Thursday, June 4, 2009

Horticulture + Geo-Survey = Relationships

What up! So yesterday I hung out with this 65 year old man named Don Winkla (actually Winkler) a.k.a Winks. He is an ex-CEO of some technology business. If you’re familiar with principle of birth order and it’s affects on personality, Don is a classic only child. He is very driven. He is list oriented and very personable. He’s also a visual learner and really fond of the white board as I soon found out. Don’s title at Moss Brook is Outreach Coordinator. To start our morning we went to a corner store and got some coffee. We were there for about 15 minutes and Don talked to everyone he saw. Some of them he actually knew and had developed a relationship with and others he hadn’t. After a short while we headed back to the office and straight to the white board for my first lesson of the day. Don walked up to the white board on drew a big question mark. Then he said, “This is what people are thinking when you first talk to them. You’re job is to push that question mark off to the side and develop a relationship. You do that by selling them yourself via body language aka a smile and firm hand shake and then you ask them lots questions, because what person doesn’t love talking about themselves.” Then he said, “Later with the help of the Holy Spirit you introduce them to the….scribes….cross.” After this he told me to make a list of everyone that we met. So I wrote down: Lisa, Kelly, Talkative girl, Bicycle guy, Sheriff, Mustache guy, Old guy, and Construction Worker. Don then proceeded to point out that we were only there for 15 minutes and we had made eight opportunities for relationship. Then he said, “What down what God has gifted you with Levi.” So I wrote down: discernment, teaching, people person, leadership, and service. “Now what’s your mission today?” he said. To which I replied very Sunday schoolishly (it’s a word I promise), “Umm… ministry.” We laughed a little bit and I was actually pretty close, but Don explained that my goal for the day was simply to be used; I was supposed to look for ways in which God could use me and the gifts that He has given me. From the white board we went to several different places doing various things. We went to look at a Shelby GT 500, talk cars with a salesman and visit with him. We went to a track and walked with a Sheriff whom Don was mentoring. We took some plant boxes to a landscaper named Phil and talked horticulture, which actually was very interesting. (Google blooding heart they’re a neat little plant.) We went to the Lost Gull, a sea food restaurant, where we had some clam chowda and talked with an elderly couple we randomly met. Finally we concluded the day by playing some cribbage (a board game that Mainers love) with a guy about my age named Travis. It was an interesting day and it was neat to see the people that Don connected with and the ways he was used by God. Don connects with people that Mike and Tim cannot because his personality connects with different people then Tim and Mike. Lesson: Mission of the day equals to be used. Good stuff.

Today then was very low key. I went with Tim and Jeff to Portland where we did some surveying in the woods for some road work that they are going to do. We traipsed in the woods for 4 hours with an Engineer and a surveyor. Then we went to Famous Dave’s for some Pork BBQ. It was a normal day in the work force, but it’s days like those where Tim is able to deepen preexisting relationships (Jeff) as well as build new relationships and network with business folks like Wayne and Candy (Engineer and Surveyor). Lesson: Intentionality, Relationships, and Networking. Tim is intentional about not spending too much time in an office. He has a “tent-making” ministry where he works to help support his ministry and as well as uses his work to build relationships and network (a little BAM (business as mission) for ya).

Tonight then I went to Mike’s for dinner and met Tom and Denise. We had a huge turkey dinner and good conversation. This was yet another example of Christian fellowship. I have been amazed and extremely encouraged at the way in which Christ bonds believers together. I’ve only been here for like 6 days and I feel like I’ve known some of these guys for a long time already. You read about the brotherhood of believers in the Bible and it has been way cool to really see that come to life. Anyways, so we had dinner and it was good and then I walked back up the hill to Tim’s house where I caught the last half of their camp fire and Talia before she went to bed. It has been such a blessing to hang out here at the Knowles house hold. Tim and Pam have a great marriage and two incredibly cute kids whom I have become extremely fond of. It’s been really great to see Tim and Pam together as well as watch them parent their kids. Watching Tim manage his ministry with his family has been invaluable. Tim said that his family always comes first. His role is to look after his family. God is looking after the Church.

Tomorrow, we, meaning me and the Knowles, are headed to the coast to do some touristy stuff and spend probably our last day together. Saturday I leave to spend the rest of my time here at Tim’s brother, Steve’s, house. It has been an incredible experience thus far and God has blessed me with some really great company! It was a bit uncomfortable coming up here not knowing anyone, but God was so faithful and now I’ve made some pretty sweet new friendships and learned a ton as well. God is good!

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