Thursday, January 28, 2010

Finding Your Groove

Last night I had a dream where different objects were being placed in specific grooves, and I woke up this morning thinking about the idea of living "in the groove cut out for you." The verse that sprang to mind was Ephesians 2:10:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
God created each of us with a specific groove in mind, and part of our journey in life is searching to find that perfect fit. There's no promise that finding and living in that groove will be easy, or that we will immediately be able to identify where it is that God wants us to be. That is why we keep seeking and asking of the Holy Spirit for guidance.

When you are living in the groove carved out for you, you will experience a peace and a joy that lasts. You'll get up ready to face the challenges ahead, confident that you have all you need to overcome.

Don't quit. Don't settle. Keep seeking.

And above all else, don't waste your life trying to force yourself into a groove that was never designed for you!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Some Insider Airlines Info

Thought I'd pass along some information my friend Jason from the dirty south posted on his blog,

Last week, on a flight to Chicago, I sat next to a flight attendant....She enlightened me with the following:

  • Some pilots watch dvd movies on long flights.
  • Don’t ever eat on the tray table in front of you. Babies have been changed on there and fecal matter has been found.
  • Don’t let your butt cheeks touch the seat in the plane bathroom.
  • Don’t wash your hands in the plane’s bathroom. Fecal matter is often on the sink.
  • As you enter the plane, you think the pilot’s are there to welcome you, but they are really doing what is called a talent search. That is, they are scoping out who is attractive.
  • She told me she is a flight attendant because she has no skills. She added that being a flight attendant doesn’t require many skills.
  • I asked her about the use of her skills if the plane were to crash…she said they won’t be needed because chances are that everyone will die anyways.

Needless to say, I was not overwhelmingly comforted with what she shared.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Big News = New Job

You've pondered, you've wondered, you've lost sleep. So here's the news.

Starting in mid February I will be coming off the overnight shift and working during the day at the Eagan Target store. I'm excited about the change and the new responsibilities and challenges that will come with it. I'm also excited to get back on the same schedule as my family.

There ya go!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wanting More

A friend of mine recently wrote,

[There] Seems to be a bit of a Catch-22. Those of us who feel driven have a love/hate relationship with that state of being. Welove the thrill of the pursuit--whatever we are pursuing (and sometimes the "what" doesn't even matter)--but we are torn by the constant internal push. It is almost as if we are trying, by our efforts, to find our ultimate fulfillment in this life. And it is often an uncomfortable tension.

I completely understand what he is talking about. I live in the tension myself. I tend to view every milestone reached, every achievement accomplished, not as a destination reached but as a stepping stone to some ultimate, unknown destination. And unfortunately, I miss celebrating what's done because I'm more concerned with what's to come.

This drive and passion to accomplish new things isn't all bad. It keeps me focused and motivated. It has the ability to produce new and exciting opportunities for myself and those around me. I just have to keep it in check and remember that on this earth I will never find complete fulfillment. If that is my goal I will keep jumping from milestone to milestone feeling perpetually empty. However if I ground my life in Jesus Christ, I can enjoy both what I do, and who I am without doing, because of what has been done for me.

Leadership Lessons from Brett Favre

Great post from Mark Batterson on leadership lessons from Brett Favre. Check out Mark's blog for more explanation on each point:

1) Slap your teammates on the butt.
2) Call an audible.
3) Throw a block downfield
4) Laugh in the locker room.
5) Huddle Up
6) Keep Watching Game Film
7) Don't be afraid of throwing interceptions.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 Goals: Running and Bible Reading

I set a few goals for myself this year. One of them was to run another marathon. Well last week I registered for the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN on June 19. I haven't been running but I'm looking forward to start training in early February. The kids are excited because while Daddy is out beating the pavement and hurting himself they will be having a blast at the Edgewater Resort and Waterpark.

Another goal I had for 2010 was to read through the entire Bible. So far things are going well. I've had to take a couple days to read big sections so that I can stay on pace, but I am really enjoying it. I'm following a reading plan from YouVersion which is sweet because it lets me follow my plan and track my completion both online and on my phone (its pretty cool always having your Bible with you when its an app on your phone).

Here's some info on the plan I'm following:
This is the classic plan, designed by Robert Murray M'Cheyne (1813—1843), the well-remembered Scottish minister who died before his 30th birthday. The plan has readings for every day of the year and will take you once through the Old Testament and twice through the Psalms and the New Testament.(HT: Desiring God)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Big News

Got some big news today. Can't say anymore for a few days but I'm excited about it. Well, maybe for $100 I could be persuaded, but otherwise I'l remain quiet.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Grandma's Marathon 2010

This morning I signed up to run Grandma's Marathon in June.

It was a 2010 goal of mine to run another marathon and I figured I wouldn't do it unless I actually registered and forced myself to get into a training program. As I was scanning the 2010 US Marathon Calendar I clicked on the Grandma's website to discover that registration opened today! So, BOOM, I registered.

We'll make a mini-vacation of it and probably stay in a water park hotel in Duluth so Stephanie and the kids have something fun to do while I am out killing myself. I haven't run much since my last marathon in 2006 (the Twin Cities Marathon) but I am PUMPED to do it again. I know I have lots of long training ahead of me but hey, this 30 year old body isn't getting any younger.

Anybody run this race before? Tips? Anybody else running it this year?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Case for Ethical Decision Making on Mt. Everest

Tonight I watched a documentary on YouTube called "The Dark Side of Everest." The film retells part of the story of the 1996 tragedy on the Mt. Everest where 11 people died. However the real focus of the film is on the ethical decisions people face when making choices about whether or not to help people on the mountain when they cannot help themselves.

What was interesting to me is the fact that many people kept referencing the idea of morals in regard to whether or not to help out someone who was sick or hurt. There was an underlying idea in many comments that people have a 'moral responsibility' to help out a fellow human being. What I want to know is where that responsibility comes from.

Obviously I have no idea about the religious ideology of the people interviewed in the documentary, but I have heard this kind of thinking before and when it comes from the mouths of atheists or agnostics it puzzles me. The ideas of evolution, natural selection and survival of the fittest have no finer theater in which to play themselves out than high up on a mountain. Right? If you're hurt that means your weak. And I should have no obligation to help you. In fact, my not helping only means that more strong genes will be passed on.

There are only morals if there is a standard by which to measure human behavior. There are only ethical decisions if there is behavior that is ultimately right and wrong. And there is only right and wrong behavior if there is an authoritative voice that declares it to be so. And that voice does not come out of any ideological, theological, or sociological hodgepodge. It comes from Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, for whom and through whom all things were made and are held together by the word of his mouth.

21 Days of Prayer and Fasting w/ RVC

On Monday our church started 21 days of prayer and fasting. You can see more here. For the fast I have chosen to give up three things:

1. Twitter
2. Sports on TV
3. Finishing the food on my kids' plates

These might all seem like small trivial things to fast from but they have significance for me. Here's why:

1. Giving up Twitter means I give up on worrying about my status and my worth in others eyes. It means I unplug and focus more on my family and my own life. It means I deal with feelings I'm having instead of pushing them down and passing the moments reading 'tweets.'

2. Giving up sports means I give up most of my TV time. It means I'm free to use my mind to read or to play with my kids or to hand over the remote and watch a show with my wife (even if that show is The Good Wife). It also means I'll have to find other things to talk about with people.

3. Giving up cleaning my kids' plates means I am learning contentment. I don't need to eat more and more. I don't always have to 'finish' to be happy. And I might be more healthy as well.

So far the fasting is going well, though it is amazing how much Twitter worthy material comes your way when you're not tweeting. The most difficult thing is taking the time to pray. The space I am creating by not tweeting or watching sports is easily taken over by many other things.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Some Goals for 2010

A few of my goals for 2010 include (not in specific any order):

1. Show more patience and grace with my kids. If God shows it to me in repeated sins, why wouldn't I show it to them?
2. Read through the entire Bible. I am following a program from YouVersion. It is a great site worth checking out.
3. Hike up Pike's Peak. I started thinking about this last year and I'd really like to do it this spring. Anyone interested?
4. Read 24 books. In all honesty I'd like to increase that number but 2 a month is a good starting point for me. I also want to read books across all sorts of genre.
5. Go on a monthly date with my wife Stephanie. My marriage matters to me and dating my wife must be a priority.
6. Get involved in church life again. We've been out of the game for about a year with me doing overnight work and we need to get plugged back in.
7. Attend a Twins game at the brand new Target Field.
8. Run another marathon (and lose 20 lbs in the process). I am thinking about one in the fall because I just can't get motivated to start my training started in the snow!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Seven Margin Maxims

Here are seven margin maxims from Mark Batterson:

1) Put Your Family First
2) Guard Your Day Off
3) Don't Check Email During Peak Productivity Hours
4) Get Out of the Office Whenever Possible
5) Start Your Day With Devotions
6) Put Together a Stop Doing List
7) Use All Your Vacation Days