#44. Consistency

To_do

Dedicating yourself to something is difficult. Dedicating yourself to something with which there is no accountability or tangible reward or visible repercussion is even more so.

Making excuses is easy. Justifying your action or inaction due to other commitments and relationships rather than laziness and apathy is even easier.

If that doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I don’t know what will.

#43. Visiting an Old Friend

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I had the opportunity to visit an old friend this evening. We would spend every summer together when I was growing up. We met when I was just 4 years old, the summer before I started kindergarten, but twelve years later, after my sophomore year of high school, I said goodbye to my friend, and it was never the same again.

Tonight was just like the good old days… running and playing together. It was like no time had passed at all.

My friend JT asked me to fill in on his softball team tonight. I guess softball isn’t exactly like my old friend baseball, but they sure remind me of each other. I suppose it was more like hanging out with my old friend’s sister. But it’s not quite as nostalgic when you say it like that. Thanks for ruining the moment.

Do you have an old friend that you miss?

#42. Friday

Rebecca_black_-_friday

Every Friday, sometime between 10 and 11 A.M., my co-workers and I have what may be the most critical discussion of the week. I’m not talking about a status meeting or a work-load update. I’m talking about the fundamental focus, the primary purpose, and the very essence of our energy conscious corporation: “What’s for lunch?”

We adhere to a very strict Democratic policy. Anyone can offer suggestions by writing options on the common white board. Here are the rules:

1.       You get one vote. Your vote is worth one point. You may use your vote for or against any restaurant of your choosing. (Use wisely)

2.       If you choose to vote, you must yield to the majority opinion.

a.       No whining.

b.      Be persuasive.

3.       The early offer to drive to a venue of your choosing may trump all voting and dictate dining destination if all other parties are unwilling to transport.

4.       The following is a pre-approved list of acceptable and frequented establishments*:

a.       Agave Azul

b.      BJ’s Brewhouse

c.       Buffalo Wild Wings

d.      Chili’s

e.       i Fratelli

f.        Johnny Carino’s

g.      New York Pizza Pasta

h.       On The Border

i.         Texadelphia

How do you decide on Friday lunch?

 

*This list is alphabetical but not exhaustive.

 

#41. Cowboys & Indians

Cowboys-and-indians

This week our Home Group has been volunteering during the evenings at a local Vacation Bible School. The cool part is that it is being organized by an Indian Church that a pastor in our group helped plant. The VBS is at a park (called Ghandi Park by the locals) in the center of nine apartment properties that are predominantly home to Indian families. The Indian community places a very high emphasis on family and education. Most of the adult males are here on temporary work visas and are employed by tech companies.

The Crossroad Church sets up stations with crafts, skits, sports, 2 huge bounce houses and even snacks that groups of children rotate between. It is amazing to see middle school-aged kids shake their head “no” when asked if they’ve ever heard of Jesus. By the end of the night, there were literally hundreds of boys and girls scattered across the park with their parents following behind or watching from a distance.

What an incredible opportunity to be dropped into a totally foreign mission environment in my own back yard, only 15 minutes from my home. Pray that the Gospel would continue to be shared and the truth be heard.

How close are you to an overseas mission trip? Maybe closer than you think.

 

#40. Roll Out

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The comment on today’s earlier post nearly stole my thunder, but I’ll roll with it anyway.

There are 5 reasons to roll your toilet paper to the front instead of the back.

1. You don’t have to reach around behind the roll to find the hidden ply.

2. Rolling the TP over the top naturally places it closer to you.

3. Over the top allows easy access at night or in low light conditions.

4. If you roll behind, you sometimes have several unsightly plies dangling against the wall after use.

5. I can’t think of a single reason to roll back other than laziness, spite or just liking the Wal-mart catch phrase.

There are 0 reasons to roll your toilet paper behind. I would challenge anyone to come up with an equally compelling list of 5 reasons to roll the wrong way, and of course I will be the judge, but I’ll try to have an open mind.

Do you roll out or roll back?

#39. Shameless Plug – #3

Charmin_basic

This is beginning to get out of hand. It’s time to buckle down. And that means you are in for a Two-for-Wednesday. I know, it doesn’t sound sleek and sexy, but the topics of the post probably won’t be either. Let’s get to it…

I would like to heartily endorse Charmin Basic. It is soft enough to properly pamper your posterior yet sufficiently strong enough to tackle the task at hand. Let’s be honest for a moment. No one wants to use that overly soft paper that falls apart right when you need it most, and no one appreciates that John Wayne toilet paper either. You know the kind I’m talking about… that single ply cardboard that’s rough, tough and won’t take sh.. errr.. crap from anyone. I mean you obviously respect it, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it. Charmin Basic is that perfect marriage of the two extremes, and here’s the clincher… It’s affordable, and noticeably cheaper than any of Charmin’s other TP lines: Ultra Soft, Ultra Strong or Sensitive. Speaking of sensitive who really needs “a touch of aloe and vitamin E” for their fanny anyway?

So go get yourself some Charmin Basic, but even if you hate it, you’ll never convince me I’m wrong.

How do you roll?

 

#38. Tacos for Jesus

Photo

I received a rebuke of sorts tonight for being less than diligent after missing a couple posts last week. That’s my bad. I will redouble my efforts and strengthen my waning resolve.

Speaking of resolve, we had a unique opportunity tonight to further The Kingdom. Now there is a certain kind of Christian who does crazy things for God. They do things like go on short-term mission trips to Africa, talk to their friends and family about spiritual matters, and actually pray for people when they say they will. Beyond that you have what I like to call the extremist or fanatic. These people are “all in” and absolutely sold-out for the Gospel. Many of them take the Bible so literally that they sell their possessions to become full-time missionaries and share their faith with everyone they know and even some people they don’t. They may fast through multiple meals in a single day to better focus on the many blessings they’ve been given.

But there is another level of Christian passion that exceeds these other two respectable but lower tier Believers that I like to label Zealots or Jesus Freaks. This premier stratosperical category is reserved for those who go to Church every single Sunday or Saturday or podcast a sermon if they were running too late or got busy. These people try really hard to read their Bible and/or pray every day, and we, I mean they, do insane, extremely bold things like eating tacos for Jesus.

Fifteen percent of tonight’s proceeds at Rosa’s Cafe in Highland Village went to an upcoming mission trip with The Village Church if patrons mentioned “Kenya”.

How are you being crazy for Christ?

#36. How much should I tweet?

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I’ve seen many people asking and discussing this question online, but the issue has been somewhat confused. The question should not be, “How many TOTAL tweets/day?”

@replies are only seen by followers of both parties, so I don’t consider this spam. Instead it should be viewed as having a conversation within a closed circle of friends. The real question is RTs (re-tweets) and OTs (original tweets).

You should keep a very tight reign on RTs. Too many RTs/day is going to get you unfollowed real fast.

But OTs are much different. You have some leeway here. I am much more interested in what you have to say than what other people are saying or even what you think is interesting that other people are saying. That is why I am following you instead of the person you are RTing. The occasional RT may persuade me to follow that other person, so only RT their very best content.

Rules of Thumb:

     1. No limit on @replies, but use your better judgement.

     2. Keep RTs to a minimum. 2-3 RTs/day tops. (Unless you are a professional blogger/writer who lives online.)

     3. Maximum of about 5 OTs/day. Maybe 1 less if you RT often, maybe 1 more if you never RT.

Disclaimers:

     1. Everyone has a bent toward either quality or quantity. Be willing to push yourself to the middle ground that maximizes both.

     2. It’s OK to go an entire day without tweeting.

 

How much do you tweet?

#35. Things Christians Like – #1

Crossfish

My good friend Jon Acuff, who I’ve met once and had dinner with, has a fairly successful blog at www.stuffchristianslike.net. It’s obviously about stuff that Christians like (a truly brilliant title). His snarky sarcasm mixed with genuine affection for Christ really encouraged those traits in my own personality and is at least partially responsible for the start of www.songofsloman.com. Since we here at Song look up to Stuff as a big brother in many ways, it’s only fitting that we imitate to most sincerely flatter (at least until Jon asks me not to). With that said, here is the first thing that Christians like.

Christians like their friends, but they love their Christian friends even more, especially their Christian friends from their own church. A recent incident really brought this to light in an awkward way. I had extended a noncommittal invitation to some friends from church saying, “We’re probably just watching the Mavericks’ game at our place Sunday night. We might have some people over, so I’ll let you know.” Little did I know, my wife had set up plans for us to watch the game with one of her co-workers and her husband and daughter. Now this is no problem. Said co-work and family are Christians so we are good to go there, but I floated that partial invite and had no way of retrieving it. And unlike the U.S. military I will leave things behind. It doesn’t matter if you’re a person, place or thing, if you’re about to drag me down into a pit of embarrassment or undue responsibility, you better believe I’m dropping you like a bad habit.

But my invitation was not only to another couple from our church (The Village Church (Best Church in the World)), but more specifically our very own home group, and here we are cheating on them with these other Christians that attend Valley Creek Church. I don’t think they’re even Baptist. Heaven forbid they might be Presbyterian, Methodist, or (dare I say it?)… nondenominational. How will we ever explain ourselves if the word gets out? Will we be voted out of our home group? (Of course this wouldn’t happen since we are the leaders.) We don’t have any other friends. (Well, except for that couple that caused all this trouble in the first place, but I’m not sure they could handle how needy we are by themselves.) I’m sure my wife was completely unaware of the fallout that could ensue from this innocent engagement. Then again maybe this is a cry for help. I need to make an appointment with a marriage counselor stat.

Do you cheat on your church friends with other Christians?