My CLA Takeaway

The Christian Leadership Alliance was a pretty amazing experience. I’d never been around so many Christians for so long. There were guest speakers, praise and worship leaders, dramas, classes, vendors, etc. And while I heard some great things – most of it went in one ear and out the other. This could account for my “holy” deficit. But one class I attended on BRANDING got me thinking.

First of all, they define “branding” as a promise you make your client.  For instance, WalMart says “Low Prices”, and Delta says “You’ll Love the Way We Fly.” Our instructor pointed out that in order for a brand to stick – every point of contact with the customer has to reinforce the promise. I give WalMart a YES, but Delta might want to rework theirs a bit.

So..I was thinking about the Christian brand. What is our promise? Not the Jesus promise, but when we put on the label CHRISTIAN, what do we promise to be? Promise to do? How do we promise to act? And are we reinforcing that at every point of contact with a lost world?

Movies always show Christians as judgemental, gossipy hypocrites. Ouch. Are we reinforcing or refuting THAT brand? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between Christians and non-Christians which means our brand could be, “Change your religion, not your lifestyle.” Not good.

The teacher said before you can build your brand, you have to define what it is. What do YOU think the Christian brand is? If you want to know if you’re living it, ask a non-believer, someone with full access to your life, to tell you what they think it is based on YOU.

Let me know how that works out. I’d do it, but I don’t think “sarcastic” would look good on a logo.

Holy Sunday- Update

I’ve stopped writing Holy Sunday blog posts, or Stupid Saturdays for that matter, in an effort to use my time more wisely. Yeah, that’s really paying off. But I have been meaning to update on my VOW To Read the Bible All the Way Through without Reading Anything Else vow. I mentioned said vow to my pastor and he’s like, “WHAT IS UP WITH YOU AND THESE VOWS?”

The really good pastors speak in all caps.

I don’t know WHY I make vows, but I’m guessing it’s 30% legalistic, and 70% how else will I ever actually DO it? Then my pastor said, *”Have you read about the dude in the Old Testament who vowed to sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house to the Lord, and it was his daughter?”

Information I could have used BEFORE the vow. Anyway, I started on October 30th and I’m using the Chronological One Year Bible. I’m on July 26th, which means I’m a little ahead of schedule. I’m not going to lie, it was tough going in the beginning. Genesis and Exodus I’ve heard a bazillion times, and JOB, well, let’s just say a book editor would be like, “Uh, you’ve got to cut some characters. These friends are annoying.” But once I got into David, things starting going a lot faster.  The bible is interesting.I should tell someone. This thing could really catch on.

*My pastor actually knew the NAME of the vow maker/daughter sacrificer. Which google says is Jephthah.

Holy Sunday

Last Sunday I tried something new. I decided to take the whole Remember the Sabbath and Keep it Holy seriously. (Why I only capitalize parts of that sentence escapes me for now.) I did the part about not working okay, although it was harder than I thought it would be, but I’m not sure watching six hours of television and playing nineteen rounds of UNO counts as “Keeping it Holy.”

I’ve picked up the house and work is on hold, so I’m hoping that I’ll do better this Sunday. I spend a lot of my life hoping I’ll do better.

I hope you do better, too.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Lovely, Still (A Holy Sunday Post)

I love Netflix. One of the great things about streaming video is that I can instantly watch movies, and because I can quit easily if I don’t like something, I can try random titles. Tonight I watched Lovely, Still starring Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn.  It was very sweet, about two elderly people who meet and fall in love. Of course, there’s a big surprise in the movie, but you’ll just have to watch and see.

All of that to say, I love elderly people. The other night we went to our local retirement community for a Christmas party. It was an upscale event, with lots of family and friends. As we were leaving, I noticed three ladies sitting together, watching the entertainment. If they had family attending, I never saw them. So I sent Rachel over. It took her all of about three seconds, and then the hugging began. I love that she is not only not afraid of seniors, but that she really digs them.

It occurs to me that a lot of elderly people may be lonely this Christmas. Look around – find someone old- reach out to them this Christmas.

And I don’t count.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Holy Sunday

I’m encouraging anyone who HASN’T read the Bible, the ENTIRE Bible, to give it a try. I’m reading the chronological version. So far I’ve finished Genesis and Job. At this rate I’ll be done sometime around June. I’ll keep you posted to any insights I gain. Until then, here’s a quick video from my favorite, Francis Chan.