Archive for April, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday, April 24th, is going to be a day of mixed emotions.  It’s Easter Sunday which is the most significant event in the life of the church.  Yet, it’s also the 2nd anniversary of Paul’s death.  Paul was like a son to me and I miss him greatly. 

It was Friday, 4/24/09 and I was at a church conference (Youth Workers’ Gathering, which I’ll be attending again next weekend) when I got the news that Paul had been killed in a motorcycle accident.  It was a shock and those around me stepped in to give me comfort.  In the following days & weeks, we all came together to share memories of Paul and his craziness and ready smile.  Even today, thinking of him brings a smile to my face.

Losing Paul reminds me of the importance of staying close with family.  I’m lucky enough to have 2 grandkids now plus my parents are here in town.  Right now, my dad is just a few blocks away doing rehab from recent emergency surgery.  Plus, my grandma is now 96 years old and lives in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.   My brother is across town with his wife and my nephews so I’m fortunate to have so many family so close to me.

Not only do I have my beautiful wife Liz and 3 wonderful kids (Kev, Chris, Kathy) but through them, I have 3 more (Lauren, Jessica, and Landon) & there’s my family of friends; in particular, Shawn (Paul’s “little” brother) is another “son” to me … which reminds me that I need to visit him again.

I also have a great “church family” and April 24th is also Easter Sunday; for me, Maundy Thursday is my favorite service of the year because it reminds me of the ultimate sacrifice that was made for us … then, Easter reminds us of new hope and new beginnings. 

So, let’s take this as a chance to start over.  Keep your loved ones close and enjoy every minute with them but also make sure that you live life with no regrets.  Life’s too short to do otherwise.

Happy Easter!

~ Mark

Categories: Church, Family

Life Lessons from a Book

I intend this blog to represent all the elements of my life which includes family, work, church, and other charitable organizations.  This one focuses on a book that I’ve been reading for church but the lessons apply to all parts of life.

This blog was essentially written 2 weeks ago while I was flying home from a business trip to Dallas.  I had been getting caught up on my reading of Change the World: Recovering the Message & Mission of Jesus by Mike Slaughter as my Sunday School class at church has been using it for our class discussion.  

While reading, a few things jumped out at me and I wrote some notes to share in my blog but never got around to typing it up until now:

  • LIFE = Love Influence Faith Experience (pages 57-58)
  • Leaders must be … Engaged Inspired Informed Invested (pages 59-60)
  • Mantra for Motorcycles + Disciples: SEE – Search Evaluate Execute (63-64)
  • “Out of complexity, find simplicity.” Albert Einstein (quoted on page 69)
  • “… all full and abundant life consists not of the things we posess but of the relationships in which we invest.”  (page 70)

While these comments were in a book about religion, many of the lessons apply to life in the workplace as well. 

In fact, this week, I attended the “Real Life” Downtown luncheon where business men and women look at how to incorporate religion into their overall life.  I think I’ll be back again for a future session.

Now, back to the book and getting ready to see what Larry and Rebecca are going to discuss with the Seekers class on Sunday morning … plus I have books to look for from Tuesday’s “Real Life” luncheon plus a couple more from a lunch meeting that I attended earlier today.

~ Mark Whitaker

Categories: Church, Leadership