Martyschmidt’s Weblog

A Joyful Journey

Joshua Boundaries March 23, 2009

Filed under: Leadership — martyschmidt @ 1:46 pm

I am working my way through Joshua and loving it. Today most of the reading I did had to do with the boundaries of the land. There were three thoughts that jumped out at me.

1. Boundaries help us live out who we are to be

The first is that with each boundary that was established there was greater definition given to each tribe. They knew what was theirs. They knew their domain. I wonder if many of us need greater clarity on what is ours. What is of most importance. What is our main things. What is my 5% as Wayne Cordeiro would say. Out of that we can structure in boundaries. Some of us have created boundaries in our life that have limited our domain while others of us have created boundaries that infringe on others.

2. Boundaries may create conflict

Which leads me to observation number two. Sometimes our boundaries will create conflicts. There are those who wish we would do something that we have decided not to do. This can hurt feelings, lead to disappointment, and sometimes relational friction.

3. Boundaries demand radical life change

The third thing I noticed then is that sometimes Israeldidn’t completely eliminate land from those who formerly dwelled there. This later created a lot of conflict. Sometimes our boundaries are hijacked by past behaviors. For instance the person who always says yes. Sets some boundaries but eventually finds themselves saying yes again.

I love how even in three random chapters of Joshua God is able to pack tons of insight.


Strings Attached March 10, 2009

Filed under: Leadership — martyschmidt @ 2:12 pm

I received a phone call the other night from someone who is “helping” with the Upper Room homeless shelter. Their “help” comes with so many strings attached to it though that it is anything but helpful. I understand they have skills to move the project forward and they did some private fund-raising but when they are working on their own time line and not ours, when they are doing a project they want to do and not what we need them to do, and when they demand different things so that they can “help” us and then express frustration with us for not being able to do what they requested I get a little confused.

It reminds me of the time a guy came by on the weekend of the sleepout. We had just got done spending the night outside in freezing cold conditions and returning a couple things to the center. I’m locking the door and a guy pulls up saying he has a friend who has a TV he wants to donate and was wondering if we will be here in an hour. I told him we wouldn’t be here in an hour. This greatly upset the man. I politely told him we would be open again on Monday. He said that today was the only day it would work. After telling him that wouldn’t work for us he went on a verbal tirade about all sorts of none sense.

These two stories got me to thinking about how I often have strings attached with my relationship with God. I toss out these ideas in my head about what I’ll do with an assumption that God should do something to compensate the action. At other times I won’t act until God does something. This is something I need to repent of. God is clear in what he desires and expects from us. It isn’t up for negotiation. It is what it is. I wonder how many of us are hanging ourselves by the strings we attaching to living for God.


Down Time March 4, 2009

Filed under: Leadership — martyschmidt @ 4:12 pm

The past week I have given myself permission to have a little extra down time. This was planned months in advance for several reasons.

  • I recognized that a new baby would be arriving around this time and I wanted to be available to meet the needs of our family.
  • I am coming off my longest stretch of teaching thus far.
  • Easter is coming and I wanted to enter in well rested.

I’m so thankful for this time. I had no idea how tired I was. My relationship with Christ was starting to get into cruise control. My sermon prep time was growing smaller and smaller. My creativity was slipping.

About the only thing still going strong was my family. Praise God!

The past few days I have shut it down so to speak and am getting ready for another burst – but the Lord continues to prompt me to stay low until after the baby – so that is what I’ll be doing.


Stickers and Strategies March 3, 2009

Filed under: Leadership — martyschmidt @ 12:12 pm

I was watching Toby and Lydia unload stickers on to pieces of paper this morning. They both had their own style of how they would place them.

Toby’s approach was stack them. If placing one in a certain spot was good then placing two, three, four, or fifteen in that same place must be better. Lydia’s approach was how to we space them out so none of them are touching. Not only did she not want the stickers to touch but she also didn’t want the stickers to touch any of the lines on the page she was placing them.

There seems to be some leadership strategies developing in this. The stacker mindset is lets find out what we do well and pour all our resources time and energy into that. The spread it out mindset is the one that is looking for new opportunities. They are asking the question, What else could we be doing? It’s not that they want to keep doing things but rather they are assessing the needs and meeting them.

I also wonder if there isn’t management styles being developed here. The stacker potentially hoards resources and misses opportunities to see new adventures while the one who spreads out the resources potentially fails in ever fully developing anything because they are doing so many things.


That Place Between February 26, 2009

Filed under: Leadership — martyschmidt @ 6:17 pm

There is currently an advertisement for some insurance agency about being in that place between … and … with a person saying “I’m there.”

For me I’m in the place between an end of a busy stretch in ministry and not quite to a new reality on the home front with baby number 3.

This place in between. The transition of not quite new but no longer old is a troublesome spot. I’ve been here plenty of times. It happened when I was engaged. No longer dating and wondering but not yet married. It happened when I was student teaching but not going to be a teacher while at the same time working in youth ministry but not quite full time. It happened when it was decided that I would be the lead pastor to go plant a church but still operated as the youth pastor.

This place in between is a very hard place to live in. You are still responsible for things in the old but you know that it is coming to an end and it is hard to put any effort into anything that won’t be lasting. You also don’t have full permission to live in the new. It isn’t here yet. You may know it is coming but that reality hasn’t set in.

I think there can be tremendous freedom in That Place Between that we often miss though. There is permission to walk away from some of the old responsibilities. That doesn’t mean we get careless but rather it shows good stewardship by choosing to leave the old paradigm in a good position. You may have to train someone new. You may have to clean out files. It also may mean you need to leave some things undone so as to leave the clue that that too will have to be picked up in your absence.

You also are free to dream about the new. To envision something that isn’t happening yet is a wonderful thing. More time to plan allows you more time to plan well. Sometimes it takes certain situations to teach us patience. Patience is a character builder.

What are your thoughts about that place between.


Lent Thoughts February 24, 2009

Filed under: Leadership — martyschmidt @ 10:46 pm

Growing up our family went to church every Wednseday night during Lent and I hated it. I felt like it was a waste of time. It would be dark outside and it just didn’t make sense to me. When I went to college I sort of took my stand by giving up church for Lent. Not Wednesday night church but Sundays also!

Years have now passed and I’m intrigued by this season of preparation. I want to make the most of it. Where could you be in 40 days? What life change could take place? What goal could be achieved? What addiction could be squelched?

I’m having difficulty landing what I will be doing because I’m having to factor in baby #3 who will be here soon.  I also need to make sure that whatever I choose honors Jenny well. It might be great for me to say I’m going to be in bed by 10:00 each night but that could have horrible consequences on her. The big ideas are currently giving up Coffee, Television, or Pop but none of them are resonating with me. I also want to add something as suggested by Mark Batterson here. Thus my decision for the next 40 days is:

I will not get on the internet until after 10:00am each day. The amount of time squandered by chasing e-mails, reading the news, or checking blogs always seems highest in the morning which is also the best time for me to get extra reading and writing in. My addition will be extended time in the Word.

How about you? What are you subtracting? What are you adding?


Hello Twitter! February 19, 2009

Filed under: Leadership,Resources — martyschmidt @ 3:51 pm


Yes Tweet fans…it is true that I have set up an account. The full launch is still a few weeks away as I am waiting on my new phone. I’m getting pumped and looking forward to the fun.