Thursday, April 30, 2009

the hot seat with matt ames

Ever wonder who is the face behind the Facebook group for TrueNorth Church? Matt Ames is no stranger to social networking. He is Mr. Facebook, he is a Twitterer and a super blogger! Check out his mad blogging skillz at

Matt, how do you think Facebook is enhancing the community of TrueNorth Church?
Like social media as a whole, it gives people a place to express their thoughts and get further connected. It makes news and announcements more dialogue than monologue. When a status update or story is posted, it shows up in people's news feeds with the opportunity for instant feedback, or to find what others think. That's hard to do in an organization of any size, so it's been great watching people take to it.

What do you think about your MOM having a Facebook account? I see that she is trying to hook you up.
HA! Moms are good like that. I'm okay with it. Not only has more family joined Facebook, but it also gives us a chance to learn more about each other. I think when I say something on Facebook, she can see how much it is a part of my life. It helps eliminate that "Geeze, Mom! Take an interest!" feel. The other good thing is we can chat from the other room. It cuts back on that whole getting up and walking thing. What's the deal with that anyway?

By following your Facebook statuses, it appears that you sleep all day while we work all day. What kind of job do you have that keeps you up all night?
I get the sun ready to come out in the mornings. I'm usually pretty spent from that by dawn, so I go right to sleep. Actually, I work overnights doing production work for radio stations. Although that isn't the same as getting the sun ready, I do make sure people are ready to wake up to some of their favorite morning shows and get their day started. In that sense, I suppose you can call me a radio barista. I don't make their coffee, but I do give them a double-shot of their favorite personalities. Yeah, that might have been a little corny. That's why they put me in a building by myself most of the night!

What are the challenges you face with blogging?
I try to blog at least once every weekday. A challenge I face with that sometimes is keeping things fresh. It's also more difficult for me to get as much feedback on a blog versus writing a "note" on Facebook. However, these are small in comparison to the biggest challenge of taking yourself too seriously. Personal blogs should be enjoyable and not another task on the agenda. Write every day. Write once a week. Write twice a year even. Write your thoughts on God, or your thoughts on dogs. Just be you. That's who your were designed to be. People will catch on to that.

Do you Twitter? Convince me that I should Twitter too.
Yes. I Twitter. I'm on my second account, actually. The first time I was on Twitter, I left because it just wasn't clicking. I decided it was worth another shot, and it turns out I took to it more the second time around. Should you Twitter? That's up to you. It's funny. I read a lot on the Internet about how people should Twitter, should blog, should this, should that. Dude, it's the Internet. Aside from returning your boss' emails, the only thing you should be doing is having fun with it. And if you're wanting to use the Internet to reach people, do it in a way that works for you. Just because something's the hot new thing doesn't mean it's your recipe for success.

Can I get up now? This chair is starting to burn!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

it's ridiculous

Once again I have become a victim of identity theft. Someone has apparently had a spending spree, compliments of my debit card, which has not left my possession. My debit card hasn't had this much fun in a long time! My bank will file the claims and I have already gotten my money back. But the absolute worst part of the whole deal is that I have to wait for a new debit card.


My first thoughts were "What if I have to get gas?" and "How am I going to pay for groceries?" Somebody has swiped my swiper and I am actually going to have to WRITE CHECKS or use CASH? This is SOOO inconvenient!

Isn't it ridiculous how spoiled we can be?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

don't miss this!

Plans were being made in early March for the current series, What Might Jesus Say, at TrueNorth Church. Each week we will be addressing what Jesus might say to specific influencers of modern day culture. In the initial planning, it was a challenge to identify exactly which media figure we would use. We wanted to make sure we stayed current by not using someone whose influence may fizzle during the course of the planning and the timespan of the series. What if, in the next month or so, someone should hit the spotlight and inspire a life-changing message?

Someone did.

Carrie Prejean, the current Miss California and the first runner up in the recent Miss USA pageant, will be the inspiration for Steve's message this Sunday. Read about her story here. We have had to do some creative rescheduling to make room for this amazing testimony of faith by Miss California.

This is just another reminder that you can't plan a move of God. But you better be ready for it. We had to change our plans this week so God could change some hearts in His perfect timing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

this blesses my heart

Check out this group of 9, 11 and 12 year olds jamming out to Separate Ways by Journey. Don't miss the guitar solo a little over halfway. They make me smile!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

i knew it would happen

I knew it would happen. There was once a time when he couldn't get enough of me, now he will barely touch me. I have felt him slipping away for a while now. After seven wonderful years, our relationship has officially transitioned and someone else has taken my place.

I am talking about my seven year old son, Matthew.

Me: Matthew, have you given your mama a hug today? (I pull him toward me.)
Matthew: Stop! You're embarrassing me.

I knew it would happen. The day would arrive when my son would resist my affection and cling to his dad. Since the day he was born, I knew I would have to let him go. First to his dad, and then to his future wife.

And I don't like it one bit.

However, in order for Matthew to have healthy relationships as an adult, I have to encourage him to become a man and to be independent of me.

I am not giving up on showing my affection to him. I just have to find creative ways to love him without embarrassing him now!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

salvation is here

This week, our community has been shaken by the untimely death of an eighth grade boy while at school. Autopsy reports indicate that he had an irregular heartbeat and enlarged heart.

Allison is in seventh grade and attends the same school as Cody. Although she didn't personally know him, the tragedy surrounding it has affected her. The school days continue as normal, but there are lots of tears from students and faculty, counselors are counseling, and school just doesn't feel the same for now.

Allison has had trouble sleeping the past two nights. As she was struggling to sleep last night, Alan went into her room and said, "Allison, I heard today that Cody accepted Christ a month ago".

"Oh, good. I feel much better now". She went to sleep and we didn't hear a peep from her the rest of the night.

I am so proud of Allison's involvement in Element Student Ministries and that on a regular basis, she learns how important it is to reach out to her classmates and to care about their salvation. Cody's death reminds us all of the urgency to help others know Christ. How can any of us sleep knowing that someone does not believe because they were not told?