Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heard The Word?

The Bird is the Word!

TWITTER! Yes, we Twit. Or Tweet I should say. Another way to communicate has arrived and I'm less impressed than the last time some new Internet sensation hit. This time they ask the question everyone wants to know..."WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

Makes me ask the question: Do you really want to know that I just picked up after my dog? That is what I just did prior to sitting here for a quick blog entry. I walked little Hope, she went, I cleaned up. She is such a little doggie diva. Once she is done she stops and stares at me for a good 10 seconds. Then kicks at the grass and marches off leaving me her mess. I love her though.

I read today that 60% of new tweeps drop the sensation because they get bored and really don't care all that much about what the tweeters they follow are doing. This doesn't surprise me. The more I use Twitter, the more I realize it isn't for everyone. Why? Because most people really don't care what you're doing. And you don't care what they're doing, either.

Twitter has gotten oodles of media attention lately, and I'm guessing that many users are signing up just to see what the ruckus is about. If Oprah and Ashton Kutcher use Twitter, it must be worth checking out, right? But once the newbies spend a few days telling the world what they're doing in 140-character bursts -- or reading mind-numbing "I'm-at-the-market" updates from friends and family -- the novelty wears off in a hurry.

I'm not trying to trash Twitter, which I think is valuable social networking tool for personal and professional use. Spirit FM has a Twitter page to tell you what is coming up next! But I get why Twitter's retention rate is below 40 percent.

And it is nice to know that those whose lives are as boring as mine see the benefits of using Twitter to keep in touch. Even though I know I am coming off a little on the negative side of this Twitter thing, it's because I am on social network site overload. Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube, My Blog all have me at their beck and call.

It's not all bad though. If God can use one twitter message to change a heart, then I'm OK with it. I just hope this Twitter thing phases out sooner rather than later.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Survived!

Carlos was out and I did it! I survived running the morning show all on my own. I feel like the 5 year old girl who keeps peddling after her dad lets go of the bike seat, finally cruising down the sidewalk all on her own, wind in her hair, a tight hold on the rubber grips, denim jeans supported by a hot pink banana seat... How's that for a mental picture? In real life, that moment ended with me crashing into a chain link fence. But fast forward twenty-something years and switch out the bike for a control board at a radio station and my dad for Carlos... now this is just getting bizarre. This time I didn't crash. There were a couple of balance checks, but overall, I survived running the board (which by the way has about 200 little buttons on it!) and hosting the show alone.

I think back to December of '07. All I had on my mind was my upcoming wedding set for the following month, and my promotions responsibilities, of course. Then a total curve ball came my way: I'm going to be on the morning show. Come again? I thought I just heard you say that I am going to be on the morning show. Me, the girl with no on-air experience except for a three-hour weekend show that, incidentally, I'd only been doing for about two months. January 7th of '08 was the first "Big Big House Morning Show" and I stumbled through it as the co-pilot. Since then I've improved, but I still have my moments of total amateurness, if that's even a word.

I set a goal for myself then of learning how to run the board, but I didn't really want to know. It's way too scary. I'm nice and comfy on my side, clicking away on the lap top. Whenever Carlos is out on vacation, someone will fill in for him and I can stay in my comfort zone. Then a couple of months ago, Carlos said, "April 9th is the day. I'm going to be out. You're on your own. It's Holy Thursday, so it can be kind of low-key." As if that makes any difference. Even in a "low-key" show, I still have to push the buttons!

Nevertheless, I came in this morning to a dark, empty building and cracked open the mic, praying the whole time that I wouldn't totally screw up. I joked my way through it; "I've drank an entire bottle of Pepto Bismol!" "You might come in and find me in the corner in the fetal position, rocking back and forth." But the hours passed, 10AM finally came and not only did I make it through, I actually did a pretty good job. My mom even called in to tell me so!

I've said this before, but I know that God has me where He wants me. Not to say there haven't been ups and downs. There have! I didn't know days like today were in His plan, but I guess that's another thing God is good at- keeping us on our toes.

It's true. God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called. I hope you can take this thought with you and apply it to your own life. If you're asked to do something for Him and you don't think you're qualified, able, courageous or worthy enough to pull it off, you're wrong. Just say a prayer, take a deep breath and keep peddling!

Have a very Happy Easter!


Friday, April 3, 2009

A Lesson in Conflict

Palm Sunday

For Catholics, we'll go to church this Sunday and read the gospel of Mark recalling the Passion of Christ. It's a long one! But then we get a reward of a palm frond. Kinda like a lollipop after the doctor's visit. You may find yourself thinking, "We've read this so many times! I know it by heart!" My challenge to you: If you truly know it by heart, you'll have a real change in your heart.

I read a great reflection on Palm Sunday and what it can teach us about how to face conflict. The image of Jesus riding into town on this cute little donkey all seems so peaceful and joyful. But brewing just under the surface is conflict. Jesus willingly enters a place where people are plotting to kill him. We can take three big lessons away from this:

First, Jesus didn't avoid conflict. He faced it head on because he knew it was the road to our redemption. Thank God (literally) that Jesus didn't head the other direction.

Second, true power lies in humility. Jesus didn't show up in Jerusalem with an army or a lawyer with a defense team read to argue his point. He came as a humble servant, ready to lay his life down for those he loved, you and me. He showed us that humility is the most effective weapon in conflict.

Third, in the midst of a conflict, it can sometimes be difficult to see the forest from the trees a.k.a. the big picture. The disciples didn't know why Jesus had to go through this trial and suffering. We often react poorly to a situation because we don't have the foresight or patience to discover the purpose.

Let's use the example of Jesus riding into Jerusalem, straight into the mouth of the beast as an opportunity to learn about how to face conflict. Don't run away. Be humble before your enemy. Try to see the big picture. I bet we'll find that the resolutions will be much more pleasing to ourselves, and to God if we follow these simple rules.

- Abby

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Mini's

Meet Mini Mike

So after the show today I had a few errands to run and while I was driving around town I decided to swing by "Mini Mike's" house. You may remember him. We talked about my friend who takes extra ketchup and mayo and mustard packets from fast food places and uses those to stock his fridge. When he's out of town he even helps himself to hotel mini's too. The mini soaps and shampoos and such.

Now I have changed his name to protect his identity from my friends who know him and read my blog or listen to the morning show.

First thing I do as I walk into his place is ask him, "So did you hear my show about a month ago". Now I know "Mike" pretty well and I knew he would never be upset about my talking about his habit of taking minis on the airwaves of Tampa Bay. But when I asked him that, he just started laughing a little bit. Not your typical "I'm thinking back to a funny memory" kind of chuckle, it was more of a "You have no idea what you have done" kind of chuckle.

As I follow him in to his kitchen he says to me, "When was the last time you've seen my fridge?" Thinking back I say, "Well since I was last here and discovered your love affair with mini packs of ketchup from Chick-fil-A." Again, with the same creepy laugh as he opens the door and says, "I want to show you something."

Honestly, for a split second I flashed to scene from a serial killer thriller movie which will remain nameless of when the main bad guy offers to show the main good guy something and of course that thing he wants to show the main good guy is something really terrible that throws the man in to an emotional spiral. As he opened the refrigerator door I was expecting something terrible, I was expecting to see the head of a Chick-fil-A cow costume or something. Instead I saw!

Nothing. No more mini's. The bowls of ketchup and mayo and mustard packets are gone. Replaced with actual bottles of the stuff. He looks up and laughs at me. I guess when he sees the look of shock on my face. To bad is was more of a look of relief from not seeing a Chick-fil-A costume cow head staring me in the face. He said that he did hear the segment and heard all the callers and realized that maybe what he was doing was a little wrong. That maybe it was taking advantage of the system. So he used up what he had left and at the age of 27 he went out and bought his first jar of mayo and bottles of mustard and ketchup. Of course I asked him, "You really went 27 years without buying a single bottle of ketchup?" Proudly, he says, "Yup. Sure did and now thanks to you that streak is over. But it's all good."

Amazing. One, that he went 27 years without purchasing a single bottle of ketchup and two, that my little morning show made a difference is someones life. Granted it wasn't one of those ground breaking or life changing events. But sometimes, some of God's greatest lessons come in the little things. Maybe one day he'll look back on me and this day and realize something really profound. Maybe not. Either way, it was cool to see that people are really out there, really listening to two people named Carlos and Abby just trying to be themselves and live out loud for the Glory of God in a crazy and sometimes messed up world.

Thanks for listening! God Bless.