Month: March 2012

The Eric Trap has arrived… kinda

So this is what just arrived in the mail yesterday. It’s so exciting to see the culmination of this project. It’s truly been something that’s been in the works for years. It was so much fun putting it together and I think it’s going to be even more fun interacting with people who read it.

You may be wondering… “how do I get a copy?”

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Get a $10,000 raise this year!

The title sounds appealing, doesn’t it? I didn’t pick a misleading title, I really meant it. Most people reading this right now apply and are eligible for this $10,000 raise regardless of how much you make right now. What’s the catch. We’ll it’s not a get rich quick scam. It’s called frugal living.

Several years ago, my wife found a blog series about finding 100 ways to save $100 in a year. If you could find 100, then your annual savings would literally be $10,000. Some people live very frugally, but most people have a lot of fluff in their budget… even if they don’t make a lot of money.

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Digital signatures for volunteer documents

I have questions that have both a technological and legal aspects. More and more our ministries are moving toward a digital medium. One of the biggest holdups for many volunteer processes is “paperwork.” It’s frustrating as we have conversations with people, meet them in person and then say, oh, fill out these pages and then we’ll get the ball rolling. Some of us have taken additional steps in putting all of these forms online, but it still usually requires someone to download the form, print and sign it. Once this is finished, those volunteers either mail it in, hand deliver it or scan/fax/email back to us. For living in the 21st century, this seems like a bunch of steps from digital to analog and back to digital again. I’m wondering though if we can keep the process purely digital. Here are my thoughts followed by questions.

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Book recommendation on initiative

Does anyone have a recommendation for me on a great book about initiative. I’m helping someone with a development plan and one area I’m recommending for improvement is in the area of initiative. I’m assuming I was shaped early in life with a strong drive to get up and get things done, or it was baked into my personality. However, I’m hoping there is a great resource that might help someone who wasn’t shaped that same way. I really like the book Eat That Frog as it deals with procrastination and getting things done and that might be a supplemental book that I use, but I’m looking for other suggestions as well. Thanks for your help!

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In search of the perfect printer

Okay, I need a little help from some fellow tech geeks. I have a 6 year old Dell laser printer which has been a fantastic little printer. I was using a wireless printer server for about 3 years until it crashed and burned a few months ago. I could never get my mac to print wirelessly, so I always had to email stuff to the PC and print from there. I’ve been setting aside some cash and I think I have enough now to get what I want. So, here is what I’m looking for and I’m hoping that someone can tell me what I could get.

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Want more volunteers?

In the Fall, I have the honor of speaking at the Institute of Children’s Ministry ICM in North Carolina and became friends with Jason Vernon, a pastor in North Carolina’s research triangle. Although he is a senior pastor, he’s a huge advocate for Children’s Ministry. I happend to be on his church’s website today and I saw something I really liked. His church, RTP Community Church is not a huge church. Rather, it represents the demographic of most churches in the United States. However, I was highly impressed by how they manage their volunteer process on their website.

It reminded me of Jim Wideman’s principles as illustrated in his book STRETCH. If you’ll organize your systems, you’re only preparing yourself and making capacity for growth. If you want more volunteers, you have to prepare yourself to handle them. That’s what I saw on the RTP Community Church website.

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Vote! Vote! Vote! It’s not over!

I contemplated putting the picture of a fat female opera singer here and calling this post, “it ain’t over,” but I thought some people might have a problem with that. I digress.

We’re only a few hours until the Blog Madness competition closes for the second round. Early this week I encouraged you to vote for Jenny Funderburke. At this moment, she’s in the lead by 21 votes. I’ve done this enough times to see 20-30 votes come in over a span of 10-15 minutes. It’s ridiculous. So, let’s say we rally together and make sure she goes to the final four.

Click here to vote for Jenny. She’s in the Midwest Regional.

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App of the week: Keynote Remote

A sure fire, no miss app for me that has saved my hide on many occasions this year has been Keynote Remote. If you use a mac personally or use macs for presentations at church or other speaking opportunities, I’d highly suggest investing in this very useful app for your iPad, iPod or iPhone. I’ve found myself in situations where the remote clicker I needed to use for a presentation could not get a clear line of site with the compter or perhaps I was too far away from the compter to get an appropriate signal to control the slideshow.

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Blue Like Jazz blacklisted

Yesterday I posted what may be taken as a harsh critique of Christian media. I do realize that personal opinion and preference is often going to play into critiques, so no one is entirely objective (including myself). There have been a handful of Christian movies, many Christian books and scores of Christian songs that have impacted me, and still do. I think I’m just excited about a fresh perspective in the “Christian” genre. There is certainly room for others, right?

What probably prompted yesterday’s post and my passion was probably the frustration I felt when reading a post by Steve Taylor on Donald Miller’s blog which was late picked up by Christianity Today.

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My problem with Christian media

I really enjoy reading, especially fiction. I have so many books on my “to read” list and sometimes I can get into a rut. The cure is to pick up a work of fiction to keep me going. While in Middle School, I was first exposed to Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness. For years it held the “my favorite book” award in my heart. Unfortunately, it’s been 20+ years since I’ve read it and it’s become more of a distant memory. Then something changed.

In the past 5-10 years, I’ve become increasingly tired of most Christian media, primarily novels and movies.

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