Well, it’s a little too early to do the 2009 wrap-up (have you read the 2008 wrap-up?). But I do need to share some breaking news…

I’m changing jobs, again… sort of. Over the course of my life, I have worked as:

  • landscaper
  • paperboy
  • burger flipper (at McDonald’s)
  • sandwich artist (at Subway)
  • salesman (at a music store, yes I got paid to tune drums & guitars all day)
  • delivery boy (at my future mother en-law’s restaurant)
  • AC fabricator & installer
  • sign shop manager
  • business owner of my own graphic design firm
  • framer
  • snowboard designer
  • youth pastor
  • worship leader
  • media pastor
  • executive pastor
  • communications pastor

I was hired on at Rancho Community Church and School in 2009 as, “Pastor of Communications for Church & School” (I know, kind of a lame title). My basic job description was to help with the look & feel of both the church and school, and help with the internal and external communications of both organizations. I began my time at Rancho in March (February, really, but who’s counting), and basically I split my time equally between church and school – I even had two separate offices. I went to work immediately on helping re-brand the church, with Pastor Scott’s vision of five values – we landed on a really cool logo, and are currently in the process of slowly re-branding and re-skinning the church (it’s a huge process). I knew that the school would have to go through the same process, but I just couldn’t land on a look & feel… So it waited. I spent my school time trying to connect with staff and parents, to get a good idea what the vibe was over there; know what I learnt? School is VERY different than church. But I really got to get a good feel and began honing in on how we could really revitalize our look, and maybe create a whole new sense of excitement. Little did I know this was a catalyst to a pretty major change for me.

(By the way, that picture up there, that’s the new School logo – pretty stoked about it).

And here’s the news:
As of December 1st, I will be known as “Director of Admissions & Family Relations” for our school. I’m not really sure exactly what that all means and entails, but I do know that I get the opportunity to work with some really gifted and committed people at our school. For those who don’t know, our school is pretty amazing – it encompasses preschool through 10th grade, and currently has about 750 students.

I’m excited and a little freaked out at the same time. Here’s why…

I’m excited because:

  • This is a great opportunity to learn and grow – it’s a challenge.
  • I get to work with our admissions department, marketing, public relations – really creatively marketing our school.
  • I get to be on the same campus where my kids are going to school.
  • We’ll be going through a major look & feel overhaul – which I love!
  • I get to use leadership gifts, serving the staff and sharing some of the things I’ve learned, and hope to learn.
  • I get to reside in one office – this is new for me, I’m usually mobile.
  • I get to work closely with school parents (our customers) to help make sure we as a school are serving their needs in a way that honors Christ and meets the highest standards.

I’m a little freaked out because:

  • I’m pretty sure I’m not qualified for this position – I NEVER thought I’d be a school administrator.
  • I’ve been a pastor for the past 12 years – that’s been my identity, this is new. And yes, “pastor” is relative – there are tons of “pastors” out there who don’t pastor, and I realize that this is ministry – it’s just a little funky & I’m trying to be real. I guess what I am saying is that I will continue to “pastor” even though I won’t have the title. (this is a whole ‘nother post).
  • School is a different atmosphere than church, it scares me a bit (actually, a lot).
  • I could fail pretty hard-core and it wouldn’t be pretty.
  • I “get” to work in one office – this means I’m not as mobile as I’m used to being.
  • I think I have to dress better.
  • Did I mention that I could fail at this job?

Anyway, just thought I’d let everyone know what is up. I will continue to be very involved with the church, especially with the look & feel, graphic design, working with our Ministry Communications team, and working closely with our Executive Pastor, Don Hallworth (who, by the way is a stud, my mentor, and an all-around amazing guy) – Don and I strategize on a number of things pertaining to our church and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

I can’t believe how God continues to show himself faithful to our family, not only meeting our basic needs, but giving us the desires of our hearts. If you think of us, please keep us in prayer as our family adjusts to what this means for us as a family, and as I adjust to this new role personally. We’d appreciate any prayers.

Thanks for readin’ (hopefully I can get back on the blog every-once-in-a-while).

The other day I wrote a post entitled, “What I like“. So now it’s time for, “What I don’t like”. In honor of that, I present you with the most cynical, yet honest man alive to introduce this segment…

  • I don’t like it when it gets over 95.
  • I don’t like bad drivers (there’s a TON in Temecula).
  • I don’t like bad attitudes.
  • I don’t like political shows.
  • I don’t like made up rules about religion that are followed simply out of tradition.
  • I don’t like people who are always pointing fingers.
  • I don’t like paying bills.
  • I don’t like that there’s no decent internet in Wine Country.
  • I don’t like nuts (peanuts are ok though, same with pistachios).
  • I don’t like Christians who polarize around a non-essential issues.
  • I don’t like confrontation.
  • I don’t like the 91 Freeway, at all.
  • I don’t like that Mexico isn’t safe right now, because I really like Mexico.
  • I don’t like the “sauce” on In-N-Out Burgers.
  • I don’t like Chipotle – call me a heratic, I do not like that place.

That’s about it for now – what about YOU?

I saw this idea over here & thought, what the heck – I’m not blogging much and this is a good idea for a post.

  • I like my kids’ imagination (that’s them as Jedi Knights)
  • I like my job
  • I like living in Temecula
  • I like Twitter
  • I like Facebook
  • I like Wii
  • I like that Conan Obrien is the host of The Tonight Show (I can go to bed an hour earlier now)
  • I like good design
  • I like good photography
  • I like the beach
  • I like people (really, I do)
  • I like epic movies
  • I like walking with my wife (anywhere)
  • I like playing drums
  • I like playing guitar
  • I like to strategize
  • I like to cook
  • I like to have friends over
  • I like it when the kick & snare are really tight & loud
  • I like the internet

What do YOU like?

I get this question a lot, “You must spend a TON of time on Facebook”, or “You’re so addicted to Facebook!”

Truth be told, I am spending more time on Facebook lately, but I never update my status from there – I use Twitter (as I’m sure many of you do). Here’s some reasons why:

  • I was using Twitter before I joined Facebook
  • When I update Twitter, I’m (a) reaching an immediate network of over 600 people, and (b) reaching potentially thousands more thru friends of friends on Twitter
  • I can do it from my phone, anywhere, anytime
  • I can do it from an app like Tweetie (not having to open a webpage)
  • Did I mention that I can do it from my phone, anywhere, anytime?
    Maybe I’m putting the cart before the horse here – maybe you’re not convinced that Twitter is a valuable use of your time (to which I would argue that if you update your status on Facebook, ever, than Twitter will be valuable to you).

Now back to the main point: How to connect your Facebook account with your Twitter account. Rather than reinvent the wheel here, I went out and found the best tutorial I could find.

Here’s a little tutorial on how to have Twitter update your Facebook status. (note: on step #2 you may need to click on the “Application” tag. See screen shots below).

Click on the “Applications” tab.

Click on the application name: Twitter, and then continue following the tutorial.

That’s it. Now you are a power Facebook/Twitter user. Every time you update your twitter, your Facebook status will be updated. And from my experience, there’s not much lag.

Any questions?

Oh yeah, if you’re not following me on Twitter, go on over and follow me.

I’m just starting to really get the hang of Facebook pages – let’s just say I’m pretty much infatuated with them right now (although I wish they would let you do recurring events…). I’ve set up seven pages in the past month and it’s been really cool to see them grow and be a hub for online community.

One of the biggest questions I get about pages is, “How do I tell people about them?” which really means, “How do I tell people about the page, online”. It’s really a lot easier than you might think & here’s my three step process to promote your page.

When you’re on your Facebook Page (not your Profile Page), look over to the left, under your photo and there’s a small button labeled “More” – go ahead & click on that.

When you click on “More”, it will reveal “more” options for you, one being, “Suggest to Friends” – click on that.

When you click on “Suggest to Friends”, another window will pop-up with all your friends. Simply start typing the name of a friend who you want to suggest this page to and click “Send Invitations”. You can add as many of your friends as you want here (I think).

And there you have it! They will all get a little notification that you think this page would be something they’d be interested in, and before you know it, you will feel like a rock star with a plethora of “Fans”.

Till next time…

I was a late adopter to Facebook – I’ll admit it, when I first checked it out I didn’t get it; it seemed way to complicated. Well things have changed, and Facebook has become my online portal/community.

One of the complaints I often hear from people who are new or wary of joining Facebook is, all the poking, pie throwing, charm giving, personality quiz’s, which disney character are you quiz, how well you know that person from 8th grade, and on, and on, and on it goes. There’s good news for you!

The wise folks at Facebook have made it SUPER easy for you to filter that junk out. Here’s one easy way to cut down on all that garbage.

DISCLAIMER: If you like to spend endless hours filling out these tests and throwing virtual water balloons, read no further.

Here’s a typical quiz that shows up on your wall; taking up your precious real estate. Maybe you just can’t wait to find out what Disney Character you are, for me, not so much. There’s a very easy way to make sure this NEVER happens to you again.

All you have to do is roll your mouse pointer over the upper right side of the post. When you do this a magic “Hide” button appears. When you click on the button, two options appear. In the graphic above, I’ve selected to hide the quiz from my wall, forever banishing this application to underworld of the internet. So to be clear, I will NEVER see this quiz again, no matter how many of my friends take it.

Now let’s say you have a friend who takes like 4 quiz’s an hour, loading up your page with their results & inviting you to join in the fun. Well, you really have no choice but to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” And with the click of a button, you will never see another quiz, pie, waterballoon, or poke. That’s right you can simply hide their status updates from your wall.

Ahhhh can you feel the peace and quiet?

That’s all for tonight folks – have fun hiding things & people. And if you want to see what quizzes I’m taking, add me as a friend.

Just thought I’d share…

(and these are not in any order, just the top 10)

  1. End of the Innocence (Don Henley version – yes, that’s right, not the )
  2. Jump (Van Halen)
  3. Little Wing (Stevie Ray Vaughn)
  4. Stir it Up (Bob Marley)
  5. Broken Arrow (The Album Leaf)
  6. MLK (U2 – I know a strange one, but gets me every time)
  7. Blessed be Your Name (Matt Redman, although I have a ripped copy of a Steve Fee 7:22 version that I like the best)
  8. Don’t (Elvis, again I have a version done by David Gilmore of Pink Floyd that I prefer)
  9. Danny’s Song (Loggins & Messina – this reminds me of when I was a kid, my parents played this album all the time)
  10. Mercy Street (Peter Gabriel – from the Growing Up Live album)

Honorable mentions:

  • Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd / David Gilmore)
  • Any song from John Mayer’s Continuum
  • (Stone Temple Pilots)
  • Running Down a Dream (Tom Petty)
  • Pretty much anything by Sarah McLachlan (Yes, I know, I lose my man card)
  • Wind of Change (Acoustic Alchemy)
  • Run to You (Bryan Adams)
  • Stranger in Moscow (Michael Jackson)
  • Everybody’s Changing (Keane)
  • Viternoll2 (Kent – love playing this on Guitar Hero!)
  • Viva La Vida (Coldplay)
  • Irish Girl (Adrian Legg)
  • Walking in Memphis (Marc Cohn)
  • When You Say Nothing (Alison Krause)

Of course I’m sure this would be different in about a month, but how about you? Your Top 10?

Our Middle School Department came up with a cool idea for their events – they want the kids to take photos & videos with their cameras & cell phones, then somehow collect all the media centrally & edit it together to make a presentation when the event is over. Personally, I love the idea and want to make it happen today! But I do have some questions for those who have done this before or just know more about this than us. So here’s some random statements and questions:

  • My initial thought was to create a Flickr account & pass out the username/password combo to everyone. Of course we’d monitor it and change the password once we had a good collection. But is that easy enough? Can most phones today connect to Flickr?
  • What about just an email account? I worry that videos might be a problem for that?
  • Is there something out there that works for both photos & videos that is SUPER easy to explain and works with phone & email?

So if you wouldn’t mind sharing your thoughts, ideas, expertice, I would really appreciate it!

Thanks!

So I was casually listening to the Saddleback Worship Conference online today, when I heard some stuff that spoke right to who I am… It was from Dan Cathy, chief operating officer of the Atlanta-based chain, Chick-Fil-A. Here’s my random notes:

“If people don’t leave your church/organization and tell other people about what a GREAT EXPERIENCE they’ve had then you haven’t created RAVING FANS”

“It takes practice to play music” anyone can play notes (He’s a trumpeter for his church)

Almost 1 million fans on Facebook, started & maintained by fans

Over 4k Youtube Chick Filet Videos

People in Chicago started a campaign to bring Chik Filet to their city

2nd Mile Service = 1st Mile – head / 2nd Mile – heart

1st Mile is doing things by the book, the 2nd Mile is doing things from the heart.

The 2nd Mile is about going above and beyond – serving others from the heart.

It’s a lot easier to have a 99 cent menu than to change the hearts of 16 year olds (learning to serve, have integrity, character, etc.)

It’s not TGIF, it’s TGIM!

Make it personal. The business is a family. The kids played at the restaurant, with the employees.

It’s not just about eating good food – it’s about having an emotional connection. People cared, family, fellowship.

“These are people who’ve known me for 40 years.”

“Dad made it personal – he knew we could change lives by how we treat people.”

Eat more Chicken & Ispire more People / Burning Brush (books)

*don’t quote me on my quotes…

Those notes are random, I know – sorry I guess they are more for me. But if you notice on that graphic, Chick-fil-A is striving to CREATE RAVING FANS, and by doing so, they’re business is growing and they have what you CANNOT pay for: a GREAT Reputation! They live this out in three ways:

  1. Operational Excellence – they have a great product, and they do it right. Ever been inside a Chick-fil-A? Always clean, slick menu’s & ads, great food, etc. Imagine what is going on behind the scenes – all the operations, management, financing, planning, etc.
  2. 2nd Mile Service – going above and beyond. Serving others from the heart – not just handing them a Chicken Sandwich. Pulling out chairs, opening doors, smiling, saying “It’s my pleasure to serve you!”.
  3. Emotional Connections – It’s about people. We’re often told “it’s not personal…” what a crock. People hurt, people have feelings, people are God’s creation. Looking at people as more than customers – as real people, who have real needs, who may need just a little more than what they are paying for.
    By living those tenants out, Chick-fil-A has become an incredibly successful franchise. And if you notice, they don’t have commercials on the major networks. They have RAVING FANS – who do their marketing for them, because they LOVE the company.

I think the implications for the church, or other organizations are obvious.

I’m seriously trying to figure out how to get in contact with Dan – anyone have any suggestions? (Follow him on twitter here)

Rather than fancy writing, I’m just going to mind dump “what’s up” in my life. Here goes:

  • Well, just like many of you, the blog has taken second fiddle to Twitter/Facebook.
  • I’m not reading blogs & I’m not writing on mine (much).
  • If you want me to read your blog, twitter when you post – I’ll try and catch it.
  • I love my new job.
  • I love my new church.
  • I’m stoked that we are partnering with Impact Church to plant Rancho Community Murrieta (looks like I’m right back into church planting).
  • Miss my buddy Vince – but stoked that he has a new job!
  • I’m currently watching “America’s Got Talent”, and like I said a year ago, it should be called “America’s Got NO Talent”.
  • I’m designing a ton, including a brand new website for Rancho Community – working with @worshiptechie on it; he’s making it work (we’re using Drupal in case anyone is wondering).
  • Working with my buddy Trasier on a project called “TasteofTemecula.net” (I hate capitalized letters in URL’s…)
  • Took the kids to UP – a great movie, probably over their heads (yes, that was a pun).
  • Reading “Life Together” by Bonheoffer – blowing my mind.
  • Finished “What is a Healthy Church” by Mark Dever – a good little read, challenging for church planter yahoos (like me).
  • Got to play drums 3x’s in the past couple months for @rkweblog, @tysonmorlet, and @ericbeeman.
  • Miles is now headed to First Grade – it will be his first time going to school 5 days a week, all day (he turns 7 in September!).
  • I’m so blessed that I get to work at the same school that both my kids go to (yes, I work at the church and the school).
  • I’m seriously struggling with envy every time I look at my phone – I want a Palm Pre.
  • I started the year reading through the Bible chronologically. I failed.
  • I think I’m going to do the Read the Bible in 90 days.
  • Out of nowhere, I’ve been having high blood pressure; usually I’m 110/70 with a heart rate of 50. Two weeks ago I was 160/70/50, this week I’ve been 130/70/50. Went to the doc and she said to stop drinking coffee, exercise more, and watch it for a month. Attempting all three, so we’ll see.
  • Been trying to get inspired by looking at other designers – lots of delicious tagging going on.
  • I met a guy who brews his own beer – after our conversation, I walked away with 2 “how to” books, which are incredible. There may be a “McLean Triple Chocolate Stout” on the horizon.
  • I’m excited to be going to the Antioch School of Ministry starting in the fall – in four years I’ll be able to say I’ve been educated.
  • We moved, again. This time out to the Temecula Wine Country. We’re on 5 acres of wine grapes – everyone is super stoked – fits us like a glove, since both Jen and I pretty much grew up together in Wine Country (Ok, I didn’t really grow up with her, but we’ve been together for over 15 years).
  • We currently have no Cable, no phone, and (gulp), no internet. That’s right. I’ve been tethering my phone when I need to get online. (We do get about 4 TV stations).
  • I’ve gotten back on the Mountain Bike about 3 times in the last couple weeks – feels good. For those that don’t know, I used to be a pretty adamant biker (& surfer).
  • Jen and I are currently reading “Shepherding Your Child’s Heart” by Tripp. We have a huge desire to be great (not good) parents. If you pray for us – pray that we would love & shepherd our children like God does his.
  • I’m getting tired of having only “Christian” friends (no offense to you who are). I need to do some things to get out of the church/christian bubble – Christ’s command was to go out, into the world.
  • Pastor Scott is teaching through Isaiah over the next few weeks – I CAN’T WAIT (and that is not an exaggeration). I think we will get a clearer understanding of God’s plan for Salvation & Redemption.
  • I recently went from following over 600 people on Twitter, to a more manageable 150 or so. Life is quieter.
  • I’m learning patience from my children and my job. I’ve realized that I am impatient and often motivated by the wrong things. I’m hoping to trust God more and relax.
  • I’ve been blessed beyond what I deserve and have every reason to be thankful and joyful – and I intend to live into that more.
    Thanks for reading!