Archive for May, 2009

The Night Watchman

May 29, 2009

NightWatchman_cvr.qxd:Mechanical File I finished a fiction book this last weekend!  I so rarely read fiction, that this was a real treat.

And, having invested my time, I gotta tell you, I’m looking forward to the next mystery from this author!

If I were to catagorize him, I’d say he’s a Christian Sue Grafton.  This book isn’t earth shattering – just a good police novel.  However, if you need a good read, I highly recommend it.

I have one copy to give away, just be the first to ask for it.

You can buy this book at Random House.  Have fun!

Around the World… and Back Again

May 26, 2009

Taproot Theatre has put together a night of lighthearted fun!

Around the World in 80 Days actually has no balloon!  I always thought there was a hot air balloon involved.  Now I have to go read the story.  Instead, we have a story of fun and adventure – which could have been totally boring, but the actors stole the show!

Andrew Litzky played 18 parts in total!  He was so fun and inventive, that the audience actually cheered him on as he switched from character to character!

Ryan Childers was a stable force with really good physical ability.  Particularly in using his body to depict the various modes of transportation.

After seeing Nolan Palmer in Tuesdays with Morrie, I was excited to see him in another role, and he did not disappoint.  I think I would travel to another city to see Mr. Palmer act.  He is *that* good.

My favorite part of the play was the elephant, and you will have to go see the play to see what I mean…but I am still giggling.

I did notice two spots not up to Taproot’s recent levels of perfection.  Namely, Detective Fix (Bill Johns) rides a train much like a mule, and Ms. Scadron Branner had a bit of trouble maintaining her Indian accent for the first ‘stop’ or two after she assumed that character.  Just opening weekend stuff, I’m sure.

Alyson Scadron Branner, is very fun early on in the play, and overall is a perfect match for the company.

Bill Johns maintains his character of Detective Fix well, while switching to 8 other characters throughout the play. This takes an incredible amount of skill – I couldn’t even figure out how they did some of the wardrobe changes, let alone the mental gymnastics!

Like I said, a very fun play, that is still making me giggle 4 days later.  If you need a walk on the lighter side (and who among us doesn’t right now?) I strongly recommend that you take the time to spend and evening with Taproot Theatre.

Late breaking news:  A preview is now available on YouTube. Check out the fun and hear reviews from other viewers.

You can buy tickets and learn more about the company at their website: Taproot Theatre.

Discover What God is Saying

May 19, 2009

How do you discover what God is saying in a community?

  • Listen to the questions
  • Look for the needs
  • Look for the spiritual dilemmas

Become part of the conversation.  Become part of the solution.  You are God’s hand extended.  Walk with people and listen.  Be their friend.

Imagine Jesus walking along the road.  He walked and talked a long time.   Then out of the blue he looked up and locked eyes with Zaccheaus.  He picked Zaccheaus out of a whole crowd to have dinner with.  And he didn’t preach, he had dinner. In fact, he let Zaccheaus serve him dinner.

Zaccheaus was changed by Jesus’ presence, love and caring – because He noticed.

Become part of the conversation, become part of the solution.  Pray, and God will show you what to do next.

Things I Liked Today

May 18, 2009

I’ve been delighted by a few things recently, and wanted to share:

Perry Noble’s blog this morning

Scribd Store goes live

The Innovate Conference started today.

I’m reading Frank Viola’s book From Eternity to Here.  Amazing, and really, this guy is super smart.  Here’s his blog:  Reimagining Church.

The Church Bartender Blog

Have fun!

Finding Your Place

May 18, 2009

You are significant.  You can add value every place you go.  You don’t have to become someone else.  God made you with your personality and giftings.

The point where you meet the world is unique to you.  It is a point that only you can fill.

Here is a simple way to think about how you meet your world:

Your DNA interacts with your communities’ DNA.  Because this interaction is unique, it adds value.

So, what is your DNA?

Design – what were you designed to do?  What are your natural giftings?  Are you a developer, a planner, or a do-er?

Nature – how do you relate to people?  Are you an introvert, and extrovert? Do you work best in groups or one-on-one?

Advantage – What is it about your situation in life that stands out?  What angle do you approach life from?  This could be the color of your skin, your socio-economic background, your joys or pains in life.  Your advantage or angle gives you a special perspective and lens through which you can come alongside others and add value. If you’ve accepted Christ into your life, part of your DNA involves the person of Christ.  His perspective and power are part of your conversation and add multiple dimensions to who you are.

Now that you know who you are, you need to focus on the community that you will be interacting with.  This might be your home environment, or it could be your work environment.  Where do you spend the most time and have the most potential to develop relationships?  For each person, it will be different.  Many people find that they can be part of two communities, but for the purposes of this discussion, we are focusing on one community at a time.

What is your community’s DNA?

Demographics – who are the people in your community?  What are they like? How do people show they care?

Needs – what are the needs in your community?  How (and are) they being met?

Assemblage – where do people gather?  How do people gather? What are the normal, acceptable modes of participation in the “group speak”?

As you work out these two lines of DNA, you will begin to see how they intersect.  Your perspective and advantages and giftings intersecting with the perspective, needs and personality of the community.

You were put in this community for a purpose.  What does God want to do there?  Figuring that out is a post for tomorrow.

You have a purpose, and you’ve been put in a place.  God will help you fulfill what you were designed to do.

Put Your Dream to the Test

May 15, 2009

blogWhen you dream, there is an urgency in your heart that pushes you forward, even through the great big ginormous valleys.

Sometimes, you are tempted to run to the nearest scalable wall and get out.  The only way you will reach your goal is to continue through that valley, one step at a time.

What is your dream? God created you for a dream, and now you have a tool to help you live it.

Usually, when I review a book, I read it in a week or less and blog about it.  Not this time.

I’ve been reading John Maxwell’s latest book “Put Your Dream to the Test” for about a month.  This is not a book for people who want life to stay status quo.

Put Your Dream to the Test will take you through a series of questions to bring clarity and focus for the journey ahead.

  • Is My Dream Really My Dream?
  • Do I Clearly See My Dream?
  • Am I Depending on Factors within My Control to Achieve My Dream?
  • Does My Dream Compel Me to Follow It?
  • Do I have a Strategy to Reach My Dream?
  • Have I Included the People I Need to Realize My Dream?
  • Am I Willing to Pay the Price for My Dream?
  • Am I Moving Closer to My Dream?
  • Does Working toward My Dream Bring Satisfaction?
  • Does My Dream Benefit Others?

You are unique.  You are the only person who will add value to the world in the way God created you to add value.  We need you to discover the dream He has placed in your heart and to pursue it.  This book won’t just help you, it will challenge you and energize you to be the person you were created to be.

So what’s your dream?

Leadership with Star Trek Style

May 13, 2009

In Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about getting the right people on the bus, and getting them in the right seat on the bus.  The new Star Trek movie shows us just how important this can be.

There is a critical point in the movie where a seat change is critical. If Spock had remained the captain, the Enterprise would have rejoined the fleet and Earth would have been destroyed.

Kirk had other plans.

There are different kinds of leaders, and each has strengths, weaknesses, and arenas where they will shine best.

Kirk is a bold leader.  He is the kind of leader who knows how to take risks.  Kirk’s brain makes promises his body can’t always fulfill.  He needed three things to be a success:

  • a challenge
  • a team that was each the best in their field
  • an excellent coach and mentor.

Spock is a superior leader as well.  He is the kind of leader that can develop people from any level of competency.  He, however, is linear and structured.  If he takes risks, they will be calculated risks.  He is the best person to be in the second seat behind a bold risk taker.  While Kirk is leaping for the moon (figuratively speaking), Spock will assemble a team to make a rope bridge and anchor it.  He will also become an anchor of wisdom in the sea of galactic turmoil.

The rest of the team wasn’t as developed in this movie, except to point out that they were either the best at their jobs, or particularly loyal to either Kirk or Spock.  That brings us back to the first.  To boldly go you need to:

  1. know yourself.
  2. know where you fit
  3. build a team – and make it the best team possible
  4. find a great mentor or even two
  5. add value and be the best at what you are supposed to be
  6. Get the right people on the bus, and get them in the right seat.

Save me a seat!  Blessings!

Four Places to Snag Conversations

May 11, 2009

Looking for places to grab information and conversations?

Here are some sights I hope you will enjoy:

Docstoc – educational documents online – for starters, check out their “most viewed” or “most downloaded” list. Fascinating!

Snagfilms – free documentaries – this is a great way to learn about cultures around the world from their own perspective.  Since we seem to be in a really slow TV season, this site is going to get more of my traffic I think.

Blogtalkradio – whether you want to listen to what others are saying, or create your own show, this is a cool site.  I’m taking you to some of my favorites right off the bat – IMN does some great interviews.

ScribbleLive – were you someone who always got other people’s notes from class?  This site is for you!  You can grab notes that people are taking – LIVE from whatever event they are at.  I LOVE this site!  I’ve been able to “attend” several conferences recently through this site.

I’d love to hear from you.  Where do you go to get your information on the web?

May Your Mother’s Day Be Full Of Blessings.

May 9, 2009

Mom

How I Keep My House Clean

May 9, 2009

As a woman in leadership, one of the questions I am asked most by other women is “how do you do it all”?

By this, they don’t mean how do I do…any of what I do except:

  • How do you keep your house clean?
  • How do you spend time with your kids?
  • How do you take time for yourself?
  • How do you take time for your spouse?

Today, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into my home and how we keep from being buried alive in dust, papers and dirty laundry.

First, I have routines.

Every morning I switch what is in the washer to the drier and start a new load of laundry.  I also do the dirty dishes.  We rarely do dishes at night, so if there are dishes to be done, I do them first thing in the morning.  Every day one of the kids brings in the clean clothes, switches the laundry again and starts another load.  My husband and I fold the laundry after work, and the kids put away the clothes.

Second, we have a team mentality.

Everybody has a chore every day.  When I’m working away from the home, (which I haven’t been doing for the last six months) everybody has two chores a day.  Every morning, I take time to write down what needs to be done on a notepad so that they can do their chores as soon as they get home.  It is the same notepad everyday and we leave it in the same place.  Everyone knows to look at the notepad for their chores when they walk in the door.

Note:  When life gets crazy, we are fully aware that the kids don’t live up to this expectation.  Some days they just come home and veg.  If they call and want to go to a friend’s house, the first question is: have you done your chore?  On days where they miss doing their chore entirely, we will often instill grace, and, depending on the need, they either have to do it when I get home, or do it the next day.

“Do what you gotta do before you do what you wanna do” In our home, our priorities are: home first, school second, play last.  The reason for this is simple.  I don’t want my children putting their work before their foundation some day.  I want them to know that they have to take care of their home life before their work.  Therefore, no matter how pressing school is, they have to address their chores first.  Chores never take more than 15 minutes, usually only 5; yet they make a world of difference for everyone.  Also, if I know they have a pressing thing at school, I will deliberately move them to the easiest chore for the day.

Third, I take shortcuts.

  • Clorox Cleanup is my friend.  You can spritz the kitchen sink, tub and bathroom sink, go back and rinse, and be done with all three in under 10 minutes.  It is also the best for cleaning moldy window casings – living in Seattle, this is a must.
  • Never leave a room without picking something up. I don’t do this all day, just for the 20-30 minutes that I focus on my house in the morning, and then occasionally during the day.  My kids are litterbugs.  I have found that I can always find something to put away or throw away if I scan a room as I’m leaving it.
  • The kids’ bedrooms are their responsibility. Up until age 8 or 9, I would dig them out from time to time.  My youngest is now 9, and the last time I dug her out was 4 months ago.  She is able to keep it up pretty good now.  From time to time, I simply put the brakes on their social lives until I can see the floor again.

Show, don’t tell. Our house will occasionally get out of hand, and it is because mom and dad have gotten unfocused.  My kids are in training.  They learn from me.  So, I am very real with them.  “Wow, I have gotten really unfocused.  None of us have been doing our chores, and now we are totally buried.  We are going to have to spend some time working on this place. (groanings from the peanut gallery) Here are the chores for today.  When we are done with this work day, here is the fun I have planned. (Mom thinks of something that we all love to do.)”

Okay, that’s it.  I always love it when I have company coming, because that inspires me to take a closer look and get rid of the cobwebs and dust.  Those are two things that I have a tendency to overlook.  A clean house brings down the tension for all of us and helps us all operate at a higher level.

I hope you can tell that I am not June Cleaver, and I don’t run a Barbie house.  When you come in, you won’t find wonderland, but hopefully you will find an inviting atmosphere where you can enjoy your time with us and relax because we have created a homey environment that isn’t too perfect but doesn’t overwhelm with clutter noise.