Maintenance

delete-ruthlessly

I’m not a hoarder. Really. But I do accumulate. A lot. And that applies to just about every zone of my world.

Quick check:

  • There are currently 15,993 email messages in my inbox. But that’s OK – only 7,108 of them are unread.
  • When my next-door neighbor moved out a couple of months ago, she had a whole bunch of pretty good stuff she was literally giving away – said take anything I wanted. So I did. Now it’s all in my garage, and one day I’ll get around to figuring out what all I got.
  • Right now I’m wearing a t-shirt I got in 2003. It’s still hole-less and relatively stainless, so it stays in the rotation, which now occupies two big drawers because one wouldn’t hold them.
  • Oh, and books. Way back in the day I kept up with exactly how many I had. Suffice it to say, I lost count. Now, counting ebooks, I have three libraries in three locations. And one of my New Year’s resolutions, if I had any (which I don’t) is to actually try to read some of them.
  • I have a to-do list that’s as long as your arm, but if you asked me to do something, I would most likely say yes if it were in my capacity to do it.

I could go on, but I fear that some of you who are really organized or efficient are starting to get hives, and I don’t want to cause you to stumble.

The point to all this is that I have a huge “front door” when it comes to gathering up things to do, be, and have and a naturally disorganized, balls-in-the-air approach to managing all of it.

Until I have to. Last week I had to. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Grandpaw and Archer

(My dad with Great-Grandchild #9, Archer Wiley)

 

I’ve been simmering on this for a while, and I figured since I’m away from home this Father’s Day, this would be a good day and a good way to honor my dad.  My daughter Carrie did this for me last year and reposted it again here.   I also wrote this about what I learned from my Mama last year.

Regardless of the many influences and teachers I’ve been blessed by over the years, none of them has taught or influenced me more than my dad. I have mentioned often that I was blessed to have a father who actually wanted to be a dad and influenced me to want to be one.  With 8 grandkids of my own now, I would say that desire has definitely passed through to another generation.

There are many practical things my dad taught me over the years, including how to drive a nail, play dominos, put on a jacket without bunching up your sleeve, ride a bicycle, and bathe the 36 different body parts that need cleaning up every day.

But what interests me most are the ideas that still speak to me today as principles.  These are transferrable to almost any endeavor. I could just as well title this, “Ten Things My Dad Would Teach to Pastors,” or “Ten Things My Dad Could Teach to School Teachers.”

So here, in no certain order, are ten lessons that still speak to me most every day.  I’m sure there are many more than this, but these are for starters.  See if they don’t speak to you on some level, while my daddy says, “Your welcome!” [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

goose-golden-eggRemember the story Aesop told about the goose and the golden egg?  The implications and applications are powerful, so let’s take another look.

The fable is about a poor farmer who one day discovered in the nest of his pet goose a glittering golden egg.  At first, he thought it must be some kind of trick.  But as he started to throw the egg aside, he had second thoughts and took it in to be appraised instead.

The egg was pure gold!  The farmer couldn’t believe his good fortune.  He became even more incredulous the following day when the experience was repeated.  Day after day, he awakened to rush to the nest and find another golden egg.  He became fabulously wealthy; it all seemed too good to be true.

But with his increasing wealth came greed and impatience.  [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

The LifeVesting Cycle

Stage 1:  Allocate your resources.
Stage 2:  Explore the possibilities
Stage 3:  Follow your passion
Stage 4:  Execute your plan

Stage 5:  Protect Your Investment

Years ago, a Detroit homeowner went to check on his five-bedroom house.

It was gone.

As in, completely removed down to a vacant lot, gone.

Completely baffled, he asked the Detroit Free Press to help him find out what was going on.  A reporter learned that not only was the house gone, but the deed to the empty lot was in someone else’s name.  What had happened?

For starters, several years had passed since the homeowner had left the city without providing a forwarding address.  Moreover, he had failed to make arrangements for someone to keep the property in repair.  So the house was torn down because a city ordinance called for the removal of neighborhood eyesores.

Gives a whole new meaning to “Snooze, you lose,” doesn’t it?

Want to see a farmer laugh?  Tell him you’re going to plant corn or tomatoes or something, take a three-month vacation, and come back to pick your harvest.  Sorry, Mr. Douglas.  It doesn’t work that way, in Hooterville or anywhere else.  Investments of any type require care and cultivation.  Jesus’ story of the sower and the four types of ground show just how rare a harvest really is. The seed that fell on the hard path became birdseed.  The seed that fell on stony ground sprang up rootless.  And the seed that fell among the thorns choked.

Investments – seeds of all types and the environment they’re planted in – require nourishing.  That means breaking up the hard, resistant places, deepening the shallow places, and pulling the weeds.  Did I mention that this was work?  Where every day hurls new surprises and challenges?  But if the harvest is worth it (and you will wonder at times), then the cultivating is worthwhile.

In order to experience the return you want, your investments require your attention, diligence, and adjustments.  Mind if I switch metaphors?  Hebrews 12 talks about the same idea, only it uses the imagery of a marathon race, and you’re the runner.  Based on the imagery in this chapter, here are four ways to protect your investment: [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Dude, Where’s My Phone?

by Andy Wood on July 7, 2008

in 100 Words

Hotline 3Problems are real.

Promises are important.

And the faith that clings to them often fragile.

That’s why it’s a good idea, if you’re offering yourself (or your church or organization) as the solution to somebody’s possibly-desperate problem, to make absolutely certain that somebody is there to answer the phone.

Or that the phone is actually there in the first place.

They may not be thinking about jumping off.

Maybe they just need a tank of gas…

A safe, friendly voice…

Or answers without religious jargon or clichés.

Maybe they just need to know where to find a phone that works.

 

 

 

(Photo – Taken on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge by Throwingbull.  Used by permission.)

{ 1 comment }