I had the opportunity to hang out with my friend Lenny LeBlanc, his wife Sherrie, and their daughter Hanna this weekend.
Lenny has not only been an incredible friend but has been a major influence in my life, career, and the music I have had the opportunity to be a part of creating over the past 24 years.
If you have had the opportunity to hear Lenny's music and meet him then you know how remarkable he is. If you haven't then I would like to introduce you to him.
Lenny LeBlanc has been writing and recording music for over 30 years. He is the co-author of many well-known songs including “Above All”, which earned him a prestigious Dove Award for “Inspirational recorded Song of the Year” in 2003. His accomplishments as a singer/songwriter have spanned three decades yielding success in the Gospel,Pop and Country genre’s, including the 1978 Pop smash hit “Falling” and the 1996 #1 Country song “Treat Her Right” as recorded by Sawyer Brown. Lenny has recorded 11 solo albums and continues to write songs and perform concerts around the world.
There is not enough space here to tell you all the great things about him. So, check out Lenny's website HERE for his full story, music, concerts, photos, and also his new DVD that is a remarkable experience where he sings some of his biggest songs and also tells the stories behind them. He also will have a show airing on the INSP network periodically through the end of the year.
Lenny has had a profound impact in my life and I am honored to call him a friend and also honored to have the opportunity to introduce him to you.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Posted by Chris Thomason at 1:45 AM
Friday, June 27, 2008
Moses used tablets, Picasso used paints, Alex G Bell used the telephone and John Fluevog uses shoes.
Great minds use a variety of mediums to communicate their messages – since the beginning of time (or at least John) John has been using the soles and foot socks of his shoes to communicate with the world.
Fluevog is one of the most creative shoe designers in the world! I first ran across his shoes in a store while walking (appropriate) in New York and became intrigued with his designs. I went to his website and now go back on a regular basis but to be honest not to buy shoes but mostly to see the creativity. A remarkably entertaining place!
Now John has made a way for you to flex your creative muscles......with shoes! It is the first OPEN SOURCE FOOTWEAR! That's right a place to create and submit designs that might end up in a shoe store near you! If they use your idea they will name the shoe after you. But, as they say, "give them a second choice for the shoe name in case your name is I.M. Satan, or something"....funny.
we were created to be creative so....
Posted by Chris Thomason at 2:47 AM
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Ok here is the deal....the media industry has and is changing.....how long will you wait around hoping to ride out an industry change due to a revolution in technology?
Here is a great illustration I found over at Rosenblumtv regarding the ice industry story:
If you are old enough to remember, your grandmother or great grandmother had an ice box. This stood in the kitchen, and once a week the ice man came and delivered a block of ice. That was what kept the food cold and fresh.
Ice was harvested in gigantic ice ponds that were scattered across New England. In the wintertime, ice was harvested from those ponds and stored in heavily insulated ice houses. A good ice house could keep its ice in tact through the summer.
Ice was such a good business, and the science of insulation so sophisticated, that by the middle of the 19th Century, clipper ships delivered ice from New England all the way to India. One can imagine how the crowds swarmed the docks in Calcutta when an ice ship arrived.
If your father had an ice delivery route in Manhattan, you were almost certainly set for life. The ice business was a secure trade. Ice, after all, had been around since the Roman Emperors brought fresh snow down from the Appenines into Rome in the summertime to cool them. And by the mid 19th Century, the ice industry was massive. There were delivery routes, ice tongs, ice ponds for harvesting, ice houses for storage, technologies to cut the ice… it was massive.
Then, in 1876, Jacob Perkins, an American living in London, invented refrigeration.
In a moment, in a stroke, the ice industry was over.
The much sought after delivery routes, the seemingly invaluable ice ponds, the chain of delivery… all over, in a flash.
A new technology had rendered the entire industry… an entire world, obsolete. And all the crying and complaining and whimpering did not a bit of good. It was over. Ice was dead.
Technology is merciless.
When a new technology comes along, one either adapts or dies. And death is both swift and certain.For some the pain threshold is greater than in others but here is the point..... EVERY industry has changed due to technology, every product will shift in marketing and delivery in a major way in the next five years. (record labels have the scars to prove it)
The question is where will you be? NOW IS THE TIME TO CHANGE!
Posted by Chris Thomason at 3:04 PM
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Have you thought about the consequences?
Have you ever seen somebody doing something seemingly right for the wrong reasons.....here is what I have learned;
Good choices lead to good consequences. Bad choices lead to bad consequences.
simple yet powerful reminder to do the right thing!
Posted by Chris Thomason at 3:49 PM
Monday, June 23, 2008
I maintain that anyone can be creative! We are created in the image of our creator....THE creative mind of the universe!
So, let's say all you have to work with today is a GPS unit and a tractor.....what would you do?
Here is a picture of what one man did in Lawrenceburg, TN!
•if you can't read the caption it says, "The owner drew the picture on his computer, downloaded it to his GPS, then followed the GPS with his tractor/bush hog!"
So here is the question, what do you have to work with today and what are you going to do with it?
Have fun and dream a bit:-)
Posted by Chris Thomason at 7:52 AM
Friday, June 20, 2008
You may have been reading about the honey bee crisis in North America.
Here is what Einstein is purported to have said about honey bees:
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."
Here are some interesting facts:
•More than 25% of the Western Honeybee population has disappeared over the last several winters, posing a severe risk to our natural food supply.
•One out of every three bites of food an average American eats is directly attributed to honey bee pollination
•Honey bees are responsible for the pollination of more than 100 crops including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and provide 80% of the country's pollination services.
•The honey bee is responsible for $15 billion in U.S. agricultural crops each year.
Every child learns in grade-school science that honey bees shouldn't be able to fly, but somehow - despite classical laws of aerodynamics - they do anyway. It is an amazing thought that God could have set up our world to rely on this small insect.
I think it is a good thought on how we serve the God of remarkable creative innovation who doesn't look at us with our limitations but is encouraging us to move toward our greatest potential!
B.E.E. - Beyond Expectations to Extraordinary!
Haagen-Dazs ice cream has set up an entire web site on helping the honey bees that is very informative and fun to learn about what is happening and what we can do to help.
Check it out: www.helpthehoneybees.com
Posted by Chris Thomason at 9:58 AM
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Why romaine lettuce when iceberg will do? Why tread the muddy fields of Iowa to see how pigs are raised? Why toast the cumin before you grind it? Why cumin, indeed?
The reasons are as simple as better-tasting burritos, and no less ambitious than revolutionizing the way America grows, gathers, serves and eats its food.
Doing all these things better, from start to finish, is CHIPOTLE'S mission. They call it Food With Integrity. It energizes everything they do in their restaurants and behind the scenes. It cannot be captured in a food bite, or a sound byte.
I am a fan......hoping and praying they come to our city soon! I am in Chicago right now eating and typing this entry!
If you haven't been to a Chipotle it is worth the trip! All of my favorite elements great design, art, music, and of course excellent food! Go to their web site www.chipotle.com (also great fun and remarkable) and get the full story and find a location near you! Happy Burritoing:)
Posted by Chris Thomason at 1:44 PM
Monday, June 16, 2008
I try to not eat a lot of fast food.....but don't get me wrong, I like it! That is the problem! I am getting old enough to understand my metabolism won't take many drive throughs.....maybe they should start a RUN THROUGH.....hmmmm probably won't work.....no cup holders!
Yesterday I was made aware of what the Dave Thomas (founder of Wendys) Foundation is doing for Adoption and the Fostering of Children in North America!
They gave me a great reason to take the entire family to Wendy's to get a FROSTY....for every FROSTY sold on June 14 and 15, Wendys gave 50 cents to the foundation to help with adoption and fostering.
Even if you missed the FROSTY campaign check out the foundation website for other ways to help.
Dave Thomas was a remarkable business man but his remarkable generosity lives on through his legacy of hope and giving!
Posted by Chris Thomason at 12:47 PM
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tim Russert (58) host of Meet The Press and NBC news Washington Bureau Chief died today of what is thought to be a heart attack.
I did not know Mr. Russert but I was impacted by what has been said today by friends and colleagues about him.
Here are some of the quotes:
"he was a mentor", "his family came first", "he set a great example", "Tim did it right", "he lit up a room", "he loved his father", "he lived in the moment", "he was always the first to arrive with a gift in the good times and the bad", "he was a great journalist but the values of his family defined him", "he brought authenticity", "he had a joyful life", "he loved what he did", "he lived his faith", "he was always thinking of other people", "he worked harder than anyone I have ever known", "he was truly a good person" , "If he said something you could take it to the bank".
And it went on and on......again, I did not know Tim Russert but by the way he lived his life and how he impacted his friends and the people he worked with he has set a great example for all of us on how to live!
"We have an obligation to help other people who are less fortunate than we are who are needy, that is reason we are in this life, and that is how you tell the presence of God in others" Tim Russert 1950 - 2008 (as said to Sally Quinn -Washington post reporter and friend of Tim Russert)
Posted by Chris Thomason at 4:06 PM
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Outreach Magazine has announced the "Resource of the Year" awards and the 3:16 group of products inspired by Max Lucado have received the honor.
We have been privileged to develop products with Max Lucado around his book 3:16, The Numbers of Hope.
Indelible developed a DVD, 3:16, Stories of Hope, a CD, 3:16 Songs of Hope, a small group resource with Thomas Nelson, a church musical with Lifeway, and a Spanish language music product with 3:16 media. (A lot of work but also a lot of FUN!) Max encouraged us and inspired us to think outside the box in product development to give tools for all of us to use to share the promise of John 3:16 with the world.
So in response, we have created a DVD entitled Wherever You Are.
This 20 minute film about a teenager who makes bad choices and runs away from home, is eventually compelled to return home by the unconditional love of her father. It concludes with Max sharing the 3:16 message. We have tried to make it easy to use so we have packaged these DVDs in individual sleeves in DVD size and made them available in boxes of 20 for you to use to give to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, strangers, etc......
Thank you Max for leading the way in these resources and most of all thank you Jesus for stepping into human history and making a way for all of us!
Posted by Chris Thomason at 4:08 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
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Posted by Chris Thomason at 3:28 PM
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
"Distracted by circumstances", three words spoken in a sentence in a news report last week playing in the background as I was doing email.
blah, blah, blah, blah, full report, blah blah, "He said he was distracted by circumstances", blah, blah, blah.
HEY, that's ME.......they are talking about ME!!!! no, they were not really talking about me but someone like me...that is distracted.
I confess, I have been lately.......very distracted by some recent circumstances.
You know, that thing we call LIFE!
So, what did I do? I escaped.....no I did not do what I wanted to do......try to distract myself from the circumstances to "numb" the process. That is what our culture tells us to do....absorb media, travel, drink, meet new people, medicate, BUY STUFF!!!!
No I escaped and embraced the process.......tried to focus.
I went away.....prayed, read, got quiet......listened.
It sounds like I am being very spiritual.....I don't think so, I think I would call it necessity, desperation for answers, and needing help.
Yep, the guy who is always speaking on "Defining your culture", "Expanding your vision" and "building your mission".
"What are your core values?" ......how many times have I asked that question?
I actually did it.....reminded myself and more importantly let God remind me of the important things.
Did my circumstances change? NO
Did I strengthen my focus on who and what I am to face the circumstances? MOST DEFINITELY
In case you are curious;
My core Values: faith, family, friends, servanthood, media products with purpose, relevance
Mission: Helping build God's kingdom by creating remarkable experiences through media products that are culturally and spiritually relevant.
So the take away....four words:
1. Faith - There is only one God and He is the one that came for us. His name is Jesus
2. Family - easy to take for granted......don't lose sight of this gift
3. Friends - We can not walk this road alone.....we can try but it is much more productive and fun with close friends.
4. Focus - distraction is easy.....take time to remind yourself of who you are, what your doing here, and why you do what you do.
Have I figured everything out.....no way!
Am I more focused? I think enough for the next step in the journey.
Let me know how your doing on coming into focus!
Posted by Chris Thomason at 3:18 AM
Monday, June 9, 2008
Steve has a remarkable idea! check it out!
It is one that can impact lives and give hope in a time of crisis and need!
God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. 2 Corinthians 9:7
Friday, June 6, 2008
On June 27 the world will celebrate the 128th anniversary of Helen Keller's birth at the annual Helen Keller Festival. Deaf and blind from infancy, Helen Keller played a leading role in most of the significant political, social, and cultural movements of the 20th century. Throughout her lifetime (1880-1968) she worked unceasingly to improve the lives of people who were blind and deaf.
A remarkable woman who still inspires us all to overcome adversity and help others.
It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. - Helen Keller
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. - Helen Keller
Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.
- Helen Keller
Posted by Chris Thomason at 8:28 AM
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I ran across this company called ZAZZLE!
Not only is it fun to say the name but it is also a great place to explore your creative skills.
ZAZZLE is infinite and instant, Zazzle is the only on-demand retail platform for consumers and major brands, offering billions of retail quality, one-of-a-kind products shipped within 24 hours. (ZAZZLE's definition)
I have not tried ZAZZLE yet and to be fair there are also many other "print on demand" companies out there; Cafe Press and Spreadshirt are other popular choices.
To help in your decision on who to use check out this blog POD Entrepreneur (POD stands for Print On Demand...it is not in reference to the band).
This is interesting and looks like a great way to express and stretch your creative muscles but also a practical way to create some items for an event or your friends and family. If you want to resell your items, you might make some money.
OK, now let me tell you what attracted me to ZAZZLE.
1. THE NAME CAUGHT ME. What is that? and then I was hooked on finding more info. (marketing thought; don't understimate the name of your company or product to attract people)
2. THEIR "DEFINING" TAG UNDER THEIR NAME - "Infinite one-of-a-kind-ness" (marketing thought; I like the creative wording on defining their service and it makes me want to know how they do it.)
I like it! So, here is my take away for the day.
This is the core of who we are:
1. You and I have an infinite source of creativity
2. We are a one-of-a-kind.....even identical twins have their unique characteristics!
3. Our lives are better when we show kindness to others
"God is infinitely creative. No two of his creatures are exactly alike. We are God made originals. He made us unique so that we would complement each other."
-Gary D. Chapman, from Now You're Speaking My Language
So there you have it!
Go create something, something only you can do, and then show some kindness and share it with your friends, family, or even the world!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
what's a squidoo you ask?
•Squidoo is a hand-built collection of half a million web pages built by people just like you.
•Squidoo is about finding people when you care what they know instead of who they know.
•And Squidoo raises big money for charity every single day by donating money from the ads and links you see on every page.
•It is EASY! They have done all the work so even if you are not "tech savvy" it is easy and fun to set up!
1. Squidoo has more than 450,000 hand built pages.
2. Squidoo has been reviewed by the New York Times, Mashable, BoingBoing and sites and papers around the world.
3. Squidoo is one of the 300 most popular websites in the US.
4. Squidoo generates hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual royalties to charities and to our users.
CHECK OUT MY SQUIDOO PAGES! (more to come soon)
The Indelible Moment
Erwin McManus CRAVE
Max Lucado 3:16
Got a passion for something?
Everyone is an expert on something......GO HAVE FUN AND SQUIDOO!!!!
Posted by Chris Thomason at 8:55 AM
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
"There are few things more inspiring than a life lived with passionate clarity."
I am trying to live like this.....with passionate clarity!
How? you may ask.... There is a system and it is written down, I use it as a compass......hopefully it will help you:)
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.'
Matthew 22:37 (The Message)
Of course life is uncertain and sometimes it is hard to live with clear direction....I am not always successful staying on the road. That is why the second half is important...because we need each other:)
Keep this compass in your heart and mind on your journey!
Posted by Chris Thomason at 7:21 AM
Monday, June 2, 2008
There is a menswear company I have been a customer of on a regular basis for the past 10 years. They have great clothes (example: shirt I have on in my profile pic) and I have had consistently good experiences with their stores.
I am on their mailing list and their emailing list because I want to hear from them about sales and new items.
Today I received the following "apology" from them about a mistake in their catalog.
Two thoughts when talking to people who want to hear from you.
1. If you make a mistake admit it (kudos to them for this). It also gave them another reason to talk to me. (marketing 101)
2. Apologize and give value. Hey Chris, our promotion lasts longer and to show you we are sorry we are going to give you FREE SHIPPING!!! It actually states in this ad "to say we are sorry we are offering free shipping" and then underneath in small letters it says "free shipping valid until June 6th"
Wait a second.....processing....processing. The promotion lasts longer than we told you (ok good), we misinformed you (thanks), we would like you to buy until the end of the month (I will have longer to consider), we are sorry so here is free shipping (awesome)....but only for the first few days. WHAT? (loudly)
They are sorry for their mistake and even made the effort to contact me but their apology has an expiration date before the end of the sales promotion??
I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt here because I have had such good experiences in the past. And I will probably (emphasis on probably) continue to buy from them.
Here is the point:
When we have the opportunity to talk to people (especially the people who have given us permission to talk with them) we need to make sure it is doesn't just feel authentic but actually brings them value and builds trust.... because we have proven to be trustworthy.
Moral to the story:
If your apologies have expiration dates in small print, don't be surprised if your customers have expiration dates as well:)