Archive - February, 2008

Friday Drive-by (19)

RANDOM BULLETS: Friday Drive-by (19) 

LifeChurch.tv Northwest Oklahoma City Campus: “N-dub”

  • Our 1 year Anniversary Celebration will be March 29th and 30th

  • Scott Rodgers from the Mesa Campus has joined the “N-dub” team.

My Life:

  • I have the flu and I have to perform a wedding tomorrow.

  • My wife and I went to see Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins.

  • Thanks for your prayers, I can’t tell whether I am getting better or worse.

Featured Blogger, Frequent Commenter:  Solshine is the featured blogger this week. Check out her blog: Think Virtue 

Comment of the Week: Alonso on post: The Grass Is Always Greener… he said:  “Es porque ellos cuidan supasto, y nosotros no.”  I had to use this translation site to know what he was talking about.  Everyone should go to Alonso’s site and post comments in English and at least say “What’s Up!” 

Link Me and I’ll Link You Back:  If you have linked or added BigIsTheNewSmall to your blogroll let me know and I’ll link you back.   

American Idol:  Overall these contestants are not very good; David Archuleta is the only one that is consistent.  Let’s go ahead and make him American Idol. 

Politics:  After stating that the first thing that he would do as President is get the troops out of Iraq; Obama then said “If Al Qaeda established a base in Iraq, that he would send troops back in militarily.”  Are you kidding me?  Hello Earth to Obama, Earth to Obama, Al Qaeda already has a base in Iraq, It’s called Al Qaeda in Iraq.  Got Questions: 

  1. When was the last time that you thanked your Pastor and told them they were doing a good job?
  2. Are you currently reading any good books or blogs?
  3. Any thoughts on Super Dooper Dooper Tues. March 4th?

I Have The Flu!

tamiflu.jpgI tried my best to avoid this crud that’s going around.  As a Pastor, I shake a lot of hands (a whole lot) and kiss a lot of babies, if you know what I mean.  I tried hand sanitizer and compulsive hand-washing, but evidently it wasn’t enough.  I went to the Doctor yesterday and he informed me that “I Have The Flu.”  He said that I detected it at an early stage and should be good in about a week.  I was prescribed Tamiflu, Some Prescription Cough Syrup w/ Codeine, Plenty of Water and Rest.

I have a wedding to perform on Saturday, “That’s something that you can’t re-schedule” so please pray for a speedy recovery.

Have any of you or your kids had this crud?

BigIsTheNewSmall Tag-line

I am in the process of giving my blog a face-lift and I’m thinking through some possible tag lines for BigIsTheNewSmall.  I would like to get some input from you guys/gals; as to what you think the tag line should be. 

I had read some posts not long ago from some fellow bloggers making reference to BigIsTheNewSmall, here is what they had to say:

  • Little Pastor said BigIsTheNewSmall is:  “A rambling stream of consciousness.”  I kinda like this one!

  • Cindy Beall said (paraphrasing) BigIstheNewSmall: “Pushing the envelope and engaging people in conversations that many won’t talk about.”

  • Seasons of Change said BigIsTheNewSmall: “Stimulating Interaction and Discourse.”

These just few that I have ran across; again I would like to get your participation and thoughts.  In other words I need you to help me come up with a tag line.

BigIsTheNewSmall…….._____________________________.  You fill in the blank.

"Always" Asking the Right Questions

In my professional and ministry career I have had the opportunity to supervise and work with a lot of different people; I have supervised as few as 5 and as many as several hundred.  I am always learning from individuals who I work for, work with, as well as individuals whom work for me. In those 16 years that I have been working; 10 which have been in leadership I have ran across three women that have this special gift.  They have the gift of “always” asking the right questions.  The ladies that I am referring to are:

  • Dana Avants (My Accountant/Office Manager when I was the Warden/Administrator of a Juvenile Correctional Facility)

  • Dea Creek (OKC Campus Administrator)
  • Anna Meadows (The current Associate Youth Pastor at my Campus)

The questions that I am referring to are:

  1. Is there anything that you need?  

  2. Is there anything that you need me to do?

These questions may come in some unique variety; however they are generally posed just as those two are written.  Dana and Dea were both older than me and were somewhat like that maternal figure at work; while Anna on the other hand is just 21 years old.  To experience this for the first time from someone who is much younger than me is special. 

There is something neat about how God wires these individuals with something just a little more than “a servants heart.”  Many times I don’t need anything, nor do I need them to do anything, but I know without a shadow of a doubt they will always “ask the right questions” and if I ever ask them for something the answer will always be a cheerful “YES.”   

What if we all “consistently” asked these same two questions to our bosses, co-workers, friends, family, spouses, kids…..? 

Have you worked with, around or know individuals with this special gift?  Are you that person with this special gift?  Thoughts, Discuss!

The Grass Is Always Greener…

“THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE!”

Never satisfied, envy, jealousy….. 

Why? Thoughts, Discuss!

Friday Drive-by (18)

RANDOM BULLETS:

LifeChurch.tv Northwest Oklahoma City Campus: “N-dub”

  • Last weeks’ message on “Bitterness” was amazing.

  • LifeChurch.tv has a new website.

  • Our 1 year Anniversary Celebration will be March 29th and 30th

  • I had the opportunity to lead a former Atheist that I have been working with for about 6 months or so to Christ.  God is Good! (I will share the entire story at a later date.)

My Life:  It’s time for a vacation! 

Featured Blogger, Frequent Commenter:  Kevin Bussey is the featured blogger this week. Check out his blog: Confessions of a Recovering Pharisee. 

Comment of the Week: Chilly on post: Lessons I Learned While In Prison 2 (of 4) he said:  “I think many churches & individuals today need more than a little water – they need a firehose enema – because they’re so full of crap!  Look on their faces: discomfort, uptight, miserable… that’s no way for a child of God to live.  But until we deal with the secret junk inside of us and get it out at all costs – our life will STINK!  Maybe that’s why they sit on pews….”

Link Me and I’ll Link You Back:  If you have linked or added BigIsTheNewSmall to your blogroll let me know and I’ll link you back.   

American Idol:  Favorites: David Archuleta (16) & Ramiele Malubay (20). 

Silent Readers:  If you happen to be one of the many silent readers; post a comment and say what’s up I’m a silent reader.  I recently ran into Nicole and Lisa who are both silent readers. 

Got Questions: 

  • Do you care about steroids/HGH in Major League Baseball or any Sport?
  • Are you an American Idol Junkie?
  • When was the last time you talked with someone about Jesus?

Lessons I Learned While In Prison 4 (of 4)

ALL SIN IS NOT THE SAME 

Individuals come into the prison system for a wide range of sins including but not limited to: stealing, lying, cheating, robbery, drug selling, drug using, possession of firearms, violation of parole, murder….. and the biggest and worse one of them all “Well I will get to that one in a minute.” 

One thing that is clear in the prison/judicial system is that sin has labels; some sins are worse than other sins.  A person might receive 5 years for one crime and 20 years for another crime.  Two individuals might commit the same crime and receive different sentences depending upon the circumstances, the judge, the attorneys, the jury and so on; in other words the gravity of their sentence is open to interpretation. 

We should not judge people, or throw stones… because we are all sinners and that sin nature is what separates us from God.  Truthfully speaking sin is labeled sin and in the prison system the biggest and worse one of them all is a “Sex Offender” whom is treated totally different then any other sinner (more likely to be brutalized, raped, killed…) “That’s not perception, that’s reality!”  

There is a sin classification in the eyes of other inmates and there is also a sin classification in the eyes of the public.  A Sex Offender once told me and some of his peers “By being in prison we are considered by most to be the scum of the earth; by being a Sex Offender we are considered the scum, of the scum of the earth, we ain’t %@#$.” 

All sin is the same: If we cut ourselves small, medium or large we will bleed and those cuts (sins) are what separate us from God.  Some of those cuts may bleed longer, may leave a bigger scar and may even lead to death. 

  • All sin is not the same in the Prison System
  • All sin is not the same in the Judicial System 
  • All sin is not the same in __________________

Is all sin the same in “our” system?  Do we tend to think that other people’s sin is worse than our sin?  Does God view all sin the same?  Should a Sex Offender be treated differently? Questions, Questions, Questions?

Lessons I Learned While In Prison 3 (of 4)

PERCEPTION IS NOT ALWAYS REALITY 

Many times people will use the phrase “Perception is Reality” or “Perception becomes Reality” which is true in some cases; however “Perception Is Not Always Reality.”  One of the most common perceptions about prison is the old “Soap on a Rope” or “Big Bubba” is going to get you.  In other words, many people think that if you go to prison that you are going to get raped.   

I am here to tell you that perception is not always reality.  There are definitely situations in prison where inmates are raped and even murdered; however that is the exception and not the rule.  The same economy of scale applies to outside of the prison walls; you can be raped and murdered in the “Free World.”  There are plenty of willing participants behind the walls, that inmates generally don’t have to force themselves. Here are a few more prison perceptions that are not always reality:

  • Murderers are always the “Mean & Scary guys” (Many times, not the case.)

  • If someone is behind bars they can’t continue to commit crimes (There are networks of criminal behavior behind the prison walls, just as there are in the free world.  You give an idle mind and Satan a bunch of free time… Watch Out!)

  • “They are just claiming God because they are in prison.”  (Many times we have to find ourselves like Jonah, before we get it… remember these guys are no different than many of us, they just happened to get caught.)

What are some perceptions that are not always reality that we face: I’m not good enough, I can’t do this because I’m a female, we will never get out of debt,  I’m to young, I will always be single, I couldn’t be a pastor, my business won’t be successful, you can’t shake that addiction, my marriage can’t be restored….. 

PERCEPTION IS NOT ALAWYS REALITY! 

What are some other perceptions that you have about prison?  What are some perceptions that you have overcome as not being reality?  Do you have any other thoughts on Perception & Reality?

Lessons I Learned While In Prison 2 (of 4)

PUT SOME WATER ON IT 

A commonly used phrase in prison is “Put Some Water On It.”  Okay here is the short and skinny of what “Put Some Water On It” really means.  When an individual is using the bathroom; specifically the Number 2 other inmates will yell or politely say “Put Some Water On It.” 

Generally inmates share a toilet in a small 8×10 cell, or the bathroom is located in a common area and “Putting Some Water On It” refers to flushing the toilet during a bile movement.  Not only flushing but specifically flushing after each plop.  I know that’s (TMI) too much information; however I want you to get the picture.  Putting some water on it will ensure that the number 2 doesn’t stink up the rest of the area; in other words inmates don’t want to smell others’ stinky poop if they can avoid it. 

Many times we have to smell others stinky poop: Bitterness, Jealousy, Gossiping, Envy, Addictions, Pride, Insecurities, Anger, Lying… and just want to yell or politely say “Put Some Water On It!”  In other words people get sick of always having to deal with others stinky poop; especially when all they have to do is flush.  Stop gossiping, stop lying, confess your addictions, humble yourself, get some accountability for your porn problem, get over your insecurities, stop wanting what other people have, get control of your debt… and “Put Some Water On It.”

I am all about helping people with their problem areas; because we all have them.  Sometimes people (me, you, and others) need to just “Put Some Water On It,” flush the stinky poop and stop letting it just sit in the toilet. 

Do you find yourself facing people and their situations and want to say “Put Some Water On It.”   Are there areas of your life in which you need to “Put Some Water On It?”  Honestly, do you just get sick and tired of stinky poop lingering in the toilet? 

Lessons I Learned While In Prison 1 (of 4)

life-sentence.jpgMany of you who are new to BigIsTheNewSmall may not know my story.  I spent about thirteen years in the prison system; that’s right horrible food, 8×10 cells, built up anger, razor wire….  I was an Officer, then a Counselor and finally a Warden.  This week, I am going to share some lessons that I learned while being in the prison system all of those years; some may be more graphic than others. 

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN BEING A WARDEN AND BEING A PASTOR

  • I’ve found the most effective strategy for leading people, is to “Be about the people!” (Genuinely care; take care of inmates or church members).
  • The method in which you lead people, can cause them to become a great asset or pain in the asset (many times the inmates were my greatest asset as a leader, the same philosphy applies to church members).
  • In corrections and ministry, individuals are led by specific rules, identified culture and organized structure. (Do’s & don’ts).
  • Inmates and church members act differently around the Warden and the Pastor (In Craig’s post today he talks about members talking different to Pastors).
  • Just as we Got Rid of the word Church Member and changed it to Partners; there was a time in corrections when we changed from using the word Inmate, to using the word Client. (Both make a difference in the overall mindset).
  • Ultimately a Warden and a Pastor lead a venue where people can be confronted, held accountable, developed, challenged…. and leave personal chaos behind; in order for their lives to be truly CHANGED!

Don’t Judge, instead use Good Judgment: Bring-in, Build-up, Train & Send-out.

Any analogies come to mind with your job and The Church?  Share any other thoughts or perspectives! 

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