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change of mind

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It seemed like it would be enjoyable just a few days ago. You know it had been such a good ride up until then. I thought maybe just one more time would be fun. Just a little bit more suspense. An extra helping of drama. Well, after last night I think maybe not. Too late though. Instead of finishing the series in 6 games, now the Rangers press on for game 7. Now there will be no Wild Wings’ extension. All one hundred sixty-whatever games now come down to this one. Come on guys, time to finish it. Time for the drama to be over. And just in case you don’t know this story and haven’t cared about the Series, check out MVP Josh Hamilton’s story here. (If you are wanting to watch the game, but your spouse is not so into that kind of thing, show this story and work for relational buy-in fast so maybe you can have date night over 9 innings. Be careful though, this creating interest strategy often works.)

One side note, I will be doing this last one at a high-school football game with ear phones inserted. Family commitments. Yes, tonight I am that guy that is here and there. If it gets too close, someone may have to phone in the result of the football game.

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unpleasant surprise

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It was a glorious night at the furthest corner of a sprawling, underground restaurant / pub. In this bunker, we shared our stories, laughed with and perhaps a few times at each other, and had a couple Czech guys tell what the Lord has done and is doing in their lives. (Audio of the stories will be posting soon at the Upstream site.) If for no other reason than this night, the trip was a personal gain–an enriching time. All the while though, something dreadful was taking place. It was something none of us could see, but it was among us and impacting our lives both that night and, undoubtedly, for the rest of our trip.

Each of us as we put on whatever we deem sleeping attire (though I am not certain I wonder if Frost was wearing his white satin nightgown that he finds so inspiring), it hit us. Now woven into our clothes was “the stink”. Not only was it now part of our clothes it had been baked onto our skin and saturated our hair–not exactly a problem for all of us. Tossing the clothes aside and scrubbing well, I thought it was all over–we had conquered. That was until I repacked my stuff to head for the train this morning. Folding up a shirt it hit me again. The reek of the stink is pervasive.

So now with my shirt and jeans laden with the stink packed in a closed case with my clean clothes, I am afraid that the stink will have multiplied and nested in each fiber by the time we open our bags. I’m afraid we will be living with the stink for the rest of our time. Of course it’s not such a big deal to stink if everyone else around you does also, but then again maybe we can try to have an upcoming missional conversation in a laundromat.

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reJADED keynotes

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Here is a bit more of several of our keynote speakers / vendors at this year’s reJADED conference:

Bam! Media is helping to make the medium the message. Good and well-done are two adjectives that should never be used regarding media in the church. Instead, we strive for superb, stellar, unparalleled, first rate, oscar-caliber, unbelievably creative, out of this world descriptions for each piece we prepare.

Our research shows that when using top-shelf, highly professional productions, the viewer gets caught up in the experience. Time stands still, distractions disappear, and the piece will be remembered for a long time after the viewing experience. BAM! Media productions are the post-worship conversation. As an added bonus, 93% of our church clients report significant increases in guys that are being called to plant media productions in their communities.

Twitter Salt produces enough creativity for both of us. Twitter salt helps you live in the Twitterverse with a message. The company has a range of services that help users be salt and light to those they are leading and to other leaders in a broad, digital community. 4 key packages are available for purchase today. Also, for the person really seeking to be salt and light, use of multiple packages can help further your efforts and results. Our four highly valued packages are:

  • #BringIt! – features 3 different ways to communicate each Sunday how good your message or song set are going to be. To really get noticed, you need more than “I’m really excited about what I’m sharing today,” or “(our guest speaker) is going to bring it.” While you may not be able to do better than that, we can.
  • #Promote! – helps bring creativity to 10 tweets a day that will promote your latest blog post. We both know it’s important because you wrote it. Let’s get the world to read it.
  • #EchoEchoEcho! – through proprietary algorithmic software, this package provides 2 tweets a day that are guaranteed to get re-tweeted by your followers and help you generate new followers with historical facts, quotes, witty sayings and off the wall thoughts that will improve your Twitter rating and make you one of the cool kids in the Twitterverse.
  • #Tell! – this disciple-making service provides each user with a database of Tweets, each of which compresses the full gospel into a 140 character Tweet. This enables all of your followers to have repeated exposure to the gospel to aid in evangelism or be a key part of a discipleship process. In addition to the 140 character Tweets, there are more than 500 Tweets that communicate aspects of the gospel in a 120 character format making each post more likely to be re-Tweeted.

Mighty Escort enables tomorrow’s big deal to step it up by a day. We can see when a star is rising, but sometimes they need a little help. Mighty Escort (ME) has a full range of services that can be made available for a day, a week or longer. ME supplies a fully trained “Band of Mighty Men” to escort you from your office or a green room to the stage so you can remain focused, ready to bring it without distractions. The band can consist of as many trained bodyguards as you need to provide protection and communicate the message. Some other select services include limo and jet rentals helping you make a subtle statement. Because ME is all about you, we help you arrive.

Holy Stix, we rock your worship! Our clients tell us that our completely original repertoire sticks better than any other songs they have used. We like to think that our lyrics are the holiest, while our tunes are the catchiest. Some of our great hits have included: “I Thought It Was All About Me And Then I Met You And Realized That I Was Badly, Badly Mistaken” and “I Saw Two Sets of Tracks, But Then There Was One; I Knew That It Was Your Footprints In The Sand.”

Projecting Right helps the church look like a church should look in today’s world. Projecting right helps your church campus communicate the right message through making culturally appropriate, architect-designed facades for your buildings. For campuses that need a little missional sprucing up, we can make the most elaborate of facades to announce the new, improved church. Our clients often share that thanks to our re-design, their people are prouder of their church than ever before. Not only are people glad to come to a place with one of our new facades, they are likely to stay minutes longer after the service, begin inviting their friends to special events and hold more key family celebrations on the campus.

Inspired by Mike is the leader in creating the right environment, atmosphere and systems for working with children. Michelangelo was the master of the church mural for centuries. Drawing from his creativity, Inspired by Mike (IbM) prepares children’s areas that are highly creative, fun for children and comforting to moms. With extensive padding embedded into each wall and covered over with hand-drawn murals, rubberized floors with sedating hues, tranquil music and pleasing vegetable aromas, IbM creates a sensory experience that allows for a rowdy, crazy good time, but helps restore order and calmness so that your church can teach your kids the important stuff of life during the children’s hour or two each week.

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reJADED is finally here

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Last year’s JADED conference–yada, yada, yadawas such a success, that 2Good2BeTru Productions is thrilled to announce the 2011 theme of this year’s reJADED conference–turning the tables. This year’s exciting event will feature those that never have a chance to share from the front, the vendors. Each keynote and breakout session will be led by leading vendors in different areas as they educate on trends and provide insight on opportunities to meet the core needs of today’s church and its leaders. Some of the key presenters and their mottos include:

  • Bam! Media – Helping to make the medium the message.
  • Twitter Salt – We have enough creativity for both of us.
  • Mighty Escort – Enabling tomorrow’s big deal to step it up by a day.
  • Holy Stix – We rock your worship!
  • Projecting Right – Helping the church look like a church should look in today’s world.
  • Inspired by Mike – Leaders in creating the right environment, atmosphere and systems for working with children.
  • Top Flite Search – Finding the candidate that’s a cut above to take your organization to the next level.
  • Book Junket – Turning each “significant” thought into a weighty book.

As the conference progresses throughout the day, there will be an updated post to share some of the key points of these keynote presenters. Be sure to check back to be enriched with what they have to share. Also, be looking for quotes from the event on Twitter as the #jaded conversation continues.

Finally, please note that 2Good2BeTru Productions is passionate about clean water for those in need, we are glad to announce that all of this year’s proceeds and donations will go to drilling a new well. This well will enable others to have clean water at our new Augusta, Georgia offices and conference center. We are very excited that the water for next year’s conference will be potable.

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Celebrating One Year!

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I cannot believe that it has already been a year of blogging here. The Almost an M blog has been a healthy exercise for me and, I hope and trust, a worthwhile contribution to the church conversation happening in the west.

In celebration and review, I am listing the 10 days with the most traffic over the past 12 months and the posts that were the primary cause. Based on clicking, here are the top-rated posts:

1. JADED is coming to you and JADED Reviewed – The introduction, launch, and review of “the conference event of the year!?!” (For any who are a touch on the gullible side, I will point out that these posts were done on April 1.)

2. Quick Star Approach – A video clip where a non-believer shares, “I’d like to say something about Christians trying to convert non-Christians.”

3. God’s Stories – Spreading the word about a new video tool that communicates His stories from a middle-Eastern perspective. If you have not seen this before, you need to check it out!

4. London / Paris JetSet Tour Continues – This video clip is from the latest Upstream Collective JetSet tour which I participated in.

5. Farewell Starbucks – A recent post about some life changes and the corresponding missiology that impacts that.

6. Am I crazy? – This has a compelling story and original video piece with Michael Frost about what to I do if a person is frustrated with church as he or she has been experiencing it.

7. Where are you going? – A missiological approach to entering a new place.

8. Six Keys to Save the Church in the West – A review of the key points from Alan Hirsch’s video during The Nines video conference event.

9. The Fight – Here is a touch of story about a fight and a lot of story about our family’s Christmas plans and the discipleship process.

10. Really? – Some quotes from U.S. church. That may not  be a good thing.

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I’m not saying, I’m just saying…

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Thanks to North Point Media for this piece.

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JADED Reviewed

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The first annual JADED conference was insightful and innovative from beginning to end. With so many new voices to the scene, it is hard to identify which speakers and take-away points were most beneficial and worthy of further consideration.

One breakout session facilitated by Bob Dylan and David Crowder was quite profound. During the session, the younger musician shared, “I have always been inspired by Dylan’s hair.” Dylan quickly responded that while he is not challenged in the mustache area, that he does have a “deep respect for that chin thing you wear so well.”

Here is a video that the artists shared to encapsulate their thoughts on the “Death of Performance in Worship.”

While logistically things went rather smooth for such a large production in its first year, there was some tension at moments. Former VP Al Gore and writer and speaker Neil Cole became a little vexed with each other as they were vying for the terms organic and greenhouse. Votes are still being counted to see who won the contest.

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JADED is coming to you

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JADED–“the conference event of the year!?!”–is launching this year. 2Good2BeTru Productions is glad to announce the theme for this annual event launching this year is “yada yada yada.” This one-day conference will provide an innovative, unique take on church. Some of the key speakers and their talks include:

– Jon Stewart will be covering “Today’s Church in the News.”

– Al Gore and Joel Osteen will share the stage and PowerPoint as they teach on “Eschatology: Is it past, present, or the future?”

– Sharon Osborne will speak on “Keeping It Real.”

– Simon Cowell will be communicating the keys to “Selecting Talent to Worship.”

– John Thain will offer from his experience how to “Decorate a Facility on a Tight Budget.”

– John Maxwell will articulate “365 Key Thoughts on Leadership” in 30 minutes.

– Darius Rucker and Rob Thomas will facilitate a discussion on the “Church as a Streetcorner Symphony.”

– David Crowder and Bob Dylan will share thoughts on “The Death of Performance in Worship.”

In addition to this stellar list of speakers, there will be other surprise guests making this the conference event of the year!?!

Further details on this conference and an opportunity to register will be coming soon. To learn more now about the JADED conference check out these stories:

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The Big Red Tractor

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I’m not sure if this guy Francis Chan will ever be much of a speaker or author of books, but he does write a good little parable here. (smile) If you haven’t already seen this video, check out what he says about the church here.

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Art and CPing in KC

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This week at Union Station in Kansas City I saw the following…. Can you guess what it is?


Here’s a little more scope. Figured it out yet?


Zoomed out here…


In Andy Warhol style, there were several different color images of Marilyn Monroe each constructed from cans of food such as tuna and beans. This was one of several constructions designed for a food drive endeavor.

Surely there are many lessons to come from this, but I’ll leave these for the reader.

While in KC, I also had the privilege of meeting with a group of church planters. They were making plans to start 30 churches in the next 10 years. It was a blessing to hear their hearts and to be a small part of the opening questions we should be asking session. I have already and will continue to pray for you guys. Press on!

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