The Disciplined Pursuit of Less - Greg McKeown

A very insightful piece about success and time and values.
It's five minutes long but easily worth the 5.




Eight years on

To give a context, eight years ago, this happened...


I think it was on Fathers Day that I was rereading one of my grandfathers old sermons and he had written in the margin, "I find it most difficult to call God my father because of my poor relationship with my own father."

We are shaped by our own relationships with parents and shape our own connections with our kids. But, we are shaped.

While dad and I were not closeclose, (I'm not sure either of us knew that at the time, or how to get around it.) I am deeply grateful that when I think of God the first word that comes to my mind is father.

Father.

The father/son thing, that shapes a lad, and though dad and I really had lots of room to grow, I am deeply grateful that between him and my heavenly father, I'm doing pretty well.

They both have given me a good name to live into.

Dad


Settling in?

When we moved to this place in a field, it was with a certain amount of fear and trepidation that we came.  After all this place had a bit of history with it's pastors and it is a place of strong people, so I felt I needed to live prepared to move on maybe one day soon. The uniqueness of this place meant that if I needed to move on from my work, I'd also need to move on from my home and my community.

That may seem like insecurity, and I'm ok wearing that title. But it is also the sort of thing that is concerned with the well being of my family and my heart. You can lay the title of concerned father on me too.

So one of the small things I did when we moved in here, was to keep the boxes. Break them down and fold them up and store them in the garage.  I do that as well when we purchase something new for the house or work here, I keep the boxes, ...for when we need to pack up and move.

Well, we're nearly done six years here. I know, it's hard to believe. Six years, and there's no indication that it's time to move on.

This sixth year has been about Lauralea and I praying and asking about ways to be here more deeply. To not be the transient people who live in the church house, who come with the church. That's not an easy thing to accomplish when your whole community is based on the place you live in the house provided for you by the church.

Then yesterday evening I had an epiphany as I was cleaning out the garage. It came on my third trip to the bin with crushed boxes which I had just decided needed to go. I realized I was throwing out boxes, burning bridges, abandoning my escape plan. I became aware of the fact that I don't need an escape hatch right now.

Then I remembered how days before I was ready to nail a fresh nail in the center of a wall to hang a picture. After six years I was ready to put a new hole in a wall, and as many as are needed for that matter. Hmm, that's a change.

And now even as I write this, Lauralea has left on a trip down the road to the Garden and Flower Shop to purchase a Plum tree and a cherry tree/bush whatever to plant in our yard. Fruit trees. For planting in (someone elses) our yard.


This is good. It means that yes we are settling in and God is answering prayer, and yes maybe we do belong here more than we feel like we do on the bad days.

And I believe that that settledness passes on to the people. Though nothing new is observed, something is transferred in the unseen. Trust grows, people listen, change happens, life increases, community flourishes.

So it seems we are making a home here. Finally.


Home


a day for fathers, 2014

I remember this picture being taken. It was in great grandpas front garden in Hague Saskatchewan. It was taken to include in a history book of the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference, and our families long history with that group of Mennonites.

Randall, Reuben, David, John


It was a photo of the men in my life. Me, Reuben (Dad), David (Great Grandpa), John (Grandpa).

They were, we were, by our own estimation, imperfect men. Men who worked hard and tried to be faithful to our families, our communities, and our God.

You work with what you've got when you live life. None of us are born perfect and I guess there is much expected of us as we learn along the way.

But being perfect was never the goal. (As I am still learning.)
Whole, life giving relationships are the goal. Living in community with others including our families, that's the goal. Living in a good relationship with God through Jesus Christ, that's a grace and a goal.

Still it's not always easy with these imperfect minds and bodies we have been handed down with.

Here's a photo I've carried around in my wallet for about a million years. Our young family.

Our family. Young.



It's a moment in time, a snapshot when most of us are smiling, which can be rare.

Being a dad was, from an early age, the only thing I felt was something I really wanted to explore and experience and know. To date it's probably the one thing that I really hold close in my life, this little community that Lauralea and I were able to come up with, with God's big help.

It's probably also the one thing in my life that I feel like I could have gotten better in many different ways. But as we all do, I did what I could, with the tools I had at my disposal.

I've helped churches get born and get better, I've helped people find God and see miracles happen in their lives through knowing Jesus. I've seen people healed and whole communities get healed, but this family that I'm the dad of, this bunch is my lifes work. This is the thing I am glad I was able to be a part of, even though my brokenness and my ways.

If I can stand before God with this family he entrusted to me, and present them to Him and have them know Him too, even in ways that will be different than my own experience with Him, then life will have been pretty much a success.


And now I am the one aging in the top photo. I am the generation handing off, passing on, praying in. I'm the only one left still here from that photo and I am working with Christ to pass things on to the next generations.

I suppose that is all a part of our journey, but my how it seems to be speeding along.


You take care, whatever part of the picture is yours this day.
Happy Father's Day.



In corporations or in your church, the best leaders are loving servants. Period.

What makes a great leader?
Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it's someone who makes their employees feel secure.




The approach sounds, familiar.

The church is training it's leaders to lead like the business world does, and the corporate world is starting to lead as Jesus suggested.

Wow.