A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: April 2005 (page 1 of 3)


Always – I mean always! – take the $100 credit when they offer it…after you’ve kept the receipt and proved you knew what you were talking about and they didn’t.

Back to “The Gap???” Maybe…

For the first several months of this humble attempt at a Weblog’s existence, it was known by the title “Straddling the Gap.” It was so named because I thought it was cool, and because I was trying to find a toehold in the postmodern world, while I had one foot firmly planted in modernity.

I got kind of tired of that and thus, “Just Charlie” took its place.

Today, though, I’ve been thinking about that whole “gap” thing – a divide between what is and what could be, what is and what should be, and I’m giving a lot of thought about going back to “Straddling the Gap.”

This time, though, I’m not talking about the gap between the modern world and the postmodern. I’m talking about a gap that may be a larger and more imposing gap: the gap between knowing and doing.

See, I believe with all my heart that we know a whole lot more about what we should be doing – in our personal lives, our relationships, our churches, our work, our world – than what we actually do. We can talk a good game, but when it comes right down to it, most of us aren’t accomplishing even a little bit of what God has designed and empowered us to do.

It’s all a matter of getting to the work, the task at hand. I thought about this as I bought a couple of new books today. We’re looking for the magic bullet that will be THE KEY! to getting us from knowing to doing. The bad news is, there is no THE KEY! No magic bullet. No one tool that will move us along. It’s up to us to take the knowledge and tools we already have, and put them to effective use fulfilling the purpose of God for our lives.

That’s it! That’s the thing! Easy, huh?

Yep, real easy to identify it. Real tough to make it happen.

Here’s a deal you can’t afford to refuse: If you pray for me to get over the knowing-doing gap, I’ll do the same for you? Deal? Thanks!

Great Lyrics from the Great American Songbook…

Had AccuRadio’s Swingin’ Classics on while working. Heard these great lyrics from Carl Sigman and Bob Russell’s tune, “Crazy He Calls Me,” a great Billie Holiday classic…

The difficult I’ll do right now
The impossible will take a little while…

I just like the sentiment behind that little snippet. Don’t you?

EDIT: 5:17 PM…It just occurred to me that you’ll probably need to use Internet Explorer to listen to AccuRadio. Sorry, Firefoxers!

Man, What a Day!

This is what it looked like from our deck earlier today, via “The Boy’s” camera phone.

Actually, this picture doesn’t really do it justice! An almost perfect spring day in NW Georgia…amazing!

UPDATE: The Barbarian Way…

Earlier today, I posted about Ken Miller’s review of Erwin McManus’s The Barbarian Way. After I read Ken’s blog about the book, I went out to run some errands and picked up the book. I started thumbing through it, and actually ended up reading/scanning it all the way through. WHILE I WAS DRIVING! (OK, OK! I know…but it is a book about being a barbarian, after all! Right?)

Anyway, it is a small book in size, and it is very easy to read. But it packs a pretty good wallop of challenging thoughts and ideas. I’ll post some after while (but now I’ve got to go do my voluntary citizen’s duty, and finish my income tax return!)

Buy the book! But as KenBob said in his review…

Brace yourself!

A “Committee of Buzzards?” Priceless…

One of my redneck buddies, Ken Miller, updated his blog – finally! (Just kidding, Ken…I’ll take the good stuff you post whenever you post it!)

He recommends Erwin McManus’s newest book, and his post includes this gem…

Here’s an excerpt that will remain a priceless jewel as long as the established church is stuck in the mire of man-made tradition:

“With insects most of us know that bees are called swarms, and ants are called colonies. Among ocean life, I was aware that whales are pods, and fish are schools. Cattle are herd, birds are flocks, and if you watch Lion King, you know a tribe of lions is a pride. If you grew up in the country, you might know that crows are murders. Maybe the most unnerving one is an ambush of tigers.”

Brace yourself…….

“I was surprised to learn that a group of buzzards waiting around together to feast on leftover carnage is called a committee. Just this one insight is worth the price of the whole book. This explains so much of what’s going on in churches – a lot of committees waiting around to live off human carnage.”

Erwin Raphael McManus

Ken – who has a knack for getting right to the point in some creative ways – ends his post with this…

* The cost of pastoring established, unhealthy churches – 3 years of religious detox.
* The cost of The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus – $11.55 plus shipping.
* The quote above from the “Resident Alien” – priceless.

It’s Not Just the Big Boys…

Earlier this week, I mentioned in this space that I’m reading 7 Practices of Effective Ministry by the gang over at North Point Community Church. There’s some pretty good stuff in the book – and I’m only on the first “explanatory” chapter about what it means to “clarify the win.”

Anyway, we read this kind of stuff and we think, “OK, that’s all good – for the big ol’ churches that have the resources and staff and all that. But it’s not for us ‘regular Joes.'” We think all that and then we read in the 7 Practices book that one of the ostensibly “big church effective” things that North Point does actually came from one of those “regular Joe” churches. The section about using video testimonies in connection with baptisms includes this little paragraph…

In fairness, I must point out that we got the idea of shooting video testimonies from a small church in our area. You should always be on the lookout for creative ways to communicate the win. (p. 82)

Now, I could nitpick, and say it would’ve been really cool for the North Point “big boys” to actually name the “small church in our area” where they got the idea – that would’ve been a huge win for the small church. But the fact that they included that “admission” was pretty encouraging for me.

I’ve often said that some of the best preaching, most creative programming, etc. is going on every single week in some of the most “obscure” places. Every bit as “good” and effective as the mega-guys – just not as noticed. Whatever “small church in our area” did the video testimony thing probably borrowed it from somebody else. They thought it was cool. And they probably never expected that God would use that idea to bless North Point, and through North Point, to bless the rest of the Kingdom!

The moral of the story? Be on the lookout for good stuff – everywhere and anywhere you go. It’s not just the big boys who have great ideas.

God bless the “regular Joes and Janes”! Help us be as committed to excellence for Your Kingdom’s sake as the big guys. And help us be appreciative when the big guys give us a shout!