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A Quote for Friday

"Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success."

WIlliam S. Gilbert

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Whopper Freakout

I'm not much for hamburger-type fast-food places. If I'm looking for a quick sandwich, it's usually Subway or Chick-fil-a. Now that you know my personal eating preferences, let me just say this video from Burger King was pretty interesting, especially some of the reactions...

Aside from the entertainment factor, I thought this was interesting from a marketing perspective. Moving away from a 30 second tv ad to a lengthier video with content, creativity, and a story to tell... That's a bit of a leap. And it's not their first attention grabber - check out this burger!

So, this got me to thinking and asking some questions:

  • BK went looking for reactions to the question "What if we dropped what makes us us?" Well, what would reactions be if a church claimed to drop what makes them The Church? Would people be as shocked or concerned?
  • BK was trying to get their story out there: The Whopper is great. How can The Church show this type of creativity in sharing it's message? (which I would argue is so much more important than a hamburger)
  • Sharing media like this (online, meant to be shared by people) is so much more helpful for "getting the word out" than just showing sound bites on tv or littering roadsides with billboards... and I'll say, maybe, just maybe, better than flyers in the hallway and three line blurbs in a weekly mailout.
  • BK experimented with a few of their people to test an assumption; "The Whopper is what we have that people love." I'd say people's reactions showed that to be a good assumption. (I'll admit, certainly they'd show the results that back their story, but they did have those reactions...) So, what would it look like for The Church to test and probe the value people feel The Church offers? And I don't just mean the value The Church feels like it adds or thinks it should add, but what people really value from The Church.
Anyway, I thought it was worth mentioning. I mean, hey, it was interesting enough for me to want to tell you about it... and that's a win for BK!

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A Quote for Friday

"A failure is a man who has blundered but is not capable of cashing in on the experience."

Elbert Hubbard

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Randomness from Today

Here are a few random thoughts from today:

  • Standing in line at the DMV is almost as bad as everybody jokes about it being... but the lady was very nice and friendly when I finally got up to the desk.
  • Mixing water and electricity can actually be kinda cool... if it's done safely and involves salt and a table lamp.
  • Any old group of teenagers can set a goal and work to make that happen... but I love seeing them work together for a Godly goal, achieve that goal, and set a positive example for their peers while they do that. Win.
  • I've decided that a full burrito from Moe's is too much food for me for lunch anymore... but it sure tasted good while I was eating it. (It was an Art Vandelay, if you were wondering. And if you weren't wondering, it was still an Art Vandelay.)
  • It's not good when your two year old son has an ear infection, cold, and pinkeye... and it's worse when he gives two of those three to his three week old little sister... but it's great to see him still in a great mood and full of energy.

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Maybe it's me working with teenagers that wrestle with issues like this...

Or maybe it's now being a dad of two kids that seem to be growing way too fast...

...but this post from Sarah Markley (a "friend of a friend) really struck me as something all parents could relate to and should be aware of and reminded of:

She writes in a diary, but she has little to say beyond what she had for lunch and dessert. She giggles at her father and still needs tickle-time, but the other half of the time she wants him to treat her like a grown-up. My seven-year-old isn't too old to crawl in between us in bed some Saturday mornings, but needs her own alone time in her room more often these days.

Each year she gets older brings a different spin on girlhood to our lives. And if I battle just to understand her seven-ness from the outside, I'm sure she battles to understand it from the inside.

Thoughtfully well written and such a great reminder of the role adults fill as guides helping to figure out their seven-ness or even their seventeen-ness...

Now if somebody could help me figure out my twenty-nine-ness...

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Pretty Good Saturday Afternoon

It was a pretty good Saturday afternoon. The frog pool always puts it over the top...

Playing in the Frog Pool

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A Quote for Friday

"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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MacGyver was "My Guy"

Richard Dean Anderson as MacGyverIf you grew up in the 80s, you knew who your favorite anti-gun secret agent with a mullet and Swiss Army knife was... the one and only MacGyver. Much like Prince or Pele or Shakira or RuPaul, he only needed one name. He could make a small time-bomb out of fishing line, a quarter, and left over meatloaf. He could pick locks with his shoe strings. He was my hero.

He was. And I wanted to be like MacGyver. I mean, I wanted to grow up and drive a jeep because that's what MacGyver drove. (Then he got that old yellow truck, and I decided I would need an old truck instead.) He knew chemical combinations like bartenders know mixed drinks, so I thought science was secretly the key to success in life. And the hair... well, let's not talk about the hair.

If you're lost at this point, maybe this will help:

We all have people we look up to, and I'm not just talking about fictional characters on tv. Neighbors, grandparents, a teacher, a coach... Sometimes it's for who they are or what they can do. But I think the people who we really look up to the most are the people who make us feel like we can be something more than we are. That pull us forward in who we can become.

So maybe you can ask yourself, "Self...

  • Who are you inspiring to be more than they are?
  • Who are you showing the untapped potential that lies within them?
  • What example are you setting for those who may be watching you?
Maybe you can be a hero, too.

By the way, I still love inventing new ways to use duct tape...

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Wives At War

This might take just a minute to get to the point, but stick with me for a little bit... It could really be worth it.

I was recently reading through part of Genesis, and at this part of the story we're hearing about this guy named Jacob.

The short bit is this: Jacob has come looking to find a wife, falls head-over-heels for Rachel, and makes a deal with her father, Laban, to marry her. Now Laban pulls a sneaky little trick and Jacob ends up with Rachel's sister, Leah, AND Rachel.

Now, I don't know if you've ever been married to a couple of sisters, but it turns out this led to some serious relational friction!

So I'm reading along and following the story of Jacob. But when I get to this part it occurs to me: maybe this is more about the girls (Rachel and Leah) than about the guys (Jacob and Laban). These ladies start popping out some kids, so I charted this out:

Son's Name : Meaning/Explanation
Reuben : see, a son (because of God, now Jacob will love me)
Simeon : the Lord heard I was hated and has given me a son
Levi : my husband will be joined to me, because I've given him three sons
Judah : I will praise the Lord

In jealousy, Rachel offers her maid, Bilhah, to Jacob because she was unable to conceive for herself.
Son's Name : Meaning/Explanation
Dan : God has judged, heard my voice
Naphtali : I have wrestled with my sister and I've won

Then Leah sees she's not conceiving and offers her maid, Zilpah.
Son's Name : Meaning/Explanation
Gad : Good fortune
Asher : Happy am I! And others will call me happy

Then Leah starts having kids again.
Son's Name : Meaning/Explanation
Issachar : God has given me hire because I gave my maid
Zebulun : Now my husband will honor me because I gave him six sons
Dinah : Dinah was a daughter

And one more...
Son's Name : Meaning/Explanation
Joseph : God has taken away my reproach, He adds

Can't you just feel the bitterness in their relationship? They're competing with each other for Jacob's affection, and trying to get one-up on the other, and they're doing it by a "who can make the most babies" contest!

Cutting through some of the cultural stuff going on here about sons and family lines and all, I noticed where their FOCUS was in the naming of each son: winning Jacob's love with a son; what others thought of her; Jacob would finally have to pick her; and then with Judah it was finally just about praising the Lord. But let's keep going: God heard what SHE wanted; she was in this competition with her sister and felt she was winning!; another son was good fortune for her; others will call her happy; she felt God was 'paying her back' for giving her hand-maid; back to winning the approval of Jacob... and finally, Rachel has a son and celebrates God taking away her shame.

It was all about proving themselves to Jacob or being better and more valuable than the other wife or improving what others would think of them...

And it hit me: The church does this exact same thing! How often does the church, as the Bride of Christ, spend so much time and energy competing against itself? How often do local churches see the good fortune of another church and get jealous? How often are local churches trying to prove themselves (to God or to non-Christians or to themselves) their own self-worth and importance?

And so this is a challenge to anyone in a position of influence within a church: can we all just quit competing with others on our same team for the affection and approval of a God who's already claimed us and called us His and set us right with Him through Jesus? It's ugly and unproductive.

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The Leadership Quality of "Humble Confidence"

There's a phrase that I've tried to hold onto for a couple years now: humble confidence. For me, that means a balance of pushing aside arrogance and cockiness and still living with a sureness and confidence in who you are and who God has called you to be. I was in a workshop taught by Rob Bell and he mentioned a similar idea of a walking with a "holy humble swagger." I thought that was nicely put, and it made me smile a little bit.

Anyway, so when I read this post by Perry Noble, I just kept shaking my head in agreement:

A humble leader is a hungry leader–always seeking to learn, grow and be stretched. They acknowledge they do not have all of the answers and never allow themselves to reduce God down to a system or formula.

Humble leaders don’t view themselves as better than others (Philippians 2:3-4) when their church experiences success.


One of the things the Lord has taught me is that leadership on the most effective level is when I listen to God and then do what He says.

A leader must be confident that he has heard from the Lord. He must have a fire inside of him that consumes him…one that he is willing to talk about with anyone who will listen…and one he should be willing to lay down his life for.
Read the rest here.

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A Quote for Friday

"The real problem of leisure time is how to keep others from using yours."

Arthur Lacey

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Home Sweet Home

The family is home and well (and a little tired). And big brother is excited.

A New Baby Burnham

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A Quote for Friday

"The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible."

George Burns

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