Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Future

I am trying to decide, should I talk about this future I am scared of or my past I am scarred from.

Lets just get this future idea out there and keep hiding my sin in a closet to haunt me.

Our Church, Prairie Lakes, has a simple idea of what being a Christ follower is.  The whole point boils down to:   Love God, Love People, Influence the World.

My idea is tied to the last two and driven by the first.

I think that there should be a network like Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr to serve people.  Something like Kiva that is more than money, it is time, and skills.  Quality results for God by lots of little people.  Big things done by lots of people pulling a little.  A melding of the power of social media and networking with physical action.

Somehow God is asking me to bring this idea out there.  And it scares me.  How can it be controlled?  Who is going to help me with it?

I am reminded of the well meaning intentions of a house mother installing drywall on a church mission trip. She put her heart into it, all her skills, it was what she wanted to do but she is not a professional drywaller.  The quality was just not there.   I think of the idea of the guy at the baptist church who week after week sings that special song that touches his heart, but is so far out of tune and rhythm that it takes the grace of God in everyone else to tolerate it.

How do we leverage social media with task that need to be done?  I don't know.  What tasks?  Easy ones like mowing an elderly person's yard.  Big ones like building a school at an Indian reservation.  It is on my heart to set up a platform so that the next time the pendulum of church activity swings towards service and reaching the world they can use the media available to find the opportunity that uses their skills and time to the best advantage.

It would be like a million Second Saturdays, Serve Eries, as well as summer mission trips, and who knows what else.  It would be the place churches would go to learn what they can do, for both big projects and small.

But we need to make sure that there is quality.  That skilled doctors and nurses visit and take care of peoples health issues.  That builders are building, teachers are teaching, engineers are engineering.  And Christ is in it all.

I am an engineer, a man of structure and form and God is asking me to plant a seed of a wild, fast growing, scary plant that will do good beyond measure, but it will also have failures to match.

The failures scare me.  But do they scare God?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Past

 I looked back through the posts and realized that I never took the time to write out my story. I don't know maybe it is one story, maybe it is many. I have a professional life, what I have done to make money. I have my hobby life, what I have done for fun. I have my spiritual life, where God and I intersect. I have my family life, where those people that have to be around me and I intersect. While they are all separate they are not incongruent. They fit together like one is the light of a movie, another is the sound, the third the motion.


 The one that is most important is the spiritual.

 For years now I have prayed "Thy will be done." This has come out of the fact that I noticed that when saying the Lords prayer the convenient place of needing to take a breath is exactly at that phrase. How convenient.... For years I took that prayer to be God you are great, take care of me.

 God your will be done.

 That phrase has changed my life, it has warned me of chipmunks and given me deer.  It has taken me to  India, It has given me a restless spirit longing for a home.  It has left me excited and scared again and again.

 I am amazed how the more I pray that one line of prayer the more times Jesus is intersecting in my life.  But not everything is ultra spiritual.  Not everything is the mountain top experience with the perfect and nothing but being surrounded by the glowing goodness of God.

 What are my mountaintop moments?  In the order of time, these are the ones that I remember.  Each one is a story in itself.  Some I have already blogged about, others only friends know.

 Being prayed for by four ladies speaking in tongues.
 Admitting my sin, that I could not do life on my own and needed the Holy Spirit in my life now, and Jesus is the Savior of me and the world.
 Being commissioned by God as I left college.
 Buying a house and fixing it up, only to sell it at a financial loss.
 The call to go to Chennai for a year.
 The chipmunk and so many other things of faith building.
 Attending the church I now attend.
 This future plan that I do not understand and am scared to pursue.

 I am scared to pursue it because of the scars in my life.  The sin I still have and hold onto.  The knowledge that what I am thinking of is HUGE.  Beyond my control, beyond anyones control.  But again I am reminded that my sin is my past, my sin is forgiven, my sins are forgiven.  My future IS bigger than I can handle.  But it really is not my future.  It is GOD'S future.  I have been praying for God's will to be done, and he wants to get started with HIS future.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Each person is responsible for their own education, in the classroom or out of it.

GMA set off a firestorm about unschooling here and here. I read http://walkslowlylivewildly.com/  and http://theorganicsister.com/  and as I care about people educating themselves I had long comments on their sites.  I decided to write the long response here, and to write the summary in their comments.

I was only unschooled on nights, weekends, and the summers, My parents paid for me to go to a Christian school from K-8th grade.  High school was at a public school, three years at a community college, three years at a university, and distance learning involving 5 universities obtained my Masters in Human factors after work for six years.  I wised up in the 7th grade and started taking advantage of the classes offered to control my own education  to reach the goal I set out.  I figured out that I was responsible for my own education and future at that young age.  The counter side is because I stayed in classrooms I had to meet a grading curve.  To meet that hurdle I cut corners on my homework and passed classes with high grades.  Cheating in early classes made the later classes exponentially more difficult.  It took the grace of a professor to let me pass some of my last semester classes instead of requiring me to retake those classes.

Looking back in time I can see points in time where my unschooling life was in step with my schooling life.  When I was 10 I passed a punctuation quiz with a 100% when the rest of the class had about 50%s.  Why, I did not study for it more.  I was a stage in my life where reading was very important.  I was seeing example after example of correct punctuation when I was not in the classroom.  My last semester of college I did such an excellent job animating a factory that the professor gave me a reasonable grade in his other class where I was not doing as well.

My daughter is 5, she knows when she wants to be read to, she knows when she wants to color.  She knows when she wants to be on Starfall or PBS.org.  She knows when she wants to be doing what we are doing and when she wants us to do something else.  She can play on her own, she can play with friends.  But as her preschool teacher says it, she needs to 'get the wiggles out' and sit still in the corporate learning environment.  Next year she will be going to public school kindergarten and have more practice getting the wiggle out.

Why is my daughter going to traditional school given all I have learned?

Because I work all day the choice is not really mine but my wife's with my input.  She says she does not have the patience, or the observational skills to pick up cues to be in charge of schooling.  She said we can pull our daughter out of school for sex ed.  But then what is going to happen?  She will be getting the GMA version on the playground.  She already gets the GMA versions of many other things playing with kids in the neighborhood.

It has been proven that a husband of a college educated wife will make more money than a husband of a non college educated wife.  (and gender vis-a-vis)  My question is, can a person unschool all the way to a masters degree?  Do they still need to go to college at some point?    I was downsized from two jobs because my degree did not match that of the definition of the position even though it was proven I was excelling at the jobs.   Could I be where I am now if I had not done classrooms and gotten degrees from known universities?

I listen to the Dave Ramsey show and he says a quote "You will be the same person you are except for the books you read and the people you meet."  Learning does not end at graduation.  Right now I am privileged to be able to learn from parents who are unschooling.

I am proud to know people that have taken charge of their own education and have the wherewithal to entrust their own children to take control of their own education.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Halo, there's a halo, over everyone who sees into the eyes of the least of these.

Halo, there's a halo, over every boy and girl who will overcome the world. -the Sages

Monday, March 29, 2010

Servant Leadership

I need to do this in my own house as well as outside my house.

Servant Leadership from Granger Community on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Love of fish