29 April 2008

Crazy day

Today started at 2:15am. I didn't intend it that way... I was supposed to get up early... just not that early (that's crazy). I got all ready and made it downstairs thinking my coffee would be brewing, but it wasn't. Something wasn't right... oh yeah... it was 2:45am!

After a LONG day finally ended, I sat down to chill for a bit before a rockin' spaghetti dinner that my wife made. As I was chillin (checking blogs) I ran across a loswhit post about a free scoop from Ben & Jerry's. Sure enough it was Ben & Jerry's 30th birthday and they were celebrating by giving out a free single scoop cone. It was a nice treat to take the kids and get ice cream.

My favorite quote of the night... from a Ben & Jerry's employee, she turned to a co-worker and exclaimed "It's so hectic in here... what's the deal?"

Hectic ice cream store and all, the kid's and I had a great time. As we drove home the free ice cream made me think about who all uses the "free incentives". Churches seem to us it a lot. The Ben & Jerry's "free cone day" made me a believer in incentives, especially when they are done right. Churches are guilty of overusing the incentive as an attractor. It was kinda the first time that I was on the receiving end of a "free incentive". This experience validated the free incentive event. It's amazing the benefit of a single scoop of ice cream. It was a good reminder that simple, little, seemingly ordinary things can add large amounts of value, especially when done with strategic intentions.

25 comments:

Glenda said...

I wish I could have gotten a free scoop! Maybe next year :)

Anonymous said...

SO ARE YOU WORKING OR NOT
ARE YOU LOOKING TO GET A NEW TEEN LEADERS JOB OR IS IT THAT IF YOU CAN;T WORK FOR DADY YOU DO;NT WANT TO

Earl Thornton said...

Hmmmm, this ANONYMOUS person isn't very sweet, I think.

Sherry said...

I love Ben and Jerry's!!! I would have paid for a scoop but free...What a treat! Hey, Anonymous, I thought Eric had great point about the value of sweet, simple pleasures God provides us, why bring up such sour grapes?? Embrass your inner Ben or Jerry and view life from the sweet side...The view of heaven is great from here.

Joy said...

Erik,
You are a great dad! After a long day, you're still ready to take the kids for ice cream. I love how you always take time for your family. I am so proud of you!

jet said...

yay for free incentives! you know it works on me! :) I'm glad you got to be on the receiving end for once! you deserve at least a triple scoop!

(what moron hides behind an anonymous comment? jerk face. find a life! and go back to punctuation school.) I wrote a blog about people just like them. it's called "signed anonymous".

Anonymous said...

HAY ALL I DID WAS ASK A QUESTION YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CALL ME NAMES.
EARL OR JOY DID NOT CALL ME NAMES BE NICE

chgohope said...

Yes Eric, we also have realized the simple things in life are grand. This weekend my husband decided to make one of those bean-bag toss games. It had to be the official size ones... so instead of buying one that was not official size, he got the wood and he and his little helper Faith worked feverishly. So when it was time to paint it, Faith thought the Disney Princesses would be grand... dad looked like a deer in the headlights! I quickly said how about a baseball team, but Hope quickly said well how's that going to work, I like Cubs and Dad likes Sox... I said well... there are two box's... make one of each team! So we expect to have a lot of "free" fun this summer, and I would not be surprised to find little Disney Princess stickers on the sides!

Anonymous said...

Erik,

Congratulations on 11 years of marriage!

Lew & I are attending Minooka Bible Church and the youth pastor (can't remember his name) had such great memories of you. He said you are a great man of God and Lew & I had to agree with him.

Hope you and your family is doing well. We miss you.

In His Love Bobbi & Lewy

Diane saved by grace said...

Miss you all--our 4eva friends!
Hope you all are doing wonderful and are ready for springtime and the new beginnings that Christ brings. There's nothin like walking with Him in springtime! Now as for Ben and Jerry's, I have to admit that I am more into the toppings and just "deal" with the ice cream, unless of course it has the toppings already mixed in. Absolutely I could sit down with only jars of warm hot fudge and caramel and be just fine. LOL.

Be blessed my friend.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding, anonymous? Don't act like all you've done is ask a question. You're "question" is dripping with sarcasm, vengence, smugness, veiled insult and plain meaness.

Psalm 101:5 says, "Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure."

Never forget that God sees all. He knows your heart. So, although you may feel a moment of anonymous satisfaction at your computer God sees the black condition of your heart.

But, the thing you have accomplished, anonymous, is getting those of us who read Erik's blog to rise up and remind him what an incredible man he is. I value Erik and have found his character, integrity and ministerial leadership to be the stuff that most of us only strive to achieve.

Erik, your ministry and example of how to be a man, friend & husband has not only inspired but changed lives. Never let ignorant words by bitter people prick your heart. Keep stiving, keep achieving, never retreat & never surrender!

Andy

Glenda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You know, besides being thankful for the Thorntons who have led our church for more than a decade, I think
" anonymous" just might have more to do than go around bashing people. Give yourself something that is uplifting and quit using the poison in your cold heart to further your darkness. Can you perhaps get on your knees and thank God for the freedom to be blessed by Him daily. Erik Thornton is a human being doing the best he can for his family, and his fellow Christians. Remember that you, too, will answer To God. You will then not be known as "Anonymous".

Anonymous said...

Erik, this is a quote that came to my mind about the guy who wrote the anonymous comment everyone is referring to...

"Me'thinkst thou art a general offence and every man should beat thee!" William Shakespear (Alls Well That Ends Well)

Makes me chuckle. Hope it makes you chuckle too!

Lewy said...

Hey Erik,

Glad to see you're settled.

I understand how the simple things in life are oftened overshadowed by the business of the day. I can't remember the last time I even saw Ben and Jerrys ice cream.

I recently indulged in Cold Stoned with my wife, what a meal!!!!

Think of you often. Thanks for being an imperfect, God loving man, walking in the "call" of the Lord.


I know of your work. You bring Honor and Glory to God, and family.
Something most people can only wonder about.

I have an interesting story to share. A friend of mine mentioned the scenerio of a baseball coach and his son who played on his team.

I'll steal his story and make it more personal.

My dad coached my baseball team. I lived with the coach, we ate,talked, and played baseball. We were on the same page, as they say.
Sometimes my dad took the fun out of baseball because he was the coach, his expectations of me were different than anyone else. We played longer and he threw the ball harder than anyone else. My hand throbbed at the end of our sessions.

My friends put another crimp in my fun, when they said the only reason I got to play was because my dad was the coach...peer junk, the things kids do, even cruel at times. We all know what that is.

During the season, when other kids didn't show up, because their dads wouldn't bring them, for whatever reason, my dad would put me in those vacant positions, He knew I'd always show up, because he was my ride, and the coach. He knew what I was capable of doing. He could depend on me.

The bottom line was that dispite all the "stuff" I made the All Star team, not because I had the best batting average, I had the record for walks.

The reason I made the All Star team was because I had the most unassisted double plays in the league. I didn't even know they kept track of such things, all I wanted to do was play ball.

Our Father is paying attention to the details, the Holy Spirit keeps the records, our Lord has won the "game", all we do is show up and say, where do you want me coach, and be obedient.

My prayer for you and your family is Gods richest blessings, even in the simplest of things.

Your family has been a blessing to mine.

Eternal friends,
Lewy

The Letter J said...

so andrea and i just finished watching dfw's vid that glenda compiled and im sitting here left with this thought, "what friends have done more for us than the thorntons?" i just wanted to say thank you for being our best friends. never asking for permission to bless us. never asking permission to grow us spiritually, or challenge us relationally. never asking permission to uproot shrubs or tear down walls. thanks for never asking permission. thanks for being there for us at 3 in the morning. thanks for loving us when we felt alone. thanks for changing our lives.

John Lorenz said...

Hello Eric,
It is soooo sad that people have not got over the slanderous junk! If that is the kind of people that are left at "that" church my family and I cannot align ourselves with that kind of spirit. What a shame that so many familys are leaving a church that was a blessing because of you and your Dad. We miss you and hope God blesses you and your family in whatever you do!

Art said...

Erik. you and your family were a great role model to our grand kids and are greatly missed. Since you left many of their dreams have gone down the drain.
We all love you and wish you the best!!!

TO AND AS FOR ANONYMOUS

Attitudes are contagious.
Is yours worth catching?

Step back and take a look at yourself. Would you want someone to have your attitude? Are you generally happy, optimistic, and enthusiastic about life? Or are you generally frustrated, pessimistic, and bored with life? It is true that attitudes are contagious. Think about that one person you know who can walk into a room and make everyone smile and celebrate their arrival. Now think of the person that comes in and gets blank stares because people know that they are going to bring the mood of the room down. Which person are you? If you are feeling bored and frustrated with your life, take a second to think about why you might be feeling this way. Is it your career, your relationships, yourself, etc? Perhaps it is time to think about your Purpose and your Values and Beliefs and begin restructuring your life? Wouldn’t it be great to have an attitude that everyone can admire?

Dana said...

So, as I'm reading your blog, I realized 2 things...(I really read into it...I mean, it's about ice cream. I know there's a message in here!) :)
Anyway... 1. you have time for your kids even after a very, very long day. You and Glenda have raised and are still raising some pretty wonderful kids! They are such a blessing to be around and are so fun! 2. You are a great husband to Glenda. You value her and her needs enough to give her some down time while you and the kids went out for a treat.

You are such a hardworking, godly man who values his family more than anything. You have done a great job, Erik. Jason and I value you and Glenda's friendship so much. We will be friends for life. We value the example you and Glenda are. You sharpen us. I'm going to be pretty bold here and say, those who do not like you, do not know you. We're praying for you.

Steve-o said...

To quote Michael Scott:

"Sometimes what brings the kids together is hating the lunch lady."

I think one good thing this one anonymous poster has has done is rallied the kids together to bless you and your family Erik.

I just think it is such a testament to your impact, influence and heart that so many people (including myself) have come to you to just let you know we love you. Even though most have not seen you for over a year, you continue to touch our hearts. I know that God will bless your faithfulness as he has promised. We all love and miss you.

And for the anonymous poster, I am very sad that you are harboring this bitterness and feel you have to try to harm others for whatever reason. I love you as a brother or sister and am praying for you, that you can move on and God can heal your heart.

ro.duh. said...

i can't believe how much love there is!!! Just remember God has so much in store for you guys that one person can't take that away.

...and too bad we don't have a Ben and Jerry's by us... woulda been good!

Carolyn said...

Hi Erik, Glenda and kids!

We miss you at First Assembly and hope you are enjoying the beautiful scenery out west. Just wanted to hop on and say "Thanks" for all your hard work and efforts while with FAOG. It is a real struggle without you. Our teenagers learned a lot of great things from you about love, perserverance, leadership and guidance and all the wonderful things it means to be a Christian. They are now putting them to practice and we all should be very proud of them for leading the way. Your positive influence on them will be felt through the rest of their lives and we are extremely grateful. Best wishes and many thanks!

Anonymous said...

HELLOW ERICK AFTER READING ALL THE COMENTS ON YOUR SITE AND GOING TO CHURCH TODAY THE LORD HAS REALE BEN SPEACKING TO MY HEART I DO NOT WANT TO LET THIS BUILD IN ME YES I WAS BITTER ABOUT THE THINGS GOING ON AT THE CHURCH .BUT JOHN HIT ME THE MOST AND I WANT OUR CHURCH TO BE KNOWN AS A FRIENDLY AND COMPASONITE CHURCH.
THE LORD HAS REALY BEN WORKING ON MY HEART EVER SINCE I WROTE THAT NOTE TO YOU YES I WAS BEING SPITEFUL AND MEAN AND SARCASTIC.
I AM NOT EVEN GOING TO GO INTO DETAIL AS TO WHY .
WHEN I WAS AT CHURCH THIS MORNING I GAVE IT ALL TO GOD I ASKED HIM TO FOREGIVE ME AND NOW I AM GOING TO TELL YOU I AM SORRY FOR THE HURTFUL THINGS I SAID TO YOU.
AND ASK YOU TO FORE GIVE ME TOO.
I WISH YOU AND GLENDA THE BEST I HOPE YOU NDO FIND WHERE THE LORD WANTS TO PLANT YOU.
AND I HOPE YOU DO WELL MAY THE LORD BLESS AND KEEP YOU

jet said...

so since this post was originally about getting free ice cream :)... i wanted to tell you about an upcoming promotion you guys may enjoy. Coldstone is giving free "love its" to moms on Mother's Day. And on May 17 a free slice of cake to celebrate their b-day. and 20 cents for a kid's scoop. enjoy!

heather said...

Happy Birthday Erik! You rock!