Category Archives: Stuff I Find

Barack Obama and John McCain Get Real

Front Page Leadership Stuff I Find

Rick Warren hosted a “civil forum” where he took roughly 50 minutes with each candidate asking questions from all over the political map. Two very insightful questions were:

  1. What is your greatest moral failure, and what is the greatest moral failure of the USA?
  2. What current Supreme Court justice(s) would you not have appointed?

Watch it for yourself and then watch the commentary afterwards by the CNN reporters and see a new kind of political debate take shape prompted by the creativity and courage of Rick Warren and Saddleback Church.

PS. If the video below doesn’t work, try visiting the link below it.

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American Idol Does Worship

Front Page Stuff I Find

I saw something last week on American Idol that really freaked me out. They opened the show by having the contestants perform Shout to the Lord by Darlene Zschech!

If you don’t know the song, Shout to the Lord is one of the most popular contemporary worship songs of all time. It’s popularity alone is perhaps the reason American Idol chose to have the top eight contestants perform it, but I was really creeped out by the whole thing. Watch it, and then I’ll tell you why I have a problem with it.

My problem with it…

I have always had a problem with the commercialising of Christianity. I don’t have a problem with the practice of paying teachers for teaching or for paying pastors for pastoring or artists for performing or writers for writing, etc. But I have a problem when someone uses their own Christianity to make money (“Buy from me because I’m a Christian.”) or when a person plays off Christian values to make money (some of the biggest “Christian” bookstores are owned by secular firms because they saw a business opportunity).

What was American Idol doing? Were they affirming their own Christian values? Were they playing off the values of their audience? Were they performing a great piece of music for its own sake?

My guess is that it was option number two. I don’t have anything against that song or the people who love it, but frankly speaking, there are many other songs they could have picked with better lyrics, better instrumentation or better melodies. No, they picked the most popular worship song for one reason… to make Christians think American Idol was a good show to watch. Just look at the comments on YouTube to see what Christians now think of the show.

Such irony for a show called American Idol to play off its Christian audience!

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Front Page Stuff I Find

(Gleaned from the Internet and modified by me.)

  • If a killer with a knife is chasing you around the house, do NOT go upstairs. Go out the front door!
  • Never stoop over to see if the killer is dead. He’s not.
  • Avoid the following geographical locations: Amityville, Elm Street, Crystal Lake, Transylvania, many islands, lover’s lanes, most secluded mountain resorts and all small towns in the state of Maine.
  • Never dig up strange-looking objects in the woods.
  • Never bury pets or loved ones in old Native American burial grounds, because they aaaalways come back.
  • As a general rule, don’t try to solve puzzles that open doorways to Hell.
  • Find out what your parents were up to when they were younger. You never know if they burned up a serial killer, had a mysterious “other child,” are not your real parents, or opened up a doorway to Hell.
  • Never stay overnight in the old house at the end of town that’s supposed to be haunted. Let them think you’re chicken. Even if the prize is one million dollars. It’s not worth it.
  • If a TV starts calling your name, don’t touch it.
  • No matter what people say, there is no good reason why anyone’s eyes should glow red.
  • If a kid says, “I see dead people,” believe him.
  • If you just ripped your phone out of the wall and it rings anyway, DON’T ANSWER IT!
  • The crazy old guy everybody laughs at knows what he’s talking about.
  • If a crazy old person tells you never to feed your cute new pet after midnight, don’t!
  • Pay attention to dogs, cats, horses and other more intelligent creatures. If they’re nervous, scram.
  • Always skip the shortcut.
  • Never take anything from a clown in a sewer.
  • Aliens are not friendly.
  • No, it’s not your imagination. They ARE out to get you and it IS as bad as it seems!
  • For goodness’ sake, turn on the lights.
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What goes through your mind when you die?

Front Page Stuff I Find

I was amazed to find this account online of what it feels like to be nearly fatally shot with a bullet. George Orwell, the famous writer, was a soldier during World War II, and recounts what it was like to be hit with a bullet. It’s amazingly vivid, interesting, and thought provoking.

Here are a couple quotes from the essay:

Roughly speaking it was the sensation of being at the center of an explosion. There seemed to be a loud bang and a blinding flash of light all around me, and I felt a tremendous shock – no pain, only a violent shock, such as you get from an electric terminal; with it a sense of utter weakness, a feeling of being stricken and shriveled up to nothing… The next moment my knees crumpled up and I was falling, my head hitting the ground with a violent bang which, to my relief, did not hurt. I had a numb, dazed feeling, a consciousness of being very badly hurt, but no pain in the ordinary sense.

. . .

There must have been about two minutes during which I assumed I was killed. And that too was interesting — I mean it is interesting to know what your thoughts would be at such a time. My first thought, conventionally enough, was for my wife. My second was violent resentment at having to leave this world which, when all is said and done, s me so well.

It’s a great question. What will go through my mind when I face death? Will I think about my family, my God, my work? Will I feel resentment, regret, anger?

Here’s the link to the full article.

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10 Ways Pastors can Use Blogs

Front Page Leadership Stuff I Find

I thought this article at Rick Warren’s Ministry Toolbox was interesting. For my own reference, here are the first 5 suggestions and the ones most relevant to me personally:

1. Blog your city — Talk about upcoming city-wide events, upcoming service projects of your church, share photos of the city, neighborhoods. Use your blog to love on your city and her people. Click here for an example. 

2. Blog the news, pop culture, issues — Weigh in on these things with a biblical perspective (and, a loving one). Click here for an example. 

3. Blog on money and personal finance — That’s what this “anonymous” guy does on his blogs. He blogs on something dear to his heart — money — and his company — Moose Tracks Ice Cream — gets great publicity.

4. Blog on marriage, family, and parenting — Give tips, offer links to relevant news and reports, and, of course, your sermon series on those topics.

5. Blog devotional comments throughout week — Invariably you will come across golden nuggets of truth in your sermon preparation time that will not make it to the pulpit on Sunday. Use these chips of gold to take your people deeper into the Word.

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Creating and Monetizing Communities

Front Page Geekery Leadership Stuff I Find

The title of this post comes from a video posted on Guy Kawasaki’s blog about a Chicago company called Threadless that has users create designs for T-Shirts and then sells the finished product. I thought it was an interesting way to talk about there business, and I haven’t finished watching the video yet, so I’m posting the link here for my own future reference. You might like it too.

If you have the time to watch it, post a comment about what you think about “creating and monetizing” a community.

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Maintain Your Insanity

Front Page Funny

I got this as an email forward from my wife, and it really was good enough to post here.

20 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity (I’m thinking this
could get one arrested, actually.)

  1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and
    point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

  2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don’t Disguise Your Voice.

  3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want
    Fries with that.

  4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It “In.”

  5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone has
    Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

  6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write “For Smuggling

  7. Finish All Your sentences with “In Accordance With The

  8. Don t use any punctuation

  9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

  10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat with a serious

  11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is “To Go.”

  12. Sing Along At The Opera

  13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don’t Rhyme

  14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play tropical
    Sounds All Day.

  15. Five Days In Advance , Tell Your Friends You Can’t Attend
    Their Party Because You’re Not In The Mood.

  16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name,
    Rock Bottom.

  17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream “I Won!, I Won!”

  18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot,
    Yelling “Run For Your Lives, They’re Loose!!”

  19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. “Due To The Economy, We Are
    Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.”

  20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of
    Insanity…….Send This E-mail To Someone To Make Them Smile.

It’s Called Therapy.

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