Sunday, August 25, 2013

Writers Block

I sit here looking at my blog site, empty page for the last hour,  listening to some worship music.  I've started this blog 2-3 times, and although maybe worthy topics to write about I just didn't feel it.  I guess what I do feel tonight is the awesome feeling of Worship.  Adoration toward a God that I believe truly exists and loves me.  I so believe that we should strive to live our life as an act of worship to God to offer thanks for the blessings that He gives.  I'm thinking about, now listening to the worship set we did today.

We did a new song at Pathway this week. "The Same Love", by Paul Baloche. We've been going through the book of Acts at Pathway, and the words of this song have come to me every week as I have been listening to the teaching.  I wasn't really that familiar with the song, but I started to listen to it almost every day and the words have just been on my mind non stop.  I've just been in awe of the fact that the "same love that set the captives free, the same love that opened eyes to see, is calling us all by name".  "The same God that spread the heavens wide, the same God that was crucified is calling us by name".  As I've read and listened about the beginning of the church every week, it is just is awesome to think that the same God is working here in 2013 too.

I'm thankful for guys like Paul Baloche, guys who are still leading worship at a local church, but continues to be inspired and used by God to share his prayers and thoughts and put them to music so beautifully.  One thing I've heard him say more than once is that his songs are prayers that he's been able to put to music.

So, even if you find yourself not knowing what to say, or sitting silently thinking about where you're at on life's road, remember you have a God that offers the same love that he's offered for generations, even from the beginning of time.  That's comforting, awesome, confusing, but worth writing and singing about.

Be Blessed!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Another Birthday

Yeah, I had mine (#51), but it's not that big of a deal anymore, however, I am thankful for another year of life and all of the blessings, and trials......I'm very thankful.

This writing though focuses on our daughter, Abby.  Abby turned 21 today (Aug 19).  Kind of a big one.  I suppose mine was too, but that was so 1983.  Anyway, to say we're really proud of her is probably an understatement.  As many know Abby is a single mom of our grandson, Parker. I guess the way I've always described it is that he was unplanned, but he's definitely not unloved.  We can't imagine life without him or how this experience has helped us all grow in one way or another.

Sure, it was tough at times for everyone, but we've learned so much about being less judgmental, more compassionate,  less stressed out about what we might consider little things, and I think continue to live each day with more joy and a feeling of blessing because the little guy makes us laugh every single day....and that's good for anyone's soul.

We're proud of Abby because she could have chosen to not have Parker and we never would have known. I guess as I wrote that the honest truth is we wouldn't have known she was pregnant, and we wouldn't have known Parker.  That's pretty sobering.  Instead she faced an uncertainty and has turned into a wonderful, loving mother and grown in many ways over the past two years.  She has been accepted into the Physical Therapy Assistant program at Mercy College in Des Moines, will complete that program five straight semesters from now, and she's working part time at Hobby Lobby.  Then, when she's home she's mommy full time.  It has given me a deep appreciation for the single mom and what they go through to raise their children.  God Bless them all.

You never know what God can help you handle until He brings it to you.  The key for all of us, whether a single mom or not, is to understand that God brings it for a reason, and the whole purpose is to help us grow closer to Him by becoming more dependent on Him, and less on ourselves.

So Abby, we're proud of what you've done, what you're doing, and where you're going.  Along your journey, you've helped us on our journey too.

Happy Birthday.

Jeremiah 29:11  - "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future". 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Influence vs. Impact

I have been reading a lot of leadership stuff over the summer. I subscribe to a few newsletters, e-mail lists, and come across good stuff on Twitter.  

I’ve been thinking a lot about Influence vs. Impact.   

First off, what’s the difference?  In my mind we have influence when we have rules, expectations, and things that control people’s behavior.  Those can be good, and can have value to help people do what’s right, but it may not have a real lasting value.  Coaches have rules in hopes of keeping athletes from getting into trouble.  I have expectations for coaches that I think are good for their programs and will also benefit the students they are working with.  They aren’t bad, can be positive for people, but I don’t think they have any real lasting value.  Just a way to do something and control a situation.  

Impact is bringing a lasting affect on a person or situation.  Think about the people in your life that have had a lasting impact in what you do for a living, what you believe, how you treat people, and live your life.  Some had that Impact a long time ago, while others may be in your life at this very moment. The list can change, but we all know who those people are.  Their influence is beyond enforcing a few rules. It changes who we are.

Two thoughts:

1) I shudder to think of the number of times I’ve missed an opportunity to Impact a person’s life.  I have gotten too caught up in coming up with the things that influence people and have not focused enough on people and serving them.  That’s how we Impact.

2)  Impact is risky and can be disappointing.  When we offer ourselves up to people and invest in their lives we can also be setting ourselves up to be turned away. I know I need to continue to look for situations where I can Impact and not worry about potential failure.  It’s like we size someone up and think about if they're worthy of our effort.  That’s selfish and not what we should be about if we want to have a servant’s heart.  

Wait.....there was a man who came to earth a little over 2,000 years ago that could have felt the same way but didn't.  I wasn't worth the risk, and there have been countless times that I’ve disappointed Him.  I’m glad He has continued to make an impact on my life.  I think my life should reflect the example that He set. 

The Impact He’s had on my life needs to be reflected more.  More of Him, less of me.  That’s how we can have a true impact on the people we’re living life with.  Yeah, it's risky, but there are some people whose lives depend on us taking that risk. 

Invest and Impact = Leadership

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back At It

Kind of took a couple of months off from writing.  Like everyone, the schedule gets a big hectic in the summer months and I was going to miss a few dates, so just took a break from both of my blogs.  I'm ready to get back to some writing on both sites.

Here's a bit of a summary of the last couple of months.  A TOP 5 if you will, of what's gone on in our lives.

In early June we got to enjoy 10 days in California with our entire family.  We got to attend the wedding of our niece, enjoy some new things, and some of the traditional things, that we do when we visit every few years.  It was a great time.  We're pictured here on Pismo Beach.  You can tell it's a nice June afternoon by the jackets.

In early July we were blessed by a 2 week visit by our Salt Lake City kids and grandson.  Brett, Nicole, and Jonathan were on a month long trip visiting supporters for their work in Salt Lake.  It was fantastic and we look forward to another visit around Christmas time.

During the time they were here we celebrated Deb's 29th Anniversary of her 21st Birthday.  We had several days with some different activities.  I had a good time.  I think she did too.

Exciting news for Abby as she did get into the Physical Therapy Assistant program at Mercy College.  She was the first alternate for a couple of months, but found out less than a week ago that she made it in.  We are very proud of her and she now has 5 straight semesters of work to complete the degree program.

AJ has started his work as the Graduate Assistant at Midland University with the Men's Basketball program and working on his Master's Degree.  He'll have his Masters a cool 24 years before I did.  Good for him. It will be fun for us to continue to follow MU basketball.

We're gearing up for the 2013-14 school year in about 10 days.  My time centers around the school year calendar, so January 1 is just a nice day for football for me.  The real year starts in August and I'm getting ready to start my 29th year of doing what they call "work".  Yeah, some days it seems like it, but overall, what a great blessing.

I look forward to sharing some more thoughts with you weekly on this journey we're on together.  I'll leave you with a good quote I read today as part of a devotional.  "If you're not serving, you're not leading".

Be Blessed and Be A Blessing!!