I recently read a book by the guy who was in charge of the advertising account for Apple. His book is called Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success Paperback by Ken Segall. Ken spent a lot of time with Steve Jobs because Steve was so particular about messaging. For Steve Jobs how his products were marketed and packaged mattered almost as much as how well they functioned. One of the things that Ken says in his book was this:
“It drove Steve batty to see on 20 slides what could be spoken in three sentences.”
Yesterday I talked about the value of old things and how consumerism keeps us from understanding and seeing the value in redeeming something old rather than always looking for the rush something new provides. One of the mistakes many pastors (kids pastors, youth pastors and senior pastor alike) make is during Christmas we demonize culture rather than show people how to redeem it. If you attend church during Christmas in most churches you will hear some form of this rant. “Christmas is not about stuff, or buying things, we need to put Christ back in Christmas.” While this is true it falls short. The church for the past few years has done a good job of talking about what Christmas isn’t and haven’t done a good enough job describing the beauty of Christ.
I am not Amish and don’t churn my butter. I actually love technology and new things but I think events like Black Friday and disposable everything does more damage to our society than good. We have this obsession with new. When is the last time you repaired anything? Everything we own is new until it’s not anymore then we discard it and replace it and not repair it. Why fix my TV for 200.00 when I can get a new one for 300? We have a society that no longer sees the value in old things. We even want a new version of our old things and call it retro. We live in a society that used to value “growing old” together, now it seems everywhere you turn people are cashing in relationships to chase new things they think will make them happy but what we don’t know is that this new relationship will eventually break and if we don’t learn to value old things we will never understand or experience the power of redemption. The long-term damage consumerism causes reaches farther into our lives than just our stuff, it erodes the fabric of our relationship because our desire to have new things slowly makes its way into the most important relationships in our lives.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I am not a massive foodie. Don’t get me wrong I like family meals together not so much because I like food but because I love family. Between the Christmas Creep and the Black Friday Seep I think many of us have forgotten that giving thanks is more than a holiday is an act of our will. It’s the result of a heart that is regenerated.
In this era of tabloids and blogs it seems that every celebrity out there changes spouses with the regularity that is recommended to you by your auto mechanic in regards to your mini-vans oil. It’s refreshing to say the least when you hear of celebrities bucking the trend. My wife was reading through a magazine of her’s and came to this short article that although the advice may be a bit basic, I found it encouraging because it was someone who is famous focusing on what really matters.
Here are a few pointers that Harry had that makes his marriage strong that I think are instructive for us all.