Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Puzzle Pieces...The Finale

PLEASE somebody, PLEASE unplug the machine!

I found myself in the middle of an otherwise mundane seminar on church missions. Been there…done that…bought the t-shirt…sold it at a rummage sale. My ADHD was cruising at Mach 8 with a virtual unlimited supply of jet fuel. The longer I sat there, the faster I counted the indentions in the ceiling tiles. In my mind’s eye, I had already restructured the room, critiqued the other seminar attendees, and had redesigned the PowerPoint presentation…and that was just the first ten minutes! Did I mention the fact that the main seminar speaker spoke in an almost monotone, high pitched, nasally voice…and I was sitting in the front of the room?!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a new seminar speaker with a welcomed change to my ears.
He was a younger man, more eloquent in speech,
The voice of a disc-jockey…my senses were peaked.
The longer he talked, the more excited he became,
Something was wrong, he didn’t play by the rules of the game.
His heart screamed of missions, you could see it in his eyes,
I felt myself calming down, I couldn’t understand why.

Then out of nowhere, this guy had the audacity of passing out puzzle pieces to all of us in attendance. There I was, totally focused, enjoying the rare calmness of the moment when he stops at our table to give us our puzzle pieces.

Yep, there I went. My applecart was just knocked into oblivion and I became nothing more than a salivating dog waiting for my master to say “Go!”.

Let me at the puzzle!

Since I had already evaluated the room, I came to a very quick conclusion that I could have a WWF Smackdown in the middle of the conference hall and I guarantee I could have had that puzzle put together in nothing flat.

Uh-oh…I think I might be crossing that line again…

But he didn’t say ‘Go’. He said “Stop”. “Stop what you’re doing. Stop how you think of missions. Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!”

What!? Stop it!?

I felt my engines calming down almost as fast as they had fired up. I was trying real hard to hold it all together, but my Type A, ADHD personality was on a Guinness World Record setting pace. Somehow, someway I had to focus, fast.

“Each of you are holding a very unique piece of a puzzle.” “And each piece, whether it’s at this table (pointing to mine), or that table (pointing to one in the back), is just as important as the next.”

No he just didn’t!

“Let that sink in. Each one is just as important as the next.”

There is no way this guy is actually telling me and everyone else in this room that each piece is just as important. Did he not get the memo that told him that mine out-ranked all the others? That without mine, this puzzle couldn’t be completed?

“But just remember” he said, “Even though there is not one individual piece that’s more important than the other, each single piece…each single person, is such a vital part that without it…the puzzle just isn’t complete.” Then he looked and pointed at the person beside me. “It takes you. And you…and you…and you!” As he pointed to others around the room. Others, just like me.

He shared a truly grass-roots style philosophy of missions that in all honesty, I’ve never seen before due to my over-energized, caffeine-fueled personality. A philosophy that is so basic, yet so incredible...goes back to that ‘forest for the trees’ thing. But when I saw it…I really saw it.

He went on to say that even if we did attempt to assemble the puzzle, we couldn’t because all of the pieces were not handed out...more people were needed…more people willing to take the focus off their own puzzle piece and instead, do everything in their power to see…to complete the big picture. There were still very valuable pieces that we didn’t know about, yet, each was just as important as the ones we were holding. What really is the big picture? What does it look like? These are the real questions that we must seek the answers to. It’s irrelevant what my specific puzzle piece looks like, but how does it work in relation to the big picture. The focus must be on the overall picture…what does it look like…what is His picture.

I am still a very confident individual…extremely sure of myself…borderline arrogant. And I will always be accused of crossing that superthin line. I’m still a classic Type A personality with overactive adult ADHD tendencies. But now, I carry with me that same single puzzle piece that serves as a constant reminder of that moment when I really saw the big picture.

Want to put a puzzle together?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Puzzle Pieces...

I’m a very confident individual…extremely sure of myself…borderline arrogant. And if you can only imagine, I’ve been accused on many occasions of crossing that fictitious line. Without question, a Type A personality. Wikipedia describes it best:

"Type A personality, also known as the Type A Behavior Pattern, is a set of characteristics that includes being impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about one’s status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation.[1] Type A individuals are often highly achieving workaholics who multi-task, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about the smallest of delays. They have been described as stress junkies."
Yep, that’s me…all me.

Many, many times I literally have on blinders and can only see or focus on my immediate tasks at hand. It’s almost like not being able to see the forest for the trees, all the while straining so hard just to get a glimpse of the elusive forest. Now granted I’ve rewritten the definition and expectations of the concept of multi-tasking, yet I get so inundated on the smallest of details. It’s so easy for me to be very happy and very miserable at the exact same time. Liken it to a ‘split-personality’ of sorts.

Imagine it this way…a hundred people come into the same room. Each is given a single piece of a hundred-piece puzzle…including me. Our goal is to assemble the puzzle. I’m the person attempting to look at each of the other 99 pieces…simultaneously mind you, to see if I can find the ones that only match ‘my piece’. I could actually care less if any others match…does it match mine…mine…only mine. As I scramble around the room, frantically searching for my matching pieces, I see other parts of the puzzle beginning to come together. I become furious and frustrated in my attempts to successfully complete my task. After all, it’s my piece that is the most important. Without my specific piece of the puzzle, all the rest is moot.

My insides scream…my mind spins out of control…every fiber of my being is somehow lost in organized chaos…my eyes bounce like pinball’s seeking to hit every bonus available and score as many points as possible.

Would somebody PLEASE unplug the pinball machine?!

Did I mention I’m also adult ADHD?

Welcome to my world.

Such is the case of the viewpoint of so many churches and Christians. “Mine, mine, mine…me, me, me…I, I, I…us, us, us…we, we, we…bringing in the sheaves”. Sorry, I guess I got carried away for a moment. This was too easy for me. It fit my normal thought pattern. Life was good. And I bought into this viewpoint with no reluctance what so ever.

Yep, life was good…up until a few days ago. It was in an unforgetable moment that I came to the mind-altering fact, there was something seriously wrong with my spiritual piece of the puzzle…

…to be continued.

A Must Read...

One of the best thought provoking, heart altering posts I think I've ever read is over at Dean's. I strongly encourage you to read Dean's Personal Revolution!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Guys Study Group @ Dad's Place...

Hey Guys,
Join us Tuesday mornings at 6:00am, YES, that's 6:00AM, for an incredible new Bible Study Group. I know it's early, but it's worth every moment of your time. Come on in and bring a friend or two! The coffee will be fresh...and the study will be real! See you on Tuesday Mornings.

Friday, June 15, 2007


In the just concluded Southern Baptist Convention held in San Antonio, Frank Page, President of the SBC and pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, SC, shared this amazing statement in his President's Address to the convention:

"For 30 years we've been trying to raise baptism levels among non-revived churches among non-revived people who've lost their passion for the lost," said Page, adding he was paraphrasing longtime evangelism professor Roy Fish. "But interestingly enough, we've become strangely passionate about our own agendas...."

One of those things that make you go, 'Hmmmmmm'! 'I think I've heard that wait, I think I've said that before."

The only real shame to messages such as this and the one by Rob Zimm, is the fact that the overwhelming majority in this audience is pastors and other staff members. These messages need to be heard by the remaining members of all the churches across America. Those members whose personal agendas completely clog the passage way of God's Will.

Here's the bottom line: It's not about me or my agenda. It's not about you or your agenda. It is ALL about HIM and HIS Will...His agenda.

Today's Daily Brunch...

A few days ago, Jeff gave us a great review of 'The Irresistible Revolution' by Shane Claiborne. Here is just one of the many 'stand-out' quotes from the book...

"But we live in a world that has lost its appreciation for small things. We live in a world that wants things bigger and bigger. We want to supersize our fries, sodas, and church buildings. But amid all the supersizing, many of us feel God doing something new, something small and subtle. This thing Jesus called the kingdom of God is emerging across the globe in the most unexpected places, a gentle whisper amid the chaos. Little people with big dreams are reimagining the world. Little movements of communities of ordinary radicals are committed to doing small things with great love."

Definitely something to chew on...and swallow...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Get Off The Pew"...

It seems as though for years I've literally been screaming the fact that if the church in the 21st Century really, really wants to impact their communities for the Kingdom of God, changes MUST be made! I have never ONCE suggested in altering the Gospel Message of Christ. The Bible, in it's entirety is, and always will be the inerrant, infallible Word of God. However, the WAY we do things, and literally the things we do, must be revamped...mindsets must be changed in order to reach our society for Christ.

Yesterday, at the Southern Baptist Convention that is taking place in San Antonio, Texas, Robb Zinn, senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, California absolutely lays this exact mindset down in immaculate fashion as he delivers the convention message at the convention. You can read the highlights of his message HERE. Don't miss this one!
Let me also honestly say, I really don't care if you disagree with me or not. The bottom line here, is what are YOU...and what is your CHURCH doing to change your community...your neighborhood...your family, for Christ? Don't be stuck in the 40's and 50's attempting to 'do church'.

CD Release Party...

Join us Friday, June 15th, at Dad's Place for a wonderful evening of Christian music, provided by Jonathan Snow Carpenter...Worship Leader for Second Baptist Church, Monticello, AR. Jonathan is an incredible young man with a strong heart for the Lord, and a passion for leading His people into His presence. This is a special evening for Jonathan, as this will be his NEW CD Release Party for the just released "A Heart On My Sleeve" CD. Join Jonathan as he performs the songs on the new CD, as well as some incredible favorites. Show time is 7:00pm. There will be NO COVER charge. You WILL be able to purchase a copy "A Heart On My Sleeve" on Friday Night. We're looking forward to seeing you here!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New! @ Dad's Place Coffee...

Hello Everyone,

First of all, I want to thank each and every reader for stopping by Dad's Place Coffee. It's a pleasure to know the amount of traffic we have each week.

I realize that it's often hard to comment on everyone's blogs that you read...even though I love your comments, sometimes it's just hard to. For that reason, I've installed ClickComments on each post. ClickComments are designed to make it easy for readers to send an expressive comment with just one click on either of the icons. The clickcomment counter gets updated immediately for everyone to see. Go ahead, roll over each of the icons to see if they express your thoughts on any particular post. If so, click it, and share with me your thoughts.

And don't forget, I still cherish your written comments as well. Again, thanks for stopping by Dad's Place Coffee.

Jim Whaley

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Winner In Our Midst...

I love being able to brag on our students. And this past weekend, one of our students, that hangs out at Dad's Place, took care of business in the Junior's Golf Tournament this past weekend, here in Monticello. CLICK HERE for more...

Dart League Final Statistics...

The leagues are over, and the trophies have been passed out. CLICK HERE to see the final results and overall standings of both the Individual Dart League and the Doubles Dart League.