Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Vision and Mission for Work and Life

I just finished my coursework for the summer. I took a class called "Knowing Self and Knowing God." My final project was to create a vision and mission statement for work and life. The mission statement includes three verbs, something I'm passionate about (reconciliation) and a target audience. The vision statement is a glimpse of my ideal life. The goal of this exercise is to evaluate were I currently am and make adjustments so that I can live into my hopes, dreams, and desires. Here ya go...

My mission is to join Jesus in bringing healing, reclamation, and renewal to relationships so that reconciliation will occur in family systems, in society, and in oneself.

My vision is to soak up every ounce of life. I am simultaneously kneeling at the feet of Jesus, resting in his arms, and pressing my ear to his lips so that I can hear all that he has to say. I make sure my family knows that they are my first priority with my actions and my words. I love them well and laugh with them often. I wake up early to listen to Jesus. I then drink freshly pressed coffee with my wife and simply enjoy her presence. I try to build a wooden boat with my son, fail, and try again. My garden provides most of our vegetables until I forget to water it. I laugh at my ineptness as I try to repair the damage. We spend much of our time outside playing, camping, and hiking. My children learn how to be themselves, how to surrender to Jesus, how to practice sustainable living, and how to serve others out of selflessness (and not insecurity). I read books, reflect, and drink micro-brewed beer with my friends. I cook daily. I am not influenced by other people’s perspective of me at work. Kids regularly stop by my house to eat and share life with us. I go to the hospital to comfort a parent who just lost a child. Families stop by our home to catch of glimpse of an imperfect family that has learned the power and necessity of taking life slowly, hugging regularly, and forgiving often. In our home there is peace, laughter, stability, and authenticity. In our home is the presence of God.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Managing a church

"In short, the modern world quite literally manages without God. We can do so much so well by ourselves that there is no need for God, even in his church. Thus we modern people can be profoundly secular in the midst of explicitly religious activities. Which explains why so many modern Christian believers are atheists unaware." Os Guinness

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

On Carpentry, Busyness, and Speaking in Tongues

I love big bulky heavy tables. They are usually rather expensive. The other day I thought, "How hard could it be to make one?" So...I began. And my saw didn't work. So I borrowed a saw and began again. I'm pleased with the first result considering a) I mostly used cheap white wood because I was afraid I'd mess up b) I couldn't get 45 degree angles c) did I mention I made it like I would have made a stage or a foundation for a shed?

Actually, it's going to look pretty sharp. It's level and extremely sturdy (it has already passed the Q test). The top is made from 1x8 white wood and 2x4 white wood studs. The legs are 4x4 fir. I still need to put wood putty in the holes, sand like crazy (you can see the black ink on the 2x4s), stain it, and lacquer it up. I'll take more pictures and detail my experience later on the blooog. Here are a couple of pictures from my web cam. Next step: Homemade benches. Oh, by the way, thus far I've only spent $55.

In other news, Tammie and I just got back from a trip to Portland (oh, Q was there too). Besides drinking amazing coffee and only 2 pints of the most amazing amber ale ever brewed, I sat in 16 hours of class. I had forgotten how much my soul needs seminary. Among the many things discussed in class we spoke about the importance of developing a healthy sense of self and the importance of being completely in tune with the living God. Here are a couple of notable quotes from my experience:

“I (and most pastors, I believe) become busy for two reasons; both are ignoble.
“I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. Significant. What better way than to be busy? The incredible hours, the crowded schedule, and the heavy demands on my time are proof to myself—and to all who will notice—that I am important. …
“I am busy because I am lazy. I indolently let others decide what I will do instead of resolutely deciding myself. I let people who do not understand the work of the pastor write the agenda for my day’s work because I am too slipshod to write it myself.”

Eugene Peterson

To lead others…you have to be freed from them. You have to be freed from their praise and you have to be freed from their criticism. The one place where you are freed from your people is in solitude because you only hear the voice that matters (God’s).
Daniel Brunner

And finally, Mr. Q has started speaking...sort of. My friend John says that he speaks in tongues.

Here is Q shaking his head for the camera. I'm pretty sure Tammie taught him this. I'd never do such a thing.