Chick-fil-A says “NO” to Gay Marriage


FUNNY HOW . . .  a company that is known for its chicken, office supplies, lawn furniture or housing supplies  finds themselves interviewed about their stance on a controversial subject like whether they support ‘gay’ marriage.

Evidently, Dan Cathy the son of  Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A restaurant confirmed the company’s commitment to ‘traditional’ values – the biblical definition of traditional marriage between a man and a woman.  Everyone is well aware that the Chick-fil-A restaurant is NOT open on Sundays honoring this day as the ‘Sabbath’ Day.  And in spite of its competition, they continue to gross profits, open up new stores across the nation and are loved by most.

It is NO SURPRISE to me and neither should it be to anyone to hear their position on Gay Marriages.  However, because they have openly made this stance, the Internet has gone viral in vehement speech against the company and its position.  Many people, in particular, gay activist have threatened to boycott the restaurant in an effort to either get them to change their minds or to force them out of business.  Chick-fil-A has now been labeled “Gay Haters.”

Chick-fil-A has had to deal with outrage over their biblical stances before yet it had not deterred them from standing for truth as they see it.  Regarding them hating gays, Don Perry, spokesman for Chick-fil-A states that their tradition is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of belief, creed and sexual orientation. Perry also states, “We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

MY 2-CENTS. Gay marriages and the homosexual lifestyle has certainly been one of our most heated debates.  Although, I know there are professing Christians who are strongly against this life style, are rude, non tolerant, abusive, offensive, arrogant, and even hateful, I don’t believe that is the stance of most Christians and I don’t believe that is the stance of Chick-fil-A.  I believe we can agree to disagree with a certain lifestyle, and certain privilege in accordance to what we believe is the Bible’s stance on the subject without having to assume the title of a “Gay Hater.”

Although there are certainly more scriptures on the topic, two scriptures that  leave me wondering about basic truths and how they can be redefined include the following:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Romans 1:26-27 – “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

QUESTIONS: How do you reconcile these two scriptures? Should one really be called a ‘hater’ in standing up for what they believe truth to be?   In terms of supporters . . .  What if they are wrong???  Hmmm…….

Finding Mentors Online – 5 Reasons Download Podcasts


Just about all of the old management and leadership books I’ve read said that the key to your success is ultimately finding yourself a good mentor.  In its simplest terms, a mentor is someone who trains, advises, and shares practical experience with someone else. The mentee gains from a “knowledge transfer.”  But how many of you know mentors don’t just fall from the sky?  You can’t go through Burger King’s ‘Have it your way’ drive through and say, “I’ll have the combo meal – no pickles and a ‘mentor’ please.”

When we think in terms of mentors we think of a single person we can call, meet with to guide and advise us personally.  But the truth is who really has the time? By the time you manage all of your own stuff that you are REQUIRED to manage;  it’s unreasonable to say  with the left over time that you’re going to mentor someone. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are people who devote their lives to mentoring others and have successful mentor/mentee relationships I just wasn’t one of them. Thank God, however, that I did not throw myself a pity party and accept defeat, but began looking for indirect mentoring opportunities.

Here’s what I mean.  I have an extensive library on church management and leadership.  I have come to respect and really appreciate the life experience of many of the authors. They have addressed just about every area of ministry- my topic of interest.  As I stated before, a mentor is one who trains, advises, and shares …  The truth of the matter is we can be mentored through the words in a book or words on an audio and if you are lucky you can be mentored by way of a video. The bottom line is to find a format where you can receive benefits from a ‘knowledge transfer.’

Finding an ‘online’ mentor is easier than you think.  Once you identify someone you respect, many times you will find them referencing how someone else that has spoken into their lives. Some even share names of their favorite blogs and web sites as resource links on their sites.  I start here, compiling a list of their favorites.  Next, I start the visits.  Chances are if the person you started with has a website, a blog and a podcast so do your other potential mentors.  Once you identify that they have a podcast — download a way!

Why look for a mentor this way and download their podcast?  Here are 5 Reasons.

  1. It’s quick, easier than the traditional ways of finding a mentor and its convenient.
  2. You get to hear with your ears their voice and sense the author’s feelings and passion on a particular subject
  3. It’s to the point, because you download just what you want to hear or see.
  4. More exposure and engagement. Many podcasters provide blogs and or forums where you can engage in conversation too.
  5. It’s FREE.  For the most part there is no cost to download a podcast.

Mentor / Mentee Relationship
Knowledge Transfer

My ‘short’  list of  author’s who I consider to be my online mentors in the area of church leadership and management. DISCLAIMER:   I am not connected to them personally so if they were to ever mess up – they mess up.  I don’t believe in throwing the baby out with the bath water.  I benefit from the “knowledge transfer” of such individuals as: Andy Stanley, Matthew Hyatt, Rick Warren, Mark Driscoll, Frances Chan, Myles Munroe along with others.

5 Reasons to Download a Podcast


Years ago I was given a Microsoft ‘Zune’ as a Christmas gift.  This happened to be one of the best gifts I ever received.  A Zune is equivalent to an iPod or a MP3 player which is a device that plays a variety of recordings.  You can subscribe to a company’s Podcast or someone’s personal Podcast and download it onto your device.  You can download just about anything and everything that is of interest to you including, but NOT limited to:  Arts, business, education, entertainment, health, music, news, religion, technology, sports, travel, etc.  My Zune even plays videos.

I represent that segment of society that loves to read and loves to learn new things all the time.  But reading books takes time and for just as many books you purchase that are great, there are just as many not-so-great books. And it’s nothing like feeling like you have wasted time, when there is always a demand on your time.  Well, I am not always in a place where I can pull out a book so while I’m in my car, waiting in line, waiting at the doctor’s office, attending a boring meeting, etc., I pull out my Zune, plug in the earpiece and get my exposure on!

Well what is a Podcast?
I’m not going to bore you with a technical definition, just know this how would you like to be able to turn on some device and listen to or view what you want,

This is a Podcast icon.
This website offers downloads

when you want and how you want?  People who believe they have something of value to say have taken the time to record themselves either by way of just audio or record themselves by video and have put in on the Internet for others to download on their iPods, Zunes or MP3 players. No more use for bulky CDs/DVD’s or tapes in a cassette recorder.  These have been replaced with one device.  All you do is download what you want, take it where you want and listen to where ever you want.

How do I get in and get started?
My recommendation would be for you to buy the device.  Zunes and iPods are rather pricey, but you will come to love it I promise you. If budget is a real concern, start with a simple MP3 player. They are less expensive.  Of course you can go to your local Best Buys, Office Depot, etc. however, try online too www.amazon.com or www.ebay.com .  Hop onto to the site you like and let the downloading begin.

5 Reasons to Download a Podcast

  1. Portability.  You are not confined to having to sit in front of your computer, but can take your device on the go.
  2. Exposure. You’re exposed to experts who will speak into your life concerning things that interest you.
  3. It’s FREE.  For the most part businesses, and personal podcasters provide their content either for free or a nominal fee.
  4. Saves time.  Reading books are great. My shelves are full of them, but you must carve out reading time. Listening to books in an audio format gets the job done in less than half the time.
  5. Can multi-task.  Listen or view at your leisure – anywhere and anytime. Can listen while doing household chores, cleaning your office, washing your car, gardening, exercising, walking, etc.

What Podcasts do you listen to? Since I am very interested in management, leadership especially in the church, I love to listen to Andy Stanley’s “Your Move” podcast or Michael Hyatt’s “This is Your Life” podcast. I’m also brushing up on my Spanish so I have a ‘How to Speak Spanish’ podcast too. I also enjoy listening to Tony Evans, T.D. Jakes, Andrew Wommack.  I have about 40 podcast downloaded on my device. I’ve got a variety podcast downloaded and depending on how I feel is what I end up listening to.

Hope to see you on the download podcast bandwagon.

Reasons You Might Want to Get a ‘SMART’ Phone


Last year my family purchased me my first smart phone.  It was the famous iPhone by Mac.  I just could not justify the mandatory $30 extra a month for a smart phone and fought it all the way.  Well what makes a smart phone so smart? In essence, a smart phone is a small mobile handheld computer.

WEBSITE ACCESS:
A Smart Phone is known for its multiple features such as: browsing the Internet to check emails, viewing YouTube videos, listening to music and looking at movies. You can also check bank balances, move money around, pay bills and invest right from your phone.  Need a weather report? It can give you that too in your area, in another city or even in another country.

PICTURES/VIDEOS/TXT MSSG
You can take quality high resolution pictures, record videos. (Side note: this is why everyone is getting in trouble lately; someone is always clicking and running footage on you. Privacy invasion LOL!) You can send text message which I hated at first. Okay, you could do that with your old not so smart phone too. However, I like the fact that I can ‘text’ what I want and avoid talking to people who still like to yap on.  I also purchased the “Group Text” option. I paid a one-time fee of $2.99.  Now I send ONE text message out to as little as two people to as many as 200 people.  We had to shut down our church because of power outages recently.  I had 115 member’s cell phone numbers in my cell phone directory.  I sent one message to 115 people in just 2 minutes.  How productive is that?  Do you realize how long it would have been to evoke the calling tree system?  This is so useful for notifying and sending out ‘reminders’ to community groups, choir members, family, your management team of scheduled meeting times.

CLOCK/GAMES/VOICE REMINDERS
It’s an alarm clock, a stop watch and even a compass.  The game features are endless.  My daughter just hooked me onto a ‘Pictionary’ game where you have to guess what the other person is drawing. It also has voice memos where you can record yourself, “pick up milk, eggs.”   Can you see why you hardly see people’s faces anymore for them staring down at their phones?  The possibilities are endless.

PRODUCTIVITY/CALENDAR/TO DO LISTS
Programmers are writing sophisticated software that helps people become more productive.  These software applications are either free or their costs are very minimal.  I downloaded a calendar application to help me be more organized.  I set up alarms that will notify me of that day’s appointments as well as that Day’s To Do lists. When I’m done, I check it off.  What a sense of accomplishment!

ON SPOT DOWNLOADS/GPS
Oh did I mention you can download an application on the spot wherever you are.  We were in Hyattsville, got lost because of a detour.  I pulled over and downloaded a GPS guide for $3.99.  It directed us right to the place we needed to be.  I guess by now you can see the value of a Smart Phone.

VARIETY OF SMART PHONES AVAILABLE
Please note that Mac’s iPhone is NOT the only Smart Phone on the market.  Take a look and find one within your budget and join me on the quest to be more productive. I can’t believe I resisted this purchase at first.  Now I am to the point that I don’t know what I would do without my iPhone.

Do you have a Smart Phone?  If so, what are some features you appreciate?
Join me on for my next blog on The value of listening to Podcasts.

7 Steps to Protect You from Credit Card Fraud


This information comes from an attorney’s whose wallet was stolen.  He writes this warning to his employees. Because he was not prepared, the thieves, within the week, ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from the DMV to change his driving record information online, just to start . . . .

Here is some FREE Legal Advice . . .

1. DO NOT SIGN BACK OF YOUR CREDIT CARDS. Instead, put ‘Photo ID Required.’

2. When you are writing checks to pay on your Credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the ‘For’ line. Instead, just put the last four numbers.  The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.

3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. NEVER have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

4. COPY THE CONTENTS of your WALLET.  Copy both sides of your license, credit card, etc. If your wallet has been stolen CANCEL your credit cards  immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. This is NOT the time to be running around guessing where to find your information so you can make the numerous calls. Keep the copies in a safe place.

5.  File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

6.  Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name. Equifax: 1-800-525-6285, Experian 1-888-397-3742,  Trans Union : 1-800-680 7289

7. Call the Social Security fraud alert number. 1-800-269-0271   The attorney stated “I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.”  The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

BONUS: Keep a copy of your passport on you when you travel abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on US citizens in stealing passports, names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, credit cards, etc.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Did you find this post useful?  If so, give us a shot out and by all means share it with someone you care about. Pastors and ministry leaders please pass onto your congregation.  Identity theft and fraud is so common place today.

Did Creflo Dollar Cross the Line?


Okay I wasn’t going to go here, but find that I must as I have read too many commentaries, “Did Creflo Cross the Line? Parental Authority Taken too Far,  Creflo Dollar, Child Abuser.

Creflo Dollar, a famous TV evangelist was arrested and had to spend the night in jail after beating his child a couple weeks ago.  I read the police report and it did say that he choked her and beat her with his shoe.  Although I am NOT an advocate of abusing your children, I must say that in the average ‘African American’ household, who wasn’t beat with shoe or occasionally choked?  Sike, I was never choked, but I betcha my parents felt like it at times.  As a child I would have welcomed a ‘Shoe’ beating any time compared to a belt or a  ‘switch’ beating.

It’s funny to me because in the average ‘Black’ family we tell jokes today on how mom or dad beat us with shoes, spoons, rulers, belts, switches or whatever ammunition they had at their disposal. They beat us to keep us in line. And as a result of that beating we had a reverential fear towards them – a respect – a respect for authority.  There were some things you just did not do.  Beatings, whoopings, etc. were and are   very common to our families.  I mean, ask any ‘Black’ person what would happen if you were to roll your eyes, say something smart, talk back  and Lord help us if we ever raised our hands to hit our parents.  Guess what? Creflo Dollar’s daughter hit him.  All of this was because he said she could not go to a party.  All I am saying is this raising teenagers is no joke – especially teenage girls.  They will push you to the edge of where you think you will lose your sanity. I believe Creflo had to lay hands on her to exercise the demon that took hold of her as she hit him.

Today, the kids threatened that they will call 911 if you touch them. Parents are forced to use alternative ways of discipline.  If these ways  work for you GREAT.   Do you realize just how many parents would be doing time for hitting their children back in the day? I know mine would be the first on that list.  I guess what I am saying to my readers of non-African American heritage  is. . . this was and is still common place in our families.  That is why many of us were not shocked when Michael Jackson admitted that his dad beat him with a belt.  I mean who didn’t get beat with a belt?

So I am with Creflo Dollar in supporting his need to have to reach out and touch what society has stated as ‘untouchable.’ My advice to his daughter would be to keep your grades up so that next time  daddy will say, “Yes, pumpkin you can go to the party.”

Just Because You Built it, They Won’t Come


For those of us who are into marketing, we know all too well that advertisers use any ‘day’ to draw people into their stores. It is very common to see them offering outstanding products at a discount as a result of a: Mother’s Day sale, Father’s Day sale, Christmas Day Sale, Labor Day Sale, Black Friday Sale, Spring Sale, New Year’s Day sale and so on… Why do they do this? Answer: Because it gets the people in the door. If we can get them through the door, we can get them to buy our stuff. It’s not complicated; it’s simple AND it works!

Everyone is doing it – staying ahead, but the church. The church contends that it doesn’t take all that. We are stuck in the ‘Build it and they will come’ phase. We can look forward to the same ole programs, the same type of music, the same style of preaching even on days we call, the C.M.E.days – Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter. The same people come back year after year and say to themselves, “Yep, things haven’t changed since the last time I was here.” And away they go until the next year.

This year we did something special for Mother’s Day. We read a beautiful poem, followed by a hilarious job description for mothers; we saw a 2 minute film clip on the sacrifice of Ray Charles’s mother and followed it up with a beautiful gift given to each mother, grandmother, surrogate mother or any motherly types. It was a hit!! This of course was followed by great music and sermon relative to mothers. It was such a hit that the Fathers said to me “I sure hope you have something planned for us.”

We heard them and so we went off to find something for them too. Here’s what we did. We read a piece, “The Top 10 Things You Would Never Hear a Dad Say.” This was hilarious. We followed this up by running a clip entitled, “Dad’s Life.” As far as a gift was concerned, we wrapped up a bottle of Dad’s Root Beer with colorful paper, with decorative cloth ribbon we tied the Top 10 list rolled up and lastly we put each bottle in a see through plastic bag. This was a hit!! To top off things the music was hittin and stickin like Popeye’s chicken and the pastor’s sermon was about Samson’s dad.

Here’s the point if you want more than you getting, you gotta be willing to do more than your doing. Churches that are growing have caught onto more creative planning for that one or two hour Sunday morning service. In fact, they have moved beyond just preparing for C.M.E. days to making every Sunday the ‘best’ it can be.

Evaluate your service honestly next Sunday and ask yourself was this the ‘best’ I could have done.