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One Jet at a time, One gripe at a time…

As a young aircraft mechanic tasked with setting our priorities for the day. Each newly promoted supervisor took a day to lead. It was not usual for each shop to dictate what maintenance they were about to do us included. We left those decisions in the hands the squadrons our more experienced maintenance controllers. Today was different I was at the helm for the power plants shop and had the distinct honor of representing the work center and relaying what our status was for all 18 aircraft we were working on, simultaneously. Eighteen different projects each with checklists and procedures that must be strictly followed. I could not begin to convey to you all the consumable parts like washers and o-rings we had to order in a single day. On top of that we also took charge of managing the technicians who were working these discrepancies, it was a lot to keep track of. We had to get seven aircraft ready for the next days flight schedule. The challenge was, we only had about ten hours to do it. With every aircraft torn apart for one problem or another left by the off-going shift, it seemed like a daunting task. We had a mission to do! we work to give student pilots solid aircraft to complete their training and head out to the fleet. It was a little pressure in retrospect to say the least.
“One Jet at a time, One gripe at a time,” said my maintenance controller. That’s how you do it! It seemed simple enough. Fix one problem at a time on each plane at a time. I take this lesson I have learned and share with you: When it seems like you have more problems than solutions? Fix them one at a time. Do not get anxious and try to work all the issues you are facing. Just work them out one at a time. You can get creative and work the easy ones first or group similar tasks together for better management.

when working on your marriage or that “Honey-do” list. This method has helped me immeasurably. Before during my first years of marriage. My family took a backseat to my career. Granted when I started out it was just me and Teresa. It was a rough few years. When we recommited to our marriage to make it work and then later with the arrival of our Son. I knew I needed to use a different system to make family work. So that equally my family is strengthened as well as my career or job. I don’t know where you may be at in your role as a man. It could be you are young attacking the grind of getting after what you want. You could be in a position where your in the middle of your work years and you get the notice that your services are no longer necessary and your marriage is not where it was or where it could be. You may be at the top of your mountain looking back at your struggle, wanting to tell those climbing what are the important things you must take with you when you reach the summit. I encourage you that God is not finished with you.
Philippians 1:6King James Version (KJV)
6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

You are in a position that is orchestrated for you to choose to move forward. Either on what you think you should do or to lean not on your own understanding and seek wisdom.
When you feel overwhelmed, it is okay to acknowledge that you are. Take a few breaths regain your control and remember where your strength comes from.

2 The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psalm 18:2 King James Version (KJV)
Identify what needs to be fixed now, the no kidding critical issues that if left untouched would have grave consequences. We can look at our situations and feel the fear cripple us from taking action. I recommend against that to enter your heart. Many fail not for a lack of trying but for a lack of taking the first step.
Then identify each issue and draft a plan to fix it. What are action steps to take to get it fixed? Is it beyond you? That’s okay too. But to not fix it because the issue is beyond your level of expertise is unwise and you hurt yourself at the end. The problem will not leave until you give it a new address. Taking one gripe at a time, one jet at a time slowly turned around things in my life’s priorities. Your not alone in this world. There are groups of people just like you and myself who do their best to make connections in family, profession, and their faith work. We go to church, pray and become inspired from the word of God.
If you don’t have a connection with God. I invite you to get to know him. He loves you and wants you to know him as if your life depends on it.
First, admit that you need his help. I’ll tell you I struggled many, many years trying to go at this world alone. You need source that is unending, never failing. He always has your back.
Next, believe that God’s one and only Son Jesus died on the cross to remove the irreparable sin in your life.
Then, Commit to God’s way of doing things. Now this is not easy at first!! this takes getting to know who God really is. Not what you hear from t.v. Preachers or magazines or even documentaries. This takes reading God inspired word, the Bible. But where do you start, right? If you ask me? I would say, start reading in the book of John. Write down what sticks out to you or what you may not understand yet. A chapter a day is a great start. Then when you feel up to it add a chapter of the book of Proverbs as well. Best advice I have ever read.
Spend time talking to God using prayer. Just a few moments a day is a great start. You can share how you are feeling or ask questions you may feel silly, trust me he is listening and he will answer you be patient and look for it. Many misunderstand this communication and miss out the best part of God.
Get to know God’s people by going to a bible based church. I know what does one look like right? You could ask around or look on the web. Well, for right now look for one that has a friendly attitude you can tell a genuine love for people. Then during the service listen to what the speakers are saying, write down the scriptures that may be displayed and look them up in your bible. If you know someone who is a Christian, they are great resource to help you get connected it will be okay to ask them.
New friend, I want you to know that as I am writing this I am praying that you will make a decision to live for Christ. Don’t wait until it is too late. There is a fate that is worse than death. But that will be another time….

Adultery, When WORK becomes the other……….

Most of us have watched a scene at one time or another similar to the one that I will describe:

“Ted” is on the phone and informs his wife that he will be working late, and later is found to have been in the throws of passion with another whom is not his bride.

When I saw that scene in a Spanish tele-novela, it caused me to think about two things; First, how I have placed work and things above my bride, and the second was to not allow Mom pick what to watch on TV. I know that as a man striving to have a strong fellowship with Jesus I should know that my wife is my priority. However, I slowly allowed work to consume the time that my wife deserves. It happens very innocently, first it is for the benefit of the project, and then it evolves into passion; not for profit but for satisfaction or perhaps attention.

It is easy for our work to do this- ANY OCCUPATION or even…..A HOBBY.

I work in a great organization that requires extensive traveling, and the availability to work long hours if necessary to produce and maintain aircraft to fit the mission at hand. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the satisfaction of fixing complex discrepancies, teaching newly assigned mechanics, and managing their training in hopes of their eventual progression to my position, i.e. my replacement. Not to mention meeting department deadlines, maintenance planning, project schedules and being affluent with the latest technical changes in our business. I enjoy what I do (no sarcasm)! If I am not careful, it can cost me.

So now what? I missed our __(insert date) anniversary! I had come to the realization that my wife was not the priority mission. Well let me share with you what I did.

“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16. Confess; your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” -James 5:15-16. KJV

It took a while to see that putting in those late hours at work was helping the team at work reach our goals. Those long hours however were not helping me accomplish my goal as a Godly husband and father.

Men, we have an awesome responsibility when we are given a bride. She then becomes the number one mission (Colossians 3:19; Eph 5:25-29). Even when we face defeat we must pick ourselves up and go forward. This is the “press” that the Apostle Paul was speaking of.

I was thankful that I was shown how I was wrong! Yet, I knew I had to ask God to forgive me for neglecting His daughter- His beautiful creation. I got so caught up in doing (providing) for my wife that I forgot that “being” with my wife is what helped our relationship. It was a slight confusion that wrapped me up for a few years, and in my profession very often leads to divorce.

BUT GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew that what I had done was not against only the Lord but also HIS daughter. So I asked my wife to forgive me, she knew it was coming. It didn’t matter though; I wanted to make it better for her. I purposed to assess my time. I did not take my focus from my duties at work, I just put the focus in the right perspective, and built depth in my shop. I did this by allowing some of the younger guys take the lead on projects while I performed oversight. Do you know what happened? The work got done. It was hard at first, but it raised our level of workmanship and supercharged our shop’s identity.

Are you familiar with the old saying; “I can’t fix it if I don’t know it’s broke?” Confession is like that. It opens up our own admission not only for the sin that we confess, but for healing to begin. It gives the Lord the “green-light” to work on our behalf and work on us as we move through towards restoration. None of this can happen if we don’t first confess to Jesus that we do need his help. Of course he sees what you are going through and wants to help, but you have to ask him into the situation, you’ll be glad you did.

Renewed my mind- “ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”-Romans 12:2 KJV.

The old” me” would work VOLUNTARILY for hours after quitting time, so I had to adopt a new way to work. I had to find a new way to balance being a Godly husband and great mechanic without either area loosing my attention. Simply, I had to renew my mind with the word of God. Did I have late nights at work? Yes, but it was only for involuntary circumstances. The days of staying late were few and far between. However, the urge to stay lingers. Production numbers nose dive, big inspections come up. We must renew our mind daily and put our God given priorities in their appropriate place.

This may take some delegation, or it may even require you to assess your position within the structure even if you are the CEO. Your decisions will reveal your desires regardless of your justification. So take a lunch break away from work with the Mrs. once a week. Let her know about how much you care for her. Have you ever told her what you thought about when you asked her to marry you, or (if you can remember) your first date? I hear chicks dig that (Wink).

The bottom line is that your wife or husband loves you and appreciates your hard work ethic, but it’s disappointing to them when they don’t feel they’re top priority in your existence. It’s your duty to ensure they feel number one in your life.

So check in with your bride, and ask? “Do you feel that I appreciate you, how can I make you feel like you are still the one?” DON’T TALK; JUST LISTEN………… AND DON’T JUSTIFY, PLEASE DON’T MAKE EXCUSES. Merely say ok and walk away if you have to. Recover and use the Intel you gathered and work it!

I have been on both sides of marriage when it’s awesome and when it’s over.

Take a chance, make her feel loved. It will bless you.

You may think that what I’ve shared with you was over the top or excessive. That’s fine by me to have your own opinion. This is how it worked for me. If you have a different method I pray it works out. If not, don’t stop trying. I have learned that having a spouse is having a treasure that is more precious than life itself –scripture records that Jesus loved her (the church) so much that he died for it.

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