Friday, November 23, 2007

It Works Both Ways

A few days ago, I let the participants in one of the e-groups I'm in know about our pending move. One of the more prolific pontificators of the group responded. He asked me about lessons learned in the decision-making process and how we have been shaped by the rigor of our own transformation.

I had to think for awhile, not realizing it wasn't because I did not know the answer, but because we are smack in the middle of the process itself.

Thanks to his question, I've been able to put up a rear-view mirror enabling me to look back to consider what I have gained to take ahead with me.

I'm sure there are many more insights for me to gain, but the one that is taking a hold of me now is this.

I'm a leader in the context of a team of other leaders. And I have been granted the privilege and responsibility of developing emerging leaders. I made a discovery that has impacted me as a recipient and a provider. It has to do with an area that has challenged me my whole life. It's a thing called "motivation." I didn't really realize that motivation is fueled by two boosters. One if Affirmation; the other is Opportunity. Motivation has no drive or momentum without them.

A leader of leaders certainly needs discernment in developing other leaders, But he/she also needs to make sacrifices and to be a risk-taker so that foundational roots can grasp and take hold of the nourishing soil called stewardship.

As I continue to lead others, I pray that I will be able to let go so that others may grow. So that the reign of God's Kingdom can spread and Body of Christ on earth can organically infect the world that God so loves.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An IKTHUS on the Line

In regards to putting our house "on the market" (one of the worst in many, many years) a few months ago, a very common question we've been hearing since then is - "Any nibbles?" At first I would say "No, we just keep casting our line hoping it's a good spot." About a month ago I would answer, "The bobber is moving, but we don't know if it's a passing fish or the wind blowing." Most recently, I would reply, "The bobber is actually dipping slightly under the surface." As of last night at around 9 pm I can now say, "We've got one on the line and we're carefully reeling it in - VERY carefully."

IOW - We accepted an offer last night. It looks very promising since all that is left is an appraisal and pest inspection, etc. The price was lower than we had hoped, but God has been surprising us along the way and we're confident that there are a few more ahead.

Very interesting timing. The closing is scheduled for December 21st and we move out on the 26th. So we'll have a very memorable "Christmas 2007." We've already been invited to dinner by some very close friends.

Please continue to pray for our transition. We will have to recruit strong men and efficient packers to help us load a trailer on the day after Christmas. We plan to pull out on the 27th and arrive in NC within 5-6 days.

Thanks for your interest in our lives. We'll keep you updated.

Check out our new website as well - there's fresh roasted coffee there you can purchase to help us and Mission Solano in Fairfield, CA

Have a blessed Thanksgiving,


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Journey in Song

I love many types of music and have a great appreciation of many composers and performers of my generation.

Among them is James Taylor. Many of his tunes utilize a journey theme (did he initiate this for John Denver of vice versa?).

One of his songs has become a recurring "earworm" for me. I love the melody, the words and its relevance.

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine
Can't you just feel the moonshine
Maybe just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind

Karen she's a silver sun
You best walk her way and watch it shinin'
Watch her watch the mornin' come
A silver tear appearing now I'm cryin'
Ain't I goin' to Carolina in my mind

There ain't no doubt it no ones mind
That loves the finest thing around
Whisper something soft and kind
And hey babe the sky's on fire, I'm Dyin'
Ain't I goin' to Carolina in my mind

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine
Can't you just feel the moonshine
Maybe just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind

Dark and silent late last night
I think I might have heard the highway calling
Geese in flight and dogs that bite
Signs that might be omens say I going, going
I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind

With a holy host of others standing 'round me
Still I'm on the dark side of the moon
And it looks like it goes on like this forever
You must forgive me
If I'm up and gone to Carolina in my mind

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine
Can't you just feel the moonshine
Maybe just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I'm goin' to Carolina in my mind

Monday, November 19, 2007

"How Many More Miles?"

Well, literally - about 2,670-some. If you mapquest "Benicia, CA/Hickory, NC.

My late father (one of the pioneers in the road trip history of America after Eisenhower created the interstate system) was among the first to utilize the "about one more hour" diversionary tactic to shut us up for the next 45 minutes.

I believe we are nearing that allegorical threshold as I type this entry - call it an "eleventh" one.

God has given us a bit of hope in the dreadful housing market scenario. There is a family in the next courtlet who have visited the house 3 times. And now Liz (our realtor goddess) just called (I mean when I was typing "Well, literally - about ,,,") and informed us of a family that came through on Saturday who wants to make an offer.

I would be remiss if I did not let the reader know that Teena kept saying. "I'm praying for 2 offers." Every time I heard her, I thought "She's so noble, but equally naive. Okay - I'll pray for that too. Bless your heart."

She just got home and I told her. She did a "Snoopy Dance."

Pardon me - I'm a cock-eyed optimist. I'm cautious about hope since I don't want to put myself so high with it, that I break a few limbs when the "sudden stop" occurs. I do hope that both offers will come to fruition. We'll see.

The biblical encouragement that God does exceedingly beyond all we ask or think has its balance with the two of us. Teena asks, I think.