Monday, March 28, 2011


I'm VERY EXCITED about the new book coming out by Craig Groeschel.  The book is titled WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working.  

If you know me, you know that I am weird.  I recently had a student say to me, "Mr. Bradley, you are the weirdest principal I have ever had." Thank you very much!  I take that as a compliment because being weird means standing out.  And in my opinion, it is better to stand out (be weird) than fit in.  (I think that is from Cinderella or something.)

If being weird is standing out then weird people land the job, weird people get the girl/boy, weird people eat healthy, and weird people impact lives.  Because normal fits in with the stack of resumes, normal doesn't get noticed, normal is overweight, and normal waits for their life to be impacted.

Weird people run marathons, save money, recycle, and fight for freedom. 

I don't know if I'll get the quote exactly right but Groeschel says something weird like: "Normal people are broke, divorced, and unhappy."  Unfortunately this is true if you look at the statistics of our nation and the world.

be WEiRD!

btw, Don't take my word for it.  I'm just a weirdo.  Check out the definition for weird.  It may not be what you think.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beiber Fever?

Great song by Justin Beiber.
I know he's got the whole teenage heartthrob thing going on but I like where his heart's at.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Recharge Your Batteries

Ft. Gibson Lake
My wife and I recently spent a few days with my parents in my hometown.  They live by Ft. Gibson Lake, out where the cellphone reception is non-existent.  We went on daily walks & jogs, explored, saw plenty of deer, breathed a ton of fresh air, and waved at everyone we saw even if we didn't know them.

We didn't hear sirens, traffic, airplanes, or our ringtones. 

It's funny how I used to be mad about not getting cellphone reception on vacation and now I enjoy it.  It is important to unplug, disconnect, and recharge every once in a while.  What good is reception if your battery is dead?

I'm back living city life and doing what I love.  My spiritual, physical, and mental batteries are recharged and cellphone reception is in full force...if you don't count the ridiculous amount of dropped calls.

Where do you go to unplug, disconnect, and recharge your batteries?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's The Weather Like?

My wife and I had dinner with some friends of ours tonight.  Yes, they are old enough to be our grandparents but they are funny, wise, kind, great Christian role models.  We like to hang out with them when we can. 

We have a lot of people we like to spend time with but we make sure to spend time with people wiser and more experienced than us so that we may learn from them.  They also claim that we help keep them young but I think they do a pretty good job on their own.

Two paragraphs from Donald Miller's book Father Fiction paint a wonderful picture of why this is necessary.

I was on a plane a few years ago, flying from Chicago to Portland, and happened to plug my headphones into the jack on the armrest.  On a plane, you can sometimes listen to the radio transmissions coming in and out of the cockpit.  I was curious about what pilots say to each other so, like a good geek, I listened for a while.  It turns out, most of the transmissions are about weather and whether or not the plane is heading for choppy air.  The pilot would radio to a plane that was en route an hour or so ahead of us and get a report on what kind of turbulence they were experiencing; then would turn and radio the plane that had just taken off in Chicago to explain what sort of air we were fling through at the moment.  They system was primitive, but intelligent.

It occurred to me, listening to the pilots talk to each other, how much this is like life.  I could see it clearly, the fact that in life there are people being born, just as others are passing away.  And all the way through life, the guys who are twenty years ahead are teaching the guys twenty years behind what kind of weather they will be encountering at whatever stage of life they happen to be living in.

Do you have older, wiser, experienced people speaking into your life?  If not, I challenge you to find someone by next week.

Life as a Principal

I love my job!

I am a middle school assistant principal.  It is safe to say that my job is never boring. 

On any given day I could be...

a judge making decisions regarding consequences for poor behavior.
a crime scene investigator, checking survilliance cameras.
a detective questioning witnesses and doing background checks.
a teacher covering a class if there is not a substitute.
a janitor cleaning up the cafeteria in between lunches.
a bouncer breaking up physical altercations.
a counselor mediating girl drama.
an instructional leader providing strategies to teachers...I wish I could do this more :(
a mentor helping students make better life decisions.
a coach giving kids pointers during lunch recess.

And all of this could happen before lunch! (except for the lunch recess one of course)

Of course, there are also things I don't like about my job but I think this is true for everyone and every job. You have to choose to focus on the good, invest in those around you, and keep showing up. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Give It Up

What are you giving up for Lent? 

Not sure what I'm talking about?   Lent is a Christian tradition in which believers pray, fast, give, or sacrifice something for the 40 days before Easter.  Lent officially begins Ash Wednesday, which is this week.

Why participate in Lent?  It is a great way to prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies for the greatest day of the Christian calendar, Easter. 

Lent is not about simply giving something up like a New Year's Resolution.  Lent is about doing (or not doing) something that interrupts your daily life that will cause you to pray, remember what God has done, and grow closer to God.

Here are a few things that people have done (or not done) during Lent.

- Give up caffeine to remember that God is the source of all strength and energy.
- Give up walking on grass.  Great for those that live on college campuses.  When everyone else cuts through the grass, say a prayer while you're taking the long way.
- Give up complaining or negative comments.  
- Give up television.  Read the Bible or a daily devotional instead.
- Give up video games.  Read the Bible or a daily devotional instead.
- Give up listening to music in the car.  Take the time to have conversations with loved ones or with God.

- Read the Bible and/or pray every day.  
- Write 40 encouraging notes to people who have made a difference in your life.
- Run or walk everyday.  Less about physical exercise and more about time alone with God.
- Give something away everyday.

These are just a few ideas.  You know what would work best in your life.  What you do or don't do is not important.  Participating in Lent will not make God love you more or less.  Participating in Lent will develop your relationship with God as you catch a small glimpse of the sacrifice and giving God has done for you. 

You Are More

You are more than the choices that you made.
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes.
You are more than the problems you create.
You've been remade.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

God is Bigger Than _____________.

God is bigger than __________. 

Fill in the blank with whatever you're up against. 

God spoke the universe into existence.  I'm pretty sure God can take care of ______________.

This does not take away from the difficulty of your ______________ but rather display God's immeasurable power and ability.

Prayerfully ask God.  He is more able than you could ever ask or imagine!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Growing Closer To God

Like most Christians, I have a desire to grow in my relationship with Christ.  The most common ways of doing this are going to church, praying, and reading the Bible and other Christian books.  All of these things are good but to be honest they somehow don't always make it into my schedule.  I've tried daily devotionals and reading plans.  I've tried to have a set "quiet time" in the mornings, during the day, and at night.  In an attempt to grow closer to God, I feel obligation to check it off my list and guilt when I don't make time for it. Does this sound familiar?  I hope I'm not the only one.

Here are 3 different perspectives that have helped me develop a deeper relationship with God.  

1.  GET to vs HAVE to - My friend Braden said that he has learned to look at spending time with God (reading, praying, listening) as something that he gets to do rather than something he has to do everyday.  This way if he misses a day he feels as though he missed out on spending time with the Creator rather than guilty for not being a good Christian.

2.  Quality vs Quantity - Spending quality time, sharing joys, pains, conversations, and doing life with someone is better than spending a planned quantity of 15 minutes each day.  Christianity is about having a relationship with the Living God, so maybe that relationship should look more like our relationships with our loved ones.  I don't talk to my best friends or parents for 15 minutes everyday but we are still close. 

3.  Read For Change, Not Completion - I used to read the Bible like any other book.  I just wanted to finish so I could get another book.  I have learned to read for understanding, clarity, and most importantly for change.  I have been reading, studying, and understanding the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-8) for about 6 months and it is rockin' my world.  Our church has been studying the book of Ephesians for months now.  Sometimes its better to take your time and figure out how it applies to you before you move on.

What has helped develop your relationship with God?