Archive for November, 2008

You know … they’re just Northern

I had so much fun just hanging out with James and Brittany tonight. All the students had the day off, but James and Brit came into work since we’re heading into a six day MC weekend and, frankly, there’s things that just need to get done. I’m proud of them and their work ethic.

Anyway, we took some time to chill over dinner and I got the biggest laugh of my day when Brittany said, “you know, they’re just northern.” What was so funny was that no explanation was needed. Having lived in the south for 17 months now, I can honestly say they are just NATURALLY more friendly and loving. No disrespect to the Northern’ers meant, especially since I am one of them. But, if there was one thing I wasn’t used to when I got here, it’s the Southern hospitality … I get it and, hopefully, one day got it.

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Am I Doing Ok?

I had a friend step into my office today and ask that question, “Am I doing ok?” An unintentional comment was said by a staff member that stung. Understandably, it lead to the question, “Am I doing ok?” My resonding answer was “By all means, yes!” … then I added the “but…”

He’s in a very unique line of work that people don’t necessarily understand all the hours it takes to perform his job, nor do they understand all the “side jobs” he gets asked to do “real quick that will only take a second.” Nothing only takes a second, nor a minute.

So, my advice to him was to journal/log what he does each day … not second by second, but the chunks that take awhile. I warned him though that most people give up on the process rather quickly because it’s incredibly revealing…

1. They realize they really are wasting a lot of time
2. They realize there is a lot of stuff they should be delegating and empowering others to do.
3. They can only account for about 6 of the 8 hours.

All of that is hard to swallow. I challenged him to fight though it. We’ll see what happens.

That’s Our Girl

Next week marks the one year death of her great grandpa (my dad). This little girl (my great niece) will never know the hope that she brought our family in the middle of the darkness. For two years running, she’ll rank #1 for what I’m most thankful for this holiday season.

She softens hearts with her giggles.
She reminds us of her daddy (my nephew) with her slow growing baby hair.
She brings out the tenderness in her grandpa (my brother).
She reminds us that God is still on the throne.

Happy Birthday Sis

Actually your birthday ended seven minutes ago, but I thought about you a lot today. Hope you enjoyed the call from Jeanne this morning. Only for you! I love you.

Bubba Smith

Bubba Smith was one of the AMAZING 39 youth pastors at the Cadre this week. He is way cool. I loved what he wrote about the Cadre. You can read it here.

Levels of Grace

The conversations around here have centered around GRACE these last few days. I had an apartment blow it on cleaning before moving out for the Cadre (a couple apartments move out and spend the night with other students so youth pastors can move in). Their RA, who is an AMAZING young man, did a great job of trying to cover for them by cleaning the apartment himself, but not good enough.

There is a consequence that everyone was told up front would be the case if their apartments didn’t measure up. Not a tough one, but slightly irritating nonetheless. I told them if they didn’t do a decent job “they must just want the opportunity to do it again when Cadre comes back in town, so I’ll give it to them (ie I will give them a do-over).” Now don’t get me wrong, they love, love, love serving the Cadre and give up their apartments willingly. But like everything, moderation on that one is the key. Moving out every 3rd or 4th Cadre is great, every Cadre or two Cadres in a row would be tough.

In regard to covering for his guys, the RA’s response was “Judy, I just love my guys.” My response was, “I love your guys too, that’s why I’m going to hold them accountable. James and Kayla having to clean your apartment is not cool. Me having to still clean more after James and Kayla leave is really not cool.” Covering is cool when someone is slammed with work, but when it’s the result of laziness … no way.

In all honestly, I think I would have let them off the hook had the RA’s guys genuinely apologized to James and Kayla, but they didn’t. I’m a big advocate of a heartfelt apology. It really will cover a multitude of sins in my book. Without it, a do-over is in order. Not sure I’m right on it and in all actuality could poke some holes in it, but that’s were I’m landing.

You have to inspect what you expect. And, when your inspection doesn’t meet your expectation … tough decision lie ahead.

Cadre Phoenix

Cadre Phoenix arrived on the scene in full force. What an incredible group of people! While it was a great bunch of days, it felt like I blinked my eyes once and they had arrived and departed. I had a good handful of AMAZING conversations that I won’t soon forget. My prayer is that they were marked for all eternity. It was a packed house with 39 of the 40 showing up. To spoil them well, it continues to take about 2 MC/Staff to 1 Cadre ratio. The teams are off the hook. Everything went so smooth, right down to the Thanksgiving Feast.

The only negative part was getting a cold. My eyes are watering as I type and my voice sounds like an adolescent Micky Mouse. All is good though. After my 4:30 a.m. Cadre aiport run (I don’t have students do anything before 5 a.m.), covering the financials for the board meeting and 02 small group night at Oxygen, I’m going to to home and go to bed. Life gets easier now for a few weeks. I’m ready for it for sure.