My Strengths-Visualized with Wordle

The awesome thing about Wordle is that you are able to take a list of words and paste them into the creation box and come up with something like this.

I took the descriptions of my five strengths from Strengthsfinder and it came up with this visualization.

What stands out? People, Ideas, Theme, Time, Strong.

The larger the word, the more often it appeared in your list. It's a great way to visualize things and see how often you use words or phrases, since these are usually the greatest point of communication. Below is the one I did from the teaching yesterday in worship.

Something Old, Something New

Something Old
Seth's Blog-- Seth Godin writes some of the most interesting articles on marketing and organization. He always gives an insight to what is working and what is not. If you aren't reading his blog daily--you should be.

Something New:
Wordle- You have to try this site. I
was alerted through a blog this week of this great new site. I've done it for my family and for my production this week. This one below is from our Director, Craig Robertson (there ya go Craig, another Google keyword) who did one for the production himself. I'm doing one on each of the sermons in this series and will do a set up toward the end for people to walk through (gallery like) and relive those teaching moments. Go ahead--try it!

Worship Post-fessional, June 29, 2008

Today's Set
All Hail The Power of Jesus Name (G3 Arrangement)
Hosanna  (Baloche)
Welcome and slide show--"LOOK LIKE A FOOL"
You Are (Roach)
Mighty To Save (Hillsong)
Scripture Reading
You Never Let Go (Redman)
                                                    Message--Fools (Part 1)
                                                    I Fix My Eyes On You (Walker)

Today was a longggggggggg day.  Two services, followed by an afternoon matinee of the production that I was in followed by an evening Community worship gathering at our place in honor of the Fourth of July.  Needless to say, I've been a little tired since arriving home late this evening.

Of the songs we sang today, I would have to say that YOU ARE and YOU NEVER LET GO stood out to me as "Moments" in worship.  Both are new to us.  I sang YOU ARE about a month ago to end our last worship series--we brought it back this time for people to learn.  YOU NEVER LET GO was one of our worship songs for Vacation Bible school and I could look out there and see the kids and the leaders doing the motions to the songs.

How was your day? As long as mine?  What were the moments?


by J Wilbur Chapman
& Charles H Marsh

Verse 1
One day when heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men; my example is He!

Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sings far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He's coming, O glorious day!

Verse 2
One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree,
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected,
Bearing our sins; my Redeemer is He!


Verse 3
One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o'er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He!


Verse 4
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!


Verse 5
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!

My daughters love this song, the new one that is.  They came back from Super Summer two weeks ago and began telling me about this amazing song done by Jeff Johnson.  They were amazed at the lyrics and even more the tune.  I popped open the cd case and began to read the words as they played it for me.  I noticed that the words were the familiar text to ONE DAY by Chapman (old Baptist Hymnal tune to me).  I began to sing the old song and my girls shrieked "Dad, stop!  That's not the tune".  I began to tell them that this was an old hymn but with a new tune.

Little did they know that the church is returning to the practice of songs that are separate from the tunes.  That's they way we used to do church.  Texts were on one page and tunes on another.  The leader would call out the text and then a tune number.  Don't believe me?   Get ahold of a Scottish Psalter (the early hymnal of the church) and you'll see.  I have a copy of one in my office.

Long before tunes and texts were glued together, we interchanged texts and tunes pretty regularly--and seemed quiet comfortable that this or that tune didn't necessarily have to go with that text.

What new hymns are you hearing?  Time to dust off those old hymn books and rediscover some of those lyrics.  Most of them a still public domain and they are waiting for a new coat of paint for a new generation to enjoy--like ONE DAY--retitled GLORIOUS DAY.

So--enjoy this song.  Michael Bleeker from The Village Church in Flower Mound is responsible for this hymn.


Uproariously funny... a must see   The Hermeligh Herald

The best show in town for $10.   Ira Inquirer

Laughed so much, my side hurts!   The Gail Gazetter

I'd see it again and again!   Roscoe Reporter

It all went well tonight.  We had some good laughers in the audience.  It's always fun to see where the audience will laugh and clap.  I think it will help our timing for the rest of the run since we've not done it live.  One down--three to go!

Creative Chaos-- Theatrical Thursday (Opening Night)

Below are some pictures from the production, A COMPANY OF WAYWARD SAINTS that opens tonight @ 7:00 PM.

This is my contribution to Creative Chaos--actually participating in the Chaos as a member of the cast.

Break a leg!

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on

Water Cooler Wednesday--Mine Would Be Pink!

This post was inspired by the news I received the other day that a friend from Seminary days had finally completed his Doctoral degree at the The Institute for Worship Studies.  I applaud him for his tenacity in keeping on even after seminary.  We've been out of seminary almost 17 years-so he's kept this as a burning passion since then.

I used to tell my wife I was going for my doctorate.  She told me "You can do that with your next wife!"  It's almost like giving birth (go easy on me ladies--I said almost). Once you forget the pain of the Master's--the next level is the Doctorate.  I thought about it for about 3 minutes.   There'll never be a Dr. Jim Drake (only if I buy one of those cheap ones in the back of a magazing--say the University of Interscholastic Paper Design or something like that.)

I guess I was fascinated with the regalia that the Doctors wear.  I earned my Master's stole at Southwestern, but it paled in comparison to the Doctors vestments.  Those bars and chevrons across the deep black gowns and that ever adorable tam were very enticing.

It seems that these vestments were once worn everyday in academic settings.  Can you imagine wearing a robe and stole to class everyday.  It was the academic gown which gave birth to the modern day choir robe---get the connection?   

So--to the title of my post.  Music in the Academic world is represented by the color... PINK.  Yes, can you get a more stereotypical color for musicians?   Why Pink?  Why not a majestic blue or green?  I get snickers and laughs every graduation season when this topic emerges. Ok--let's just state it--MUSIC is PINK.

You can check out all of the history and rules of using these garments on this site.  Also look at the color chart and comment back here what your color would be if you were a Dr. of something?  Go ahead, dream--what would it be?

This post is part of Water Cooler Wednesday over on Randy Elrod's site, Ethos.

Hand Mowers--We May Use You Again

You may laugh..but I can remember when I was a wee young lad--we had one of these.  We mowed the lawn with a hand mower.  It wasn't for long because the gas power lawn mower was just about to come on the scene (early 70's-at least more affordable ones).
I heard today on the radio that in Los Angeles sales and use of the hand powered lawn mower is up due to the gas crisis.  Keep your eyes peeled for one of these vintage pieces of technology.


This is production week for THE COMPANY OF WAYWARD SAINTS at The Ritz Community Theatre. I will be in rehearsals Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The performances are scheduled for Thurs, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:00 PM.

My posts this week will be sporadic if not reposts of past thoughts and events. I hope to update you throughout the week on the production and it's success.

If you are in the Snyder area--join us. Tickets are $10 and are available for each performance.

Something Old, Something New

Time for new icon...

Something Old:
EyeBeam- This site is subtitled "distilling art and technology." I find that this site is constantly searching the edge out there where art and technology collide and make beautiful music together.

Something New:

A Day In The Life of The Paper Poppy- I'm not sure how I landed on this site, but I continue to marvel at the artistry of the cardmaker on this site.  Give this one to the scrapbooker in your life.

Airline Fees

I'm afraid that this video is a bit prophetic (posted in 2007). Comedy usually is that way--a little humor and a lot of truth. Enjoy!

Worship Post-fessional June 22, 2008

Worship Set Today
Responsive Reading--Psalms about Wisdom
I Will Boast ( Baloche)
Everlasting God (B. Brown)
Lord Reign In Me (B. Brown)
Fairest (New Life Worship arr. of hymn)  
Video Intro of Proverbs (Sermon Spice)
                                                     Eagle's Wings
                                                     Blessing--closing chorus of  Draw Me Close

Ok--today was a challenge.    It's summer--people are out and that usually means having to shuffle things.  The vocal team was a mix of both teams--we're having to sub a lot this summer. That makes it challenging with folks who are used to others singing with them.  My drummer was out and so was sub #1 and sub#2--so that meant some type of artifical rhythm.  Thank good ness for Garage Band.   Had it all set and going in the first song and my in ears die (bad battery) and I can't hear anymore if we're with the track or not--so I have to kill it and go sans drums in the first song.  That was frustrating--but not unpredicted today.

Otherwise--it was okay.  This must have been the Sunday that everyone decided to do vacation.  I went into one of our normal busting young adult rooms--and there was 1 lady. The young couples across the hall had all gone on a trip together.  Needless to say--we were low in attendance today and may be for the next three weeks with 4th of July coming.

How was your Sunday?

To The Drummers In My Life

This one is dedicated to the drummers in my life...drum on!

HT: Timilu

A Church Goes Green...and Still There's Trouble

Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California (Francis Chan's Church) has an ambitious project on their hands.  They are building a new facility to house the enourmous growth they've experienced in the last few years.   Francis spoke about this last year at a conference that our staff attended.  The story behind this decision is remarkable.  Instead of building $50million dollars worth of buildings, they decided to invest in land and trust that the Lord would take care of the weather--specifically, they are planning on a site where 3000 people can worship together outdoors.

Francis said he worried about the weather and then he was reminded "Hey, who is in charge of the weather?"

However, the land they have chosen to build upon is "sacred" ground.  It is a greenbelt ( a designated green area between developments) that is meant to prevent urban sprawl.  You can read more about their dispute with the county here.

Evidently the plan to keep most of the acreage undeveloped still doesn't please the environmentalist and the anit-development folks.  It will be interesting to see who wins this battle.

Read more about it here: 
HT:  Timilu
         Church Relevance

When Pictures Aren't Photoshopped!

I thought this picture had to be Photsh'pd.  It looked too doctored to me.  Until I read this story, I didn't  believe that it was true--evidently it is.

In this day and age of computer generated images, you just never know what's real and what's not?

Do you carry a digital camera with you wherever you go?  Do you capture exciting photos like this?  Not me.

An Evening In the Park

We attended the Lubbock Moonlight Musicals last Saturday evening. It was the perfect evening for an outing and some theater.  The Moonlight Musicals are a new addition to the Lubbock Arts scene in the last couple of years.  It's performed in the Mackenzie State park and is house in the Wells Fargo Ampitheater.  What a great venue overlooking the Canyon and trees of the park.

The musical (part of a series of three this summer) invited patrons to come with their lawn chairs and their picinic baskets and enjoy the whole experience. Other than a slight gust of wind from a passing thunderstorm, the evening was flawless and very enjoyable. 

This is the product of a community that values the arts.  The cast (median age 20) were young and energetic.  The dances sequences were fantastic.  The only downer was the sound-maybe it could have been a little louder.  Produced with a live orchestra--it was enjoyable experience.

The musicals will continue in July and August as they present PIRATES OF PENZANCE and THE MUSIC MAN.

Praying For Lower Gas Prices

I don't know... couldn't hurt. What's your theology of gas prices?

Kung Fu Panda--Hollywood's Best Writing?

So I finally did it--I went to see KUNG FU PANDA yesterday.  My son had been telling me how awesome it was, but I was skeptical. 
Turns out that I was right.

Somehow I felt like I was watching a POKEMON movie the whole time.  I can see how a 10 year can classify this as one of the greatest movies.  Really I can--my son is into the whole POKEMON thing.  They have such odd looking creatures in these types of movies.

I guess my skeptic meter went way off the chart when this piece of wisdom was spouted from the old wise tortoise.
"Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift that is why we call it the present."

What?  Was that the best that Hollywood could come up with for writing and creativity.  I think I got this in an email about 10 years ago; one of those emails that you must forward to 10 people in the next 10 minutes or something bad will happen to you.   I thought--ok, now I'm done--this movie has jumped the shark.

Can you imagine the creative writer meeting where this line was proposed?  It must have been late in the night with no other better ideas on the table, they decided to go with it.  I heard 3 people behind me moan when they said this.  That meant "this is dumb"

So, if you haven't seen it--don't.  Wait for the DVD, and when it comes home for your kids to watch--find something else to do.

CREATIVE CHAOS--The Walmart $1 Fabric

One of the best resources that we've found in our move to staging and set design in our church has been the Wal-Mart $1 fabric bin. Yep! You heard it right. I am a regular customer of the fabric area when we're doing a set design or a set change. I'm constantly on the look out for new colors and textures that work well on stage. I'm always looking for those stretch fabrics that work as shapes and objects on stage. Althougth they come in small quantities, you can usually find more than one of the same bolt, or complimentary colors that can fill out your needs.

The picture below is of our set last May where we bought out the bin on these two colors and h
ung the materials from ceiling to floor in our worship space. It actually worked better to stretch it from top to bottom than from side to side.
I've become such a regular customer of the fabric area, they are constantly asking "What are you making this time?" And since we've purchased so much in the past, we have a storage closet now where we can pull materials for displays and events without having to purchase over and over again.

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on Ragamuffisoul.

Watercooler Wednesday--Art and Faith

Just over a year ago, I was convicted that if I was to make a difference in the place where I live, I must engage with the artistic community around me.  I'm an artist--and I'm called to impact my world with the good news of Christ and for me, using the gifts and talents that God gave me seemed the best way to do that.  

I auditioned for a production at our local theater last fall and enjoyed my re-entry back to the theater after 25 years.  Just being back on stage somehow re-awakened my love for theater and the community that is created among the cast and crew during the pre-production and production phases.  Most of that time was just spent getting lines down and remembering stage principles and practices.

Now I am in a production that will go up in 2 weeks.  It's been a fast a furious pace getting lines and blocking down.  However, this one has been different.  I didn't know most of the cast before this production and that has caused me to consider that perhaps I'm here for another reason.

I couldn't have been more surprised the other night during one of the scenes (we were off-stage) when I encountered a spiritual conversation with another cast member.  To be honest, I wasn't quiet ready for it ( I should be--I should always be ready to give a reason for the hope I have in Christ).  It was a realization from a year ago--that I'm doing what I'm doing not only to express the gifts and talents that God has given me, but also to impact my world of art with faith.  It has renewed my thought that everytime I express this gift and create community around me, there will be opportunity (Holy spirit orchestrated) for me to give witness to this hope that I have.   I just have to be available and ready for the opportunity arises.  

Most people would say that the artist community is a hard one to express personal faith.   I might agree, but I think that this argument is an excuse not to engage artists because artist tend to be most difficult to pen down about "faith".   If the article in the New York Time last week is correct, we already have enough artists out there that can impact their world ( and I'd be surprised if there weren't more artistic missionaries out there) and who are ready to see God move and answer the questions of their artistic soul.

This post is part of Water Cooler Wednesday's over on Randy Elrod's blog, Ethos.

"Dad, What's Social Security?

A conversation I just had with my teenage daughter:

Teen:  "Dad, what's social security?"
Dad:  "Well, it's kind of a retirement fund"
Teen:  "So, you mean this will be in my retirement fund?"
Dad:  (Silence)  "Well,, it won't be there"
Teen:  "That stinks"
Dad: "It helps pay for older folks like me"
Teen:  "Pay for your own--this is my money"
Dad:  "It's kind of a tax on your wages"
Teen:  "I've already paid my taxes--what's this"

Ah...she's growing up way too fast!!!

Something Old, Something New

This week I thought I would focus on some sub groups of blogs that I read regularly.  I'm featuring production/creativity blogs this week.

Something Old:
North Point/ Buckhead Blogs   This is the site for North Point Church and their sister site, Buckhead church in Atlanta.  If it's happening in worship production, these guys are on the leading edge. They give details of how things were concepted and executed (technology, audio, visuals)

Randy Parkers group at New Covenant Community Church in Fresno always post what's going on within their ministry here.  Randy announced this week that he was leaving New Cov to head to North Point in ATL.   I'll be watching to see how things continue after Randy leaves--he's built a great team there.

Something New:
Accidental Creative    This is a creative portal for those in creative professions and jobs.  They are consultants on creativity, but give some of their tricks and tips of the trade. Very interesting--I could spend hours here.  
Accidental Creative helps those who must create to succeed (visual artists, musicians, writers, designers, idea people) unlock their creative advantage. In today’s results-driven world, it’s hard for creatives to find rhythm. Instead, we can feel forced to produce boring, uninspired stuff to feed the machine, and soon grow frustrated and lose touch with why we love to create. Accidental Creative helps creatives find that passion so they can once again enjoy what they do and change the world with revolutionary ideas.

2008 Tony Awards

A year of newbies on Broadway. We're enjoying the show.

On Being A Dad

As this Father's day comes to a close, I've just had a moment to sit down and reflect on the day.  It was more than just the usual Sunday.  I found a sweet note from my middle child tucked into my laptop this morning (because she knows this is the first place I go in the morning).  My children all showered me with cards; my oldest and I sang a duet in the early service (Bless The Broken Road) and then my sweet wife made the most delicious roast for our lunch.

I guess the level of being a father has been under great examination this week.  With the death of Tim Russert, the NBC newsman who so eloquently penned his feelings about his father in his book, BIG RUSS AND ME, back in 2004, the world has been asking, "What makes a good father?"

Here is Tim's audio version of his book and his touching tribute to his son, Luke, he leaves behind.

My own Dad has been gone for almost 15 years now. There are days that I wish he was still so close by so that I could ask a question or two. Granted, the relationship that I have with my kids is so very different from the one that my parents had with me. In their day and age, relationships with your kids were so different than kids today. I guess I'm trying to live more intentionally with my kids--so that they'll know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their Dad loved them.

My son and I have recently begun the journey of masculine understanding together. We're going through the book "Preparing Your Son for Everyman's Battle". We're about 3 lessons into it and I can't tell you how much I enjoy that one on one time with him and telling him the things that I wish my Dad had told me. I keep thinking "wow, I wish Dad had said that to would have made a lot of things easier to understand when I was growing up." Each session ends with a time of scripture reading and a prayer time where I confer upon him the truths about being a man. He always falls asleep in my arms, or holds my hand as he prays for me.

My girls are just a special. Singing with Taylor today was the best Father's Day gift I could have had from her. She's an awesome talent and I'm so pleased with her heart towards people. She wants to go to Japan next summer on missions ( Donations being accepted).

Mattie is so grown up and responsible and I'm so proud how she's taking on responsibility at such an age. She's going to be co-directing the Ritz Children's Drama camp in a couple of weeks. She came home from Super summer and told us she had made a vow not to date through high school and wanted a purity ring.

Could a father ask for more?

I know long after I'm gone, these words will still be floating around somewhere on the internet. I just want my kids to know that I love them--deeply and more and more each day I'm astounded that God would allow me to be your earthly Daddy. I love you all.

Worship Post-Fessional June 15th, Father's Day

Worship for Today
Love The Lord (Brewster)
Recognition of Fathers--video from Worship House Media "Father's Day Memories"
God of Wonders
Wonderful Maker
Super Summer Testimonies (13 of our kids went to this last week)
Revelation Song
I Worship You Almighty God
Holy, Holy, Holy

Great day of worship--our people really sang today.  It was awesome to see our youth back from Super Summer (my two included) and how they worshiped with abandon today.  They really led our people in passionate worship today.  God is mighty!

How was your day?

Dreams Really Do Come True

Randy Elrod, creative engineer, dreamed of a place where artists could come together and collaborate, dream and change culture through their art.  This dream, some 6 years in the making, is finally coming true. Randy hosted his first artist retreat this last week near Nashville as he invited 6 songwriters to come together and learn from each other.  Here is a video clip from the week.

I applaud Randy for his tenacity and courage to pursue his dream.  I'm sure that he's been discouraged at times, thinking that it would never come to be.  I'm sure he was tempted to chuck the dream on the pile of other unfulfilled dreams and give up.  I'm sure that he thought that he'd never live to see that day that this dream would come true.  But it did and it has.

Even though Randy's ultimate dream isn't realized yet (Kalein), Randy has begun the journey toward the fulfillment of that dream.   Just proves the point that in order to do your dream, you don't have to wait.  You can begin to do parts of your dream now.  That's a big lesson.

So, I applaud Randy for the success of this week and even more I thank him for being a visible example to dreamers that dreams really do come true.

** I wrote about our trip to the Kalein site in February. You can read about it by clicking the following link.   HT:  Kalein-An Artist Community

One Year Ago--I was here!

This brings back such good memories of London---the rainy weather was just the topping on the day.  Take me back!

"Like A Mighty Army"

"If all the professional dancers in the United States stood shoulder to shoulder to form a single chorus line, it would stretch from 42nd Street for nearly the entire length of Manhattan. If every artist in America’s work force banded together, their ranks would be double the size of the United States Army. More Americans identify their primary occupation as artist than as lawyer, doctor, police officer or farm worker."
My friend, Randy Elrod, pointed me to this article in the New York Times.  It's an interesting article that talks about the impact that the artist community has on the American economy and culture.

Most of this year I've heard the mantra about "changing culture through the arts".  It seems to be a resonant theme that I've picked up at conferences, in magazines and in podcasts that I've heard.  This article to me is the statistical information needed to show that  there really is an impact that Art can make on culture--if only all of the forces were somehow in concert together.

Look at the statistical breakdown of artists (by men and women-by profession).  It's amazing that this many people consider themselves in the artistic field.  I shouldn't be surprised since Daniel Pink predicted the rise of the creative class in his book, A WHOLE NEW MIND talks about the second wave of the technology revolution will give rise to the class of creatives who move away from hard, cold, logic to a more expressive and introspective culture of arts and personal creativity.

I've noticed it in jobs--titles are changning.  A funeral director is no longer just a funeral guy--he's a Memorial Designer; a person who prepares visuals for business and events is no longer the window dress--they are visualist;  a copy specialist is no longer just a paste up person--they are a production designer/engineer;  a minister of music is no longer the song director-he/she is the Creative Director/Producer.  Is it all semantics?  Maybe, maybe not.
Maybe more people consider themselves artists because their job titles reflect more artistic responsibilities.  I do think that future jobs will require people to be more creative in their personal productions and will give a lift to those who already call themselves part of the Creative Class.

CREATIVE CHAOS- Dear Solomon Letters

Each series we try to give some type of interactive that helps the member sythesize what they have learned in the series.

This series, we decided since the theme was about "DEAR SOLOMON" and his advice through Proverbs, we had printed stationery with the salutation"Dear Solmon" and made them available in the pew and at an interactive table at the front of the worship center for people to write down their take homes from the sermon teaching for that day.

They then folded them up in thirds and placed a seal on it (thanks PS PRINT!) and brought it to a basket at the front of the church. We are collecting these through the series and will send them back to them at the conclusion. We had great participation in this exercise.
This post is part of Creative Chaos over on

Watercooler Wednesday: Mac Vs. Pc

Today is Watercooler Wednesday over on Randy Elrod's blog, Ethos.  Today's topic is MAC VS. PC.

I owned my first Mac about 18 years ago when I inherited a Mac from my father-in-law after his passing.  It was the very first computer I ever owned and it worked great for me.  The only draw back was it's limited internal storage capacity so my desk was always littered with those floppy disks. But, such was the nature of early computers---storage was limited. 

After that I migrated to PC since the work environment I was in (at that time my churches didn't own PC's--we still used Typewriters!   I know--that was cave days).  So, I became very familiar with PC words and usage.

Finally about 4 years ago, it became time to invest in a new laptop, and this time I went back to MAC, and to be honest I wondered if MAC was so beyond me that I wouldn't be able to learn it.  I was still going to have to be PC at work.   I found that the MAC had become so user friendly that I was able to keep my PC environment at work and use my MAC at the same time.  If you were to see my desk at work, you'd see my PC monitor and then my MAC laptop there on my desk connected to my network and adding content and sharing content across the platforms.

Our work environment is considering going to all MAC--which is ambitious, but I think will be somewhat cost prohibitive since all of our software is PC based and not all of them support MAC versions.

I love my MAC and will probably be a MAC user the rest of my life.

What A Day

Here was my Monday!
Objective:  13 kids to Super Summer
Time of Departure: 5:15 AM
Mileage: 414 miles (one way)
Hours:  6:22--actually 7 plus with stops and lunch
Arrived home:  11:22 PM

All for this.

Something Old, Something New

This week has been so busy that I haven't had much time to read or to blog.  And thanks to some snafu with SBC GLOBAL we were withouth internet for about 4 days  (some one miscoded a disconnect notice and I discovered the mess on Wednesday having spent about 4 hours on the phone with Tech support--thanks AT&T!)

Here's my list this week

Something Old:
Stuff Christians Like  Ok, we take ourselves too seriously sometimes, and things which we've always thought were necessary to Christianity--sometimes aren't (like the VBS decorating contest!)  I always read this blog and laugh and tell myself--I ain't all that.  Read and enjoy

Something New:
Smashing Magazine  A design resource that I've yet to dive into.  The topics are inspiring and creatively challenging.  You may want to take a look here.

A Trip To A Lavender Farm

Ok, we're a little short on the amenities of the city (no Starbucks, no mall, no Target, no--oh well, you get the picture).  So, something to do on a Saturday is always a challenge.  After our girls told us they were attending a Christian Rock festival all day Saturday, we decided to head east about 12 miles to a Lavender Farm  for their June Lavender festival.  I've never been to a lavender farm ( I know, it sounds kind of Metro) but hey, what else was there to do.

It turns out that lavender grows very well in this dry, arid landscape and it loves the sandy soil that is abundant here.  Lavender grows steadily through the spring and puts out it's blooms in June -regardless of where it's grown.  Lavender has many medicinal and curative benefits (it helps you sleep and relax) and my son said our house smelled like it the rest of the day (even though we didn't bring any of it home)

Here are some pictures from the day.  One blessing was meeting back with friend Kristy Fox and her daughter Katy from Sweetwater where we served almost 10 years ago.  In fact, Katy was a baby when we were there.

We enjoyed some down home Texas BBQ for lunch under a windy West Texas sky and talked to people who had come from near and far to see the lavender farm.  Daniel and his buddy climbed Mesquite trees and touched a real Texas Horned Toad---see, they do exist.

So, it may not have been Chicago, or LA or even Franklin, Tn, but it was a little part of the West Texas culture that experienced Saturday.

Worship Post-Fessional June 8, 2008

Today was our celebration of Summer Camp-our VBS that took place at the Boys/Girls club here this week.  I told you a couple of weeks ago that this wasn't your mama's VBS--you can tell by the boys to the left, they didn't fall into the cake icing; that is mud from one of the games.  My son Daniel is middle in the second picture.

This week I did 7 videos (6 for VBS) and produced 4 services for VBS.  It was quite the production week.

Here's our set list today
New Doxology ( 2nd week to do this)
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
I Give You My Heart
There Is Power In the Blood (my arr.--the kids sang a faster version this week)
Be Thou My Vision
Today was also the beginning of our summer series, Dear Solomon.  We're studying Proverbs through the summer.  At the end of the service we provided pre-printed stationery with "Dear Solomon:" on it and had people write just a short summary of what they learned from the day. They folded it and placed a seal on it and brought it forward to a basket.  We'll collect these this summer and give them back to them at the end of the series (like a series of letters written to a columnist) so they can remember what they learned in the series.  Thanks to PS PRINT we have seals that match the seals in the graphics.

How was your Sunday?  What are you doing in services this Summer?

Bloglines Gone Wild

I love to read my bloglines, but today I had to laugh after I refreshed the browser and it showed that i had 4,000 RECREATE (my sub group for all of the recreater's that I watch) blogs.  Something haywire happened and I snapped this shot of the screen. Upon the next refresh, it was back to normal.

Now that would be a lot of blogs to read through..

Got to love technology.

Creative Chaos- Theatrical Thursdays

I won't always publish this in the Creative Chaos section, but it's something that I'm doing right now to engage in the artistic culture of our community. I'm in a play this month. A COMPANY OF WAYWARD SAINTS will be performed June 26-29.
This will be my second production here, having returned to the stage after a 25 year absences (That sounds like I was missed or something--not really). My last acting roles were in high school plays (as were most of your acting gigs).

Rehearsals began this week for the production. After a long night at VBS, I headed to the Ritz Theater for rehearsals. Amazingly, we have read through Prologue, Act 1 and 2 and roughly blocked the scenes. There are hopes we might be "off book" by Monday (that means a lot of practicing over the weekend)

What I love about drama is that it's poetry and dialogue come alive in theater. This play has so many great lines. I love the one about artists temperament. "It's our greatest blessing- (pause) and our greatest curse". The company struggles to find their collaborative selves in the first act only to realize that they don't play together as a company anymore. PRIDE has entered into the group and keeps them from working together.

COMPANY is directed by Craig Roberston, recent grad from Snyder High. Craig if you are googling yourself again, he's another entry

This post is part of CREATIVE CHAOS on Ragamuffin Soul.

Watercooler Wednesday-- Necessity: The Mother of Creativity

Nothing like being the last one to the watercooler on Wednesday (and in the evening when everyone has gone home!). It's VBS week here--and we're working all day and serving all night. Most evenings I've seen the early morning before hitting the hay. I haven't had much time to blog and something went really screwy with my blogger template on Sunday night. I won't have time to fix that until this weekend. So, yes, I know that my blog is whacked--any help would be greatly appreciated you XML-CSS gurus.

Before and After Shots!
Here are some shots of the set up for this week at VBS.
We have to set up everything--everyday.  They use the Boys/Girls club for activities during the day.  We arrive @ 4:30 to set up and get it ready. I titled this NECESSITY: The Mother of Creativity because we had something else planned for the week and only learned like last Thursday of our set up/take down schedule.  So, we punted--used some pole and drape and a stretch shape for the projection and reused the tarps from an old series for deco (JVO--you like our tarps--they were inspired by you and will be reused for family camp in the later summer)
It takes less time to take down--as usual, but it has worked well, better than I expected.

So-let creativity guide you when you're stumped.  Necessity is sometimes the greatest prompter of new ideas and work arounds.

This post is part of Watercooler Wednesdays

Something Old, Something New

Something Old:
Nancy Beach  Nancy is Arts Pastor at Willow Creek.  I always learn something from her and the depths of her writing. She has such varied experiences there in Chicago and around the world. She's one that is definitely in touch with the Arts culture and the church.

Something New:
Ministers Kid-A Networking Community   Walter Johson monitors this site which is a portal to connect kids that have grown up in Ministry-(I'm one) and talk about the uniqueness that this brings to families and development.  Walter and I connected through a post I did about MAD CHURCH DISEASE.


Think Geek   You just have to go here and check out the wild things that are available technology wise.  From appareal to office supplies---you won't believe what you can get.

Photojojo    A portal for photographers on the net.  They have the latest photographic add ons and ideas for the novice.  There's even photogames you can play by participating in their daily "idea" where they ask you to interpret a theme or thought and post it for the community to see.  Kind of a photo potpourri.  Interesting.

Obama Leaves His Church

John Voelz writes some great stuff. Check out his blog about Obama leaving his church (and 10 things you should know about leaving yours)    You can read the article here: 

HT:  Vertizontal

John also has some great posts about Prayer (9 of them).  Check them out too!

Worship Post-Fessional June 1, 2008

Today we are in between series as we get ready for our Summer Camp (VBS) that starts tomorrow night. We wore our t-shirts and jeans today (Casual dress) and it felt great! Got some looks though.

This was also the last day of our Choir-led worship unitl the fall. We've been working on the collection from Brentwood (Thats Why We Praise Him). Its all the music of Tommy Walker. I wasn't sure when we started in January I was going to like all Tommy Walker songs, but each of them have been so special. They are memorable and singable and very tender and deep in worship. I think the choir has really liked them. We've used 11 of the 12 songs in the collection. That works out to about .75 a song--better than a standard choral piece. Each time we've sung we've used one for an opener; one for a congregational sing-along and one for a stand alone offertory piece. Today was no different.

Here's the set from today.
(Opener)Only A God Like You

Everlasting (Brian Doerkesen/Matt Unruh) (Great song we'll be using this summer)
I Fix My Eyes on You (Walker)--taught this one to the congregation
Better Is One Day

Lord I Believe In You

Prayer time for Summer Camp
I Stand Amazed (Jernagin)

So how was your Sunday?