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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Protecting the Gift

Last week I went to a training event put on by Granger Community Church (www.gccwired.com) and I attended the seminar by Kem Myers on Communication.  Some very good stuff.  The bottom line for me was the idea to keep it simple.  It used to be that we thought that the more choices we gave people, the better so churches started offering everything under the sun.  There seems to be a shift going on now to the simple church idea.  Somewhere in the middle, there is a balance to be found.

Anyway, the idea of simple needs to permeate everything that we present.  When we print a Sunday program or an invitation or a website and people see too much info, they just check out because of the overload.  Identify what is most important and focus on that.  Direct people clearly where they can get more info if needed but KEEP IT SIMPLE!  
You know, not a bad lesson for life, huh?  Figure out what is most important and focus on that.  Don't let the fullness of life crowd out the best of life.

During the training event, Kem showed a video clip that really caught my attention.  It was done by Dove (you know, the soap people) and they have started this thing called "Campaign for Real Beauty."  To get it through our heads about the message being pushed toward women in our culture about what beauty is, they developed some short video clips. They are great clips to illustrate Romans 12.1-2 (don't be pushed into the world's mold but be transformed) and 1 Peter 3.3-4 (defining what true beauty is by contrasting the world's perspective).  I have to warn you, the "Onslaught" clip is pretty provocative but (unfortunately) not much worse than standing in line at the grocery store and being assaulted by the magazine racks.  This is a soap company communicating a biblical perspective!  You can find the clip and info on the campaign at http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com/dsef07/t5.aspx?id=7373&filmno=1

If you have a daughter - the message is a good one.  YOU teach what true beauty is because the Beauty industry wants to tell her a lie.  But really, should we leave the formation of our daughter's character in the hands of a soap company?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Habits

Driving to Stockton today for the second time in two days I was listening to some leadership stuff to sharpen my mind.  I had an abridged audio version of Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" on my iPod.  I was really struck by his definition of how habits are formed.  Here is the equation:  Habit = Knowledge + Skill + Desire

Knowledge is learning, being taught what you don't know.  Skill is the ability to put into practice effectively the knowledge.  Desire is the level of willingness to do what needs to be done, learn what needs to be learned.

So, what habit would you like to have in your life?  What is the stumbling block for you?  Is it Knowledge, Skill or Desire?  Or, think about it this way:  what habit do you have that you don't want?  Why is it still there?

For me, I'm thinking I want a better habit of prayer.  I had a bit of a personal crisis a couple of years ago where I just felt like I didn't know how to pray anymore.  I turned to the Bible and started with the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples when they said, "Jesus, teach us to pray."  I figure that is a pretty good place to start.  That helped a lot.  So, there was my knowledge.  I have found that when I write my prayers that helps me to grow in them.  I also tend to be more focused and there is less whining in my prayers.  That is my skill development.  Desire is the kicker, isn't.  Do I desire another 20 minutes of sleep or 20 minutes talking to God?

So - what do you think?  What is the hang up for you in the habit your are seeking to create in your life?  Is it knowledge, skill or desire.  What is keeping you from addressing that area of need?