Take A Break Pastor Mark

I have a hard time slowing down and moving out of the way. 

Most entrepreneurs, business owners, pastors and high D personalties would agree.

I wrote about slowing down here.

That experience led to a book called Go Small.

My twitter feed blew up over this video yesterday.

Here are my thoughts:

  1. Mark quit before he got fired which was step one of his comeback tour. It is always easier to walk away before you are asked to leave. 
  2. He talks a lot about the hard times “he has had” and his family and asks for prayer. Ok. That is fair,if at the same time he could take some ownership for why this is happening. Did he ask for prayer for once for his church that he started and is going through hell right now having to shut down campus and figure it out? Did he ask for prayer for the countless number of people who have already lost their jobs or have been actually hurt?  Throwing rocks at Mark’s windows just shatters glass. Marks words and actions shattered lives what about those people?
  3. He is there to learn and pray. IN THE FRONT ROW! I have yet to see Mark really be humbled in this whole process and that is why I still can’t sit back and watch all these praises online and on stages from pastors who just praise this guy. He can’t stay away from the limelight and if he is not on the stage has to sit front row steps away from the stage. I don’t get it.
  4. If life is so awful for you and  your family, what the heck are you doing in Dallas away from everyone who needs you now. You don’t have a job. You don’t need to learn more because we know you know everything about the Bible so go be with your family or knocking on the doors of the people you hurt asking for forgiveness.
  5. Where were all his “good friends” for the past 10 years. I love it how many pastors including this one step up now and say he is such a good friend but did you turn a blind eye to everything this guy has done for the past 10 years. Where are the old friends if Mark had any that have been speaking into his life for years. Has Mark pushed all those away in exchange for new friends that will clearly welcome him back and invite him up on stage. I have seen far to many key leaders lack any real friendships with people who will really speak truth into their life. A “good” friend would not encourage Mark to sit front row in his conference and invite this guy up on stage. I don’t buy these friendships we boast about online. 
  6. Get Rid of @PastorMark twitter. Exchange @PastorMark for @Dadof5Mark and stop trying to still be someone you are not. Lose the title, the big bible, the microphone, the conferences and just take a break. Go away somewhere safe. Make real relationship with people who won’t exploit you and just learn how to engage with real friends and real community. 
  7. Apologize and stay silent. You resigned and left your post and would be great to just let your church move forward without you and stop trying to make people feel sorry for you. 

The great thing is that everyone loves the comeback story. We seem to shy away from the guy who stayed out of trouble and just lived a simple life. In the church world, we love the guy who had it all, lost it and then gets it all back. I have no doubt you will be back. People will pack it in to see you just like the did with Swaggart, Haggard, Benny Hinn and so many others but for now I would just say slow down and move out of the way.

I wasn’t forced to do this like Mark not because of my bad choices but because of my health. I fought it like Mark did and eventually caved in because I feared for my life and the thought of not being around for my family. It was a difficult season but one that I needed. One that I am glad I did. 

Here is a clip of me talking about it:

I don’t hate Mark. I know you might read this post and think I am just mean and cruel. I am not that mean but I do think in situations like Mark’s we focus too much on Mark and too little on the rest of the people. I think the Bible is clear that you reap what you sow and when that happens all I can say is what did Mark expect would happen to him?

I hope he learns from it and he can step out and move out of the way for a season and see what he might learn.

9 Reasons People Post Negative Things On Your Facebook Posts.

I know this might bother some people and I am okay with that. Here is what I noticed. We have put out a few things recently that have been shared like crazy on social and especially Facebook.

We posted this  on Friday from @iparentTV-  http://iparent.tv/netflix-doesnt-care-about-your-children/

Previously, we posted this on XXXchurch.com about Sheena - http://www.xxxchurch.com/theindustry/yes-jesus-loves-you-sheena.html


This is just two examples. These examples and years on social media have led me to believe these things about people who comment on FB. Not everyone but this is a generalization. In no particular order. These 9 things are about the “haters” in your comments.

  1. Most people who post comments on FB don’t read the whole post or click on the link to the article or watch the full video if posted. They don’t want to leave FB so they make a comment just off of the title or image.
  2. Most people who comment engage in conversations that are secondary to the main point of the post.
  3. People who click “like” typically enjoy the post and people who post a comment typically want their opinion to be heard and disagree with the post.
  4. People who post comments on FB don’t have a job or enjoy FB way to much and spend to much time on FB. They are typically unproductive people.
  5. The most insecure people post comments on FB because it is easier to post a comment sitting behind a computer screen.
  6. People who post comments on FB just want to be heard and deep down inside with they could write something that people would comment about but they most likely never will.
  7. People love to debate, fight and challenge in the comments section. 
  8. You will never win a debate on FB with a commenter so don’t even try. This one is tough for people like me because it is so easy to fire back at people but if you ignore them or if you can “ban” or delete them on your FB page that is even more fun.
  9. No one listens to them in real life so they need to be heard somewhere online. They look for these types of conversations that they can chime in on.

Got anymore reasons? Tweet them at me @craiggross would love to hear them. 

Friendly Competition

Many of you who know me, you understand I like to compete. Whether it is beating you at Ping Pong, winning at Fantasy Football or bluffing you at Texas Hold Em. I am always up for a little competition.

Yesterday, while online I saw this add when i searched for our software called “X3watch

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I wasn’t mad. For me it just was another company trying to compete and I get that. You see covenant eyes is a software that is similar to X3watch. They would be today’s Microsoft in this space and we would be more like Mac. What I mean is they have not evolved or come out with better features in a long time but a lot of people still use it. Just like a lot of people still use PC’s but those of us on Macs just know Macs are better.

Here is the difference. Macs are more expensive then PC’s. X3watch isn’t more expensive then Covenant Eyes.

The reason!

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We are not trying to make it on the INC 5000 list. Covenant Eyes sells 95% of its software to Christians. 

When you sell specifically to Christians, you can charge more and you don’t have to produce as quality product. An example of this is all the bad Kirk Cameron movies and the latest Left Behind movie. These are not great movies but Christians love being targeted and marketed to exclusively.

Here is what you need to know about X3watch

  • Over 1 million people have downloaded the software for FREE
  • 50% of every dollar generated from our Premium sales goes right into the ministry projects of XXXchurch.com not into the profits of a company trying to make the INC 5000 list.
  • X3watch Premium is $6.99 a month or $64.99 a year compared to Covenant Eyes which charges $167 a year or $13.99.
  • X3watch Premium works on all your devices
  • X3watch doesn’t market to only a religious audience
  • X3watch has always had a free solution!
  • X3watch is a part of a Non Profit organization not a For Profit company.
  • X3watch can’t out advertise a For Profit Company.

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Those ads that Covenant Eyes is paying for whenever someone searches for “X3watch”. I get it. They want to increase their revenues and get some more customers. Those adds cost $2.25 cents every time someone clicks on it. That is money they clearly have to spend since they are tracking to make 9 million dollars this year.

We don’t have the budget or waste money like that. We have some free grant money that we use on google at times but would rather spend our dollars on projects that matter. 

Some people got mad at us yesterday because Ryan posted this on X3watch. Don’t get mad! Just understand even though you have a company that believes in Jesus and markets to Christians doesn’t mean everyone has to be friends and work together. 

X3watch exists to help people live better lives when they are open and honest.

Covenant Eyes is trying to climb up the Inc. 5000 list as a For Profit company. There is nothing wrong with that. Its because of this that they will do whatever they can to generate more money selling a weaker product for more money.

Go ahead and click on their ads all you want. Click, Click, Click. That would cost $6.75 to them and that won’t hurt them at all.

X3watch has helped and impacted over 1 million people. Covenant Eyes has under 100k total users. Yes, they make more money then us but making money has never and will never be our goal with X3watch.

Check out www.x3watch.com today and see for yourself what happens when you are open and honest with the people around you.

Craig

And The Winner Of The Car Is….

I have some news about the #GOSMALL car. 

Thanks to everyone who bought the book and shared about the book on a review or their blog or social sites. I appreciate it and hope you have enjoyed the book. 

Many of you don’t know but it is really hard to give something away “legally” We hired a company that specializes in sweepstakes to figure out how to do it legally. They prepared the “OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES

Many of you didn’t read the fine print so let me explain the highlights in the fine print and let you know how we are going to notify the winner. 

First of all, all entries online had to be in by Tuesday but you were allowed to mail in your entry and you have till Saturday for those to reach the PO BOX. 

We will draw the winner on Monday the 22nd and contact the winner and start the qualifying process.

The company we hired selects the winner. They take all the entries that we have received online and offline and assign a number to each entry. They take the total number of combined entries using a random generator to determine the winning number and the alternate.

They will send me those two names on Monday and we will personally email the winner but the winner MUST talk to the sweepstakes people on the phone. 

During the call the company  must not only qualify the winner but also explain the tax ramifications of accepting the prize. I think everyone knows that you have to pay taxes on the car. You will receive a 1099 forms in January of 2015 for the value of the prize selected. So, in some crazy case that you turn down the car, the alternate will be selected. 

The winner is not the winner until we receive back the signed affidavit indicating the prize selection and a copy of some form of ID.

The winner will have two options. They can select

#1 Receive a 2014 Smart Car Pure CPE (VIN# WMEEJBA4EK772492) that has an approximate retail value (“ARV”) of $12,620. Shipping expense to Hawaii or Alaska not included. Shipping anywhere else in the U.S will be covered.

or

#2 Winner will have the choice of accepting a 70% cash option of $8,834 in lieu of the Smart Car.

Will let you know MONDAY!


Thanks

Craig 

 

Hey Dad! Great First Half but Bad Second Half

*I wrote last night about becoming a 49ers Fan For One Night Only

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Hey Dad!

I know it’s 30 minutes from San Fran but you wouldn’t belief this new stadium. It’s pretty awesome.  It’s got wifi from every seat in the place. You didn’t know what wifi was when you were alive but maybe you know now.

I know you just like plain old hot dogs and nachos and a coke but the food here is way better then that.  They are going to host the Super Bowl here in 2016. Remember, when we went to the Super Bowl? That was something else in Indianapolis but I think this stadium is even better.

Your 49ers look good for a half but not sure if you know that Seattle team has gotten better. They won the Superbowl and started off this year killing my Packers. I don’t think you 49ers are going to get past them this year especially with this many penalties. I could only imagine how much you would be screaming at the officials and the play calling tonight. I tried my best to duplicate it but it didn’t help. 

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I brought my friend David Dean with me to the game. He is a die hard Bears fan and one of my best friends. It wouldn’t be the same seeing a game here and not having someone with me that cheered against the 49ers. I’m wearing your windbreaker and it’s a bit big and it’s hot here but I put it on and am cheering for your team because we were suppose to go to this game together dad.

It’s hard being here without you. It’s actually been a pretty rough year and a half since you’ve been gone. You weren’t suppose to go so soon. Remember you told me you knew you were going to live to you were 87. You were off by 17 dad. I miss you dad.  Man I miss you. I wish you were here with me.  

Love

Craig

49ers Fan For One Night Only

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I bought my dad this 49ers windbreaker at candlestick park for his birthday a few years ago.

He wore it to the 2012 NFC playoff game at candlestick when the 49ers played the Packers. That was the last trip my dad and I ever went on. It was a night I will never forget.

I surprised dad with tickets and we drove to the game. I was wearing my Packer shirt and I got heckled all the way into the stadium. My dad just smiled. My dad and I were close the last 7 years of his life. Not the kind of close that meant we had to cheer for the same team.

I shared some thoughts in the blog post called "Thanks Dad" about our relationship

That night was special. On the drive up there I heard about how my dad’s dad moved his family to San Fran when he was around 12. He started going to 49er games before candlestick was even around. Once candlestick opened my dad had season seats.

Growing up my dad and I would go to a 49er game every now and then even though I liked the Raiders as a kid.

That cold night in January with the wind blowing in Candlestick they played a commercial for the new 49ers stadium. It would open in 2014 and the old candlestick which we were sitting in would be demolished.

My dad thought it was ridiculous to move the 49ers to San Jose but was exited for this new stadium.

I remember being at a MNF game in 2011 with my dad at candlestick when the power went out and there were no lights delaying the game. The stadium is old but the memories for true 49er fans in that stadium will never be forgotten.

My dad and I decided we would be at opening day 2014 when the 49ers would play their first regular season game in the new stadium.

A few weeks after that playoff game my dad and my family watched, in his apartment, his 49ers come so close to winning the Super Bowl. He was sitting in his recliner chair wearing this same windbreaker.

He died a few days later. I didn’t keep many of my dad’s things. A watch I gave to him and a 49ers windbreaker that sits in my closet.

I don’t know many people who have been close to me who have died. I know that when my friend from the nursing home Marie died I had a hard time ever going back to a home like that because it was to hard so I just stayed away.

*Read about my great friend Marie which I wrote about in the Gutter. Here is the full story. 

I decided that I am going to go to opening night at Levi’s Stadium Sunday night (tomorrow) when the San Francisco 49ers play the Chicago Bears. It won’t be the same. It won’t be what I am used to. Someone will be missing but I can’t wait to tell him about the new stadium. I don’t know if he can hear me. Heck, maybe he’s already got an arial view from heaven of this place and he would be smiling, shocked and surprised to see his son, me wearing his red 49ers sweatshirt cheering for his team. Go 49ers for this week only and only for you dad. I’ll tell you all about it on Sunday dad.

Craig

*Check back Sunday night if I can write it I plan to write something to my dad about the game.