Manic Monday Minute

Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • It's raining out.
  • Sooo.... here's the skinny.
  • Sunday we had a great weekend services at Crossroads but something interesting happened before the kickoff.
  • As our lead volunteers were beginning to unload our storage sheds on our campus they noticed that the sheds had been broken into.
  • Long story short, we called the police and they came out to take a report.
  • Before the police left the scene we noticed some spray paint on one of the sheds and inside sat a can where the nozzle had been broken off. Had the can not been broken the thieves would have taken their vandalism a few steps further...
  • Sooo... I proceeded to pick up the spray can. What a dumb move.
  • I won't say anymore... but one of the staffers immediately said "Uh... Terrace, don't you ever watch CSI?" [ha]
  • Oh well. The sherriff has my info now too.
  • By the way, the sherriff was asking lots of interesting questions. So I added to their list.
  • I said to the officer "do you also want to know what I had for thanksgiving?" I cracked 'em up.
  • It's a Christmas miracle they didn't take me downtown...
  • Speaking of Christmas, we're in the middle of final arrangements for our celebration.
  • If you haven't clicked to become a fan on Facebook yet, you can do so [here]
  • If you win free resources from me (though this site, my twitter, or my fan page on facebook) over the next couple of weeks you might receive some extra goodies courtesy of Group & Simply. =) I included some of these freebies in my last round of giveaways and have a number of them left. Follow to win.
  • So my b-day is toomarroohh. The b-day greetings are already rollin in ... I'm ready to celebrate.
  • Had some wings last night at one of my favorite places.
  • Watched the Steelers & Ravens game.
  • I'm trying to decide if I'm on Team Jacob or Team Edward. Just kidding! Who cares.
  • I've heard this movie Blindside is good. I'm gonna see it soon.
  • Latest song in my head: Fireflies by Owl City
  • Great article about Owl City [here]
  • Got the scoopie on a big name celebrity coming to town soon. Unfortunately my lips have to be sealed until late December. =(
  • Asked this question on twitter. 98% of the people I surveyed said "NO." I agree. =)
  • I've read quite a number of the articles & responses on the fallout over the Deadly Viper book that was recently published. I think this whole thing is rather sad and incredibly disappointing.
  • With that said, Mike & Jud have created a [new site] that is soon to launch - People of the Second Chance. I'm excited to see great things happen through this new creation.
  • Until tomorrow.

  • Labels:

    Why Mormons Do Better Youth Ministry

    Love Greg Stier's article over at Youth about Mormons doing better Youth Ministry than us. I can't help but agree with him. I'm including an exerpt here but [go there] for the rest.

    Let's face it. Most of us look at the clean cut Mormon missionaries that peddle the streets of our city and knock on the doors of our houses as somewhat out of date. Although they are kind and well spoken young men, when they knock on our doors we either don't answer or tell them we are already Christians who reject Mormonism and bid them good day

    Let's face it. Most of us look at the clean cut Mormon missionaries that peddle the streets of our city and knock on the doors of our houses as somewhat out of date.

    We think to ourselves how "behind the times" these young people are forced to be when they are required to do door-to-door evangelism for their religion. We reflect on how grateful we are that we have the truth once and for all delivered to the saints. We may even think about how much more superior our youth ministry strategies are compared to theirs.[read the rest here]

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    Birthday Lists

    Tuesday is my big day. Yep, my b-day. I just wanted to take a moment and say how much I love birthday lists. Restaurants these days love to know when your birthday rolls around so they can send you some love. I'm on a number of birthday lists... and they are starting to arrive in my mailbox but I must say that so far this time around no one compares to the little number that Lonestar is delivering. I got a certificate in the mail for an entree up to $15.99 in value for my big day and I have about 15 days to redeem it!
    Way to go Lonestar. I know you are secretly hoping that there will be a party thrown in my honor in your restaurant (and there might be considering this certificate...), but if not, I appreciate such a nice gesture! You are sure trying to smoke the competition.
    What other restaurants are delivering the goods when it comes to special days?

    Got Google Wave?

    What the heck is all this hype about Google Wave? I'm still in the early stages of learning about this tool but I don't quite get the hype... yet.

    The geek in me was very excited to be part of what is essentially a beta program. You know most of us love to be included in a beta or preview for just about anything simply to say we saw it or experienced it first. The same is true for the Google Wave. I had no idea what it was, what it was for, or why I need it. All I know is, when there are invitations sent out I wanna be on the list!

    For those of you who have no clue about Google Wave, let’s get the official introductory quote out of the way:
    "Google Wave is a product that helps users communicate and collaborate on the web. A “wave” is equal parts conversation and document, where users can almost instantly communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Google Wave is also a platform with a rich set of open APIs that allow developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that work inside waves."
    In plain English: Wave is a new email/talk to each other right now/social/work thingy we can use to say we’re being productive.

    I had no clue what I was seeing or doing. At first glimpse the window looks like a clean email screen. You’ve got your Navigation box on the left, Contact box underneath (everyone’s lovely profile pic displayed) and a middle window with your open inbox, yet this inbox has nothing to do with your gmail inbox? I was kind of at a loss. I already had gmail, which I couldn’t see here. I could already gchat, when in gmail. I thought, “How the in the world do I use this thing?!” I decided to watch the presentation video. Then it started to make a little more sense.

    And, dear reader, I have 8 (count 'em - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) invitations left. Drop me an email or tweet me to secure yours. =)

    RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Got to hang out in Va Beach a bit this weekend. It was good to take some time and unwind.
  • Weather was nice this weekend...
  • Sunday we had a great Celebration Sunday at Crossroads.
  • Had a great student baptism on Sunday afternoon. We threw a party and a had a great time...
  • Thanks so much for your prayers for our family. Been receiving such encouraging texts and tweets all week long. Mom sure appreciates the prayers too!
  • Enjoyed watching the AMAs last night, with the exception of a few puke-worthy performances. I think we all know who those belong to.
  • I've been dealing with some hurt lately that I have been denying for a while and have been righting some wrongs too. It's all refreshing to me. You should try it...
  • If you haven't clicked to become a fan on Facebook yet, you can do so [here]
  • If you win free resources from me (though this site, my twitter, or my fan page on facebook) over the next couple of weeks you might receive some extra goodies courtesy of Group & Simply. =) I included some of these freebies in my last round of giveaways and have a number of them left. Follow to win.
  • Got a little toothache going on. Ugh.
  • Mailed some resources out to leaders over the weekend.
  • I saw New Moon over the weekend. Viewing it actually made me interested in reading the books. I didn't have to go to far... one of my students had them all!
  • Had a little confrontation at the grocery store on Sunday.
  • Just a few days away from my birthday. Thought I wouldn't be excited about the big 3-2 but I decided to get excited.
  • Watched this vid of a 2-year old recreating Taylor Swift's performance at the VMAs. It is hilarious and quite cute. [check it]
  • It rained today and was very nasty outside...
  • I'm so excited about Thanksgiving this week. Looking forward to the chill time.
  • Love my buddy, Ben Arment's, new Dream Year network.
  • Caught some of the NYWC live online this weekend. I love technology.
  • Until next time America...

  • Labels:

    Church Fire

    A local church building in our area was recently destroyed by fire. In fact, a few of the only items that were salvaged were the pulpit, communion table, and a cross. What is even more unfortunate is that this fire affected another church as well. Reservoir Community Church (a church plant) had been meeting at Warwick Baptist in Newport News, VA until the fire left their members homeless.

    Lead pastor of Reservoir, Chris Gill, told our local television station "It breaks my heart, it really does but God can do wonderful things out of it so I am at peace with it." And God truly has done wonderful things. Pretty soon after the fire Crossroads approached pastor Chris about Reservoir utilizing our facilities on our Lakeside campus for their weekend services. Pretty soon their church began to occupy the space and the rest is history. It was awesome to see God use Crossroads in this way, but its the core of who we are. Our church believes in helping church plants and we believe in doing things the Kingdom way.

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    Confrontation at the Grocery Store!

    I stopped by the grocery store today to pick up a few items. As I walked in I saw an abandoned shopping cart on one aisle so I quickly grabbed it and proceeded to shop. I walked clear across the store with my cart and soon heard "Excuse me! Excuse me! That's my cart sir!" Oh no. "You took my cart!" shouted this mad woman. I quickly said "I'm terribly sorry. It looked abandoned so I grabbed it." She then took the cart and while shaking her head, she walked away.
    Deep breath. Ok, now, let's continue to shop.
    I started to walk down another aisle. "Excuse me sir! Excuse me!" Sheesh! What now?! I turned and saw another lady coming towards me. Oh great. Another confrontation, I thought. A younger lady approached me this time. "Excuse me, do you have a moment?" "Yes," I replied. "Our production team would like you to be an extra in our film." "Wha?" She replied, "We are shooting a short film here in the store and need an extra." "Ok, I'm game." So off I went to stand in line at the check out for this shot.
    Pretty soon I grabbed my things and left the store. My trips to the market are always boring. Today was different.

    Thoughts on A Christmas Carol...

    This vid is hawt! This Christmas Granger will be leveraging the topics in Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol for a special teaching series. The December series will focus on recovery from their past, making a difference in the present, and deciding on a purposeful future.

    Speaking of a Christmas Carol, I just saw the movie last week in IMAX. The movie was very well done... but a little overplayed & dark in some parts. I'd be cautious to let small children watch it. However, Granger's production - following their series - I can highly recommend. =)

    What does your church have planned for Christmas?
    RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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    Help Build a Kindergarten in Vietnam

    Jon Acuff, blogger over at SCL, is raising $60,000 to build two kindergartens in Vietnam through Samaritan's Purse. He has already raised funds to build one and he's only $14,000 away from meeting his goal. Read more about it [here]. You can donate to this cause [here].


    Power of Open Space

    Read an article back in August on Open Space Technology in Rejuvenate magazine. Kate Burton interviewed my friend, Mark Matlock, about this technology because Mark is the VP of Event Content at Youth Specialties and had planned to use this new meeting strategy at the YS conventions this fall.

    In short, Open Space is a meeting strategy for harnessing the collective wisdom of a group to self-teach and learn rather than depending on the traditional role of a teacher or facilitator. Sounds pretty interesting right? I must admit, the article peaked my interest and I wanted to know more. Then within a couple of weeks I participated in a Live YM Talk where Matlock was the special guest and the topic was Open Space. This was a little more enlightening about the whole idea because we got to ask Mark our own questions.

    There are some basic rules of Open Space: (1) whoever comes is the right person, (2) whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened, (3) whenever it starts is the right time, and (4) when it's over, it's over. Pretty simple.

    The whole strategy is designed to tap the creative energy within your group. There's no pre-planned agenda or even a goal, but the possibilities are endless. You might start with a thought like "what do we need to do to reach students in our community?" and let the conversations and ideas evolve from there. Smaller groups will be formed out of the larger group based on ideas or agenda items that may arise, and people can move from group to group based on their own personal interests.

    I caught up with Mark Matlock after the first National Youth Worker Convention to see how the experience went. "Overall I'd say it was a success. Those who came expressed a wide variety of experiences. Some said the time flew by, they didn’t just learn from each other they connected and were encouraged by hearing others. Several told me they were thinking NYWC no longer had anything to offer them, but if we kept doing open space, they would be back." He continued, "The topics and subjects were all over the map. It was fascinating to see what worked and what didn’t. It was fun to see a guy with 3 weeks of youth ministry experience sitting in a circle with a guy like Walt Mueller sharing ideas. When does that happen?"

    As far as the overall learning experience Matlock said, "Some of the veterans and scholars in the room said that open space helped reveal how far behind we are in some of our application of learning. When we sit in seminars we assume that our knowledge has been received and then executed. Open Space revealed that learning and implementation is much slower than we might expect."

    YS is anticipating its third experience with the technology this weekend at the convention in Atlanta. If you are not yet registered, go [here].

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    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Last week was quite the ride folks. Quite the ride!
  • Our area was slammed with a NOR'easter (storm) for several days on end.
  • Lots of flooding & damage to our area.
  • I was fortunate to not have any damage to my home... but folks minutes from me were under water.
  • Just before the storm hit my family came to town.
  • It was so wonderful to spend a few days with them even though the weather didn't cooperate.
  • We saw Jim Carrey's The Christmas Carol on the IMAX together.
  • Maybe its just me... but children's films are starting to get darker... and darker... and more horror-like.
  • My intern turned me onto a band he recently heard in concert. Young, talented artists... Check out their track 1 Corinthians 13. Lead singer has a killer voice.
  • A good friend sent me a Google Voice invite. It apparently got lost in cyber space somewhere. Hmm... where do google invites hang out?
  • Enjoyed speaking at a men's gathering on Saturday. I'm always stoked to see men who are growing in their faith!
  • Spoke a message I titled "Yes He Can" in our weekend services at Crossroads.
  • I was touched by several stories from people who were moved by the spirit in our services on Sunday. Awesome to see God at work...
  • If you haven't clicked to become a fan on Facebook yet, you can do so [here]
  • Sarah Palin's book is due out tomorrow (on my sister's birthday - Happy Birthday Sis! =) and I've heard its already made the best-seller list. I was able to get my hands on an exerpt of the book and its quite the interesting read. Its a real tell-all kinda book.
  • Soon to interview a few innovative leaders. I can't wait!
  • I'm simply amazed at some wonderful new friends God has brought into my life through social networking. I treasure these friendships already. Whoever said Twitter or Facebook should be banned from the planet needs to get a clue.
  • Got my first birthday card & present over the weekend. My birthday is right around de corner.
  • Watched Lie to Me for the first time this past week at the recommendation of my tweet peeps. I loved it! I'm hooked.
  • I love Simply's current "Buy 1, Give 1" campaign. Check [this] out...
  • Was tempted to buy Sting's Christmas album today at Starbucks and they were sold out.
  • Until next post.

  • Labels:

    2007 Called...

    My phone rang the other day and it was 2007 calling.
    Actually, I was on the phone with my mother and I saw that I had an incoming call. When I looked to see who it was calling me the caller ID displayed "2007 calling." Freaky.
    I should have answered the call. However, I sent it to voicemail and continued the convo with my mom. After I hung up the phone with my mother I checked my voicemail and there was no message. I tried calling 2007 back... and got an error message.
    I laughed over the whole ordeal because it reminded me of the sketch-- I think from Saturday Night Live -- about a certain year calling and "wanting things back..." Do you recall these sketches?
    I thought it would be entertaining if you help fill in the blank here.
    2007 called and wanted...


    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Is it a new week already? I enjoyed this weekend so much I'm not ready for the week...
  • Concert, time with friends, a brief down time and awesome weekend services!
  • Our services were incredible yesterday. We had only one service and it was a special commitment service.
  • We asked our people to make their commitments towards our stewardship campaign... and I've heard that our people came through in a HUGE way. Can't wait till November 22nd when we make the big announcement!
  • Got some bad news in our family this week. My mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer. We'd all appreciate your prayers. I'd be down with you adding her (Rita Howell) to your prayer list.
  • Looks like its early stages (so that's good)... but its an excruciating process as I understand it.
  • This past week was an emotional roller coaster.
  • I've appreciated the support from family & friends the last few days.
  • Enjoyed seeing Casting Crowns and Matt Redman in concert on Friday.
  • A good friend hooked me up with backstage passes.
  • #GoodTimes.
  • Haven't spent much time on google wave. Maybe my invite was sent in vain?
  • Preparing to speak this weekend at Crossroads.
  • If you haven't clicked to become a fan on Facebook yet, you can do so [here]
  • I got a call earlier this evening from "2007." Literally, the YEAR was on my caller ID.
  • I'm gonna do a whole post on this one. It was f-r-e-a-k-y!
  • Shipped some resources out to youth workers today. One package even went down under. Thats right, Australia!
  • Ugh. I need a new battery for my MAC.
  • I'm about to eat a scoop of Rocky Road icecream. Can't wait to finish this post...
  • Also speaking this weekend at a breakfast gathering for men. Should be fun.
  • I cannot wait till Christmas. Spending it in the big S-C.
  • I accidentally ran my chapstick through the dryer earlier today. That was a hot mess.
  • Funny post by Jon Acuff over at SCL titled "Youth Group Rules."
  • I'm a little uptight about the healthcare bill that just passed. I am skeptical of many of our politicians.... just sayin.
  • My birthday is right around the corner... 20 days away in fact.
  • Watched a riveting interview with Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield the other day. It was their first face-to-face interview since Tyson tried to chew off Holyfield's ear. It was a great testimony of forgiveness.
  • I'm all registered and ready to go to S-Y-M-C in Chitown. Hope to see you there.
  • Learned recently about "Forever" stamps. I think I was the only one in North America that didn't know about it. I'll never buy any other stamps again.
  • Weather was PERFECT on Sunday. I mean, PERFECT.
  • Today wasn't bad either.
  • I love Simply's current "Buy 1, Give 1" campaign. Check [this] out...
  • Let it simmer folks... all week.
  • I'll see you next time.

  • Labels:

    Broken People

    My heart has been broken for people in need lately. I thank God for that. My prayer is that we, as church leaders, never forget the broken. That we actually see (and respond) to people in need. I spend a lot of time praying for these folks. In the Church today I think we sometimes get so far removed from where people are. We are living life in our little church bubble.
    I was reading the blog of a pastor yesterday who had an affair months ago and has been removed from the world of church leadership and has transitioned to what he calls "the real world." After reading his post it further underscores my point that we have segregated ourselves. And for what reason? The Church I pray for is a Church that sees people in need, has compassion on them, and is called to action.

    Video courtesy of TK McKamy. Shot & Edited by TK McKamy for the STORY Conference. Music by Lifehouse.

    RSS Subscribers: there is video [here]

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    15 Signs a Church is in Trouble

    Perry Noble has a great post today titled "15 Signs a Church is in Trouble." I can't help but agree with his list. I'll include a few highlights and you can click [here] to read the rest.

    #1 – When excuses are made about the way things are instead of embracing a willingness to roll up the sleeves and fix the problem.

    #2 – When the church becomes content with merely receiving people that come rather than actually going out and finding them…in other words, they lose their passion for evangelism!

    #6 – The leaders within the church cease to be coachable.

    #10 – The people in the church lose sight of the next generation and refuse to fund ministry simply because they don’t understand “those young people.”

    #11 – The goal of the church is to simply maintain the way things are…to NOT rock the boat and/or upset anyone…especially the big givers!

    #12 – The church is no longer willing to take steps of faith because “there is just too much to lose.”

    #15 – When the leaders/staff refuse to go the extra mile in leading and serving because of how “inconvenient” doing so would be.

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    Invite to the Man-Cave

    Manic Monday Minute

    Manic Monday Minute is a serious mind-dump that will probably take you one minute to read. Here are some thoughts going through my head right now...

  • This is the Manic Monday Minute
  • Weather stunk it up for most of today. Actually yesterday wasn't much better.
  • We experienced all 4 seasons over the course of the weekend here.
  • This weekend was bizee. How was yours?
  • Didn't really do anything special for Halloween.
  • Actually, I only saw 2 people in costumes the entire day! It definitely didn't feel like Halloween.
  • I got to see This is It.
  • Thought the movie was very good.
  • Just noticed Jackson's guitarist, Orianthi, just started following me on twitter.
  • Looking forward to seeing Casting Crowns and Matt Redman in concert this week.
  • Can't wait to meet those guys.
  • Got me a google wave invite. Been checking it out a little today...
  • If you haven't clicked to become a fan on Facebook yet, you can do so [here]
  • Speaking of Facebook, I got asked by FB to POKE Jerry Falwell the other day. That would be a little weird don't ya think?
  • Soooo many people are sick. Missed seeing lots of families at our church on Sunday due to illness.
  • We have a few reported cases of swine flu around.
  • Had great services on Sunday.
  • Enjoyed a chili cookoff on Sunday evening. Had a great time tasting pot after pot of chili...
  • Looking forward to this Sunday. We're in the middle of our stewardship campaign and our BIG ASK is this Sunday. It's going to be a great day.
  • Election Day is tomorrow. Don't forget to vote.
  • I'm tired of the political ads. Glad that'll soon be over... at least for a hot minute.
  • Just saw a Christmas commercial for Walmart. Yep - its that time again.
  • My birthday is right around the corner...
  • I heard STORY and Cultivate went well. Regret I missed both events.
  • Watched part of the National Youth Worker's Convention live online this weekend.
  • Been on the search for something I lost. I hate when I misplace things!
  • Got family coming to town next week. Oooh.... can't wait.
  • Busy day tomorrow. Need to get some sleep.
  • Let it simmer folks... all week.

  • Labels:

    5 Key Ingredients in Great Managers

    I've been thinking a lot lately about management. Mostly likely its on the brain because I actually did a sermon recently on the subject. Over the years I've been managed by a diverse group of men and women and I've come to the conclusion that its been a good thing for me. I've learned "how to do it" but mostly, how "not to do it" when it comes to managing others. One thing you must realize as a manager: you are mentoring your staff - mostly indirectly - at ALL times. I'll share a few snippets here from my own experiences:

    I recall one boss that was a bit of a control freak. She never let me take risk and gave me very little responsibility. I felt I could have grown a lot in my role had they taken a chance on me and allowed me to fail.

    Another manager allowed me to make mistakes over and over again but never addressed them until the evaluation months later. You can imagine my surprise when I sat down for the review and he read off page after page of the copious notes he had taken. I'll never forget being in tears after the first evaluation because I was so discouraged! If only my leader had addressed problems as they saw them. I could have corrected my mistakes and received a glowing review later for my hard work.

    One leader I reported to seemed to lack vision. He never communicated expectations and left me and the other staff to wonder where we were headed. This probably explains why we [as a staff] were always frustrated.

    I've made a list of some key ingredients in great management as I see it:

  • Great managers provide roadmaps. Provide a clear vision and expectations to your staff. You are on a journey together, so make sure everyone on-board is tracking with you. Regular check-ins are a good thing! Not only will you be more likely to succeed as a team but you will also keep your staff focused throughout the journey.

  • Great managers listen well. People have a natural drive to be heard and you communicate value to your staff when you listen (well) to their ideas and concerns before responding.

  • Great managers encourage. If there is one thing I've learned its that you can never encourage your staff enough. Discipline yourself as a leader to observe the efforts of your staff, what work they have completed, and what milestones have been reached. Regular affirmation goes a long way. And don't limit your encouragement to public recognition alone. Affirm your staff privately for their hard work also.

  • Great managers share the wealth. Even when the budgets are tight look for ways to bless your staff. Take your staff members to lunch "on you" occasionally or look for alternative gifts when bonuses are cut to reward them for a job well done.

  • Great managers allow you to lead. Give your employees responsibility. Allow them to take risk and to fail. Recognize and reward accomplishments and provide coaching when they make mistakes or utterly fail. Your staff will love you forever.
  • What would you add to this list? Share your own personal experiences. What key ingredient do you think is most important?

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