Monthly Archives: September 2011

Outspoken

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I doubt there would be many people who would disagree with me if I said I was “outspoken.” While I don’t make a habit of standing on a soap box and pontificating my views on every little thing, the things that truly matter most to me are voiced with passion and conviction (including, but not limited to: church, communications, Longhorns, Houston Texans, and food).

Today, I was super excited to see the latest book I’ve ordered, Outspoken: Conversations on Church Communications arrive in the mail. I can’t tell you how excited I am to read about what others around the world are thinking, saying and doing to advance church communications, both with members and non-members. Because this is a passion of mine, and something I’d love to pursue whether full time or on a volunteer basis, you can likely understand why I can’t wait for some free time to crack this bad boy open.

Have any of you read this book before? Do you have your own thoughts on church communications? What’s done well? What’s done poorly? I’d love to learn from you!

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Happy Day!!!

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Y’all – today is a GREAT day, for many reasons:

1. I had an awesome discussion about Jesus, the church and reaching people with a coworker today – it was so uplifting and encouraging! Too often I am stuck in the trap of “you can only be helpful if you’re in a ministry position.” Which is totally a lie!! I mean that’s not what Romans 8:28 says – we are CLEARLY told that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him. Sure, that can also be applied to trials in your life, but also as a reminder that in every situation, God is using us for His glory. We don’t need to be a pastor – we can spread the Word wherever we are! It also reminded me of Romans 9:17: For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” God displays His power through us wherever we are!

2. I am going to see “Courageous” – the new Christian film that comes out today – with the Young Adult group from Immanuel. Whoo hoo! Love social outings :)

3. It’s FRIDAY!

4. Tomorrow we’re going over to our friends’ house to watch football and eat fun snacks. Who doesn’t love college football, food and friends? I’m not sure we can hang out if you don’t like the trifecta of awesome.

5. Baseball playoffs start today!!!

6. October starts tomorrow – my favorite month of the year!!!

7. Today is payday!!!

8. My friend Laura finished a first draft of a 12-page paper for grad school! Of course, a master’s degree is no cake walk, and I’m super proud of her for balancing a busy school, social, church and family life all at once! Love you, Laura!

What are YOU happy about today?

WOW, GOD Moments

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Every now and then I have to take a step back and say to myself, “WOW, GOD!” I mean really – if we all took the time to appreciate the things God does for us every moment of every day – from the large to the small – it’d be impossible not to recognize his majesty and divine nature.

Today, after a follow-up discussion with one of my pastors on a topic that is very near and dear to my heart, I had a MAJOR WOW, GOD! moment. Seriously. Sometimes I swear God doesn’t open the doors for us because we’re standing in the way – and today, the door flung wide open and a felt the WOOSH of air as it happened. I’d rather not discuss the particular topic right now, but if you guys could please pray for God’s will in my life, that would be AWESOME! (I don’t want my own selfish will and desires getting in the way of His work!)

WOW, GOD! moments are also a great time for me to sit back and remember – IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU. It’s not about what I want, what I think I need or when I want it to happen. No matter how perfectly I think I have things laid out (and you all know how crazy OCD I am about planning – hello, 8-page wedding itinerary), God’s plan is always infinitely better. ALWAYS.

Here is my prayer – God, please rid me of my selfish desires and replace them with Your will. Please don’t let my bias get in the way of what You have planned for me, because I know it’s way better than what I could ever imagine. Keep me strong in the fact that You will provide anything and everything that I will ever need, and don’t let me worry about the future – it’s all in your hands. Father, I beg you to please speak to me through Your word and through those you’ve put in my life to help guide me along the way. THANK YOU for the many, many blessings in my life, and for providing opportunities to serve you at every corner. Please forgive me where I’ve failed you, and strengthen me every day to rely on You and no one else. Amen.

It is DECIDED.

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I have made a decision. It is a silly decision and absolutely irrelevant to any part of your life and even mine. But it has been decided, so you need to know about it.

I have decided that, from now on, our house will be known as Chateau Garneau. Because it rhymes, it’s French and that means its cool, and because I said so.

Please, contain your jealousy. Not everyone’s name can rhyme with cute French cottages. That’s just how life goes.

Coolest Thing Ever

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Y’all. The coolest thing ever happened to me tonight.

First of all, to make any sense of this story, you need to know the following about me:
1. I love me some social media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.)
2. I love me some Jesus
3. I love me some PR/Marketing/Communications
4. I want to do communications for a church or faith-based organization one day
5. I love me some Starbucks (I promise, this is relevant to the story)

So imagine you’re me, sitting on the couch while dinner cooks in the oven and just before you’re heading to church for the volleyball tournament. What do you do? Check Twitter on your iPhone, duh, because you are a super geek. Well, what do I find going on on the Twitters at that EXACT moment? A tweet-up convo about church marketing! Get out, right?! It totally happened.

So I decided to just to listen in (for those of you familiar with this technique, I was creepin’). But then I couldn’t keep my big fat fingers quiet any more – I had to participate! Church communications is what I am passionate about, y’all! So, without going into a huge amount of detail, I basically mentioned the idea of creating a church “experience,” similar to the way Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks – told you that part was relevant) works to create the Starbucks experience. Everything from the counter tops down to the feel and smell of the napkins at Starbucks is INTENTIONAL. They want you to feel a certain way at Starbucks – a way you can’t feel anywhere else (and I’d say they’ve done a darn good job of it). Starbucks also wants to be “your third place.” Besides work and home, they want Starbucks to be the place you hang out, want to be or enjoy being above other places.

I think both of these things are highly applicable and parallel to church marketing. Church isn’t about a routine where you show up on Sunday, sing a few songs, listen to a guy in a suit talk AT you for 30 minutes, write a check and leave. It should be an EXPERIENCE. And churches should be set up, governed and marketed as if they were “your third place” – fostering that environment will make people WANT to be there – and that’s where it all starts.

Long story short (or I suppose it isn’t that short now), I ended up connecting with @Stevefogg all the way over in Melbourne, Australia, who found my 140 character ideas interesting. Crazy, huh? THIS is why I love social media – it connects people who would have otherwise never met and allows them to share insights and ideas, ask questions and provide knowledge to one another. Seriously – this #cmsucks chat (church marketing sucks), was one of the coolest thing I have been a part of!

The Highs and Lows of Fantasy Football

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As you know, last week was a major high for me – I won my first ever Fantasy Football game AND had the most overall points in the entire league.

This week, while still managing to score an impressive 134 points, I lost. Sad face. If you know me, you know I HATE to lose! I did make a miraculous comeback in the Sunday night game – I was down by 52 prior to its beginning and lost by 23 in the end. Not bad. Too bad the other guy also had a key player on Sunday night – otherwise, I could have mounted the most amazing come-from-behind-victory in Fantasy Football history.

Le sigh. Next week!

Girls Rule and Boys Drool

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As I’m sure you’re aware, we just wrapped up Week 1 of the 2011 NFL season. You’re probably also aware that this is my first year to play Fantasy Football, and I’m in a league with a bunch of guys with whom Chad works.

Well, I am proud to say that in my Fantasy Football debut, I scored 144 points – the most in our entire league! Take that, boys! I will cherish these photos forever:

I’d like to give a special shout-out to Wes Welker – thanks for that 99-yard TD run, LeSean McCoy – I didn’t watch your game, but thanks for scoring lots of points, and Matt Forte – I didn’t watch your game either, but *game tap*.

I realize that I will probably never win a week again, and I’m totally okay with that. I will revel in this all season! YAY!!!

In the spirit of full disclosure, Chad helped me pick my team, and therefore is partially responsible for this and any other wins I may get during the season. But he didn’t do it all – I did stuff too!