PO Box 239, Pratt, KS 67124

Start Small; Manage Well

We heated with wood in our first home in 1978, then returned to woodstove heat with our current Colorado home in 1992.

Most winter mornings find me at 4:00 AM stoking coals, dumping ashes and putting in a new log. Many afternoons I am splitting, stacking or moving wood. We watch weather with purpose too. Moving extra wood in at times, keeps me from digging through snow for it.

I like high country winters.

I am one who feels every moment should count. If I stop at a café when traveling, I take my laptop in and work while I’m eating. There is a time every winter morning however, when I sit mesmerized by a small ember, watching it become a roaring fire. It’s intriguing how something so small, ignites things much bigger.

Occasionally it just doesn’t take. Then I need to add kindling or re-arrange the coals and log. Sometimes I must even clean out the firebox and start completely fresh with match, paper and kindling. At times I waste too much time hoping for it to take, before accepting the reality that something else needs done. Even then, the success of the effort is in starting small (paper and kindling). The fire roars every day in obedience to that small start.

Then, there is managing of the fire itself. Too much open damper, means transferring too much heat out the stovepipe and burning up wood too quickly. Too little damper is not enough heat to accomplish the objective of a cozy home.

My mind goes many places as I watch and manage the whole process; life lessons learned.


Think About it…

Are you starting a new program for your ministry? Have you found yourself at a new church in need of a program? Are you re-kindling embers of an old program?

Haul out the ashes. Some things are just old and need tossed.

Stir the coals. Help them turn into a new fire. An ember cannot take off without fresh air coming in. Stir the good people, parts and processes so the air will ignite (or reignite) them. Move things around with purpose.

Then manage it right.

What about your personal life? You cannot serve better than you live. If you’re not as close to God as you once were, guess who moved. Get your personal fire right and keep it managed.

Start small; manage well.

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