Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mysteries of Immanuel

Immanuel. God with us. Divinity in the flesh.

There is no greater mystery than God, in all of His Infinite Majesty, becoming a tiny baby. Creator of the heavens and the earth, All-Knowing Encyclopedia, Ever-Loving Father and any other praise worthy title you can think of- He wrapped Himself in humanity.

A baby. I cannot wrap my mind around the concept. God became a baby. It is easier to think of Jesus as a man, walking around
confronting the religious tyrants... but a BABY? A helpless, squirmy, crying baby? A baby that spit up, cooed, wore diapers and burped when Mary patted his little back?


Wednesday night (November 29th) my family saw a preview of the movie, The Nativity Story. If you have not seen it as of yet, do. Take tissues. You will need them.

The above picture was one of my favorite scenes. I have not yet had the honor of bearing a child, but I have been able to feel numerous babies in the womb as they shift around, press and kick. It is an amazing thing. There is something so strange about thinking how giddy Mary must had been, like every other first time mom, when she felt Jesus move for the first time.

I am at a loss for words. I wish I could communicate the thoughts and emotions that I had when I was watching the movie. He was real. God became man. I cannot say it enough...

God. Became. Man.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

No Surprises Here

I stepped into my new job at a perfect time. Initiative360 was just beginning a new program to assess staff skills, strengths, hindrances, motivations and personality. Hopefully, this test will be used one day to help churches, teams and families better understand their gifts and calling in life.

The test took me a little over an hour and covered everything from preferred tasks to logical problems. It was an interesting test and I would be SO curious for all of you to take it!

I got my results last Thursday and nothing suprised me. So, would you like a run-down of who I am (according to this test)? You don't have a choice... (the scale is 1 to 10, with 1 being on the low side of the description and 10 being identical to the description. I did not type out the whole descriptions, but the key words and characteristics.) I also put things in green bold that I agreed with about myself and italicized in orange thoughts I had about the results. Let me know if you have questions or if something surprises you! :-P

Thinking Style
Learning Pace 9- Learning, reasoning and problem solving potential.
Verbal Skill 10- Vocabulary skills.
Verbal Reasoning 8- Using words as a basis in reasoning and problem solving.
Numerical Ability 9- Numeric calculation ability. This surprised me at first, but then I remembered how easy the mathematical questions had been!
Numeric Reasoning 10- Numbers as a basis in reasoning and problem solving. I LOVE logical math problems such as "What number comes next in this pattern 1, 3, 6, 8, 11, 13?"

Occupational Interests
Enterprising 5-
Seeks to promote change through ideas, products and services.
Financial/ Administrative 8- Interested in activities such as organizing information. Seeks consistency, predictability and control. Umm, yes. This is not so much financial, like accounting, as it is administration. Although, I do enjoy some accounting and attention to financial detail.
People Service 8- Seeks to be of genuine help to others in need. Which, as you see later, is my "motivational" ie, spiritual gift.
Technical 2- Interested in scientific activities, technical data and research. Usually good at trivia. HA. I think the only thing that I can slightly agree with is the research. NEVER force me to play a game of trivia. I might cry. I am all about logic, not random facts.
Mechanical 5- Interested in working with tools, seeks to see tangible results as a result of labor. Usually fond of the outdoors.
Creative 10- Interested in activites using imagination, creativity and original ideas. Seeks to be different. If I am not allowed to let my creative juices flow, either in serving others, teaching or organizing, I will eventually go crazy.

Personality Behavioral Traits
Energy 4- Tendency to display endurance and capacity for a fast pace. Since I am on the lower end of the spectrum, this means that I like a more paced day instead of one that is completely crammed. I can handle a full load for a while, but need a break- especially if the schedule involves a lot of interaction with people.
Assertiveness 4- Tendency to take charge of people and situations and speak up. With this definition, I am surprised that I did not score higher. One of the reasons I scored lower is because I like to have a lot of facts before jumping into a situation.
Sociability 4- Tendency to be outgoing, people-oriented and mixes with others. I score low because after a while, people drain me.
Manageability 5- Tendency to follow policies and work within the rules. Most of the time, but I need to be able to be creative, without crossing moral boundaries. I will follow procedures, unless I think there is a better way to get things done.
Attitude 2- Tendency to have a trusting attitude regarding people and outcomes. When I saw a 2 next to attitude I thought, "Oh dear." But after reading the definition I can totally relate. I am more guarded when I first meet people. I do not trust immediately. I want to see what you are about and then relate to you accordingly. The person who did the assessment said that a low score means a person is VERY discerning.
Decisiveness 4- Tendency to make decisions quickly without additional information. The more facts the better.
Accommodating 6- Tendency to be friendly, cooperative, agreeable and team-minded. I go with the flow, for the most part. I am not hard to please, nor do I get upset easily.
Independence 5- Tendency to be self-reliant, self-directed, and pursue own agenda. Tell me what to do or let me figure it out by myself- either way I am good with it. Being alone is great, being with people is great. Making my own decisions is nice and working things through with advice is good too.
Judgment 5-The Higher scores tend to think clearly (logical and head driven) while lower scores tend to express emotion and feeling (heart driven). I was happy and feel like this score is accurate of me. When making a judgement about something I use about the same emotional energy as I do factual perspective. I will not make a decision based on only facts or only emotions.

Motivational Gifts
Serving 10-
Driven to quietly free up others by tirelessly taking care of routine and short-term tasks and details without complaining. Likes to entergetically pitch-in without being asked. Needs to be appreciated. Obviously, since I scored the highest possible number, this must describe me well. And it does. I get so excited and energized by doing small things for people, without being asked. I cannot say that I ALWAYS do it without complaining, but if I know that there is a need I can meet, why complain? I usually am complaining that others are not helping meet needs. I do need to be appreciated. A simple thank you means the world to me.
Leadership 7- Ministers to improve the business side of ministries by increasing efficiency and effectiveness. Irritated by chaos, waste and disorder. Can set goals and delegate. Good creative problem solver.
Prophesying 3- Driven to speak up and assert the truth and stand up for principle. Sees in black and white. Hates evil. Dislikes deception and poor leadership. With this description, I was surprised that I scored low. I think the difference for me in this category, is that I am not brazen or harsh when I assert the truth. I want to be well educated and be able to persuade you instead of beat you up over the truth.
Contributing 4- Driven to accumulate then generously give money, time and other resources to worthwhile causes. Thrifty and economical. Low-key approach.
Mercy 6- Ministers to the hurting and less fortunate. Forgiving. Mantains loving relationships. Non-judgemental unless loved ones are under attack. Self-sacrificing. Avoids confrontation. Genuinely values others. This is the first time I have scored high on mercy in a spiritual gift test. I think part of it is the definition and the other part is growth in my life. I can see how God has shaped me the last year to be a more merciful person. There is too much suffering around me to not see how God can get the glory through ministering to those in need.
Encouraging 6- Offers hope and optimism. Offers positive influence to others. Promotes discipleship. Dislikes criticism, details and inflexibility. I hate it when the very essence of a person's personality is being criticized. I want to see how God has designed people before I judge. I want to encourage them to be more than they are to the best of their abilities to the glory of God. I still have work to do.... for there are some people it is harder for me to encourage than others.
Teaching 8- Driven to accurately clarify the truth. Dislikes ignorance and false teaching. Thorough. Finds new insights others do not see. Likes to share knowledge. In almost every siritual gifts test I have taken since I was a pre-teen these three have been the top: serving, teaching and leadership. Every time. I love to do research and learn. I love to take what I have learned and share it with others in a way that challenges them. I hate ignorance, yes, NOT innocence. Some people should know different... and others have just not yet been taught. There is a difference. False teaching scares me and so I want to know the Truth- the Person and the facts.

Monday, November 13, 2006

When time is nothing...

And nowhere to be found.

I finally have couple moments to write an update. This weekend was extremely busy and I am exhausted. There is also a cold front moving in, which, without fail, gives me a headache. That or the lack of sleep.

(Since I wrote the above paragraph I have gone upstairs to my office, written emails, filed papers, had a meeting and answered 10 phone calls... excuse me, there is number 11. And a person walking in the building.)

So, what was I going to say when I started writing this post?

Friday, November 03, 2006

When Sacrifice is Nothing

"I want to look back at the end of my life and be able to say, 'I gave everything for Christ and made no sacrifices."
~Hudson Taylor~

Oh, this is what I want to be able to say with confidence in my death. I lived, I loved, I served Christ and through it all made no sacrifices.

This Wednesday I began my new job at Initiative360 and OMF. It has been a pleasure and a joy to be in an environment where the main focus is to further the name of Jesus. Sure, programming, marketing, promotion, finance and communication are the functional peices of the puzzle- but the goal is the same.

As for some details:
- I WILL have two email addresses, two offices (plus the reception area) and A TON to do!!!
- I have met ALMOST all of the 80 people who work in the MissionPlex.
- I have neither of my computers.
- My office for OMF gets very warm- not good for a person that runs hot already. I brought my fan, just in case.
- Ann Marie brought me a bag of Dark Chocolate on my first day. They taste great, thanks my dear!
- I have not had a chance to write my dearest Dawn and email yet... and I feel horrible.
- I miss my "work" time with Katie and Dawn.
- I work three days this week, four days next week and five days the week following, then I have another three day week for Thanksgiving. I am SO grateful for the timing of this new job, God has been so good to ease my into a schedule that would have been OVERWHELMING if I have to jump in at 5 full-time days!
- I used the time change WAY for my advantage this year- seeing as how I need to LEAVE at the time I was GETTING UP!
- I miss my family, since I have not been with them much this week and this weekend I must go to Ft. Collins. ::Sigh:: such is life.
- Yogurt with granola is wonderful.

I hope all of you are well!!!