Monday, February 28, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
A - Their hearing is impaired.
I am not trying to be trite with this question, it is not a joke. Granted, deafness does result in cultural differences, but as a person, the only difference is that they can't hear. The impact of this is significant. We deal with this on a daily basis. The thesis statement goes like this; what we believe about who a person is will affect how we relate to them. We have seen the outworking of this in the lives of people who genuinely care about the deaf, but are not convinced that they are the same as the hearing. They presume upon them greater disabilities. While their love is real, their actions result in hurting rather than helping. And, while the differences seem slight, when worked out over years upon years, the deaf begin to believe themselves that they have these greater disabilities. Its tragic and serious. I guess the moral of the story is that we really need to examine our genuine beliefs about other people. Our beliefs will affect how we relate with them. And, if our beliefs about them are not informed through who God sees them to be, we will be doing them and ourselves a disservice.
Monday, February 14, 2011
I dont have any mushy poems and all inspiring thoughts are escaping me. But, we got is a relationship that is growing. I guess that is inspiring enough because we couldnt ask for more. Not perfect, but becoming more perfect. We are more in love today than we were when we got married and we are giving thanks!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
January 2011 Plattner Family Update
What if all of your “everyday” prayers from last year were answered in the way you wished them to be answered? Stop and think about it. For a moment this excites my heart, but then I start looking at the math. A couple of things stick out. So many times, the best answers to prayers have not come in the way I expected and had they been answered in the way I expected, it wouldn’t be good. The timing would be off and the answer would be wrong. But what about the other prayers that would get answered, the ones asked in the purest of motives. How amazing would that be? I hope that the answers to those prayers would represent the Kingdom advancing, but I think it would also tell another tale. The tally sheet of my prayers shows that I would be the main beneficiary by a large margin. This was a good challenge to my heart from a sermon I was listening to last week. It provoked me to look in the mirror to check myself and my communication with our Father. At first it invoked a small guilt trip, but then I remembered grace, then I remembered sanctification, I remembered that this is a journey, a walk. Yes, I often find myself praying selfish prayers and that needs challenged. But also, Jesus’ instructions for us in the Lord’s prayer similarly has a lot of references to ourselves; our daily bread, forgiveness of sins, protection from temptation, and deliverance from evil. So, after my brain has slowed from chasing these thoughts around awhile, I have settled into a challenge to check the self-focus of my prayers, but not to forsake asking our Father for help everyday. And, making sure a focus of our prayers is for those beyond the walls of our house.
On January 6th, we landed back in Jamaica and rattled our way back up to Knockpatrick. We started getting our things unpacked and trying to get settled back into life. Two days later, we picked up our first work team. The next three weeks were full of work teams, a board meeting, an audiologist group, and a whole bunch of chaos. Actually, it went really well. We had some great groups come through and we were encouraged by the fellowship. It was busy and exhausting, but it was good. The farm continues to plug along, but it has not received the amount of care it requires. From being gone most of December to coming back and being too busy to care because of the work teams, the Agricultural education side of the work has taken a turn for the worse. But, the next few weeks look like they should be more productive. We have also remained busy with various teaching responsibilities on the weekend and we continue to seek his grace for a clear message through clear signs.
Our family continues to experience His amazing grace. The kids have done great adjusting back to life in Jamaica. They similarly live two very different lives, work team lives and non-work team lives. Work teams for the kids means lots of people to play with, lots of people to give them candy, and lots of social time. Non-work team time involves real life, entertaining themselves, reasonable sugar intake, and family time. We have talked about this dynamic a lot and we pray that our kids can balance it in their heads and benefit from it in the long term. Keri and I continue to grow in our love for each other and are trying to understand more everyday what it means to depend on His grace.
Thanks so much for your continued love and support. We love hearing from you. The number of people from when we were back for Christmas who reminded us that they were praying for us was so humbling. It looks like we might be coming back to the states earlier than expected and for longer than we expected this spring, but we are still working out some details. We should have a more complete update on those developments by the end of February. Until then, we try to keep surrendered hearts that are ready to do His will.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Drew is a numbers nut. I mean a real numbers nut. He is in his "happy place" when he has something to count, record, and report. Well, last week we got our basketball hoop fixed and this has been fodder for his fascination with numbers. For the past week, he has mastered his counting by 2's and 3's and has began tracking his number of total made baskets. So, the other day as we began a game of one-on-one, after I made my first basket, which was a 3, he announced the score as of the game as 1066 for Drew and 3 for Kirk. I then explained to him that you can start over the score for a new game and that we should start at 0-0. He accepted this and we played a game to 10 in which I won 10-8. A little later in the day, he showed me his current tally of the score which at the time was 1072-10, which I am guessing was my 10 points from the game we had just played and an attempt to add his 8 to his tally. As you can see from his "scoreboard", he then began graciously "playing on my team" and at the time of writing this entry, I had scored 6 more points and am 1056 points away from catching up to little "Pistol Pete."
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Cracking your Church’s Culture Code is a good book. Allow me a minute to explain to you how the book took me on a little bit of a confusing journey. When I first read the title, I was hoping that this book applied to a broader segment than just pastors, as I work in the non-profit world. After beginning the book, I was pleasantly surprised that the book was not specifically targeted only to Church-world and it could be applied across a much larger spectrum. But, as I proceeded through the book, picking up good pieces of wisdom on the way, I found myself wanting the book to more specifically provide instruction on the unique issues presented in Church-world. Obviously, in the business world, the dollar is the bottom line, but in church-world, people are the bottom line. Now don’t take me wrong, Dr. Chand consistently highlighted the fact that people should be the bottom line, but in Church-world, issues of grace, reconciliation, and loyalty make some of the people issues a little cloudy. The book focused more generally towards larger organizations with strong, well-defined executive teams. Also, I had one other slight critique, as I struggled with how Dr. Chand contrasted leadership vs. management. There is a sense in which we have the freedom to say what we say today, because of the foundation that was laid for us by the previous generation. It seems to me that leadership can only be examined, extolled, and preached because the previous generation did a good job of laying a foundation of management. Not that management alone can get you where you need to go, but I sensed a disparagement of management in contrast to an exaltation of leadership. I think reality does not let us get this out of balance. I mention these couple of critiques for the sake of honesty, as I did take away some good nuggets out of the book. I will reference this book again in the future as Dr. Chand did a good job of laying out some functional list of questions, acronyms, and self-tests that will prove beneficial. The main premise of the book, that culture, not vision or strategy, is the most powerful factor in any organization, is worthy of a book. The longer I work in ministry, the more and more this becomes a reality. I have had the opportunity to view this through an accepting culture where vision or strategy couldn’t have destroyed the mission. And, I have seen it through a discouraging culture, where a positive change in mission or strategy could not reach past the culture. These issues are worthy of a serious time investment and Dr. Chand did a good job beginning that conversation.
P.S. - I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content.