Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lookin for my friends

This video speaks for itself...

video

My point: First of all - It is great to have friends. It is absolutely amazing to work with friends and it is impossible to describe doing what you love for a living.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

don't be an Eric

Black Friday is coming soon...

I love the chaos of black Friday. I like getting up at 4am just to go watch the people going bonkers trying to get the deal of a lifetime.

This past Sunday, Konan talked about being rich and how easy it is to fall into the "debt trap". It was a great message. To illustrate the point that debt is a trap, he took one of Hannah's favorite dolls in the whole wide world and stuck it in a rat trap.

The dolls name is Eric. He is your typical average everyday person who wants to keep up with the neighbors and always wants newer, bigger, shinier... but getting those things comes with a price - debt (or in this case, your neck stuck in a stinkin' rat trap).

He staged a scenario where Eric was contemplating buying something he could not afford. After trying his hardest to stop him (he actually screamed at this doll "don't do it Eric"), Eric proceeded to take the bait of debt and it got him years of paying for something he couldn't afford.

My point: black Friday is coming soon and then Christmas. Is what you go into debt for really worth the hours you will have to work to pay it off - that is IF you can actually ever pay it off.

Don't be an Eric, if you can't afford it, pass. Don't walk around with your head stuck in the rat trap of debt...


Saturday, November 21, 2009

moved

We moved into our new house yesterday and today. It is hard to believe all you accumulate over the years. We only lived in our house for a little over 3 years and we had a bunch of stuff we haven't used since we moved here. Since we haven't used it in so long, guess what we did with it... yep, we moved it into storage in our new home.

I was blown away at the help we had when it came time to move. We had a bunch of great people show up with trucks, strong work ethic and a desire to help. To those who helped, I just want to say "THANK YOU"...

Moving is not fun and since the Buckeye - Michigan game was on, it made it even more of a sacrifice to help us.

I was literally moved across town but I was even more moved by the love and generosity of others.

My point: Moving is somewhat like our emotions. Why do we keep useless stuff or hold on to emotions of hurt, frustration, pain, envy, jealousy... We need to purge this junk, get rid of it so it doesn't take up space in your new house or new life.

Thanks again, I couldn't have done it without you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Eyes have it

I was watching a show the other night where two people were talking. One person wanted to make sure the other one understood what was being said so he asked if he understood. The person said yes but the first guy said "let me see your eyes". There is something about looking into a person's eyes that says a lot.

When someone is not being honest, you can usually tell in their eyes. They probably won't even be able to look you in they eyes. When someone is sad, they show it in their eyes. When they are happy, you can tell by looking in their eyes.

When you want to know for if someone is telling you the truth, how they really feel or if they are understanding what you are saying - you need to see their eyes.

My point: you can say one thing with your mouth but your eyes say a lot more.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nuts

These people drive me nuts:
people who gossip
people who lie
people in cliques
people who finish your story wrong
people who only want the spotlight
people who can't take constructive criticism
people who act like they know everything
people who tell you what you want to hear
people who don't do what they say
people who say they are your friends but really aren't
people who go through the motions instead of really doing it
people who think they are the exception to the rules
people who always ask for favors but never want to do anything in return
people who don't let you get a word in the conversation
people who want to know everything first
people who play stupid childish games
people who won't tell you how they really feel

My point: we have been these people, hopefully that is in the past. For those of you who still do these things, you're nuts - STOP IT!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Extreme sissy

Ok so I admit that I usually get all choked up when I watch Extreme makeover home edition. There is something about that show that really gets to me.

I love how they find a family in need and tell their story. If they only showed the house before and after, it wouldn't be anywhere near as moving.

The part that makes it so emotional is the story. When they show how bad things are and how they are currently living, it just tears me up. Then you get to ride the emotional roller coaster. The family gets to spend a week at Disney and come home to the dream home.

I think the cool part is watching the faces of the kids. They go from sad or hopeless to amazement and excitement. There is something about having their own space specifically designed for them that gives them a sense of "anything is possible".

I love watching people go from hopeless to hopeFULL.

Maybe that is why I absolutely love C3. We get to watch people go through LifeChange and it is a joy to get to watch.

My point: as Christians we should be the people who offer hope to others through our words and actions. We should do our best to do whatever it takes to show the love of the God we serve.

I get emotional when I watch Extreme makeover home addition but I also get choked up when people experience the love of Christ. So if getting all teary eyed when I watch an extreme makeover or an extreme LifeChange makes me a sissy - I guess I am an extreme sissy and I am ok with that...


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

shut up and color

I hate when someone is having a bad day and it seems like their goal is to let everyone know it.

This past Sunday was a very tough day but I purposely tried to guard reacting differently to people. I didn't want to take it out on other people just because I was bummin. It wasn't anyone's fault so why should they have to take the brunt of my pain or grief.

I had a couple situations where I wanted to discuss some things with some people but chose not too just because I wanted to make sure I didn't come off like a jerk (I mean - any more than normal)

I don't always do this, but I was able to do it on the toughest day of the year because I was aware of the possibility of overreacting. If we guard it we can avoid hurting people just because we are hurting.

My point: know yourself well enough to know when you should or shouldn't talk. If you are not sure - pause and run it by someone not involved. It's always better to wait and respond then to react and bite someone's head off.

Sometimes you should just shut up and color, it helps relieve stress...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

if love was measured by balloons

Megan Renae Fowler Nov 8, 2004 - Nov 12, 2004

Today I celebrated 4 of the best days of my life. My Megan was born 5 years ago today. She died 4 days later but I choose to focus on the life of love she lived. That child knew nothing but love her entire life.

It is a family tradition to buy a balloon for each person. We then write a personal note on ours and when ready, we release the balloon to the sky.

Tonight I did something a little different. I didn't plan it, it just sorta happened this way.

Normally I write a ton of stuff and fill the entire balloon with words but tonight I was crying really hard and my balloon got soaked. Since it was so wet, it made it difficult to write on. I started thinking about it and I really liked the idea of speaking the words to her out loud and sending my balloon up with my tears. I managed to write her name and "I love you little girl" on my balloon before sending it off to the great unknown.

As I watch the balloons get further and further away, to the point they disappear, I seem to find some peace - I feel very close to Megan during this little ceremony. The whole family sent up their own balloon with a special message, including Raegan. It was precious.

My point: I will never forget my Megan, so I choose to celebrate her life. I want my family to have a healthy outlet for pain. We all need that...

If my love was measured by balloons, the entire sky would've been filled.

I love you little girl!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

you say it's your birthday...

Well another year has passed for my beautiful wife. She turned thirty something yesterday and I just wanted to say that I am thankful for the day she was born.

I think birthdays are a lot more fun for kids but it does make ya stop to reflect on life when you realize a year has past.

Birthdays are a good time to look back and evaluate and a better time to look ahead and dream. I love that we have a lot to look forward to. Not only are we getting ready to move into a new house, but we will also be finishing up the new sanctuary at C3. We will also see some pretty amazing things happen in lives of our girls. They never cease to amaze me with how fast time seems to go...

My point: It is pretty cool to be in love. I love my wife and I look forward to another year together. I hope all your dreams come true babe.

This is a pic from our honeymoon cruise.

I know this post was a little sappy but I will return next week with my common wit and sarcasm soon...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yes is the new No

I watched the movie - yes man* starring Jim Carrey the other night. I absolutely love the concept of this movie.

What would happen if you tried saying Yes instead of No. What would be different in your life. What skills would you have that you don't currently have. What would happen if you took a chance on something instead of defaulting to the answer - No!

Would you spend your money differently, would you have more real friends, would you get a raise at work, would you get out of an unhealthy relationship...

We need to say Yes to the things that will bless other people. We need to say Yes to making ourselves better. We should say Yes to things that will help other people feel better about themselves.

Sometimes saying Yes to people is inconvenient, but wow, isn't that what makes the reward so much greater. Isn't it worth more when it cost you something.

I am not saying to go out and say Yes to stuff that will harm you. Use wisdom - not your mood as the filter and watch what happens.

My point: Say Yes to the things if it will bless others, make yourself better, teach you something, or help you get a different perspective.

Does anyone want to help us move on Saturday Nov 21st**... Go ahead, try saying Yes and see what happens...

Disclaimers:
*There are a few scenes that are inappropriate so I will not recommend this movie...
**The buckeyes play michigan that day...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

motivation

Why do I blog?

I have been asking myself that for quite awhile now. I can't come up with a real good reason so I guess I keep doing it for my faithful fan (yes that is singular).

I started thinking about why people do what they do. What's their motivation. As I have been thinking about it, I began watching people try to flex their brain muscle, "one up" someone, make sure everyone knows how smart they are, complain, try to make someone look foolish, manipulate others... there were so many more.

The ones I appreciated were the ones who did things with the right heart. I would see someone pick up a piece of trash when they didn't think anyone was looking, take out trash for no other reason than it was full, fix a toilet because it was overflowing, grab a mop, help someone find a seat, volunteer to watch children, move chairs... there were so many more.

What's your motivation? Why do you do what you do when you do it?

My point: Even when you don't think anyone is watching, someone may be. When you hope someone is watching so you get credit for what you are doing, you may end up looking worse.

Take a look at the things you do, if you dare to be brutally honest with yourself, ask what is the REAL motivation, you may surprise yourself with how selfish you are...

Friday, October 30, 2009

that guy


Today, I will give you some observations from the gym.

You are "that guy" at the gym if you:

//walk around stark naked
//don't flush
//vomit in the shower
//tell the trainers how to do it better
//hit on people while on the stairclimber
//wear clothes you have no business wearing
//scream or grunt loudly while working out
//take the elevator upstairs to run on a treadmill
//wear your bluetooth while working out
//talk really loud because you are listening to your ipod
//hock a loogie in the sink and let it get hard
//take off your shirt and pose in the mirrors
//talk on your cell phone while on the machines
//don't wipe off the machine when you are done
//carry on a conversation while drying your "area"
//spend more time talking than working out
//watch the aerobic classes thru the window
//change the channel in the locker room (without asking) while people are in there
//pull up next to me at the urinal and rip one really loud and then you don't laugh
//come into the sauna and sit really close to me when there is plenty of room
//drive around the parking lot more than twice to get a spot close to the front, only to go in and exercise
//stand there and stare at me while I am using the machine just to let me know you want to use it next
//keep a list of things that put you on "that guy" list

My point: don't be that guy, I will notice

feel free to add your own...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jamaica bound

My friend Becky is gonna be leaving the good ol' USA to answer the call God has on her life.

She had such a great time on our missions trip to Jamaica that she decided to devote a season of her life to those amazing kids. She inspires me. Becky, who I affectionately refer to as "silly little freak" is an amazing woman of God and her faith is HUGE!

I have the pleasure of calling her friend and I cannot wait to see what God does in her life while she pours from her big heart and soul into some very blessed children. Although the children don't live with their parents, they will now have the privilege of living with Becky.

My point: Are you doing what God called you to do? Are you allowing your fear to stop you from doing something amazing?

Her feet may be small but she is taking a HUGE step of faith.

If you would like to invest into Becky's mission, please email me gary@myC3church.com

Becky, you are an inspiration to everyone who knows you. I am honored to know you.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

make sure you vote...

Its that time of year that leaves change and we start to gear up for the holiday season but it is also time to vote on certain things.

Here is an example of a someone who has a desire to be on the school board. Not sure if he will get elected or not but I am pretty sure he is generating a few conversations.

We are being bombarded with TV commercials telling us to vote yes followed by another commercial telling us to vote no on the same issue... What's a person to do.

I am a fan of doing the research and voting on what you think is the wise thing to do. Everyone can debate what is right or wrong but when you filter your decisions through the question "what is the wise thing to do"... you may come up with a different answer.

My point: we all have certain beliefs and we are entitled to agree or disagree. If you are going to vote, you should filter your vote based on the wise thing to do.

Whether you vote for this guy or not, you gotta admit it is a good marketing strategy...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

regular people

We just had some people over and played some Wii bowling. It was a lot of fun not having to coordinate food, childcare or lots of other details. We just called a few people and said to come on over.

It is great to be able to just hang out and be real. Some people expect you to be a certain way just because you hold a certain position or carry a certain title. I guess I have never really been into that. Just because I am a pastor doesn't mean I don't have problems or struggle with certain things. It also doesn't mean that I don't think certain things are funny and that I can't laugh.

I guess what I am saying is that sometimes we put such high expectations on people just because they see them on TV, in a movie or in the corner office. Even though we all hold different positions and responsibilities, we are all just real people.

Don't try to be something you are not or try to impress people by being fake and phony. Be yourself and have fun being real.

My point: Everyone has things that we can change for the better but in the meantime, have a blast living and loving life. Treat people the way you want to be treated and live your life in a way that you can look back on and be proud of.

Can you tell who the "celebrity" is in this pic. This is what he would look like if he were just a "regular person"...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

time flies

It seems like only yesterday...

We hear that so often. When I look at my children I can say it just about everyday. When I take the time to think that I have a child older than I am in this pic (actually she is 2x as old as I was in this pic), it really takes on a new meaning...

I was filling out paperwork to purchase a new home and it asked how long I have been in my current position at C3 and I couldn't believe our church is about 3 years old. Time flies when you are living the dream.

I want to make sure I take the time to enjoy every season of my life at this amazing church and the life of my girls. I have a different perspective as I get older. I am a lot more easy going so when I run into hyper people with hot headed tempers that take life way to serious, I just think - chill out (after I think "jerk")...

My point: enjoy your life. One day you will be looking back on your 4th grade pic wondering what everyone is doing and you get to be the one saying: Livin the dream...

How do you want your life to be 20 years from now - go make it happen

Can you find me in this picture?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

sale pending

In keeping with the theme of critiquing customer service, I will again send out a roaring applause to Shannon Freed.

We had our house on the market for 6 months and had a lot of showings but no offers. We were actually frustrated enough to say no more and was going to take it off the market, but then we heard about Shannon.

She came in and told us what she realistically thought we could get and said she could probably sell it in a month or less. I gotta admit that we thought she was nuts but she was true to her word. She had it in contract within 30 days.

We have our inspection tomorrow so if you read stuff like this and then actually care enough to say a prayer, feel free - it will be greatly appreciated. If you don't feel like praying - whatever!

My point: Some people are just "get 'er done" type people. Those are the people I like to surround myself with. Are you an excuse maker or a results driven person.

If you are ever in the market for a quality realtor you need to check her out. (I received nothing from her for posting this)...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

novembeard

I was in the mall "people watching" the other day and I began noticing the different beards. It is funny to me that some people grow an awesome beard while others shouldn't even call whatever that growth is a beard.

I thought, I should get a group of guys (women can play too) to make beard growing a contest. I pitched it and we have about 5 - 7 guys that are going to participate.

We are still working out the details but we may judge on appearance and mass. Everyone shaves on Oct 31 and we grow it for all of Nov.

We will have a panel of non spouse judges score on the look of the beard. Then we shave it and weigh the hair to see who actually grew the most. So the decision is - do you trim it up to get a higher score on appearance or do you go straight up mountain man and not care about the look but get the higher score on weight... decisions decisions.

My point: growing a beard is not as fun unless there is a competition involved. This is a co-ed contest so if any of you chicks with high testosterone want in, bring it!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

manners

I feel like I have been somewhat of a critique lately. I like paying attention to how people are treated at places that are supposed to be about customer service. Here is my latest venture.

Planet Coffee is a place we (C3 staff) go often. I must admit I was a little sad when Cup O Joe went out of business because of the relationships that we built there but Planet Coffee has been a very pleasant surprise.

First of all they have the "executive breakfast" - if you haven't tried it, you have to, enough said.

Today I went in and it was very busy. 2 people were working behind the counter and one was new so the other one was running crazy...

Even though she was extremely busy, she was very patient with the new co-worker and very nice to the customers in line. She was handling 3 to 4 orders at a time and making best use of the new employee. She made sure that if there was something she could do, she instructed her to do it. They worked very well together.

Then, I was very impressed that when she handed me my executive breakfast (in a 32oz cup) she went on to say "have a great day and thanks so much for stopping in". Even though she was dealing with a long line of people, a new co-worker and orders out the wazooo, she didn't forget her manners.

My point: people are why you have a job. If you are a business and treat the people like garbage, what the heck do you hope happens. Good customer service is what it's all about.

There is a great book by Ken Blanchard called "Raving Fan". I am a fan of Planet Coffee. Well done coffee team...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

web fishers


Since my last blog was about HORRIBLE customer service, I figured I would balance it with one that offers AMAZING customer service.

Web Fishers is not just a great web company, the people who own it are great people.

They are the ones who do our website and web support. I will just say they are awesome. They get a feel for who you are and what you are looking for and then they work their magic.

I can't tell you enough how great it is to be able to ask a question and actually get an answer. The response time is always great, they will do whatever we need them to do but they are not afraid to offer different solutions. They are on top of any issues normally before you even have to tell them about the issues...

My point: I think it is pretty obvious that I not only recommend Web Fishers but I HIGHLY recommend them. We are always getting comments about our website. We have people come check out our church just because they like the website. You would be crazy not to give them a chance.

Please consider them for all your web needs. If you would like to contact me (gary@myC3church.com) with questions, feel free...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

worst customer service ever!

This is the top view of the hanger I got from the Dry cleaning center. It is all jakked up...

The "dry cleaning center" located 1130 Hill Rd N Pickerington Oh 43147 is BY FAR the worst customer service I have ever experienced.

I took my suit to be cleaned and she told me a price and time to pick it up. I found a coupon for half off and asked for it to be applied to my order when I went to pick it up.

She gave me some lame excuse about not being able to use it on a rush order. I never asked for a rush order and asked to please use it (it would've saved me $5.00). She said no, so I asked if I could talk to the manager. She told me there was no manager and swiped my credit card charging me the full amount.

I told her that wasn't right and there are no restrictions on this coupon and it wasn't right to just swipe my card. I asked if the manager could call me because I was not happy with the way I was being treated. She gave me my suit and asked me to leave. I said I was very unhappy and if I wanted to play like she was I could stop the payment to her. That set her off...

She practically dove over the counter and grabbed my just dry cleaned suit - wrinkling the crap out of it and ripping the plastic and bending the mess out of the hanger. She ordered me to give it back and pay cash. I said are you kidding me, I already paid for it and showed her my receipt (like she could've possibly forgot). She said I couldn't get my already paid for suit unless I paid cash and threatened to call the police. I looked around to see if I was on a hidden video show because she was still trying to get my suit out of my hands.

I said, please call the police because they are gonna show up and see my receipt and make you give me my suit. She kept hold of my suit with one hand, put the phone to her ear with the other and called the police. The next words she used shocked me!

(in an oriental accent) "please come quick, irate man, yelling and screaming, very angry, gonna hit me, I am fearful..."

I started laughing and let go of the suit and backed out of the store. I said, "woman you are out of your mind, that is not true at all and that is just flat out wrong". I asked her if she realized that the police are going to come and give me my suit. She said I would never get it and stood there looking at me with her arms crossed and half a smile...

The police came and questioned us and needless to say, I got my suit. It was now very wrinkled but I got it...

My point: Don't go to the dry cleaning center in Pickerington unless you want the WORST customer service you have ever had.

What would you have done???

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

root beer float

Last night I got to go to Dayton to speak to the youth. It was awesome and I had a great time.

When I was finishing up the message I encouraged the students to come talk to me if they had questions about the Jesus I was telling telling them about.

I went to sit down but before I even sat down there was a young man that leaned over and gave me a really serious sad look and said "I have 2 questions". I compassionately put my hand on his shoulder and said "what's up buddy?" Here is the conversation as I recall it...

He looked at me then looked down, then locked eyes with me and said "can I still get a root beer float?"... (they made floats that night and he wanted to make sure there was some left). I said, "I am sure you can after we are done." I was looking around for the cameras thinking I was being punked.

Anyway, he reminded me that he had TWO questions. I said, go ahead: so he asked if I would talk to the leadership to see if we could do a "crazy hat" night because he had one he wanted to enter in the contest. I said, I am sure we can make that happen...

What a great night. I preach for 30 minutes and this kid wants to talk about root beer floats and crazy hats. I am just that good!!!...

My point: I could've walked out of there very disappointed and discouraged but I chose not to. I believe that I am only responsible to share the words God gave me. It is up to others to apply them. We need to apply God's word to our lives and let God deal with the hearts of those who hear is truth.

On a positive note, as I was leaving another kid asked me to sign his bible. I felt weird since I didn't write the book but I signed it "Jesus" and left... jk, I wrote my name and date and wrote something encouraging...


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

why me

Most of the time people say "why me" they are complaining or crying out in pain.

I have been saying those words lately but for a different reason. When I see what is going on at C3 I am humbled and wonder "why me"... Why did God allow me to be part of something this amazing?

I am not saying this to get a bunch of people to give me some "rah rah" crap - I don't need that. I am saying this because I am humbled to be part of something so amazing and seeing so many lives change.

When people ask me how it is going, I always respond with "living the dream". Even a bad day at C3 is better than a day in a job that I hate or don't feel called to do. I have been there, done that and got the coffee mug (I seriously have the company mugs) . I know that I am doing what God has called me to do, and to me that is success.

There is no way C3 would be doing what it is doing without the amazing people He has brought to be part of this team. That is such a hard thing for me to grasp.... Why me!!!

My point: I think we have all asked that question: "why me" but do you ask it out of complaining or out of humility?

God can do whatever He wants to do and doesn't need me, but I sure am glad He chose to allow me to be part of it... Greater Things are yet to come!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

free lunch?

Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch!

Next week I will be enjoying a free lunch with a great friend. Brent will be purchasing a lunch of my choice because of a little accountability competition we have. Needless to say - he didn't do all he agreed to so the penalty is to buy me lunch (or is the penalty that he has to hang out with me).

As much as we hate to admit it, if we don't have deadlines or penalties, we would probably all be a little less motivated to do certain things. Brent and I have decided to hold each other accountable to certain disciplines in our lives and I absolutely love it. He is a great friend who can tell me anything because I know his heart is not to intentionally hurt me.

For now, we will continue holding each other accountable and if we need to, we will keep the rewards or penalties - depends on which perspective you are looking from...

My point: We all need that person in our lives to care enough to tell us the truth and hold us accountable. I just happen to be blessed enough to have a few.

Thanks Brent for not holding up your end of the deal but being a man of integrity that will follow through with the wager. I guess we both win. I get a free meal and you get to hang out with me. That is a win/win as far as I can tell!!!

Where should I go?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

what the heck is that...

I was at a restaurant when I walked past this thing hanging on the wall. Upon further review, it was a phone. You actually had to put .35 in it to make a local call... go figure.

That old thing got me thinking (I know, that is a dangerous thing, but bear with me). The reason the pay phone existed was to accomplish a very clear purpose - to be able to talk to someone when they were not with you.

Over the years, the purpose has stayed the same but the methods have changed drastically. We can now open up our own personal phones to call, text or even email right from the palm of our hands.

I think that was a pretty clear example of some of the things we do in life. The way we used to do church many years ago doesn't mean that is the best way to do them now. The purpose has not changed and never will - to tell others about Jesus Christ. C3 chooses to say it a little different but it is still the same point. We say "leading people to LifeChange"...

We don't try to do things the way the church did them years ago. We don't even do them the way other churches are doing them today.

My point: The phone like the church has kept the same clear purpose or vision. The methods have changed to be the most effective in this day and age.

Could you imagine actually being in a position to have to use a pay phone. What would you do if you answered your phone to hear "you have a collect call..." - my kids wouldn't have a clue what that means...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

the plan

We went to a retreat on Monday and we all walked away with a new focus on the importance of a plan.

We believe that God wants C3 to be a church that makes a dent in the Columbus area. Are we the team that will take us there - no, NOT YET!!!

In order to be ready for the growth that God is giving us, we need to become the growing leaders that He can trust His church with. We sat down in a coffee shop to debrief and we gave each other permission to ask the tough questions and hold each other accountable to the personal growth plan that we will submit in a few weeks.

It has to be specific and have measurable results. The reason we need a plan is just because we want to become something, doesn't mean we will - unless we have a plan and accountability.

We are going to hold each other accountable and find 4 or 5 others who we can grow with.

My point: if we don't put our plan in writing it is just a dream. When we put it on paper and have someone holding us accountable - it is a plan for growth. You are on the road to somewhere, you might as well go where you want to go instead of just driving around hoping that you will run out of gas somewhere cool...

Do you have a plan to become (fill in whatever you want) or are you wasting a bunch of time hoping it will just happen on its own?



Friday, September 25, 2009

3 things about you

For an icebreaker during our first community group, we had to name 3 things that describe ourselves.

It was a little difficult because these people know you and can tell if what you are saying is really true or what you just wish was true about yourself. It is sometimes awkward to say positive things about yourself - why is that?

It was also kind of funny to see those who had their spouse next to them would say a word then look to their spouse for approval. If they didn't get what they were looking for they would say "right" or try to explain why they said it.

One of the benefits to being in a community group is that you can be real honest and others are going to be honest with you. It is hard to continue being who you want people to think you are. These people know if you really are what you say you are. I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if we all wrote 3 words to describe the other and see if our personal words matched. Maybe we will do that at the end...

My point: Who you are and who you want people to think you are can be totally different. If we continue to experience LifeChange, we will be who Christ wants us to be and that is what really matters.

I said I am: funny, honest and loyal (feel free to add your own or agree/disagree with mine)

What 3 things do you want people to say about you - then go be those things...

kill the rabbit

C3 kicked off Community Groups (CG) this week. I am a HUGE fan of community groups.

We read a lot of research about how to have great community groups and one of the biggest things we need to do as CG leaders is KILL RABBITS.

There are many personalities that can destroy true community and as much as I would like to name the personalities and put pictures of people who have them, I will refrain (for now).

One of the most subtle killers of true community is the "rabbit trail". This is where someone takes the discussion far far away from where it started or is intended to go. This is dangerous because it can often result in a rant or a long long boring story. Even if the story is somewhat entertaining, they need to be shot for the good of the group. If it is relevant to the discussion, they are not rabbit trails.

Rabbit trails can come on subtly enough but they can take you to a place you never wanted to go. The goal of CG's are to grow in your relationship with Christ. Rabbit trails keep that from happening.

My point: come to CG expecting to participate in conversations and come ready to grow. If you take off on a rabbit trail, expect to get shot.

CG's are where "real people share real life through real relationships"

bonus: in one of our groups we actually had a guy act like he was loading a gun every time someone started down a rabbit trail. It was a humorous way to let people know they are going somewhere that we may not want to go. We had a lot of fun with this...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

tippy toe

Tippy toe, Tippy toe...

The greatest compliment you can receive is the one you are not around to hear.

Wow, think about that statement. Don't we always think that when people are talking about us, it's bad. That stinks.

We had a C3 team meeting last week and we agreed that we need to protect the unity of our team. I said that if they ever think I am talking about them, they need to know that I am talking good about them.

There was a great Seinfeld episode (they were all great) that had a little saying to warn ya that the person you are talking about is coming. If me and Konan are talking trash about Brent and Brent starts walking over - I would say "tippy toe, tippy toe" to warn Konan that Brent is coming.

We have decided as a team that if there is a negative word to be spoken, it will be spoken to the person and no one else, we don't need to use "tippy toe" anymore.

What are you trying to accomplish by talking about others. Are you trying to make yourself look better by making others look bad. Are you trying to point out stuff that would be better if you were in charge. Are you trying to let others know that you are an insecure little person...

My point: Talk about others but make sure it's good. You will never have to hear "tippy toe" because you want the other person to know what you are saying.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

bra shopping

Well, Hannah is 4 years old so I took her bra shopping. What else should we have done?

This little beauty comes out of nowhere with some pretty funny stuff. We were in a store the other day and she picked this little purple bra up and said "look, this is to cover my pippies".

Even though it isn't quite time to take her bra shopping, it does make you appreciate time. I really enjoy hanging with my girls. As I look back, it seems like just yesterday that Shayna was 4 (she is now 13). Pretty soon Shayna will be graduating HS and we will be bra shopping for Raegan...

My point: Time goes by so fast. We need to make sure that we are taking every opportunity to enjoy the journey.

Life with 4 females in the house is ALWAYS interesting but I have learned a few things:
1. I never leave the toilet seat up.
2. There is always going to be drama
3. There will probably never be a time that they are all in a great mood at the same time
4. I am a VERY blessed man.

Happy Birthday Hannah. We will go bra shopping soon my dear...


Thursday, September 17, 2009

always room for RaeRae

Hannah used to have a problem sharing with Raegan (RaeRae). We saw this and decided to do something about it from very early on.

Anytime RaeRae would be on my lap or would try to play with something of Hannah's, Hannah would try to move her away or take the toy. Hannah didn't want anything to do with me or the toy until RaeRae did. We decided to come up with little sayings to help our children remember things. In this case, anytime RaeRae would want to be held, sit on my lap or even - Lord forbid - stand on Hannah's stool, we would say "Hannah, there is ALWAYS room for RaeRae"...

It didn't take long for this little phrase to sink in. One day we were upstairs and heard the girls playing. I looked down and saw Hannah sitting in a little chair and here comes RaeRae. I watched as I figured I would have to intervene and correct some behaviors. To my surprise, Hannah saw RaeRae coming towards her and Hannah (by some miraculous move of the almighty God), shifted over and made room for RaeRae to sit down. She said "there's always room for RaeRae" and allowed her to sit with her and began reading the book to her little sister. Who saw that one coming? I ran downstairs and started to cheer for Hannah. I grabbed her and we all began dancing and celebrating. It was quite a scene.

Hannah and RaeRae now even share this tiny little stool in the bathroom. Granted, they will soon be to big for them to share but that will be fun to watch them try.

My point: we have to teach and encourage the behavior we want repeated. We want our children to know that no matter what - we MAKE time and room for each other.

There will never be a time when a family member or friend is not welcome to be around me (other than the obvious times that involve the bathroom). If you see me talking to someone, you don't need to be an insecure little man / woman and think you can't approach me. If you assume I am talking about you, you should assume I am talking good... That's just how I roll ya'll

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

competition

I am a pretty competitive person. I will try to make everything a competition, at least I used to.

I learned pretty quick that just because winning or losing motivates me, it doesn't motivate everyone. I don't like to lose so I am motivated to win and try harder or rise to the level of pressure placed on me by the other person.

I had to learn to keep the competitions limited to people who "wanted" to be in competition. I found out that when I made something a game of winning or losing but the other person didn't want to participate, it made things worse. Winning or losing didn't necessarily motivate them like it does me.

Another reason I had to get this under control is because I don't lose very gracefully (probably because I don't lose that often...ha). I would become a poor sport or try to get into the other persons head and often times I would let it get personal just so I could win.

Sometimes when I would win, I would lose. I would win the stupid competition but I would lose respect of others and worse case scenario, I would lose a friend because I would say or do things in the heat of competition that I would not understand why it was a big deal after the game was over (and I won).

I now compete and if I lose, I am a great sport about it (most of the time). I have learned that what matters most is people - period.

My point: I LOVE winning and I will always do my best. If that results in a victory - great. If not, that is ok too but I will not trade a win for a friend. The loss of respect is not worth the bragging rights to say "I won" because honestly no one really cares about the title or trophy except you...

Get over your pride and care about others enough to congratulate them on their victory. You will be a better person for it and you will keep your friends.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

who cares

I read a cool shirt that said "no one cares about your blog".

That made me think (go figure). We really do think people care about what WE say. Do they? I don't know, I guess it depends on what you say. If you are constantly speaking a load of negative garbage or gossip or tearing people down then I would say no, they don't care.

If you are using your words to build others up, then maybe they not only care but they may need to hear what you are saying.

I have to constantly guard my words because I can use them in an attempt (usually a lame attempt) to be funny without thinking about how they affect other people.

My point: do you care about my blog - I don't really care but I will use it to make a point, rant or just point out pet peeves but I will not intentionally tear other people down. If I point things out, it will be a general statement.

Do people care about what you say?


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

time to get serious

It used to be so incredibly easy to drop a few pounds or fly through the day without getting tired but then something happened to me called 30.

After I turned 30 (yes that was a year or so ago...), it got harder and I didn't have the energy I once had.

Someone gave me a product from advocare called "spark". This was before the big energy drink craze hit so we didn't know what to expect.

WOW - I thought I could run through a wall. I was focused and didn't feel tired or run down. Deni tried it and we wondered if this stuff was legal. Not only is it legal, it is good for you - COME ON NOW!!!!

I gave some to my dad and he has been drinking it for years. He gets up about 4am and when he gets home he used to have to take a nap. Since he started drinking spark, he said my mom loves it because he gets home and does the "honey do" list instead of napping... it was a win for the whole family.

Over the years Deni and I have tried some more of their products and LOVED them. So after some thought and prayer, we decided to talk to someone about making an investment into the company, so we did.

We ordered some product and are gonna give it a shot. We are starting off with a 24 day challenge to better health.

This 24 day challenge gives you enough product to complete a full 10 day cleanse, meal replacement shakes, energy drinks, appetite and sweets control, vitamins...

It is guaranteed to help you lose some weight and have more energy. Who wouldn't want that?

The cost is around $7 a day (do the math and it comes out to $190), but you are not going to have to buy your coffee or lunch on those days not to mention the energy drinks and vitamins, so you get plenty to justify the cost. Go without the morning Starbucks & your combo meal at lunch and you are there.

We have a few people already taking the challenge with us so it should be fun. I will keep you posted.

My point: I can't put a price on health. I am tired of being tired and not getting maximum results from my workouts. I need a plan and accountability - partnered with some great supplements.

If you are interested in the challenge, let me know. If you want to take a look at the site it is www.advocare.com

If you already take supplements, vitamins, energy drinks... give the advocare brand a shot & let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

MayChallenge

The Goal:
To break away from certain food/beverages that are not promoting a healthy lifestlye. A bonus would be to lose weight.

The food:
Each participant will submit 2 things that do not promote a healthy diet. (Names will not be attached to the item so you won’t know who you want to kill.)


DO NOT submit things just because you think it will be hard for others. This is not to make it hard for other people, it is to help you develop self-discipline and break bad food habits.


The workouts:

Each person will be required to workout at least 3 days a week for a minimum of 40 minutes.


A “workout” can be with weights, cardio, wii fit… it must be an intentional workout. This doesn’t include housework, or physical work that you already do. It must be a time set aside to workout.

Please don’t make this more difficult than it has to be. You know what a workout is, don’t look for loopholes or try to find a lazy way to get credit – do the workouts!!!

The penalties:

I will compile a list of the top 10-15 things mentioned. You have to pick one other item that YOU will go without. Once the list is compiled, NO ONE will be allowed to eat anything from the list.


For example: cheese may not be on the list that everyone has to go without but it may be something you want / need to give up. So you would do the list + cheese.


If you eat anything from the list, or your other item specific to you, then you owe a $5.00 penalty. I think the penalty has to hurt. If it were only a quarter or dollar – you may think it is ok to cheat. The penalty has to be painful.


There is a $25 “I am a loser without any self control, so I quit” fee.

In other words, if you quit, you still owe all the penalty money AND a $25 fee. This is all “honor system” so if you think you may have cheated, YOU DID!!!

The Honor system:

You are responsible, under the “honor system” to report to me g3fowler@gmail.com if/when you cheat.

I will keep a running list and blog the results at the end of each week (more if necessary)
www.garyfowler.blogspot.com.

You need to email me as you cheat and I can keep a running total of what you owe and will keep everyone updated on the total in the “penalty pot”.

The Deadlines:

If you know anyone who would like to participate, please tell them to email me their 2 items by Friday May 1st so I can have the list posted to my blog by Sun the 3rd, to begin on Monday May 4th.
Please let me know what questions you have before we begin. I will post the list and your personal item on my blog by Sun May 3rd.

The Rewards:
I am sure it will benefit you physically and mentally. Your emotions are up to you… again, if you think you can’t do it, that is one of the very reasons you should try it.

The winner:
The person who wins (cheats the least amount of times) wins all the penalty money. If there is more than one person that “wins” – they will split the money.

The guilt statement:
I swear, with God as my witness, that I have read and understand every word of this agreement.By “e-signing this”, I agree to all the stated terms.

__________________________/________________________________
Name (type your name & email back) Date

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

LifeChange

check out this video about LifeChange... there is some idiot trying to be funny


video

Monday, February 23, 2009

praying tiger

We have had some incredibly stupid things happen in our local schools lately. There have been bomb threats, vehicles set on fire, a gun found in the H.S. & "hit lists" found. The Jr high and high school went on lockdown a few times last week.

This is absolutely crazy. I am definitely one of those people who thought "pickerington - really", this stuff doesn't happen around here... but it did.

With incredibly stupid things comes the opportunity for incredibly awesome things. My daughter Shayna is in Jr high. She texted me to pray because the school went on lockdown Friday. Of course I prayed & asked others to do so as well.

Here is the awesome part: Shayna didn't just ask others to pray, she prayed too. I was so proud of her when she said other people were freaking out but she remained calm. At least outwardly she was. She said she was nervous on the inside but what good would it do to show it. It would've just added to the chaos and feelings of fear in others.

Instead of panicking, she chose to be a voice of calm to her friends. During one of her classes, a group was talking about the "what if" scenarios. She stopped them and led them in a prayer. I almost cried when she told me this (I am almost crying now...).

When I was in 7th grade, I would've been one making jokes outwardly and silently praying and freaking out on the inside. I would NEVER be caught praying with my friends. I was too cool (or so I thought).

My little girl is a proud member of the Pickerington Tigers, and that day she became a "praying tiger"...

My point: you find out who you are when things get stressful. What is on the inside comes out. Who you are is made clear under pressure.

I am so proud that Shayna was able to call upon help from the One who has all the answers. I am so excited that she wasn't embarrassed to pray in front of her friends.

I am glad that she didn't get in trouble for praying in school...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I am back


I have been gone from the blogosphere for awhile. I am sure both of you missed me...

I put blogging on hold while we took part in the C3 ManUp challenge. It was based on the movie "Fireproof". We grabbed about 50 guys and participated in the "love dare" from the movie.

Part of the challenge was to journal. Since I was journaling, I chose to pause my blog. Call it lazy or focused but I didn't want to do both.

C3 decided that we wanted to put an emphasis on the marriage relationship and that started with the men. We divided them into 2 teams, Konan had a team and I had one. We had to track the challenges daily.

Each day we could get up to 3 points. 1 if we read the devo. 1 if we accomplished the dare and 1 if we journaled. We could get anywhere from 0 - 3 points per day.

I was responsible for making sure my team was not only doing it but tracking the results. After 40 days, we have heard some AMAZING stories of LifeChange.

I will share some of the stories in the coming days. I will say this was an awesome journey that I will never forget.

My point: it is amazing what happens when you make Godly principles a priority in your life and marriage.

Oh, and before you even have to ask - of course my team won!!!