Nightmare Mode

As I record this I’m beginning nightmare mode. Nightmare mode is a concept I got off a fellow I listen to on YouTube from time to time, Alex Becker, who is a bit of a nut and is a software and internet marketer. He has some interesting things to say about productivity, dopamine addictions, social media and all kinds of stuff, so from time to time I’ll watch one of his YouTube videos. He talks about nightmare mode with the basic idea being stripping down your schedule and your activities to the bare minimum to focus in on a project.

For me I’m just coming to the end and have just concluded two different transitional roles, a transitional pastorate and a transitional coaching role. My wife and I find ourselves in this season every year and a half to two years, asking “What’s next?” So in this interim time, I’m spending some time in nightmare mode and the whole purpose is seeking direction for the next steps.

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How Much Truth Can They Handle?

I’ve been mulling a bit lately on T-units, also known as truth units. It’s a concept I learned from Sunlife many years ago. The idea being that when you provide a teaching in a ministry setting, you are communicating a unit of truth. A good talk or presentation really has one focal point.

A lot of talks, if you look at them, actually have many points. I’ve noticed a lot of sermons lately actually often would work as two sermons. There’s so much content in there and they’re pretty long. A lot of sermons I’m seeing these days are 45-50 minutes long, and I think it’s important to note that there’s not a lot of preachers who can do it for 45 or 50 minutes and do it well.

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How to Use a Time Windfall

Let’s think for a couple of minutes about what to do if you get a time windfall. If all of a sudden due to some circumstances, job change, a move, a pandemic or something, you all of a sudden have more free time.

One of the principles I want to bring to bear is what to do if you have a financial windfall. One of the things that you ought to do, for instance, if you get a raise of 5% is don’t raise your standard of living by 5%. You should raise your standard living by 2.5% and save or invest the surplus. So you never increase to the same level of your financial gain. You try to always save a portion of that gain.

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So My Holidays Are Toast

I have reluctantly concluded that my summer holidays are toast. They have officially vaporized. They are not going to happen. And I’m okay with that. We’re actually in a pretty nice place but here, here’s why they vaporized.

I’m currently serving as a transitional pastor and my basic contract there is up to 120 hours a month, which is a little less than three-quarter time. It’s actually functionally been less than that because I’ve got a very good associate who can preach and do music and pretty much everything else. He was fully producing the services and managing the online portal for our services, so that’s been great, but he recently went on an open-ended medical leave.

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Self-Care Tips for Stressful Times

What do you do to protect yourself to function at a sustainable level of time and energy when things are unsettled and stressful?

This is a season of unsettledness in the world and in the churches I’m serving in as well. There’s a lot of unsettledness in search process and other churchy kind of things that lead to instability. There are a few things I’ve found that are important to do to maintain my own capacity to function in the midst of the instability, and not be overwhelmed or overtaken by it, and really become a contributor to the instability.¬†

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