Church announcements: Just the facts!

Loved this article from Church Marketing Sucks about writing better church announcements. Check out this example:

BEFORE:

If you are married or planning to get married the Renewed Marriage Seminar is for you and your spouse. Join our senior pastor and his wife, John and Jane Smith, for this incredible time of renewal and refreshing in your marriage. Having been married 20 years, they will be teaching marriage principles from the Bible as well as from their own experiences. The registration fee is $35 which includes study materials, lunch and snacks. Childcare will be provided. The seminar is on March 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The seminar will be in the fellowship hall. Lunch and refreshments will be served in the atrium. Register at the table in the atrium after the service or call Dorothy at the church office.

AFTER:

Renewed Marriage Seminar // Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. // Fellowship Hall // Pastor John and Jane Smith are leading the seminar. You can register for $35 (includes materials, lunch and childcare) in the atrium or by contacting Dorothy at 555-555-1234 or dorothy@church.org.

BOOM! Keep it simple.

See more at: http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com/2013/03/how-to-write-church-announcements/#sthash.bFQGtBwf.dpuf

pants

The Perils of Biking to Work

Since I sold my Saab in July, I’ve made a game of seeing how long our family can go before buying a new (second) car. As a result I’ve been biking to work 2-3 days a week.

My husband, Chuck, transformed my mountain bike into a commuter bike, with bags, lights, the whole nine yards. (I’ll show it to you sometime; it’s pretty cool. Or as cool as a commuter bike can be.)

The first day I rode to work, I was so proud of myself! I packed my clothes for the day in one pannier (that’s the bag thingy on the back rack of my bike), and my computer and lunch in the other, and rode the 5 miles to work uneventfully.

I changed in the locker room at work, only to discover that, in the half-dark of my closet, I had grabbed two different shoes. My coworkers got a good laugh out of that. Fortunately I had a pair of shoe-esque black slippers I kept in my desk. Whew! Peril No. 1: victory.

pants

Today I encountered Peril No. 2. All this biking to work has led to a drop in a couple sizes. (Yay!) Unfortunately, as I packed my clothes for work I didn’t first try on the pants that fit me just a few months ago.

So as we speak, I’m walking around the office hitching up my pants to keep them from dragging on the floor. I’m not complaining too loudly about this problem, though. I have to celebrate victories where I can. :-)

And at least my shoes match.

A bit of background.

In case we haven’t met yet, hello! My name is Karen, and my (awesome!) day job is director of communications for a large church. I am also a mother of two teenage kids who turned out way better than they should have, and I have been married to a wonderful man for almost a quarter of a century. God lifted my obsession with alcohol in 2009, and I continue to be active in 12-step recovery programs. I struggled with an eating disorder for more than 30 years; He is leading me to victory in the area of food too.

If you know me at all, you know that I just can’t sit on the things I learn… The bumps on our journeys are meant to be shared with others. Blessings, friend.

 

picture-421

The object of my obsession

I’m on my second time through the Bible study “Made to Crave” by Lysa Terkeurst. (If you haven’t read the book or done the study, and food is an issue for you — DO IT.)

God has spoken to me powerfully through this study. Here’s the first a-ha: We consume what we think about.picture-421

For me, my craving was a vanilla crunch cone from Dairy Queen. At first, it was a special treat; a reward at the end of a couple weeks of eating healthy and working out. After a while, I found myself stopping a little more frequently: after all, it had been a long day, and I just HAPPENED to be driving down the street past DQ. And I just HAPPENED to have $2.09 in change saved on the dash of my car in case of an (ice cream cone) emergency.

After a couple weeks of this mind game, that darn ice cream cone became all I thought about as the end of my day rolled around, and I found myself stopping almost every evening.

Now, what damage can one ice cream cone a day do (and did I mention it was a SMALL one)?

A lot.

Here’s the problem. I was obsessing, spending time thinking about an inanimate object that I could consume because it tasted good and felt oh-so-good going down. My healthy options became harder and harder to choose. And my forward progress was sabotaged as the weight loss first slowed, then reversed completely.

I now know that Satan chooses his tactics intentionally. He knows where we are weak. And he wants to lure us away from God. In my case, he knows that what has worked in the past is something sweet, creamy, crunchy and just a bit salty.

Lysa says in Made to Crave: “We consume what we think about, and what we think about can consume us if we’re not careful.” Amen to that.

Danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

My prayer for today:

God, I want to crave You, not food. I know it’s Your will that I consume food as fuel, not that I let food consume me. You’ve already shown your faithfulness by removing other obsessions in my life. I choose to trust you with this one as well. Amen.