Monthly Archives: September 2011


Administrivia (Noun) [Blend of “administrative” and “trivia” 1930s US] – (1) the tiresome but essential details that must be taken care of and tasks that must be performed in running an organization; “he sets policy and leaves all the administrivia to his assistant”; (2) Administrative details that must be dealt with in order to do more interesting work.

So here I am, the first day back in the office after a restful vacation, the first day back from SonScape where I determined to hand off some of the things that drain me in order to focus on more profitable tasks that fit my gifts and energize me, and guess what awaited me . . . ?

  1. Determining whether or not to buy a new printer for the finance office.
  2. Playing IT guy trying to troubleshoot a balky internet.
  3. Spending time on the phone with a less than helpful CenturyLink customer service agent trying to troubleshoot a balky modem and internet.
  4. Calling for someone else to troubleshoot a balky internet.
  5. Conducting a performance review.
  6. Printing, copying, and collating material for an elder’s retreat later this week.
  7. Writing, printing, and mailing the agenda to said elder’s retreat.
  8. Emailing the maps to said retreat I forgot to include with the mailing.
  9. Running to the post office to mail a book.
  10. Starting my sermon preparation.

Why is my most important task #10 on my list? Administrivia, my old friend. Oh, how I’ve missed you. ;-}



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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Character, Ministry, Personal growth


Fix me

Prior to leaving for Colorado, I accidentally cut off the tip of my ring finger with a pair of scissors. I was trying to cut a paper sack to use for wrapping paper and didn’t realize my finger was in the way. OUCH!!! I thought about simply putting a band-aid on it, but wasn’t sure if it would stop bleeding. So I listened to the voice of reason (which oddly enough was silent while I was cutting the bag), held a Kleenex on the end of my finger to keep it from bleeding, and drove 15 minutes to the closest ER. I stopped at the front desk and said, “Fix me!” (When the folks in ER cringe when they hear your story, you know you’ve done something stupid. Yep, guilty as charged! Carelessness at its best/worst!) Two hours later, and with a inch-thick gauze bandage wrapped around my finger, I was back on my way.

In the same way, people call the pastor the week after Labor Day and say, “Fix me!” Whereas I dropped everything I was doing and headed for ER, people often put up with their problems all summer long and don’t deal with it until school starts. In waiting, they often ignore the problem until it is too late. They may be on the verge of divorce, bankruptcy, addiction, suicide, heart attack, or any number of life/career/family/economic/spiritual emergencies. Yet by the time they show up in my office, there is little that I can do to help them from a human standpoint. I often think, and sometimes say, “Unless God intervenes, there is no hope!”

As painful as it may be, that is right where God wants us. Because only then do we stop trying to fix ourselves and admit that we cannot solve our problems. We finally reach the end of our resources and hurt enough that we are willing to change. We are finally ready to visit the spiritual ER and ask for God’s help.

Now that summer is over, I wonder who will show up on my doorstep.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)


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Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Character, Personal growth


Colorado mining towns

During one of our days at SonScape, Carol and I drove to the towns of Cripple Creek and Victor. These are two mining towns dating back to the 1890’s. Located seven miles apart with an active gold mining operation in between, the towns are in reality separated by an economic chasm.

The money has gone to Cripple Creek, as several casinos have moved in. We were told it is one of 3 or 4 towns in Colorado where casinos were granted permission to operate. In fact, it seems as if every other shop on Main Street is a casino.


In contrast, driving through Victor felt like we had stepped back in time a few decades. It definitely felt like we were on the “other side of the tracks” with dirt roads off Main Street and shacks in the hills.

I was reminded of James Michener’s novel, Centenial, which describes how the settlers and gold miners came to Colorado. While my ancestor’s were not gold miners, they were among the settlers, as my grandmother came to Colorado in a covered wagon and homesteaded in a sod house in Flagler (near the Kansas border).

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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Colorado, Photos, SonScape


God’s amazing creatures – Hummingbirds

Outside our cabin at SonScape was a hummingbird feeder. It was amazing to watch these creatures. They moved so fast it was hard to take their picture. Fortunately, my camera allowed me to take multiple photos at a time. Even then, I wasn’t always quick enough.

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Colorado, Photos, SonScape


The beauty of Colorado – Garden of the Gods

During our days at SonScape, we also visited the Garden of the Gods. Interesting rock formations and beautiful red rocks.


Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Colorado, Photos, SonScape


The beauty of Colorado – Pike’s Peak

Outside our room at SonScape, we enjoyed a beautiful view of Pike’s Peak.

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Colorado, Photos, SonScape


The beauty of Colorado – Elevenmile Canyon

During our time at SonScape, we visited Elevenmile Canyon.

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Colorado, Photos, SonScape


Rest & Renewal at SonScape

Carol and I recently returned from a week in Divide, CO, where we attended a SonScape retreat. SonScape has a beautiful facility where they seek to renew and refresh those in ministry.


They encouraged us to be still and listen to God.

W.A. & Nancy, our host couple, demonstrated genuine hospitality as they met our every need. Mike & Sandy led group sessions and individual counseling times which ministered to our souls.

We enjoyed walks on the grounds and quiet times in the prayer shelters.

It was a week of welcome rest and renewal. It allowed us to step back from life and ministry and regain perspective about who we are and the deep relationship that God desires to have with us.

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Colorado, Personal growth, Photos, SonScape