Thursday, May 31, 2007

Which One Are You?


I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho, heave, ho and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and a wall feel.
I asked the foreman, "Are these men skilled?
Like the men you'd hire if you had to build?"
He laughed as a replied, "No, indeed
Just common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken years to do."
I asked myself as I went away
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by rule and square?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town
Content with the labor of tearing down?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dreams: Built to Last

Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” This is the vocation of Tony Baustert. Each day in a small corner of the world in Oklahoma City, he fashions his ideas with scratch metal. What begins with a vision soon forms into a concrete foundation— a roaring, 100+ horsepower, smooth riding custom built motorcycle.

Originality, style, and class are words to describe Tony’s work. He is the owner of T-Fab: Custom Metal Fabrication in Oklahoma City, OK ( If you met Tony on the street, he would look no different than you and me. Often wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt, he is just a good ole’ boy who lives modestly in a small home several miles outside Oklahoma City. His solid stature and boisterous voice commands your attention when he describes his passion for his work.

However, do not let his appearance mislead you. Deep inside this man resides breathtaking images and dreams that he brings to life in his motorcycle shop. Bob Brendle has remarked, “Sculpture is a three-dimensional object with a message.” With each creation, Tony autographs the finishing touches on his messages. They are waiting to be released on the street and to breathe life into their owners. They have a way of instilling freedom through the handlebars.

Pouring hard work and devotion into his work, Tony spends hours with each motorcycle shaping and molding them into the perfect image. Thinking about Tony’s work reminds me of a verse concerning God’s hand. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” How often have we considered the passion and carefulness of God’s work in each of our lives? Each one of us is a story waiting to be released and to breathe life into others.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Quotes on Leadership

Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18)

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. (Albert Schweitzer)

Charisma becomes the undoing of leaders. It makes them inflexible, convinced of their own infallibility, unable to change. (Peter F. Drucker)

There have been meetings of only a moment which have left impressions for life ...for eternity. No one can understand that mysterious thing we call ‘influence’ ...yet everyone of us continually exerts influence, either to heal, to bless, to leave marks of beauty; or to wound, to hurt, to poison, to stain other lives. (J.B. Miller)

Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy. (Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf)

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. (Peter Drucker)

The greatest good we can do for others is not just to share our riches with them, but to reveal theirs. (Zig Ziglar)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thoughts on Leadership

“The major work is that which God is doing to and in the (young) leader, not through him or her. Most emerging leaders don’t recognize this. They evaluate productivity, activities, fruitfulness, etc. But God is quietly, often in unusual ways, trying to get the leader to see that one ministers out of what one is. God is concerned with what we are. We want to learn a thousand things to do. But He will teach us one thing, perhaps in a thousand ways: ‘I am forming Christ in you.’ It is this that will give power to your ministry.”

—From The Making of a Leader by J. Robert Clinton.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Welcome! Claire Lizbeth Kirby

Never thought that having a baby would take up so much time. Ok, those of you who are parents, quit laughing. Nicole and I are the proud parents of an 8 lb and 21" baby daughter, Claire Lizbeth Kirby. Though we were disappointed to discover that we could not continue the pregnancy through natural birth, the c-section went well.

I cannot describe the emotions that I was feeling when I walked into the operating room. The scene was not what I was expecting. Two huge round lights located above the table, every type of machine that you could think of along with tubes and gadgets, doctors and nurses standing around with their medical garb, the sound of REO Speedwagon playing through the speakers in the ceilings, and my wife strapped to the table with a blue curtain above her head.

As I sat on a small stool next to my wife, I felt so helpless. This was not at all what I had imagined when we would officially meet our little baby. However, thanks be to our God whom all blessings flow, about thirty minutes into the procedure, Dr. Graham held up our baby daughter. We had been waiting for eight months to see this gift, and I cannot explain the joy that filled my veins.

With camera in hand, I was scurrying back and forth from the baby center where they were initiating the APGAR tests on Claire while a proud father was taking pictures over the nurses' shoulders then back to Nicole to show her the photos. At one point, the doctor asked if I would like to see Nicole's uterus which I assured her that I was not interested.

One main reason why Claire was breeched from the beginning was the result of Nicole having a heart-shaped uterus. Because of the appendage at the top of her uterus, the doctors were unable to maneuver Claire during the external version. I guess the doctor wondered if I was interested in seeing the uterus.

After several weeks of sleep deprivation and completing my studies this semester, I received my master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. After six grueling years of studies, the Lord granted me the privilege of earning a thorough biblical education from a noble institution. Thanks to all of the faculty and staff who have greatly influenced the class of 2007. My prayer is that your sacrifice and dedication will not be in vain as we venture into our world armed with the gospel.