Top 10 Reasons that make it OK to break in line at a Christian Movie Premiere

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go see a premiere of Courageous at the Fox in downtown Atlanta. My wife and I looked forward to the evening out and knew it was going to be a blast. The movie is phenomenal. More on that soon. I’m going to write a review of it, and I encourage you to see it when it comes out on September 30th.

Anyway, we got to the Fox before the doors opened up. We followed the line that snaked around the north end of the building and around the corner.

We waited for a bit. The line inched forward slowly. It was warm outside, but we were OK. We get to the corner and an older couple comes walking toward us coming from the direction of the entrance. They see the line turn the corner and disappear 20-30 feet away. The man says to the woman. Well, we already waited in wrong line. They did an about face and planted themselves right in front of me and my wife.

Immediately, I thought this would make an interesting snarky post.  Perhaps I could list the top ten reasons:

1) You’re the Music Minister of an SBC and you’ve got the hair to prove it.

2) You regularly tithe more than the young couple who just joined the church. (Where is that young couple anyway? They’re always serving during the worship service)

3) You earmarked some funds to the choir robe fund (making it impossible for that money to ever be used for anything except choir robes)

4) Even when a hymn is sung directly out of the hymnal, you still think that it is contemporary music because there’s a guitar on stage. In protest, you’ll stand but not sing. And you will definitely not smile.

5) You know and perhaps own your own copy of Robert’s Rules of Order.

6) You made a point at the last business meeting that you’re seeing far too many people using their phones or electronic tablets during the service. When informed that Bibles are now electronic you announced that God’s Word is meant to be KJV and red lettered.

7) You have your own seat in the same pew each Sunday. In fact, you’ve already ordered a brass plate that will be attached on the pew for when you die.

eight) You drove your wife to Joann’s Fabric so that she could purchase some new fabric for the Lion of Judah banner that she’s been commissioned by your Sunday school class to make. (BTW, See my post on the worst church banner ever created) (DID YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU DO THE NUMBER 8 FOLLOWED BY A  ) you get 8) – Who knew?)

9) You don’t understand why there isn’t an alter call each week.

10) Your kids go to the local non-denominational mega church.

OK, so I admit… most of these reasons have NO relevance to cutting in line at a Christian Movie Premiere. But then again, maybe they still apply.

Any others that I missed?

 

I Have a New Job and Title

It has been a few weeks since I tweeted this little gem:

So… I am officially on the job market. If you know of any job openings in that ATL, please let me know.

I’ve had a few people ask me what happened and what is going on. I felt that it was time to go ahead and explain what happened.

I’ve been working for AVID Design for the past 5 years. When I came on with AVID, I knew nothing about the industry and had no real knowledge about anything related to HTML or CSS. It was a time in AVID’s life that we were growing. I basically came on to become an internal project manager. I was in charge of timelines and making sure that we delivered on scope, on time, under budget.

It was an incredible experience. I learned TONS. I met many people and started friendships with many people. In the last year to two years I had become the Director of Web Development. It was a lofty title for someone who wasn’t a developer at his core. I often felt inadequate, but learned a lot. I know enough to be dangerous and my train of logic benefited me when dealing on complex programming planning. I was able to drive one of our key products to wider use and was consistently looking for ways to improve it, our staff, our efficiencies. At the same time, I was growing as a consultant. I led many conversations and was directly involved in almost all our client strategy sessions.

So what happened?

I can’t place my finger on it, but for the past 6 months to a year I had been fighting myself. I now come to believe that I was not listening to God at the time. I think he had been trying to grab my attention for a LONG time, but I continued to fight the storm and think that if I didn’t… the boat was going to tear apart and I’d be lost at sea. The fact that I failed to remember was that Jesus was in the boat with me. While I was fighting it, I wasn’t seeking comfort in his rest. Now my job situation was extremely complex. I did not feel that I could abandon the post that I had, but at the same time I felt like I was abandoning my post at home too often. Stress was high.

So, over the past several months, I had been praying for direction from God about what to do. God’s answer came very quickly. It was time for me to step out on faith and rely that He would provide for me and my family.

And He Did Just That!

While I worried myself with creating a resume and starting the process of networking (two things that I had not done prior to leaving my job) God was setting the table for where I am now. I got a message from John Howard to have lunch with him. You may know that I have worked at Howard Brothers twice before. First of all, I worked during high school and full time through college. It was this job that allowed me to stay at home and attend college at Georgia State. I pursued a Business Administration track with focus in Project Management and Organizational Theory. At the time, I figured that I’d be content with working at Howard’s for my career. I really enjoyed the hardware business and could not see myself doing anything else.

God saw differently.

I was approached by a customer of Howard’s about a position that was opening up. Ultimately it was going to move me in a direction that would use my ‘piece of paper degree’ more than I would be using it at Howard’s. So after working 6 years at Howard’s Doraville location, I took the new job. Long story short, a year and a half later, 9-11 happened and my job was eliminated due to REALLY SLOW economy.

After that, God provided me an opportunity to come back and work at a new location for Howard’s. I worked for 5 years in an assistant manager / sales capacity in Oakwood, Georgia.  I wondered what would have happened if I had not taken the other job. Would I have been made a manager at this location? I worked for 5 years in Oakwood. During that time, our family moved back to Norcross and we had our first child. The commute was taxing and God opened the door for me to go to AVID.

Five Years Later

And now we come to today. I completely believe that God moved me to AVID because he needed me learn some skills that I could bring back to Howard’s. Recently, I had been thinking and telling others that I wish that I could do for one organization what I was doing for multiple. I wanted to be able to drive strategy around the web for someone. I wanted to do all the things that we talked to our clients about, but I wanted to do it for someone. I had been given the taste of doing a few freelance projects and a couple ministry related projects and wanted to pursue that avenue.

So when asked by John who could benefit from my skill set, it became obvious all at once. I am so excited to announce that I am the Marketing and Communications Manager for Howard Brothers. The first few days and weeks, we’ve been dreaming about directions we can go. To take the obvious metaphor, there are so many tools in our toolbox that we can use. I get the opportunity to decide which tools we want to use first. I am excited to create a hub website that all our online efforts will point to. Already, we have relaunched the site in an effort to have a platform that we can begin creating content and campaigns for. It probably will not be the final site (a website is never done) but can be a stepping stone to the vision that is in my head.

We’re going to use social media. We’re going to use blogs and videos. We’re going to do email campaigns. We may try out texting. QR Codes, PPC, E Commerce… The toolbox is full. I’m also excited to help create some internal processes. Never did I think that I’d be creating an intranet on my own, but that is a possibility. As Howard’s continues to grow we need to be prepared for that growth as we develop and defend our branding. I’m also excited to be able to educate on all this stuff. I’ve had several opportunities to do a little show and tell during some meetings and see others get excited about bounce rates and referring sites.

It has been exciting to be sitting in a morning meeting and pray for our business. Pray for the people in it. That is the biggest tool in our toolbox. One that often gets pushed to the bottom. All the other items get thrown on top of God and we try to solve the problem on our own. Eventually though, we realize that we had what we needed all along.

So, I invite you (my circle of influence) to check out the work that we’re doing. You may not be in the area, but follow on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to our RSS and perhaps you’ll get some ideas from the work we’re going to be doing that you can apply to your business or organization.

The Walls Began to Shake… in Washington DC

Reading Acts this evening. I came to chapter 16 where it details Paul and Silas imprisoned. Even though they are in jail, they are singing and praying to God. There’s a church service going on in the cellblock!

While they were doing this, there was a Great earthquake that shook the foundations and opened up the prison doors. The interesting part of the story is that the prison guard is about to take his life because he assumes that all the prisoners have escaped in the night during the earthquake, but Paul stops him and tells him that everyone is still in the prison and have not left.

The Jailer rushes in and asks Paul what he must do to be saved… because he KNOWS that Paul has something that he needs.

I’ve always liked this story. Ray Boltz had a song in the 80s/90s that I used to enjoy and sang a few times (you know back when Camp Kirkland wrote youth choir versions of contemporary Christian songs… you know when you could go to the Baptist Bookstore and buy accompaniment tracks on cassette tapes which always included a demo version of the song from someone other than the artist who wrote it and made it popular in the first place)

Caution: Snarky Remarks Ahead.

On a side note, don’t we all wish that when the earthquake hit Washington DC today… don’t we all secretly wish that after they evacuated all the buildings that the politicians would see the earthquake as a chance to escape the ‘imprisonment’ that happens to be their Job Security with No Term Limits. Seriously, we don’t need them to be brave and weather the storm… they can make a run for it. We won’t pursue them. Head towards Canada and don’t look back. Oh, and take the media with you. We can rely on social media for our news reporting now.

When Space Travel Isn’t Sexy

I saw this article on Space.com today that NASA has picked 3 Pioneering Technologies for Deep Space Travel. One of them involves a solar sail (which would be about 125 feet square) to help propel a craft.

I can’t help but think about what if the Starship Enterprise had a big Kite attached to the front of it.What if Kirk’s “Engage” was “Open the Sail”

Source

Habakkuk

I’ve been studying Habakkuk for the past couple weeks. I’d read some, listen to Matt Chandler teach on it. Read over it again. Well, today, I finished up. Going to move back over to the New Testament. Not sure what book yet. Prior to that, I decided to put some takeaways down from the book.

Growing up in a very traditional southern baptist church, I never got the expository style of preaching. Let me explain this a little further.

I didn’t GET it, nor did I get it.

First of all, I just didn’t receive teaching in this manner. I was used to brief overviews of a book from time to time, or we might go through a book in “January Bible Study.” Yep, that one time a year that was earmarked to come to church for 5 days during the same week because we were going to go ‘deep’ into a book of the Bible. Most of the time, we received whatever the pastor felt called to preach. Perhaps it was what he was studying at the time. Perhaps it was topical. I don’t know. All I know is that we didn’t go verse by verse and really dig into what the Word was saying.

But second, I didn’t understand the value in it until recently. I guess it was the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever that first exposed what the definition of Expository Preaching to me. I admit, that I initially pushed back. My argument then was that expository style is good for the most part, but that topical preaching would benefit those in the seats more. I’ve changed a lot.

Matt and the Village Church took 11 services, nearly 11 hours to go through a short 3 chapter book. In the past, I would blow through this tiny book on my way to reading through the Bible goals and not allow enough time to pause in it. Selah? What Selah.

Anyway, I relate to Habakkuk. I see what happens in the world and want God to step in and resolve many of the problems that we see. But God is saying in this book that he is in control. He knows so much better than us because he sees tomorrow like it happened yesterday. Often our complaints and worries to God are WAY over our heads. But it is so difficult in our flesh to just accept that. We try to be problem solvers instead of resting in the faith that we have.

Now this does not mean that we should not take our worries and cares to Him. He wants us to come to Him with our bothers, but we don’t need to be dominated by our worries and cares. We need to go to Him for comfort and assurance. However he doesn’t need our powerpoint presentations to the solutions of the problems. He’s got that under control.

It really is a HEAVY book as Matt puts it. The idea that God will use the Chaldeans to conquer Judah is too much for Habakkuk to take. How could a loving God punish His own people? It is because he can see everything that is and will happen as it has already happened.

 

Evin Crayloa Kan Produse Tipos

My wife and I were doing a little school shopping the other day at Walmart.

While looking at everything, she picked up this item. Have you seen it on the ads on TV?

I’m still not exactly sure how they work, nor why you would want dry erase CRAYONS, but I’m certain that Crayola has the R/D department to justify our society need for this product. Surely they’ve invested MILLIONS into its research and product launch.

My wife immediately caught that in 2 or three places on the packaging it states that there is a “Mitt” inside for use in the erasing process, however the largest bullet point on the back states that there is a “Matt” inside.

My mind races on how much expense went into product development and packaging design. I can only imagine that dozens of eyes had to have looked at the proof of the packaging, right?

I guess my take away is this, even Crayola can screw up. Next time you mess up or flub something, don’t beat yourself up over it.

 

The Problem with Email

(At least my problem with it at the moment)

Here’s the problem that I have with email all of the sudden… I have maybe 10 email addresses, right? However, for the past 5 years I have used one email address for just about everything. My bad. It was my primary and if I signed up for ‘official’ accounts anywhere, I used it. In retrospect that was such a bad practice.

I’ve had the fun experience of changing/updating my accounts everywhere since I no longer use this email address. I can only assume that for a LONG time will I be finding them. I actually started off thinking that I would keep track of all of them as I change, but I realized the vanity in doing that.

What do you do? Do you have a master document that lists all accounts and usernames and passwords somewhere? Do you only keep one throwaway address for spam needs?