Great Expectations.

Expectations are a powerful thing. Any good business knows this. Think about any company you love, you are loyal to, you rave about to your friends. They likely all share this one thing- they meet and many times exceed your expectations of them. That is intentional.. they know that. And it’s not about setting low expectations that are easy to exceed. The first company I think of is Apple. Apple sets very high expectations in the minds of their customers- and time and time again they exceed them. As a result, their customers could more accurately be called “followers” and would follow them just about anywhere.

This principle is also true of human relationships.

What kind of expectations are you setting in the minds of your friends, family, employers, significant other? Do they have low expectations of you? Is that what you want? Do you make promises or statements that you really have no intention of fulfilling? Do you say things to impress them and think that your words will be enough? Do they expect you to not come through? If that is the case, you may be damaging your relationship without even knowing it. You are not compelling them to be loyal to, admire, or trust you.  (Here’s a great question to put this into perspective: who is the person in your life who does this to you and how does that make you feel?)

This is also true in the inverse. Are you a boss? A leader? Are you in a position of having set expectations for others? I once worked in an environment with very lofty goals. Unrealistic expectations were set for me and I knew that no matter how well I performed there was no way to meet those expectations. It was very discouraging and I left feeling next to no sense of accomplishment. 

This is such a powerful truth that is easily overlooked and undervalued. But the ones who get this right are virtually guaranteeing their own success.

Food for thought.

JK

Fall.

Fall is easily my favorite season. In fact, if fall were a man I would marry him. In a second. Really, what’s not to love?

It’s interesting to me that Fall and Spring are so distinct. They are both, on the surface, transitions from one extreme season to the other. But Fall and Spring are as extremely different from each other as Summer is from Winter.. but not in the same way. While the difference between Summer and Winter is more about temperature, for Fall and Spring the difference is more symbolic.

Spring is a celebration of life, color, light, purity. It can be seen in the blooms of previously bare branches. It can be heard in the song on the wings returned from their flight to refuge. It can be smelled in the breeze carrying with it the aroma of honeysuckle and new life. It can be tasted in the stream finally free of its winter form. It’s hard to miss the beauty in Spring. In life.

What I find so inspiring about Fall is it symbolizes slow death, and the beauty that is still found there.  Like Spring, Fall also brings with it color, but a different pallet. They are the colors of life surrendering to the inevitable. And they are beautiful. They are warm, peaceful, and vibrant. Fall brings relief to the exhausting heat of Summer. And it is inspiring, empowering. Fall prepares us for the bite of Winter, and shows us that there is a time, a season, for everything. And that beauty can be found around each of nature’s bends. Even in death. 

It’s like God designed the seasons as a foreshadowing. A conditioning. A way to show us how life is designed and that each unique season beautiful. Each is an equal part of the story.

JK

I realized that I never updated you guys on my GlobalX trip to Moldova this summer. It was amazing. That country is so different from anything that I’ve experienced. It is such a tough context to do ministry in, but North Point’s partner, Meteora, is doing an incredible job! I was so blessed by the trip and our team did an amazing job transforming their children’s environment. Thank you for your prayers and support! -JK 

The Church in Moldova.

Hello friends,

I’ve been given the really cool opportunity to travel to Moldova for a week this summer to help create/construct an UpStreet large group environment for our North Point partner church there. And I need your support.

North Point: The church family I have been a part of for the past four years. (Specifically, Buckhead Church)

UpStreet: Our engaging environment for kids ranging from K-5th grade. I have served on UpStreet for the past three years and am currently a small group leader for a group of 5th grade girls. I believe in UpStreet with my whole heart. While the lessons are different each week, there are three truths that we want each child to understand by the time they leave UpStreet. They are:

-I need to make the wise choice.

-I can trust God no matter what.

-I should treat others the way I want to be treated.

Moldova: Declared itself an independent state in 1991 as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Most Moldavians have no real concept of God and religion is simply seen as a traditional institution filled with negative stereotypes (more so than here in the US). In fact, our partner church there calls itself a “Community Center” to avoid such connotations. They also meet on Saturday and Sunday evenings because there is no reason that anyone would wake up early on a Sunday morning.  Andre, the pastor of this church, is and incredible leader and has worked hard with his team to find relevant and engaging ways to communicate to his community the there is a God and He wants a relationship with them.

I need to raise $2,900 for this trip by June 9th. I’m asking for your investment. I realize there are a lot of things you could do with your money, but I would love for you to consider investing in what God is doing through this faith family in Moldova and what He will use me for while I am there.

Update: I have been 100% funded! Thank you so much to everyone who invested in me. You are all the greatest bunch of people a person could ask to do life with. Seriously. I am blessed.

And of course, the most important thing you can do for me is pray. Pray for my heart to be that of a servant’s. Pray that our team would be light wherever we go an in whatever we do. Pray for the hearts of the people in Moldova, that they would be open to hearing about and trusting in the unconditional love of Christ.

Thank you for your partnership.

Undeservingly His,

Jade

One more.

Last night, I watched Schindler’s List for the first time ever. Let me assure you that I’m in as much disbelief as you are that it’s taken this long for that to happen. As you might have expected- It wrecked me. But maybe not in the same way that you would assume. Sure I lost it and my heart ached in response to the unimaginably heinous brutality faced by millions of Jews all because they were …Jews. But that’s not what made the biggest impact on me. It was one scene at the end of the movie. One scene that scares the hell out of me.

At the end of the film when the war is over and the Jews whose lives Shindler bought in order to save express their gratitude for his compassion, something snaps inside of him. He begins to murmur, “I could’ve gotten more.. I wasted so much money.. I could have gotten more.” He looks over at his car and exclaims, “Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people.” He then removes his golden lapel pin and looking at it in his hand begins to cry “I could have saved one more person.”

I think I stopped breathing during that scene. I was so struck by the reality that that is exactly what I will be saying when I make it to Heaven. “I could have saved one more.” I’ll look back at the things and experiences that I traded moments of influence and opportunity for and ask myself “why did I keep that? I could have saved one more.”

That is a thought that terrifies me.

JK

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