Sunday, October 19, 2014

No church today

It's a Sunday morning and we are just hanging around our hotel room. We are visiting son Isaac and his wife Ricci in Atlanta, Georgia. We're going to their house around lunchtime. So we slept in, watched some tv, and took a walk around the block this morning. There was a day when I would have used this as an opportunity to visit an Atlanta area church - maybe Andy Stanley's church, or Ebeneezer Baptist (where MLK preached), and I even thought about Eastside Church (the pastor is from Huntington, IN) - but instead we're just lazing around. I'm not proud, or ashamed, just saying that's how it is. So... that's how it is this morning.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday in atlanta

Sitting in our hotel room in Atlanta, Georgia right now (actually our hotel is in Decatur, GA). It has been a fun day so far. Took a tour of Emory University and the Candler School of Theology, then toured the Martin Luther King Jr national historic site. More later about all that. Just needed a post for the day. Doing it on my Kindle.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cars serviced

We got both our cars serviced yesterday. Jane had the day off so we dropped off the '11 Ford Escape first and Jane took me to work. Around noon she picked it up and dropped off the '02 Buick Century. Later in the afternoon the owner came to our house and gave Jane a ride back to the shop to pick up the Buick, then she picked me up from work.

Just oil changes for both of them. This was the first time we took the Escape in since we bought it.

We have the best mechanics imaginable.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My turn at coaching... and a few other things

Yesterday it was my turn to do the coaching in my 10-hours of training to become a Certified Christian Leadership Coach. I wrote about it here. Each of the 7 students takes a turn coaching and being coached, while the rest of the group listens and offers feedback afterward (along with the person coaching us). I wasn't supposed to do mine for several more weeks but the guy that was supposed to coach yesterday didn't know if he would be able to (prior commitment), so I gladly volunteered to go ahead and get my turn out of the way. I coached Steve W.

I thought it went okay. I felt very comfortable doing it - though it is a tad unnerving knowing that everyone else is listening and grading me. It actually made me more aware of the times when I worded questions poorly and things like that though. Plus it helps knowing everyone is there to help one another, rather than just be critical. So I was satisfied. I learned a little more, and was encouraged that maybe I can do this. I would give myself a B-. I imagine by the end of this course I will be much better at it. The biggest issue I had was... since we were all on the phone (or computer), it sounded like someone was snickering several times when I would ask a question or make a comment. I didn't 'think' they were laughing at me, but it was a little distracting. I'm not sure who it was, because we were all supposed to mute ourselves if we weren't talking. It's also possible it was some other noise that just sounded like snickering. Anyway, I didn't worry about it too much, but it didn't help. Overall, I am really glad I signed up for this class though.

And... speaking of coaching... I was saddened to hear that basketball coaching legend Wayne McClain passed away yesterday. He was one of the winningest coaches in Illinois history at Manual High School in Peoria, then went on to work as an assistant at the University of Illinois for many years. Most recently he was the coach at Champaign Centennial High School. I think he was only 60. I guess he was in the hospital with pneumonia, and it was only after he passed away that anyone other than his doctor found out he'd had lung cancer for like 2 years. He just didn't tell anyone about it. I never knew him, but knew about him since I lived close to Peoria for most of my life. He seemed like a real stand-up guy; sort of a man's man; and was definitely very well respected by his peers and players. Sad to hear he passed at such a young age.

Speaking of health issues.... Jane's brother John had bypass surgery on Tuesday. I guess it took way longer than they thought due to scar tissue from his bypass surgery 20+ years ago, but it seems that he is doing well. There were pictures of him walking yesterday, and he called Jane last night. So that's good.

There are a few other things I was going to mention but..... I think I'll just stop here. Yesterday was kind of a good day - other than the sad news at the end.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We're #1

I was sitting at work trying to stay awake yesterday when a lady walked in and presented this plaque to me. Cool! I have no idea what it really means or how the winner was chosen or anything, but after being made to feel that the previous 14 years of my life were a total waste, I'll take it!

I do realize this had very little to do with me - I just happen to be the manager working there now - but still... this sucker is hanging on MY office wall. :) And I do like where I work. I started here at the beginning of the year. I wasn't really even looking for a job yet; it just sort of happened (thanks to my son-in-law). No, it's not my dream job, nor do I want to do it forever, but it is a very nice storage facility and the people I work with and for are really nice. It has been good for me.

My facility has 27 buildings, housing around 750 storage units (once construction is finished on our current project), we offer both climate-controlled and conventional storage, and it is in one of the fastest growing parts of this beautiful city of 250,000+. Sure, it is also the most expensive storage facility in town, but I do like to think it's one of the best too. I know, as the manager, I do my best to keep it looking and running good. We also have one building of office suites (and one is currently available if you know someone looking for prime office/business space along a major thoroughfare).

So there ya go... It's not a "major award" like a leg lamp or anything... but it's somethin'.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Parental visit... and things

My parents came for another visit this past weekend. I always wonder when it will be the last one. My dad will soon be 82 and my mom 77, and my mom does all the driving. Dad pretty much just slept the entire time they were here. They arrived Saturday afternoon - just as we needed to leave to go to Bennett's birthday party, and they left Monday early afternoon, even though they were supposed to be staying until Tuesday morning. I think my mom would like to stay and hang out with Jane, Carrie and the kids - probably for weeks at a time - but dad just can't be away from home for some reason. He's pretty much miserable anytime he travels anywhere. Actually, he pretty much just seems to be miserable and grumpy most of the time, period.

Anyway, I was glad they made it out for B's birthday; I was glad mom got to go shopping with Jane, Carrie and Anna; and I'm glad they made it back home last night. It takes them about 7 hours to make the 5 1/2 hour trip, and they drove through some heavy rain last night.

One kinda funny thing.... I don't remember if it was Saturday night or Sunday morning, but my mom said they were thinking they might go to our old church for Sunday worship (as in, the one that fired me). She just wanted to see how people would react. I'm not sure 'how' serious she was, but I think she would have done it had we not convinced her not to. She can be funny like that. :)

We took them to the church near our house instead. It was our third for fourth time there. The worship leader wasn't quite so bad, but there just seem to be way too many people that are trying so hard to be "cool" that.... I just don't know. Maybe we need to quit trying so hard to find a church. Ugh.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Comment policy reminder/review

There are often some really good comments left on this blog. I just want ya'll to know that I do appreciate them. I've been tempted to respond to some of them lately, but decided to quit responding/interacting some time ago... for a variety of reasons. Please don't think my lack of response means I don't appreciate your input, or care about you, or what someone has said, or any such thing. I simply don't want to get into the habit of interacting online again just yet. I hope you understand, and will continue to leave comments - though I understand if you don't. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

B turns 2

Today is our grandson Bennett's 2nd birthday. He goes by Bennett, Benny, Buddy, or simply B. He is also one of the happiest, laid back kids I know.

We are going over to the Feipel's for his birthday party in a little while. We are waiting on my parents to get here from Illinois. I think it's just a small family gathering, and we're having hot dogs on the grill. Should be fun. It is a nice sunny day, even though it's a little chilly (mid-50's).

We got him a monkey hat and a Fisher-Price basketball hoop that fits on the back of a door.

Here are a couple of my favorite photo's of him. Happy Birthday, B!!! Love, Grandpa.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Who am i... (three little words)

In my 502 coaching class we had an exercise where we had to come up with 3 adjectives that described ourselves. After we did that, we then broke up into groups, and 2 other people offered their description of each of us. I thought it was quite interesting.

At first, when thinking about 3 adjectives to describe myself, I came up with 1) moody, 2) difficult, and 3) complicated. I eventually admitted that, while I can often be like that, it wasn't entirely true, nor very helpful. It's much to easy to put ourselves down.

I did recall that one time someone asked Jane to describe me in one word, and she chose the word "intense." I was totally blown away by that, because I had never thought of myself as a very intense person. But after thinking about it, I have since come to realize how right she was.

So, the 3 adjectives I came up with to describe myself were:

  1. Contemplative
  2. Intense
  3. Loyal
What I found even more interesting were some of the adjectives my two partners in the exercise came up with (Ben T. and Steve W.). They described me as:
  • Deep-thinker (contemplative)
  • Innovative 
  • Pioneering
  • Smart
  • Hardworking
  • Caring
So... there ya go. I am happy with that. I could be many things, but I think those are all pretty apt descriptors of yours truly. I highly recommend this for anyone - to spend some time thinking about the adjectives that best describe you, and then ask a couple sincere friends to do the same.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Mowing shorter

Back to more serious matters... I mowed the lawn again last night. Leaves have begun to fall, so I lowered the deck. I had been mowing on the second from the highest setting, but last night I lowered it two more notches. The next time I mow I will probably lower it another one.

I liked the look of the long grass this summer, but once fall arrives I want my grass as short as possible so there will be as little resistance as possible keeping leaves in my lawn. The neighbors have young kids or better means of dealing with leaves than I do, plus long grass makes them harder to rake or blow to the curb anyway.

So... that was pretty eventful. I also can't believe my mower still works. I really need to think about a new one this coming winter/spring. I've kind of been saying that for a few years though. We'll see.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

What is a christian coach

As promised yesterday, today I will follow up with a post attempting to explain what "Christian Coaching" is exactly. The term "coaching" can mean a lot of different things to different people, so hopefully this will give someone a basic idea of what I'm talking about.

To begin with, it is important to distinguish that coaching is not therapy, counseling, advice-giving, or mental health care. It is for people who are basically well-adjusted, emotionally healthy and functioning effectively in life.

Ultimately, coaching at its most basic level, is a vehicle to get someone from where they ARE to where they want to BE (or go). Coaching is designed to help a person address a change they would like to make. This might include, but is not limited to, areas of career development, relationship enhancement, spiritual growth, lifestyle management, life balance, decision-making, moving through a transition in life, or the achievement of short-term or long-term goals. It is an ongoing, confidential relationship that may involve brainstorming, written assignments, education, goal-setting, plans of action, accountability, lifestyle examination, and lots and lots and lots of questions.

As far as a "Christian" coach... that simply means the person doing the coaching is upfront about the fact that they are a follower of Jesus Christ and their values and character will be in line with those of Christ (well, you know, pretty much).

What I really like about this coaching model is that it is NOT about telling someone what to do, but through the coaching process you are actually helping the person discover their own answers. So, as a coach, I don't need to have any answers myself, I simply need to learn how to listen well, ask the right questions, and offer insights to help the client learn what they may or may not already know.

Hopefully that helps explain coaching a little more. If not... well, you can always google it.

[I originally forgot to credit Brian Miller with much of the content of paragraphs 2 & 3]

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Mentor coaching

Last Wednesday I started the next phase on my journey toward obtaining a Certificate in Christian Leadership Coaching. This is through Coach Approach Ministries and the International Coach Federation. The requirements for becoming a licensed  ICF coach include:

  • CAM 101 – Intro to Christian Coaching (6 hours of self-paced online learning)
  • CAM 501 – Foundations of Christian Coaching (2 days in person or 16 hours online over 8 weeks)
  • CAM 502 – Establishing a Dynamic Coaching Relationship (2 days in person or 16 hours online over 8 weeks)
  • 10 hours with a qualified ICF-credentialed mentor coach or completion of the Portfolio Prep Package
  •  Certification Fee of $375 (reduced to $75 if you’ve completed the PPP process with CAM)
I have taken classes 501 and 502, but actually skipped the 101 class, so following my 10 hours of mentor coaching (which I am doing now) I can take an online course 'Mastering the Core Competencies' for $99 in its place.

This 10 hours of mentor coaching will take place through online and phone conferencing with 7 other students, the course instructor, and then 3 more hours of one-on-one coaching with 3 certified coaches - all over the next 8 weeks. The weekly conference calls are on Wednesdays from 4-5pm EDT. The emphasis of this class is on practicing and implementing the ICF's 11 Core Competencies. They are:
A. Setting the Foundation
1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards
2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement
B. Co-creating the Relationship
3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
4. Coaching Presence
C. Communicating Effectively 
5. Active Listening
6. Powerful Questioning
7. Direct Communication
D. Facilitating Learning and Results
8. Creating Awareness
9. Designing Actions
10. Planning and Goal Setting
11. Managing Progress and Accountability 

Personally, I am still undecided as to what I will do with this certification (should I achieve it). I am still having a hard time wrapping my mind around charging people money for me to coach them, but... I can also see the value in it (for the person in need of coaching). Sometimes we all need someone to help us walk through - or think through - something. Plus it's something I can kinda sorta do. So... we will see.

Tomorrow I will [probably] post: What Exactly Is Christian Coaching?