Monday, September 18, 2006

A Win is a Win . . . I think.

Aggies 28, Army 24.

Ok. Ok. If we were looking for bcs points, Saturday's win probably didn't do it. But a win is a win, right. What in the world happened? We were favored by 27. Where was the 200yrds passing?

WHY did coach Fran go for it on 4th down on our own 23 yard line with 2:58 left on the clock? WHY? When our 274 pound back got stuck in the back field, we gave the ball to Army and only won the game with a goal line stand interception.

I guess in the end a win is a win. My wife's team, Tennessee lost to a much, much better team. But they still lost. I really wanted Tennessee to win. There was a very real chance of all three Florida teams losing in the same weekend. What a weekend that would have been.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Using "Church" & "Marketing" Together is Not a Sin.

A few days ago I posted about my wife (I've done that a lot recently) greeting folks at C3 Church during last week's big groundbreaking weekend. She kept coming to me and saying "your not going to believe this but every visitor I meet came without being invited." They saw the balloons or the big tent driving by or read about the event on the website or in the newspaper.

I know there were probably visitors who came because they were invited but the ones she met (and she met a lot of them) did not. They came because they saw something about the church that they wanted to check out. They had an increase last sunday from an average of about 1900 to about 2300. Many of them of them came because of intentional or unintentional "marketing." Last weekend 400 more people than normal heard the gospel message. I will never stop telling people that we will never reach 100% of the people who we don't get to share the message with.

Checkout Dave Ferguason's blog on multi-site churches and attracting the unchurched.

An Unlikely Olympian

As I was rereading my last post, I decided that I should share a bit of my wife's story with you. My wife is fast. She has always been fast. In elementary school she knew she was fast because she usually beat all of the boys.

Since before she started running track in middle school, she dreamed of making an Olympic team. The picture you see here is Gina in the 1992 Olympic trials in the women's Steeplechase. She won! Shortly after this picture was taken she broke the tape to win the Olympic trials and became 1992 US National Champion in the Women's 2000m Steeplechase. She then ran a victory lap with the American Flag and signed autographs. What most people did not know, however, was that she was not actually going to the Olympics. The event she had just won was only an exhibition event, since the women's Steeplechase was not yet an Olympic event (is has been an Olympic event for men for years). She qualified to fulfill her life-long dream but did not have an event to run in the Olympics. She did win the National Championship again in 1994 and got to compete for the US team in the Goodwill Games in St Petersburg, Russia.

Well, 16 years and 4 children later the Women's Steeplechase is becoming an Olympic event in 2008. She is still fast and has the will to push herself beyond what the normal human mind can imagine. Did I mention her pushing a double baby jogger (actually a cheap knock off with square wheels and rusty bearings) 10 miles regularly at a 7:30 pace in 96 degree heat. I know the likelihood of a 40 year old mother of 4 coming back to compete in the Olympics is next to impossible but my God is a God of impossibilities.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

If it ain't Rainin', It ain't Trainin'

My wife changed her training today. Instead of running 10 miles at 3pm in August heat pushing a double baby jogger, she ran 10 miles in 68 degree rain with 2 kids in the baby jogger wearing ponchos to keep dry. She said the bright orange ponchos were good to help cars see them under the overcast skies.

You go baby!

Building a faster Hotdog

I noticed this add on TV and in the paper a few times the last couple of weeks. Can you believe all the time that we have been wasting finding a bun and placing the hotdog in it? Not any more. We can now get back those precious seconds that have been robbed from us while finding our buns.

There has got to be a life illustration in there somewhere. Give me your thoughts.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Zone Defense

I was reading Practicing Greatness by Reggie McNeal this morning . It was talking about investing in your strengths not your weaknesses. As I was reading I refelected back on this weekend.

My wife and I are so different in everything. Well there is one exception. We both score high "D" (for dominance) on one of those psych tests. In pra-marital counceling our marriage counselor said this could be challenging. That was the understatement of the decade. But as we have grown we have really begun to see how God put us together with someone who has strengths in our areas of weakness.

My wife was so amazing this weekend. I don't mind speaking to large crowds but meeting people I don't know in a crowd one-on-one is like dreaming of going to school in your underwear. I'm not in my zone.

My wife on the other hand loves meeting people and making them feel important. I saw Gina meet every person who walked in the door of C3 Church that looked remotely out of place. She talked to them, made them smile, played with their kids and made them feel at home in a new place. She is so good at it. She just shines. And she can spot a person who might have been missed. She has such a heart to make unpopular, unnoticed people feel special. She hates to see lonely people. It is truly a gift. When she can brighten the day of someone who is sad or lonley, she is in her zone. I am blessed.

In sports a zone defense lets defenders cover opponents in their own area of the field or court. They can focus on the area of the field where they are without chasing oppoents into another teammate's area. They kind of specialize in what they do best. My wife and I cover more territory becuase God has given us different gifts. I could not do it without her.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Coffee Shop Reminder

I met a guy working in a coffee shop (not starbucks, he would want you to know) last week. I was the only person in the store so I got to talk to the guy for a while. When he asked what I did I had a chance to tell him about the church we are going to plant in Paris, France. I told him how we were planting a differnet kind of church for a new generation of French people. This church would focus on exciting worship, relevant teaching and building genuine relationships with God and people. As I described our plans he said wow that sounds like a church for me.

As we talked, I found out that he is one of the "de-churched." He grew up baptist and grew disallusioned with the church and its connection to God. He is one of the "I like God but not organized religion type of guys." But he was very interested in a different kind of church. I invited him to visit C3 Church. I told him that he would love and I really believe that. I played him some of their worship cd (from a few years back) and he said "you play that in church?, I gotta check this out."

This is why we do what we do. Many churches have given up on these guys and said that they have made their decision, that they are the unreachables. This could not be more wrong. These people are asking the same questions that we are, they just don't get the answers we give becuase we speak a different language.

Not only do I believe that these people will come to hear, I believe that they will accept Jesus and that their lives will be changed. Best of all these people bring their friends and they have amazing testimonies.