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How often do we sit back and do just enough to get by? In school it's easy to be a C student. At work it's easy to do enough to keep your job. But, is that what we should strive to do? This week we discuss excellence, what the bible teaches about it, and how that applies to our everyday life and that job that most of us don't like.

Before we dive into being excellent we talk about balancing life, work, and family. When striving for excellence finding balance is important so our desire and striving for excellence in one area doesn't cause us to be anything but excellent in another part of our life.

Saying Yes by Cindy West

A new book by Cindy West called "Saying Yes" (http://www.isayyes.net).

"Saying Yes is a must-read work of art about artists and the Divine Artist who beckons them. Artists will find in these pages an inspiring mirror that affirms the beauty of their creativity and the vitality of their calling. Church leaders will also discover a practical window through
which they will see a vision of who the bride of Christ can become as her artists are enabled to Say Yes!”

Matt Heard, senior pastor at Woodmen Valley Chapel, Colorado Springs, Colorado


Product Mentality

Great podcast so far. (I still have about 20 minutes to go.)

I agree that we don't want to get a "product mentality" and "peddle Jesus," but at the same time, I've learned that it's easier to serve with the right heart and strive for excellence when there is a desired outcome attached to our labor.

For example, in our music and tech ministry, it's that we can create an atmosphere of worship where the congregation can connect with God and have their hearts prepared to hear the preaching of the Word. In our drama and outreach events, again we're believing God that he will use our work to open the hearts and minds of those coming to see a performance or be otherwise entertained that they will instead have a life-changing encounter with the true and living God of the universe. We constantly pray that He will be glorified through everything we do as a church.

It's easy to fall into the mentality of just getting through this project, or this drama, or today's service. We need to constantly remind ourselves why we're serving in the local church, and it's not just for the sake of serving. It's because we want others to have what we have been freely given.

Like I said, great episode so far. I was pretty quickly convicted on areas where I've let myself slip lately. Looking forward to hearing the rest of this one tomorrow.

BTW, Rob, I haven't tried this yet, but I have it on trustworthy recommendation that you should order that burger as a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, add Big Mac Sauce.


Drupal Learning Mountain

I don't want to take away anything from what Matt and Rob said about balancing your time. In fact, it was an interesting contrast hearing Paul and Marcus discuss the same thing from very different perspectives on this week's Boag World podcast.

I would, however, like to address Jon's question about easing the Drupal learning curve. I think that part of the steep learning curve comes from dealing with contributed modules. While this situation should be better once the Drupal 6 port of several key modules has been completed, the simple fact that many modules either don't act or don't interact as they should. For me, every foray into a new module usually means becoming familiar with that module's issue queue, and perhaps even using or testing some patches before I can use it. This, in part, inspired my post Dev or No Dev over on groups.drupal.org.

My recent switch from the deprecated Notify module took a side trip through the wrong (for me) choice before finding a module that will work well with two other modules I use heavily on various sites. All of this takes extra time, consideration, testing and learning.

If I could make one suggestion, it would be to learn how to quickly identify the health of a prospective module, both by checking the issue queue to find out what might not be working, and by checking around to see if the module is being actively maintained and problems are being addressed.

If you find a module that you want to use and there are patches in the queue, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. Check out the Patches Page to see how to apply, test and report on patches. Testing available patches is a great way to contribute back to the Drupal community, and you'll learn a lot really fast.

Sorry to have to say it this way, but a lot of the mountain is not learning what you're doing wrong, but learning what Drupal (or usually, the module you're using) is doing wrong. Dealing with this can still be time consuming, but it can be both productive and fun getting involved this way. It's also a lot less frustrating when you take the approach of trying to help fix it rather than just wrestling against it all the time.

Also, with Drupal 6 especially, when something isn't working right, use Twitter to ask if it's a known problem. That can also save a lot of otherwise wasted time.