Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

“What things?” he asked.

“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. Luke 24:1-31 NIV

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday 2

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:44-46 NIV

Good Friday I

A day late...but better late than never.

I still am taken by the "day in between" the crucifixion and the resurrection. For the disciples, observant Jews, it was the Sabbath. There was no running around getting new outfits, or even doing chores like cutting the lawn. It was a day of rest and because of that there was no hiding the fear behind busy-ness. Many had fled, or hid behind locked doors. Jesus was dead, and there was nothing but fear and terror, wondering if they were next...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rockin' Resume!

Maybe I ought to try and write a ballsy resume like this one--especially after tax time and license renewals which both make me feel like a procrastinating fool.

I Hate Tax Season!

All my creativity is sucked out of me. All I can think about is the total mess of taxes surrounding me. There could be a problem with my MO RN concerning the insanity of the issue of 2007 taxes. As for this year, regretfully, doing an extension, since I can not figure out the capital gain from the stock sale, as the basis is still buried in the garage. I can't even guess what, if any, tax liability I have. I am thankful that 2010 cap gain is still Bush 43 low however. God, this is a mess--and way, way over my pay grade.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another Funky Friday

This is the third Friday in a row I've found myself in a funk. Maybe it is Fridays?

For most people, Friday is the end of the work week, a chance to kick back and do what you want to do. For me, I think Friday has come to mean the end of another week that I didn't do enough, that ends without me having finished everything I wanted to finish, another week ending with me not having a job, or solved any of the 29 problems facing me.

Friday is the end of the business week, the end of the chances to make good on all the promises I make to myself to "do better."

Maybe I need to take what I got done, and be pleased and look to improve on things every week instead of beating myself up because it was less than perfect?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Spectrum of Reasons for Failure

Observer introduction: I saw this is the Harvard Business Review. I really like it. I think there is a lot of truth here. It looks at reasons for failure with regard to blame and blaming an individual or group. Not all failure is created equal. This realization, along with removing a culture of fear to me is key to management of failure in a productive way. First, a bit of background from the article:

Failure and fault are virtually inseparable in most households, organizations, and cultures. Every child learns at some point that admitting failure means taking the blame. That is why so few organizations have shifted to a culture of psychological safety in which the rewards of learning from failure can be fully realized.
Executives I've interviewed in organizations as different as hospitals and investment banks admit to being torn: How can they respond constructively to failures without giving rise to an anything-goes attitude? If people aren't blamed for failures, what will ensure that they try as hard as possible to do their best work?
This concern is based on a false dichotomy. In actuality, a culture that makes it safe to admit and report a failure can--and in some organizational contexts must--coexist with high standards for performance. To understand why, look at the exhibit "A Spectrum of Reasons for Failure" [I reproduce it below], which lists cause ranging from deliberate deviation to thoughtful experimentation.
Which of these causes involve blameworthy actions? Deliberate deviance, first on the list, obviously warrants blame. But inattention might not. If it results from a lack of effort, perhaps it's blameworthy. But if it results from fatigue near the end of an overly long shift, the manager who assigned the shift is more at fault than the employee. As we go down the list, it gets more and more difficult to find blameworthy acts. In fact, a failure resulting from thoughtful experimentation that generates valuable information may actually be praiseworthy.
When I ask executives to consider this spectrum and them to estimate how many of the failures in their organizations are truly blameworthy, their answers are usually in single digits--perhaps 2% to 5%. But when I ask how many are treated as blameworthy, they say (after a pause or laugh) 70% to 90%. The unfortunate consequence is that many failures go unreported and their lessons are lost.

The Spectrum of Reasons for Failure
Top--Most Blameworthy, moving towards more Praiseworthy.

Deviance: An individual chooses to violate a prescribed process or practice.

Inattention: An individual inadvertently deviates from specifications

Lack of Ability: An individual doesn't have the skills, conditions, or training to execute a job.

Process Inadequacy: A competent individual adheres to prescribed but faulty or incomplete process.

Task Challenge: An individual faces a task too difficult to be executed reliably every time.

Process Complexity: A process composed of many elements breaks down when it encounters novel interactions.

Uncertainty: A lack of clarity about future events causes people to take seemingly reasonable actions that produce undesirable results.

Hypothesis Testing: An experiment conducted to prove that an idea or a design will succeed fails.

Exploratory Testing: An experiment conducted to expand knowledge and investigate a possibility leads to an undesired result.

Observer commentary: This has a lot of applications in a lot of settings: workplace, government, personal life. It is not about creating an environment where excellence is not the goal or routinely expected, or shirking responsibility for one's part when failure occurs. It is about creating a positive and encouraging environment where failure is not covered up, but opened up, and is seen, not as something to punish but something to learn from.

Reference: Amy C. Edmondson "Strategies for Learning From Failure" Harvard Business Review 89:4 April 2011 pp. 48-55.

I like what I wrote when I put this as a note on Facebook:
I think this piece has something to say to those of us who struggle with feelings of failure and being inadequate to cope. Not all failures require blame, and no failure is justification for devaluing a person as a Child of God. This is not about looking for someone to blame--we all know pretty much when our failure is at the top of the list and part of being authentic in Christ is a willingness to admit when we were wrong. It is about making failure less about punishment and being banished and abandoned and more about learning something that we can use as we move along in life.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pastor Hamilton at Mid America Nazarene University

I'm trying to watch/listen on an excruciatingly slow WiFi connection right now, so I thought I'd stash this someplace to save it for a time when I have a faster connection.

MNU Chapel - Adam Hamilton from MidAmerica Nazarene University on Vimeo.

I am intrigued about his use of the word "grey." One of the great releases I feel is that I no longer have to always have a certain view now that I am not "evangelical" (although I still am, but the church label I wear does not say that...) Now, I understand more about John's leaving the CoN--I didn't really get it before.

Friday, April 8, 2011

So, Yeah, Frustrated Today

A late start coupled with running around in useless circles has me frustrated today. Trying to say, "Done!" about something but I don't know if that's going to happen.

I was supposed to go to Maxim and do a wellness orientation but I forgot--oops. I guess I need to call and resched but both my nursing licenses are up in the air, plus I might need a doc's statement and I'm thinking it would be better just to start from scratch--a lot of ambivalence when that guy called out of the blue the other day due to the state of my licenses. The states don't make it easier to renew--if you have a problem you can't use on line but Missouri doesn't bother to tell you that. Without the problem they'd have my $100 in their clutches and I'd be renewed on line. So I have to wait for the form and kick it back right away. Meantime I'm doing Kansas's stuff and they want this that and the other plus mo money to reinstate me. It was such bullcrap to revoke a license with NO practice or substance abuse issues and 60 CEUs done since August 2008--stupid stuff.

So anyway, I have to write an "explanatory letter" (for Kansas discipline, right?) to the State of Kansas. Might as well practice, as the state of Missouri will want one too...


Personal prop is paid on car, but I have to do safety inspection. Also, need to pay insurance but can't remember for the life of me my user name for Gieco.

Not a very good day. Feel like I'm chasing my tail.