Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Web 2.0

The future is here

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Reach Out with a Cup of Joe

I read this morning about a church in our listening area that is doing a unique outreach to their community. Lilburn Christian Church has a Drive-Thru Coffee Ministry each Monday morning. What a great way to meet a need and minister at the same time. I wish more churches would come out of their buildings and meet needs in their local community.

As graduate students at Regent University, my wife and I attended Virginia Beach Vineyard Church. We did a lot of common place ministry throughout the area. During afternoon drive-time we stood in the medians and gave out ice cold bottles of water with information on our church on the label. During Christmas, the church rented a store front in the local mall and did baby sitting for parents who wanted to go shopping without having to watch their children at the same time.

These are just a few ideas to serve our mission fields right outside our church doors. Just something to think about

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Leader's Image

From their book Building an Authentic Leadership Image, Corey Criswell and David Campbell give 8 image busters that every leader needs to be aware of:
  1. Too much seriousness - Leaders don't need to be serious to be taken seriously. Smile every once in a while. Show that you can take a joke and can handle pressure with grace.
  2. Weak speaking skills - People can spot a bad speaker a mile away. Poor speaking skills will not be tolerated for very long. Pay attention to not only what you are saying but how you are saying it.
  3. Lack of clarity - Listeners tune out when the speaker is just rambling. Speaking with focus conveys a message of effectiveness.
  4. Self-absorption - Be aware of the number times you use the pronouns "I", "me", and "my" when speaking; these isolate rather than gather. People want to be involved not just reported to.
  5. Lack of Interest - Adding passion and energy to what you are saying conveys that you are interested in what's you are saying.
  6. Obvious Discomfort - It is painful to watch a speaker who is genuinely uncomfortable in front of an audience. If you are tentative or uncomfortable in your role others will see it and question your leadership (especially in times of crisis).
  7. Inconsistency - In your role as a leader, your role and your reputation become intertwined. Showing your self reliable and consistent (in all areas of your life) will aid in your leadership.
  8. Defensiveness - An unwillingness to consider other views, a knee-jerk defense of your position or decision, or an inability to seek and hear feedback all undermine your image as a capable, effective leader.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Last Lecture

A few weeks ago I came across a video of a professor from Carnegie Mellon University by the name of Randy Pausch who is currently suffering from a terminal illness. The university has a lecture series entitled "The Las Lecture" where the professor, if given only one day left on this earth, gives to his students what is most important to him. The university asked Prof. Pausch (before his illness was terminal) to present his last lecture. Once he found that his illness was terminal, this last lecture brought on a whole new meaning. Below is a video of that last lecture.

If you were given the opportunity to speak to all that means something to you on your last day what would you say? I was face with this question last night as I came across the book of Randy's last lecture. I haven't been able to get that question out of mind. So, I'm working on my last lecture. The lessons and thoughts that I have for my family, friends and colleagues. No, I don't have terminal disease, but time is all I have and I may find one day that I have a lot less of it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Diet Coke and Mentos

This is better than then fountain in front of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Care-a-thon Update

God is truly blessing the ministry of Toccoa Falls Radio. Our audience has stepped up to the plate and have given generously to this media ministry. Here are the totals thus far:

$124,385 in faith-promise support

287 continuing faith-promises

39 first-time contributors

40 Daysponsors

If you would like to become a faith partner with Toccoa Falls Radio please click here.

We Carry His Presence

There's a new Indiana Jones movie coming out soon and it got me thinking about the first movie where Indy and his friends go out and search for the lost Ark of the Covenant.

If you remember your Bible, the ark carried the presence of God. The Children of Israel would carry the ark in front of them as they traveled to the Promised Land. The Ark was also a "weapon" of sorts that protected the Israelites from their enemies.

At the time of the first movie there were so many books coming out about the the lost ark and the historical significance of the contents and what it was really all about, and caused a lot of people to begin asking the, "Where is the Ark of the Covenant?" What would happen if we found the lost ark? How would that affect the Christian church and the Jewish religion? You know something - YOU are the Ark. You carry the presence of God (if you have accepted Him).

According to 1 Cor. 6:19, Paul tells the church of Corinth that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Go back to your years of Sunday school - how was the Ark treated? It was an object of holiness. IT carried the presence of God. Should we not do the same. Just something to think about.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's All About Perception

I was a professor of Communication for a few years. In that time I made it a point to teach the idea, "It is never about intent - it's all about perception." I can't tell you the number of times that I miss communicated something or the person I was talking to didn't quite hear me. I always has to say, "That wasn't my intent." Friends, it's all about PERCEPTION!!.

In his latest blog, Phil Cooke puts this philosophy in perspective with regards to the current political culture. I urge you to read his blog today.

How Should a Christian Respond to Earth Day?

Today is Earth Day! A tree huggers holiday. How do we as believers respond to this annual tradition. Do we ignore it as a pagan holiday for earth worshipers or do we take the opportunity to share how the earth was created by an all loving God?

In the latest edition of the The Christian Index, Jonathan Merritt, a Baptist seminary student, confronts this issue. He is the author of A Southern Baptist Declaration on the Environment and Climate Change and he presents a compelling argument of our (Christians) responsibility to be good stewards of the Creation God has given to us. I urge you to read the declaration and the articles in The Christian Index and make up your own mind.

I'm not an environmental alarmist, but I do know that God has given us a beautiful place to live and it is my responsibility to care for it. I'm reminded of the parable of the talents and that God has given us a great responsibility. How will you answer when He asks how well you took care of it?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Care-a-thon update #4

I am continually amazed on how God uses His people to accomplish His Will. The listeners of Toccoa Falls Radio are truly coming through in a mighty way. Here are the latest faith promise numbers:

Amount raised: $117,440

Continuing faith-promises: 296

New faith-promises: 30

Daysponsors: 39

All of us at WRAF thank you for your continued support. For more information on joining our team please click here

Friday, April 18, 2008

Follow the Son

A new group in Christian music has made a real impact on me. The Sonflowerz have that Natalie Merchant sound and lyrics that keep your heart and mind focused on Christ. In this morning's "CRW First Every Morning" lead singer for the group Elisa Leander gave a very simple yet profound devotional on following Christ:

Have you ever seen a field of sunflowers? On our tours through Kansas, we often see many acres of them. No matter the time of day, the bright blossoms follow the sun, absorbing the warm rays. As followers of Christ, we want to set our eyes on Him daily, never looking away. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.” As the radiant sunflower grows old and matures, you’ll see it droop a little to let its seeds fall. I see this as a symbol of surrender, and worship. Whenever you see a sunflower, remember its posture towards the sun. Let it be a reminder to follow Christ with similar devotion.

Thanks Elisa for reminding us to keep our eyes on Christ.

Care-a-Thon Update #3

The Lord is blessing WRAF and Toccoa Falls Radio!! Our listeners (the best in the world - IMHO) have really come through. After 4 days total given to this ministry is $66,482!!

Continuing Faith-Promises - 201

New Faith-Promises - 22

Day Sponsors - 32

Thank You So Much!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Care-a-Thon Update #2

This morning's broadcast of Care-a-thon was a little different than previous days. We suspended programming until noon and played a lot of music and read a number of testimonials that encouraged our listeners to continue playing a part in the media ministry of Toccoa Falls Radio.

As of last night we have received $52,949 in faith promises and we thank God for His faithfulness. If you would like to be a part of this radio ministry join us during Care-a-thon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yoda vs. Gollum

I was in total conflict! On one network the prequels for Star Wars was being shown and on another network The Lord of the Rings trilogy was airing. Talk about a battle of the titans.

I've been in the media for a long time and I love looking at ratings and research those that do well and learn from those programs that don't do that well. I've always wanted to know if these two great film franchises, if put head to head, who would win over the audience. The past weekend gave me that chance.

According to eOnline, Yoda kicked some Hobbit hoohaas!! Star Wars had nearly 1 million more viewers than TLR trilogy. WOW!! This was first time that the two franchises went chapter to chapter, night for night for bragging rights over who is bigger and better.

Even with the multiple endings in The Return of the King, it just couldn't beat the birth of Darth Vader.

Update on WRAF Care-a-Thon

The Lord is blessing the efforts of Care-a-thon 2008. As of April 14, WRAF has received $48,934. Care-a-thon will continue for the next three weeks and during this time we will continue ti wait on the Lord to bring in the funds needed to operated this media ministry.

Here are some of the comments we have received about the ministry of WRAF:
  • Steve from Central S.C. - Thanks for the GREAT programming! I love listening to the music.
  • Doug and Vivian from Cleveland, GA - We appreciate the wonderful programs. Thanks especially for Joni, Chuck Swindoll, and James Dobson and the wonderful music.
  • Zack and Alice from GA - We listen to Churck Swindoll almost every morning plus lots of your other programming.
Hearing from listeners like these makes getting up every morning all the more worth it. Please consider partnering with WRAF with a faith promise.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Day of Praise and Prayer

Care-a-thon 2008 has officially begun and we started this year with a day of praise and prayer. If you were unable to listen this morning let me share with you some of the reports from our listeners that made on impact on me personally;
  • A lady called in with a praise report of how God has helped her mother after a stroke.
  • A gentleman from Lincolnton, GA called to give praise to God for his twin sons who had their 7 year birthday yesterday. These boys were born premature and a number of health issues. Now they are both very healthy and, as he put it, "are all American boys who love Jesus."
  • A lady called in who thanks the Lord for WRAF-FM and it's ministry to her life expecially after her son died of liver cancer.
  • A lady called in praising God for her two adopted boys who are both saved and baptized. One said to her that if she had not adopted them they would not know about the love Jesus has for them.
  • The one story that had deeply touched me was about a man who, while driving in his car with a pistol under his chin, was listening to the radio (and NOT WRAF) when the radio switched to WRAF and heard Steve Gimbert say, "You don't have to do what you are thinking of doing." At that moment he gave his life to Christ.
These are just a few of the stories we heard this morning. There will no doubt be many others during this day of prayer and praise. Tune in and listen to what God is up to.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Something New

I do a lot of reading now that I blog on a regular basis. I need to keep up with many of my friends in broadcasting, ministry and consulting. I would like to share many of the articles that I think you would find interesting and maybe even helpful. You'll notice to the right I've added a new link entitled "Today's Blogs". This is where I will post some of my more favorite articles. I will try to mention some of them in posts so you can get a better idea. Hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The New "Indy" Trailer

Here's the trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Opens May 22 - I can't wait!!

Do You Reflect Hope and Grace?

In Luke 7, John the Baptist hears of the work of Jesus and sends two of his disciples to ask Jesus if he is the Messiah or should they keep looking. I find the response to John's question very interesting because Jesus' proof is this:

"Go back to John and tell him all you have seen and heard here today: how those who were blind can see. The lame are walking without a limp. The lepers are completely healed. The deaf can hear again. The dead come back to life. And the poor are hearing the Good News. And tell him, 'Blessed is the one who does not lose his faith in me.'" (TLB)

I've shared in previous posts about the disturbing results from research done by Barna research on how those outside the Church view Christians (read the book unChristian). What might it look like if we, as Christians, were defined not by that research but by how Christ's proof in Luke 7?

I've been following the Shift Youth Conference being held at Willow Creek and Shane Claiborne spoke about this very thing. His answer to the question is by living in a dangerous part of Philadelphia and traveling to Baghdad. Below is a clip from the conference.

I love Shane's final comment - It's not by how much we do but by our love that people will know we are Christians.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Secrets to Success

I had the opportunity yesterday to hear from the Chief Information Officer of Wal-Mart, Rollin Ford. He came to Toccoa Falls College, the college where his parents met and a number of his extended family attended or currently attends, and spoke to the students in chapel. What an opportunity to hear from someone who works with one of the top corporations in the United States and across the globe.

Rollin spoke on three characteristics needed to be successful in life:
  1. Trust - something to be earned from everyone who you come in contact with
  2. Relationships - each person in your life has been divinely placed there for your betterment; learn to value them all
  3. Accountability - learn to keep close counsel and not shy away from tough questions; all a person has is their integrity.
I found this discussion to be refreshing. It's good to hear from someone who has been given a huge responsibility that the need for accountability and relationships to be two of the most important keys to success.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The 7-Ups

Wake Up!!
Decide to have a good day.
Psalm 118:24

Dress Up!!
The best way to dress up is to put on a smile.
I Sam. 16:7

Shut Up!!
Say nice things and learn to listen.
Proverbs 13:3

Stand Up!!
... for what you believe in.
Gal. 6:9-10

Look Up!!
... to the Lord.
Phil. 4:13

Reach Up!!!
... for something higher.
Prov. 3:5-6

Lift Up!!
... your prayers.
Phil. 4:6

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wrestling with Questions

I've recently been introduced to Perry Noble and his blog. I found his post on questions he is wrestling with compelling. Here are his top 6:

#1 - Is there anything in my life that I need to stop doing?

#2 - Is there anything in my life that I should start doing?

(By the way…the answer to #2 is YES…but in order for it to happen I REALLY need to wrestle with question #1!)

#3 - Should I twitter?

#4 - How can I be more efficient in the way I use my time?

#5 - How can I be a better husband?

#6 - How can I be a better father?

You can read the rest of his post here. Are you wrestling with some of the same questions?

Need to Love Them Like Jesus

I'm sure we all know someone who is not a Christian. Today I want to share with you about how to share your faith. Not necessarily about which verses to use, not what color bracelets to wear or even what pictures to draw. I believe we treat our unsaved friends as projects and when the process we use to "win" them over doesn't work we become frustrated and learn a new system or process. The last thing we need is another "how-to" method of sharing our faith. What we need is to start doing a better job of loving them; so we can tell them that Jesus loves them.

I'm reminded of a scene in the movie Nacho Libre where Nacho and his tag team partner are preparing to wrestle "Satan's Cavemen" and Nacho asks why Esqueleto has never been baptized. Check out the Lego version of this scene:

Not quite the most effective way to win your friends to Christ. I Peter 3:15 says that we should always be ready to speak of the hope that is within us and to do it in a way compassionate way. Also, Matthew 5:16 reinforces the idea that how we live affects those around us. God doesn't want us to force people to believe in him, but through our lives, we need to make people curious about the hope that is within us. We need to live our lives consistent with the Gospel.

Today, let your light shine so that others will ask you what your hope is all about.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Relating to People

Every month I receive encouragement from John Eldridge, author of the book Wild at Heart. This month's letter dealt with how we deal with people. People make up a large part of our lives. And they are always in some kind of need. Most of the time we just jump in and try to minister without first talking with God and getting a clue on He might already be working in that person's life.

It would be an interesting study to look at the way Jesus related to people. We see in the Gospels that sometimes He stopped right where He was to be with people, and at other times we see Him dodging an encounter. We also see in the Gospels that Jesus was only doing the work He saw His Father doing. He was completely in tune with His Father. What would happen if we began to ask Jesus what He was already doing in the lives of people that come into our lives instead of just running into a situation with no knowledge?

What is it that guides us when it comes to relating with people in our lives? Most of the time I go with whatever my gut is telling me. I run in with speculation, worry, guilt or a sense of obligation. Sometime I go in with a sense of irritation just to get the person out of my life. I neve ask God about the situation and what part (if any) do I play.

More than any other guidance I hear from God is not to do anything more than just give them over to Him. What I find when I do that, it opens up more space in my own life for Him to work and move.