Saturday, May 10, 2008

Good News and Bad News

I really don't know why people begin conversations this way. Especially auto mechanics who are holding your car hostage. But, after putting the mini-van in the shop for A/C work, I told the guy at the counter we had been saving for 5 months to have the work done and to take it easy on me. Expense had already exceeded $1,000 when the call came. It went something like this.

Me: Hello
Guy: Hello Mr. Johns
Me: Hello
Guy: I've got good news and bad news, which do you want first heh heh
Me: what is it?
Guy: I found that part for the hose assembly your van has one of two, and I should get it first thing tomorrow.
Me: okay
Guy: I spent all afternoon taking the old one off (Read milking you for labor) and unfortunately it had leaked freon into your compressor and it too is ruined.
Me: okay, what will that cost me?
Guy: Uh, I don't really know off hand (read, Lots more money)
Me: can you give me a ballpark
Guy: I will call you back in a few
Me: By the way, what was the good news?
Guy: That I found the part I needed

Here is why I share my story with you.

1. To complain and get off my chest my frustration.
2. To eradicate the world of the phrase "good news and bad news"
Here is why: When there is bad news, no one likes to play games. Plus, if all the bad news (you owe another $420.00) is mine and the good news is yours (I found the part) Then it does not apply.

A lot of times people fear going to church because the "good news" is delivered as bad news. The church is seen as negative, and no one wants to be on the bad news end of a balanced "Good News/ Bad News " exchange. What makes the gospel so great is that in spite of our thinking that being a sinner is bad news, and not wanting to hear it from anyone especially a pious Christian, is that in fact all the bad news is take on by Christ, leaving only good news for us. Finding Christ is no more bad news, than to find that you owe an enormous debt and Christ has paid it all. The bad news that we are a sinner pales in comparison, to the good news that we have been saved from the penalty of our sin.

Romans 8:18 (NKJV)
18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Paper cctv music video

I came across this today. A UK band performed in front of 10 "Big Brother" cameras throughout the city and then requested the film through the freedom of information act. A few edits later they have a quality video all compliments of the British government.
This kind of creativity and ingenuity are what the church needs. When the church seeks to connect with the culture today, we must be willing to leverage any means at our disposal to get our message out.
These guys, rightly or wrongly, believed that their message must be heard by the masses and they were willing to find a effective and inexpensive way to do it. I hope they reach their audience and make their million, they deserve it, but more importantly I hope we reach our world with a message that will change eternity.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Authors@Google: Tim Keller

Fan of Keller. Fan of Google. Google invited Tim Keller to speak on his book "The Reason for God." Good stuff.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

New Gadgets I am Test Driving

The busyness of the last few weeks has led me to explore some new gadgets and aps for staying on track. We already went Google a few years ago, so they have to plug in....

1. Remember the Milk - It has been around a while but after dumping Microsoft Outlook I never found a good task manager, RTM works seamlessly with my Google calendar without crowding every date with details.

2. Jott - Now this is where it gets fun. Jott allows me to phone in any ideas to a 800 # and it translates it into text and can be emailed to my inbox, added to my calendar, my Remember the Milk list, or emailed or texted to my staff.

Now best of all, both are totally free!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Iraqi Underground

Yesterday I got to meet a pastor of a former underground church in Iraq. I say former because after "Iraqi Freedom" they are free to worship Christ. Here are some things I took away from the meeting: Milad is an Iraqi national born in Baghdad. He received Christ as his personal Savior and pastored an underground church in Iraq. Below are some notes from his testimony.

  • It all started in Iraq: Eden, Ur, Nineveh, Babylon...
  • Muslims do everything "for" God. Our message is that everything has been done.
    • (He showed pictures of Suni Muslims cutting themselves and even their children)
  • Saddam killed at least one member of almost every family in Iraq
  • Saddam killed over 1 million Kurds
  • Americans say war was a mistake, As an Iraqi, I say it was the greatest thing
  • 95% of Iraqis are so happy for the liberation
  • The news only shows Baghdad and Mosul
  • Iraqis celebrate Christmas with trees and lights but they don't know why
  • Public schools have invited him to come and teach about Christmas and the Reason
  • He is able to distribute Bibles to the public school students and on the street
  • Iraqis have more freedom of religion now than America does

Monday, May 05, 2008

My New Favorite Blog

My Sister Jessica suggested that I read this blog. I added "Prodigal Jon" to my reader and he is not only hilarious, he always has something funny to say and updates regularly.

Personal Favorites:

#203. Not knowing what meals to pray before. (A ha...

#196. The secret bathroom at church.

#194. Traveling Mercies

#192. Using "love on" as a verb.

#188. Judging someone's faith based on their Bible...

#182. Saying "pot blessings" instead of "pot luck...

man they are all good...

Here is one last one, the one that got it all started....

#5. Bootleg cookies.