Sunday Night Mind Dump – 11/29/09

Sunday Night @ 5:45 pm

~This week was a shorter week in the office for me.  It was awesome!
~Monday had in store 3 meetings all before 2:00 pm.  A lot going on = much to talk about.
~Tuesday was a day for taking care of my arch-enemy; a.k.a. “administration”.
~Wednesday was a half-day in the office, but busy all the same.
~Had a blast running errands with my son, Kaedon, Wednesday afternoon. I’ve got such amazing kids!
~Thursday morning was spent on a “mini” Gridiron with Kaedon and a bunch of other fathers and their son’s for an annual Father/Son Thanksgiving Day Bowl. 
~The rest of Thursday was spent getting ready to eat, eating, and cleaning up after eating.  I liked the eating part the best. 
~It was great spending the day with family for Thanksgiving.  For Stacy and I it was the first Thanksgiving dinner we’ve held at our house since getting married 7 years ago.  I am so proud of her.  She made the best turkey I have ever had…ever!  Stacy rocked in the kitchen and did a phenomenal job.  She’s an amazing hostess and I really enjoyed being a part of her organized chaos.
~Friday was more of the same; family, friends, cleaning, eating, eating, eating and more…
~Saturday was spent @ my mom’s place.  Her house is on the market and in much need of a sale.  That said, there’s so much that has already been done to ready it for selling, yet it seems as though we’ve only just begun.  NOTE: Please pray that my mom’s house will sell soon as she needs to downsize and fast. 
~This morning was awesome.  I got to lead worship with my friends and had a great time worshiping the Lord through music. 
~I was privileged and honored to be able to baptize my little sister, Kristen this morning.  Having accepted Jesus at age 11, she decided that it was long overdue and that she wanted to make a public declaration of who Jesus in her life and what He has and continues to do both in and through her.  It was AWESOME! 
~Not only was my kid sister baptized, but she was joined by 2 others who made that commitment today.  What an incredible testimony of God’s hand at work in our community. 
~My family went to celebrate my sister’s date of birth as well as her new birth after church today.  Food, friends, family, festivities.  It was pretty sweet.
~Now it’s just after six-o-clock.  I’m sitting down @ home with my youngest daughter struggling to take a nap, my other two daughters not having a problem napping and watching some SNF (Go Steelers) with Kaedon. 
~There’s a lot on my mind – a lot that I am thankful for – a lot that I am concerned about. 
~I am praying for an incredible week this week.  I am praying for God’s favor in life and in ministry.  I am praying for a peace that passes all understanding.  I am praying.

~Andrew

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Leadership Blvd. – Part I

Leadership:Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”
– Vince Lombardi

In my experience everyone at some point in their life will express an interest on some level to become a better leader.  So what keeps people from reaching their potential as a leader or taking steps toward becoming a leader?

The question usually is not one of desire.  No.  Finding individuals who desire to be recognized as a leader – discovering people who would like to take the helm, steer the ship and direct the crew is usually not an issue.  Instead, a lack of leadership can be found in the shadow of direction, or lack there of.  Let me explain…

It’s one thing to know what something is and where it may be in a broad sense, but to find it, navigate to the location and prepare in advance for the trip; that’s all together different.  Leadership has not been obtained for lack of vision and dreams.  Most individuals, when asked, would agree with the statement that they have had desires, dreams and aspirations of great things.  People as a whole can think of a time in which they were caught in their thoughts and daydreams, grandiose ideas of who, what, where, and when, but how… how does one get there, that’s where leadership often becomes merely a good idea or a distant desire.

In Vince Lombardi’s quotation about leadership, one of the key elements that he believed encompassed leadership is hard work, and that is the price that he says is fundamental in accomplishing the goal of leadership or any goal.  That statement is what has caught my attention for years now – not just the idea of leadership, but the goal of leadership as well as goals in general.

So let me ask you, how do you define leadership and what is the importance of having goals associated within leadership?

~Andrew

Ten Things I Believe About Your Ministry…a great post

I read a great blog this evening from a fellow pastor out of Anderson, South Carolina.  Perry Noble pastors one of the most intentional churches I have ever had the privilige of witnessing; New Spring Church.  A pastor on purpose, with purpose and for a purpose, Perry’s knack for encouraging other churches and their leaders in a no-nonsense, “I’m not gonna pull any punches” way, is a salve that may sting at times, but is a great source of healing and motivation in and through God’s word.

Check out Perry’s latest blog on the church entitled, Ten Things I Believe About Your Ministry.

Perry Noble’s blog

Sunday Night Mind Dump – 11/22/09

  • The week started off with staff meeting on Monday morning and looked as though it would be a relatively normal week until…
  • Monday night Emergency Room visit with Stacy which started @ 9:30 pm with what we both thought would be a quick in-and-out until…
  • 11:30 pm Stacy is taken back, x-rayed, given nebulizer treatments, antibiotics, blood tests, more nebulizer treatments, pee tests, more tests, and it wasn’t until…
  • 4:00 am Tuesday, Stacy and I thought we were on our way home until…
  • Stacy is admitted into the hospital for further testing and observation while I, on the other hand, was fast on my way to fulfill my role as “Mr. Mom”
  • Stacy’s hospital stay was extended to Wednesday afternoon
  • Thursday was a day full of running kids, running errands, running a vacuum, running wild, and more
  • Friday, Stacy and I completed a busy day at home trying to create some semblance of normality before heading to the Weekend To Remember conference
  • Friday night, Saturday and Sunday was spent with my Beautiful Bride @ the conference (read more in my previous blog)
  • We finished up the conference this afternoon and upon arriving home, we arrived home to an ecstatic 3-year old little girl, 6-year old-young man, 14-year old teenager and an 8-month old HUNGRY baby
  • Tonight was a night spent at our church congregational meeting which included testimonies from 2009, a power-point picture presentation representing each age group in the church, youth-led worship music, prayer, a message from my buddy and intern, John, and…oh yah, conversation and voting on things within the church

While this week was a HUGE challenge in many ways, I am feeling extraordinarily blessed.  Our church family stepped up in unreasonable ways to help care for my children, allowing me the privilege of being with Stacy and supporting her during her hospital stay.  Several families from our church volunteered to provide meals for our family not only this week, but into the early part of next week as well.  What’s more is that we had many, many people praying for and supporting Stacy and I as well as our children in various other ways.  To all of these I say, THANK YOU!!!  Our family appreciates it more than we can articulate.

This week was a pivotal week of learning for me.

It ceases to amaze me how God works and moves in and through the circumstances of our lives.  I have taken Stacy and all that she is and does for granted.

For seven years I have given Stacy a bad time about the things that she does with her day.  While I never meant any harm, and while the joking was mostly in jest, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity of being with my kids and attempting to do merely a little of what Stacy does each and every day of the week that I realized how much I need to shut my mouth.  Stacy is a stud-‘et’.  She rocks!  And after my week and the conference this weekend I have a renewed sense of deep appreciation and purposed love for her.  Stacy is an exceptional person; a great friend, an incredible mother, a terrific wife, and much, much, much, much, much more.

I am so thankful to God for blessing me with the awesome privilege and responsibility of being a husband and father.

So, with very little sleep all week, I am off to bed as I prepare for a great week ahead.

~Andrew

Weekend To Remember

Family Life: Weekend To Remember

So Stacy and I are at the Red Lion Hotel @ Jantzen Beach for the marriage conference hosted by Family Life, Weekend To Remember.  It’s hard to believe because it seems as though it was yesterday, but exactly one-year ago, to the day, Stacy and I were at this very conference, staying in the same hotel, and considering several of the same things.  This year has been good as it has been a reminder of many of the valuable lessons that every marriage would do well to instill both in and through their lives together.

Some significant differences between this year’s conference and last year’s conference are not so much in the content as much as it is in our lives; where Stacy and I were at one-year ago, compared with where life finds us now.  To name a few (punch list):
1. Last year Stacy was five months pregnant -vs- this year Ryen, our daugther, is nearly eight-months old
2. Last year I was coming off of a significant stroke -vs- this year Stacy is coming off of a SEVERE bout with pneumonia and a 3-day hospital stay
3. Last year we were in the infancy stages of what we learned -vs- this year we are building on the foundations of what we learned one-year ago
4. Last year we slept in two separate Queen beds -vs- this year…oh wait, we still have two separate Queen beds.  Irony as we are at a marriage conference?!
5. Last year we limited in our activities due to Stacy’s being very pregnant -vs- this year, we are NOT limited at all…I will just leave it at that 🙂

After the conference tonight, Stacy is taking me out to celebrate the 7th Anniversary of our marriage and life together.  We had initially made plans to do so on Monday, the day of our anniversary, but plans changed and instead of spending the night at a 4-Star Hotel, we(she) spent the evening in the ER before being admitted into the hospital at 4:00 am.  On the docket for this evening; dinner (Red Robin, Red Lobster or Olive Garden) and a movie (Blindside).  Stacy is very excited to take me out as I am for her to be taking me out.  Good times!  After all the festivities of the evening, I foresee a stay in the hot tub and some definite “cuddle time” – after all, she’s earned it having put up with me for as long as she has.

For those of you who have been praying for Stacy and our family over the past week while she battled her breathing and I manned the house, THANK YOU!  We are blessed and are thanking God for the power of prayer and the miracle of family and friends that we are able to do life and ministry together with.  From the bottom of our hearts, Stacy and I agree together in saying that ya’ll have been a huge blessing.

~Andrew & Stacy


Really?


Rhetorical, leading and clarifying; this is a great way to indicate direction, meaning and purpose.

There is a story in the Bible about a guy named Jonah. Jonah was a normal guy – nothing too crazy. God asked Jonah to go into a city known as Nineveh, to a people who’s hearts were far from God. Enter the adverb.

Initially, Jonah poses question word “really” in the form of a question. Seeking clarification, I can imagine that Jonah might have assumed that God must have been mistaken, or that He had His people groups mixed up. Oops. How embarrassing…for Jonah. Surprised at God’s response, Jonah switched his tone. Enter the adjective.

Trying to describe the noun through adjectives – a person (Ninevehites), place (Nineveh), or thing (a lost people), I can almost hear Jonah asking God as though he might not have understood Him the first time. REALLY? Go to Nineveh? Speak to the Nenevehites? REALLY? This is where Jonah is instrumental in the communication breakdown. You see, God was clear with his directives for Jonah, but not on the same page in regards to the actions required of him, Jonah is asking God as though He might not have totally understood what He was asking of Jonah. And so the story goes.

Jonah ended up running from God; His direction and calling on Jonah’s life. Jonah ends up on a boat, tossed overboard and swallowed up by a big fish, eventually puked up three days later…

Really?

What God is showing me in and amongst my “really” moments in life is that while it’s okay to ask questions, my responsibility is to be obedient to God’s leading and direction in my life. My friend, Pastor and Evangelist, Dan Jester said in a message while speaking at a Senior High camp, “First say okay. Then obey”.

Sounds simple enough, right?

While at times I may not totally understand or even agree with some of the directions I sense God leading in my life, my role is to first say okay and then to obey.

Where is God calling you to say okay and then obey?  Are you receptive or do you need some time to simmer in the belly of a big ‘ol fish?  Is there room for challenge and change in the demographics of your relationship with God?  These are questions that I think are important we identify, wrestle with and address in and through our lives.

Really!

 

~Andrew