Tag: planning

The next thing…

Fresh paint makes the old stand out. Once its done you see the next thing that needs to get done. Once that’s done you see the next. Cleaning up a house or building is like growing in Christ. Everything can’t get done at once. But, once you finish one thing, the next thing stands out. Here are a couple things to think through as you head into the new year…

Set up a growth plan. Keep it simple, doable, and big enough to stretch you. People often get scared or short-circuit with words like “review” or “evaluate.” Developing a growth plan serves the same function but has an added bonus: A growth plan focuses on where you’re going and can do, not where you’ve been and fall short. This is why Disney focuses on growth plans instead of annual reviews.

Complete a step that will push you to the next step. It’s like dominos. Focus on what’s going to propel you to the next thing when you’re done. Watching dominos fall is sweet when things are place and well executed. The big secret to focus is saying no. The power of no is a stronger yes.

Rest and enjoy your work. God made us to work and He made us to enjoy life as well. People who are driven would accomplish more by trying to do less. For example, many people who are big into physical fitness overwork themselves. This prevents them from achieving the goals. They’re over working. A trainer of mine said most people who are into working out would become stronger if they did less.

Do something
If you’re clueless where to start, just start. The advantage of planning is that its easier to change with a plan than without one. The big thing about just starting is humility. Ask for help. Sometimes you need someone to just say, good plan, go for it. To quote photographers, the best camera is the one in your hand. Just get started.

Planning, God’s Sovereignty and Cheese

In my first years of vocational ministry I was introduced to something incredible: 5x Sharp Cheese. Bill Anderson’s Farm Market carried it. My first taste was an all american made, fresh-baked apple pie. And with it? 5x sharp cheese. Mana from heaven must have come close to tasting like this. The cheese makes any store-bought “sharp” cheddar block seem like a playdough knife. Planning and God’s sovereignty is like 5x sharp cheese.

God has a plan for us
The Bible is clear on two things: 1) God has a plan for us and 2) We don’t know the details of that plan. The Bible teaches wise planning, crazy steps of faith, and that whatever happens God is interested in our Christ likeness more than anything. Consider this the ingredients of a plan: God’s Word, Faith, the Gospel, growth, wisdom of others and a leap of faith. Think of the flavor that will come as the image of Christ.

God gives all 24/7 to accomplish His will
A wise professor stated that God grants every person 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to accomplish His will, and some of that is sleeping. With all the ingredients to make cheese, that is all you have, cheese. Regular cheese just doesn’t taste great with all American made, freshly baked Apple pie. To get to 5x sharp heavenly goodness cheese you need one key thing: TIME. Working your plan is the aging process. It involves two key understandings: 1) Faith in a God at work and 2) Understanding that things will be clearer at the end of the process, not the beginning of it.

God loves celebration
The key to planning and working your plan is celebration. Celebration isn’t about what we’ve done. Celebration is savoring what God did. It’s that first bite of all American freshly baked apple pie with 5x sharp heavenly goodness cheese. All the pain, waiting, anticipation is worth it when we taste and see that the Lord is good. To get there takes faithfulness in our actions and waiting upon God.

The bottom line:
In starting a new chapter in ministry, I’m in the planning stage. I’m looking forward to celebrating what God will do. In drawing on the Spirit, the mentoring I’ve received, God’s people and the Gospel, I’m listening and seeking where God wants the ministry to go. It will take time. 5x sharp cheese isn’t made in a day, it takes years. It’s worth the wait, and that’s part of God’s plan.

Oh, and if you’re in Cortland, NY, look up Anderson’s Farm Market. Order some 5x Sharp Cheese. Obtain a freshly baked all American apple pie, and see how a good plan tastes!


Manic Monday: Slow times

Kelly and I had the joy of serving in the normally crazy full nursery Sunday. It was quiet. Just a few kids. Scary. We waited for kids to drop from the ceiling and yell SURPRISE, but no such ambush occurred. Quiet and slow times are good. You need them.

When I worked at a Buick dealership as a teenager and college student I remembered a  phrase often said. I told myself I needed to remember it. I didn’t. Now I did.

“Slow times are training times.”

When things are slow you have opportunity to work extra on things you normally wouldn’t have time for in the normal business of life and especially hectic business of life.

In slow times you can: Play, prep, train, clean, experiment, connect, network, catch your breath, and/or prepare the ground for rain. (In Seattle that would be prepare yourself for Sun.)

Use the slow times to your advantage. God knows we need them.

(especially on Monday)

Why not Wednesday? Embrace complexity

There is a significant push in life and ministry for simplicity. In our quest for simplicity  don’t ignore the complex realities of life. Often in focusing on one thing we forget how it impacts other issues. We often want bullet points, sound bites, or commercials, but what is required is more involved. Here is a short clip that illustrates this:

Why not Wednesday? Play

A professor told me clearly: “Play is a child’s job.” Well, really, its ours too. Think of it this way, how much did you learn while playing?  Take some time and answer these questions while thinking about how you can bring ‘play’ in your life:

1) What games did I enjoy playing the most in life and why?

2) What was my favorite toy? What adventures did I have with it?

3) What aspect of your job now relates the most to what you played as a kid?

4) Ok, what toy did you not get as a kid that you wished you had? (did you get it?)

5) When you played, did you ever think about the social, political, scientific, and job related skills you were developing? (hmmm…)

6) How many “problems” did you solve in your imaginary or gamed adventures?

Pursuing Learning And Yearning

Manic Monday: On planning

When looking out the airplane window at the ground below, something popped out at me. There are these massive grid lines in the mid west. Then, as if to purposefully mess us up, God places this meandering river that totally messes up these neat and efficient grids. Maybe our grids are not so efficient? If you wanted to water as much land as possible, a meandering river beats a neat grid.

Sometimes its best to set our attitude to wonder and discovery as our plans often follow the path of the river instead of our nice planned and efficient grids. Look out the window and see what seems random but is still extremely planned out.

Look out the window.

(especially on Mondays)