Monday, March 29, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
It's no secret to my blog readers how I feel about Christians being on social networking websites. The internet as a whole is an excellent place to evangelize for Jesus. Sure there's a lot of nasty stuff out there...but how well do you really know your neighbors? Just what are those strange smells coming from their back yard?
Okay, I'm joking (I hope), but if followers of Christ don't put Jesus out there...who will? So Sunday, I decided to put my muses to practice and tweet the sermon as it happened. I'm not going to lie to you...this was new territory for our church. We're talking about moving past sermons on DVD that can be edited. This was live thumbing that couldn't be retracted once it was out there.
Too dramatic? Hey, it's my story.
I had the perfect situation taking shape. Mrs. Tony C wasn't at church, so I had open Blackberry access. She won't let me play with my phone in church even to use the, ahem, Bible application I downloaded...That's why the Good Lord had people write it down for you, so use your Bible and not your phone! People think you are playing games and not paying attention! Okay, she's probably right about that...but I don't have to like it.
With no Blackberry block, I could tweet the sermon on Twitter which would then post to my Facebook status. Sweet! Of course it's a closed network unless my friends retweeted or shared, but hey...a work in progress. The excitement was building. Please God, is this a ministry you approve of me conducting? Can you give me a sign!?
Pastor Derek began to speak, my thumbs were at the ready...'Today, I'm going to be talking mainly to the women on what Proverbs tells us about the Virtuous Woman.'
(To myself) Yes! Thank you Lord...I know you want Mrs. Tony C to hear this sermon! If I tweet this message, it will be as if she were actually here! This must be what You want!
Now, I may be teetering on the boundaries of sacrilege here, and I hope you don't think so. I also hope God nor Mrs. Tony C think so either because they're numbers One and two on the Big List of Importance (BLI). I will continue while treading ever so lightly...
So, I begin by tweeting the scripture to be used in the sermon and the title presented by Pastor Derek. By the way, my pastor is a very Godly man and fabulous speaker. He uses the gifted talent he has in service to God. So if I, on the other hand, using my talent...okay useless knowledge...in social media sites can assist in getting his wonderful sermons to a broader audience, isn't that furthering his service to the Lord too? (Okay, maybe I'm still trying to sell you guys on this idea).
As the sermon progressed, I tweeted the outline bullet-style to the cyber-audience. There were a few 'hitches in the get-along' I must admit. Yours truly is sporting some pretty chunky digits, so I had to carefully edit as I typed making sure I didn't fat-finger a whole new meaning to a point I was sending out. That meant I was in a 'head-down' position most of the service, and since I was seated in row two, I'm sure noticed by many. Note to self- when tweeting sermon live...do so from the back row.
Then there was the typical...excuse me, occasional...mind wondering moment when I mentally substituted the word voluptuous for virtuous into the ongoing sermon and chuckled to myself (yes, as accused, I sometimes crack myself up). This wouldn't have been a real problem except for the brief moment I thought I had inadvertently tweeted the wrong word and was in a temporary panic until the tweet actually posted, and I could see the word virtuous. I started paying closer attention at that point. I would have been at a loss trying to explain that one to Mrs. Tony C.
Overall, things went rather smooth though. Several of my Facebook friends in the service asked afterwards what I was doing because their phones vibrated every time I updated. Most of them know better than leave their ringer on in church because I've been know to play Dave Tvedt's game of 'gotcha ringer on?' If you're listed in my Contact List...you're fair game any given Sunday I can catch Mrs. Tony C not watching.
Pastor Derek's a pretty forward looking guy, so when I caught up to him later before the evening service, I told him that I had made church history and how:
Pastor Derek: So you tweeted the service? Who did you tweet too?
Tony C: Well, it went to everyone who follows me on Twitter, and each tweet also updated on my Facebook status.
Pastor Derek: Alright. And what does that mean exactly?
Tony C: As you made points from your outline, I sent those bullet points out as tweets. I know you're not big on Twitter (see his Heavy D Blog post).
Pastor Derek: No, that's cool.
As you can see from the lack of activity on the blog I encouraged him to start, he's a forward thinker alright...he's just still living in the Reagan Administration. Did I mention he's a fabulous speaker and trendy dresser?
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Music had soul
Even after 30 years, a lot of the music from the 70's has stood the test of time. The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Queen and AC/DC were all expanding their fan base with great new, driving rock music, while the Commodores, Marvin Gaye, Aretha and Chicago cranked out smooth hit after smoothhit. Pink Floyd brought a new music style to the scene and punk rock was born. Yes...we also watched disco/dance music arrive and leave too.
There were a ton of big hits, and a great song was measured by being a seamless integration of good music, good vocals and a good vibe. Defining the latter may appear vague, but play two distinct styles from the period...say an Eagles' hit and one from Jethro Tull...and you'll get a better understanding of what that probably means.
There were a few 'one hit wonders' in the 70's, but writing only one good song for an entire album release was a sure quick death during the 8-track age. Nobody wanted to listen to eleven bad songs/tracks waiting to loop back around to the one good song!
Television had some morals
As Lassie, Bonanza and even Gunsmoke ended long running series, new family-oriented programs like the Waltons and Little House on the Prairie took the scene with wholesome story lines. Even the sitcoms of the day like Sanford and Son, Happy Days, All in the Family, and Laverne and Shirley wouldn't cross certain moral boundaries and most always contained underlying themes of right and wrong. Who from the era can forget the struggles of the Evan's family in the housing projects of Chicago on Good Times? Dad James always too proud to take a hand out despite numerous hardships while Mom Florida openly prayed to 'the good Lord above.' Scenes like that are few and far between in broadcast programs today.
Remember spending Sunday nights watching the Wonderful World of Disney with the family as a way of winding down the weekend and preparing for a new week? I also recall the debate in my house if the show Wonder Woman was too racy for an 11-year old to watch in 1975....after all the lady had gold boobs!
The 'adult shows' were 60 Minutes, Mannix, Cannon and later Three's Company and Fantasy Island...where story lines had more sexual innuendos...but stopped at innuendo. A single episode of today's Three and a Half Men aired in 1975 would certainly have ended television watching at my house with the television ending up by the road as garbage.
Innovation was king
You might think I'm a decade early with that subtitle, but the 70's gave us waves of new, cutting-edge products. Which one of these modern day staples are a product of the 70's: bar codes, email, inkjet printers, laser printers, LCD's, personal computers or MRI imaging? Try all of them...every last one...not to mention microprocessors, microwave ovens and video games. That's right kids...video games...along with skateboards.
With innovation came a push to educate new generations to put the new concepts and products to productive uses. A major shift of more high school graduates heading for college caused an explosion in numbers of colleges and sizes of universities. What you could study and even major also expanded leading the way to even more specialized fields in most disciplines. Seriously...did we have any idea Swallow Therapist were in such demand until after the 70's. We just took swallowing for granted until then I guess.
Innovations from the 70's paved the road for the technical breakouts in the following decades that eventually made such technology as complicated as an iPhone as accessible today as the color television set was back then.
It's fair to say I'm proud to be a product of the 70's. People seemed to dress a little snazzier, step with a bit more swagger, and laughed at funny for the fact it was actually humorous...and not just shockingly offensive.
*From the theme to All in the Family...not a personal social observation by Tony C...well, at least that's what I'm going with here.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be an astronaut. After a few flying lessons from a former Leatherneck pilot in an old cub prop plane, I was ready for the big show. I had it all mapped out. Through Vanderbilt for commissioning in the USMC. Flight school. Carrier duty. Instructor School. Test Pilot Program. Astronaut Program. Space!
*Disclaimer- Mrs. Tony C neither condones, encourages nor appreciates anyone who does condone and encourage her daughter to participate in interplanetary space travel, extraterrestrial colonization, human endurance experiments and any training to wit.
Monday, March 1, 2010
This morning I threw away an old pair of shoes. To some of you, an old pair of shoes may constitute shoes you've had for five or six years. I know several of you ladies keep shoes in boxes that maybe you've had for longer than that. Well, the shoes I threw away this morning were over ten years old...and were worn several times a week during that stretch.
Yes, I know that's disgusting. Although my beloved footwear was high-quality Børn shoes, I probably held on at least four more years than I should have....okay maybe five. And despite my efforts to extend their life with sole inserts and even an attempt to find a cobbler for retreads, my most favored clothing item was truly long past reasonable use. Out of just common courtesy, the insides would get a regular dousing of Febreze or even new charcoal inserts, but I could still wake an area at least two pews deep in both directions during a Sunday morning service by just slipping my feet out and letting nature take over. Said action would, of course, incur the wrath of Mrs. Tony C and set the toddler to gaging like she was strangled on a Skittles candy directing attention directly back in my direction.
Why do we hang on to things way longer than we should? My shoes were both stylish and comfortable...well, maybe stylish when I bought them, but they were sure comfortable! I think I had a hard time letting go for a number of reason though. The comfortable part was like a warm blanket of security for me. I didn't have to go through the process of breaking in new shoes to find out they still weren't as comfortable as my old ones. I also didn't have to go through the aggravation of picking out a new pair either. There are so many brands and styles these days. When I bought my old shoes, the makers had a solid reputation for making quality products. My shoes were expensive because they were well made...not because so-and-so wore them (endorsed would be more proper) or they were the latest pricey fad.
I understand that can also be a dangerous position of attitude in other aspects of my life. I was a much different person when I bought those shoes over ten years ago. Same feet? Sure. Same person? Not so much. There will always be parts of that Tony C with me...he's part of what makes me who I am today. But the priorities in my life are much different.
Before we start the psychoanalyzing of my inner-self clinging to shoes as a way of holding on to some part of my past...stop. The shoes were just comfortable, not sentimental. With a new way of looking at things for me came a better way of dealing with issues from my past. If God can remove my transgressions as far as the East is from the West, then I can learn to let them go as well.
I heard a man I respect and admire recently discuss this Scripture, and he believes the directions East and West were used instead of North and South in the analogy because when you start travelling East on the globe you will continue going East for as long as you travel...no matter how many revolutions around the globe you make. The same can't be said about going North or South. Once you reach an apex, you are heading in the opposite direction. It is impossible to infinitely travel North or South. God removes our transgressions forever when we confess them and give them to Him...so why would I cling to past sins?
It actually felt good throwing those old shoes away this morning. Besides, my new shoes are feeling pretty good...and they smell a whole lot better too!