Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Richest Guy in the Cemetery

I've been glued to video.allthingsd.com watching Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher interviewing Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft CEO Bill Gates at the D5 Conference. While I've been fascinated by the interview, it was a question asked during the Q&A time by Jesse Cornbluth of headbutler.com that grabbed my attention.

Here's his statement, followed by his question,
"Because you're not the youngest guys in the room any more it's perhaps appropriate to ask you a question about legacy. Bill, even your harshest critic would have to admit that your philanthropy work is planet shaking, incredible, and could be, if you make it, a second act so amazing that it would dwarf what you've actually done at Microsoft (audience applause)."
"Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, if you had to choose a legacy, what would it be?"
Bill answers,
"The most important work I got a chance to be involved in, no matter what I do, was the personal computer ... that's my life's work. It's lucky for me that some of the skills, and resources, but I put skills first (that I was able to develop through those experiences), can be applied to the benefit of the people who haven't had technology including medicine working for them. So it's and incredible blessing to have two things like that."
Jesse Cornbluth also directed a question to Steve Jobs as to whether he envied Bill a bit, the second act that he has. Steve's response was profound,
"I think the world is a better place because Bill realized that his goal wasn't to be the richest guy in the cemetery. Right? That's a good thing."
Yes, it is a good thing. It reminded me of Jesus' words in Mark 8:34-37
"If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it. For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life? What can a man give in exchange for his life?" (HCSB)
As we serve our Lord and our church family, I believe it is vital that we teach and preach and model this type of perspective on life that views everything we do as an act of offering it up for the Glory of God.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pastors Today e-Newsletter Will Come Tuesday

I hope you all are taking the day off today. Pastors Today will be sent to your e-mail inbox on Tuesday, May 29, 2007. If you need to see it today you may view the archived version here...

Blessings on your day!

Craig

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

iGoogle Lets You Create a Free Home Page

I've been using the beta version of Google Home Page for months and it seems to get better and better. My favorite part of this public version of iGoogle is the ability to track my favorite bookmarks, rss feeds, search tools, weight loss tool, blog feeds, and a whole assortment of "gadgets." This is a screen shot of my iGoogle Home Page...


I encourage you sign up for one of these free pages and begin playing with it. Once you add elements, play with dragging the elements around to different places on your screen. Then begin adding tabs to keep track of the blog feeds you follow, sermon search tools, news feeds, and other tools. Be sure to add the following feeds in the "add by URL" form.

  • Pastors Area of LifeWay.com Feed
    http://www.lifeway.com/rss/?rss=n&id=200734


  • Latest Sermons Posted in Proclaim Online http://www.lifeway.com/rss/?rss=n&id=200983

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

wetpaint.com lets anyone create a wiki

I saw wetpaint.com featured in a Wall Street Journal article a couple weeks ago and just got to play with it this past week. wetpaint.com helps regular users create wikis.

Wiki is from the Hawaiian word for quick. Wiki systems are designed so that their content can be made available in a quick and uncomplicated manner. Wikis are websites or online resources that allow anyone to add and edit content collectively - like Wikipedia (in fact, I got this information from wikipedia)

One church that's using wetpaint.com is Mars Hill Seattle. Check out mhcseattle.wetpaint.com

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Church Uses Twitter to Communicate by Text Message - Free

Life Church recently used Twitter, a free online "micro-blogging" service to keep people up to date during a 3 day fast. They found it to be an inexpensive (free) and effective way to communicate with their members by text message, instant message, and e-mail.

Life Church is a leader in using technology for their ministry including creative methods of satellite locations as well as a true online church. Read the article here...

I've tried out Twitter for a few weeks and found it to be novel and fun. It got old after a while. However, if you had some type of purpose like this one, I can see some great possibilities. I was glad to see how it could be used for God's glory. The brief article includes ideas about how it could be used for other purposes.

Friday, May 4, 2007

8 Ways to Improve Wednesday Night Church Dinners


Many of you loved Diana Davis' fresh ideas for Mother's Day and Graduation so I asked her for more. She sent me an article with ideas to help you with your Wednesday night fellowship meal.

Get the 8 Tips to Make Your Wednesdays Worthwhile

And if you still need help for Mother's Day (Sunday, May 13) you can still access sermons, articles, dramas, and ideas in the Mother's Day and Graduate Recognition Resource Page

Hydrate Your Soul, New Sermons Posted for June

Pastor Steve Andrews serves in the deep south where it's hot and humid in the summer. So last summer he treated his church to a refreshing series of sermons dealing with Bible passages that have to do with water.

Steve says, "Every soul thirsts for love, joy, peace, and purpose, but only the living water of Jesus Christ can quench a thirsty soul." He sent me four of these sermons to post as our Extra! sermons for June. I've included downloadable manuscripts, images, and a powerpoint template.
  • Streams of Blessings, Psalm 1
  • The Water of Worship, John 4
  • Redig The Wells, Genesis 26
  • Reclaiming The Cutting Edge, 2 Kings 6
You may access them on the EXTRA! Sermon Helps page

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Protecting Yourself and Your Leaders from Scandal

I was listening to Rick Warren's podcast this week and was reminded that we as church leaders must be diligent in intentionally protecting ourselves and our leaders from potential moral failure. He spoke with Pastor Ken Baugh (Coast Hills Church) and Pastor John Baker (from Saddleback's Celebrate Recovery ministry).

If you want to listen to it you can find it here: Moral Failure of a Staff Member

Be sure to see the two documents he mentions in the podcast. One is a letter he sent to his congregation after dismissing a staff member for moral failure, What Happens When a Staff Member Falls. The other is the Saddleback Staff Ten Commandments.

I preached on this issue several months ago in a more general sense to our congregation. I was applying this to all Christians. I used these two lists:

8 Safeguards Against Getting too Close (Jill Savage)

1. Choose wisely.
Avoid unnecessarily spending time with someone of the opposite sex. For instance, if you're looking for a personal trainer at the local gym, choose someone of the same sex.

2. Share carefully.
If you find yourself sharing things about yourself or your marriage that you haven't or wouldn't share with your spouse, that's a red flag. Not all affairs are physical-an emotional affair is just as damaging.

3. Stay in large, public settings.
Determine not to meet one-on-one with anyone of the opposite sex. If your coworker asks if he or she can join you for lunch, ask a third person to join you as well. If necessary, don't hesitate to share the boundary you and your spouse have agreed upon in your marriage. You just might lead by example.

4. Don't be naïve.
Most people who end up in affairs don't set out to have one. Infidelity usually begins with an innocent relationship that, in time, moves to an emotional depth that crosses a line of fidelity.

5. Increase your investment at home.
Solid marriages are built by spending time together, laughing together, and playing together. If you aren't dating your mate, set up dates for the coming months and make spending time together a priority.

6. Pay attention to your thought-life.
When all you think about is your spouse's faults, any other man or woman will look better. Make a list of the strengths that initially attracted you to your spouse. Increase encouragement and decrease criticism.

7. Don't play the comparison game.
We all make mistakes, have bad habits and annoying behaviors. When we compare a "new friend" to our spouse, it's an unfair comparison because we aren't seeing that person in a "living under the same roof, taking care of kids at 3 a.m., struggling to make ends meet" reality.

8. Seek help.
Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. A Christian counselor can provide valuable perspective and help set new strategies for a marriage that can go the distance.

Moral Fences (James MacDonald)

1. I will not, under any circumstances, ride alone in a car with a female other than my wife or an immediate family member.

2. I do not stay alone in a hotel over night.

3. I speak often and publicly of my affection for my wife, when she is present and when she is not.

4. Compliment the character or the conduct - not the coiffure [hairstyle] or the clothing [of someone of the opposite sex].