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Arlyn Norris
I'm a pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Treynor, IA.
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You preached a great sermon for the graduates! When you talk about people who simply show up, it reminded me of hearing how Terry Fretheim defined prayer once as just a matter of showing up to spend time with God on a regular basis.
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I think that death is mysterious in many ways. Now we only see things in a limited way. My hope and my belief is that all will become much clearer to us after death. As a believer, in the end I must trust God both now and in the future. I do, however, think that we can see some reason death is needed to serve life as we know it. I will be posting more about that in the coming days.
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Mar 15, 2010
Thanks Jennifer for your comment on my posts on introverts as leaders. My personal view is that its not whether one is an introvert or an extrovert that makes a person a good leader. Rather, what makes the difference is whether a person is aware of the strengths and the short-comings of his or her personality type and is able to make good use of the strengths while not being crippled by the shortcomings. One way that extroverts can strength their overall leadership skills is to cultivate their introvert side. This can happen when they take time for quiet time and regular reflection. Introverts can also strengthen their overall effectiveness by cultivating their extrovert side. They don't have to become try to become extroverts, but they may benefit seeking relationships that they otherwise might avoid.
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Thanks for your comment, Nick. Actually the reason I started posting about Adam McHugh's article is that in it he really takes a hard look at the assumptions that many people make about extroverts being better suited for leadership than introverts. He seriously questions those assumptions. I actually believe that the best leaders are able to cultivate the opposite side of their personality type to their benefit. Extroverts who become good leaders need to develop their introvert side and vice versa. I am looking forward to posting again about McHugh's article.
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Thanks to all who voted here and on my Facebook feed. After hearing from a variety of sources, it looks like "Saturday Night Light" will probably win out.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2009 on I Need Your Vote! at The Listening Ear
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In his book, Change or Die, Alan Deutschman points out that there are things that don't often bring change for people. He calls these the three "F's". Facts—We think people are essentially rational, that they act in their own self-interest if they have accurate information. Fear—We like to think that change is motivated by fear and the strongest for change is crisis. Force—We think that people can’t change, that they resist change and must be coerced into changing. By contrast, Deutschman suggests there are three "R's" that are much more likely to bring change in people's lives: Relate—You form a new, emotional relationship with a person or community that inspires and sustains hope. Repeat—The new relationship helps you learn, practice and master the new habits and skills that you’ll need. It takes lots of repletion before new patterns become automatic. Reframe—The new relationship helps you learn new ways of thinking about your situation and your life. I think that your emphasis on prayer is also important. It is part of the ultimate relationship that leads to change in us.
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Aurelia Bruning submits the following comment: 1. We should all pray more and more about this new church. God hasn't answered my question. I don't believe God has decided what is best for our congregation. I only hope it doesn't divide our church family 2. To remodel our church and to build a new build a new building south of the preschool. Let's put our new church on hold at this time.
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2009 on Facility Needs Discussion at The Listening Ear
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Elmer Voss's comment got listed on the wrong page of the blog. Here it is again so that it can be included with the rest. Elmer Voss said... Again,Thanks to everyone the time they have given in abundance to so many ideas. These same thanks of mine for your recommendations to move forward get remodeling & New site under way. Yes I can see the need for it. It is my opinion we must wait at least one year, for these reasons: 1. We have tried for two years to start work on getting committee to Call on Inactive church members, no response by anyone to get started. Two people have agreed to serve on committee but no information! 2. We as Church have failed to make invitations to attend our Worship Services, therefore anyone new that comers is because they do it on their own. Thats okay but results are evident. Not good. 3. Our economy caused by our President Bush admin for eight years shows what spending does to either party. The new Democrates have shown, that they have spend more money in 90 days that the previous Administration in 8 years. We are prnting new money as fast as we can. This will lead to inflation of l5 -23% within the next year. 4.Our Government is corrupt. We need a renewal of mind, body & spirit. We are going to see changes that will affect all free will giving. 5.Let us get our Church in order so with the help of the Holy Spirit we can continue God's Mission for each of us. With Sincere Love Elmer Voss
Toggle Commented Apr 9, 2009 on Facility Needs Discussion at The Listening Ear
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This comment was sent to the church to be posted on the website: As a member of the Facilities Team, the decision to expand our ministries by establishing a dual site for those ministries did not come easy. For two years the team gathered facts by listening to professionals in this field; by listening to the congregation’s concerns and needs, and by listening to our Lord. At every stage of the process, we prayed for God’s guidance. For the past month I have been quietly listening to my church family voice their concerns over the facilities recommendation. I understand those concerns. Each of us on the team struggled with those same worries. Will remodeling the present site meet our ministry needs? What happens to the existing site if we move west? If we keep the old and build new, how do we afford the upkeep of both sites? Remodeling a present site can be costly. The team discussed many options concerning the present site, including moving the east wall. The cost would be substantial. The congregation actually will get more for their money by keeping this present site with some remodeling and building on a new site. Another concern was disrupting the Sunday services and the present ministries. This was very important as our attendance fell while remodeling during the recent fire. Now the question was asked, “How do we afford both sites?” Daycare and after-school care seemed to be the answer. Doug and I visited with Linda over this issue. She had researched the subject and knew the need for Christian daycare. We came away convinced that Daycare would pay for the upkeep of the building and provide the community with a valuable ministry. The present site would serve as a Family and Youth Center used for Christian Preschool, Daycare and After-school Care. It would provide space for a Seniors Center, Youth Ministry and Social Ministries like quilting. The new site would house Music Ministries, Hospitality/Fellowship, Worship, Children’s Education, Adult Education and Pastoral staff. Will the two sites cause a split in our ministry: It cannot because we are united in one cause which is the mission that Jesus has called us to accomplish, “Tell everyone about God.” United with this goal in mind and with the space for new ministries to accomplish this goal would be glorious. For me, the potential to expand and create new ministries is exciting. Recently, while attending a birthday party, I met a young seventh grader who was a part of a puppet ministry at her church. They write their own scripts, make puppets and backdrops, and acted. She bubbled over as she explained how they preformed not only at her church, but at different locations in Omaha. What a beautiful and fun way for youths to share their love for Christ. Our church is limited in space to start such a ministry. Do you have a dream ministry that is difficult to start at the moment? When we have our Ministry Fair each year, I am amazed at the number of groups that have their own unique missions. Several of these ministries are growing and thriving. They need, or soon will, require more space. Although we do need more volunteers, the number in our church who give of their time is great. Much more than we realize! Why do some not volunteer? People might be afraid that it will take too much of their time. People believe that they don’t have a talent. People feel they are too old or too young. Knowing who has the talent and passion for a certain ministry would solve the problem, thus a need for a volunteer coordinator. God calls each of us to use those talents given to us. Perhaps, if for now, we each gave a short amount of time. Sunday school is set up so you need only volunteer for a month. While working on the history book for our 125th Anniversary, I was awed and inspired by our early members. One lady, Charlotte, who had a deep, unwavering faith, would not rest until a place was built for others to worship and serve Christ. St Paul Lutheran was centrally located in the country for easy access by the pioneers. Times changed. The town grew and transportation was easier. The church moved to meet the needs of the people. It thrived and a new addition was needed. Like those earlier members, we are again faced with the question, “Do we move so that we will thrive and our ministries be expanded for the purpose of reaching these people? Our church leaders, who have studied the pattern of the people today, say yes. We need to go where the people need us. Building would not be easy. Just like in 1929, it would take all of you, long time members, new members, seniors, baby boomers, young adults and youths, working together, united in a common mission to accomplish this project. Yes, I did include youth. Some of you might question if youth could contribute, but I’m reminded of a group of teenagers in 1929 who did just that. They worked hard to provide the church with a much needed organ. Can you imagine their joy and excitement as they sat in a new church for the first time while that organ burst out with praises to our Lord! The whole process of building will take dedication and work from all of us. We will have to give of ourselves, our time and our finances. But God will be there to guide us just as He was in 1880, 1929 and 1952. Building for the future must be accomplished so that others will know Jesus, love Jesus and live as Jesus lives. Janice Gronstal
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2009 on Facility Needs Discussion at The Listening Ear
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My daughter-in-law was having trouble making a comment on my blog so I am testing it out to see if I can make a comment. This is only a test. If this were an actual comment, It might say something truly interesting.
Toggle Commented Jan 2, 2009 on New Video Source at The Listening Ear
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