Archive for July, 2009

vs

In August 2008 I brought up this topic of which social networking website is better –  facebook or myspace.

At the time, I was using both social networking websites. Trying to keep up with both websites was becoming too time-consuming and draining. To combat this problem, I first started using a passive aggressive approach – trying to stay balanced in my social networking website time or going through cycles of which website I was using more. This approach made the problems worse and morphed the two websites together – I call this the facespace stage.

facespace-logo

Well, I can proudly tell you that I will no longer have this debate or this social networking problem anymore. I have taken Jesus’ advice from Matthew 6 where he says, “No one can serve two masters (or social networking websites). Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.”

I am officially off myspace. No more friend requests from shady, barely dressed people. No more profile songs. No more trying to figure out how to write Internet code to have a cool profile. No more Tom. No more top friends.

I am proud to say that I am a 100% facebook guy now.

The words of a text I recently received from a teenager beautifully describes what I am experiencing because of this decision, “I just deleted my myspace! I’m free!

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I strongly encourage you to experience this freedom too.

hands_shaking

If you will, think for a few seconds on how you would answer this question: WHAT IS THE MOST OVER-USED QUESTION IN TODAY’S SOCIETY?

“Huh?” ~ no

“Paper or plastic?” ~ nah

“Do you want fries with that?” ~ nope

In my opinion the most over-used question in today’s society is “HOW ARE YOU?” That question comes in many different forms such as “How are you doing?” or “How’s life?” or “How’s it going?” Think about it, our society throws around this question so frequently. In fact, we have thrown it around so much that it has lost its meaning and its importance. 

Think about how much that question is thrown around on a daily basis.  You can walk up and down the halls of your school, your office, your local mall, and even your church and hear this question over and over again. It has become synonymous with “hello” as a common greeting but it is so much more than just a greeting. How many times have people today asked you that question? How many times have you answered it with 100% honesty? How many times has your answer been “good” or “fine” and the last words to describe your life was “good” or “fine”?

“HOW ARE YOU?” is a hugely important question. It is loaded. It requires complete honesty. It requires more time than a simple pass in a hallway.

I came to this “HOW ARE YOU?” epiphany during my college days at Lipscomb University. I loved going to school there. However, there were times in that super-friendly, Christian environment where I felt that the community of students were content with being fake. Walking around campus I would constantly get bombarded with “How are you?” from friends, classmates, acquaintances, and strangers. Often times, they would pass by before I could even give an answer. Did they truly care? Would it be an inconvenience in their lives if I answered that question honestly because they would probably have to stop right there in their tracks?

I made a decision during that time that has absolutely changed my life. I decided to never ask the question, “HOW ARE YOU?” unless I truly wanted to hear the answer. As I think about the life of Jesus, was there ever a time he asked somebody “HOW ARE YOU?” and did not really want to heave the answer? Did He ever just want to be polite and act like He was interested to just not be rude?

Is our goal as followers of Christ to simply not be rude or to be real and to really care about others?

My daily challenge to myself is this: be real, be honest, and care about people enough to give them the time of the day to answer “HOW ARE YOU?” honestly. In my experience, people are really surprised when others truly mean that question. I have to sometimes slow somebody down and say “seriously, HOW ARE YOU DOING?” just so they can let the “I always answer with a smile and a ‘fine’ or ‘good’” wall down. I have found that people are dying for somebody to simply listen to them. Often times, that question has opened the Pandora’s box of a person’s soul because they had held it in for so long.

I dare you to try it for a week and see if you life is any different. Only ask “HOW ARE YOU?” when you really mean it and when you really want to know the answer. Make sure that people you ask know that you mean it. Look them in the eyes, take an extra 5 minutes, and care. You do not have to be a pastor or have a ministerial degree to do this. 

Instead of “HOW ARE YOU?” being the most over-used question in our society, let’s make it the most life-changing question in our society.

How do people know that I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? Does my life help make the God I love and serve become more famous? How do people around me (even strangers) know that I have completely sold out, gone all in, and am following after God with a reckless abandonment?

I have been asking myself these type of questions ever since my recent trip to New York City. During this trip, I got the chance to go into a Buddhist temple and into a Muslim mosque. What I saw there floored me.

While I obviously do not see eye-to-eye in matters of faith, I greatly respect their devotion to their religion and I think Christians can learn from their day-to-day devotion and commitment.

As we were touring the Buddhist temple, I noticed one woman by herself. It was obvious that she was active in the Buddhist faith. There was no service planned. There was no organized group of people. On this normal Friday afternoon in July, this woman was bowing down in worship to her god. Many times we found her face-down in worship. Friends and family were no where to be seen and she was completely alone.

Earlier that same day, we had a chance to see a Muslim mosque. While this experience was memorable, I will remember an encounter we had later that afternoon. 

We made our way to Battery Park. This is a beautiful park in south Manhattan that is full of art, September 11 memorials, a great view of the Statue of Liberty, and a fort from the War of 1812. As we were there, we noticed a lot of people around us spontaneously bowing down. It turns out that the people bowing were of the Muslim faith and that it was time for their daily afternoon prayer. So in the middle of a busy New York City park on a normal Friday afternoon in July, these people were face-down before their god.

I was blown away.

I started to ask myself if I would be so sold out, so committed, so public with my faith.

Sure Christians have the cross necklaces, the WWJD bracelets, the trendy Christian t-shirts, the Christian fish bumper stickers, and a couple of television channels nobody watches. But that stuff is easy. You can pull off some of those things with a very low commitment to your faith. It is very easy to speak Christianese and play the part a few hours a week around the right people at the right time – that’s called playing church. It is a far different ball game to live sold out on a daily basis where anybody around you cannot help but notice how much you love God – that’s way more than t-shirts and bumper stickers.

My question to you is this…

How do people know that you are sold out and completely in love with God on a normal Friday afternoon in July?

During yesterday’s drive to Oklahoma, we drove on a highway that led us through McKinney, TX. While driving through McKinney, I noticed that there was an obscene amount of traffic lights that were considerably delaying the flow of traffic. 

Through my frustration and rising blood pressure, I started to notice an unusual trend among the street names. In a weird/funny/creepy way the street names started to tell my life story.

Here were three street names right in a row (no joke)…

IMG_6664 I was born in this great state

IMG_6665 I was raised in the church

IMG_6666 I went to college at Lipscomb

I was expecting the next street names to be “MARRIAGE”, “ATLANTA”, “TEXAS”, “STUDENT MINISTRY”, “RAN A FEW MARATHONS”, and “OKLAHOMA”. However, to my disappointment, the next street name was Waddill St.

But just think that would have been hilarious and at the same time very creepy.

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did.

OKC

Oklahoma…ready or not, here the Cromers come.

The cars are packed. We have said our goodbyes. And we are driving today to Oklahoma City to begin the next chapter of our lives.

Keep a lookout on the blog for updates and pictures throughout the day.

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We made it safely to Oklahoma City.  Here are some pics from the day…

IMG_6661 Leaving Sulphur Springs

IMG_6663 2 cars loaded up & hot wife pumping gas

IMG_6667 Crossing the border into OK

IMG_6669 TX people, these are called hills

IMG_6671 Finally arrived at our new house

This guy is hilarious. In today’s technological world, it is amazing what people can get famous doing. You are seriously one good youtube video away from being famous.

See more of this guy at BATTINGSTANCEGUY.COM.

Thanks to my great friend Eric Sztanyo for sharing this video with me. Enjoy…

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On a side note, if any of you are interested in buying baby blankets, my great friend Eric Sztanyo has started a new web based company that sells some great baby products. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT HIS NEW WEBSITE.

Here is a list of Pros & Cons of moving from Sulphur Springs, Texas:

PROS:

  • The wonderful people at NORTHchurch
  • Better food choices
  • Better gym/workout choices
  • Don’t have to drive 2 hours to the nearest airport
  • Simply leaving Texas & Texas pride (I never drank the koolaid)
  • Get to live in a 3G city, not a stinkin’ Edge city
  • Having another restaurant besides Chili’s be the best restaurant in town
  • Not having to have a front license plate
  • Not having a different speed limit at night (that law is dumb)
  • I get to use my Urbanspoon app and it actually give me different results
  • Oklahoma City Thunder (I’ll embrace them as my new NBA team)
  • Get to have more of a winter including snow
  • Southwest Airlines availability (credit Mom)
  • Share Jesus & influence more people (credit Sarah)
  • Possibility of awesome stocking stuffers (credit Mom)

CONS:

  • Leaving the wonderful people of Shannon Oaks Church
  • Leaving one of my best friends – Jason Dietze
  • Having to drive more than 5 minutes at a time to get around town
  • Not having professional baseball close
  • Not having two massive cows with freakish-steroid-like utters
  • Having to sell our house that we custom built
  • Leaving the awesome youth pastors in SS who seek unity among churches
  • Leaving the pink snow cone stand
  • May be more difficult to train for marathons on busier roads
  • Can’t have my two dogs in OKC right away
  • Toll roads
  • State income tax (credit JP Dennis)
  • Still far away from parents (credit Mom)
  • Long drive to see parents (credit Mom)

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What am I forgetting? What are the pros should be on the list? What are the cons that should be on the list? I will update this list as you give suggestions.