Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Couple of Goals Before School Starts

School starts Monday. At last count I will have 77 students and saw some of them at "Meet the Teacher Night" this past Thursday night. Most looked like they had grown 3-4 inches and looked older facially. I look forward to seeing then in class on Monday morning.

I had three goals the past three weeks. One was to be ready for school to start, the second was to read Daniel Silva's new book, The Defector, and three was to finish designing a new assimilation thrust for the church. Let me tell you how I've done.

First, I've spent hours creating a six-year Bible plan for our junior and senior high classes. It begins with three basic courses for seventh graders, progresses to Bible book studies through eleventh grade, and culminates with a special year of course for seniors.

I designed a Biblical Backgrounds class for our new seventh graders, planned special projects for junior and senior high, and completed all the administrative start-up duties. I think I am close to being ready.

Second, I read The Defector, by my favorite author, Daniel Silva. Lest you think that he is the only one that I read, these are my other favorites as follows:
Vince Flynn
John Lescroart
Robin Cook
David Baldacci
Stephen Coonts
Steve Martini
Robert Ludlum
Jack Higgins
Patricia Cornwell
Allan Folsom
Patrick Robinson
I have just started The Assassin by Stephen Coonts and one of Patrick Robinson's books is waiting in the wings.  I try to read most of these authors each year.

Anyway, back to The Defector by Silva. It is the best Thriller that I've read in the past two decades. It is Daniel Silva's best yet obviously. I am not one of these armchair critics. I don't even deserve to critique any of these writers, especially Daniel Silva. I 'll just tell it from the heart.

Silva always does a terrific job of researching for his books. It is so obvious that any reader just knows it, even if it never crossed your mind when you read another author. I am also amazed at how he develops his characters. They come to life and have great depth. Silva spins a story that will keep the reader spellbound and not wanting to put the book down. I feel like I know his characters and can picture them in a movie. His settings are so real that they can likewise be visualized easily.  Daniel Silva is one of those rare mystery authors who really pulls the story together in the last 75+ pages. Most authors seem to rush the ending and sometimes it is so abrupt it leaves you in shock. You will we amazed at what the author does with two main characters  during the last few chapters. It is just one of the best novels that I've read in recent years.

If you want to have a good read this fall, pick up a copy of The defector and you will not be disappointed. You will probably start reading Silva and may even attend his book signing next July in Houston. It was a great way to end the summer.

Third, I did the basic design of our new Assimilation Thrust while I was on vacation, but now I have it all on paper. This thrust will affect how we relate to guests, regular attenders, and potential members. It will lead us into our discipleship program for spiritual growth.

Today I wrote up final drafts of the communication tools we will be using with our new targets. Now they will be put on the computer for easy access. Then we will need to enlist some needed workers and get ready for implementation the week of September 13. I am pleased with the way it looks on paper, but workers and implementation will be the key to success.

This has been a good summer, but it is just about over. New challenges and opportunities lie ahead.  The same holds true for you. Keep your eyes open.

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