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Monday, October 27, 2008

Nothing Broken This Weekend...

Hey, I'm so excited, I made it through the weekend with backing into a friends mailbox or breaking any more furniture. Many of my friends (and family) found something to laugh about over my dilemma. I am so glad I could brighten your day a little. Life is full of things to laugh about when we realize life is not near as serious as we make it or take it.

Rochelle was trying to grab a 20 minute nap Sunday afternoon and I was watching Home Improvement reruns (Rochelle has bought me several seasons of Home Improvement) and she said she kept hearing me laugh or chuckle (I really was trying to hold it in). She asked what was so funny? Life, even life lived out in a sitcom. Art really does imitate life. Things happen that are just funny. Case in point, the other night coming home from our Life Group we passed a man kneeling over with his shoulder against a telephone pole as he was trying to staple some sort of sign to the pole. Now at 8:00 at night in the dark it looked like he was trying to hold the pole up and keep it from falling on passing cars. As we drove by I told Rochelle how grateful I was that he kept the pole from falling on our van, which come to find out had just got a new dent in the rear from the mailbox that rear ended me. I thought it was hilarious the way this guy looked... I am sure that pole was heavy.

Could it be that some of the things you are taking so seriously right now could be just plain funny when looked at from a new perspective? Next time the seriousness of life gets too overwhelming, stop and see if you can see things through new lenses and find a reason to laugh. Life is funny and I think God finds some of the things we do humorous as well. So laugh a little and enjoy the life God has allowed you to live. It makes the journey a whole lot more fun for everyone.

Lead Strong,
Shawn

Monday, October 20, 2008

Practice what you preach... UGH!

Okay, for past two weeks I have been teaching in our Life Group about handling the "inconveniences of life" and our attitude. I know enough to know that when you start teaching about something and encouraging others God's sense of humor kicks in and you are confronted with practicing what you preach. Well, it's my turn. Last night as we were leaving Life Group I had the bright idea to back into our hosts driveway and leave their subdivision the way we came in. Who knew or could see their mailbox sitting right there. You guessed it, for my birthday this week I am buying our good friends a new mailbox and post, complete with installation.

As if that was not enough, last night I sat down on the side of our bed (which by the way is a very large and heavy framed all wood bed, not a cheapy by any means) to get ready for bed and you guessed it, the bed collapsed under me. I don't think I am over weight at 180 pounds(?).

Point is, life happens. Better a mailbox than a small child behind the van that I couldn't see. And at least our little dog Coal Miner wasn't under the bed like he usually is at that time of night.

I knew I was going to have to practice what I preach, I only hope I can continue to carry a positive attitude and display Christ in lives little inconveniences.

Lead Strong...
Shawn

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life is hectic at best... But all is good!

Wow, last month I couldn't believe it had been a month since I last posted, and now here it is, almost another month. But a lot has happened in that month. We have bought a new house. Oh, and I have to take a moment and tell you about it. It is a great 1940 home in the historic Bivins Edition of Amarillo. Great wood floors, awesome personality, a wonderful yard, great neighborhood, just a fun house. We think we have a contract coming tomorrow on our other house (God is great as we were stepping out on faith when we bought our new home!). We have moved, had some renovations and updating done to our new house, continued with our Life Group ministry at church, and I have taken on some additional responsibilities at work. I have run several 5K and 10K races and even a half marathon. Rochelle has been home for a week and a half but up until that point had been traveling every week and is back in the traveling mode again for who knows how long. And, we have started a new Sunday School class at church. But, God is so good and we both have great careers, God continues to bless beyond any expectations, and we couldn't be happier or more tired!

Cori and Megan are doing well at Southern Nazarene University. Rochelle saw them during a recent business trip to Oklahoma City and we are going there for Homecoming next month. Emily is excelling in her new high school, running Cross Country (not her favorite thing to do), and getting very involved in the church youth group (praise the Lord!). She is excited because school basketball starts next week.

Little Coal Miner (I think we have figured out that Coal is a Yorkie-Poo. And yes, that is actually a real dog breed!) is doing well and the girls are pressuring us to give Coal a playmate... a Great Dane. I'm all for it as I am a dog lover and was raised with dogs, but Rochelle is, shall we say, hesitant. But I think Coal might need a brotha or sista as we have been joking.

Okay, that about catches you up on us. Except that in all of this stuff we call Life it has occurred to me that my basic philosophy of Leadership = Relationships + Influence still holds true. In working with a realtor who has become a huge resource, a carpenter that has gone out of his way to help and even make things better than we asked or paid for, church friends and board members asking for advice as we are losing our pastor of 10 years and getting into the process of finding another, Life Group members looking for stability in the pastoral transition... all these relationships that we have built are fertile ground to become leaders in their lives. Out of these relationships they have allowed us to become influencers, and thus leaders.

Case in point, relationships happen everyday and in all kinds of places and situations. Never forget that people need positive influencers in their lives. It starts with your family but extends to work, colleagues, realtor's, carpenters, friends, church leaders, and on and on. What relationships do you have going on right now that could use a good does of positive influence? When you infuse positive influence into your relationships, no matter how old or intimate they are, you become a leader. Don't take that lightly, but don't shy away from the opportunity either. And when you think it is just too taxing on you think about how taxing it is on God when you come to Him each day asking Him to do something because of the relationship you have with Him.

Life is hectic, but in making someone else's life easier and better you do the same for yourself. I dare you to try and prove me wrong.

Lead Strong and God Bless...
Shawn