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Monday, January 26, 2009

Ok, the news is out...


Well, the news is finally out. No more hints. No more subtleties. Yep, people know and it is kind of a relieve not having to keep it to ourselves anymore. Oh, in case you're not "in the know" let me inform you too, Rochelle is pregnant! The little "flutter" as the radiologist called it today is due September 8th or 12th (how's that for picking a definite date?). The heart beat is strong at 153 beats per minute and it is, well, shaped like an alien or something still. But it (he or she) is ours and we're excited.

Cori, Megan, and Emily are all excited as well and have been anticipating this for almost a year now. Every family meeting they just knew we were going to announce a brother or sister, but no, according to them we just gave them underwear, or told them we were going skiing or some other random bit of news. I'm so sorry we disappointed them all this time.

Anyway, the news is out so join us as we celebrate our coming son or daughter???

And yes, we have tentative names picked out (well, I have names I've agreed on with Rochelle but I am not so sure she is set with them yet. And having grown up with a name I have absolutely hated for 44 years I am very picky on what we call this kid... so, for those of you who want to make suggestions, thanks - but NO thanks:-)... Ok, you can make a suggestion but don't be surprised if I ignore you).


Keep us in your prayers...



Shawn

Friday, January 23, 2009

Orange and Blue go with everything, right?

Ok, I like orange and blue. I think they're bright colors that are easy to coordinate other bright colors with. Denim on the other hand is not on my top list of favorites (sorry honey), black leather on the other hand... just kidding. Hmmm, now the yellow walls as a base with orange and blue accents (curtains, pillows, bedding...) sounds ok.



So, what to do you think of that mix. I think anyone would be comfortable in a nice bright room like that, don't you. And the room has some great windows with lots of sunlight from the south/southwest. I can see it in my mind, looks cool to me (but I am not always the best judge, but I know what I like and especially what I don't). This is harder than we thought, but we'll figure out in time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I didn't know I was carrying stress?

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus invites us as His disciples to swap burdens with Him. Those things that seem so heavy and unbearable to us He welcomes and says He will give us His yoke which is easier to bear.

I honestly didn't know I was so heavy laden until last night. Rochelle and I had been a little stressed this past weekend (actually, I thought Rochelle was stressed and I was handling it well; being positive and encouraging and all), but last night I just felt completely exhausted. Not because I was carrying a load, but because I felt the load lifted. You know that feeling you get after an intense workout? Your exhausted but you know that something great has just happened. I knew God had lifted a burden from my shoulders (really, a burden I didn't know I was carrying to the extent I was). My exhaustion was my bodies response to having the weight lifted and being free from it. That weight was now on Jesus' shoulders and I was now carrying His sense of peace and confirmation that He was in control and all things were under His care.

The confirmation of that actually came earlier in the day, but the release came last night and what a release it was. For the first night in several I slept all night long and woke up refreshed and eager to face the day. Thank you Lord for the offer to exchange burdens. Thank you for answered prayer. Being reminded of how great it felt I am going to be more attuned to others carrying burdens and see if I can make theirs a little lighter as well.

Who could you and I help this week carry their burdens? Keep your eyes open to just such an opportunity.

Lead Strong...
Shawn

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is life getting busier or are we busying up life?

"WOW," that was the response I received yesterday from a great friend and brother in the Lord. He was responding to all that is going on in our lives right now. Rochelle travels a lot with her career which keeps us busy, my career is as full as I can make it (I get bored easily), we are at all of Emily's basketball games (I can't help it, I am proud of her starting on her varsity team as a sophomore... it's a dad thing), we teach Sunday School, lead a Life Group, oversee the Life Group ministry and are starting a new Life Group in February and then I had the bright idea of going to Law School to get my JD (I already have my doctorate... 1 is never enough). Add to that 2 daughter is college... maybe I should say "WOW!"

To me, it really doesn't seem like that big a deal, we just go with the adventure. Life is busy, and if it is not busy enough we just add to it (there is that ADD thing again, and I think Rochelle's is worse than mine). With all these things taken into consideration, I have a sneaky suspicion that we haven't seen the half of it. I am betting that we are about to ramp up to the height of busyness! All things consider, I'm ready for it... Bring It On!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Don't Bring 'em Down in 2009

Attitude is everything... at least it is a major part of leadership. You see it in business, family, sports, and church. When a perceived leader develops a bad attitude it seems to infect the entire organization. I work with businesses everyday, some better than others. But the one thing that sets the better than average apart is not the amount of revenue they generate, the quality of their product or the brilliance of their staff, it is the attitude of the people, especially that of the leader(s).

I see it in my daughter Emily's varsity basketball team. They started the season 7 - 1 with high hopes of winning their district. Since then they have fallen below the 500 mark and I think it can be traced back to attitude. Cockiness on the part of some of the seniors became laziness on the part of those seniors which has become heartbreak for the team as the underclassmen have been working their butts off to try and salvage the season (by the way, Em is a sophomore, not a senior). Now we have 2 seniors hurt which might turn out to be the best thing that could happen in the long run as the underclassmen are assuming starting roles and instilling a new attitude in the team.

The worst place I see attitude affecting the organization is church. In Matthew 18 Jesus is teaching us that to truly understand who God is and what our relationship with Him should be like we have to become like little children.

Children, small children, are trusting of everyone. My doctoral work was in human development. Until the age of 3 most children are like superhighways, traveling in all kinds of directions and to the chagrin of parents will run to anyone with open arms. They simply trust! Have you noticed how new Christians in your church are so trusting, but those of us more "mature" try to warn them to stay away from so and so, or worse yet, we say to ourselves, "they'll learn." How sad.

Even more disheartening is how eager new Christians are to serve, and again, those of us more "mature" sit back and say to ourselves, "they'll get over it" instead of encouraging them and letting their enthusiasm inspire us. Small children love to help. As a parent it is the time when we see them wanting to do dishes and clean their rooms and pick up after themselves (I wonder what happens?).

Jesus teaches us that we must become like these little children; trusting and eager to serve and love and reach out. He also warns those of us more "mature" that when we cause them to sin, I think He means lose their childlike characteristics, then it would be better for us to hang a stone around our necks and drown ourselves. Wow, that is severe! But that is how adamant He is about stealing the childlike characteristics away from others and passing on our bad attitudes.

I think there is a whole sermon in this, but for now I challenge you to make it a New Years Resolution to "Not Bring 'em Down in 2009!" I know I am going to be very careful about my attitude and how it affects others. I don't want Jesus to tell me to "go jump in a lake," I don't like the connotation!

Just sayin'

Shawn