincy Junior High Believe event at NKU (Northern Kentucky University) by CY (Christ In Youth) but through some prayer and conversations decided to switch from the Biggest event location to one of the smallest in Anderson Indiana. It will be a scheduling adjustment and some work will need to be done but I felt good about the choice made.
We had some friends still attend the event, well Friday Night (Day one) of it anyways.
Saturday (Day two) proved to be more than CIY, and NKU had in mind with 5 plus inches of snow falling. This required the CIY team to cancel their first ever. Did you read that FIRST EVER Junior High Believe in their long ministry’s history.
I feel for them for several reasons:
1. They worked hard to put on an awesome event, everything was set up to go.
2. They will have to reload it all back into semis and try towhead back to Missouri.
3. They will have to deal with all of the churches who planned to attend and couldn’t due to the snow storm.
4. They will have to debrief this one as a staff too.

I also feel for the Youth Pastors who brought their teens into town and are stuck. Other Youth workers need to answer to parents, and bosses, why they went in the first place and then the disappointment of missing an awesome event.
I then began to pray for all impacted by the snow.. I mean snow… I am from Michigan and the snow we are getting now is greater than most winter snow falls in Michigan… we are getting dumped on.

I urge the readers to always have a good solid safety plan and a plan for the what if… I would rename it Snowmagedon or maybe pandora since the weather people have labeled it that.
A couple quick ideas:
1. Plan alternatives with regard to eating.. do you have different restaurants or food plans?
2. Do you have some rainy day games or activities you can do if you need them?
3. What is your plan or policy on cancelations.?
Do you communicate refunds or loss of refunds in your paperwork?
4. Do you have a solid communications chain? that might be phone, emails or tweets, maybe even an instagram video to let the key people know.

I know our church plans for cancelations but how about you?
Please don’t get caught in the snow storm with your socks off. Plan a head, it might save you a lot of unneeded stress and ear chewing

Snow Days… Calling the day off

Snow Day

I live in a weird community environment, not because of the people, the surroundings, the houses but because of the weather patterns. The weather here is quite unique compared to Michigan, my home land. The Tri-state area is unique in that we have rain and snow mixing most of the time, and we live on a hill (mini mountain if you will) which makes the icy conditions even more interesting.

Our local schools have cancelled classes and many business run two hour delays. It isn’t a big deal to me but I find the connection between snows days and Exodus 16:23 (Moses speaking of the Sabbath). God instructed the Israelites to take a day to rest, do nothing and focus on God. I think we have been abusing that for way to long. The snow days really help keep people safe and allow for the road crews to clean the roads. We need to be safe and have clean roads.

Our world thinks a snow day is cool until it takes our spring break. We are owed a vacation and expect it. We are given time off for Good Friday, Christmas and the New Year but we tend to stay up late and party through it, only to recover for a couple days.

It makes me wonder how long we will take to realize we are gifted to have down time? When will we learn that our bodies are designed to work hard and rest well. I was reading some Facebook posts the other day about youth ministers crashing hard after an all nighter, retreat, mission trip etc. It dawned on me that we are all pushing so hard and doing so much we forget the need to rest and God allows our bodies to tell us… well if you call getting sick or shutting down a message.

What would we be like if we took God’s idea of a Sabbath and actually observed one? Would you be a healthier more balanced person, better equipped to minister, work, play and rest better on a regular basis? Would you be a happier person? Would others be more drawn to connect with you since your balance would be balanced?

I am not sure where you stand on this issue of resting but I know I am in constant need of balance in my life. Areas of balance would be physical, mental, spiritual and psychological. I am sure we can all agree we need balance.

Please take a moment to check your balance and call or schedule regular snow days.

Clarity is more important than you think. measure twice, cut once

If you work for an organization larger than one….
If you belong to a group of more than one….
If you worship, play in a band or sing with more than one….
If you hangout within a group of you guessed it …. more than one…
If you date… well not more than one but if you date..

This blog might be something to consider and think through before flippantly blowing it off as just another leadership blog.

I have bee doing ministry full time 12 years. I have worked in the automobile industry for 10 years, worked in a quality control lab for 5 years. I have been in various trainings (both corporate and religious) for most of my adult life.. One thing that rings true within all these is the importance of communication… specifically clarity in communication.

I would like to share some fails (learning opportunities) I have experienced and a quick comment on what I would do differently if I could push the redo button.. Please feel free to cry with me, or laugh with me but definitely think through them.

1. We were having a special dinner for our students ( about 40) and it has been a formal dinner… unless you are a new student to the ministry or to our church (about 1/3 of the students). They all assumed it was a dance and the boys are freaking out since they don’t dance and one of the girls dad’s was that they would be dancing with his daughter (yeah that was me lol).
Clarity would be to explain up front in a demo video, announcement or clearly marked flyer for the students to see and a nice email to inform the parents in advance (like three weeks prior to sign ups).

2. Working in the QC (Quality Control) lab and needing to run a test on parts. The bosses said run xyz tests without any paper work due to the urgency of the need..  the test required more parts than given,…. yeah that one ended bad..
Clarity would have been meeting in the front (weeks out) to seek the appropriate paper work and discuss the needs in order to have the correct equipment and parts to run the test without issues.

3. A leader wants to send out annual review (which again is changing format and function) and feels it is best to encourage the staff with an email. The email would be encouraging ad brief..
Clarity would be to host a quick encouraging meeting with the team, letting them know their value and a new review format is coming via email in the next few days. Followed up by a thank you note or even a free drink coupon to the local coffee house.

4.  Group is on a mission or work project trip, and they call in updates and reports throughout the week… only to find out the person receiving the information didn’t share it with other family members of those on the trip… Yeah that was an oversight.
Clarity would be to have a phone chain which includes all parties but only requires one phone call per person and the final person calls the first person on the list… this allows for two things… missed calls and everyone being informed. It also provides important work for the at home team to do in supporting those out doing the mission work (or whatever they are traveling for).

Each miss I either created or experienced didn’t  have to be a fail, in fact it could have been totally avoided by a simply process of clarity. It is important to take the needed time to think through the what ifs, the hey I didn’t think about thats and of course the ever present ohhhhh not good man moments. Those things some call Murphy’s law happen. I would say they are more over sights than missed chances or human nature.

I can be the first to admit, I don’t like administration. If I could join a support group I might.. well the fact that it wouldn’t last long since none would be organized enough to keep it running….. Back on track…. I just really don’t appreciate notes, the prep work or anything that looks like it but without it two things will happen… You will forget something important and you will get fired or killed.
So please take some time to think through your tasks. I would make the plans, take a couple hours break and review it to see it you are meeting all the tasks with clarity. Then have a trusted friend, coworker etc review them to see if it all makes sense and doesn’t leave unneeded questions.
It might take getting a new routine in order but I am sure the adjustments will benefit you in the long run.

My brother (the carpenter) always says… measure twice cut once…. why not apply the same idea to other aspects of your life.

Signing day… A New National Holiday… what can we learn from the experience?

I find it quite unusual and interesting that we almost have a national event called Signing day. A day were recruited high school football players go on the TV (ESPN U for example) to announce where they will be attending school for the projected next 4 years.
I am assuming they actually have to sign a commitment letter but could choose to move to a different college after the fact, or move through out their college career to the NFL or a different school.
I think this is funny. Why do we make such a big deal with kids choosing a college. But as usual, I turn to the church.. We are the very same within our Student Ministries aren’t we? We still declare what teens are attending our groups. What teens will be coming from our Children’s Ministries. What teens are moving into the community or from each other churches. I think this is sad really.
Why do we need to keep score? Some of those reasons is due to our church requiring us to justify our existence, for others it makes us feel important and yet others feel the conversions of Faith in Christ is what matters. I don’t know what line you fall under but I do have a few things I am learning by viewing this Signing Day…
1. Those signing are doing so with their family with them. It is a family decision…. how do we (you) minister to the family
2. Those signing speak to the uniqueness and connection they have with the college coaching staff while visiting.. how are you connecting the dots for your guests?
3. Those signing are showing their colors… How are you equipping your students to show their colors… do they represent your ministry inside as much as the t-shirt you give them? Do you have logo gear to sell or give away?
4. Those signing are willing and ready to put in the work and contribute to something bigger than themselves.. How are you allowing and equipping people to get plugged in and contributing?

I just feel personally challenged to step up my game and make sure I am looking for opportunities to connect the unconnected. I feel a challenge to make sure I am developing entry points where it is both safe and clear to the new recruit if you will.

Don’t waste all your work recruiting the student and family, by letting them go due to an oversight on your part. You put too much work into it and God wants you to minister to them.
Side note.. God doesn’t want you to be the church down he road or the minister down the road but the one he has you in and how he is wired you. Be you in the place you are.

Love… Really Love?

The Bible tells us to Love our Neighbors as we love ourselves? (Leviticus 19:19)

Let’s carry that one out a bit…

If we define love as giving of gifts…

1. everything you purchase for yourself you would purchase for others?
a. groceries… check
b. New clothes… check
c. New shoes… check
d. New Car or truck… check
e. Season tickets to sports or plays… check
f. that new house.. check

2. everything we do we do for others?
a. Vacation to an exotic land..  check
b. Sending a kid off to college.. check
c. Spring Break cruise… check
d. rental home by the ocean… check
e. Movie and dinner night out.. check
f. a trip to Starbucks or Chipotle.. check

I wonder if we would think differently about how we spend our money more than how we give to others.
I know a time when a prominent pastor in our area challenged his congregation to give one…  the idea was to give up one of your Christmas presents and donate one to a family or person in need.. to give up a present and give a donation to put  a well in some African country.. All great ideas but he followed up the whole idea with… this doesn’t mean you should be cheap but to really dig deep and bless someone else.

I wold have liked to ask him how many people dug deep for someone else compared to shorted it out to save funds.
I know it would create tension in my life as it did making the list above. If I really took the idea of loving others as I love myself to the next level, the biblical level, then I would be required to raise my giving game and then be much much poorer, well financial poor but my heart would be over flowing with love, gratefulness and gratitude to God for the blessing of giving to others.

I then wonder what our world would be like if we truly took to heart giving out of our wealth to those who are without it?
Please prayerfully wrestle with this with me. Maybe God is calling us to a higher standard of living and conduct in the coming days, weeks, months and years…

Good loving to you friends.

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