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Friday, March 12, 2004

Changing Locations

I am moving my blog site to heavyrevvies.blogdrive.com This probably will not show up as a link.... another reason for moving my site. Please come see me!
Where Is A Sermon When You Need One?

I am sitting here, frustrated and stuck. I can't seem to get a single coherant sermon-like thought process going (unlike the other half of my brain who was able to crank out TWO devotions this week! Smart aleck!). I know I am tired, but it is 1:00 on a Friday. Not much time to prepare a sermon and worship and a meeting for Sunday. I keep thinking if I sit here and type long enough, something spiritual will eventually tumble off my fingers onto the screen. Is that like the writing on the wall? I want typing on the screen!

Oh well. This isn't working either. Guess I'll go for a walk and seek inspiration from the sunshine and blue sky.

"The cure for writer's cramp is writer's block." Inigo DeLeon
Well, That Job Was Short-Lived!

I quit! Not a phrase I use very often, but a phrase I spoke with clarity and conviction at 8am this morning! I started working at the Dollar General in Sun Prairie on Wednesday night. What I was told when I accepted the position and what really happened are two totally different things!

First, I was told I would be given part-time hours and that my ministry goals and purposes were understood. No Sundays, hours that would not interfere with my needed study/prep time. Reality Check: I worked 20 hours in two days. I was told that I could get off at 4pm on Friday if I "motivated" everyone to do as the manager said and got them working harder. I was the new guy! How was I supposed to motivate people that were already way too tired of his attitude? He informed us at 6pm last night (after we have been there since 8am) that we would be working until 10pm as we did not get what he would call sufficient merchandise to the floor. We didn't get more out because he made us reset the toy aisle 4 times. This is a job that should have taken 4-5 hours at the most and we were not finished at 8pm last night. In 12 hours we changed it and changed it and changed it. Never did he compliment. Never did he roll up his sleeves and show us what he wanted. Instead he would say "Let me challenge you with this..." HA! I'll give you a challenge!

Second, this man is super neurotic and anal retentive and NOT management material. At one point yesterday, he brought out a picture of the toothpaste aisle at a Target he managed, and shoved it in each one of our faces and screeched "This is who I am. This is what I want. Got it?" 'Nuff said about that.

Third, his crew works their tails off for minimum age and maximum abuse. When I told him this morning exactly why I was quitting and that he had an excellent crew that works their tails off for no respect or notice from him, he replied, "Well, you haven't been here. They are used to it." I promptly told him that they should not have to be "used to it" and that he was rude to think they should have to.

So, the longer I thought about it the madder I got. I talked to the assistant, and she said when she got her store that she would hold a place for me. She agrees totally with everything I said and that she is only hanging on until they get her store open.

I called Corporate and reported his behavior. No sense sitting back and letting others suffer at the hands of this jerk. They are good people who need their jobs in order to survive. He knows this and is taking full and total advantage of it. No one deserves that kind of treatment.

"So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work." Peter Drucker


Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I Confess...

... I wonder why Steve puts up with me.

... I am blessed that he does put up with me!

... Steve is the love of my life.

... I am beginning to look forward to NASCAR races on Sunday afternoons (Go Dale Jarrett! #88).

... I love football.

... I feel inadequate as a pastor.

... I want my Mommy!

... I am a sinner.

... I miss my friends in Oklahoma: Linda, Doyle (who is now in Texas), Pat, Sharon and Debbie.

... I feel lonely in Wisconsin.

... I hate fish and anything that comes out of the water!

... I worry about Steve finding a job that he loves and provides well for us.

... I feel like a big fraud at times.

... I love what I do.

... I feel helpless.

... I miss Indiana.

... I have been blessed by God.

... I have awesome friends in Linda (Slap Sister Socializer); Bill (the otehr half of my brain); Pat (my culturizer); Doyle (my Big Toe); and Debbie (my Crisis Calmer).

... I am doing what I have always wanted to do... preach and pastor a church.

... I drink too much Diet Pepsi.

... I admire my mom.

... I love my Adam, my Angel and my Lynzi more than words can say.

... I adore my family (even George)!

... I miss my G.A.N.G. from Grandview Community Church.

... I wouldn't change a thing.

... This list has gone on long enough...
Blogger Idol

There is a Blogger contest going on each week, from the fines folks at the Living Room, with bloggers from all over blogging about whatever topic Darren comes up with. This isn't a win or lose situation like American Idol. No Simon Scowl to pick on people. Just the chance to get to know fellow bloggers better. Following is my entry for this weeks Blogger Idol!
Box Elder Bugs

This is getting ridiculous! I am being over run by these pesky little creatures in my office! Upstairs we have Japenese beetles that sun themselves in the stained glass windows, and down here I have Box Elders out the wazoo! Heeeeeeeeeeelp!


"There are scores of thousands of human insects who are ready at a moment's notice to reveal the will of God on every possible subject." George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
What To Do Now?

I went with Steve this morning to the second meeting at Bernard Haldane. I really like the guy we talked to. Made a good contact for the church as well. But, this was the meeting where it came down to the amount of money it will cost. $3200.00! Paid upfront. They are supposed to help equip him with the abilities to get a job on his own, such as resume' refinement, interview etiquette, etc.

When we got home there was a message from the TechSkills school here where he can go to get the certifications he needs to land a good job. They were able to get us approved for a Sallie Mae loan (one you pay as you go to school) for him to start getting some of the certifications. The loan will not pay for the tests that are $125 each, but it would cover as many classes as he can cram into a year.

My thoughts are that he needs the certifications whether or not he goes throught the Haldane people. We can't possiby afford both, so it would seem that going to school would be the thing to do. He could start right now while he is still looking for a job, going all day if he wanted, and when he was employed they would arrange his schedule for that.

I checked with Dollar General about my job. I have been okayed by HRIS but they still don't have the background stuff yet. Now they are saying that the manager is supposed to call them and get it started! When did that happen? So... hurry up and wait some more. I hope I can start before their grand opening on Saturday.

Lord! I really, really, really, really, really hate not knowing what is happening! Or when it is going to happen! Give me patience and give it to me now!

"For the choir director: A psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the LORD. Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD, who have no confidence in the proud, or in those who worship idols. O LORD my God, you have done many miracles for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them." Psalm 40:1-4

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I've Been Thinking...

What can our little tiny church offer to the community of Madison that no other church can claim?

What makes us unique (other than the fact that we are the only Church of God, Anderson in Madison)?

Why would someone come back here after visiting?

If we had a great influx of people, where would we put them?

Is there a point to having thousands of dollars in a building fund when we don't have enough people to fill the building we have?

Wouldn't the money be better served purchasing a decent sign for the property and some informational thingies that we can hand out to the neighborhood?

What is the ultimate goal of our church? Status quo or to break out and really influence some folks for Jesus?

Just some thoughts I need answers to... and the answers seem so very far away!

"When life seems chaotic, you don't need people giving you easy answers or cheap promises. There might not be any answers to your problems. What you need is a safe place where you can bounce with people who have taken some bad hops of their own." Real Live Preacher, RealLivePreacher.com Weblog, August 12, 2003

"Good questions outrank easy answers." Paul A. Samuelson

And Now... A Profound Statement from One of My Students....

"Children in the dark cause accidents.

Accidents in the dark cause children."

Sarah C.- age 14
The Other Half of the Brain Thanks You!

Steve heard form the UW last night via e-mail that he did not get the job he interviewed for. His response was "Oh well! That is THEIR loss!" Praise the Lord! That is the first time in weeks I have seen that fire again. He met with a man from Bernard Haldane today and I am supposed to go back with him tomorrow. They help you with interviewing and resume's and are supposed to have access to the jobs that are not advertised. We will see. They also charge you after the initial meeting, so my question is how do they expect payment from two unemployed (well, one of us is employed but not paid!) people? Will know more tomorrow.

Had a terrific talk with the "other half of my brain" today. People would swear that Bill and I share a brain, because apart neither of us make a half-wit! Thanks Bill, for helping me sort some things out and get me back on track. Right after we talked about leadership issues, I opened my Bible and read the entire book of Nehemiah (that was where it opened). I never realized the plethora (how is that for a big word?) of information on leadership found in that book of the bible. WOW! Here were my deductions on how to lead like Nehemiah (with some help from the Life Application Bible):

1. Have a clear purpose and keep evaluating it in light of God's Word and His will.

2. Be straightforward and honest.

3. Live above reproach.

4. Be a person of constant prayer.

Sounds like a plan!

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head--that's assault, not leadership." Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969)

"Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard." Peter Drucker


Monday, March 08, 2004

How People Find Me

I just checked my Groovystats meter. Here are the searches that people have done that led them to my blog.

* Gil Stafford
* Great is Thy Faithfulness.mid
* Huck Finn Levites (this one cracks me up!)
* Sermon on Ezekiel:22:23-31
* the Greek word for Family love and love for brother and sister

Now... How would Huck Finn Levites bring someone here?

And what is a Huck Finn Levite?

A hillbilly priest?

This Weekend

This has been an awesome God weekend! I drive people crazy sometimes because I have to "bring God into every conversation". Well..... I AM NOT SORRY! God is completely and totally awesome! He blows my mind all the time with how much He loves me and cares for me. He is always watching me and knows my every need. He is faithful!

I prayed this week for encouragement and He sent it in the form of Don and Linda. I prayed for affirmation of his faithfulness to this church. I specifically prayed for there to be eight people in the service on Sunday. We had NINE! Just try and tell me God is not the God of answered prayers! I prayed that I would deliver His message as He wanted, and that there would be people here who needed to hear His message. Afterward, folks were telling me it was exactly what they eneded to hear. And I thought I was studying and experiencing His faithfulness just for me this week! He was preparing me to share it with His children! Have I mentioned how much I love God?

Last night 7 of us went to "The Girls are Back in Town" concert with Sandi Patti and Chonda Pierce. It was a gut-busting hilarious time. I don't know if I got more tickled at the ladies or at Larry realizing what I had been trying to tell him about the concert.... men were going to get picked on and picked on good! This wasn't going to be your average Sandi Patti concert... and Chonda and Sandi did not disappoint! The end was incredible with a song that Chonda sang with the chorus saying "I love You, I love You, I love You. I love You, I love You, I love You. I love You, I love You, I love You. My heart will follow wholly after You." I have got to find that song! It hit me all the way to my core. I do love God! I love Him more than I can express in the mere words afforded me in the english language!

Steve got a call from Sundial Corporation, about a possible position as a technician on a temp assignment in Milwaukee. They have to have 10 people in place by tomorrow to get this contract and they said they have 7 right now. It would pay well and he would get a per diem for the travel to Milwaukee every day. He is off faxing the employment contract to them. The job would start on the 22nd. That would still give him a couple of weeks to check on the airport and to hear from the UW. He is more positive in his outlook about the job situation. I attribute that to the way God is movng and the many prayers that have been happening from folks all over. We are so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who believe in the power of prayer!

"God does not waste an ounce of our pain or a drop of our tears; suffering doesn’t come our way for no reason, and He seems especially efficient at using what we endure to mold our character. If we are malleable, He takes our bumps and bruises and shapes them into something beautiful.” Frank Peretti, The Wounded Spirit.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Now Isn't This Interesting?

Medieval: The early days of music. You are often in
a minor key, with set intervals between the
notes. You are ruled by religion and most of
your lyrics are Latin, often the same phrases
over and over.

What Era of Music Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Woodstock is My Favorite!

You are Woodstock!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Interviews, Letters, and Job Related Stuff

Steve has the long awaited interview with the University of Wisconsin Department of IT this morning at 9am. It has been a rough couple of days as satan has been attacking full force and trying to allow doubt to creep in. Doubt about who Steve is, why we are here, that he is never going to find a job, etc. All the conniving, evil, dirty ways satan likes to mess with our minds. Satan just keeps forgetting, though, that he is not in charge around here! Jesus is! So under our feet and out the door with your ugly self!

Steve also got a letter from the Dane County airport yesterday, informing him that he has passed onto the second phase of their search for an IT person. Now he has to write a three page paper explaining why "He be da man!" The job description reads like it is tailor made to him specifically. With his love for all things that fly, this would be such a cool job for him to have. Of course, either job, whether at the UW or the airport would still allow him to return to school and get the certifications that are so important in his field.

I do have to thank my God for the fellowship we had last night with Don and Linda. It was a relaxing evening, and apparantly Don said some things to Steve that were profound and truth that he couldn't hear from me. Linda gave me a much needed time of just girl talk and lots of giggles. I am so thankful God put them in our lives.

Lord, you are, once again, blowing me away with your ways. Just when I think I am doing it wrong, or think I can't take any more, you send us friends who encourage and love us and set us back on our feet again. Thank you for using Don and Linda to love us greatly!

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

My God is Awesome

Have you told you lately what an awesome God I serve and love?! He is so incredible. He amazes me every day... always seeming to sneak in and make Himself known in such cool ways! I got a cool letter from Abbie... with a note from Sam and Keith. I got to talk to Sam on IM. I am going to Don and Linda's tomorrow for the afternoon. I worked a while with Diane today cleaning a house and got to have a good conversation with her. Got an e-mail from Doyle (my big toe!) and Marie. I got to talk to Mom on the phone. I am married to Steve! And I am serving in an awesome church in an awesome city with some awesome people!

Did I mention that today is awesome?

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." Charles Mingus

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

I have been trying all day to focus on studying for this week's message. but thoughts of the past 24 hours keep playing in my head. When I begin to waver and wonder whether I was really listening to God in coming to Wisconsin, He jumps out and makes things obvious again. Just now, I was praying and crying out to Him about Steve's job situation. He is so depressed and keeps calling himself "El Stupido". I just fall apart when he says that. It breaks my heart that he doesn't see how terrific and wonderful he is.. and how blessed I am to be married to him. I have a positive feeling about the UW interview on Friday... but I don't want to express that out loud and have him hurt again. So, as I was praying, and asking God when and how and why and where... the CD playing in the background (Dino: Quiet Moments) suddenly seems louder and I hear "Great Is Thy Faithfulness":

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Copyright © 1923 Hope Publishing Company. 380 South Main Place, Carol Stream, IL 60188.

And I remembered all the times He has been faithful. Providing me with a caring, loving, sensitive man to love me and make my job easier. Bringing us here and providing the funds to do it. Eastside paying me my backpay from Grandview. A home to live in and utilities provided. Giving me a job at Dollar General (oh yeah! Just walked in and they called by the time I got home to come back and fill out the paperwork... just have to wait on the background check... you know.. I could have robbed a bank in the past 45 days!) My new boss is a Christian- who had questions about our church. A "chance" conversation with a neighbor named Tim who had some incredible insights into what the neighborhood needs in a church.

And so I know that God is faithful. He always has been and He always will be. Psalm 54:4 "God is my helper! The Lord is the provider for my life." Praise the God who is and was and will always be. He is my Provider!

JEHOVAH-JIREH: "The Lord will Provide." Gen. 22:14. From "jireh" ("to see" or "to provide," or to "foresee" as a prophet.) God always provides, adequate when the times come.

JEHOVAH-JIREH! You are my provider! You know exactly what I need and you have already forseen the way it will happen. Give me courage to wait and know that You have all my interests at heart. Help my faith not to waiver when I can't see what is happening. Lord, I want to focus only on You!

Psalm 54:4 "God is my helper! The Lord is the provider for my life."


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