Friday, March 9, 2012

Various & Sundry, March 9

First off, don't forget to fill out the 2 question survey on what you want to see in The Infusion in future.  So far, reviews, religious reflections, and rants are leading the way. What, you don't like zombies?

Speaking of rants, a couple of updates to yesterday's post on Invisible Children.

I thought this post on How to Determine If a Charity like Kony 2012 Is Worth Your Money was a terrific response that helps donors with due diligence not only in this situation but in many others.  It tells you how to find out how a charity spends its money and what kinds of things to look for, using Invisible Children as a case study.

Also, while I was looking for an image to go with yesterday's post, I found this beauty, courtesy of The Onion:


And before this even started, I had tweeted this article from The Lark, The Onion's sacred counterpart: Church sends clown and puppet teams to war-torn Africa. Ha.

In other news, Church Marketing Sucks offers a great suggestion that organizations need to write about benefits, not features.
Features are all about you. It’s the checklist of whatever you have to offer. Certainly you care about it, but it doesn’t mean anybody else does. Features are how many services you offer and the incredible music and the coffee hour. But most people don’t come to church (or buy anything) because of a list of features. 
They do it for the benefits. Benefits are all about them. How does this church service (or product) benefit them? The spiritual change, the fellowship, the community–those are benefits. While features are external, benefits are internal. Benefits are all about what people get out of it, what they experience, what’s important to them.
Good to remember.

The NY Times had an article last week asking Does Couples Therapy Work?  There was a link within the article to another article called Bad Couples Therapy, written by a couples therapist who pointed out some of the pitfalls of the trade.  I recommend it to anyone doing pastoral care; great food for thought.

Finally, two writer-related tidbits: first, this excerpt from a story written by a 14-year-old Jane Austen:
One evening in December, as my father, my mother, and myself were arranged in social converse round our fireside, we were on a sudden greatly astonished by hearing a violent knocking on the outward door of our rustic cot. 
My father started — ‘What noise is that?’ said he. ‘It sounds like a loud rapping at the door,’ replied my mother. ‘It does indeed,’ cried I. ‘I am of your opinion,’ said my father, ‘it certainly does appear to proceed from some uncommon violence exerted against our unoffending door.
Love those sarcastic teenagers.  And from the same blog, JRR Tolkien had this to say about The Lord of the Rings to his publisher:
My work has escaped my control, and I have produced a monster; an immensely long, complex, rather bitter, and rather terrifying romance, quite unfit for children (if fit for anybody); and it is not really a sequel to The Hobbit, but to The Silmarillion. Ridiculous and tiresome as you may think me, I want to publish them both — The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. That is what I should like. Or I will let it all be. I cannot contemplate any drastic rewriting or compression. But I shall not have any just grievance (nor shall I be dreadfully surprised) if you decline so obviously unprofitable a proposition.

Glad they didn't listen to him.

Have a great weekend!

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