RSS for dummies…literally

Here are 5 feeds that you should NEVER rely on RSS to deliver!

I am one of those crazy guys that is suspicious of the intentions of the Internet. I think that there is as much to learn from the World Wide Web as there is to try not to learn. In order for me to explain where I am going with this, I need to insure that you understand what RSS is. If you think this statement is me challenging your smartnestitude, please understand that I just figured it out about a month ago and am assuming that there are others that don’t get it. (I’m betting my wife is one)

So, for your learning enjoyment, please take a brief moment to watch the clip I have provided. Then come back and I’ll put a little hibbity-dibbity on it.

As you see this RSS thing has given us an easier way to get our information. All we have to do is sit back and wait. When something that we are interested in changes, something will let us know. We don’t have to concern ourselves with anything else except what we have chosen to program into our lives. All the boring stuff is filtered out. All the difficult stuff is filtered out. All of the uncomfortable stuff is filtered out.

What a perfect world we have created for ourselves. Fast, easy, and painless.

Well, I am here to warn you of 5 things that RSS will not work with. These things require the opposite of RSS. (I guess that would be SSR. I will think of something clever to do with that before this is over). These things will not only not work under these conditions, but it can destroy what they stand for to you and your life. So here we go…

rss-god.gif1. You can’t RSS God.

The relationship between you and our heavenly Father is one that requires you to “show up“. You cant just sit in the subscription reader you call a soul and wait for him to come running to your rescue all of the time. God is looking for you to make an effort. He understands that everything is difficult without him and he knows that he is going to have to step in eventually. He just wants to see that you are not a spoiled brat whining for ice-cream until you get it. He wants to work out your problems together. He wants to celebrate you victories together. He wants to give you opportunities to succeed so that you can bask in His glory while he smiles down proud rays of light onto the son he loves so much.

I have a strange feeling that God doesn’t want to be emailed, im’d, faxed, texed, beeped, or called on his cell. God wants you, in His face, sharing your life with him. Living your life for him. God likes high fives, fist pounds, and man hugs!

rss-family.gif2. You can’t RSS your family.

I have blogged many times, urging dad’s to get off their butts and parent on purpose. If you sit around and wait for your kids to bring you the latest news and current events in their lives, you are in for a surprise. Actually, if you really thing that anyone believes that you actually believe that, your only fooling yourself. Everyone knows that kids don’t need a really big excuse not to hang with their parents. It is your job to initiate that interaction. It is your job to insist on that special time you spend together. It is your job to get the ball rolling


Your kids are individuals that are taking on their own interests. You may not currently be subscribing to the same feeds as they are. This is called SHARING. Your mind needs to be open to the wonderful world of “Webkins” and  “Skateboard Videos”. You need to learn about what they are into and teach them what you are into. Take a risk and ask your kids to teach you something they do that you can’t. They are more willing to learn from you when they know it is a two way street.

3. You can’t RSS your wife.

I will try to put this lightly. If you asked 99 men out of 100 what they would regularly subscribe to their wives for, what would you think they would say? (please tell me it’s not just me). Well the big surprise here is that a woman needs other things as well. They expect an actual relationship. Your wife wants to communicate. She wants a partner in her marriage, in her life, and in her soul. She needs understanding and validation. She wants to know that if you are not going to address something hand in hand, then you are going to carry her through it. She wants to be married to a hero. She wants to feel like the church that Christ loves.

I don’t belive any man could do any of that as he sits in his Lazyboy waiting for his wife to come over and plant one on him, after serving him his Turkey Pot Pie.

rss-community.gif 4. You can’t RSS community.

If you sit at home waiting for genuine community and fellowship to come knocking on your door, you are going to be one lonely guy.

This should be a place where significant life change occurs. This is the environment where we celebrate the successes and good times of life, as well as comfort one another during the tough and disappointing times. (I borrowed that from Matt Keller at NLC)

Getting out and making friends is a good start, but playing an active roll in keeping them is the challenge. If they named a street after you, what would it be called? For some of us its “Companion Ave” or “Dependable Lane”, but for others its simply, “ONE WAY”.

rss-health.gif5. You cant RSS your health.

You can think, read, study, and plan all you want when it comes to exercise and physical fitness. There are over 265,712 excuses to not do something about your poor health. The easiest thing to do would be to ignore what your body is telling you and submit to what society has deemed acceptable. You can eat bad, snack worse, and sit around all day waiting for your body to simply accept how you are beating it up, or…

You can respect your God, family, community, and self enough to make sure you are around as long as possible. Just take care of yourself with a sensible diet and exercise program. Enjoy yourself with moderation and learn your limits.

All that being said, you are free to RSS just about any other subject on the net. It is a great way to save some time by getting in and out of your computer chair and in front of your family, or out developing community, or in the gym, or on your knees in the face of God.

So lay off the RSS (Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary) and start to practice SSR (Simple Serving with Reason). You’ll thank me for it.

I told you I would come up with something clever…


3 Responses to RSS for dummies…literally

  1. Mike Ash says:

    this makes perfect sense…good stuff…i especially like the graphics!

  2. David says:

    Great words of wisdom, Charles, most of us see our lives through the RSS glasses. It isn’t until we find ourselves in the pit of loss, despair, or pain that we turn that acronym around. I can say from personal experience it is much better to do it while living on the top of the mountain than to wait until you find yourself in the swamp surrounded by alligators and snakes. Keep up the good work; we fathers need to be reminded of our need for personal relationship every day.


  3. Lori says:

    Charlie: Your commentary is right on the mark. And the clip is priceless! You have de-mystified RSS for me. Thanks.

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