Monday, June 23, 2008

7 miles of hills

This past Saturday (my birthday) was our first 7 mile run. Remember this is as far as I've ever run... I let Brian pick our route, 'cause he wanted to do something "different". Well, we did something DIFFERENT all right. We took a "lovely" route through the Irish Hills, of which I think we found a few of the biggest hills in SE Michigan. On top of that, Map My Run, told us a road went through when it was actually a dead end. Ended up only adding .5 miles, but it seemed like an extra 2 miles at least! All I've got to say, is I'm sure glad Chicago is flat!

Guess which one

So, last weekend 6/13 & 6/14, my director team and I (and our spouses) went to Liquid Leadership in Holland, MI. We had two hotel experiences. Can you guess which place we stayed?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Liquid part 1

Liquid has been awesome so far! We had a great afternoon and evening, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I was going to give a brief update on the notes...but left my notes in the car and I'm the kind of person who's chained to my written notes - not my memory!
BUT... Leadership is liquid. We have to continually fill ourselves up so we can pour it out. And we have to pour on those we lead in the way they will best get it, not in the way that's best for us. Craig talked about 6.5 types of people that you lead and how you can (or can't) pour into each type.
Lots of other stuff that I have in my notes but not in my brain at 10:30pm and some great things to think about AND a very interesting non-conference experience. But I'll write about that in the next day or two when I have my picture documentation up to date. It's quite hilarious :)

Liquid Leadership

I'm off to the Liquid Leadership Conference with my directors and our spouses. It's done by Craig Jutila and his team at I'm am very excited and looking forward to this time (today and tomorrow) to soak in some more fuel for myself and my team! I'll try to post some thoughts and ideas later today if our hotel has internet. (or maybe the church will). Anyway...It's off to Holland (Michigan) we go!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Practice #7

June 8

P.R.A.C.T.I.C.E. Definition: A custom or habit of doing something.

Coaching leaders to realize and fulfill their shape and potential

Hebrews 10:24
Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds.

“A good leader takes people where they want to go and ought to be, but a great leader takes people where they don't want to go but ought to be.” unknown

How is your serving experience? Are you excited about the opportunities God will give you each week? Do you anticipate coming in on Sundays (or whatever the day of the week is that you serve)? Are you energized at the end of it?
As a Kid Crossing volunteer we want you to fulfill your shape and potential. When we say shape, we're basically talking about the way God wired you. Your Spiritual gifts, your heart, your abilities, your past experiences, and your experience. We believe that when you put all of those things together in your serving role, you'll be energized and empowered. And you'll be serving just where God wants you!
I once had a volunteer who wasn't sure that they would do very good working with kids. This individual wasn't sure what they could do to make a difference. So we talked and tried out a couple of things. We pushed the boundaries of her comfort zone a little bit. And you know what? This individual became a great Kid Crossing volunteer. She impacted many kids lives. Once we found the serving opportunity that fit her shape there was no stopping her.
My question for you this week, and as we go into this summer is are you using your full shape and potential? Are you excited and energized? If so, you are in a great spot! Keep serving God and changing lives! If not, talk with me or another KC Director. Let us help you find just the right spot to serve. When you are serving God by using your shape and fulfilling your potential, the eternal impact you will make will no no bounds!

Question for this week:
Am I using my shape and potential to change lives at Crossroads?
If I am, who can I lead to join me in changing kids lives? If not, who can I talk to so that I can use my shape and potential to change kids lives?

Friday, June 06, 2008


My family and I spent the past week in Cape May, NJ, for a family wedding, and Hershey, PA, just for fun! Cape May was a beautiful town, and I could get use to living on the Ocean... We didn't spend near enough time there. But we did get to see and visit a slew of my relatives, which is always fun.
Then we headed to Hershey, PA for a couple of days, with my brother and nephew (3 1/2) and my parents. Hershey Park is one of our all time favorite amusement parks. I went there as a kid and we've continued the tradition every few years. With schools not officially out yet, it was a great time to go. We rode the "big" rides - the major roller coasters - early in the AM and then again in the evening, after the school groups had left. Micah, our 9 year old rode all 11 this year and could hardly be bothered with anything else! Even Hannah, 6, got the coaster bug, and the last half hour we were there she and I rode 2 coasters 4 times.
It was a great start to the summer, and now Hannah and Micah are enjoying Grandparent "camp" in Vermont for the rest of June!

Running on the beach

has got to be my all time favorite run so far! Brian and I ran on the beach at Cape May, NJ, around 7:30 am Saturday. The morning was cool, the tide was out, and the sky was blue. What a gorgeous morning. We ran about 4 miles, mostly down by the water where the sand was packed. The beach was mostly empty except for a few fisherman (fishing for Sharks, one told me - and we saw the proof up on the beach) and a few walkers.
Oh yeah, did I mention we ran barefoot! ? Those who know me know this is my preferred foot attire... around the house, around the yard, around the office... It was awesome! I felt better after that run than I had for a couple of weeks.

Practice #6

June 1

P.R.A.C.T.I.C.E. Definition: A custom or habit of doing something.

Investing in others through open and honest relationships

Pilippians 2:4
Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.

“One thing for sure, if you see a turtle on top of a fence post you know he had help getting there.” unknown

One of our values in Kid Crossing is building relationships. We can't go through life on our own. Crossroads is not a small church where everyone knows everything about everyone else. Relationships very rarely just happen on their own. We have to intentionally build relationships for both kids and adults. We have to invest time and effort into building relationships.
One way to get connected and invest in others is through your serving team and in your small group. Do you know the other people you serve with? Do they know you? We always have places to be and things to do, but take a few minutes each week to chat with those you serve. Get to know them. It will make a difference in your serving experience and maybe even in your life. If you are not in a small group, find one or start one. Maybe you'll even want to start one with the people you serve with. Being part of a serving team or a small group means you'll have people around you to help you celebrate the good times and get through the tough times. If you'd like help getting hooked up in a small group talk to Melonie, Shari, or Lee and we'd be happy to help you find a place to plug in.
Investing in kids is one of the main reasons you are here! Investing through relationships means a lot more than just hanging out with them on Sunday morning. Connect with them through the week. Find out what's going on in their lives. Pray for them. Share celebrations and disappointments with them. We actually have plans to help you begin to intentionally build relationships with your kids, beginning with our K-5 small group shepherds. We're really excited about this, and you'll be hearing more about it in the upcoming weeks. We think it will make a huge difference for some of you, and the ability you will have to connect with your kids!
For some of you investing in others comes naturally, for others it will mean extra effort. But in the end, it will be more than worth it!

Question for this week:
Who am I investing in and building open, honest relationships with?
How can I invest in the lives of the kids I serve this summer, other than during small group time on Sunday Mornings?

Practice #5

May 25

Note: Going to Reston and then getting ready to leave for Vacation, really messed up my brain. Trying to catch up again!

P.R.A.C.T.I.C.E. Definition: A custom or habit of doing something.

Trusting God for the impossible, the unknown, and the unseen

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don't depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success.

“Act as though it were impossible to fail.” Winston Churchill

I'm reading a book called “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snow Day” by Mark Batterson. It's based on the acts of a dude named Benaiah, in 2 Samuel 23:20-21. Basically he kileed to of Moabs mightiest warriors, fought and killed a lion in a pit, on a snowy day, and killed an Egyptian warrior when the warrior had a spear and Benaiah only had a club. Benaiah goes on to become the captain of David's army. A pretty impressive story. But the point the author is making is that we have to trust God enough to face the impossible, the unknown, and the unseen. Because those experiences just might prepare us for something bigger and better that God has in mind. Benaiah acted like it was impossible to fail and he succeeded
Thankfully I don't think any of us are going to run into angry warriors, or lions in a pit, on a snow day. But we do face challenges. You face challenges at home, at work, and in serving at Crossroads. The question is will you run away from the challenges, or will you trust God completely, for the impossible, the unknown, and the unseen?
Proverbs 3:5-6 has been my favorite Bible verse for many years. It's so easy to start relying on ourselves, on what we know, and what we can control. But it also then becomes so easy to avoid our challenges and opportunities. The only way we can truly act as though it's impossible to fail is by completely trusting God. The only way we'll win our battles with lions, in pits, on snow days, is by letting God lead and guide us. Because if I went on my own understanding, I wouldn't be getting anywhere near that pit or the lion!

Question for this week:
Am I trusting God and letting Him lead my life?
What are my lions that I need to conquer and with God's help act as though it's impossible to fail?