Category Archives: Community

Fireproof the Movie Opening

For awhile now I have been blogging about Fireproof Movie. Want to encourage you all to go see it soon. I was priveleged enough to see a preview of it three weeks ago and I have to tell you it is the best, most authentic movie about marriage I have ever seen. My wife and I are going to see it together tomorrow with a couple friend of ours.

I just got an email from their newsletter list which highlights how important our attendance is to getting the movie into mainstream:

Thank You … Thank You … Thank GOD!
Throughout 2008, you have followed the behind-the-scenes story of FIREPROOF, an action-packed love story about a fireman, his wife … and a marriage worth rescuing.

Friday, on opening day, you experienced the movie firsthand. With friends and family, with small groups and entire churches, you went. And laughter, tears, and cheers filled 839 theaters across the country.

Today, as movie-industry insiders look at all of the statistical data from yesterday, they are trying to figure out how in the world a movie they didn’t even know about was one of the most popular movies in the country on Friday.

That’s right: FIREPROOF was the No. 3 movie in America yesterday! You have thoroughly confounded Hollywood.

Will FIREPROOF stay No. 3 the rest of Opening Weekend? By industry standards, it seems extremely unlikely. The next five movies that finished behind FIREPROOF are playing on approximately 2,500 screens each.

So the key is that people like us keep showing up at movie theaters, both today and tomorrow. Let’s show Hollywood that FIREPROOF is the kind of movie you will support. Let them know that this is more than a movie … it’s a movement.

As we found out with Facing the Giants two years ago and FIREPROOF last night, with God, all things are possible … even in the movie industry. Make that especially in the movie industry.

Thank you! And thanks for continuing to support FIREPROOF on this all-important weekend.

Texas Teachers Pack a Pistol

I don’t go a week at work without someone referencing my Texas origin. I think they think I like to talk about it. Sure, it is something I am incredibly proud of, just as any true Texan is. As hard as non-Texans try to get their head around what Texas is really like, they tend to fall back to long persisting stereotypes (some of which are somewhat negative).

Overall, I don’t mind this kind of conjecture, but it occurred to me that bringing some folks up to speed on WHY everything is bigger and better in Texas might be useful. So I offer this and some future posts on the topic of Texas.

I have written about Texans being a well-armed people. And there is the talk that open carry (openly carrying a firearm in public) may come back to Texas. Don’t get the wrong idea and think Texas is the “the wild west” and full of chaos or lack of order. Far from the truth. Texas is a state full of nice people who generally are laid back and generous; preferring to lend a hand before swinging a fist. Still, Texans just aren’t wild about the idea of wrong-minded people interrupting our peace and safety.

So, I thought I would cross-post this article I read on the Ft. Worth Star Telegram website about a school district giving teachers the right to conceal carry handguns. This may give you a hair of insight into some Texas mentality. Here is a snippet to get you started:

When classes start Aug. 25 in the tiny Harrold school district, there will be one distinct difference from years prior: Some of the teachers may have guns. To deter and protect against school shootings, trustees have altered district policy to allow employees to carry concealed weapons if they have a state permit and permission from the administration. The 110-student district lies 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.

More than a dozen state legislatures have considered making it legal to carry guns on college campuses, but experts and officials contacted by the Star-Telegram say the move is unheard of in elementary or secondary schools.

Superintendent David Thweatt said a main concern was that the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff’s office, leaving students and teachers without protection.

The district’s lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target, Thweatt said.

<snip>

“When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started,” Thweatt said. “Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves? That’s like saying ‘sic ’em’ to a dog.”

Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses “unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution.”

Hurricane Fay Advice

Non-Floridians like myself are generally unprepared for hurricanes the first time. Have no clue what to expect or what to get ready. Well-meaning people try to describe what it is like to live through a hurricane and what preparations need to be made. Short of two emails, these conversations leave me in a fog.

One person managed to be incredibly helpful and insightful. I will leave out the name of my coworker and friend for now, and if she wants to fess up to being my source of knowledge, then she can do so in a comment. Read the bottom most email first to track my learning progress.
From: MY FRIEND
Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 2:21 PM
To: JASON

ah, my technologically dependent friend – post hurricane you must revert to the old school methods.  you walk outside with an arm full of what used to be frozen meat that is now defrosting from the lack of electricity.  you will soon find neighbors that have all that you list below, minus the gun range. 

you will find folks with large grills but no meat, people with canned veggies but without a heat source to warm them, bachelors with lots of condiments and chips but no water, people with water and enough canned goods to last a year but who long for fresh food. 

you add yourself to this mix of people and you have not only dinner but the beginning of a life group, good blog material and fond hurricane memories.  however, if this lasts more than 3 days you will be over it since none of you have had a hot shower or air conditioning and the bugs have started to hatch in the standing water.

On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 2:12 PM, JASON wrote:
Ewwww… smart. I need a ministry finder tool that can schedule my visits and match me up with people who have the resources we Texans need. Gun range, chickens, tators, bbq, and a prayer closet.

On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 1:36 PM, MY FRIEND wrote:
however, if you have people over to your house it is ministry.

On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 1:35 PM, JASON wrote:
I was going to call it “House Party”, but you are right… 

On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 1:26 PM, MY FRIEND wrote:
mooching

On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 1:03 PM, JASON wrote:
Perfect. So what does “Visiting Neighbors with Facilities & Food” equate to?

On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 12:39 PM, MY FRIEND wrote:
I like Faye better b/c i have a relative with that spelling.  Glad you asked about terminology, we wouldn’t want you to embarass yourself.  “Hunkering” happens at home, anything pre-storm outside of your home is a “preparation”, post-storm you are “venturing out”.

Front Row Seat at Life

I love that my daughters have the same persistent curiosity about life that my wife and I have. This afternoon’s birthday party had my daughters nudging the other kids for the front row seat at the backyard, portable petting zoo. They love exploring new things.

Here is the run down:
Donkey
Turtles
Rabbits
Chicks
Ducks
Goat
Sheep
Rooster
Piglets

Time to get back on the waterslide or in the bouncehouse or pool. Gotta go.

Fireproof Movie Details

A long while ago, I blogged about the Fireproof Movie. I got this today in a newsletter about Fireproof the Movie:

Churches Focusing on Fireproofing Marriages
As with every movie that is released theatrically this year, FIREPROOF aims to entertain audiences. Unlike any other movie this year, FIREPROOF will provide ministry opportunities for churches to help strengthen marriages in their community. You can find great church resources at FireproofmyMarriage.com.

In addition, churches will be able to host a “Fireproof My Marriage” seminar on November 1. This Church Communication Network simulcast features Sherwood Senior Pastor Michael Catt, FIREPROOF co-writers Stephen and Alex Kendrick, and marriage experts Gary Smalley and Dr. Les Parrott, among others.

http://www.fireproofthemovie.com/takeaction/ has some information about what you can do to promote the movie. We are 72 days out from the launch of the movie. I really believe it will do well!

Tidbits of Wisdom from a 50-Year-Old

I had the distinct privilege of hanging out with one of my Florida buddies for his birthday last night. He celebrated his birthday in the morning as he does every year with a no-hands front-flip.

Kevin Conklin is unique both in that he looks 40 instead of 50, and that he is in better shape than most people I know under 30. A former college wrestler in a light weight class, Kevin is still ferocious and determined. 

Kevin has been kind enough to work with me on discovering some of the warped views I have on who God is and how he relates to me. Our friendship is just beginning, but I trust the guy because he lived in his car at the beach for a few weeks to reconnect with God.

So last night at his birthday party, he had been asked to write down some of the wisdom he has gained in all those years. Here are a few tidbits that hit home for me I asked permission from him to share:

  • Pray, don’t talk about prayer or study about it – pray!
  • Be sure to learn a new hobby every couple years – it’s fun and stimulating and keeps you humble but good at a lot of things.
  • [Jesus] is truly faithful and loves you more deeply than anyone. There are no shortcuts to this relationship. Tend to it, nurture it and keep it creative.
  • Guard your heart! He is the source of your strength and peace.
  • Love deeply again and again no matter how much it hurts when it doesn’t work out, being lonely and regretful is no way to live.
  • Trials are your friends, for they truly forge your character. You have what it takes and you should embrace these trials as gifts, not hassles or as some form of punishment. They make you stronger, more real, teach you the best lessons…
  • Attitude and effort are two things you have control over, the rest you really don’t.
  • Make memories, you must be spontaneous and intentional … otherwise you will become a spectator, regretful and for sure boring.
  • Live today, don’t hold tightly to yesterday and don’t bank on tomorrow, we have this moment, right now. What will you do with it?
  • Create a life counsel for yourself. People who love you most, know you best, want the best for you and are willing to speak the truth in love to you.
  • Believe the best in people first and then let their life determine the rest.

Grandmother 2.0

(Mom, I know you are reading this, but I just had to blog this.)

So while laying in the bath (don’t picture it) catching up on my email on my iPhone this morning I get this from my Skype-friendly mother:

>> I noticed that your location on Twitter is still Frisco. I enjoy
>> reading it. Did you get the email from Facebook about adding me?

To which I responded to my mom:

< snip >
> Thankfully I have a policy of never doing anything online that
> my mother would not approve of, so I am safe. You have to be the most
> technically with it woman over 60. You are not supposed to even know what
> Facebook is, much less be on it.
> No, we can’t be friends, you are my mother. The last thing I need is my
> friends ganging up with my mom to do an intervention or something. Yes
> I still have a healthy fear of your wrath and of disappointing you. I
> thought you were retiring to knit, bird watch, and befriend Oprah…what
> is this grandmother 2.0?

I am sure that response will seem harsh to those of you who don’t know exactly how much I really love my momma and how much I admire her. The truth is, she is the one who taught me Windows ’98 and got me my first technology job during that horrible period after school where most of us didn’t have a clear career path.

My point in sharing all of this is to A) brag on my mom to butter her up before she comes to Florida to visit, B) bring out the fact that she isn’t the only older person I am seeing with technical and social software where-with-all. Over the last two years I have had a number of older persons send me “suggestions” about how to improve the websites I oversee, as well as to let me know when something isn’t quite working the way it should. With non-profits, they are especially proficient at online giving and web streaming. It seems they are also highly interested in when events start. Bygones.

What I am trying to say is that I think we now have Grandmother 2.0, which I will define as “a women who has planted two generations of family and knows more than the average Generation X person”. Why Generation X you ask? Because there seems to be a dividing line between most of us and the digital-natives that is marked around 1980.

Is anyone else seeing what I am seeing?

(Mom, I know I told you after you discovered my blog not to comment on posts…but feel free to share your thoughts.)