Saturday, May 31, 2008

leadership reflections 5/31

I was listening to the catalyst podcast in the car the other day and something struck me. (the catalyst podcast is a pretty cool resource once they get to the interviews- its pretty lame when you listen to the hosts name-drop or go on and on about nothing).
They were interviewing Patrick lencioni- who has written several great leadership books. He dropped this line into conversation: “you have to treat your employees like volunteers and you have to treat your volunteers like employees.”
Treating your employees like volunteers is important, because we often think that a paycheck is enough affirmation, recognition and thanks. We often thank volunteers, get them gifts, recognize them, but we rarely do this for employees, because they get paid. We need to treat employees like volunteers.
Treating volunteers like employees is important, because we often don’t expect much from volunteers. If they show up late, or not at all, it often gets overlooked. If they do a bad job, no one really says anything. Not the same with an employee- the standard is higher. Lencioni’s point was that volunteers long to be held to high standards. They long to be held accountable and to be pushed farther. If you don’t you just make the bad ones worse, and the good ones leave. So treat volunteers like employees.
Another thought-
They were interviewing francis chan, who comes across as a super gentle, quiet leader- and probably is. They asked him about how he leads his staff and he said 2 things that stuck out to me:
1. He said, “I’m afraid that I’m going to keep a starter on the bench.” He is afraid that he is holding back the men on his staff from becoming more- so he tells them to leave, and start their own churches and get in the starting line-up. He said, “can you imagine if a player like kobe Bryant was kept on the bench?”
2. On prayer he said that he tells his guys, “if you’re not in prayer at least an hour a day, I’ll trade you in for someone that will.” Hello!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

what does jane like to do?

Monday, May 26, 2008

over it: may, 2008

Here are the things that I’m currently over- in no particular order:

1. Those caveman commercials- they never were funny, and they are even less funny a year or so later.

2. Fries and chicken- jane loves to eat French fries and chicken strips/ nuggets/ stars, etc. jane and I have spent a lot of time in fast food restaurants this weekend, and I can do without fried food for awhile.

3. Gross reality TV- shows like rock of love, flavor of love, shot at love- any show where people make out for a long time with a camera in their face makes me sick. It seems like every time I’m flipping channels, they’re they are: drinking and kissing.

4. Lame-family-reality-tv- the osbournes were funny the first season- so were nick and Jessica- but the rest of them, I just don’t care. I’m over the kardashians, the lohans, denise Richards, all of them.

5. Deceptive comedy- I’m watching a tv show, and I’m laughing, and I’m thinking that I’ll finally stop flipping channels and just watch this show, and then it gets filthy dirty and I have to change the channel. Thanks a lot tv.

6. Bizarre weather- lately, its been crazy-hot or super-cloudy. When am I going to get that million-dollar south bay weather?

7. Slow people- I attract them like a magnet. It doesn’t matter where I am, whether I’m driving or walking, they get in front of me, and slow me down.

8. Politics- every day, its hillary said this, or obama said that, and now they are taking a lead, or exposing a weakness, or apologizing for something lame- I’m over it- let’s just get on with it! This leads me to number nine:

9. Nitpicking- I saw this story on the news that miley cyrus was in a movie, and for a brief moment, she was in a car without a seatbelt! People lost their minds over it- and she had to apologize for something that wasn’t her fault, and wasn’t a big deal. Then she takes a picture in a magazine with her back showing, and then people start flipping out, assuming that the picture means that she is a nasty 15-year-old- and once again, she’s apologizing over stupid stuff. Obama said that americans are bitter at politicians that lie- and then had to apologize for calling americans bitter. Whatever. I know how it goes- I apologize for little things that people flip out over all the time. Relax people!

10. Big kids- yeah- Janie and I often play in places made for little kids- and who comes muscling in stealing her toys/ playground/ fun? Big kids. I want to say, “hey! Aren’t you like 8 or something?! GO AWAY.”

11. Empty tanks- it seems like every time I look at my cell phone or iPod, its almost out of battery. And when I look at my gas gauge, its always running low. Sheesh!

12. Broken stuff- my kitchen light went out this week (but at least I got to go to home depot and fix it!) my tires needed to be replaced. And this morning, my laptop crashed. But at least I got to get a new one. And I think I fixed my old one, so I can study outside of my office. But hey! Come on stuff! Stop breaking! And stop costing so much money!

13. The phrase “thrown under the bus”- what does that mean? why is it popular to use? I cringe each time I hear it- maybe its because I actually drive a bus.

Stuff I enjoy right now:
The nba playoffs-
Especially the coverage on TNT- I love kenny and charles.
National treasure 2- was awesome. Just saw it on dvd.
Daddy-daughter-time- is always a blast- and I got some extra time this weekend.
Bbq-ing- delicious and fun.
My new kitchen light- is super-cool and dimmable! A big step up from the fluorescent one that came with the place.
My new computer- its pretty swank.

Ok- I’m done ranting- now I’m going to bed.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


"When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before."
-jacob riis

leadership reflections 5/25

I’ve been reading 2 samuel these days, and I’ve been noticing something about this guy, king david: he doesn’t seem to be comfortable with confronting those close to him. he has no problem killing the man who claimed to have euthanized saul (2 Samuel 1). he has no problem declaring war on nabal for not feeding his men (1 Samuel 25), and he didn’t seem to mid getting rid of goliath, or all kind of philistine soldiers; but he can’t seem to confront those close to him.

example 1: Saul. saul tried to kill him several times, but david spared his life twice. but this doesn’t really count, because saul was the king, and david wasn’t- even though he had been crowned king long before saul died. result? Saul kept on chasing david until he was killed in battle. david never returned home until Saul was dead- he even joined the philistine army!

example 2: Joab- commander of David’s army. one of saul’s leaders, abner defected to David’s side (2 Samuel 3). David enlisted him in his service- and Joab made sure that abner knew who was in charge of the military by stabbing him. so David mourned for abner- told the people to mourn for abner, and then cursed Joab. he did all of these things, but he never confronts him or fires him. the result? joab keeps on killing anyone who gets too close for comfort.

example 3: amnon- david’s son. amnon rapes one of david’s daughters, tamar. another one of david’s sons is furious, but david doesn’t do a thing about it. the result? Absalom kills amnon in front of david’s other sons.

example 4: Absalom. david never confronted Absalom for amnon’s muder. but Absalom was still afraid of him,, so he ran into exile, and david let him run. joab convinced him to bring him home,, and david did, but he did not speak to him for two years. the result? Absalom ignited a rebellion against david and temporarily ousted him from his throne.

confrontation is no fun. especially when its someone close to you like a co-worker or a relative. but it is an important part of a leader’s role. and when people close to us, and under our responsibility, do something wrong, its up to us to react to it. if we don’t, who will? and if we don’t, what other damage could result? with david, it looked like he just didn’t care- and that outraged his son Absalom and fueled the fire of his anger. when we as leaders don’t react, it gives the impression that we don’t care- and that can make other people that we love and lead angry- and can lead to even more drama and pain. david seemed to be alright with receiving criticism (psalm 51), but confronting others wasn’t on his screen, and he endured all kinds of pain because of it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

random-rob-thoughts: may 21

here is an update on my funny life-

:: I did my morning club in Princeton plaza this morning- its been kind of a downer lately. I had this vision of a room filled with students, eating, chatting, discussing spiritual issues, behaving; but instead, the students sort of come in, grab a handful of hashbrowns and then leave. so- next wednesday will be the last one for the year. one thing i'm pretty excited about is my newest volunteer, dale- who plays twister with the boys!

:: life is always fun with jane around; we went to the park recently; its got this “curvy-slide” that jane likes to slide down and pick up static electricity. she then touches my hand and gives us both a big shock. when we went last weekend, the static electricity gave her a new look:

:: speaking of new looks, I’m chopping off my hair. I wanted it to look cool like bono’s when he grows his hair out, but it just doesn’t- and it takes forever to dry it. I’ve been testing the waters, saying to people, “I think I’m going to cut my hair,” hoping that they would say, “no! it looks awesome!” but instead, they say, “yeah. you really should.”

:: its been 2 weeks since I’ve had a soda or energy drink. I can’t really say that I’m off of caffeine. I’ve been drinking this Propel invigorating Water. its got almost as much caffeine as pepsi. but its water- so I don’t feel so bad- and I only have one a day. I did try that new sweet tea that they have at mcdonald’s, and I needed to take a moment after I tasted it. it’s a lovely beverage.

:: here are a few jane quotes:
the other day I was pushing her on the swings and she was narrating what was happening, which is something she does a lot of. she was saying, “whoa! I’m swinging! whoa! the trees are swinging too!” this other dad was pushing his kid next to me and decided to start up a conversation. he and I got to talking and jane said, “no more talking dad! just pushing!”
she also walks around the house saying, “that sounds CRAZY!” which cracks me up.
right now, she has a passion for cheetos.

:: I just read a hilarious book called “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” its supposed to be the daily journal of a middle school boy. it good for a laugh.

Monday, May 19, 2008

this is how my sermons usually begin-

Sunday, May 11, 2008

church//gym: entry12

as I have been working out next to my friend gary, I have picked up that his wife was very sick for a long time. I later learned that she passed away. he told me that her passing led to him going to church again. I don’t really probe, it just comes out as we talk.

he was sharing with me that he was going on a trip to reno- to have something to look forward to. when he got back, I asked him how it was, and he didn’t seem to have a very good time. he told me that he and his wife used to go to reno, and just being there without her made him really sad. I asked him how long it had been since she passed and he said 10 months. I thought it was a lot longer, since he seems like he has been in church for years.

this lady, carol started talking to him about his trip (she was the one who was asking him about his dizzy spells in front of everyone). he shared with her that he doesn’t gamble, but that his wife used to like to play slot machines; so he put one token in her favorite machine and said, “this is for you, babe.”
it paid out $1800 right there. he felt happy to have the money, and he felt that the Lord gave him a special moment to remember her. he also shared that he gets lonely. carol offered to have dinner with him sometimes, but she made sure to tell him that it wouldn’t be a date (yeah right, carol!)

I was on the elliptical next to him, sweating and breathing hard as he told this story, and I didn’t have anything to say; but I felt a lot closer to him as he shared it.

what does this have to do with church?
I don’t know-
we all have stories that are waiting to be told.
we all have pains that need to be comforted and healed.
we all have a need for friendship, community, and grace.

here this guy was encouraging me,
even in the midst of his pain-
I really like gary.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

me & caffeine

caffeine and i go way back.
my mom always had a pitcher of sweet tea in the fridge-
and i guzzled that stuff. mmm…
when i was in high school i ran track-
i did like 4 events at every meet.
after each event i was so tired-
there was this weird vitamin store near my house
with a creepy old lady that worked there.
she hooked me up with all kinds of energy pills and powders.
my teammates got a little concerned,
but i really loved having energy and being hyper.

for a long time mountain dew was my favorite form of caffeine.
and then one day i was coming home from hume lake and we stopped for gas-
the captain got a red bull and i gave it a try.
i was so hyper, i felt like laughing.
from then on, i was hooked.

i had a red bull on Sunday morning, to be perky for me sermon,
i had one on Wednesday nights to be perky for bible study-
some weeks, i had one a day.
one time we did an all nighter and i had 4.
things started swaying around.

i went to Atlanta and rediscovered sweet team. mmmm…
then i discovered that the sell it in the car at 7-11!
i have bought so many of those cans!
like 2 a day! plus gallons of sweet tea from walgreens.

i have like 3 refills of soda when i go to restaurants-
and i really like mochas from starbucks-
there have been several occasions went i have felt super-stressed for no reason- and the reason turned out to be all of the caffeine racing through me.

last week, i just felt over it.
the sight of soda just grossed me out.
i got so tired of the energy roller-coaster.
i got tired of feeling pressured by nothing-
so i decided to take a break from it.

my friend went without soda for a whole month
and not only got off of it, but dropped several pounds.

so that’s my goal-
to be off of caffeine for awhile-
no soda, no red bull, no sweet tea, no starbucks-
i’m going to go until hume lake i think-
which is in july.

i’ve gone 3 days so far-
and i’m super tired, but i feel good.
i've been sleeping a lot better-
and i've had some glorious naps this weekend.
i’ve been drinking water and crystal light.
i’ve had a few headaches, but hopefully i can barrel through and see some results.
i’d love to drop some pounds, be more relaxed and feel lighter with more energy.
i don’t miss it
at least not yet.
hopefully i can do it-

Sunday, May 4, 2008

random-rob-thoughts: may 4

:: jane has 2 new vocabulary words that she is working into her everyday speech. the first one is “certainly.” here is an example-
ME: “jane- those sunglasses are awesome!”
JANE: “they CERTAINLY are!”

her second new word is “actually.” here’s how that goes-
JANE: “they have a car like we do!”
ME: “yeah! we have a red beetle and they have an orange beetle!”
JANE: “ACTUALLY dad, its called a car.”

:: did you see this story?
“Sara Tucholsky, a softball player at Western Oregon, almost saw her first home run in high school or college be negated when she collapsed because of a knee injury as she rounded first base in a game against Central Washington recently.
If her teammates lent a helping hand, she would be called out.
If the coach put in a pinch runner, she would get a single.
So, asked opposing first baseman Mallory Holtman, what if the other team helped Sara around the bases?
There’s no rule against that, so Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace put their arms under Tucholsky’s legs and carried her around the bases for her home run, gently lowering her so she could touch each base with her uninjured left foot.
Ironically it was Tucholsky’s three-run homer that provided the winning runs in a 4-2 game that ended Central Washington’s chances to advance in the playoffs.
“In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much,” Holtman said. “It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain, and she deserved a home run.
“We started laughing when we touched second base. I said, ‘I wonder what this must look like to other people.’”
Wallace said: “We didn’t know that she was a senior or that this was her first home run. We just wanted to help her.”

:: ok- I’m from san jose- so you would think that my favorite soccer team would be the san jose earthquakes. and they were- until I heard about THIS team!

I love that team!
how could I work for them? or be on their team? do they get a lot of red bull?

:: my playoff bracket for the nba is all messed up. from this point on, I’m rooting for CP3, peja and the new Orleans hornets. the sharks came from 0-3 to force a game 6 tonight. go sharks! I’ve been watching a lot of sports this week- hockey, basketball and baseball. I love this time of year.

:: finally I can speak middle school with this middle school translator! here is the john 1 in middle school language:


finally i can be relevant!