<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d11090344\x26blogName\x3dTwo+Blonde+Boys\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://patamo.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://patamo.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d2260276439449329947', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script><!-- --><div id="flagi" style="visibility:hidden; position:absolute;" onmouseover="showDrop()" onmouseout="hideDrop()"><div id="flagtop"></div><div id="top-filler"></div><div id="flagi-body">Notify Blogger about objectionable content.<br /><a href="http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=1200"> What does this mean? </a> </div></div><div id="b-navbar"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-logo" title="Go to Blogger.com"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/logobar.gif" alt="Blogger" width="80" height="24" /></a><div id="b-sms" class="b-mobile"><a href="smsto:?body=Hi%2C%20please%20check%20out%20my%20blog%20at%20readshlog.blogspot.com">Send via SMS</a></div><form id="b-search" name="b-search" action="http://search.blogger.com/"><div id="b-more"><a href="http://www.blogger.com/" id="b-getorpost"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_getblog.gif" alt="Get your own blog" width="112" height="15" /></a><a id="flagButton" style="display:none;" href="javascript:toggleFlag();" onmouseover="showDrop()" onmouseout="hideDrop()"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/flag.gif" name="flag" alt="Flag Blog" width="55" height="15" /></a><a href="http://www.blogger.com/redirect/next_blog.pyra?navBar=true" id="b-next"><img src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_nextblog.gif" alt="Next blog" width="72" height="15" /></a></div><div id="b-this"><input type="text" id="b-query" name="as_q" /><input type="hidden" name="ie" value="UTF-8" /><input type="hidden" name="ui" value="blg" /><input type="hidden" name="bl_url" value="readshlog.blogspot.com" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_search_this.gif" alt="Search This Blog" id="b-searchbtn" title="Search this blog with Google Blog Search" onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value='readshlog.blogspot.com'" /><input type="image" src="http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/btn_search_all.gif" alt="Search All Blogs" value="Search" id="b-searchallbtn" title="Search all blogs with Google Blog Search" onclick="document.forms['b-search'].bl_url.value=''" /><a href="javascript:BlogThis();" id="b-blogthis">BlogThis!</a></div></form></div><script type="text/javascript"><!-- var ID = 12585839;var HATE_INTERSTITIAL_COOKIE_NAME = 'dismissedInterstitial';var FLAG_COOKIE_NAME = 'flaggedBlog';var FLAG_BLOG_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/flag-blog.g?nav=3&toFlag=' + ID;var UNFLAG_BLOG_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/unflag-blog.g?nav=3&toFlag=' + ID;var FLAG_IMAGE_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/flag.gif';var UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL = 'http://www.blogger.com/img/navbar/3/unflag.gif';var ncHasFlagged = false;var servletTarget = new Image(); function BlogThis() {Q='';x=document;y=window;if(x.selection) {Q=x.selection.createRange().text;} else if (y.getSelection) { Q=y.getSelection();} else if (x.getSelection) { Q=x.getSelection();}popw = y.open('http://www.blogger.com/blog_this.pyra?t=' + escape(Q) + '&u=' + escape(location.href) + '&n=' + escape(document.title),'bloggerForm','scrollbars=no,width=475,height=300,top=175,left=75,status=yes,resizable=yes');void(0);} function blogspotInit() {initFlag();} function hasFlagged() {return getCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME) || ncHasFlagged;} function toggleFlag() {var date = new Date();var id = 12585839;if (hasFlagged()) {removeCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME);servletTarget.src = UNFLAG_BLOG_URL + '&d=' + date.getTime();document.images['flag'].src = FLAG_IMAGE_URL;ncHasFlagged = false;} else { setBlogspotCookie(FLAG_COOKIE_NAME, 'true');servletTarget.src = FLAG_BLOG_URL + '&d=' + date.getTime();document.images['flag'].src = UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL;ncHasFlagged = true;}} function initFlag() {document.getElementById('flagButton').style.display = 'inline';if (hasFlagged()) {document.images['flag'].src = UNFLAG_IMAGE_URL;} else {document.images['flag'].src = FLAG_IMAGE_URL;}} function showDrop() {if (!hasFlagged()) {document.getElementById('flagi').style.visibility = 'visible';}} function hideDrop() {document.getElementById('flagi').style.visibility = 'hidden';} function setBlogspotCookie(name, val) {var expire = new Date((new Date()).getTime() + 5 * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000);var path = '/';setCookie(name, val, null, expire, path, null);} function removeCookie(name){var expire = new Date((new Date()).getTime() - 1000); setCookie(name,'',null,expire,'/',null);} --></script><script type="text/javascript"> blogspotInit();</script><div id="space-for-ie"></div>

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I remember now...





















I had the WEIRDEST DREAM the other night...

Nathan Gaddis (of Soujourn Fare and True Vibe) and I were up near Shasta in northern California. That's not the weird part. Well, it's a little weird - I kinda know Nathan through our mutual friend, Randy (from Ethos) and a conference we were at caleld re:create. So it's not outside the realm of possibility that we would ever be together. Unlikely, but not impossible.

The weird part is was what we were doing... wait for it...

We were sharing Christ with Sasquatch.

Bigfoot. Yeti. Booger. Oh-mah. Skookum. Call him what you want, Glenn and I were trying to lead him to the Lord.

I woke up before he prayed the prayer - but he seemed open to the possibility.

This dream must mean something, but I'm not sure I want to know what it is.

Can't remember...
















We are up at "The Cabin" (my sister's place at Lake Arrowhead). I got up early this morning to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and post on my blog. I think I had a good idea for a post. Then I remembered that I had forgotten to e-mail Bob some music, so I did that. Then I read and commented on a few blogs.

And now I can't remember what I was going to write.

Maybe it will come to me later. Until then, enjoy this picture of sunset on the lake last night.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Very Cool Christmas




















Our church, New Covenant Comminuty Church, had great services - on Christmas Eve AND on Christmas morning.

Just Charlie had this to say about their services:

OK, so our church wasn't among the "cool" churches. OK, so my staff probably won't think I'm all that great of a boss. OK, so we didn't have setup/teardown issues. OK, so we didn't make a fancy-schmancy DVD to give out to our folks so they could worship at home. All that stuff is great - and I truly mean that. All I know is we had three - count 'em - three families who came to "our place" on Christmas morning, because some other places had closed for the day. Will we ever see them again? I don't know. Did they have an opportunity to hear about Jesus? You bet! Was it a hassle to do the Saturday night Christmas Eve thing and then get up and do something else Sunday morning Christmas Day? Yep! Am I any better than those who did it differently? Nope!
Like Charlie, we had our "usual" Christmas Eve services (tow of them... at 4 and 5:30 p.m.). Our 4:30 service was slammin'! We had about 800 people in a room that normally seats 800. I was not leading worship that weekend, so I just backed up our tech team and helped put down chairs liek crazy. Our second service was also great, with about 500 people in attendace.

Also like Charlie, we had a service on Christmas. For us, it was a no-brainer. It's Sunday. It's church. I'm not judging the churches in town or around the country/world that did somethings else... that just wasn't for us.

Going in, I figured we would have about the same as the 2nd service the night before - about 500. But people came.. .and came... and came... and kept coming! We put down chairs until we ran out. We filled up the overflow rooms to overflowing until people we standing at the doors looking through the overflow windows. We had people sitting two to a seat and 3 people for every two seats.

At the end of the morning we had close to 1,000 people (best guess). Unbelieveable. Again, I spent my time putting down chairs in every available space (almost considered seating people on stage) and spent most of the service outside with the rest of the staff who gave up their seats to make space. Yep, it was incredible.

But the coolest thing happened at the end of the service. We did a "retiring communion," where people take communion as they exit the building. A lady had brought a friend to the service. They both left teh service crying. They came up to our Children's Ministry Director, Mary. The lady said her friend wanted to accept Christ and could Mary help.

Awesome. That's what it's all about. Numbers are cool becuase numbers are people - people that we can minister to - people that need Jesus. And because we were there and available, because of the goodness of God and the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, there is another lady going to heaven.

SWEET!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Podcasting ideas

Just because you can, doesn't necessarily mean you should... But with podcasting, it's hard to think of too many reasons why churches shouldn't be leading the way.

So I've been thinking about podcasting recently... and have decided that we probably need TWO Podcasts. I'm still working this through, but here's what I'm working on:

The first podcast is a no-brainer. An mp3 audio file with a feed you can subscribe to of Sunday's sermon/message/talk. Not too hard to put together, really: a simple opener with music, maybe a closing comment, and the talk in between. Kind of a traditional church "tape" ministry online, downloadable and free. But the second podcast is more of a brainer. The whole podcast thing is a new communication tool in many ways, and I believe that we're just beginning to see its potential for ministry - beyond the Sunday message... something that communicates something more, something with extra stuff added!

But this podcast would be caffeinated. It would have extra stuff. It would include more than one person talking. It would have conversations and include more variety. So here are some creative ideas that I'm working on for that 2nd podcast. Feel free to use them in your church, add to them, and let me know how things go!

Some creative podcasting ideas:
  • Record the 2nd podcast on Monday morning with staff or team members. Expand on Sunday's message toghether, talk about wins from the weekend, stories, etc.
  • Include interviews. Interview people who made decisions on Sunday, people who know a lot about the topic, or just people who couldn't be available on Sunday morning. Maybe a celebrity or pastor from another church? Skype could come in handy, here.
  • Include stories related to your series in an NPR documentary/commentary style. Follow someone's journey as they deal with the issue in real life.
  • Create special, themed shows about your current series or with stuff to help your members reach out to unchurched friends (like a discussion about "The DaVinci Code" or God & hurricanes, or something). Holidays could make for great themed podcasts.
  • Include ads/teasers for next Sunday or the next series. This could be cool, well produced audio ads or simply you talking about why you're excited about what's ahead.
  • Include "inside" behind the scenes stuff about what's cooking with your church.
  • Feature a staff member and/or have a different staff member host the podcast each week.
  • Do a podcast series that deals with each of your church's values.
  • Unveil a new song or big announcement on this podcast. Promote it that way: "Listen to this week's (whatever) podcast for a big annoucement!" Let it be where you announce/unveil first.
  • For those who need the weekly jumpstart, or encouragement read a chapter of Scripture each week, between "commercials" or segments.
  • Include a segment that helps people memorize a verse of Scripture. Work it through with your team out loud, each week. Award the team members who can quote it the fastest with a candy bar or apple or something. Have them compete on one week to see who can get the most people to quote the verse from memory, and have them bring their list. Read the names of the people from the lists. Ok, there is all kinds of fun potential here...
  • Give people a "peek" at a creative brainstorming session of your team. Record and edit, of course...
  • Add a quick, "What's Happening This Week" segment, like an audio bulletin board.
  • Create a "Vision Casting" podcast.
  • Do a podcast in a public place. Interview people on the street or in the coffee shop. Ask questions related to your current series. Use audioblogger for that live, "on the street" feel.
  • Add a third, "5 minute" weekly podcast with a separate feed that counts down to an event or emphasis with the latest news, motivators and people stories.
  • At the end of a sermon series, do a "best of" podcast that includes some of the best moments or lines from the series.
  • Allow people to hear you interact with your staff and other people on the podcast. Create an atmosphere that provides opportunities for laughter. Inside jokes become community jokes.
  • Don't do the same thing every week. Hey, if it applies to the weekend worship service, why not your podcast?

Both podcasts should become a part of your church's communication strategy quintet: podcast, blog, email, website & print. Make it part of your culture. Make it something that people don't want to miss, that they look forward to, and tell people about. Before long, it could even become another hook in the water for reaching new people for Christ and your church.

Read more HERE.

(HT: Johnny Leckie via Blogging Church)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

New job?

Four years ago, when he was just getting started in the Christmas light-hanging game, Dennis Broughton decked out the Juneau County home of a building contractor.

He strung thumb-size bulbs along the roofline of the steep, two-story house, and it looked so good, so professional, that before long a neighbor was talking to Broughton about doing his home, too.

Then another neighbor asked. And another. And another - until after a few years, Broughton was decorating six other nearby houses, including the home of a car dealer who called with a mild complaint and a confession that his do-it-yourself approach wasn't cutting it anymore.

"He said, 'You're embarrassing me,' " Broughton recalled Tuesday, taking a break from a holiday decorating business that this year, propelled largely by commercial work in Wisconsin Dells, will rack up more than $500,000 in sales.

"This is exactly what he said: 'You're embarrassing me in my neighborhood. . . . My display just doesn't fit into the neighborhood. Could you come and do ours?' "

So it goes in the growing market for professionally hung Christmas lights. People - well-to-do people, for the most part - see the glittering gables and sparkling evergreens in their neighbors' yards and decide it's worth it to spend $1,000, $1,500 or more to bring in a contractor and make their house look just as good.

"Generally, if they do one home in an upscale neighborhood, they'll get four or five referrals," said Laurie Reinders, co-owner of an Elm Grove distribution company that started selling lights to contractors four years ago and has nearly doubled sales every year since.

"We don't do any cold calling whatsoever," said Kevin Stephens, manager of the lawn care department and holiday decorating at Milaeger's Inc., a Racine garden center that also has seen strong increases in its light-hanging business. "People just come to us."

Such services have been offered for years, but the market took off around 2001 or 2002, said Matthew Larson, director of operations for The Source Inc., a Pleasanton, Calif., company that sells lights to distributors nationwide.

"The demand is huge, and I think that's because of the aging baby boomer population and just people that are busy and don't have time," Larson said. "And it's dangerous to get on your roof anyway."

Customers of professional firms don't want the mishmash of decorations - inflatable Santas; lollipop forests; crazily flashing, multicolor bulbs - that you see in the yard of the homegrown neighborhood Christmas eccentric.

They want a statement, but with style. So firms such as David J. Frank Landscape Contracting in Germantown have a designer who can talk with clients about ideas for their particular house.

Roger Maurice of Maurice's Lawn, Landscape & Lighting in Menomonee Falls said he tries to tailor colors and lights to each home's architecture.

"People just like the look," he said of professionally decorated homes. "It gives them a little more recognition."

Read more HERE.

And for a REAL Christmas light show, check out my post with video, "A Little Christmas Cheer," HERE.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Festivus
















Those of us who love Seinfeld remember that today is Festivus. For the uninitiated, here's the details:

HISTORY:
Many Christmases ago, Frank Costanza went to buy a doll for George. There was only one doll left and as he reached for it, so did another man. After struggling for the doll, he thought there could be another way. The doll was destroyed, but out of that, a new holiday was born. It was called Festivus. A Festivus for the Rest of Us.

CELEBRATION DETAILS:
Celebrated: December 23rd
Meal: Whatever you Want (the Costanzas have Spaghetti)


FESTIVUS TRADITIONS:
The Festivus Pole
Is there a tree? Instead there's a pole. Requires no decoration. Frank finds tinsel distracting. The pole is aluminum tall, silver, hollow, long and skinny.

The Airing of Grievances
At the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the last year.

Feats of Strength
The head of the family tests his strength against another friend or family member. The great honor is given out to a different person each year. In Seinfeld, Cosmo Kramer was given the honor but turned it down to George Costanza as he had an appointment. Festivus is not over until the head of the family is pinned.

If you're really interested in the Festivus origins, here's the SCRIPT from the original Seinfeld episode, "The Strike." Or read the Festivus entry in Wikipedia, HERE (there are some really interesting additional facts in there - check out the one about Coach Brian Billick and the Baltimore Ravens)

For the followers of Festivus, you can purchase your Festivus pole HERE (manufactured in Milwaukee, a city known for its very high strength-t0-weight ratio).

(HT: Katherine Willis and Seinfeld Lists)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pray for Tony D.









I just read this from the AP:

James Dungy, the 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy, was found dead in a Tampa-area apartment, police said Thursday.

In a news release on its Web site, the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office said it "responded to the Campus Lodge Apartments this morning at approximately 1:32 a.m. The girlfriend of James Dungy had returned to the apartment and discovered Dungy."

Police performed CPR on Dungy before he was taken to University Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No foul play is suspected, but a cause of death won't announced pending an autopsy, said Vida Morgan, a secretary in the sheriff's public information office. The apartments are located in Lutz, Fla.

Tony Dungy has left the Colts and is in Tampa, according to NFL.com.

The coach and his wife, Lauren, have four other children: daughters Tiara and Jade and sons Eric and Jordan.


Tony Dungee is a very committed Christian man. Pray for his family as they face this crisis this Christmas (and have to remember it for the coming Christmases).

Spurgeon on Christmas
















Dear Mr. Spurgeon... Relax!

From a sermon preached by C. H. Spurgeon on Dec. 24, 1871...

We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas. First, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English. Secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. 'Superstition' has fixed most positively the day of our Savior's birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. ... It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the Church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western Church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it. ... Probably the fact is that the "holy" days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Savior was born, it is the 25th of December. ... Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.

Hmmm... any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NORAD Tracks Santa

This is the 50th Anniversary that NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa. The tradition began after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. store advertisement for children to call Santa on a special "hotline" included an inadvertently misprinted telephone number. Instead of Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief's operations "hotline." The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first "Santa" call on Christmas Eve 1955. Realizing what had happened, Colonel Shoup had his staff check radar data to see if there was any indication of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Indeed there were signs of Santa and children who called were given an update on Santa's position. Thus, the tradition was born. In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States decided to create a bi-national air defense command for the North American continent called the North American Air Defense Command. Canada and the U.S. believed they could better defend North America together as a team instead of separately.

The Command carried out its first Santa tracking in 1958 after inheriting the tradition from CONAD. Since that time, Canadian and American men and women who work at NORAD have responded to phone calls from children personally. Additionally, media from all over the world call NORAD on Christmas Eve for updates on Santa's location. Last year this Website was visited by millions of people who wanted to know Santa's whereabouts. This year, the information is provided in six languages.

NORAD relies on many volunteers to help make Santa tracking possible. Many people at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Base spend part of their Christmas Eve with their families and friends at NORAD's Santa Tracking Operations Center in order to answer phones and provide Santa updates to the many thousands of children who call in.

Read more HERE.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Through the eyes of a child

We do a Christmas party every year for our team at church. For the past few years, we have hosted the party at our house. One of the highlights of the party is when Santa (me) shows up. There's nothing like a 6' 6" Santa coming through the front door with bells and the loudest "Ho, ho, ho" you've every heard from Santa (those who have experienced it or know me know what I'm talking about).

A great side benefit to being Santa is being Santa to my youngest blonde boy, Chase, who is 5. I thought for sure he would know it was me, but the "Santa" is just too hard to get around, I guess. There is nothing quite like looking into the eyes of a child who truly believes you are the real Santa as he shares with you all that he wants for Christmas.

He told me that he wanted a Game Boy Advanced, a small Christmas tree for his room, an ornament for the tree, and a big pillow like his dad has. We already had the Game Boy, and after experiencing that moment you know I went out and got him a tree, ornament, and pillow (I think Santa will be delivering that personally to his room on Christmas Eve).

There are some who believe that you shouldn't encourage kids to believe in Santa - that you are lying to them. That's OK if that what you think. In fact, we were like that with our other blonde boy, Connor (now 12). With Chase, we decided to lighten up and not be so uptight and if he wanted to believe in Santa, that was OK with us.

Now, I don't have any definitive answers as to whether that is ultimately the best decision or even the "right" one. Don't worry, we still keep the emphasis of Christmas on Jesus. In fact, Santa had a talk with Chase about whether Chase had accepted Jesus into his heart (Chase had, and Santa confided in Chase that he had, too).

The light that went on for me as I played Santa to my believing son was about the nature of belief. Jesus said that our faith should be like that of a child. In that moment of interaction with my son, I saw what that looked like in a whole new way - maybe even for the first time. Chase wasn't concerned about whether my beard was real. He wasn't bothered that he didn't hear a sleight pull up out front or even that the rest of the party go-ers seemed to have an inside track as to who this Santa fellow was. He just believed that it was Santa.

Now I'm not saying that we shouldn't examine the claims of our faith. I'm not saying that we shouldn't understand that Christianity rooted in historical fact. What I am saying is that sometimes when God says, "Go," or "Do this," we should just say, "OK." I'm saying that when God stand with hands stretched out to us that we should run into them without wondering what the catch is.

I don't know that I'm fully let this all percolate in my noodle, yet. I don't know that I've fully grasped all the ramifications.

What I do know is that I saw belief through the eyes of a child toward Santa and I was humbled with regard to how I approach my faith in God.

More on Santa tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Quote of the day from C.S. Lewis


"Besides being complicated, reality, in my experience, is usually odd. It is not neat, not obvious, not what you expect. … That is one of the reasons I believe in Christianity. It is a religion you could not have guessed. If it offered us just the kind of universe we had always expected, I should feel we were making it up. But, in fact, it is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have."

C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Emerging Church




















Be warned. I am about to show my age.

It's just that I don't "get" the Emerging Church. What are they emerging from? What are they ermerging to? What did they used to be? It bring images to my mind of some kind of larva. Will the Emergent Church one day be a beautiful butterfly?

A quick look at the Wikipedia says, "The emerging church or emergent church is a diffuse movement within Protestant Christianity that arose in the late 20th century as a reaction to the influence of modernism in Western Christianity. The movement is usually called a "conversation" by its proponents to emphasize its diffuse nature with contributions from many people and no clearly defined leadership or direction."

Anyway, I had kind of lost hope that I would be able to understand until I read "You might be emerging if..." Read it HERE.

OK. I get it now.

I think...

(HT: Purgatorio via ysmarko)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Because sometimes, you've just gotta dance...



Surveillance cameras catch the once critically-acclaimed, yet now disturbingly reclusive dancer, Baron Klaus van Eingstradt, as he works on a new masterpiece of creative movement.

Powered by Castpost

(HT: New--Day)

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Charlie Brown Christmas

There is no time in my life that I don't remember "A Charlie Brown Christmas." It's always been there, every year. I first watched it sitting on my dad's lap, back when my two brothers and I were small enough to all fit in one La-Z-Boy with him--one kid in the nook beside each armrest and one kid in the middle.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" turns 40 this year... It's been around so long, I've never bothered to think about what made it a classic--what differentiates it from a thousand other tales of animated giving and golden rules and striped-y stockings with silver bell soundtracks. But in 1965, execs thought the show was "defiantly different."
When CBS bigwigs saw a rough cut of A Charlie Brown Christmas in November 1965, they hated it.

"They said it was slow," executive producer Lee Mendelson remembers with a laugh. There were concerns that the show was almost defiantly different: There was no laugh track, real children provided the voices, and there was a swinging score by jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi.

Mendelson and animator Bill Melendez fretted about the insistence by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz that his first-ever TV spinoff end with a reading of the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke by a lisping little boy named Linus.

"We told Schulz, 'Look, you can't read from the Bible on network television,' " Mendelson says. "When we finished the show and watched it, Melendez and I looked at each other and I said, 'We've ruined Charlie Brown.' "

Good grief, were they wrong. The first broadcast was watched by almost 50% of the nation's viewers. "When I started reading the reviews, I was absolutely shocked," says Melendez, 89. "They actually liked it!"
Read more HERE.

Read the USAToday article HERE.

(HT: HughHewitt.com)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Perfect Holiday Gift



Nothing says, "Merry Christmas" like your very own Avenging Unicorn Set. You'll have hours of fun, and all for only $12.95 (and wishingfish.com will even wrap it for you, too... bonus!)

Yes, this is for real. It's available at wishingfish.com. Here's all the info:
Everyone needs an imaginary unicorn friend that they can call forth to smite their enemies. The Avenging Unicorn Play Set has everything you need to use the power of the unicorn to rid your life of irritations! Put the posable, hard plastic unicorn on a flat surface and then impale one of three soft plastic figures included (businessman/boss, new age lady and mime). Also includes four interchangeable horns (classic spiral, chrome, glow and pearlescent). And when he's not vanquishing your foes, the unicorn can pose majestically upon your desk.

Unicorn measures approximately 3-3/4" tall; figures measure 3-1/8" tall. Made of vinyl.
Come on... who hasn't wanted to see a mime get impaled by a unicorn!

(HT: Dave Barry's Blog)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Great music from bloggers

Today I want to point you to some great music from a couple of folks from the blogosphere.

The first is from Troy Kennedy. Troy's blog is called the newworship blog. Troy's latest CD, Undone, is now available on iTunes, HERE. Way to go Troy!

The next is a new release from a blogger that I have been following the last couple of months, Carlos Whittaker. His blog is called Ragamuffin Soul and is a great read and gives insight into the mind, heart, and soul of this talented young artist. His band, the Carlos Whittaker Band, just released a Christmas CD called A Ragamuffin Christmas. Buy the CD or listen to clips HERE.

Enjoy!

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Needle, the Vise... and the Baby Rattle


















Seth Godin has a great blog. He writes on marketing and is good... real good.

Recently, he posted on what gets attention and what is ignored. It's a great read.
Most ventures that want to grow do some sort of marketing. And that marketing can be divided into two things that work. And one that doesn't.

The needle uses simple physics to work. Apply pressure to a tiny, carefully selected area and you're going to get penetration. That's why a 92 pound nurse can give you a flu shot... the tiny surface area of the tip of the needle has no trouble slipping into your skin.

Permission marketing is about the needle. The right person, the right message, the right moment. Anticipated, personal and relevant messages that get through to the person you need to reach.

The needle doesn't happen all at once. You need to have the right combination of reputation, product and prospect.

The vise uses a different principle of physics to work, but it works as well. The vise is about providing increasing amounts of pressure over the entire area. And because of the nature of a screw, you can create huge amounts of pressure over time without overexerting yourself. Get your hand stuck in a vise and you'll see what I mean.

The vise approach works, for example, with Starbucks, or with the local doctor's office or in grassroots politics. Show up often enough, be in enough places, engender enough support from one individual after another, and sooner or later, your investment in spreading the word pays off.

What doesn't work? What doesn't work is the annoying baby rattle.

Babies will occasionally get quite energetic in using a rattle to get attention. But then they get bored and move on to other techniques. Sooner or later, they come back to the rattle, frustrated that nothing seems to work.

Most marketers, and just about all struggling marketers, are rattlers. They try some gimmick or technique or product, focus on it for a little while, then lose interest and move on. After a while, out of frustration, they come back to re-try, just to prove to themselves that they're doing everything they can to get the word out.

Read the entire article HERE.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

What do you do when you get clocked at church?





















I have had a lot of weird stuff happen while I was on the platform. The most disconcerting personal experience was when I got a major nosebleed right before I had to get up to preach.

You know it's going to be a weird day when you ask people to come up and pray, and when you go to pray for someone, they clock you. That's just what happened at Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, OK.

Check out the video HERE (search forward to about 46:00 - the event actually occurs at 46:10).

I was actually VERY IMPRESSED with the response of the pastor. The next few minutes are a good lesson in what to do when everything starts to fall apart and on keeping a positive, thankful, and forgiving attitude.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Fancy Parking








Have you ever walked through a parking lot and gazed in awe at how certain cars have parked? Maybe you never knew how to describe it before. You've referred to it as Backwards Parking, Rear End Parking, Front Wheels Out, and even Wrong Way Parking.

It's called Fancy Parking.

Rather than simply driving head-first into a parking space, Fancy Parkers take the time to park their car with dignity. It's a way of saying to the world, "I'm not going to rush into things, I'm going to plan sensibly." When it comes time to leave, conventional parkers are often seen peeking over their shoulder, gingerly reversing their car into oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, the Fancy Parker sees the entire road and drives straight ahead, every time.

Vision. Planning. Success. It's all in a day's work for the Fancy Parker.

Learn more HERE.

(HT: tony morgan: one of the simply strategic guys)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Narnia Super-Trailer




















I never peek at my Christmas presents...

I don't try to figure out a movie as it happens; I just let it happen...

If you are like me, then don't follow this LINK to the 9-minute Narnia Super-Trailer. Don't watch it to get a glimpse at a most beautiful and wonderful movie that releases next week. Whatever you do, don't download the very high quality 100 MB .MOV file from HERE (right-click and choose Save) to watch on your machine, free from stops and starts.

Of course, you can always make exceptions for yourself (like I did).

Enjoy!

(HT: dTheater via Ragamuffin Soul)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Power of a Buck














I have seriously been behind in posting. Sorry!

Today's post comes from Scott Hodge of scotthodge.org. I love Scott's blog and would encourage you to take a look.
Tonight I had to run a quick errand to make a payment at a local store. When it was my turn to pay, the lady behind the counter indicated to me that there was going to be a $1.00 service fee. And of course, I had no cash on me whatsoever. My only option was to go across the street to an ATM machine.

All of the sudden, a woman walking by (not even in the line) pulled out a $5 dollar bill and handed it to the woman behind the counter and said, "I can take care of that."

Wow.

Feelings of embarrassment, elation and relief - all at the same time filled my brain in just a matter of seconds. I hesitantly accepted her offer to help me out and was just blown away by this woman's kindness.

It was weird too, because suddenly the worth of that one dollar bill felt more like a hundred dollar bills - all because this woman did something that she was under absolutely no obligation to do.

Driving away from the store, I found myself asking how it's possible to make one dollar feel like a hundred.
Read the entire article HERE.