Medieval Executioners and Organizational Leadership

If you know me you know I am a man of details. I like to plan out things and be two or three steps ahead of everyone when it comes to things in my life. I’m that guy in class that knows the class code for Senior Seminar class even though it is only Junior Year or corrects the teacher when they misinform the class. (I chalk up most of this information up to my brains’ RAM, Random Access Memory). It is also no secret that I also like to lead. However I have to know my leadership style to effectively lead and build teams around me. I am an organization leader. I truly believe God has called me to organize and make things happen within the church, especially in Children’s Ministry. Outside of the church I am not President material but a Vice President. Not the face of an organization, because well you’ve seen my face, but the man who makes the organization run, which I am okay with it I love that I have this ability. Honestly it’s a huge burden lifted because I am the executioner and not the face.

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In medieval times the executioner is the one that killed those the king ordered him to kill. However what was forcing him to do this? Nothing. Sure the king might have punished him if he didn’t listen but the King didn’t physically force him to chop off someone’s head. No the executioner followed the leadership of the King and carried out the act asked of him. He even went as far as to cover his face so no one would know that it is him but instead think of the king as the one killing the person. There was no public responsibility with the executioner when he got done with the job he took off his mask and returned to society, the king could not avoid this though people remember the choices he made. Now obviously this is an extreme scenario but I think it illustrates my point well. I am here to lead by serving as a organizational leader, someone who gets the task done.

Now this doesn’t mean that I am heartless and it doesn’t mean that the executioner sleeps easy at night. It means simply this when there is a task at hand I will step up to make sure it is carried out, whether I do it or I delegate it to someone else on my team. When it comes to organizations, businesses, or churches to function properly someone needs to be overseeing and carrying out every detail and I believe that I am that guy. The difference between an executioner and myself though is who my king is. You see I believe in a God who is creator, savior, and rules over us as a King. My king is someone I know will never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). This excites me because I know that I am serving God. Now I have been able to do this a lot at college and I am so excited to see how God is going to use me after college. It also really helps me to take scripture to heart when it says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1st Timothy 4:12).

I once received a card that had a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci, which says the following:

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things”.

Let it never be said that I missed out on an opportunity to serve my Lord Jesus Christ. Instead let it be said that I sought to constantly serve God and properly executed all tasks that God gave me.

England Trip

2013 has almost come to an end! This past year has been busy yet great year for me. I just finished up my fifth semester at Moody Bible Institute leaving me with only three semesters to go until I graduate with a degree in Children’s Ministry. The Lord has really blessed me in my time at Moody and given me opportunities I would have never seen myself doing three years ago. One of these opportunities is that this March I will be going to Formby, England on a ministry trip!

For this trip I will be in England from March 8th to the 24thWhile there I will be working with Formby Baptist Church. Formby Baptist is located about 30 minutes north of Liverpool in England. This will be my first time going overseas and I am thrilled to have the opportunity. During my time in England I will be staying with host family from the church and primarily be doing life on life discipleship with the members of church there. Also as a part of this trip we will assist with the normal church duties helping with children’s church, youth group, leading Bible studies, and preaching. We will also host different events like men’s breakfasts, school events, tea-time with the senior citizens, and so many other things.

As I prepare for this trip please be praying that everything comes together well and that our travels go well. While we are in England please pray that our team stays strong. With this trip being in the middle of the semester it is going to be hard to manage everything and not fall behind in our schoolwork with midterms and many other things. Pray that our time there is used well, and that we are able to share the gospel. That the people are welcoming of our team and wanting to hear the message we bring. On the logistical side of things with 10 team members this trip is going to cost around $15,000 for all of us to go. This price includes air fair, food, and housing for all of us. So personally I need to raise $1,500 of this amount. Where as this is not a large amount it is definitely not something, I just have lying around. So if you would like to support me financially please mail your check to:

Practical Christian Ministries Department

Moody Bible Institute

820 N. LaSalle Blvd.

Chicago, IL 60610

Make the check out to Moody Bible Institute and in the memo line of this check please write “Joe Mally, PCM England Trip” so that I receive the money towards the trip. For those of you who use your gifts to also receive tax breaks a receipt will be issued in the mail to all who donate. Again the cost of the trip is $1,500 per a person so if any extra money happens to come in it will go to support the rest of my team members as the raise money.

Again as I prepare for this, thank you for all your support whether it be financially or in your prayers. I will make sure to post lots of updates to my Facebook and some pictures so you can all know how my trip went. In the mean time Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Mid-college crisis or a time to refocus?

This week has been a week of change for me. It marked the end of a relationship, the end of my radio show, and the start of a new focus. You see I am not one to focus one thing. I have my hands in everything, which I love. I love that God has blessed me with the ability to do multiple things. Yet is it too much? Am I spreading myself to thin or do I just need to suck it up and manage it all.

What I am doing with my life is not wrong, nor do I regret anything I am doing. Yet after conversing with some of my friends this week I am left asking why. Why am I here, why am I doing this, why am I not doing that, and what is next? I have no idea where I will be in 19 months. An era of my life will have ended my schooling will be complete. So what then? What will I do? It’s these questions that have made me go through what I am now calling “My Mid College Crisis“. I have set up a lot that needs to be addressed, but stick with me for a minute.

First why am I here? Well this is probably the easiest part to explain.  I came to Moody to study God’s word and learn how to communicate that with properly children. My calling is to invest in the next generation. To teach them in a way that equips them to do great things. Which I could go on about that for a while but that is not the purpose of this post. Even though there is no question in my mind that is why I came to Moody or why God wanted me here; I am beginning to question how this is going to look after school. Honestly though I don’t expect to know this until I am doing it which bothers me. You see planning is my thing; I organize and put together things. Which I can’t do that with my life at least not to a certain extent.

The fact that my life is not mine to plan is a lesson I think God is reminding me of. I need to remember that God is faithful and just and He does have a plan for me. A plan that I don’t need to know, I just need to know that if I follow Him, His will, will be done. Which is what I strive for, to follow him is my end goal. Am I good at it? No, not at all but I’m getting better.

Why now? Why did I choose now to refocus my life? Honestly, I have no idea. Even as I write this I want to be able to organize my thoughts. I want to tell you that I know where I am going. I want to tell you that I am okay. However I don’t know, something flipped. I’m thinking long term, changing my focus, and centering things more on Him. Which really leaves me open. Yet it’s in these times of openness I tend to find the most direction. Assuming I follow it to the end, stay open to new ideas, new scenarios, new direction, and really just anything new I know He will make it the best.

While I am writing this blog this new One Republic song came to mind. You can see a lyric video of it here “Counting Stars“. The phrases from this song that I like go as follows: “I see this life - Like a swinging vine - Swing my heart across the line - In my face is flashing signs - Seek it out and ye shall find – Old, but I’m not that old - Young, but I’m not that bold - And I don’t think the world is sold - I’m just doing what we’re told”. I am only 20 this is still the beginning.  “Life a swinging vine” and I will seek out what is next but I’m not worried. Not one bit I will swing to and fro and maybe someday I’ll land. Until then though I’m going to just enjoy the wind in my face as the vine carries me forward.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”.  -Matthew 6:25-34

20 Down, So Much Left

As I leave my teen years behind me I though I would take a minute to reflect on the past 20 then what I hope for the future.

The South-

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Most of you probably don’t realize that I am in fact a southern boy, who was born in Montgomery, AL. Obviously with a banjo on my knee, why do you even bother asking. However I only lived there a few years before moving to Tega Cay, SC. It was there that I lived out most of my childhood enjoying the southern hospitality, the fact that you got snow days whenever it snowed, and good cooking pretty much everywhere. The South however was not destined to be my home. Just before my 3rd grade year was to start my dad got a promotion and we were off to the land of corn and well more corn.

Revenge of the Corn-

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When my family and I first moved to Iowa we lived in a town called Newton. I’ll admit that I wasn’t in love with Iowa but I definitely liked it. Iowa however came at me with a vengeance. I was sick in bed for about a year going to all sorts of specialists who didn’t really know what was up. After lots of needles, scans, and other tests it was finally determined that I had food allergies. I went into the doctor to find out exactly what I was allergic to with a 1lb. bag of gummy bears my parents had gotten me for being a good sport. So I am sitting there chowing down on gummy bears and the doctor was like your son is allergic to wheat, milk, and sugar. A lot of other non-food things too but those aren’t a big deal. Anyways, so I was basically sitting there eating gummy bears and making myself sick. Long story short I went on these drops to build up my immune system and now I am a-okay!

Cedarapidian-

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Going into my 6th grade year my dad’s work again relocated us to Cedar Rapids, IA the smallest move of my life. Now I was homeschooled my whole life so I never really had to adjusted to new schools or anything like that. The next seven years in Cedar Rapids were great. I was the homeschooled band geek who also was the Chick-fil-A Cow. With the exception of some dumb decisions I had a great time.

College or bust?- 

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Early in my high school years I started leading Awana and working with kids. I didn’t know at the time but it became my passion and I believe my calling in life. Just to make sure I did an internship at my home church my senior year. During the internship I only felt more called to teach the love of Christ to the younger ones. So I made the decision to go to Moody Bible Institute and get a degree in Children’s Ministry. Now Moody isn’t the easiest school to get into but I refused to apply anywhere else. I knew it was where God wanted me. Which was even more confirmed when I got my accepted early decision and knew by January that I was going in the fall and was assured that Taco Bell was not in my future.

A Moody Man-

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When I got to Moody I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was that eager freshman who was quick to help out or do something though. One of those great decisions now has like 3,000 views on YouTube and most incoming freshmen know me from it. I will forever be “New to Moody”. I’ve come along way since then and started being involved in a lot of things I never would have guessed before going there. I got involved in Class Council and now serve as President of my class. On a whim I jumped into the radio game and now I work as Operations Manager for Moody Campus Radio and I have a radio show! (moodycampusradio.com and check out my show page here) Also I worked as Business Manager for the school newspaper my sophomore year. (moodystandard.com) During my sophomore year I also started working in the Admissions office as a Student Ambassador too. Then finally in the fall I’ll be serving as Treasurer for a C-MAG or Children’s Ministry Awareness Group. Not only have I been given lots of opportunities in Chicago but I have been exposed to the violence of the city as well. Seeing two different people be murder, having my dorm broken into, and then talking someone out of suicide at the last minute. God has tested me and I know he will continue. That is one that I truly love about him.

Looking Forward-

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I am halfway done with my time at Moody, just two short years left. In many ways I can’t wait but I know I will never be at a place like that again. Looking forward though I know the next 20 years of my life will be an entirely new experience. In the next 20 years I hope it’s safe to assume that I will start to accomplish some of these things. Graduating (debt free), entering the workforce, buying a car, buying a house, starting a family, and becoming more of the man that God desires me to be. But for now I will be satisfied with where God has me now and strive to be the best I can be.