Friday, December 30, 2011

A Year in the Life of Organization

In 2012 I am on a mission to organize my life more completely. I am using the Friday section of this blog to announce tools I plan to use and chronicle the changes I am making. Here is one…
Each day when I get to the office I have a routine. That routine has changed through the years. In the past it would begin by going to the comics section of Yahoo! reading through several comics. Following that, I would then read through several news sights and then begin my day. This process normally took about 20-30 minutes. Now instead of reading comics, I have switched to blog reading.

It all began when I was introduced to Vince Antonucci’s blog when he left Forefront to plant Verve out in Vegas. From there, I started reading other blogs. Several I have started reading, and then quickly stopped. Others I have made part of my daily routine for several years. I used to go to each blog one by one through my favorites list. Then one day Vince talked about Google Reader. I have been hooked since. Google Reader gives you the ability to subscribe to blogs and read them all in one place. It is very rare that I actually go to a persons actual blog anymore. This has considerably cut down the time my blog reading takes.

One of the blogs I began reading sometime in the spring of 2009 was The Generous Husband. It is a work of love by the creators Paul of the Marriage Bed, an online resource for Christian Couples and Sexual Intimacy. Paul’s wife Lori writes a counterpart to The Generous HusbandThe Generous Wife. The Generous Husband has been a tremendous help to me in my marriage over the last 2+ years.

As I was scrolling through Google reader today I noticed a post from The Generous Wife titled After Christmas Planning. Read the post before going any further. This post gave me a great idea and was part of the inspiration for these words today.

As I seek to better organize my life I certainly have to include my wife and daughter into these plans. They have to be part of my organization. The tip that Lori gave in sitting down with a calendar and syncing our schedules is awesome. I have started attaching Crystal’s email to events I add to Google Calendars, but I think having a family calendar that is present is a must. Making it a point and planning a time to figure out the calendar is the genius of the suggestion. We have still to talk about this and figure out how we want to go about it, but it is certainly something we are going to be doing.

Blogs are a great way to pick up ideas from others. We are living in a world were blogs have become the norm and something many people do. Figuring out which ones to read and how to read them is a must. Let me recommend using Google Reader as your blog/article reading tool. It is a favorite of mine.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Flash Mob

Do you share your faith? Do you look for opportunities to present the message of Christ. During this season of Christmas we hear a lot of fuss and arguments over Christ's representation in the holiday. We hear groups attacking manger scenes on town squares. We hear stores requiring their employees to say happy holidays (an issue I do not have a problem with) instead of Merry Christmas. We complain that we have forgotten that Christ is the reason for Christmas.

This church in California decided to touch peoples hearts in a powerful way. They used one of the phenomena’s of the last year ... the flash mob ... to convey the story of Christ and his birth and the hope that he came to earth with. For whatever reason this totally moved me and brought me to tears. Maybe it was because of my realization that I would struggle to personally do something like this and the amazing bravery it took to do this. I don't know if was the people looking on in awe. Whatever it was, it totally got to me, and maybe it can get to you.

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you to Michael Hyatt for sharing this video.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A New Years Resolution: Organization Part 1

It is Monday December 19th. I am sitting in my office and here is what it looks like.Messy Office

It is on my agenda this week today to begin cleaning and organizing my files. This is something I typically do once a month. Probably something I need to do more often.

The messiness in my office though screams of something deeper that needs to take place in my life. As I get older my schedule is getting fuller and fuller. I am quickly realizing I need some organization if I am going to be able to function at a proper level in my life. It desperately has to happen.

I am one who loves organization. When I do a project I like to have an organized system to follow. If not I feel I am all over the place and not accomplishing what I need to. When I wash dishes I like to organize the dishes before cleaning them so that I can be more efficient. When I used to work for Yard Works, I would approach a new lawn with a system, and that system allowed for high efficacy over some of my co-workers in the same situation. Organization is important to me.

But then there is something else I battle. I used to think it was laziness. But I don’t know if that is entirely true. I mean, I can be lazy from time to time. I allow distractions to take place of what I need to be doing, and then it doesn’t get done until it has to. But I think there is something bigger and deeper that is the launching point to the distractions and it isn’t laziness. Whether it is the work that needs to be done to our house, or my ministry with West Side, both have a lot that needs to be done, and often I have no clue where to begin.

Let me use the house as an example. When we bought the house last year it was a foreclosure. Because of that, there was a ton that needed done. Here is the short list … Every room in the house needed small to medium holes filled on the walls, all the walls painted, trim painted, appliances installed, upstairs toilet fixed, new kitchen faucet, shelves built in the basement & garage, attic floor secured, A/V wires pulled out of wall and wall fixed, and many other projects. When you look at the list, it is hard to imagine where to begin. Obviously you start with what has to be fixed … toilet, kitchen faucet, appliance, things like that. But with the other projects where do you begin. We have worked through a lot of those issues, and even picked a few projects we didn’t really have to start. Money also decided some things we have and have not done. Now after 14 months in the house, we only have two rooms that need the walls fixed and painted.

When I look at ministry I feel the same way. However, I think that can easily be corrected with some system changes. There is a lot I want to do for ministry. The list of things that needs done is extensive … continued development of our ministry system, development of our contemporary service, youth ministry organization, children’s programing, developing our online ministries through Facebook and Twitter, updating and communicating through my blog, growth of our small group structure, development of our vision/mission and strategy, along with all the normal preaching and teaching responsibilities that exist. If this is all going to get accomplished, I need to organize.

Finally there is one more area that I want to organize in my life … my physical and spiritual health. I think the disciplines I need to develop in each overlap in many ways. I have made great strides in my spiritual life over the past year. I have also failed miserably. My physical health is nothing I can boast about. I am want to be so much better in both of those areas. So I am going to work and tackle them together. I think my life of organization will help me accomplish physical and spiritual health.

Since 2012 is only a few weeks away, I have decided to make organization my New Years Resolution. It is my goal to use Friday’s to talk about how I am doing on this journey of organization. I will use this space to share tools that I found that help me organize. I will share my accomplishments and my failures along this journey. 2012 is gearing up to a big year in my life and ministry and I am excited. It will only be a success with God’s leading and organization.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I posted this last year following Christmas. Had Jesus been born today, it may have been communicated this way. What do you think?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday @ West Side

This has been a great Christmas season here at West Side. It has been really encouraging to see so many faces fill the sanctuary this month. Yesterday our numbers were a little lower, but we had many out visiting and seeing family. Our worship service was enjoyable even though the message wasn’t what I truly desired it to be. I know the point was there, I just wasn’t a fan of my delivery.

Last night was our Cantata performed by our Choir. Let me be upfront and honest with you … I am not a fan of Cantata’s. It’s not that I hate them. It’s not that I think they are old fashioned and something we must do away with. I am just not a person who enjoys listening to people sing. It’s just not my thing. I am not the person who loves to go to concerts. I’ve been to them, I think there neat, and I have seen some pretty cool things at them, but it isn’t earth shattering if I don’t get to see my favorite bands play. I can think of many different and better ways to spend money. Now I do love music, and it is a large part of my life, but to sit and listen to people sing, just not my thing.

Having said all of that, our Choir did an awesome job last night. They did a great job presenting the story of Christ birth and the salvation he offered. I am always intrigued on how well published Cantata’s do at pointing to the cross, even Christmas Cantata’s. I was especially impressed with our Soprano's at the end of the last song. They hit notes I didn’t know they had within in them. From a guy who doesn’t get excited to listen to people sing, I was thoroughly blown away.

Thank you Lord for blessing us with a wonderful day yesterday.