You can’t beat Zuma with a broken mouse.

Zuma Screen Shot
Zuma Screen Shot

I’m stuck on level 12. I’ve been trying to beat it for months now. I had no problems flying through the first 9 levels. Level 10 took me a week or so. Level 11, I aced the first try, but level 12, well that’s another story.

After wasting hours trying to beat this level, I’ve finally figured out that my mouse is just worn out. I doesn’t respond like it used to, it’s lost it’s precision and sometimes, it just causes the cursor to just run away. 

My mouse is usable for most of my applications, it gives me just a few problems now and then, but nothing that can’t be quickly corrected.

I could get by with keeping my mouse until it just completely gives on me, but if I want to get to the next level on Zuma, I’m going to have to buy a new mouse.

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So what does this have to do with Kids Ministry or any ministry for that matter?

Well, I could have titled this blog:

  • You can’t cut paper with a dull or crooked paper cutter.
  • You can’t laminate posters with a broken laminator.
  • You can’t communicate with the rest of the world using MS Office 95.

You get the point. As important as it is to be frugal, especially in our current economy, sometimes you need invest in new or current tools to get to the next level. Delaying those purchases or upgrades will usually cost you more money in the long run. Let me show you what I mean:

  • New Mouse: $60
    Time spent trying to beat level 12 @ $10 per hour: $300
  • New Paper Cutter: $100
    Reprints from poor cutting: $35   Medical bills from sliced finger: $3500
  • New Laminator: $800
     Wasted film from botched laminating projects: $250   Reprints of botched projects $500
  • New Office 2007: $450
    Time spent for all parties trying to be compatible 5 hrs a week @ $15 per hour x 52 weeks: $3900

I’m going to upgrade my mouse this week. What’s your next upgrade?

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Hey, and if you want try Zuma too, you can get a free trial here.

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Out of the Rut

This March will commemorate my 5th year of full-time ministry at Shadow Mountain Community Church. I am so excited!! I’m beginning to feel like I have finally arrived on the Children’s Ministry scene as someone who really does know what she’s talking about.

But . . . I noticed some nasty little words coming out of my mouth last summer as we headed into our Summer Blast (VBS) program. I was shocked and amazed that they actually came out of MY mouth. Especially since I am a person who loves change, advocates for change and intentionally tries to mix things up all the time.

“We’ve always done it that way.”

. . . that was my answer when a new staff person questioned some of the programming and logistics of Summer Blast. I was immediately horrified at the sound of those words and knew that somewhere along the way I had unknowingly slipped into the dangerous zone of comfort.

You might be saying to yourself, “Katie, we do lots of things the same way, all the time, and have for years.” And I contend, that’s not always a bad thing, but if “You’ve always done things that way,” then you better have some darn good reasons why. And “We’ve always done things that way”, doesn’t count as an argument or excuse.

I admit it, I’ve fallen into a rut, but this is the year for change and this is how I’m going to accomplish it.

I am determined to:

  •  Seek God’s guidance and creativity first.
    (I have a tendency to leave him behind, so this is an important one for me.)
  • Approach every event like it’s the first one ever I’ve hosted.
    (Good bye to the predictable)
  • Not skimp on dreams, ideas or creativity because it will take too many people, too much money or too much time.
    (if God wants it done, he will provide)
  • Not allow any previous “no, you can’t do that” to keep me from asking again.
    (Egg Hunt anyone??)
  • Actively seek other creative souls to challenge and upgrade my ideas and thinking to new levels.
    (Anyone want to climb out the rut with me?)

I’ve already started my climb out of the rut, how about you? I’d love to have some friends join me on this journey.

Next time I’ll share some of the simple but dynamic changes we made to our annual (annual-that’s a bad word too) Stewardship Program. Stand by, they might help you too.