Those that Came Before Us

I’ve waited a few weeks to post this as I know the rumor mill regarding my parents, but after the “revelation” I’ve had over the past two weeks, I want to share something I’ve learned.

My Dad’s in the middle of some transition and he’s moving to Nashville. While he gets planted in this community, he’s staying with us. I shared this with a couple of friends and they shared their concerns/hesitations about this. We had a few of our own, but something hit me like a lightening bolt: I’m getting the opportunity to return the investment my Dad made in me.

My parents are both pretty wise, both are “people” people. They instilled leadership, solution finding, and excellence in me for as long as I remember. Almost all of the blessings I enjoy in my life today are as a result of what they invested in me. Dad staying here with us for a few weeks/month while he gets his roots planted in Nashville is just a chance for the investments my Dad made in me to be returned to him. Most folks don’t get to give back to their parents until their old… we get to do it today.

Are you investing for your future in your relationships, not just your 401K?

mjd

The Dreaded “DTR” – Volunteers

Whether you’re volunteering for a professional society like ASTD or a church, you’ve got to know ahead of time what you’re committing to, you’ve got to have a DTR (define the relationship) talk. Are you going steady (are you completely dedicated and volunteering for one organization), or do you have to split your time between projects? How much time per day/week/month are you able to give? What meetings/rehearsals are you expected to attend? What happens if you can’t meet the deadlines you’re given?

As I’ve said before, we’re in the middle of transition, we’re picking up responsbilities in multiple areas at our church, in addition to the opportunity to serve on the local board of an ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) Chapter and Co-Chair the Technology committe for a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) conference.

With each committment, we’ve asked about the time required, the resources available, and the vision behind what we’re doing? Are you good at asking DTR questions, or do you get run over when you volunteer?

Winds of Change

I’m/We’re in the middle of some major transitions that will dramatically increase the number of posts to the blog:

1. With the beginning of 2009, I’m taking up a brand new position on the board of the local chapter of the American Society of Training and Development. For some of my readers from church, I’m going to post more soon about what a professional society is and what its purpose. It’s a completely volunteer position, but as Director of Technology, it’s my job to research new technologies for communications for the local chapter and roll them out.

2. Today is officially my last day in Business Unit 129 (Oil & Gas Services) and I transition to Business Unit 108 (E-Learning). My role is switching from the Training Developer to the Lead Developer. The title change is small, but the responsibilities are drastic – a major reduction in travel and actual development of training materials, to a majority of my day spent in teleconferences directing small project and teams of training developers.

3. Changes at the Oasis. Not enough time or clarity to go into details yet, but the church is in the middle of transition. Great transition! Exciting transition! The church has literally doubled in size over the last 12 months. This weekend we are getting ready to launch more leaders into the greeter and parking ministries as we begin transition leadership of this ministry to other more capable and more focused hands. We launch the Murfreesboro campus this spring and exciting things are ahead…

TRANSFER!!!

GREAT news!!! I found out on Tuesday that I got my internal transfer. It should take place in early January. The functions of my job will be changing from the focus on developing materials to leading small teams of developers with only small amounts of training material development myself.

It looks like travel will soon reduce from 50-75% to around 10%! WOOOHOOOOO! I can have a life again.

The contract I’m transferring to has had some problems as of late, but that’s here I tend to excel. I’m praying for amazing favor and I want to come out of the gate rocking! I get to work with some amazing folks. It’s a whole ‘nutha level with a gigantic learning curve – BRING IT ON!

mjd

Thanks

I’d like to take a second to say “thanks” to all of our Veterans – especially my great-granfather, Abe Wunsh. Granpa (that’s how you say it in the North) Abe passed about 4 year ago, but not before he shared some stories from serving in WWII. Here are a few highlights:

He got shot in the middle of a battle while using a latrine, he felt something sting, but didn’t realize he had taken a shot to the butt. 25 years later, they found the bullet in his rear during an x-ray for another surgery.

Granpa Abe and another man in his division comandeered a German truck, but when more allied troops found them, they were arrested for a few hours until they could prove they were American.

He was once in a fox hole and had a German mortar fall at his feet, only it didn’t explode.

My Grandfather spoke “Jewish German,” and he actually came into Germany a few weeks after American troops liberated Jews from the Concentration camps. He spoke with many of the men who had been in the camps and heard the stories from them of what happened in the camps… he wouldn’t dare repeat any of them to us.

Today, I get to share those stories with you without any perspective on what it was like to be there in those times, serving his nation like he did. I’m so proud of him and the countless others who have sacrificed for us to have our freedom.

Titles

Thanks Fred, for your comment on my last post – it raised another thought inside of me.

I started on staff at a church when I was 19, and make no mistake – I wanted to be called “Pastor.” I think I lusted for titles more than anything else in the world. If I could have managed a way to do it with false humility, I probably would have worn a shirt every day with the word “PASTOR” plastered across the front. A couple of months into my position, I heard a teaching at a Bethany WPC conference by Claudia DeFejardo – it rocked my world. I got crazy-infatuated with loving people and not so worried with what they called me.

The funny thing is, that’s never who my dad was – he was always my example in ministry – but everyone called him BK. He never introduced himself as Bro. Kenny – he was just always Kenny to whomever he met.

One day at FC (about 3 years later), one of the church secretaries was trying to complete a list of phone numbers and she was worried about giving anyone the wrong title, so she asked my dad what my title was – he said he didn’t know. She asked what his title was and he said he didn’t know. I think we agreed that our titles didn’t matter – just call us “Bob” for all we cared.

Titles are a seductive thing at moments – but they contain little value. They may get you in the door, but I promise, they won’t keep you there. Christine Caine’s quote “What is ON you, will DESTROY you, if what is IN you, can’t SUSTAIN you.” In time, no matter what you call yourself or ask others to call you, your true colors will shine through :).

Today I’m a lot more concerned with BEING than I am in what I’m labeled. Titles are good for business cards, but you’ll know whether or not your pastoring by the late night phone calls, the tough situations where you have to deliver truth, the times of shepherding that take you to the limits of your own knowledge and wisdom, and the hurt that comes with all of it.

Thanks, Dad!

mjd

Stimulus Check

Chelsea and I have talked for months about the stimulus checks. It seems like “dirty money” to us. Our government doesn’t have a couple hundred billion dollars to shell out – they’re in debt. We should be receiving the deposit sometime this week into our checking account (b/c of our social security numbers and that we had our refund directly deposited). We talked about saving it or applying towards bills, but I think we’ve settled on buying a MacBook. We have tried to avoid going into any more debt, and this money would be an awesome opportunity to buy a Mac without going into debt. Add to that the fact that we don’t actually own our own computer (we both have laptops from work) – and you see why we’d like to get one soon.

Hmmm…. What do you think and what are you doing with your stimulus checks?

mjd

The Journey Continues…

It’s been a good week. I miss my wife like crazy, but I pick her up in 4 hours – WOOHOO!

I got a phone call from Pastor Danny this weekend and he invited me to visit the ARC (Association of Related Churches) conference with some other guys from Oasis. Good times! We missed the first session (which I’ve got to download – ASAP), but we started off Tuesday morning with speakers Greg Surratt, Dino Rizzo, I went to some breakouts yesterday afternoon, and then we finished the night with a message by Brian Houston.

I’ll write more about their sessions later, but I do want to say that I loved being around these ARC folks for two days. They’re Spirit-filled believers who aren’t nutso. They have passionate worship, but they’re always seeking to disciple their people, they’re not in competition with each other.

I think the biggest thing I walked away from is an awe for what God is doing through the body right now. It’s an unprecedented time of co-operation and unity within the church body as a whole. LifeChurch.tv’s One Prayer series is a springboard to seal the deal with what’s been developing for years. The more I see, the more excited I get about the state of Christianity in our nation. The call from Bethany and the charismatic realm for repentance right now is pivotal to this continued unity. Oh yeah – did I mention that Jonathan Falwell even spoke for a few minutes at the conference – unprecedented time of unity in the body.

A lot was going on inside me at the same time. God’s been revealing a lot about our future to us recently, and this conference really confirmed a lot of that in my heart.

mjd

Thanks, Bryan

This is by no means a good-bye, but just a moment to say “thanks” to a good friend of ours. Despite the craziness of the past 6 months, we wouldn’t trade a minute of this journey to Nashvegas. I think Chel and I look at each other 4 or 5 times a week and say “I love where we live.” As tough as this part of the journey can be for me, I’m also grateful for where we are in every part of our lives.

The funny but quick point of this post is to say thanks to Bryan and Dana. Bryan attended FC with us in PB, but we didn’t know him well then. He moved to Nashville and got involved with UC a couple of years later. When UC was looking for some folks to lead worship, Bryan recommended us. We didn’t want to leave home – as dissatisfied as we were about how things were going there. God told us to pick up our bags, and 3 months later, we did.

Bryan moved this past weekend to Seymour, TN. He is building a launch team for Summit Church to launch sometime this fall. I went and helped him load the U-Haul on Friday morning and then the three of us hugged and prayed. I’m so excited for their future – for what God’s going to do – but there’s just something about having some touch of FC, some touch of old friends around that I’m going to miss a lot. We didn’t get to spend much time hanging out this year, but there was just something about having them local to us.

I talked to him yesterday and they’re starting to unpack and get settled – it makes me incredibly excited for them!

Thanks, Bryan and Dana, for being an instrumental piece in bringing us into this season of our lives…

mjd

Personal Mission

I’m working to really define on paper what my goals are and what my mission is. Where there is no vision, the people will perish. I always want to see churches and people find their purpose, but I would never write down my own. As I’ve been working to form this over the past two months, it’s already begun to rearrange my priorities – refocusing on becoming who I need to be – more time in the Word, more time with Chel, more time reading and listening to CDs/podcasts, and engaging in networking. If I could sum it all up, it would cross into all areas of my life with this statement:

To help people and organizations become intentional and productive through personal development and process improvement.