I twitted this a while back, but wanted to post this on my blog b/c I hate searching through old tweets... Enjoy!
Priority of Inbox
I twitted this a while back, but wanted to post this on my blog b/c I hate searching through old tweets... Enjoy!
Priority of Inbox
Had a couple surprises today... first off was myBabyGirl(s) surprising me on Google VideoChat. That is, in case you're curious, a big 'ol honkin smile underneath my goatee. I love myBabyGirl(s) and would drop just about anything to talk with them. Beowulf even stopped by for a brief visit.
Secondly, (and not nearly as cool), saw a rumor that the new Mac Minis will gain support for Dual Displays. Instead of just having one DVI output, the Minis will have two... which means that, if true, this is an incredibly cheap option to run ProPresenter/ProVideoPlayer from.
Come on, Apple! Give us an economic option for Dual Displays!
Hopefully, more surprises like this will be coming soon...
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
"It is well, it is well with my soul."
Though Satan should buffet,
Though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight.
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll.
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall decend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Uh, yeah. I'm sorry, but does anyone else think this is insane? Just throwing it out there. I'm going to be a daddy in like one month. Or as soon as one week.
Serious question. I don't look like a daddy. I don't feel like a daddy. I don't talk like a daddy. I don't blog like a daddy (I'm assuming this because my daddy doesn't blog). At what point do I start doing daddy stuff? When do I become, for lack of a better word, daddy? Is it like this life-changing thing where it will hit me like a ton of bricks, or is a more, gradual thing?
i've been struggling lately with who i am, or at least how i can be the person(s) i need to be within the one six eight.
every week i get one hundred and sixty eight hours...
... to be the husband
... to be the (soon to be) father
... to be the friend
... to be the employee
... to be the boss, and boss
... to be the Paul
... to be the Timothy
... to be the student
... to be the teacher
... to be the blogger
... to be me, whoever me is...
there are some weeks that i can do everything within the one six eight.
there are some weeks that i might as well not even try.
there are some weeks i prioritize, focus on some areas and ignore others.
but for some reason,
for this season,
God has me running for each one six eight.
each role is different.
sometimes i'm aggressive. other pensive.
and during this weekly one six eight sprint,
some things i succeed at. others, i fail...
at least until the one six eight clock resets,
and we go at it again.
if i didn't love the challenge so much, i'd probably be depressed.
but i don't have time. one six eight is counting down.
God, help me to be the man You want me to be for the full one six eight. while my environments change, my roles change, and my personalities change, help me to stay true to the identity You have laid out before me. thank You for running alongside of me. help me to stay focused on You, the reason i do the one six eight.
I spent today hacking (read: butchering) HTML... it's been years since I've done it... and what should have taken like 30 minutes took hours...
1) I miss Adobe GoLive. Back when I was running eBeliever, I could use either GoLive or (then) Macromedia Dreamweaver. Even though Dreamweaver was the Industry Standard, I liked GoLive's Interface. It worked excellently with Adobe Photoshop and (then) Adobe ImageReady. The CSS Editor was slick. I knew where all the tabs went. Heck, I spent four years of my life working in that application. Fast forward to today: the majority of the day today was spent hunting around Dreamweaver for a certain tool, or a certain attribute field, or the color dropbox. My day was frustratingly ugly (I ended up coding a lot by hand... also ugly)...
2) I LOVE Dreamweaver's WYSIWYG editor - coding is top half the screen, and page layout is bottom half. Incredible! If I had this years ago, I may not have sold eBeliever...
3) I remember what I didn't like about eBeliever... staring at a computer screen all day. Thankfully tomorrow I'm going to be nowhere near my laptop... so I'll get to explore other avenues of my job description.
4) Even though I've been blogging for almost two years now, I really haven't done much advanced stuff since I left eBeliever almost four years ago. There are some cool tools out there now! Stuff that I was not able to do back then (or too costly to set up) I could do easily w/o a problem.
5) Doing a little bit makes me want to do more of it... CF has a couple big web projects on the horizon... I'm very excited... Anybody got a manual for Dreamweaver CS3?
As painful as it is for me to say it, I'm selling The Living Word. It's time for me to simplify my life. I've enjoyed the opportunities God's allowed me through the unconventional ministry of a Christian Bookstore in Miami. Initially, when I took the position at Christ Fellowship I thought I could do both. The workload has become too much for me, and I'm ready to let go of the bookstore and put it in the hands of someone that can give it the attention that it needs. I am mentally exhausted from the pace of my life, and with the arrival of myBaby in the Fall - I am the first to admit my life needs to change.
Honestly, the economy is down right now. With that in mind, I have priced the store reasonably to allow the buyer a cushion... I live 4 minutes away from the bookstore, and I want to continue to have a Christian bookstore in my neighborhood! The ministry of The [Living] Word has been in Miami almost 15 years now. Lord-willing it will continue.
So to you, my readers, please pray about the opportunity.
Maybe you'd be interested in ministering to the people of Miami through the unconventional method of retail. If so, comment/email/call me and I'll go into specifics on what I am offering, and what I am looking for. I promise you, it's a good deal.
Maybe you know someone who would be interested in this opportunity. I am offering a significant finder's fee... if a buyer is referred to me by another person, then the referring person will get 1% of the selling price of the business (I look out for my peeps!)
Questions? Please don't hesitate to ask.
God, thank you for the ministry, the experience, the friendships in the community. I pray that You would lead the right person to this ministry, and that Miami would continue to have the resources available to them.
I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications
Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know I'll be alright
Perhaps it's just imagination
Day after day it reappears
Night after night
My heartbeat shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away
Overkill by Colin Hay/Men at Work. (full lyrics available.)
Check out a guest appearance on Scrubs (my favorite comedy) by Colin.
Enjoy the song (btw, Benjamin Gate did a cool job covering this song...)
Years ago, when I first bought the bookstore, I was a well-documented control freak. Recently, though, I've made myself release some of that and trust the people that are in place. Today was one of those days.
I spent today @ CFWK (5am-noon working on that). Great start. Probably blog on it later this week.
So while I focused on gathering the final pieces of CFWK, other people were watching my other interests.
I get a TXT message from Jonathan C, a friend of mine (and a youthworker at CFR). Great guy. Evidently he was at a Shane & Shane Concert... below is the conversation:
Jonathan: I am at the shane's concert... and they gave you a shout out! You here?
Jeff: What'd they say?
Jonathan: Some girl came out and said buy stuff. LOL... Not like that but something in that nature.
Jeff: For C28? Awesome. Where's the concert?
Jonathan: Yeah man, its in Palm Beach Atlantic... Man you don't even know when your company does stuff. HA HA
Uh, yeah, probably should have known that we were out at a concert. In retrospect I remember talking about it (thanks Ryan and Emily) but didn't remember it was this wknd.
Another example at the bookstore... We just hired a new employee (Chris B). Good guy. Hard worker. Looking forward to seeing him in this role. I saw him today when I was at CFH. "Hey Chris, did you get trained this week? Are you on the schedule yet?" "Yeah, I did the training. I start this week." Kyle and the entire bookstore crew have done a great job making the bookstore function without me.
Not only with the businesses, though, it's exciting to see it on the CF campuses. This was a busy week at CF. Seemed like a lot of volunteers were traveling/sick/unavailable this weekend. Coupled with the fact that Landon and I were at CFWK's launch, and Hector was at CFR to assist in their Video Teaching service... not many people were left at CFPB to ensure the service went smooth. I, honestly, was a little nervous.
I get an email from Charlie, one of our volunteer camera directors, giving me the scoop on how Sunday went at CFPB sans all Media Staff.
Hey today I got a chance to get a quick glance at your life at CF Palmetto Bay. By that I mean, I got a chance to see volunteers at work that really had it together. It was cool, very cool. I wish that the employees that I pay would care as much as the folks I saw today.
He gave me a heads up on some of the volunteers that did a phenominal job this week. Steven, Anthony, Juan, Jay, Donadi, Phillip, Jackie, Amy... THANKS! You all are greatly appreciated. Thanks for helping to fill in the gaps!
God, thank you for these opportunities to be overwhelmed with ministry. Thank you for the stress. Thank you for the potential impact. May we continue to do great things for Your kingdom.
Today, Sunday February 3rd, between the hours of 7am and 3pm I had fifty conversations on my cell phone. Not an exaggeration. Exactly 50. Honestly, I don't think I talked to that many people face to face today... but evidently I can on my cell phone.
I guess that's the side effect of the Multisites...
And yes, I kept my phone on VIBRATE lest I get the wrath of the dirty look when the phone rings in the middle of the message.
Needless to say, thank God for Cingular's Free Nights & Wknds.
Let me update you on my wife's situation. As you know from previous posts (here, here, and here) she has been in and out of the hospital with numbness in the left side of her body. She still has numbness in her arm, although she can function much better this week (as opposed to last week when she was in the hospital).
Many have asked what was the results of the second take of the Cervical (neck and spinal cord) MRI.
As soon as I know, I'll let you know.
Systems are built to allow ease of operations, smooth transitions between stages, constant communication between departments.... or they can make life a living HE(double hockey sticks).
When she was released from the hospital, she was told that she needed to see the hospital neurologist. On Monday, she called the neurologist (er, neurologist's "assistant") who said to call this number and schedule the MRI. And the MRI would have to be quickly because the Neurologist was going on a two week vacation. If the MRI wasn't done quickly, the appointment would have to wait until after Thanksgiving.
The MRI was not available in the timeline necessary, but my wife (who was sick enough to be kept in the hospital for 4 days) does not want to go through Thanksgiving not knowing what was wrong. So, she calls another Neurologist that she saw a couple years ago. He says, "I'd love to see you, and I have plenty of openings. But I'm in the same co-op as [the other Neurologist] so you'll have to get him to release you."
So during Tuesday and Wednesday, my schoolteacher wife has called the Neurologist inbetween every class, and multiple times after school trying to get released so she can get medical attention.
Guess who doesn't check messages/return phonecalls?
It's a shame when systems that are built to help people end up hurting them. It's a failure, not of the people, but of the system they are working under. Unfortunately, it's costing Amy her state of mind during this time.
Pray for my wife. She has dealt with health issues most of her life. Knowing what is going on allows her to process and accept the symptoms. Not knowing what the numbness is, in my estimation, is doing more damage to her than the numbness itself.
Amy is home. In good health. Back to normal.
Well, as normal as she was when she went in.
Saturday she regained the majority of her strength back. She got back her mobility, walking around the second floor of Jackson South like she owned the place. The numbness, for the most, went away.
There are still some other tests that she can do outpatient, but thankfully she's home and in good spirits.
First off, I know about half a dozen people that work at Jackson South. I appreciate their help and support during Amy's stay. Sincerely, thank you.
With that being said...
On Wednesday the Doctors requested Amy to get an MRI of her skull region. This MRI was done Thursday morning. On Thursday afternoon, the results were inconclusive, and the Doctors requested a second MRI of Amy's spinal cord. This was executed on Friday. Saturday afternoon, the Doctors realized that the second MRI was inconclusive as well, BECAUSE THEY WERE EXAMINING THE WRONG PART OF HER BACK! Instead of scanning the Cervical portion (neck and upper back) they scanned the Lumbar section (lower back). Somebody's "C" on her medical chart evidently looked like an "L".
As you can imagine, this news was not appreciated by my wife.
The Doctors wanted to rescan the correct portion of Amy's of her spine. On Monday. (They don't do scans on the wknd.) They did not want to release Amy until after the results of this MRI were available. Most likely Tuesday mid-morning.
While this is going on, her health got much stronger. The blood pressure issues were resolved to be a non-event, and Amy got back to her normal self. She managed to talk the nurses into pushing the Doctors into releasing her, and she will be getting the rest of her scans and medical work will be done outpatient with her Neurologist.
Lesson learned? You tell me...
Thanks to everyone who called, e-mailed, TXTed, Facebooked, showed up, sent flowers, or just harassed me mercilessly during this time. I greatly appreciate you.
Let me give an update on Amy. She's still in the hospital. For those counting that's three nights.
No, not kidding.
The doctors still don't seem to know what the problem IS.
They do, however, know what the problem ISN'T!
It ISN'T a stroke.
It ISN'T multiple schlerosis.
Sometimes knowing what it ISN'T is just as good as knowing what it IS.
At least that's what I keep telling myself (and telling my wife).
She had gone through a second MRI test today (looking at the spinal column - as opposed to the skull/brain area). The test came back negative, but the doctor was concerned about several bouts of low blood pressure that she experienced today, and opted to put her in for observation for yet another day.
Hopefully she'll be released soon.
Hopefully we can finally get some answers to these questions.
However, it is a Godsend to be able to know what the answer IS NOT.
God thank you for Amy and what she means to my life.
Give her the strength to endure the pain/discomfort that she is going through.
Give her the patience to deal with her limitations.
Give her the ability to deal with the anxiety, the frustration.
And give the doctors the wisdom to figure this thing out.
Amy has been in Jackson South Hospital for the past couple days. Please don't freak out.
Monday Amy started having numbness in her back. Tuesday the numbness expanded to her entire left side. She started feeling better Tueaday night, but she was still numb. Wednesday I took her to her doctor, who said "Go to the ER." I took her to ER, who wanted her admitted. And after being here for one night, it looks like we're going to be here again overnight for a second night.
She's had blood tests, X-rays, catscans, MRIs, physical therapy... We still don't have an answer.
I've been told that if i didn't slow down, I would end up taking my vacation in the hospital. Well, watching Amy in a hospital bed for two days and counting has ended up being a pretty good vacation for me.
Pray for Amy. Its not the pain. Its not the discomfort. Its the "not knowing." We can only assume at this point the doctors have gone home, and hopefully we'll hear something tomorrow.
I've got my iPhone, so if you would like to email me a note for her (or write in a comment) go ahead.
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
I wasn't going to share this story due to it's embarrasing content.
My iPhone broke Saturday afternoon. Yes, the end of the world is upon us.
So my cell phone not working on a Saturday when I am light staffed at the bookstore, and we are expecting record attendence at Christ Fellowship Palmetto Bay Saturday night... yeah, that's a recipe for disaster.
12 missed calls. Not an exaggeration.
Evidently, when I would make and receive calls the earpiece speaker would be dead silent. I found out after 5 hours of no phone that my "speakerfone" option still worked, but who wants to have conversations with people in public on speakerfone so everyone can hear?
Sunday AM at CFH I run into Jonathan Concepcion, a new Apple Store: Falls Employee. After my gripe session, he makes an appointment for me to get the phone looked at. 5:30pm Sunday.
5:24pm. I show up at the Apple Store: Falls location. BTW, it's being redesigned, and the current Apple Store: Falls location is a closet maybe 500 square feet. It had 100-150 people packed in it today. No, not kidding.
5:25pm. I stumble to the Genius Bar and wait. I'm #2 on the appointment list. There's maybe 20 people between me and the bar. I have no idea who to talk to. So I wait.
5:35pm. In line ahead of me there is an old man who is having problems with his iPhone. Maybe late 60s. The Apple Tech tries to talk to him in normal (read: non-techie) language, but it's obvious the old man doesn't understand. He turns around and belows this name, and this 10 year old kid comes flying through the store. He somehow manages to squeeze his way up to the bar. The old man points to the kid, and the Tech explains everything to the kid who nods. The kid translates to the grandfather who nods. They then wait at the bar, I guess for paperwork?
5:42pm. My name is called. I plunge in towards the bar, parting the crowd of people like Moses did the Red Sea. I hand my phone to the Apple Tech, and explain to him what is going on. I have to shout over the chaos of 30 people standing around the Genius Bar. "The earpiece doesn't work, but my phone works in speakerfone."
5:43pm. This little 10 year old brat/angel (you choose) that is standing in line next to "Grandpa" says to me, "Oh, your phone still thinks the headphones are plugged in. Just blow in the headphone jack and it'll work again."
5:44pm. So the Apple Tech, who still hasn't said anything to me, literally takes my phone, blows into the headphone jack twice, and hands me my phone saying "wanna give it a try?" Stupid phone worked.
5:45pm. I thank the tech, ask the brat/angel if he makes house calls. Pat Grandpa on the back, and walk out of the Apple Store.
There was a time in my life when I was just like that brat/angel. Now I'm being bested by them. I blogged yesterday about being irrelevant. According to this 10 year old, I really am!
Happy Blogaversary to me!
A year ago I blogged what my new biz cards looked like. This was my first "real" blog post. Sure, it was fluff piece (much like this one). I was basically testing the system out, but it was a start. Who knew blogging would become a big part of my life a year later? Exactly 450 posts later, over 90 RSS subscribers, and 100-300 unique visitors a day... I'm loving this!
Thanks to you all for being part of my stress relief for the past year. It's appreciated.
This week has been crazy.
Tackling finances at The Living Word.
Restructuring budgets at C28.
Setting up operating expenses for CF Homestead.
Coordinating startup budgets for CF West Kendall.
Dreaming about CF Dwntwn.
Microsoft Excel and I have been in a borderline dating relationship this week.
In college my mom used to push me to take business classes.
I hated business classes.
She would tell me to read business/management books.
Business is stupid, right?
I talked to her the other day. She's cleaning out her office (oh, did I forget to mention SHE FINALLY RETIRED) and she's got a bunch of biz books. "Jeff, I know you probably don't want any of these, but do you want my business books?" "Mom, at this point in my life, I'll take everything you got." It's amazing to me how much these principles seem to be integrated into ministry.
It's interesting how meeting, planning, scheduling, verifying, budgeting... ministry at time equals dollars and cents in an Excel document. Yes, this is means, not the end. But the means are necessary to get to the end.
Flowcharts, spreadsheets, outlines. These have a part in ministry.
God, help us strategically plan this through. Guide our decisions. Allow us to stay focused on the end, the reason we do this. Thank you for allowing us to work through the means...
Thanks to "The Ongoing Adventures of ASBO Jesus" for the comic.
Why do I continue to put my faith into technology? I'm very tempted to list the chronology of crashed hard drives, smoking motherboards, and spyware issues I've had in recent years. Let's simplify instead and say it's somewhere around a dozen.
Tech has been working for me good lately. No major problems. Until Sunday night, when I tried to remote into my bookstore's server to do some late-night ordering... only to find that I could not remote in. Huh, that's weird, I wonder if the Internet is down... Seconds later, I tried to remote into the C28 server, which is located on the same network. I successfully connected. Oh crap, I bet the bookstore's server crashed again.
Yep. I am sick and tired of Windows. Honestly, I do not understand how IT guys put up with these issues all day long. You by far have more patience than I do.
While I have no faith in technology, I do have faith in people.
I called up CF's IT Guy, Hector, and asked him to take a look at my crashed hard drive. He did, and even ran some diagnostics for me. Hector's an incredibly busy guy, and that he took the time to run the scans for me means alot. Thanks Hector! I'll have my data recovery guy Wes work his magic tomorrow and we should be in great shape! Sadly, Wes has done this for me far too many times.
I've learned over the years that dependence upon technology will only disappoint. I've said it before. I have no faith in technology.
Hard Drives will die.
Motherboards will smoke.
Networks will go down.
Software will freeze.
Servers will crash.
Applications will fail.
Tech is "means". Not the "end". Honestly, I've tried to spend more time focusing on the "end" than I have the "means".
While tech will let me down
on a regular basis
people rarely do
and God never does.
God, thank you for the lesson learned.
PS - Uh, God, if you could figure out a way to remind me of this lesson without crashing my server, I would greatly appreciate it.
PPS - Or, God, if you could give me an advance warning so I can make sure the backup would work, I would even be okay with that.
I had a hellacious Tuesday and an even worse Wednesday... meeting after meeting after meeting... I was so busy over the past couple days I didn't even prepare for small group (which met several hours ago). Small group started at 6:45. I sat down at 6:00 this evening to look over the material, hoping to cram in a couple minutes of prep.
To my (unfortunate) surprise, the topic this week was "Being Still".
God, really... don't try to be subtle or anything. Don't hold back. If you want to say something, just come out and say it.
It's a needed lesson for me, and was extremely refreshing to hear from the rest of the group that, yeah, life is chaotic. Oh, and evidently the iPhone is the tool of the devil. Who knew. Although secretly I had suspicions that Steve Jobs was, in fact, the Antichrist.
The whole lesson reminded me of an Eagle's song. Yes, those Eagles. No, I wasn't alive when they were together the first time... On their reunion CD Hell Freezes Over they recorded a new track called "Learn To Be Still"... (YouTube video below).
Full lyrics at this link, but I've put a sample of the lyrics below.
We are like sheep without a shepherd
We dont know how to be alone
So we wander round this desert
And wind up following the wrong gods home
There are so many contridictions
In all these messages we send
(we keep asking)
How do I get out of here
Where do I fit in?
Though the world is torn and shaken
Even if your heart is breakin
Its waiting for you to awaken
And someday you will-
Learn to be still
Learn to be still
I find it interesting how even the Eagles see that idols and temptations will drive us away and keep us busy, but "[our heart] is waiting for you to awaken."
Biblically, we know that the Holy Spirit is here to be that resource for us, but sometimes we need to stop to hear where the Spirit is leading.
Take it from an expert. I hate stopping. I have to much to do and for me to stop means that 30 things will not get done, I will miss deadlines, and I'll probably get yelled at (and since I'm my own boss most of the time, the fact that I would yell at myself is even more ironic).
In 21Century America I think that being busy is an unfortunate fact of life. However, it's also shows a lack of faith. Being Still allows us to put our faith in God, that He will provide. By stopping, we are making God a bigger priority than our actions, and our lack of actions is showing God our faith in his abilities to provide for our needs.
So, instead of RUNwithGOD.com, maybe I should be STOPwithGOD or WAITwithGOD or WAITforGOD.com...
Eh, maybe not.
God, continually help me to put my faith in you. Teach me to be still.
I've enjoyed teaching the Media Small Group more than I thought I would. That doesn't sound right. I knew I would enjoy it. I went in with fear and trepidation, though. I haven't done this type of thing in years...
That's the downside of my life. I'm the "busy guy"... in the spectrum of Mary to Martha, I land squarely on Martha. And by staying busy, working to achieve mighty things for the Kingdom, I think I've neglected to see the people that make up the Kingdom.
It's been years since I was open with a group of adults. Check that. I don't think I've ever been open with adults. Back in my youthworker days, sure I opened up, shared, and prayed with kids. But there really is something to opening yourself up to a room of people that, more often than not, are going through the same thing you are. Leading this Small Group has helped put a smile back con my face that has been gone for way too long...
God, thank you for the opportunity to not only see the big picture of what you have for me, but reminding me that those numbers have names, faces, stories and needs.
Five letters. Crazy.
There are some weekends where things run smoothly. Praise God this one ended smoothly, but it took a while for us to get there. I often joke that all I do is control chaos. Well, today I don't know how much I controlled it, but there was chaos.
At CF Homestead this morning, two minutes into Mighty to Save, the last song before we were supposed to start the Video Teaching...the lights flickered. I immediately looked for Jorge, since he has a habit of tripping over cables and unplugging devices. I did not find Jorge, but seconds later the room went completely dark. No power in the building. Make that no power in the school. And no power at the homes on the other side of the canal. And no power all the way out at Harris Field. Evidently, no power anywhere in Homestead.
Let me give props where due. Berch and his band did an incredible job continuing on in worship. When the power went off, there was a hideous feedback from the speakers (and I'm still not sure where it came from), but Berch kept on playing accoustic, desperately trying to keep the ambience of worship. Drums picked up too. I did notice he was doing a lot of praying during the rest of Mighty to Save.
After seeing the band was okay, I went to get Jorge. With great joy I told him that it was time for the message, and with video teaching offline Jorge get's to preach. He got his Bible and in about four minutes hammered out what he was going to say.
Once Jorge was comfortable speaking in the dark, we dove into coordinating the next service. I will say this about Homestead campus... it really is a big family. I walked out into that hallway and had about 10 men itching to help the situation out. Matthew Oakey (one of my first blog subscribers) recommended generators. Chuck and Michael said they had generators, and we sent them home to get them. I sent Onan to get gas. Someone else got fans and indoor AC units. Somebody else had a bunch of extension cords.
We made it back with plenty of time to spare. I told the volunteers to put the generators into place, and we would set everything up ASAP.
Jorge, not realizing that the clocks were no longer working (b/c the power was out) was preaching the sermon of a lifetime, in the dark, with no microphone. He finally saw my signal to wrap it up (I think he could have gone for another hour) and we cleared out the building quickly so we could work to set up the generators for the service.
As God as my witness, as soon as we got the room cleared of all of the people, the lights come back on, and the building powers back up. Everyone gets excited and I make the (premature) call to strike the generators because the power is fixed. Not more than 2 minutes after I say that, the power goes out again.
Reliving my fear of Homestead Power, I did not want to have a completely powerless system for the 11:30 service. We set up the generators anyway, and ran all essentials (audio, video, screens, computers) from two different generators. I was doubtful that two generators could handle the load, but I was happy with the results. At least we know now it can be done.
And the power did come back on before the 11:30 service was to start, so we had complete light and AC for the service. So we basically went crazy for about an hour for no reason, but I think God realized I needed to work on stress management.
I will say this. CF would not exist if not for our volunteers. Every week I'm in awe that people continue to give the way they do, and am thankful that they have taken ownership of CFs vision the way they have. Thank you for bouncing ideas, asking questions, analyzing situations, and basically making CF what we are today.
Vacation was incredibly restful. But, if you know me, you know even my vacations have to be "project-oriented". I read two books and Amy and I watched six movies, along with a ton of relaxing time. I did miss my Internet, though. Here's some random musings from the trip:
* There was a thunderstorm warning that hit when we were leaving town. Rain was pouring. Wind was so strong it was blowing branches off trees. I gotta say, I've driven in at least four hurricanes since I've been back in Miami, and that is the most scared I've ever been driving in Miami. (It still doesn't beat frozen roads in a Texas blizzard.)
* I read a book on blogging (Clear Blogging) by Bob Walsh. Didn't learn that much. However, there was an interview with the CEO of ProBlogger.net, Darren Rowse. Darren (who used to be a pastor of a church in New Zealand), started blogging back in 2002. Bob Walsh (author) speculated that meant that Darren was "one of the first thousand bloggers out there." Darren agreed. This is significant b/c I was doing SushiRocks back in 2002. So theoretically I'm one of the first thousand too! (Please don't read pride into that statement, but if you do, go ahead and give me credit for inventing the Internet too!)
* Leonard Sweet is by far one of my favorite authors (SoulTsunami is one of the reasons I went into ministry). Upon reading Sweet's new book, The Gospel According to Starbucks I discovered that the same principles (EPIC= Experiential, Participatory, Image Driven, Connected) that I loved in SoulTsunami were discussed word for word in TGATStarbucks. Good read, I'll try to blog it this week.
* How do people watch TV without TIVO? Really! If you don't have a DVR PLEASE GET ONE. You waste so much time watching the stupid crap that's on TV. It's so much more enjoyable when you can filter through the crap and only watch what you want...
As for the movies we watched:
* Ocean's 13: Great Flick! Love the Modern Day Rat Pack! They've come a long way from the Frank Sinatra days! It's interesting to watch the cultural differences between Sinatra's Ocean's 11 and where Ocean's 11-13 end up. In Sinatra's Ocean's 11, no one wins (watch the movie, very depressing). Then watch Ocean's 13, where it's not a matter of Clooney's crew winning, but how slick they look doing it.
* Pirates Of The Caribbean (At World's End): Eh, I love the fact that movie trilogies like The Matrix and Star Wars define the rules and conventions of their movies early on (and then stick to it). I love even more that Pirates literally makes up the rules rules as they go. I'm glad I saw it so I can folow the story, but POTC 2 and 3 both left me wanting...
* The Departed: Best mob movie I've seen in years (Disclaimer: I haven't seen many mob movies lately). Any time you put Jack Nicholson in a Martin Scorsese Movie, I'm happy. I had seen all but the last 20 minutes of the movie before, and it was good to get an ending on the film. (Spoiler: For what it was worth, I thought the ending was hilarious... but that's just my sick sense of humor).
* Napoleon Dynamite: Believe it or not, this was the first time I had seen it. Honestly, I know it's a cult-favorite, but really? It was probably the worst MTV film I've seen (once again, haven't seen that many...)
* Lady In The Water: I am a huge Shyamalan fan. I've been through film classes studying this guy. I've taught classes that focused on this guy (and the Auteur Theory). I love this guy, and I can honestly say that this movie STUNK! While it was a good movie, it doesn't belong in the same sentence with Shyamalan's other works. He ran out of gas. Know what the worst thing is? Having expectations put so high that there's no way a person can constantly meet them. Scary stuff. I hear rumor Shyamalan's done making films. If so, that's a sad day for American cinema (one of many sad days to come in American cinema...)
* Kolya: I love subtitles. There aren't many of us left in this country. Great mix of Czech/Russian cinema. It brought me back to film school days. I love movies that make you think.
I guess I got to get away to get things accomplished...
Amy and I are taking a much needed vacation. We're goig up to my parents condo in Hutchinson Island, FL. We were going to go up for the weekend, but with all the things happening in Miami this weekend, we moved the vacation up a couple days.
The condo is great. Relaxing. Quiet. Peaceful. Pastoral. Everything you want to get away to. Except Internet. D'OH!
I will be on a blogging hiatus until weekend. I'm not sure I will survive. There will be plenty of time to catch up when I get back.
After 12-13 weeks of doing CF Homestead, we've finally gotten to the point where the technology is no stress. Video teaching has worked flawlessly for three weeks in a row. We've been using ProVideoSync by Renewed Vision. The software is not flawless, but it does operate like most propietary software I've ever worked with... once you figure out how it thinks, it'll work a lot better for you.
Rick showed up about five minutes behind schedule today. When the worship set is wrapping up and the preacher hasn't showed up yet.... that is a very LONG FIVE MINUTES. We had to throw Jorge on stage (who did a great job vamping while we got Rick set.
Summer is almost here. Other than the obvious climactic changes, you know it's coming because volunteers are starting to be out/away/gone a lot. In talking about infrastructure I wanted to share with you what happened today.
We were missing a lot of volunteers today. I'm totally okay with that. One of my volunteers went on vacation. I asked him before he left what a "vacation" was. I had heard of the word, before, but never quite experienced one before. Another volunteer has a work increase, and is stepping back from the amount he can serve. Two more just finished moving their house, and weren't available after the service for teardown. Several musicians had to leave quickly to lead worship at another venue. Others had to run quickly back to the Palmetto Bay campus because we had "Connection Classes" at that campus.
Point: we were missing a lot of media volunteers. Literally, probably six to eight. And when your crew is ten-twelve people, six to eight missing is a lot. Thankfully, we had a bunch of people come over from other areas. There were people walking up and diving into the work. "What can I do?" "Need any help?" "Where does this go?" These are some of my favorite words!
At the end of the day, I was missing two thirds of my volunteer crew... and we finished everything we were supposed to do six minutes behind schedule from what we should have (if I had a full crew). Teardown takes two hours, and we lost six minutes. Thank God for volunteers!
Rick finished up his Pursuit of Happiness [Beatitudes] series today. Another series put to bed. I think Eric is preaching this week... let's see if we can finally beat the dreaded "Curse of the Geiger." When Eric preaches, it seems we always have technical problems. We've been glitch-free for several weeks now... here's hoping I can say that after next week.
Amy and I invited the bookstore staff over to the house today. It was our monthly staff meeting, however, we haven't met since January. It's been a little busy on the other fronts...
The great thing about the bookstore is that they are always solid. January was very weak, but once we worked out the post-Christmas blues the bookstore has met every expectation. I think the frontlist offerings have been weak first quarter 2007. There really has not been that super-HOT book or CD that everyone has to have. My best-selling item is the movie "FACING THE GIANTS" and second best-selling item is another movie "ONE NIGHT WITH A KING" based on the novel "HADASSAH". Crazy that movies are selling better than books... not really sure what that is telling me. It'll be interesting to see if the pattern will hold.
There will be some changes coming... we're adjusting the management structure, and giving the employees more responsibility. They have always proven to me that they can handle what's given to them. So, why not give them more!
In addition to planning for the future and discussing policies.... we got to play Nintendo WII too! I added a couple names to the list of "People I beat the crap out of..." in Wii Sports BOXING. I won't drop any names, but they know who they are...
When it rains, it pours. It's been a bad month for the Reed vehicles.
Saturday was my first "sleep in" day I've had in months. It was, unfortunately, cut short. I was awakened Saturday with a doorbell ring at our new house, and a nieghbor I've only briefly met asking me "uh, did you mean to leave your truck on concrete blocks..."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Someone jacked up my truck, took all four tires off my truck, and dropped the truck on concrete blocks. But not construction concrete blocks... they stole garden decorative concrete blocks from a house two blocks away (I talked with the owner of the blocks today as well...)
The cop couldn't believe it when she saw it. "You've gotta be kidding me. Nothing ever happens in this neighborhood! Have you been pranked?" My insurance agent says "I've never seen this happen in someone's driveway!"
Unbelievable. The ironic thing is I didn't have anything special... the rims were factory, and the tires were nothing special either!
So, if you see someone selling four 20" tires with filthy rims, tell them Jeff says hello.
The downside of 1) owning several Christ-centered businesses and 2) working as a Church production director is that every religious holiday (Easter, Christmas) my workload increases. Even though the time is meant to serve as a time to draw reflection upon the sacrifice of Christ, for me my intimate times don't come around Easter, or December, but in the random times when I can get a couple days off, or in that long commute when I can turn the radio off and pray...
Now that I've guilted myself into "slow-down" mode, let me tell you about my Easter.
Every week I have the pleasure of seeing church on two campuses, Palmetto Bay and Homestead. I love it because it's one church, two campuses, yet the feel/environment is completely different...
Palmetto Bay, this Saturday night, was probably the most vibrant, passionate, energetic crowd I have EVER seen at Christ Fellowship. I've seen some incredible worship services, I've seen some that I wish I could forget. The audience connected with the worship environment that Sammy, Hector, and the rest of the Palmetto Bay Media crew worked to establish. Seriously, order the DVD. The audience was packed, hanging on every note, every verse, every word, every teaching point. Thank you, God, for showing up.
So you've got the big gun, mega-production of Palmetto Bay this weekend... and you've got the intimate settings of Homestead. Well, intimate if you count almost 500 people on campus intimate. We had a lot of new faces on campus today, and I hope and pray that through our service they were able to connect with God. We still have our issues on campus, but the problems are mostly equipment issues, not operator issues... Every week I'm more and more impressed by our volunteers. I know you all read this every week and think that I'm pandering to the crowd. I can say, though, without a doubt that CF Homestead would not be in existance without these people.
After Easter my parents somehow ended up hosting an Easter dinner with just about every CF Pastor under the age of 32 (and their spouses, kids). And if you know the church, you realize that we had like 16 people at the house. Crazy. Mom cooked paella, one of the best dishes she does. (She doesn't cook often, but when she does... O man is it good!)
Afterwards we ended up playing Nintendo Wii for a couple hours. For the record, I beat Jorge Molina in boxing (I was accused of being a big bully). I've added Jorge's name to a growing list of "people I've beat the crap out of" even if that happened in Nintendoland. Eric and Todd ran the table in doubles tennis... (I say that only because I know Eric reads the blog, and if I don't give props he'll give me flack).
Now it's 11pm Easter night, Amy and Beowulf are off to bed, and I'm alone with my thoughts. Another "Christian" holiday has come and gone, and honestly I don't think I gave it the respect due this year. In the Mary/Martha spectrum I have always landed squarely on Martha.
God, thank you for the quietness of this moment. Thank You for Your sacrifice. Lord, let my busyness not be wasted for earthly benefit, but use these hours for the development of Your Kingdom. And please, in these quiet moments, reveal Yourself. Thank you, again, for Your sacrifice. Honestly, I still do not understand why would waste your time on someone like me... but I'm glad you did.
O praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead
I'm going to be honest with you, I track your movements. Not in the stalker way, but in the cyber-stalker way. RUNwithGOD.com has really been growing as of late, and I just love seeing how people are finding me, and what they're reading when they are on the site. Does that make me creepy?
You'd be shocked how people are finding me. I'm building a decent amount of link-love among friends and associates, but more than that Google loves me. :)
However, I got a search the other day that made weep. Somebody searched on Yahoo.com:
And somehow, they ended up on my site. I'm actually the #1 listed site (or I was as of the posting of this blog). First off, it's crazy to think how that search gets to my site. However, what I'd rather focus on is the mindset of the person that does that search.
I've already said that I love observing people, but this one really hit home. Why? Because this person I've never met could very well have been me 5 years ago. Back then I was floundering. I was seeking purpose, felt a calling of God but really had no direction. I used to pray "God, just tell me what you want me to do. Give me a sign so I can go there, get there, and do mighty things in your name." It would always anger me that despite my passion to see God glorified, I just never seemed to be on the same page as God. I was the guy typing in a search engine "God i wish i could type to you on the internet and you could respond to where you want me to go."
Wouldn't it be great if communication with God was that easy? Drop him an e-mail! The Creator of the known Universe certainly doesn't have time to talk with a peon like you. However, as a Christian I believe it is that easy. I believe in the power of prayer, and talking to God as a Christian is really not that difficult. However, getting God to "respond", at least in terms you want to hear, is a lot more difficult. Sometimes prayers sound like empty echoes bouncing off a wall. Othertimes, you can feel an answer, but it's not something you want to hear. I can't tell you how many times I had a passion for something, only to hear "wait". Doors would open only to see them close quickly and mysteriously. In my heart of hearts, what should have been "Yes" moments were "Not Yet". Frustration builds... God, let me do this. Better yet, let me do something! I don't want to flounder here anymore. Let me loose for your kingdom!
I used to tell people "I just wish God would show me where He wants me in 10 years so I know what direction to go." The funny thing is, if God showed me then where I am now, I would have laughed in His face. Two businesses? Five years ago I don't think I could have spelled the word business. Missional? What does that mean? Multi-Site Church? Like a franchise? Why would a church want to do that?
As a young, driven, impetuous, workoholic for God, I wanted to attack the world for the Kingdom. It never occured to me that I wasn't equipped for the impact God wanted from me. How was I to know that God would have me in the business world, that I would be doing unconventional ministry... that was never in MY PLANS!
And therein lies the problem. It's not in communicating with God. It's not in Him communicating with us. It's in the "I wish". My will got in the way. God, why can't you see things my way. God, I'm tired of waiting. God I really want to be over here doing this. God, this is a great opportunity for me here. Put me in coach, I'm ready to play! Funny, I can't think of anyone in the Bible that God changed His mind for. Why should He do it for me?
So to you, person searching "God i wish i could type to you on the internet and you could respond to where you want me to go" hang in there. Know that it's not an easy road. But it's one worth taking. God's not done equipping you, but when it's time to run, be ready to RUN! You'll know when it's time. You'll see God right beside you. Kill your will, your desires. Take your world apart, allow God to break and remold you. And in God's time, you'll begin to see.
God, thank you for not listening to me years ago. Thank you for the road you've brought me on. Thank you for using me here and now, and help me to continue on this path staying strong. I only hope I'm worthy of the cost You paid for me.
I know it's been a while since I've blogged. No, I'm not dead. Didn't get a terminal case of flu/bronchitis/pneumonia. (Last week I wish I was dead, but in fact I was not dead, yet). Thanks to those of you who called, e-mailed or tossed up prayers when I was sick last week. Quite literally, I was bed-ridden for almost 6 days straight. It really is good to be back among the living.
Amy and I are officially moved into the new house. I blogged on it a while back. All remodeling/reconstruction is done, and we're moving the final pieces from our house in Homestead. Oh, in case I didn't say it, our new house is SWEET!
Lots of cool things coming up. Got my hands on an AppleTV, and it really does live to the hype. C28's getting some great exposure in the community, and really starting to show it's potential. The Bookstore continues to battle the criminal mind, although at times it feels like we're losing the war. And I'm in the middle of a great book, Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney. This is just a peek of what I have coming up here on the blog.
After more years than I can count, Christ Fellowship is cancelling this years "South Florida Easter Pageant". The pageant, which has been a staple in the community, was put on hold this year. The decision was made by our Worship and Media Pastor, Sammy Flores.
Every year through the ministry of the pageant people get saved.
Every year through the pageant people get an opportunity to serve.
Every year through the pageant people are brought closer to God through the experience of the service.
With that being said, why in the world would you want to cancel the pageant?
Fact #1: when we started the pageant, we were producing one service every week. With Homestead, Saturday night, and Classic Service we will produce at least 8 services. On top of that, our age-graded ministries produce heavily-technical services that are just as (if not more) complex than the adult services. Easter will have close to twenty services going on.
Fact #2: lives can be changed, outside of pageant. 31 middle school students were saved this past week during a regular weekend service(s). That's a higher average (per service) than the Pageant last year.
Fact #3: the worship and media team is STRETCHED big-time because of the Homestead campus. Media and IT director Hector Huyo and I have spent more time coordinating Homestead than we ever did for the pageant.
Fact #4: Media alone at Christ Fellowship Palmetto Bay REQUIRES over 50 volunteers to function. And that is probably short-changed still. Our average weekend service is AS COMPLEX IF NOT MORE than the average Pageant. If people are looking to serve, WE NEED HELP EVERY WEEKEND! NOT JUST FOR EASTER!
Honestly, I agree. It doesn't make sense to put our normal weekly services on hold so that we can produce the pageant...especially if our weekend services are effective is reaching the lost. Support the decision and help us reach SoFL with the good news of Christ.
Ironically, Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv wrote on a similar issue a couple days ago. LifeChurch has gone through some changes recently as well. They simplified their ministry. They focused on what they did well, and got better at it. What they didn't do well, they let others focused on.
I blogged on this a while back - comparing Christian Retailing to the Apple Store. Know what you do. Do it well.
Don't focus on change. Don't criticize change. Embrace it. Run with it. Change lives with it.
I do not fear what I know. There is nothing in this life I fear. I know that sounds crazy, but what is there to fear? The other day a friend of mine was driving down the street when he saw me walking along the sidewalk. He decided to pull a prank and swerve his truck towards me like he was losing control. I did not blink. He caught up with me later, and asked why I didn't duck for cover; "I don't fear death" was the response.
How great is our God that we have nothing to fear? We simply live our life knowing that if we simply seek His Kingdom He will do the worrying for us? (Matt 6:33-34).
Yet, I'll be the first to admit, there are things I fear. Not the known, but the unknown. Example? At Christ Fellowship we are DAYS AWAY from launching CF Homestead. My fears are many, and they are HUGE!
What if there's not enough power in the building to push what we want to? What if the sound board doesn't work? What if nobody shows up? What if the greenhouse effect melts the icebergs, flooding Florida - wiping away the Keys and Homestead? What if the world implodes before we are able to have a service?
Okay, some fears are just a little exaggerated. But they are fears nonetheless.
Pray for the Homestead campus, that we are able to overcome our fears and allow God to use us in ways beyond our wildest dreams. Pray that we can impact Homestead and unite the community under the banner of Christ Follower. Pray that we will invest and change lives.
Finally! At long last Christ Fellowship Homestead has a home! I was getting quite nervous, honestly, but thank God He had better in store for us! We are going to be meeting at the Waterstone Charter School @ 855 Waterstone Way, Homestead (off 312th-Campbell east of the Turnpike).
The facilities are excellent, and the more I think of the potential of these services, the more excited I get. If you're in Miami/Homestead area, and you're interested in volunteering, let me know. What started as a simple service is quickly growing into a very large production practically as difficult as the ones at CF Palmetto Bay. Don't be afraid to jump on board!
I'll have more information as it becomes available.
If you read this blog, you know I'm a workoholic.
If you read this blog, you know I'm very honest.
You share my joys.
You share my sadness.
You know me.
Since the new year I have been struggling. Emotionally I've just been spent. I know that I'm doing God's work, in His time. I've been praying for strength. I've been praying for guidance. I've been praying for direction and endurance to withstand the trials that come.
Honestly, though, I'm running out of gas. In deep, dark places that I don't want to talk about I'm afraid that I can't do the road God put ahead of me. I know He's ahead of me. I know I'm following His will, His plan. However, I struggle with the direction I'm on...and I don't know why. I've blogged on it before. Yet here I am again, in the same place. There must be something wrong with me. Why do I keep doubting the road I'm on.
Colossians 1:28-29 28) We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29) To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy which so powerfully works in me.
This verse tells me two things:
1) Paul too is a workoholic for the Kingdom. He proclaims, admonishes, and teaches everyone in wisdom and his goal is to win them to Christ. And he labors in this, as it is not a hard task.
2) For Paul, "struggling with all [God]'s energy", life was never a cakewalk. Even with God giving him strength, Paul had bad days where he questioned direction, or thought he couldn't do the tasks laid ahead. I guess the lesson from Paul is not to question whether God will give you the strength to do it, but to ask for patience so that in God's time He can reveal His energy that "so powerfully works" in Paul.
God, give me the patience to see things in your time.
Give me the strength I need to complete your tasks.
Give me the wisdom never to question your direction.
And if I can handle it, let me do more in your name.
Apple, Inc. did it again. I have been so hyped by the release of the iPhone that I didn't totally put the other announcement together. Church, meet AppleTV.
This week numerous people have asked me, "what the heck is this appletv thing?" I explain to them that it's the new device that allows people to stream music, photos, tv shows and movies from their computer to their TV in HD quality." They don't seem impressed and I go back to gloating about the iPhone.
Then it hit me (thank you Bobby Gruenewald, LifeChurch.tv). Churches finally have a "free" portal straight into people's homes and onto their TV sets.
Forget Churches broadcasting on Traditional TV. It cost way too much money to rent time on a channel. Same goes with cable. The only time most churches can afford would be 3am in between an infomercial involving a thigh-master and a real-estate get-rich-quick scheme. What's the point? Insomniacs like myself only make up 1% (albeit a sleepy 1%) of the marketplace.
iTunes is going to help spread the gospel, whether Apple likes it or not.
1) iTunes has sold 2 billion songs since it started. It's sells 58 songs per second. It's now in the top 5 music sellers in America. People are not going to be happy just listening to music on iPods. They have been clamoring for a way to get music into their home entertainment centers. And face it, the iPod interface isn't that great when you're sitting on your couch. FYI Apple will overtake Target in 2007 in music sales, possible move all the way up to #3, thus proving that demand is growing.
2) Apple has sold 50 million tv shows and 1.3 million movies, and the only way people could feasibly watch these shows is on a 2 inch iPod screen. It's obvious people like the concept of buying with the mouse (2 billion songs-see above), tv shows and movies have not grown as fast because there's no way to easily get the shows to your TV. Until AppleTV.
3) for the first time, 2007 has brought in the era where more people have high speed internet than dialup. Downloads don't scare people anymore.
People want to buy in the comfort of the home and watch immediately. They want immediate satisfaction, so downloading on their DSL will work. They want to watch on their big plasmas in surround sound, so sure, $299 for an AppleTV is a drop in the bucket. And with that, the "church" has a free pipeline into people's homes, all thanks to Apple.
Here are the two words that could revolutionize church in America. Video Podcasting. Thousands of churches across America do podcasting. It's a simple way to get sermons/teachings out there. But it's just audio, and while it has a place in the home - how often are you listening to sermons in your house? Audio alone will obviously own the car, but as teachings get more experiential, sensory... does audio really convey everything?
- does audio-only really convey the message of that 5 minute video the pastor wanted in the sermon?
- does audio-only show the detail to the props/set that your team worked so hard to create?
- does audio-only allow for multi-sensory experience?
Audio Podcasting is a glorified 8-Track. We now live in a HD world. With all the work going into sermons it's time to step up and use the technology available.
What would video podcasting look like? A sermon preached Saturday night could be viewable in people's homes by Sunday morning, literally before the Sunday AM sermon. An e-mail could be sent to people who "subscribe" to our podcast reminding them it's there. A sermon complete with visuals, videos, multi-sensory presentations. What about worship? Well, what about worship? CCLI license covers internet broadcasting (ie podcasting) so legally if you can perform it in church you can podcast it! Think about small group implications. You can broadcast information into your member's homes at any time and then get together and discuss it at a later time. With the popularity of home-based Bible studies, you could literally have an active church member who never steps on your campus! What if your "small groups" were little home-based churches who met in homes, watched/worshiped (separately or with the podcast) with the church service (on your plasma) and then discussed the sermon immediately after? You've now had numerous people part of your service (but not on your campus)?
Is it possible that we can reach people not in our pews, but on their couches? Technology is only pointing to yes. Fortunately, the technology is already in most churches posession (or available at nominal expense). I understand the ethics/dangers of losing "community" by doing this. However, the good thing is it's not my responsibility to worry about the ethics. I am here to worry about the technicality of the situation. And I can say, technically speaking, the church is missing an excellent channel into people's homes if they don't take advantage of this.
Coming Soon to Jeff's pocket! Apple's iPhone. I've been flirting with Windows Mobile Smartphones for years now.... buy it, don't buy it, buy it, don't buy it. The "rumored" Apple phone has been floating around for years. Ironically, I probably spent more time researching/debating/planning on buying a smartphone than I spent on starting the bookstore, C28, and deciding to propose to my wife COMBINED. (If you know Amy, you understand why that's a no-brainer.) Time Magazine had an excellent write-up on how the iPhone finally came to be.
But I digress. This truly is a thing of genius, and even the Apple, Inc. haters have to admit that what Apple does with Product Development is a thing of beauty. And as soon as the FCC approves this bad boy you will find one in my pocket, and my wife, and my mother, and at least 10 million others.
For the Apple nay-sayers and Windows Apologists out there, you gotta admit that where Apple, Inc. pushes, others will follow. Proof=Zune. And on a side note, Apple's stock has gone up 1,000% since Steve Jobs came back 10 years ago.
Thank you, Apple, Inc. for my new phone. I'm looking forward to what you have in store next.
If you're like me, this Turkey Day is desperately needed. Enjoy your friends and family, and if you're in need of something to be thankful for, read this!
God, thank you for where you've brought us from, and we look forward to what you have for us soon.
I'm a child of the 80s, especially video games. And if you know anything about 80's video games, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is the best video game system available to date. Forget XBox, Forget Wii... they got nothing on the CLASSIC NES. The best football simulator EVER was Tecmo Super Bowl. Without a doubt, this game was the inspiration of Madden Football. And if you know anything out Tecmo Super Bowl, you know the best football player in the game was Bo Jackson.
How good was Bo Jackson? Take a couple minutes and watch this video. I'm not sure what is worse...the programming in the game, the fact that someone took the time to record this and put it on the net, or the fact that I'm blogging it now!
I was on CallFM (http://callfm.com, 91.7FM Miami, Ft.Lauderdale) Wednesday afternoon as part of their FUND DRIVE. CallFM is a Christian rock station that meets a non-traditional need in the non-traditional city of Miami. They are a non-profit, listener supported radio station, and need some financial help.
Needless to say, I go on a couple times a year to help DJ their shows and help raise some fundage. Yesterday was my day. You missed it!
But you can still donate funds! Check out the website and consider donating even a little bit to keep the Call on the air!
If you've been reading my blog, you know I live a busy life. Thriving Christian Bookstore, starting a new C28 Business 100 miles away from home, helping create a satellite campus of my home church, keeping my health in check while I lose close to 50 lbs...
That's a lot for a guy, right?
Nah, let's throw moving into the mix.
Meet my new home. We just closed on it Friday. We're getting out of Homestead (commute was a huge burden), not to mention the 2 stories was very difficult on Amy's health. We're planning on moving into the home in early 2007.
It's a great house and I really am looking forward to getting there. Yes, there is a house burried underneath all the plants. My father is VERY EXCITED about doing the landscapting, and I'm happy that he's happy.
It was officially announced today that Christ Fellowship Miami will be starting a satellite campus, CF Homestead.
Led by current Middle School Pastor Jorge Molina (soon to be Mission's Pastor Jorge Molina).
Because of my increasing workload @ C28 and The Living Word, I actually attempted to resign from my duties at CF. When I did, Eric (exec pastor) says to me, "Well, would you consider running tech at the CF Homestead campus?" After praying and talking with Amy we decided that it would be a natural fit for us in Homestead, not to mention easier prep-work during the week. I will not be responsible for any content creation, and being in a smaller "satellite" will give me more of a church-plant feel that I loved so much with our church in Texas.
I will miss the studio! The decision to step back has come with great hesitation. I love the people I work with. I love the volunteers. However, when considering Amy's health issues coupled with my increased workload, something had to give. We will not disappear! There's some great leadership in place, and I know that I'm leaving the studio in better working condition than when I got here! The good news is that we are still at Christ Fellowship, just helping the new campus get seeded!
Those not familiar with Christ Fellowship, pray for the ministry of CF Homestead as we try to expand our ministry and continue to reach Miami's lost with the news of Christ! As more information becomes public on the new campus, we will certainly post it here.