Thursday, May 28, 2009

I love my family

My dad is a tough guy. My friends in college dubbed him "the macho man" for good reason. Well, on Monday, the macho man had a heart attack. It's a strange feeling seeing your father, the picture of strength in your life, in an emergency room bed fighting against a blood clot that's trying to take him down.

I thank God that he made it and is coming home from the hospital today. This week has been strange. Monday (the day of the heart attack) was my last day of vacation, so I was ready to get to work this week. As you can imagine, I have not gotten much work done yet.

Well, that's not entirely true. I should say that I didn't get much work done at my job. However, I did spend a whole bunch of time with my mom, dad and even my brother Abel who flew in from Phoenix to see dad.

From a traditional time management standpoint, this week was a disaster. However, the way I manage my time is not all about what I check off a to do list. It's actually about doing the most important things with the most important people. I did that this week, and from that standpoint, this week was a huge success.

Friday, May 15, 2009

put your money where your mouth is

I've been really impacted by some reading I've done lately and God talking to me about how I see other people. Do I really love my neighbor as myself? Certainly not yet, but I've been looking for more opportunities to be a blessing to people. Jake Lewis and I had a conversation a few weeks back about how there are always people in need if our eyes are open looking for them.

Today I did a decent job managing my schedule which gave me almost 3 solid hours to finish up the short talk I'll give at the GMC graduation ceremony this Sunday night. As I was on my way to my favorite place to get that type of solitary work done, I saw a hitchhiker with a huge pack on his back making his way down RT.30.

To make a long story short, I got to drive a dear man named Michael to the bus station in York, I did not get one minute of work done for Sunday evening's talk and I feel like I accomplished a great deal today. At least Matthew 25:31-40 would lead me to believe so.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

reputation vs. reality

Somehow, over the years, I've gained the reputation as the "time management guy" on our church staff. When there is a new or young leader struggling with the demands of ministry, they send them to Jason. "I need to manage my time better", they always say. Most of them feel helped, I guess, but as they leave my office I always feel a little funny inside. They came to me?

I guess I do have a gift there and I have worked hard to build my ability to manage time, but I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. Lately, God has been pressing me about how I allocate my time. Even more than that, He's been pressing me about how sloppy I am with the discipline of sticking to the allocation of time I've settled on.

In particular, God has been showing me that stealing time from one area of life to prop up another is neither wise nor profitable. I spent the first four months of this year waking up most days at 4:30am to do my personal time with God and go to the gym. Sure, I've grown a lot and I'm in better shape than I was before, but I've been exhausted and irritable almost all the time.

I have more to say on this subject, but I hate long blog entries, so I'll close with this. Just this week I've started sleeping as much as I should and I feel like a new man. (side note: I've done a good bit of reading of books and online articles about sleep, and all the medical doctors I am reading say that those of us who claim we're fine with 5-6 hours of sleep per night are either robots or liars. they all say the same thing - 7.5 - 8 hours or you're robbing yourself of time on this earth) Amazing what happens when you allow wisdom to rule a specific area of your life. More later on my time management journey.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

crazy love

I first saw Francis Chan's Crazy Love on a vendor's table at youth convention in April and my first thought was that it was one of those flaky emerging church things, so I paid it no mind. It was not long after that I heard an interview with Francis Chan on a Catalyst Podcast. There was something to the guy. Something very genuine and humble that really drew me to him.

I just finished Crazy Love. I'm not going to say it changed my life . . . yet. It sure contains principles that would change my life if I act on even a few of them. But then again, so does the Bible. One thing I'm beginning to feel very deeply in my spirit is this. What I've been calling Christianity for the last 15 years has probably been about what I was capable of living out until now, but God is calling me to a new level (maybe 2 new levels) in the way I personally live out my life. This is shaping some of the vision that is developing for Freedom Valley Tulsa as well. It's exciting when God challenges you and is moving you to higher levels.

I would recommend Crazy Love to anyone interested in serving Christ.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

ordination service tonight

Well, we're on the road to Sarver, PA for the Penn-Del district ordination service. Usually, this would not appeal to me. Those services usually strike me as pretty dry, but tonight I'm in the class being ordained. Funny how that makes the same service more appealing.

I know that many young (and unnecessarily bitter) ministers in our fellowship poke fun at the ordination level of credential, saying it's just another way for the district to get more money from you in dues.

But, I don't see it that way. I'm believing that God will place a new level of anointing and influence on me tonight as I go through this rite. I'm glad I finally got over my fear of the testing and interview process. God is really wonderful and patient.

Friday, May 1, 2009

this and that

The last few days have been long and I'm weary this morning. Today is one of those days where the day pushes into the evening. I have a 5pm wedding rehearsal, so this one will be extra-long. My schedule is feeling a little full lately and I'm struggling to take the necessary time to keep myself at a high level of health. I have on my to do list to reorganize my schedule. That will help.

I'm on day 2 (of 40 - yikes) of my sugar fast and I'm feeling it already. It's nothing I'm feeling physically, but mentally I'm craving something sweet. I love the power fasting brings to my life, though. What a blessing from God that is.

I signed employment contracts with our new children's leadership team yesterday. Candace Pringle and Tonya Weaver will be the leaders for our kids and their families and I think they will do a great job. I'm very much looking forward to helping them both develop as leaders and seeing where we can take the level of kids and family ministry during the remainder of this year.