This week in Room 1501 and the rest of “my world”…I’m convinced I had the busiest week of my life.
Below is a list of things that took place in a short 5 day period.
Obviously I had 6 Bible classes of school each day with Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors…7:15AM to 3:15PM.
The Mission Organization I founded and lead called “Return Hope International,” began drilling 3 fresh water wells in Africa. Uganda Africa is 10 hours ahead of Arizona Time, so you can imagine the crazy times I was corresponding to move on with the details of it all.
My two High School Football boys started their year end football state playoffs. We won our first round and are moving on!
I’m the Assistant Coach of the Joy Christian High Varsity Basketball Team. Practice began Monday and was everyday from 7-9PM.
I prepared and led our All Staff Devotion at 7AM on Wednesday Morning, then Joy High’s state playoff girls volleyball team devotions on Thursday at 3pm.(They made it to the 3rd round of state before their season ended…that’s pretty incredible.) And…I led the football team in a quick devotion on Friday at 2:45pm before their game. (It is such an honor to do Bible Devotions anywhere anytime. I’m humbled by the opps)
I had a Wedding to officiate this week, which meant a Rehearsal on Wednesday Night and then the actual Wedding on Friday night. I was able to get done with the Wedding just in time to get to Joy’s 1st round of State Playoff Football game by 7PM! Did I say we WON?!
I’m Grateful. But full! (I’m probably no busier than the rest of you reading this.)
The past two days…I’ve been trying to do NOTHING!
If your life is as crazy as mine…then maybe the 10 things I had to be aware of this past week, might help you too.
1. When you know what you are about to do is going to have great results, then Don’t wait for approval, or permission…go for it. Deliver! Worst case scenario…if it doesn’t go well…then ask forgiveness and move on. At least an attempt took place. Usually when you are waiting for approval…the opportunity to react/respond/act or move, expires…and you miss the opportunity to act all together.
2. It’s okay to commit mistakes. When things are moving so fast and hectic, there isn’t always a lot of time to stop and think. Sometimes the temptation is to jump out of the race and stop moving and doing. But I say, Don’t quit. Get it done. Go for it!
3. Run…Run some more. Fast…steady…focus on the good work that needs to be done. Focus on the most important. You are going to have to prioritize when you have a crazy busy schedule. Prioritize the most important stuff first…not the urgent. Many times you’ll end up chasing all the urgent and then suck at the important stuff that needed to be done well. There is nothing worse than being really good at stuff that doesn’t matter…I fear some live their entire lives doing what I typed in that previous sentence.
4. If something must be done…Then doing it even a little mediocre is better than not doing it at all. (Sometimes you just have to live by the “GOOD-ENOUGH” principle. (Ignore this point if you are building bridges, doing surgery on me, or dismantling a bomb.) CAN YOU THINK OF SOME OTHER THINGS WE CANNOT DO IN A MEDIOCRE MANNER? Share them with me on my Facebook page where I posted this…or in the comments section of this blog post…it’ll be fun.
5. If something does go wrong…Own it! Accept responsibility. I’m determined in my knowledge of the fact that ANY BOSS hates to fire people. They just want somebody to accept responsibility, correct the problem, and keep the mission/vision/goal/idea/dream… moving forward. If bosses hate to fire people, then take advantage of it, by being a risk taker for good. If you succeed…thank the people who may have contributed to the success. Give them the credit and trust God to take care of the credit you think you deserve. Accept Responsibility when things go bad, give credit to others when things go good!
6. The people in your circle of influence…especially in teaching world, because that circle is youth…will take the inch you give them + an extra foot. i.e. If you allow students to enter the classroom one minute late for a week. They will enter 2 minutes late next week. 3 the next. If you allow students to sit on the floor while teaching, thinking it will help them pay attention because it’s different…they won’t pay attention even more. (Veteran teachers are thinking I’m such a ROOKIE right now…It’s because I am!!) Not everybody in your circle of influence has your best interest in mind. If you leave your classroom unlocked AND leave your Ray-Ban sunglasses laying around…they will get stolen. Yes…even in a Christian School. It’s okay…God’ll pay em back later! 🙂 (Just kidding…but not really!)
7. Winning is everything. Who are we kidding if we think otherwise. What’s more important, though, is knowing what a WIN is.
8. The only way your party/team/wedding/organization/school/church/business/game/etc…can truly move forward and win is by having EVERYBODY on the “team”, supporting each other’s decisions and keeping that united forward movement. Even one, that is not fully united, can keep any forward potential stuck in the mud. The previous can only happen with exceptional communication, frankness, and keeping the mission more important than your personal preferences.
9. It’s very difficult to be friends with the people you lead. It is possible…but extremely difficult.
10. The cross of Jesus and the Empty Tomb of Jesus are the only things in this physical life that won’t let you down or fail you…BUT…don’t rely on them. Rely on the ONE who conquered them both! He is the real deal. Only the things we do for Him will last. You better be quick…He moves fast. If you try to follow Him you will run a rat race, all your life. You will have to understand what a true win is. You will have to sacrifice. You will have to put your personal preferences to death. It will be the greatest race you’ve ever run. I pray the following two verses will inspire you to run on…
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing”. –2 Timothy 4:7-8
24 “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step.” — 1 Corinthians 4:7-8
It’s a rat race like none other and you get to run in it. Me too!
On your marks!
Go…into all the World!
I can’t believe I just completed week 10 at Joy Christian High School as a first year professional teacher. I love Room 1501 and even more the students that darken its door everyday. I am still “taking notes”, and “the jury is still out” in regards to me speaking about the differences between being a Bible Teacher in a teaching profession, and being a Senior Pastor of a large and growing Church. Having now done both…I’m having fun comparing the two. One little thing I’m noticing, which I will blog about in the future…is that whether I am teaching in a classroom setting, leading my mission org called Return Hope International, or being a Senior Pastor of a Church on some street corner….they are all the Church.
I believe our Christian culture has done a huge disservice to the work of the Lord
by compartmentalizing Jesus’s bride.
What do I mean? We have mission orgs, Christian schools, other Jesus centered industries, but for some reason we only call the building on the street corner The Church. I don’t want to get off track as to what this blog post’s purpose is, but the day is coming soon where I will blog about this huge disservice. The Church is way bigger than what we have dismantled it to be by compartmentalizing it the way we have. Sadly, we as the Church are the ones who have done the compartmentalizing. We must change this. (Another blog, another time.)
So on this week 10...I only want to blog about one day of it…and it was actually something that did NOT happen in Room 1501, but in the Library of Joy Christian School at 7am on Wednesday.
Wednesdays at JCS are not only chapel days for our whole school, but they are also Staff Devotion day for the JCS Staff. I have been asked to lead these devotions and I consider it a huge honor. I am very grateful for the trust and acceptance that the Joy Administration and the Joy Teaching Staff have entrusted to me. I will never take it for granted and I always look forward to Wednesdays.
Week 10’s devotion was only a half devotion due to the fact that Scott Brown, JCS’s Executive Direction, asked if he could have 15 minutes to speak to the whole staff. I think Christ-like character is displayed when the boss asks instead of tells. When Scott asked to have the 15 minutes, he could have just told me, but he asked. I love to follow this kind of leader. If you are reading this blog, I ask you to lift the Administrative Staff up in prayer as they make tough decisions to lead Joy into the future. It is not an easy task and they need our prayer and support.
Today’s blog is not focused on what I said on Wednesday at the devo, but what Scott Brown said in his 15 minutes immediately after the devotion.
Before I blog about his 15 minutes, I think it is apropos to first take a look at some phrases I wrote down at All Staff Training Day back on June 30, 2014, before JCS school officially started. So…back on that June 30th training day…
Scott said,“It’s time to change the conversation.”
He also said, “Be terrible at looking backwards.”
So, this past Wednesday was a refresher, on those two phrases and others, that we as Joy Christian School staff all agreed on when we signed up to accept the teaching and administrative positions we were offered.
Scott, taking the time to remind us of our commitment to keep Joy moving forward with positive change and growing academics at JCS, is the mark of a strong leader prodding our team to stay in alignment. He challenged us to focus on the positive, to think about the things that are admirable and to work extra hard to keep focused on what the main mission is at Joy Christian School… “Building Christian Leaders.” He talked about how we will fail in attempting to accomplish that mission if each one of us do not keep our eyes on Jesus, and check our actions to make sure they are matching Jesus’s. I know all of the JCS leadership and teaching team agree that we want Joy to move forward with great success in its mission. I think it is headed in that great direction and it will take many other challenges from our leader and each other to keep the focus on that forward movement.
What was amazing to me about this past Wednesday’s devotion, which was split up into two 15 minute segments, is that the theme was the same and Scott Brown and I didn’t plan it that way. It’s amazing to me how God knits things together. Before Scott stepped up to re-challenge us all, I read the passage in Scripture that Paul wrote in Philippians 4:4-8.
“4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
I hope that passage impacts you as much as it does me. I like to say, “You and I will find what we are looking for.” What does that mean? It means that if you want to find negative about JCS, you can go looking for it and I know you will find it. The same can be said for your part in your marriage, your work, your attitude, your life. If I want to find negative about any one or all of those in your life…if I look and start asking around….I will find it. It is a fact that you and I will find what we are looking for.
So…let’s look for the positive…I know we will find it too!
If you totally focused on the Scripture passage above throughout the rest of this week…I’ll bet you find yourself having a great week. In fact, I don’t think you’ll find a great week. I don’t think great weeks are found…they are made.
So, as a very dear friend to me often says…
“MAKE IT A GREAT WEEK!”
Great days/weeks are made, not found. And I think it’s all about attitude and focus on the good that is happening all around us. I pray that your week is a great one and that you will make great decisions that lead to more Christ-like unity and impact. I’m trying to do my part and I’m always looking for others who are contributing to the great as well.
Sometimes you just have to be out of town. This week, I had the privilege of being invited to speak at my University Alma Mater; Manhattan Christian College (MCC) in Manhattan KS…The Little Apple 🙂 They have a chapel service every Thursday and it was great to be able to speak at it. My oldest Child, Madison attends there too, and it was great to see her. It had been 2 months since I saw her last. We had fun together. Winter came early to the midwest. It was 40 degrees when I woke up the first morning I was there. It was a great break from the heat. I’m ready for a PHX Winter!
Joy Christian High School has a graduate that is attending MCC (Riley Corbin) and I made sure to capture a picture of him leading worship so I could send it to his mom…who is also on the Joy staff! So, in reality…Joy Christian High School led the chapel service on Thursday at MCC. Riley did a great job…I hope I did a great job following him with my message. I think I did…but I’m biased.
So…knowing I was headed to Manhattan Kansas on Wednesday night…I had to submit a request for a Substitute Teacher. The substitute teacher request process at Joy High is pretty thorough. I let them know 2 weeks in advance, filled out the short paper work, and submitted it. It was approved!
My wife has just started subbing at JCS. So…I requested her to fill in for me.
I’m writing this a few days late…I know how the sub did. 🙂
She did great.
Having a substitute teacher, in my place, is a little nerve racking. It made me feel vulnerable. I wondered if the students would behave. I wondered if I would look disorganized. Now, some might say that I should not have worried because it was my wife stepping in for me. Trust me…that made it worse. My wife would be honest with me. I think a total stranger subbing for me would be a little less threatening…they substitute teach for me, and then they leave. My wife subbing for me…well…it’s called “pillow talk” and I was worried about what she might say. A stranger that subs for me might simply do what I requested, and go home. But, if it’s my wife…well…she’ll let me know areas that I could improve, or areas that are out of control…and also…areas she thinks are great!
As I type this…she has already subbed for me and we had fun talking about the different students, their personalities, and the impact that we get to have every day being apart of their lives. I think having my wife sub for me, helped us have something more to talk about. I’m not sure it taught us anything we didn’t already know about each other. We have been married for 23 years. But, it put us on the same page of discussion in this case. All too often I think I go to work and do my thing and come home and talk about it with my wife. My wife would do her thing and come home and talk about it with me. It is good. But what is great is when we both have been able to enter Room 1501 at different times and yet encounter the same people and experiences…and now when we talk about it…we know the names, place, and environment, because we have both experienced it.
She is subbing for someone else tomorrow. So, I’m excited that we will be on the campus at the same time.
I’ll try to keep it professional! 🙂
Have a good week. Week 9 in Room 1501 was short for me this week. But excellent.
I’ve got nothing outstanding to tell you about this past week. It was a good week. It was long week. The previous two weeks were only Tuesday through Friday due to Labor Day weekend and last Monday’s flooding. In my Utopia…I’d like to have every Monday off! 🙂 I’ll bet you would too.
So…this week’s blog is just going to be an oddball blog of some of the first things that POP into my mind about this past week. I’ll try for a ‘POP’ 10 list.
1. I would rather take a 50 point test than grade 100+ of them! (I might put the actual test at the bottom of this page if you’d like to attempt taking what your students in Room 1501 did). 🙂
2. I am really loving how the Coffee Shop at JCS has York Peppermint Patties for sale at 2 for a quarter!
3. I wish the JCS Coffee Shop carried Snickers…but due to peanut allergy issues in our world, it is best they do not carry Snickers…”packed with peanuts.”
4. In order to get good grades in Room 1501…all you have to do it take good notes, keep an organized Notebook of all the handouts I give you, and use those notebooks during the test. If you fail my tests…you stink at keeping an organized notebook! I believe in you enough to keep an organized notebook!
5. You can teach people the Bible, but you can’t make them learn it!
6. The longer I’m around the Room 1501 students, the more I’m proud of them, love them, and deeply desire for them to be successful now and for the rest of their lives.
7. You cannot force people into spiritual discipleship. You must earn people’s trust, lead by example, and wait for them to “get it” or ask for it.
8. As a teacher… If you bring a large bag of Life Savers, the students will be full of gratitude…until you run out. When you run out of Life Savers, the thank you’s end and they threaten mutiny and demand you bring more! 🙂
9. Things will not always go the way you want them to. You can try to control these situations…but I’m pretty sure all control belongs to God.
10. I believe I am a warrior in the service of Joy and I can never stop taking a stand, speaking up, and doing my very best work.
Do you want to take the test the students took in Room 1501 this past Friday? Here you go…Let me know how you do!!