stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this Friday morning:

  • Well, in a real shocker, the government is trying to get a spending bill passed to prevent a shutdown. Question: If the government doesn’t operate by its budget and is going to run another trillion-dollar deficit…what difference does it make? You’d think by the rancor present in negotiations that they actually plan to stick to it. We all know better. So, let’s either pass one and stick to it. But, let’s not fail to pass one and then not operate by nothing. That last sentence was a nightmare—a grammatical expression of the Washington budget madness.
  • I have a new phone…the OnePlus One. This phone is ridiculously good. Few people know about the phone because it was marketed using an “invitation only” strategy and the company is a Chinese startup. It’s thin, clear, has massive battery life, and is extremely light. Loving it. It’s an Android device that smokes Samsung’s Galaxy S5. They should be worried.
  • I take gobs of notes. I go through a yellow tablet a week—minimum. I’ve used Evernote forever. However, I’m dabbling a bit with OneNote. Do you have some insights as to which is best for rabid note-takers?
  • A recent poll shows a majority of us think next year will be worse than this year. I guess I can understand that feeling given what a rough year this has been. Yet, Christians should be people of hope—not always believing each year will be better than the one before—but believing the Kingdom is breaking into our world and lives. I can’t control what happens next year–but I can choose to go into it hopefully rather than fearfully.
  • The Padres traded for Matt Kemp. Actually, they stole Matt Kemp. That is a huge, huge deal out here…as we never pay anyone. Good for the Padres.
  • If a church can fiscally afford to provide raises for its staff, at least some cost of living raise should be given every year. I’m also a fan of merit-based raises on top of that. If someone never merits a raise…it’s worth asking whether they should still be on staff at your church.
  • I read this week that students whose cell phone was out of sight score 20% higher on tests than those whose phone is off but still visible. It makes me wonder about church, dinners out with significant others or friends, reading books, etc. If I knew I’d be 20% more alert if my cell phone was out of sight and off as opposed to just off…I’d probably try to live most of life with it out of sight.
  • Or, would I rather live a 20% lesser life so I can keep “the precious” at hand. God help me if I get there.
  • If you want to make good decisions, you’re more likely to get them if the right people are making the decision. Getting to the right decision is more important than who makes it. Churches get themselves in trouble when they feel only people in a certain role should make decisions that are outside their expertise, experience, or are in an area where they have inappropriate conflicts of personality, etc. I wonder if we asked, “Who would actually make the best overall decision on this?” when it came to key decisions–if we’d bat a better average. No one knows everything about everything.
  • It also helps when someone recognizes they are too close to a situation or they have a personality conflict that will color their judgment–instead of viewing that personality conflict or ideological disagreement as their crusade in the process of making a decision.
  • On Facebook last night, I asked… “Christmas Vacation or It’s a Wonderful Life?” Christmas Vacation won a fairly decisive victory. That surprised me, but then again–knowing my friends–maybe it shouldn’t 🙂
  • You’ll never go wrong investing in ministry to those 18 and under–or investing in marriages.
  • Is it me or does every department store only play Michael Buble’s Christmas music with an, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” chaser courtesy of one Mariah Carey.
  • All I know is, O Holy Night will always be the King of Christmas Songs. Don’t even try to debate it.

What are you thinking about this Friday?