temecula

If you know me, you know I’m a “Raving Fan” of Chick-fil-A. I’ve always been a fan – the food is great, the atmosphere is so positive, and like I’ve told my wife, I’ve never even had a “not great” experience there. When we go there and we’re fumbling around with the kids, their stuff, our stuff, trying to order, find a seat, and all that – it’s nice to have a smiling face and even nicer to have the food brought to the table.

When I first came to Rancho, I had this crazy idea of pulling our entire staff together to encourage them and remind them that we (church/school) are one team, with one vision and mission. I had just heard Dan Cathy speak at the Saddleback Worship Conference, and was blown away with his presentation; and, I remembered that Chick-fil-A had brought lunch to our VBS about a month earlier, so I called them up with two requests:

A. How does one go about getting Dan Cathy to speak at an event?
B. Would they be interested in feeding our staff?

Well, number two was easy for them as they just had to cook up 180 Chick-fil-A Sandwiches. Number one was a little bit harder – Dan Cathy lives in Georgia, so getting him out here was not that easy. However, Andrew (his son), works in Southern California and was available. He came and spoke and really made the day inspirational – talking about “Operational Excellence, 2nd Mile Service, and Emotional Connections”. We were so appreciative of Andrew and our local (Temecula) Chick-fil-A.

 

I don’t have a lot of time to blog lately, and tonight is no exception. But I did want to take a minute and share why I am a big Chick-fil-A fan.

I’ve always loved Chick-fil-A, ever since they came to Temecula & Murrieta; before that I had no idea what it was or even how to pronounce it. I loved the food, the service, the fun stuff they did, and just the over all experience. They always seemed to show up at conferences & church events with free food – I knew something was up. Then a couple months ago, I saw Dan Cathy share at the Saddleback Worship Conference about “Creating Raving Fans”, and I was mezmorized – I blogged about it.

After that short exposure to the Chick-fil-A model, I wondered if it would be possible to get him to come to Rancho Community to share with us and encourage our staff – it was shot in the dark. So I sent out an email and in my inbox was a response from our local Chick-fil-A saying that Dan’s son, Andrew was in Southern California and we could possibly get him to come. I was stoked to say the least. I responded and before I knew it we had Andrew booked to share with our entire staff, along with complimentary Chick-fil-A from our local Temecula store, run by Elizabeth Fritz – SCORE!

Needless to say, Andrew Cathy came and shared his heart with us and totally blew us away – I was so grateful. The staff from the Temecula store was amazing, as was the lunch! I recieved a copy of Truett Cathy’s “Eat More Chickin…”, which I am currently reading, and was just energized to continue in my role – to do the best and really go the extra mile for people.

Today (Labor Day), we decided to do something fun with the kids, and the first thing to come to my mind was, Chick-fil-A. Little did we know that today was “wear your team jersey and get a free Chick-fil-A sandwich”. We missed the mem0 and when we got there, the line was out the door, but we were committed. As usual we had an amazing experience, great food & great service. We saw about 3 other people we knew from the community, which is so cool. And the older man that roams the restaurant gave Miles and Macy 2 free Kids Meal tickets. This place knows how to “Create Raving Fans”.

So I just want to send out some props to Chick-fil-A, Andrew, Dan, Elizabeth, Mary-Joe, and the whole Temecula team. Thank you so much, you’ve got a family of fans for life!

It was with heavy hearts that Scott Treadway (Rancho Community Church), and Jim Palmer (Orange County Rescue Mission) announced at a community forum on Thursday evening, August 27th, that the Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission was pulling its application for the proposed Summerhouse project. For Jen and I it just felt so wrong, thus the title of this post. But we trust that God has a plan to help the least, the last, and the lost and we will continue to support any effort to do so.

I don’t have all the inside information, and legal details that go along with this – but I think I have a pretty good understanding of what happened, and at the very least I have my first hand experiences at both the meeting hosted at Rancho Community Church last Tuesday and the Community meeting at the CRC last Thursday. Also, I need to say that I am not speaking on behalf of Rancho Community or the Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission – these are just my thoughts.

We have a mandate (especially if you are a Christian) to help the poor.
We have poor and homeless people and families in Temecula (and Murrieta, and every surrounding community).
We have chronically homeless people, we have people who have made terrible choices with their lives, we have people who have just run into impossible situations and have been left with nothing (and everything in between).
All of these people need help.
The Summerhouse project (the 20 unit portion) was designed to take in “Families” in transition. This is where I think people have been mis-informed. These families are the SAME families that were living next door to the SAME people who are protesting. These are families who’s children go to the SAME schools as the people who are protesting. These are people who last year were living in 2000+ square foot homes with two cars, two jobs, and two kids…
The Orange County Rescue mission has a 40+ year successful history of running projects like the proposed Summerhouse (20 Unit) project. They have a comprehensive system that they run families through to give them transitional housing, resource them, and get them back into the middle class society.
I think what people don’t understand, or won’t understand is that homeless families are in Temecula right now. One of the arguments was that this project would attract homeless; they are here now. And now we have no solution for families, other than local people giving of their personal homes & finances.
Today I’m sad. Sad because our community failed to recognize and act together to meet the need of families in our own neighborhoods. No wonder there’s no peace amongst nations – we can’t even get it right with those people we see, live with, and work with everyday.
I’m also sad because fear overcame hope this week in Temecula. Fear of the unknown, fear of giving, fear of opening our hands and sharing our “neighborhood” with those less fortunate, fear of living a life of meaning – helping people around us.
But I am hopeful, because I believe in a God of restoration and my family and I will continue to work and pray for God’s Kingdom to come on Earth…
If you are feeling like I am, I would encourage you to a) pray (for our city, the opposition, the homeless, the rescue mission) b) write a letter to the city council members showing your support for projects like Summerhouse, and c) volunteer at the Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission by contacting David Jones at 951.252.1200 or email him.

*Updated*

Here’s a couple links to some other blog posts on Summerhouse:

James Doezie http://jamesdoezie.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/if-we-have-received-mercy/
Rich Kirkpatrick http://www.richkirkpatrick.com/rich_kirkpatricks_weblog/2009/08/summerhouse-will-temecula-city-council-cave-in-to-the-misinformed.html