My Kids Are Growing Up

My wife sent this picture to me last week while I was away in Egypt.  This picture was taken last Friday morning before the kids went to school. They are sporting their "homecoming" mums--it was homecoming weekend here last week.  They look forward to creating and crafting their mums each year (we got them done before I left).

They are growing up so fast.  Won't be long until this porch is empty and they are out in the world doing their thing.  God grant me the time left with them to make sure that they are the best they can be.

Any suggestions for making the most of these days?

Worship Pre-Fessional,September 28, 2008

I'm travelling home from Egypt today, but my friend Rich Smith will be leading for me.

Today's set list
Famous One
Outtake Video- we made this before I left.  You can watch it here
Psalm 19(Terry Butler song)
Scripture Reading-we have a man that has memorized significant portions of scripture and he's going to stand in the audience and recite some of it.
Word of God Speak (Rich is doing as a solo)
Thy Word
You Are (Mark Roach)

Today's sermon is all about The Scriptures.  Our series is on the Big Picture--the Story God is telling.  Today the script for that Big Picture story is the scriptures.  I've seen that these weeks in Egypt.  To see Biblical places and know the story has been a thrilling picture.  The Word does come alive when you dive deep into it and see it coming true.   I'll have more to share about that when I get home to the states.

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists--over on Fred Mc Kinnon's blog.

Going Home---Texas Here I Come!

As I write this it is 4:30 AM in the morning.  The morning calls to prayer from the Minarets have already sounded and we are on our way home to the US.

If you think of us today-pray for us and our safe travels.

It's been an amazing journey to this land.  One that I will never forget.

The Sacred Sites of Cairo

Today's outing was to the religious sites of Cairo.  We viewed a Coptic Christian Church (the hanging church as it's called is built over an old Roman fort).  The picture here was taken during the morning service.  Notice the shaft of light coming down from the ceiling and illuminating the woman praying on the bench.  Now talk about lighting effect-can God do spectacular work or what?

We then went to the area of Cairo that supposedly Mary and Joseph and Jesus fled when he was being pursued by Herod after his birth.  This was to a Jewish community in Cairo, and as it goes with relics--supposedly this crypt was the place they stayed during their time here.  No hard evidence-but great stories and led to some great conversations.

Our final stop was to a Mosque (the Muhamed Ali Mosque) where we saw the daily prayers and inside of the mosque.  Very interesting.

This afternoon I met with Mark Jaffrey--a fellow blogger and Artist.  I met Mark through Randy Elrod's Cre:ate group and will get to see him again in February when we meet again in Nashville. We ventured to his home and met his lovely family.  I'm going to blog about that later this week for Watercooler Wednesday.

Tonight was the farewell reception and dinner for our group.  This has been an outstanding group to travel with and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the group didn't arrange another trip together soon.

We're up and out of here at 4:30 AM in the morning (about 10:30 AM in the States) and will be in the air about 12 hours. Heading home with a head full of memories, but I'm ready to see my family.  End Day.

In Memphis--Elvis Has Left The Building

We went to Memphis today--Memphis, Egypt (not Tennessee) and the original hard rocker (Ramses II) was in the house.  This colossal statue of Ramses was here long before Elvis was a hunk of burning love.  The statue was massive.

This was a short trip to Memphis to see the temple and capital area.  Memphis was the first capital of Egypt and is only a short drive from present day Cairo.

We then left and went to the step pyramids at Saccara.  It dates back even further than the larger pyramids of Giza.   Such tales and stories they told of how the pharoah would cement his rule again over the people after a certain period of time.  With our presidential election in mind, we all joked how the political pundits would spin the stories for Pharoah.

We're back at the Sofitel in the central part of Cairo. We were here earlier in the week and we love it.  THEY HAVE INTERNET!!! Yea!!!.  Tonight's dinner was Lebanese at the Sheraton just across the way.   That was a different meal-but good.  I'm just ready for some TEXAS STEAK!!! Anyone with me?

Tomorrow is the religious part of the journey. We visit a Jewish Temple, The Hanging Church (Coptic Christian) and a Mosque.   And finally--we get to shop.  There hasn't been much shopping so far--but tomorrow we're promised plenty of it.  End Day.

Ramadan Nights

This trip has taken place during the month of Ramadan here in Egypt. Ramadan is a holy month for the Muslim religion where they fast during the day (from all food and water, sunrise to sunset) and then gather together at the end of the day and eat a meal together.

It’s been a quiet trip so far--until last night here in Alexandria. All of our rooms face the Sea for a scenic view and also a grand spot to listen to the Ramadan party below. It didn’t begin until 11PM or so, and oh the loud, loud music that was coming from below. Needless to say it was a restless night’s sleep.

The only other sign of Ramadan for us has been the altered schedule. Many of the sites we are trying to see are closing earlier than usual so that people can get home to their families and friends.

Our tour guide was somewhere last night and he said it was interesting to watch everyone gather together, ready to eat, as they awaited the signal to break the day’s fast. Then they jumped in to eat. END DAY

The Biggest Dirt Storm Ever!

With an early departure out of Cairo this morning, we anticipated the 3 hour ride to be uneventful. However about 1.5 hour in we noticed the sky turning darker and more brown. What we were about to experience and you’ll see through the pictures is one of the worst sandstorms that I’ve ever seen.

The air was thick and choking-with the grit of the dirt and the smell of burning trash. We knew we were in trouble when the Japanese tourists got off at one spot with surgical masks on. Groups like these are use to smog in their cities--not me.

The pictures you see are a correct representation of the color of the sky today. We were glad to get into the hotel and stay away from outside.

Today’s trip was to the ancient city of Alexandria. Visits to the catacombs which date from 2 B.C. and to the temple site of one of the Gods led us to the final stop at the Alexandria Library. Once home to 700K books in the ancient world, this library is moving back to collect most of the information that it lost in two ancient fires. It was impressive.

The hotel here is nice and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea--but who could see with all of this sand.

So Long Aswan-Get Me Back To Cairo!

Today was one of the longest days of the trip so far. We have officially been here a week and now in the next 4 days we’ll be in 3 different hotel stays. So moving your luggage around and around gets a little bit tiresome.

We really enjoyed the boat ride down the Nile. If you’ve seen any of the ships that do the same thing on the Mississippi, then you’ll know the size ship we were one. I think it held 73 people or so. A nice size place for us and it was certainly good to come back to your stuff already unpacked after a long hot day.

We left early this morning to see the Aswan Dam. It was built in the 1930’s as a way to capture the power of the Nile and to regulate the flooding of the Nile. It was huge and impressive.

Our flight to Abu-Simbel was short--only 40 minutes. It seemed that only people who were going to the Monument there were on the plane. I saw many of the same faces on the return flight that I had seen this morning on the inital flight.

Abu-Simbel is the monument that most of us have seen on the cover of our High School history books. It was moved about 200m when the Aswan Dam was built (it’s original site is now under water). It was hot there--probably close to 100’ and we quickly melted under the sun.

Our return flight to Cairo made a stop in Aswan but we didn’t have to get back off the plane. We arrived in Cairo around 4:00. To the hotel for a nice HOT shower and then some supper and another lecture on Alexandria where we are heading today.

Blogger is being particular over here. I can’t seem to upload photos--so please forgive the text only blog. I’m trying--but it ain’t going. End day.

Temples--You Seen One, You've Seen Them All

Another early morning departure from our port city. The waters were especially choppy this morning and I could tell that the waves were a little larger because it felt like the boat was being slammed on my side of the ship.

The travel on the Nile has become the safest and fastest way to see these sites on the Nile. Since some violence occurred here in 1997 it has become more difficult to travel inland by road and so these ships seem to be the best and safest way to travel.

We went to the Temple of Isis this morning. This temple was like the others and I’m seeing similarity between the temples. The same stories seem to be showing up over and over again. At least I’m learning what to look for and understanding thy hyroglyphics a little more.

Again the crowds are big here and we quickly learned to avoid the small rooms with no air ventilation and such. We were back to the boat by 11 AM.

On schedule this afternoon is a trip by Felucca to a Nubian village to meet the people and see their life style and to Ride a camel. More to come.

The Party and The People

The morning began with an early departure out of Etfu. With the motion of the boat, I could tell that we were sailing down the river. We had a later awakening schedule, but my body still woke around 6:00 AM Egypt time (about 3:00 PM Texas Time).

We had a quick breakfast and then off to the Temple of Horus (the bird God). It was quickly hotter and more crowded. The further south we have traveled we have seen the temperature rise. With more crowds in the temples, the humidity has become more intense. So much so that my sister was overcome with the heat. She went weak and we had to sit her down. She had been sick earlier in the week and we think she was dehydrated. On this trip fortunately we have had medical professionals along with us. They quickly cooled her down and got fluids into her.

We got back to the boat and immediately set sail for the town of Komo Ohmbo where the temple of the Crocodile God is built. There we encountered another hoard of people as we saw the temple at dusk. Truly a beautiful temple, but there were just so many people there.

We came back to the boat to have a Galybala party. The men wore the traditional dress (yes I have one and ask me when I’m going to wear it again?). We had a great time and did some group games and listened to some Nubian music.

All in a day--the temple, the party and the people. End day.

What Keeps You From Church?

My morning reading this morning was begun with this question “What Keeps You From Church Today?”. I thought this was funny since my immediate answer was “4000 miles and about 12 hours of air travel.”. I wasn’t going to church this morning because I was on this trip. I had a good time devoting on the upper deck of the ship that was harbored in the Luxor area (Nile). The fisherman were up early getting their day’s catch out of the Nile.

We began the morning with a visit to the large temple of Karnak (built to the God Amon (the Sun God) on the opposite end of the city. They once were joined by an avenue of Sphinx (the animal body-man faced animal) that allowed for the Gods to come together during a festival of fertility during the spring (the goddess Mut and the God Amon were responsible for the fertility of the Nile and the land)

Karnack was another amazing architetural feat. I couldn’t believe the height of the columns in the inner court. Much of the symbolism of the temple is the same as the Biblical temple model (outer court, inner court, holy of holies).

After a morning at Karnack we returned to the boat to set sail on the Nile. An afternoon of sailing brought us down the Nile which is lush with green lands and farms. The people were along the banks of the Nile today swimming and spending an afternoon together. Many of them hollered and waved at us as we past along. I guess the most shocking site was seeing the people bathe along the Nile. (I didn’t look at them long!--honeslty!)

We arrived at the Esna Locks around 5:00 PM or so. The last time this trip took place in March it took them 12 hours to get throught the locks. Let me explain that you are basically held captive in the Nile and are incessantly barraged by the Feluca captains who are trying to get you to by their wares along the Nile. We didn’t encounter this because we moved through the Locks within about 2 hours and moored for the evening at Esna.

The night was capped off by the crew of the ship doing a Native Nubian dance night for us in the lounge. It was festive to say the least.

In The Valley of The Kings

Today I awoke to a better physical condition. Having slept almost 12 hours, my body was ready for the day.

However, my sister had come down with the crud I had the day before. As she had taken care of me the day before, it was my turn to help her through the day. I knew it was going to be tough because we were going to be outside much of the morning. Here in Egypt you can get going by 6 AM and the heat is bearable. However by 8:00 it is approaching the upper 80’s and 90’s.

We made it to the temple of Hatsheput and enjoyed the cool breeze of the morning and then it was on to the Valley of The Kings, where most of the Egyptian Kings/Queens were buried in their tombs (think King Tut). It was extremely hot and dry in the area and you had to walk a good bit to get to the areas where we were to see the tombs.

My sister made it to the first tomb (the tomb of King Ramses 3--and we made it to a point in the inner tomb and then she had to turn and head back up (it was hot and “aromatic” if you know what I mean. She headed back to the bus to sleep until we returned about 2 hours later.

I ventured on and saw three more tombs: King Ramses 6, a tomb for King and Queen?, and Ramses 2. All of it was very interesting and educational. I had to acknowledge that I was never very interested in Egyptian mythology and hieroglyphics--but now I am. It’s artistry is all so amazing. How was this ancient civilization able to master these skills and with such precision in their repetition. I’ll never know.

The rest of the day was spent getting on to the boat and getting ready to set sail.

We took an evening tour of the Luxor Temple (built to the Goddess Mut--the God of the Water). Seeing this massive temples at night was inspiring.

The Lost Day

Inevitably when you travel, some sort of bug or transition period will happen to you physically. It’s the sort of thing that you know is coming--and there isn’t anything you can really do anything about.

Thursday evening I noticed that I was feeling a little bit “rocky” in my stomach. This turned into full scale war in my tummy during the night. I was chilled and achy. But you have to solider on and I kept on going to the next day’s activites.

The Friday schedule was pretty light. We only had Cairo Museum. However, I didn’t know that the Cairo Museum was completely unairconditioned. It was hot in there!

I made it through that ordeal and finally decided to stay on the bus (air conditioned) during the lunch hour. It was then that I really decided that I was sick.

When the group returned to the bus they said I was white as a sheet. They gave me some magical pills that help “antiseptic” the stomach of the bad microbes that were waring with my good ones. Within about 20 minutes I was feeling better, but oh so weak. I slept in the airport and waited to board our trip to Luxor.

Needless to say when we got to Luxor about 5PM my aim and goal was to get to the bed as fast as I could. I was asleep by 6:30 PM and didn’t awake until the phone call at 4:45 AM.

You won’t see many pictures from this day. 1) They didn’t allow pics inside the Cairo Musuem and 2) I didn’t feel like taking any.

Dinner With Indiana Jones

Tonight we had a lecture with the INDIANA JONES of Egypt.  Dr. Zahi Hawass is  Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Director of the Giza Pyramids Excavation and no digging or excavating of sites in Egypt happens without his approval.

He was recently featured in July on Discovery Channel during their EGYPT weekend special. He talked to us tonight about the recent finds in and around the Great Pyramids and in the Valley of The Kings.   He's a very popular man and will be in Dallas in October for the King Tut exhibit.

First class speaker all the way.

In the Land of the Pharoahs

Today was our first full day in Egypt.  We arrived here on Wednesday morning (10:15 Egypt time/ 3:15 AM Texas Time).   Yesterday (Wed) was spent mostly settling into the hotel for 2 nights and getting to meet the other members of the tour.  They are from all over the US.

We awoke at 6:30 this morning (11:30 Texas time) to head to breakfast.  Breakfast in foreign countries can mean many things.  In Rome it was cold meats and cheeses; in England it's Baked beans and blood sausage.  In Egypt it was a mix of Cereals, breads, Fruits (fresh dates-never had one-and don't even make a joke about it; a pretty good little meal.

Our only stop today was the Great Pyramids which I can see from my hotel window.  They are an amazing site to see up close.  I never really understood the pyramids until today and their significance in the history of the Kings (Pharoahs) that ruled this land.   There are 9 of the 10 pyramids still standing, but the ravages of time and erosion are quickly making them a pile of sand.  I'm glad that I got to see them while they are still here.
Other than being hounded by souvenier hawkers it was a pleasant morning until mid-day when the heat came in like a puff of hot air.  All of a sudden it felt like a furnace out near the Sphinx and all we could think of was getting back to the hotel.

This afternoon has been spent trying to get internet up and running.  We had no connection in the hotel at all yesterday, thus the late entry today, and then we attended a lecture by our Study guide, Dr. Wahlid.  A very informative talk on Islam and Egypt.  I understand more now about the difference in Sunni and Shiite Muslims and the history of Egypt.  However, I might suggest a better time than 3:00 PM--because my eyes were heavy.   

About 4:30 I took a dip into the most amazing pool that I've ever seen.  If you've been to Wet'N Wild you know about the Lazy River--this pool has a lazy river around it and a food bar in the middle of the pool.  I didn't eat, but swam sufficiently to tire for a bit.

Tonight we meet again @ 8:30 PM  to hear a talk by the leading Archeologist in Egypt.  He was featured in the Discovery Channel series this summer.  Should be interesting. 

Tomorrow-the Egyptian museum where they have the Rosetta Stone then a flight to Luxor for sight seeing there on Saturday.  

Again, I'll try to post when I can.  If you comment, leave your name.  I've had a bunch of Anonymous people lately and I can't figure out who you are.

Creative Chaos-My Church Has A Blog--Oh My!

As part of our new series, "THE BIG PICTURE", we created a blog on Wordpress for our people to continue the conversations from Sunday mornings teaching and worship experience.

It will be interesting to see over the coming weeks how many people jump into this new form of communication in the church.  I'm excited to see some new bloggers come online as we use this new tool.

Does your church have a blog?

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on

One Year Ago Today--Bubbie, we miss you

One year ago today we said goodbye to our dog Bubbie.  I know it's silly to remember such dates, but it was a milestone in our life as a family.

Bubbie was given to us by our first church's youth group as we left that church to go to our first full-time position in ministry.  He was  just six week old black as coal little pound puppy when we got him.  In fact, he slept in an old card board box with a towel because he was so little.  He got lost in tall grass in our backyard because of his size.  He was our first baby.

There have been many times in this past year when I would go out in the backyard and think that I would see him sitting underneath the tree or lounging on the back porch.   He was 15 (almost 16 years old) when we had to make the decision to put him down due to poor health.

We miss him and have yet to replace him in our family life.  Today we remember him. He was a good dog.

Watercooler Wednesdays-Mosaic Photos

This post is part of Watercooler Wednesday's over on Randy Elrod's site, Ethos.
In preparation for our next series, I found this nifty little program that will allow you to take photos (any pics--yours or ones off the web) and create a photo mosaic. It takes the color tones from your pictures and recreates your "initial" photo to create the mosaic in small tiles.

Pretty cool! Try it out.

Too Much Time On Your Hands

Now this guy has too much time on his hands.  He annualy does a design in his corn fields.  This year he chose a "political theme".

The amazing thing is that he hand draws the design on paper and then enlarges it to a grid.  He doesn't even use a GPS to guide him.

Don't Talk So Loud!

I'm travelling today on a trip to meet a family member.   On the initial flight last night I was tired (getting ready to be gone is sometimes as much work as it is to actually stay be at work).  

I pulled out a book to read on the flight and couldn't help but overhear the conversations from a couple of rows back.  Boy, were they loud as they carried on about their careers and their lives and such.  I thought they were extremely friendly, extremely fast.

Have you ever been a part of one of those "awkward" times on a flight?

Devestation in Galveston

I'm looking at pictures today from Hurrican Ike on Galveston Island.  I'm shocked at the devestation.

We were part of the beautiful island of Galveston this last July when we had Family Camp at the Hawthorn Suite (Victorian Inn)

It was our hope to return to Galveston some time soon in the future to enjoy it's charm and beauty.  We'll have to wait and see how fast it recovers.

An amazing side fact, my Grandfather survived the storm of 1900 and came away with a piece of furniture ( a chest of drawers) that is still in our family.  Wonder what will survive this time?

Say a prayer for the people of Galveston and those affected by Ike.

Worship Post-fessional, September 14, 2008

Worship Set:

Because of Your Love (Baloche)
From The Inside Out (Houston)
Scripture Readings (The One Another passages from Scripture)
You Are My King (Foote)

Morning Message-Brad Gartman (Brad grew up in our church and is co-pastor CHURCH AT THE SPRINGS in Houston, Tx. He was here this week to talk to our leadership and church about Small Group (Community) Ministry that begins in a week here)

*Congregational Take Away (See Below)
From The Inside Out (Reprise)
Knowing You (Kendrick)You Gave Your Life Away (Baloche)

Congreagational Take Away:
We always try to think of something (if appropriate) that we can give away at the end of the service to reinforce the teaching of the day. Today we gave away Mason Jars-filled with a cookie receipe. The instructions were for the people to take the receipe and do one of two things with it. (1). Make the receipe of cookies and include a tall glass of tea with it and take it to a neighbor. (2) Fill the jar with the ingredients (layered--kinda like a sand scultpure) and take it to a neighbor to share about community.
We also launched our next Series promo THE BIG PICTURE with 4X4 glossy cards with the logo and series information on it. We instructed them to take them to work and to give them out all week long as we get ready for this 14 week series of God's Plan for The Ages. I got them from PS PRINT for $134--2500 of them!! We're also starting a blog for this series.

I'll be away from worship leadership for the next 2 Sundays.  My good friend Rich Smith will come and lead in my place.

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on Fred Mc Kinnon's site.

Worship Leader Subs Are So Hard To Find

I'm going to be gone from church for a coouple of Sundays.  I received these videos today as recommendations for fill-ins while I'm gone.  What do you think?

Matt Damon-Political Expert or Bourne Insanity?

Why are we asking Matt Damon about politics? Why should we care what Matt Damon has to say about the presidential race? Does Matt have expertise in the area of politics anymore than the regular Joe? Nope!

It's just the Hollywood mystique that we've attached to these movie stars. Yes, he can have an opinion, but why put it on video or TV just because he's a star.

"I need to know if she believes that dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago? I need to know that because she'll have the nuclear codes." What?

I'm just saying.....

Design Plays Major Role In Pentagon Memorial

The Pentagon Memorial will be dedicated this morning in Washington, DC. This memorial is the first one of the three sites to have a memorial on the site of the accident.

Below are pictures of the memorial and descirptions of the site.

Elegant in its self-supporting form, the memorial unit is at once a glowing light pool, a cantilevered bench and a place for the permanent inscription of each victim's name.

The field of memorial units is arranged as a timeline of the victim's ages, from 3 to 71. The western edge of the site is defined with an "age wall" that grows an inch in height relative to the age represented by the rows of memorial units.

Read more about the site here.

7 Years Ago Today--We Still Remember

I still remember where I was when I heard this terrible news. I had friends in NYC that day-people that I loved and cared about. I didn't know where they were or what was going on.  They just made it over the bridge to JFK when they turned back to see the Towers collapse.

So much uncertainty surrounded that day.  I was leading a revival in a small town close to where we lived.  We met for lunch that day and made the decision to cut the services short that night to see the President speak.  And, just a week later I would be at a church in the Metroplex in view of a call to move.  This was definitely a time of change for our nation and for us personally.

We stop today to remember and reflect.

CREATIVE CHAOS-Digital Poster Creator

For our next series, THE BIG PICTURE, we had to create 12 large (42X42) large scale graphics of one picture to display on stage.  Each week we'll add one more piece to the stage and then we'll assemble the pictures together on the last Sunday.

This program helps me take a picture and bust it up into these 12 pieces.   The scale and pixelization of the pictures isn't the best, but from a distance of 20' or so from the stage you won't be able to tell.

I can't wait to post the pictures of the stage as it goes up Sunday afternoon.

You can download the program here for only $29.

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on

Watercooler Wednesday- SACRED

My friend Rich Smith has just released his album, SACRED and I think it is worth the time to stop and listen to this collection of hymns remixed.

An intergenerational collection of time tested hymns, these songs are sure to be favorites with kids as well as the most seasoned adults that you know.

Rich is tuned in to the heart beat of worship in the church.  These hymns are some of the best loved in the church.  These arrangements are enjoyed by all who hear them.  We used Rich for our Family Camp this year and he did some of these songs with our people.  The little ones loved "Count Your Blessings" and "How Firm A Foundation" and the adults loved the accoustic versions of "Come Thou Fount", "What A Friend", "Be Thou My Vision" and "No Not One".   

What other record do you know that can be a favorite of all ages?  Not many, but this is definetly one.

Here are a few of the other clips:
It Is Well With My Soul--one of my personal favorites.

As a worship leader I'm constantly looking for hymns that have a fresh coat of paint of them for today's culture.  These songs do that. They take the old and give it a fresh interpretation for today.  

All of these tunes and the album are available on Itunes.

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

Pete Wilson-Your Day Is Coming

Dear Pete:

This is a letter to warn you what's coming.  In 4 years you will have to endure what I endured Friday night and Saturday morning.  As your friend I hope that this fair warning will give you time to prepare for the torture that will accompany this event.  Start now to get lots of sleep--you're going to need it.

You see, in 4 or so years, Pete's boy, Jett will be 10-11, like my son Daniel.  Daniel came to us with the idea of a sleep over for, oh say, 9-10 of his 11 year old friends.  The place: our church's Family Life Center, where they could play endless rounds of War Ball, Softball, Murder and other games.

The night was to be a full scale FRIENDS of Daniel-complete with a Shirts/skins football games, Rip Sticks and all the Root Beer that you could drink.  You can see where I'm going with this.

And I was the lucky one to stay overnight with this angelic tribe.  They really were pretty good--no major fights and they went down pretty fast with OVER THE HEDGE on the large screen projector.  Pretty cool.

Somewhere around 3:45 AM my dear friend, Pete, this old body had enough of the silliness and put them all down to sleep.  You see, when they get still they go to sleep really fast.

Pete, I feel for you. You have three boys--I only have one.  One is enough at 11.   I only hope that when they reach this mark, you'll look back at this information and see that Jim said "I'm warning you!"   It's coming.

Your Friend, 

(Something Old) Something New

Ok--so there's limited OLD stuff out there for me.  Everything that is OLD in my reader has been featured here.  So, I'll either have to let some of these new sites set until they are OLD or just retitle this post--SOMETHING NEW.

Something New

Brian Davis is the Director of Technical Ministries at Fellowship Bible in Dallas.  I found his site by Googling "Worship Set Design".  Great to connect with another Texan!

Beth Brawley, from Powhatan Community Church, leads her Creative Arts team in setting up some great sets and designs.  I met Beth through Fred McKinnon's site and am following her and her ideas.  Check her site out.

Brad ended up in my reader through Creative Chaos. His byline is "I'm A Little Different, but don't worry--I'm Ok with it!"   Now that's a creative!   He's got some great designs, graphics and ideas about the church.

Worship Post-fessional, September 7, 2008

Worship Set Today
Love The Lord (Brewster)
Great Things (Week 2)--I just love this song. Today I tied it with the scripture vs (Lk 1:46) so that people can reference it in their walk.
Be Thou My Vision (Hymn)
You Are My All In All (Jernigan)

Majesty (Martin Smith)---we haven't done this one in almost 2 years. I forgot how good it is--and how high it is. Really hard for the Bass (Men) to sing.
Message-Enemy of Community (however, our Pastor and his wife are currently at the ER waiting on the birth of their daughter--so our Spiritual Formations pastor stepped in and talked about Community groups
Lord's Supper
From the Inside Out (Houston)--second week on this one too! We're staying a little longer on songs so people can own them.
The Power of Your Love
Introduction of New Members--12 new members in the last month.

This post is part of Sunday Set List over on Fred McKinnon's site.

Baby Longhorn--Raising Tomorrow's UT Fan today

Ok all you UT folks--this has gone too far.   This DVD is geared at families with young children, training them in the ways of Austin.

On the DVD--they have
   Football Clips
   Marching Band sounds
   Cute babies dressed in UT clothes

It's a marketing dream, because you know someone is going to buy this for their little one.

Is Oprah Biased? Host Won't Interview Palin

I love this headline!  The news media is asking a question which is obvious even to Hannah Montana.   Hannah's reaction to this article would be "Ya think?"

Oprah is obviously in the tank for Obama,(She cried her eyelashes off at the DNC), so why would she risk promoting the person who stands in the way of defeating her candidate?

Read the article here and have a good laugh.

Bloggable Quotes-"It's My Money and I Need It Now"

Our son, Daniel, has quite the memory when it comes to money. He remembers all the times that we didn't pay him for his chores; everytime that the tooth fairy forgot to pay for his tooth.

So, we're heading to the mall for Labor Day and he's anxiously awaiting a trip to Game Stop to see the latest and greatest. He has his mind set on some game and is busily calculating how much money he has in some foreign bank account somewhere.

I'm driving the car and he's talking to us about this "owed" money and when he thinks that we're not listening intently enough to him he blurts out "It's My Money and I Need It Now".

We just all stop and look at each other and bust out laughing. He's been watching too much TV!

How To Worship

An instructional video for today's worship style:

Thanks to Dorothy for pointing this out.

HT: Milestone Worship

Creative Chaos-A Christmas Family Tradition

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on Ragamuffinsoul.Com

Each year since Diane and I have been married, we have picked up an ornament from a vacation spot or special event through the year. Beginning with our honeymoon (the Mickey and Minnie Mouse First Christmas Ornament) we have collected over the years an assortment of items that take us back each time we open the box. We continued that tradition this year, picking up an authentic Albuquerque adobe house and 5 accompanying chili pepper lights.

We've started collecting for the kids each year too. We purchased an ornament each year with their name on it. ( I guess I got this idea from the Horton Family on Days of Our Lives) with the thought that one day they could take their box of ornaments with them to start their own Christmas decorating.

Most recently they've picked the following:

Taylor: Anything University of Texas.
Daniel: Anything Texas Tech
Mattie: Anything Dance.

From London last year: they got a genuine London stuffed animal
From Austin--genunine Texas stars
From Washington DC-- The Capitol

Each year the kids anxiously await the opening of their boxes to decorate the tree. We've even included some of their past Christmas projects from school ( popsicle sticks and all).

If you are just starting out in marriage and family, this is a great way to keep a tradition going through the season. Someday our tree will be very empty, but our minds and hearts will be full of the memories we made with Christmas ornaments through the years.

What are some of your holiday traditions?


Does anyone else remember the ABC TV series, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF?  It aired in 2005/2006 and was my family's favorite TV show on Tuesday night.  It was killed by the critics and eventually died the AMERICAN IDOL death when AI took over the Tuesday night run.

The current events with the selection of Sarah Palin as John Mc Cain's running mate are very similar to the show's plot.  America's first female Vice-president is both a Mom and a Washington novice as she takes the job, but soon finds herself as the nation's first Female president.  If you haven't seen the series, it's out on DVD.

We loved the show--not because of it's politics, but because we believed the character played by Geena Davis.  We believed that her convictions were for her family and her country; that she had ethics; that she could play hard ball with the corrupt insiders in Washington.  We believed that she could be effective as the first female president.

We believe those same things about Sarah Palin.  My wife and I sat and watched her speech tonight and both of us said "We like her".  Her speech and demeanor are being called "Reaganesque" and full of normalcy and humor.   I don't know about you, but I could go for another round of The Gipper, and we need a leader who can be serious but not always so serious.

Enjoy the pictures below--if we only knew that those silly childhood pictures would surface when we ran for public office.  

Science Projects Updated

What will they think of next? When my kids need a science project, we're doing one of these.