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times may be tough...

times may be tough, but i LOVE a church that uses divergent thinking to bring creativity, truth and even...fun together into one seamless message...

question: what would happen in your church if you attempted this (assuming talent wasn't an issue)? would you be willing to use this video in your church?

for those who live in the fishbowl of the public eye...

the following video is a read-through from jenna and barbara bush - george w.'s daughters. i post this today because ministry, music, politics and public life is often referred to as a fishbowl.

for those who are children in the fishbowl...listen carefully to the last 10-15 seconds...

for those who are parents, remember your first priority!

ignoring the problem

curious...have you ever ignored a problem, thinking it would "just go away?"

i have - in fact, i kind of am right now. the past few days i've been coughing, sneezing, dealing with sinus pressure and a headache - i haven't gone to the doctor because i'm hoping it'll just go away. and even though i ignore going to the doctor, i still have the same problems. (although much less severe now - im just about over it)

one definition of ignore (based on the latin) is "to not know"

Question: how do you "not" know?

the problem with ignoring is not that we don't know - it's that we know, but pretend "to not know" - which is really an issue of our choices.

choices...choices are powerful and choices are permanent

life is full of them - my friend chris maxwell has a powerful post here about the number 30 - it's a must read! he talks about choices in it and gives us some things to think about.

all it takes is 30 seconds, or 3 seconds...all it takes is one instance of "ignoring" - pretending that we don't know something, when in fact we do.

proverbs 1:25 gives us a powerful image of what ignoring something (or someone) can do: "since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; will mock when calamity overtakes you"
if you're unfamiliar with this part of the Bible, the primary theme has to do with wisdom. starting in the first part of chapter 1 of proverbs, you hear words of instruction...from there it moves to words of temptation, finally it moves to words of salvation or destruction - depending on whether or not we choose to "ignore" - pretend we don't know.

the interesting thing is that God always gives instruction and direction for man's good (although we may not always see it or think so) - but man in his selfish motives and refusal to accept the words, will ignore them quite often - which leads to destruction

i see people all the time who ignore a problem - perhaps it's an aging relative that won't see the doctor because they don't want to possibly hear traumatic or life-altering words from the doctor's lips - perhaps it's a parent who refuses to have his son or daughter tested at school because they don't want to hear that their child has a learning difficulty or behavior problem - perhaps it's a husband that refuses to take the car to the repairman because he's afraid of the costs associated with the repair - perhaps it's an auto maker that refuses to hear the negative sales numbers and brushes it aside chalking it up to a recession - perhaps it's a friend that refuses to confront another friend's sin because she or he knows that it may be worse than imagined - perhaps it's a pastor that refuses to believe that he or she is not effectively communicating and leading the congregation and it could be on their shoulders (instead chalking it up to (an uncooperative spirit in the people, or, a refusal to change in the people) perhaps...

perhaps if we stop playing games, stop ignoring situations (such as those mentioned above) and started seeking solutions. the interesting thing is that in ALL of the scenarios mentioned above, help could be found, solutions would quite likely be available and a different outcome could be experienced...

if we don't ignore the problem

the choice it your...

the choice is mine!

2008 recap

spent several hours today reviewing all of my blog posts and reflecting on them and the kind of year it was. i'm going to highlight some of them here just cause i think some of them are really "that" good. some are just good reminders. some are just funny. some are just random. some are memorable.

but first, some quick stats:
  • in 2008 i posted almost 160 blog posts (including this one)
  • as of 12/29/2008, the following stats are correct:
  • i had 4,811 visits to www.rickwomack.com
  • they came from 55 different countries
  • there were 2,271 unique visitors to the site
  • the "daniel fast" and "lakeland revival" posts generated the most pageviews
  • facebook was e the most referring site
  • almost 60% of my readers use internet explorer - 36% use firefox (my favorite)
  • the following are search phrases people used to find my site (really interesting): "babboon butts" - "fat christians" - "redneck truck" - "wheat" - "addiction to spring water" - "cars up on blocks" - "family don't care about me" - "family why don't they care" - "oh what a night in late december and word" - "redneck ice cream man" - "the pray of a warthog" - "what denomination is rick womack a part of" (for the one that searched for this - it's the iphc) - "who won the rick womack election" (didn't know i had one)
  • i average around 20 views a day - i've peaked at 50 on one day (during the election) and have had 0 on several days
  • the key is consistency though - the more regular i post, the more people read (which it'd be hard to read if i didn't post so that sounded really stupid)
my top picks (or, the posts that i'm really proud of or think were really good)
  • a new word - why i like it: "generationism - the prejudice of one generation toward another. you see, i strongly sense that God wants to release the younger generation to operate with the blessing and support of the older generation, however, He also wants the younger generation to be a people of the Spirit and the Word and prove the "worth" of their calling by being devoted to God without a 'chip on their shoulder' - i also sense that God wants to bring a mutual respect between the generations that advance quickly the Kingdom of God! finally, i believe the greatest days are yet ahead for the iphc as i survey the landscape and sense that God is raising up future leaders to march alongside present leaders"
  • a year of new beginnings - why i like it: "so, tonight as i write my last post regarding cotn, i do so with a lot of thankfulness and a whole lot of expectation as i and my family look to the future..."
  • the challenge - why i like it: "i AM however, out to see my young son grow up to be a man! i'm going counter-culture on this deal called parenthood and intentionally making a disciple"
  • analytical vs. critical - why i like it: "God wired me to be analytical...sometimes it's a blessing, sometimes a curse...i tend to process information at an extremely fast rate, move quickly from information to information and attempt to digest the critical and most important parts - selective learning i guess would be a good name for it. however, the part that i have to guard is the propensity to become critical"
  • dinner and a show - why i like it: because it was funny!
  • your old strategies don't work anymore - why i like it: "do we ever strop to consider that what worked in late 20th century may not work in the 21st? do we ever slow down long enough and look at something so simple as a phone (or a bulletin, overhead, flannel graph) perhaps doesn't work as an effective strategy?"
  • a weekend away - why i like it: it too is funny - not the pic you want to see on a romantic getaway
  • 5 levels of vision - why i like it: it's short and practical
  • critiquing vs. criticizing - why i like it: it resonates with me plus this ending thought that i had: "what if the resistance that is met because a volunteer is challenging evreything is really a leadership quality trying to arise and your system of leadership development won't allow for it to reach its potential?"
  • leadership blockages - why i like it: short and pracitcal
  • negative messages - why i like it: because i don't like negative messages in church or businesses
  • jesus as a sanitation worker - why i like it: because its one of MANY really bad church sigsn i've seen this year
  • better than a car propped up on blocks - why i like it: its funny (and really redneck looking)
  • this sunday night download - why i like it: because we pulled off a great surprise on my dad's 60th birthday
  • challenge the process - why i like it: i just do
  • 13 years ago today - why i like it: because it's my honest attitude as a parent
  • never say goodbye - why i like it: it's timely and important
  • creating interest and habit - why i like it: "we have to give people a 'reason' to WANT to come to our church - that's called interes...then we work on the 'habit' of them coming to church - that's why we do sermon series (at least that's my hope!) - if you're NOT doing sermon series...start! AND, give them a reason to come back the next week"
  • DNA - why i like it: because i think it's pretty original and comes out of a place of discovery
  • the manhood meal - why i like it: it's a day i'll NEVER forget and neither will me son! (and it's follow through!)
  • my thoughts about today - why i like it: "i think it's wonderful that we do have our first black president. is he my choice? no! but apparently he is God's choice for this season and i will do all that i can to pray for him and believe that God will use him to govern the affairs of men rightly and justly - may God bless America and may God bless Barak Obama!"
  • how to know if you're a leader - why i like it: leadership is NEVER alone...
  • stewardship of a problem - why i like it: "when God sends "new problems" your way, EMBRACE them! solve them! love them! (don't loath them)! and LOOK for more new problems...because new problems are an opportunity for stewardship...how will we respond?"
  • stewardship of a problem pt. 2 - why i like it: i share four important principles
  • so this is christmas - why i like it: it involves goats, septic tank trucks and UGA.
  • how much do you want to change? - why i like it: "the question is not really how much do you want to change, it's more of, how much pain are you willing to endure because once you do change, things will not be the same - which leads to, how much pain are you really in right now?"