Monday, January 16, 2012
More and more companies, churches, and people are starting to use QR codes. You can find them on just about anything these days from cereal boxes to movie posters to the tops of buildings. That's right...some companies that are close to airport runways are putting them on the tops of their buildings so that airline passengers can scan them as they fly overhead. Pretty clever.
But did you know you can customize QR codes? Most people are using the generic black and white codes they generate online. That's great for them...but not for me. I want to brand everything that we use to communicate. Because people are mostly scanning them with smartphones while they are on the go, QR codes are designed with a tolerance rate of approximately 30%. That means you can cover about 30% of your QR code with your logo, a graphic, etc. and it will still be readable.
By adding your logo to the QR code, people will know where you're sending them before they scan it. Here are a few that we've customized. The first takes you to our homepage, the second to our missions page, and the third to our weekly bulletin.
Experiment with the placement of your graphic to be sure the codes are still readable. If you change the color from black and white to something else like we did, make sure the colors are dark enough. We printed a QR code in our weekly bulletin that was too light and had to color in the three squares on all 2,800 bulletins by hand--that's 8,400 squares!!!
Monday, August 29, 2011
Don't get me wrong...it's not that we're not thankful for or happy with our house...we just know there's always something else we can change or add to make it even better.
Our spiritual lives are like that. When we get to the point where we're satisfied with where we are, we need to stop and take a hard look at ourselves. I believe that God wants us to continually work to improve our prayer times, devotional times, service, worship, and every other aspect of our spiritual lives. There is always room to grow.
So it's OK to be dissatisfied with where your are today...that dissatisfaction will lead to a better tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
So we looked at a couple pieces of furniture and at several art galleries. While walking through the new Antique Archaeology store in Nashville (props to The American Pickers), we saw an old construction sign and both of us said, "That's the one!"
That's the one? Seriously?
This is a bent-up, dented & dinged, rusted out old sign that the Virginia Department of Highways threw out years ago. And then someone found it, stuck it in the back of an old barn, and let it sit for years and years. Technically, it's a pretty ugly and useless sign that can no longer serve it's intended purpose.
But when we saw it, we knew it was perfect for us...that's the one we wanted! The dents, dings and rust didn't bother us at all. We looked past the imperfections and saw a sign with character and with a history. We saw a piece of art that we will cherish for years to come.
Don't you think that's how God sees us? He looks past our rust, dents, and dings and sees a piece of art...a piece of art that He Himself created. He cherishes us greatly, regardless of how others see us or of how we see ourselves. Remember that when you feel dinged and dented. And remember that when you see someone else who is showing some signs of rust. God loves you and He loves them. We are, after all, His most cherished creation.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Keith took a Canon 5D and a laptop with him and has been posting daily video updates of the team's efforts at http://www.vimeo.com/fbchtn/videos. These updates have been a good reminder to our church to continue to pray as the mission team is ministering in Honduras.
I'm excited to see Keith using his gifts and passions to serve others in our own community and around the world. Pray for him and the rest of the team as they travel back home today.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
It's inevitable...mistakes are going to happen. You can't do anything to change what has already happened. Once the feedback has occurred, you can't un-feedback it. Once the words are mixed up, they're mixed up. People will notice.
The key is to just keep swimming. Rather than focusing on the mistake and trying to figure out why it happened, you should immediately try to get back on track and keep moving forward. Focus on what's in front of you, not behind you. After the service or event is over, you'll have plenty of time to try to figure out what caused the mistake and how you can prevent it in the future.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
(As I was typing this post, someone else called and wants me to produce yet another video!)
In the midst of all that it's very easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated. Sometimes I feel like I'm everyone's favorite target. I've been praying over the last several days that God would speak to me and help me to handle the frustration and the conflict that comes along with it. Here's where he led me:
"...for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content--whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13
That verse obviously speaks to our physical needs, but I believe it speaks to our situational needs too. I need to learn to be content whether I'm on top of the mountain or down in the valley, whether I'm everyone's favorite hero or their favorite target. God will provide what I need regardless of my circumstances and I will "be able to do all things through Him who strengthens me."
Pray for Keith Holloway and I as we are in Montana this week and next. We'll be shooting video with four pastors who are making a real impact for God's Kingdom in a state that's mostly unchurched.
Monday, March 28, 2011
I had the opportunity to talk with several guys throughout the night. I sat down with a man named Frankie and he began sharing his story with me immediately. I learned that he grew up in Fort Lauderdale, he lived in Lafayette for a while when he moved to Tennessee, he began working in radio when he was 15 years old, and he has done an extensive amount of production work over the years. He's also done some stand up comedy...he was VERY funny!
I sat there with a smile on my face and then after about 45 minutes, I said "Let me tell you a little about me." I told him that I grew up in Vero Beach, FL (about 45 minutes north of Fort Lauderdale), that my mom lived in Lafayette for several years (I know that area pretty well), that I also got involved in radio when I was 15 years old, and that I have done a ton of production work as the Media Minister at First Baptist.
Frankie and I talked for 2 1/2 hours last night and learned that we have a lot in common. The only real difference in the two of us is that he made a few mistakes along the way that cost him more than my mistakes have cost me. I was completely humbled and honored to talk with him and I thank God for arranging that meeting. I was able to encourage Frankie and just be a friend to him.
I can't wait for another opportunity to serve in Room in the Inn next year!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
In that moment, at three-something in the morning, God spoke to my heart and reminded me of something that I tend to overlook. We can tell people all day long that Jesus loves them. But if we don't take the time to minister to their needs, they don't care. We need to show people that Jesus loves them, not just tell them. You see, my son was still hungry. Knowing that Jesus loves him didn't fill his tummy. After I fed him a little more, his needs were met and he was much more receptive to my message...even if I was singing it out of tune.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
One of the people with whom I’ve discussed social media is an executive at a marketing and communications firm. His response to Twitter and Facebook is, “I don’t care what people are eating for breakfast.” He doesn’t have time to sort through all of the useless conversation that’s out there. While I understand there is a lot of useless conversation in the social media realm, there are also a lot of people in the social media realm…and that’s where he’s missing the point.
But he’s not the only one who has underestimated a new technology. Take a look at a few quotes:
>>> "This telephone has too many shortcomings to be considered as a means of communication. The device is of inherently no value to us." - Western Union internal memo, 1876
>>> "The phonograph has no commercial value at all." - Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1880s
>>> "Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." - Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889
(Edison often ridiculed the arguments of competitor George Westinghouse for AC power)
>>> "While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially I consider it an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming." - Lee DeForest, American radio pioneer and inventor of the vacuum tube, 1926
>>> "Who the h**l wants to hear actors talk?" - H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, maker of silent movies, 1927
>>> "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
You see, even those who are innovators in their own right (Edison, Warner, Watson) can still get lost in the ever-changing world of technology. Don’t let your vision get blurred by what you’re doing today…keep your focus on what’s coming next and how you can leverage that in your ministry, organization, or personal life.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Then our teacher told us that the case was actually an analogy for a real-life situation from 1986 – the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
We were floored! Each of us had decided that launching (racing) on that cold January morning was the right thing to do. But after looking at the data again, it was clear that our decision was wrong. We were the victims of Groupthink.
Groupthink occurs when the group places more emphasis on coming to a consensus than on analyzing the data critically. This happens quite often in ministry. We get caught up in presenting a unified front as a team or even a church body that we don’t listen when others bring up ideas that oppose the group’s opinion. This proved deadly in the Challenger situation, but when you’re dealing with people’s eternal salvation the stakes are even higher.
If you find your ministry team or church body in a Groupthink situation, take a step back, analyze the data critically, and look at what’s really at stake.
Irving Janis' Eight Symptoms of Groupthink:
- Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
- Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
- Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
- Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.
- Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty".
- Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
- Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
- Mind guards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information. (Irving Janis, 1977)