Monday, August 23, 2010

So cute. @MalcolmSmith got tired during lunch

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Waiting... part 2

Friday, August 13, 2010

Yet Another Reason to Love Chick-Fil-A (@ChickFilA)

I have a dark secret that I have only shared with my most trusted friends. If I were to reveal this secret openly among people in my circles, I would expect gasps of horror followed by endless questions like "Why?" and "How could you ever say such a thing?" 

But I have decided to come clean here in this most public of forums. Prepare yourself. If you're standing, sit down. If you're sitting, well, just keep sitting. Here it goes.

There was a time in my relationship with Jesus Christ during which I did not like to eat at Chick-Fil-A.

Wow that feels good to get off my chest! I have carried this burden for so long, I wasn't sure how I would ever function properly within the community of believers.

Rest assured. I adore Chick-Fil-A now for several reasons and so should you, if for no other reason than Jon Acuff told you to.

Chick-Fil-A called me for some time before I gave my fast-food life over to them. Their marketing is pure genius. Cows. For a chicken restaurant. How did that meeting go?

"Guys we have a new client. Some place called 'Chick-Fil-A.' They claim to have invented the chicken sandwhich. Have any ideas?"

"I'm thinking: cows."

"Sounds good. Go with that."

The first real step in my transformation was the addition of the Spicy Chicken Sandwich a few months ago. Along with a diet lemonade, it's the only thing I ever order. But last week I had the most positive experience I've ever had with any fast-food restaurant thanks to Chick-Fil-A in The Colony, Texas.

Last week, I picked up some Chick-Fil-A food for some people and someone was going to reimburse me, but I lost the receipt. When I called the Chick-Fil-A restaurant and told them about my problem, the employee named Greg took my name and phone number. About 10 minutes later he called me back saying that he had found transaction and a printed copy was waiting for me whenever I could make it back to the store to pick it up. Something as simple as that has made a kept a devoted customer.

I am proud to be a reformed Chick-Fil-A lover. I once was lost, but now I am found. Was blind, but now I see. Chick-Fil-A is THE primo Christian food chain and only Satan and his minions ever eat at other restaurants. 

Except on Sundays.

Yet Another Reason to Love Chick-Fil-A

Yet Another Reason to Love Chick-Fil-A

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sigh. @RickWarren Doubles Down

If you're coming into this, mid-stream, well, welcome. I've already done two posts (here and here) about Rick Warren's recent twitter activity, so you might want to catch those posts to know what's going on. So you don't misunderstand, this was the original tweet that started all of this. It has since been deleted.

His follow-up tweets treat this as a teachable-moment for the rest of twitter. Here they are in the order in which they were tweeted.

He defends the original tweet and does not say the original tweet was out of line. In fact, he claims it was exactly the right thing to say. I have two problems with that.

1) If the original tweet was such a good and edifying challenge to other churches and church leaders, why delete it? 

Maybe he feels it was the right thing to tweet, but lost it's meaning in the constraints of 140 characters. Only Rick knows the reason he deleted the original tweet. Maybe he'll comment here and tell us!

2) The Biblical references he cites do not support his original tweet very well.

Let's break down 2 Cor. 8:1-8 first. Paul challenges a church that he has an intimate relation with to compare themselves to the Macedonian church. The equivalent would be if Rick Warren saw that Irving Bible Church was doing cool things to serve their community and challenged Saddleback to look at what IBC was doing and do likewise. That's not the spirit of his original tweet.

The next passage is 1 Chronicles 29:2-5 in which David describes his donation to the work of the temple. Here, David shows the people that he too has given sacrificially to the building of the temple and encourages them to do likewise. It's not a challenge to see who can match him in either the gift or devotion. David leads by example. The equivalent here would be if Rick tweeted that Saddleback was sending missionaries and encouraged other churches to also send missionaries. (I use the missionary example because Pastor Rick has also tweeted about that recently.) David wasn't throwing down a competition, he was leading by example.

I've said it before, but I love the work that Rick Warren does to encourage pastors to move beyond their normal boundaries. He teaches us to trust God to do amazing things through us and our churches. Please don't take these last few posts to indicate that I'm a Rick Warren-hater or something, because nothing could be further from the truth. 

I just wanted to point out what one commenter called "twitter-gate" to help us remember that communication in social media is far-reaching and lasts forever. We, Rick Warren included, need to learn that in order to use it as effectively as possible. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rick Warren Deletes Uncalled for Tweet - Right Move or Wrong Move?

The only reason I visited Pastor Rick's twitter page tonight was to see if he had responded to the barrage of complaints directed toward him from other twitter users. I was disappointed to find that he had not.

Yesterday, Rick Warren tweeted something he probably shouldn't have tweeted. In this fast-moving digital world, most of the damage has already been done. I mean, some of us had the foresight to grab a screenshot.

Rick deleted the tweet, so it's like it never happened at all right? To answer an age old question, when a tweet falls in a forest of 130,000 followers, it does make a sound. Twitter heard it and the bloggers heard it. Deleting it is not damage control; it might even make things worse. The best response is to have a humble spirit and set things right.

I had hoped to find a tweet that said something like this, "Please excuse the previous tweet. It was a momentary lapse in judgement. Please accept my humble apology." and maybe include a link to the offending tweet (or my blog post about it!) That simple tweet would have made a whole lot of people feel better, it shows the proper attitude, and it leaves 35 characters of space for people to retweet it to all of their followers too.

We did not see this kind of response. Instead we got a deleted tweet, which basically says "Offensive tweet? What offensive tweet?"

I think we can learn a lesson from this though. If you mess up in public, people will see it. They will remember it even if you try to cover it up. The best course of action is to take the position of humility, admit your mistake, and just move forward. I hope that we see something like this from Pastor Rick soon.

Are you satisfied with Rick Warren deleting his tweet? Have you ever posted something online you wished you could take back? How did you respond to it?

Rick Warren's Uncalled for Tweet

Rick either needs to get someone to filter his tweets or he needs to fire the person who's doing his tweeting, but Rick Warren's recent tweet leaves a less-than-desirable taste in one's mouth.

I have a lot of respect for Rick and the work that Saddleback is doing, but this kind of stuff is not helpful, in my opinion. The responses have been pretty vicious too, which also is not desirable. I'm 99% sure this is the work of a ghost twitterer who handles Rick's twitter account. If they were working for me and posted something like this, it would probably be their last day on the job.

Let's make this clear. We're not in a contest here. When we compare ourselves to Saddleback, we lose sight of who our model should be. My life and my church are not measured against members of Saddleback nor their church. My life should be conformed to the likeness of Christ.

What do you think? Is this a case of a ghost tweeter crossing a line or a case of a famous pastor who needs to examine his communication more closely in the future?

Update: Tony Steward thinks it's probably Rick doing the tweeting, but is not sure of it.

Gmail got a new look! @SteveMielke and @LifeChurchOPEN might like the new color scheme for OPEN emails!

So Gmail gets a nice new upgrade in the aesthetic and functionality department. Contacts and tasks at the top now? Like anyone ever uses those things. It looks like a solid upgrade to me. One of the cool things I found is that the color scheme of tagged emails can be customized. It was probably available before this update, but this is the first time I've noticed it. I have a bunch of filters to label and move emails according to sender. For example, my Facebook tag is, of course, white text on a blue field.
I've also been volunteering some of my time with, a ministry that provides TONS of high-quality resources to churches free of charge. So I have a filter set up to consolidate all of my correspondence related to OPEN with a yellow on black color scheme to match the branding of the ministry.

If you're not familiar with OPEN, you should be. They provide everything from sermon series graphics, videos and loops to HR documents, worship sets, and youth and children's resources. One of the coolest things is this: most of the resources they provide are free of branding, so if you want to use them, you don't have to sport some other church's logo or name on your slides or on your videos. No matter the size or type of church you serve with, OPEN probably has resources that you can use.
So two take-aways from this post: 1) Updated Gmail seems like a quality change and 2) Visit if you're looking for free resources for your church.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I just got the coolest package in the mail! Thanks, @stevemielke and @LifeChurchOPEN !

Monday, August 2, 2010


Photo by Flickr user pfv under creative
commons license. 
Abraham had to wait to become the father of a great nation. Jacob had to wait seven years to take his bride. Joseph had to wait to see a dream realized. Israel waited 400 years to be freed.

Something struck me a few days ago as I was reading: Israel had to wait even in the wilderness. We all know the story of how God led the people of Israel through the wilderness with a pillar of cloud and fire, but read Numbers 9:22 and think about it for a second.

"Whether it was for two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud prolonged its stay over the tabernacle, the Israelites remained camped without traveling; but when it was taken up, they traveled on."

I always kind of figured God would lead them for a few-hours around the wilderness 5-days a week. Take a sabbath, maybe an extra day here and there. But when the cloud stopped, the Israelites had no idea if this was one of the two-day stops or if this was going to be for an entire year! If it's just for a couple of days, I might not really unpack. If it's going to be a year or more, I might plant a garden.

With lost jobs and a weak economy, many people are in this waiting state. "How long is this stop going to last, God?" If I'm getting a job next week, that's fine, I'll just chill for a while. If it's going to be a year, or two, or three... I'll plan my life a little differently.

But God didn't tell Israel how long the wait would be. He didn't tell Joseph how long the wait would be. Jacob thought he would work 7 years and it turned out to be double that. Abraham couldn't wait any longer, so he tried to move things along before God started moving.

Waiting is probably the hardest part of faith. Maybe that's why God has us doing it so often.
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