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The Restful Road

Posted By Dwayne McKean, Monday, August 13, 2018
Updated: Sunday, August 12, 2018

I recently took a couple of days to travel North of the Atlanta area to relax a little and take pictures of "whatever."  It was a quick two night trip with just my camera and all that surrounded me.

One of my stops was the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.  I came across an area where I stopped to take a picture of the road as it wound it's way into the mountains.  As I framed the shot my thoughts were of the beauty surrounding the road and the peacefulness of it seemingly disappearing into nowhere.  The image above is the picture I took.

Getting the shot was a challenge.  The day I was in the park was especially busy.  The traffic was very steady.  As I set up my camera atop the tripod I wondered how long I would have to stand there waiting for no traffic to pass in both lanes.  I decided to take a few practice shots with traffic to make sure I had my settings where I wanted them.  I was ready.  All I needed now was a break in the traffic.  Almost seventeen minutes later, finally, I got the shot. 

A lot went into just that one shot.  Initially I had to plan the time to get away.  Having the time I had to plan my destination, thinking through what I hoped to capture.  When the time came gathering my resources and setting out on the journey.  During my journey being observant for the image.  Once located the care in preparing for the shot.  And finally being patient enough to wait for the moment.

I later asked myself how I was able to make it happen.  It was in an especially busy season at work.  It was also a time of transition at work.  At home I had a few projects underway but not yet complete.  Other projects were waiting.  My family wanted my time and I wanted to spend time with them.  The weekly tasks of owning a home that are always there were indeed there.  But I did it because I knew I needed it.  I needed it to be the best I could be for my God, my Lord, my family, and for my church.

I have purposed going forward to continue to take needed trips alone, whether they be actual travel or pockets of time.  I will have to plan ahead.  I will have to get things done in advance and be sure people are in place.  I will have to think through where I want to go and how I get there.  I will need to be sure of just what I want to capture while there.  All needed resources will need to be gathered.  I will need to be careful in preparing for the moment.  Yes, taking the needed trips alone (pockets of time) will take effort.  But they are rest and I need them to be my best.

"Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience."   Hebrews 4:11

I am so busy.  I have so many things I am behind on.  People want more of my time.  But I have to rest!  I have to rest physically, emotionally, and In God to be at my best for all.

Dwayne

 

 

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Footprints

Posted By Dwayne McKean, Monday, July 16, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

One of my favorite poems is "Footprints In The Sand."  If you are not familiar with it please stop and click the link footprints to read it before continuing.

The first time I read the poem it was on a poster and showed a picture of Jesus carrying a man on a beach.  Far behind were two sets of footprints that changed to one set in the foreground.  As I read the poem and gazed at the poster sized image the message was clear.  There are times in our lives when we all need Jesus to carry us.

I can recall many a time when I struggled personally and asked Jesus to carry me.  I can also recall times when I didn't ask and He carried me anyway.  They were times when I was struggling, weary, overwhelmed, hurting, and...  He has always carried me through my personal struggles.

The last few days I have been experiencing some of what I described above but not derived from anything personal happening in my life, they are work related.  Friday evening Fellowship took a fairly direct hit of lightning just a few feet from our chillers.  Needless to say it took them down.  The damage extended to air handlers, security and fire alarm systems, our network, and all of my HVAC controls.  We have been scrambling ever since.  The damage and lack of parts and time before Sunday forced us to cancel services.  We took a hit.

Today (Monday) as I continued to assess the damage and began the step by step process of recovering the footprints poster came to my mind.  As I thought of the words and image I found no comfort because I equated being carried to my personal life.  I had to stop and check myself.  I could not believe I had allowed myself to think Jesus only carries me when my need is personal.  Jesus can and will carry me anytime I need Him, personal or not.  Oh did I ask right then and there to be carried.  

Right now and for the next few days Jesus is carrying me and the load I carry and I have no doubt He will lead me in leading Fellowship through our crisis with success.

I am thankful that I'm no longer single minded and know that personal or work related I have someone to carry me straight to God's will.  He knows the way!

Dwayne 

Tags:  carry  crisis  footprints 

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Change is Good

Posted By Dwayne McKean, Executive Director, Saturday, June 30, 2018


Unexpected change.  Isn’t that the the worst kind?  You don’t know it’s coming, you’re given little time to prepare, and suddenly you’re in the middle of it.

A few weeks ago I found myself in the middle of one of those unexpected changes.  After almost twelve years of service to Fellowship and working with me my AA resigned.  NO!  As if that change was not enough with her resignation came word I would not be allowed to replace her.  NO!  PLEASE NO!

Needless to say my emotions were everywhere.  I was losing a really good friend, an outstanding AA, and trying to reconcile how I would absorb her contributions.  Honestly, it was overwhelming.  I was very accepting of one why but could not make sense of the other why.  I still can’t.  However, my joy moving forward is up to me, not a change thrust upon me.

Change is often intimidating because we become very comfortable in the same.  The same can be done very successfully.  I humbly feel I (we) were very successful.  As successful as the same can be it can also be limiting when you become complacent in it.  Had I become complacent and too relaxed in my success?  YES!  Could I (we) be even more successful by embracing the challenge of positive change?  YES!  OH YES!  

I lost my AA and I lost my AA.  Things are not the same.  Some of my processes are different.  I have added tasks.  My demands are greater.  I am in the middle of change but I will not let it steel my joy by being intimidated by it.  Instead I will become intimidating in how I embrace and implement it.      

R Buckminster Fuller said “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

My existing model was a success but I am working to make it obsolete.  Change is good!

Dwayne

Tags:  change  coworkers  employees  loss  work 

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He’s the Mountain

Posted By Dwayne McKean, Executive Director, Saturday, June 23, 2018

I did something this year following our annual national conference I have never done, I took a week off.  I did so for the purpose of relaxing and not being needed by anyone for anything.  Not being needed, for a whole week, that would be refreshing.

On the Saturday morning following the conference I pulled into a gas station and struck up a conversation with the person pumping next to me.  As I told him where I had just been and why he began to tear up.  He shared a little about what was happening in his life and how he was on a journey to once again allow Jesus to be lord of his life.  He shared his struggles in doing so and asked if I would keep him in my prayers.  I did better than that, I asked him to join me in a prayer then and there.

A few days earlier in our board meeting I made mention of our conference being a “mountain top experience.”  Specifically, I referred to getting back into a normal routine and not having the mountain top experience affect a long term decision I was wrestling with.

As I drove away from the gas station that morning God reminded me that what I had experienced in Orlando was indeed very rewarding but it was not the experience I thought it was.  When I was hoping to not be needed I met a man who needed me to pray with him.  I met a man who needed me to show him Jesus.

Following what I thought was a great climb up a mountain God showed me that the true mountain was being loved by Him and having His son Jesus as lord of my life.  I am loved by God and because of Jesus I have the promise of life eternal.  Wow!  That is the true mountain top experience, an experience that lasts far more than a week, it last a eternity.

Thank you God for showing me there is a world who needs me daily to love them as Christ loves me, and that’s OK.  Thank you for showing me you are my mountain.

Dwayne

Tags:  Mountain 

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What a Holiday Storm Brought

Posted By Dwayne McKean, Executive Director, Monday, June 4, 2018
Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2018

 

At approximately 4:30 a.m. Saturday (this morning) a storm moved through Roswell, Georgia.  4:30 a.m. on a Saturday of a long Memorial Day weekend that includes Monday off.  Backing up a bit it started with my usual Friday off, and although Sunday services are mixed in I had started a facility managers dream, a long holiday weekend that includes Friday and Monday off.  What high hopes and plans I had.  Notice I said had.  As happens so often for the church facility manager when hopes are high duty some how manages to call.

When the storm moved through it did so with a bulls eye on the pole feeding power to Fellowship.  Single phase was the end result.  The call came in at 6:15 a.m. and what promised to be a Saturday of other plans became a Saturday of work.

Single phasing can be an uneasy thought.  As my staff member was describing what he found upon opening I knew immediately what had happened.  The last time we single phased I lost my chilled water pumps.  All I could think about driving to the church is how I was going to get water pumps replaced on a Saturday of a holiday weekend for church the next morning.  Then I thought about the 72 air handlers I have and wondered how many fan motors I might have lost.  I then thought …  You know the drill.

Just before arriving at the church a thought hit me that my hurry to hit the road while assessing the negative possibilities had kept me from considering.  Nothing is on at 4:30 a.m. at Fellowship.  I began to have hope.

To make what is getting to be a long story short although I spent a full day waiting on the power company to decide it was our turn at 6:20 p.m. all of my mechanicals came on and all I had to do to make it so was hit a few reset switches.  My hope sprung eternal.  Eternal as in God!

God went before Fellowship and as He often does He saved the day, or long holiday weekend.  He did so even though my first thoughts were of the worst and not of what He can do.

What started as an interruption to my plans for a holiday weekend turned into an entire day of working with my staff with no one or thing or meeting to pull me away.  We had so much fun.  Wait!  Did God use a single phase to teach me my first thoughts should be of Him and at the same time give me an opportunity to work along side my staff for a full day?

I can’t wait to see what the next storm brings.

Dwayne

Tags:  phase  storm 

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