HALLOWEEN IN THE HOOD-2008


Each year our church has sponsored a FALL FESTIVAL at the church the Sunday evening prior to Halloween. This year we didn't do that. We encouraged people to be in their neighborhoods and to use this time to meet the community and do something creative.

We set up two games in our driveway--one for smaller kids and one for larger kids. It wasn't hard--some plastic bowling pins and a some rings and we were in business.

I think we had close to 125 kids come by. One kid said "this is the coolest house!" One mother told her friend "We're doing this next year. We can do this in our neighborhood!" Win!

Here's the pictures and we're exhausted and will be sore tomorrow morning from bending over to set up the bowling pins. Oh well!

By the way, the blonde I'm kissing is my son! He went to his party as HANNAH MONTANA. I told him--"Son, you're one ugly girl!"

Halloween and Creativity

Now these guys have used their imagination on this video. What a perfect way to combine the holiday and creativity.

Must Win For The Tigers

It's another big game for the Tigers tonight. They travel to Breckenridge for a MUST win game in order to stay in the playoff hunt. If they don't take a trick or treat from the Buckaroos-it will set up a showdown next week with Brownwood here in Snyder for the final spot in the playoffs. Should be an interesting game.  We'll be listening by radio since we're doing something in our driveway for the neighborhood kids for Halloween.

Here's pictures from last week's game with Sweetwater ( we lost 14-7). That's me (arrow) in the pressbox where I run the message board for the games.

CREATIVE CHAOS--Storyboarding

"When all of your ideas are placed on a design board, visually, you will be able to sense what is creating drama and what is not working. Introducing new ideas is much easier and the process will start to flow."

I've been interested in how designers present their conceptual ideas to clients (planning teams, stafff, etc).  Most of these have come from watching these presentations on TV.   Theirs are usually large project boards ( kind of reminds me of the BOOK REPORT boards we used to have to do in 4th grade) which contain drawings, samples and conceptual drawings of the room, project or design.   

After the presentation the client lives by that board for the duration of the project.  We did that when we built a church facility.  Every paint sample, every carpet sample and every wall covering was on that board.  When we had a question, we went back to the story board to make sure everything stayed together with the story the design had written. It doesn't always have to be large.  

How about creating a story board on index cards--punch a hole in the top of the card and put a sample of the concept on each card.   How about a piece of peg board or insulation foam?  Cork board or ceiling tile works well too.

I don't always do that when we concept a series, but I keep a 12X18 piece of insulation foam in my office which works great for short presentations.  I usually cover it with a material we are going to use for the series, a paint color or graphic.  Then I begin tacking on the other elements that may be included in the services (pictures of media, lists of songs, etc).


When you put together a story board remember to collect items related to your series or concept:
1) Graphics
2) Paint chips (I'm continually picking up these chips at Lowes or WalMart)
3) Pictures of facilities
4) Notes about the services
5) Publications/ samples
6) Other items (things you might give away during the service or as a reminder during the service)

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on Ragamuffinsoul.

HT:  HGTV-Story Boards

Fun At A Birthday Party



We spent Sunday afternoon with our friend Kaelynn Gray and her 3rd birthday party. The "princess" made her grand entrance and entranced the waiting court. She led the Pumpkin Musical Chairs game as well as the Hay ride. KK is a special girl to us--we love her and wish her a happy third birthday this Saturday. Oh to be 3 again--no worries, no bills, naps and playing with toys. Does it get any better than this?

In His Own Words-"Redistributive Change" Is In Order



Wake up people--these are the fundamental philosophies that Barak Obama believes in. As much as he denies it, these are his own words. He believes the courts have not gone far enough. His influence over the courts will affect the next 2 generations.

A Family Creation--Patty The Pumpkin

As part of the birthday party for a 3yr old friend of ours Sunday, each family was given a pumpkin and a supply of items to create a "unique" expression for each family. We all jumped in. I was in charge of "hair" since I have none of my own.

Daniel picked out the eyes, mouth and nose. Taylor made the ear rings. Mattie made the bow in the hair and Diane was responsible for the mole with the hair growing out of it. We're quite proud of the new addition to our family for the holiday season. "Patty" will make her world debut Friday night and also at our Youth "Night of The Great Pumpkin" party on Saturday. We're hoping she'll bring home first prize---a pumpkin pie! (Hope it's not her kinfolk!)

Barak Obama Comedy Hour

If this is any indication of what his "infomercial" will be on Wednesday--I might just have to watch it.

Worship Post-Fessional, Sunday October 26


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

Well, October is gone--and November stares us straight ahead. We are 6 weeks into this series--about halfway through. Today's topic was Chapter 3: The Conscience. We did a couple of creative elements in the service ( a flash video that I made using SWISHMAX and the pictures came from Stock Exhange) and a skit that we wrote to intro the sermon (with the Youth Minister play the good voice and the Children's Minister play the bad voice) Sorry there's no audio--for copyright purposes I couldn't include it.

Here's the set:
The Lord Reigns (Gateway)--week 2. We were missing our regular drummer and our tracks this week. I don't know how this one went over.
Great Things (Maher)--we brought this one back from August when we wore it out. Good tune
Welcome
Offering
Conscience statements
Be Thou My Vision (Praise Charts)
Still (Hillsong)
From The Inside Out (Hillsong)--was a little hard since we had no percussion on this one-our drummer became our GOOD voice for the skit. We had to lose him on this back sset.
Intro-Skit
Message
Take My Life (Tomlin)

So how was your Sunday?

Good Job Bears! The Season Is Over

Today ended Daniel's first season of tackle football.  The Bears lost to the Niners--it wasn't close.

To begin with I wasn't really sure that I wanted Daniel to do tackle football this year.  He's done so well with the flag football the last 2 years.  But he went ahead and participated.  He played offense and defense and did a pretty good job.  Here are some pictures from his games. He's quite proud of these and has made them our home backgrounds on our family computer.

Football is done for him and now he looks forward to basketball season that will begin after Christmas... at least for now a break from the Saturday sports schedule.  Way to go Bears!

Good Luck Tiger Band--On To Area!



The Tiger Band heads to Area competition in Lubbock tomorrow. Good luck!

SNYDER vs. SWEETWATER---Let's get ready to rumble!

Tonight is a big night.. SWEETWATER vs. SNYDER (7:30-Tiger Stadium). This is a huge rivalry that goes back years and there is no love lost between both teams and communities.

From 1997-until 2001 we lived in Sweetwater (that's where these pictures are from) and we cheered for the MUSTANGS and against the Tigers. Now we live in SNYDER and can I say that when we see folks from Sweetwater some of them think we have leprosy because we're wearing the black and gold.

Anyway--big game--sold out stadium--no love lost. It will be an epic battle tonight.

Wedding Funnies

I'm going to a wedding this weekend.  I hope this doesn't happen.


What To Do With Your Cassettes!

Have you wondered what to do with all those cassettes you used to listen to? This project screws them to a cabinet to create texture and art. Not sure if I have that many tapes around any more. Now where did I put that box?


HT: Make Magazine

Watercooler Wednesday- A Journey of Design

This post is part of Watercooler Wednesday's on Randy Elrod's site, Ethos. It's where the Creatives and Passionates meet each week to exchange ideas and thoughts on the creative life.

Thinking back through the years, I often wonder why I've ended up doing what I do. Yes, I'm a product of my environment and upbringing (in the church) but my particular bent toward creativity can't be traced to one element in my life. I used to worry about how many different artistic things I was interested in, thinking that I wasn't skilled to a depth in any discipline. Only after I began to appreciate the different experiences that I had in my life was I really able to see the steps that have led me to where I am today. I'd like to recount some of that in today's post.

Art - I can remember one of the first loves of my life was art class in elementary school. Whether it was drawing, crafting or sculpting, I always had my hands in something. I love to draw (doodle) and I guess the basic concepts of transferring what I was seeing in my brain to paper began here. (My claim to fame was a first place ribbon at the county fair for a chalk drawing of the desert. I used to have this---I don't know where it is now). I didn't stay in formal art classes, but I think I carried some of the principles into other areas below.

Music- Music has always been a big part of my life. One of my earliest family photos is me straining to reach the keyboard of our old upright piano in the living room. From my earliest memories I can remember imitating music that I heard on the radio or on the church. This carried on through 11 years of piano and now 37 years of playing keys. Thanks to early piano teachers I carried through with my practices and now today I enjoy the pleasure of making and leading music each week.

Photography- In my freshman year of high school I became interested in photography. With the purchase of a Minolta XG camera (do they even make Minolta's any more?) I quickly began to transfer those prinicples I learned in art of balance, proportion, scale, lighting, color and more to photographs for now forgotten yearbook annuals. I looked back at that first annual the other day--I can still identify my photographs--and they're not half bad.

Drama- I ended up in Drama class by a fluke and have never regretted being a part of this discipline. With the principles of staging, proportion, scale and color, I've been able to create environments within ministry because of my exposure to the stage. I know about production and technical theater. I continually thank Mrs. Hamilton (my HS drama teacher) for all that she taught me about drama. (She's still teaching school at Frenship High School)

Floral- During college I needed a job and ended up at a floral shop one day for a delivery position. That's all I wanted to do--deliver. However, this small shop needed a dual player and they shoved some roses in my hand and said "DESIGN" (the first time I had ever heard the word). This began a career in floral and floral arts that saw me through college, seminary and other periods of my life. I tranferred the principles of photography and art to this discipline and have used the skill for more than 20 years. Learning how to manage big events and big conceptual projects was one of the benefits of working in this industry.

Business- Early work experience post graduate led me to the world of retail where I learned about purchasing products and materials. Seeing how the large businesses treated products and displays gave me an insight to visual attraction that people had to stores and items. Never mind that I was given the responsibility of purchasing garments that I would never wear, I succeeded in understaning trends, colors and fads as they came and went. My achieving goal was purchaing 5,000 items on a re-order of a fast selling good, only to have them pepper me with them when I left the company at my going away party. (Sell through the second time wasn't so swift). I learned budgeting and organizational methods here.

Computers- If you knew me in college you would laugh today at my obsession with computers. I hated business computer class and couldn't understand the language (today I read XML, CSS and HTML for codes--go figure). I love computer stuff and spend a great deal of time with computers. My venture in this area began with an overpriced laptop in 1994 that had 32MB of memory and a black and white screen. Today I've upgraded to an APPLE. I guess knowing this area helped me jump the curve on the technology that landed in the late 90's for graphic design, web design and more.

Technology- One of the most recent things for me has been harnessing technology for use in design. I've been a devoted follower of SKETCHUP from Google for over a year and even carried a tutorial DVD with on my recent travels to Egypt. I've learned AVID video editing, sound editing, SWISH, FLASH and more not to mention a dabble in the ADOBE realm with Photoshop. I'm not expert--but I've conversant in these areas.

Travel- I've been blessed in the last 3 years to see some major part of the world that before I had only read about. Seeing the cultures of Mexico, Italy, India, Guatemala, Great Britain, France and Egypt as well as travel within the US have opened my design eyes in so many ways. Being able to appreciate the principles of design in these settings has increased my creativity a great deal.

Wow--that's a lot of writing and if you've successfully made it through the end of this post, I'd love to hear from you what your journey of design has been. What have been your influences?

Design photo by: Costi

Biblical Proof That God Loves Twitter

I stole this today from this blog.
I've been twittering for almost a year. It's been an amazing way to connect with fellow believers across the globe. 
We share anything and nothing all at the same time. I first thought it was a fluke...but it's become part of my circle of influence. I've had the wonderful experience of meeting some of these people in person.So, do you Twitter?

Sometimes The Ref Isn't On Your Side


It's true that sometimes the refs have an opinion about the game. This ref seems to have interjected himself in the game. Wonder what happened to him?

The Lord Reigns!


We sang this song yesterday in worship and I couldn't get it out of my mind most of last night. What a declaration in these uncertain days that we don't have to depend on the outcome of an election to know whether God is still in control, whether he's still on his throne or whether His purposes will be thwarted by man.

I love the line "Why do the nations rage when the King is still on His throne!" Powerful stuff. If you haven't heard this song, take a listen and be of good cheer today. Our God still reigns!

Worship Post-Fessional, October 19, 2008

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

We keep adding pictures to our "BIG PICTURE" frames on stage. Eventually all of the pieces will be up there and we can see the "BIG PICTURE" (10.5 x 14) that it will make. No one has figured it out yet.


Here's the list:

The Lord Reigns (Gateway)--I've been wanting to do this song since February when I got the pre-release cd at Recreate. It's a powerful song. We'll be doing it for a while.
Hosanna (Baloche)--another favorite here
New Doxology (Gateway)--we taught this one early in the spring.
Offertory Prayer
Scripture Reading- 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
Creator King (Scott)--just a great song of worship to the Creator. Since our topic was creation--it fit.
How Great Thou Art (Praise Charts)--a little rockier than your standard hymn--but I like the chord progressions in it.
Message
Wonderful Merciful Savior--old stand by that they sing so well.
Dismiss
The Lord Reigns (Outro)

So, how was your Sunday?

A Liberal Supermajority!

No, this isn't the mask I've chosen for Halloween--but it would be really scary!   Even more scary is this article today from the Wall Street Journal online.  If you don't think that this election is pivotal in the history of this nation--read this!

Be afraid--be very afraid!

CREATIVE CHAOS--PAPER PLATE MEMORIES

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on Ragamuffinsoul where all of the creatives share their ideas. Check it out.


Part of our family camp this summer was an opening exercise where the family determined what were their favorite rooms in the house. We were then given a divided plate and asked to draw these rooms-in whatever detail we wanted to give (of course I didn't do one because I was fighting with Media!)

My family is quite artistic and they enjoyed this excercise. Diane, Taylor, Mattie and Daniel each picked a room they liked best. I think the living room made on all of them. This then was the beginning of discussion of where we liked to have conversations as a family. Who knew that you could be creative with a paper plate.

What's your favorite room in the house? Where do you have the conversations with the family?

How'd Those Jeans Get Those Holes!

I found this article interesting.  I didn't know this was how they make those high-end distressed jeans.

I have some that look like that too--but they come by their holes honestly.



Watercooler Wednesday- Stage Design In Worship

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

One of the changes that has come in worship the last 10 years has been the influence of stage design on worship experiences. I can remember going to a Technology For Worship Conference in Dallas about 1998 and just the brink of the wave coming could be seen in the use of visuals in worship.

Some decry the use of visuals in worship, saying that they distract from the message. However the church today doesn't exclusively meet in gothic cathedrals and traditional worship spaces. Some churches meet in schools or store fronts, some meet in community spaces and pedistrian spaces that lack focus on the religious or spiritua. This is where Stage design can transform a space and lend a helping hand to the experience.

I've been interested in this movement for quite some time. My venture into stage design began after that TFW meeting and then a move to a church with a new facility and space that cried out for something more than the mundane. Now our worship space is more traditional, but still we try to transform the stage to match the theme of the series.

Click the links below to find more churches doing stage design in worship. North Point Church in Atlanta has hired Randy Parker to be their lighting and stage design guru. Now that's a ministry position that wasn't open 10 years ago.

Spread The Wealth!


An interesting interchange between Obama and an Ohio man. What does spread the wealth mean? I read yesterday where Dems in Congress want to ban 401K plans and force everyone into a government retirement plan (can you say Social Security II) No thanks--just another way government wants to get in your pocket.

Be afraid people-be very afraid!

I Love FAST COMPANY

I subscribe to FAST COMPANY magazine.  I love it.  Talk about cutting edge and fast forward thinking- I always walk away from reading it with a head full of ideas and leads on new resources.

The current issue landed while I was away last month and I just got around to reading it today.

This is an outstanding issue as it talks about CREATIVE CAPITAL and it's their annual Master of Design issue where they focus on outstanding designers.  You gotta read this issue.

The article that rang my bell today was NEUROSCIENCE SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON CREATIVITY
Creativity and imagination begin with perception. Neuroscientists have come to realize that how you perceive something isn't simply a product of what your eyes and ears transmit to your brain. It's a product of your brain itself. And iconoclasts, a class of people I define as those who do something that others say can't be done -- think Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, or Florence Nightingale -- see things differently. Literally. Some iconoclasts are born that way, but we all can learn how to see things not for what they are, but for what they might be.

Perception and imagination are linked because the brain uses the same neural circuits for both functions. Imagination is like running perception in reverse. The reason it's so difficult to imagine truly novel ideas has to do with how the brain interprets signals from your eyes. The images that strike your retina do not, by themselves, tell you with certainty what you are seeing. Visual perception is largely a result of statistical expectations, the brain's way of explaining ambiguous visual signals in the most likely way. And the likelihood of these explanations is a direct result of past experience.


It was great to read this statement about perception and creativity. As I grow older I learn to trust my perception of situations and experiences and maybe it's because my creativity is trying to make new connections and understanding of the scene.
It's something to think about.

What do you think? Are these connected? How are they real in your life?

HANK THE COWDOG--"Good Night"

We finished the run of HANK THE COWDOG this weekend at the Ritz Theater here in Snyder. Although the Saturday afternoon crowd was light, they were by far the most responsive audience that we had during the 6 performances. The crowds really enjoyed the humor in the play this time.

It's always kind of sad when a production comes to an end. All of the rehearsals are now over. No more productions to get ready for. But there's a great feeling in knowing that you have connected with artists in your community and presented something of value to your culture. Besides, my circle of artist friends continues to grow as I meet knew people each time I'm in a production.

Worship Post-Fessional, Sunday October 12, 2008

Wow--having been away in Egypt and then in New Mexico, I feel like I've only been home for Sunday's to lead worship.  It's been a weird feeling.  The teams have done excellent with the short rehearsal times on Sunday mornings to accomodate their missing leader.  Hopefully we'll be back to a regular scheduled worship rehearsal time this week.  We're adjusting our rehearsals for the time being to accomodate the start up of Community groups--so this week we're rehearse on Thursday.

Set List for Sunday
Be Excellent At What Is Good (Romans 16:19)--this was our starter--an old camp song from the 90's (I believe Tomlin did it then).  My son was adament that the correct verse should have been Romans 16:19-20 (which includes part of both verses)
Medley--(This Little Light/Joy, Joy,Joy)--ok, don't laugh-we did these Sunday school/VBS songs today because we were talking about THE ENEMY.  These songs popped up during our planning session because they have the word "DEVIL" in them.  Did you know that these songs didn't have "the devil" verses in them orginally?  They were added them to give some motions and songs to VBS.  It went well.  I saw alot of people smiling as we did this. I can honestly say that this is the first time I've led these two songs with adults or anyone older than 10 (Jeff Berry and Rich Smith don't laugh at me!)
Welcome
Baptism
Sing To The King
We Fall Down
Message--The Big Picture- The Enemy
You Deserve The Glory- I thought about this song during the message.  I knew that the team didn't have the chart or the Media Shout didn't have the words--but I went for it anyway.
It Is Well With My Soul--always a good one--we started on v2 and then to v1 and finally v4--made the people stay on their toes.

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


Come Thou Font!

No, the title of this post isn't wrong. I'm not talking about the old hymn COME THOU FOUNT, but I was interested in this article I read about the 16 most overused fonts.

With the advent of the desktop computer, everyone has become a publisher and print master.  It was only a few years ago that the printer and publisher could distinguish between fonts and character.  What did we know about it?   We only had the typewriter, which if we were lucky enough had only an interchangeable ball in the Selectric model.   We didn't know the difference.

Today you can distinguish yourself and your product by the font that you use.  Look at this site and see the different fonts that are available. Some of them are named by the product that they represent.

Which font do you use the most?  I'm probably a Trebuch MS man myself or Gill Sans--but maybe I need to break out of my rut.  

Be sure and check out the link below. It has some great resources on Fonts!

Other posts:  Font Love

This Happened Locally

Heading Home

We're heading home this morning after 4 full days here in Glorieta.  It's been a wonderful week to observe the changing of the trees here.  Each day we'd watch a few more trees go from green to yellow to red.  I'm sure this time next week it will all be in peak condition.

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  It reminds me after the hot blast of summer that cooler weather is coming, and we'll enjoy that for a season before we start pining again for the warmth of spring and summer.
What's your favorite season?

My Travelling Companion

You know in blogs you always learn something that you didn't know about the blogger.  It's usually something unique and particular to the blogger and today's post won't disappoint. 

You see for some 10 years now I've been travelling to conferences and mission trips, overnight things with my job, camps, meetings, weekends away from my family.   What started out as a joke between my wife and I has blossomed into a family tradition.

This little stuffed puppy, CANDY, is packed somewhere in my luggage each time I'm away from the family--as a reminder that they love me and miss me.  CANDY has been to India, Guatemala, Mexico, Rome, London and France as well as many stateside conferences.  It's alwasy surprising to see where the kids or my wife have hidden it.  I'm amused to think that the hotel cleaning crew comes in and finds a stuffed animal in a business room in a busy hotel.  I'm sure it's been the talk of the hotel.

So, what does your family do to remind you of them while you are away?  Do you take a picture of your family with you?   

CREATIVE CHAOS--Inspired Spaces #2

I knew coming to Glorieta (New Mexico) this week would offer me the chance to look at a space where worship takes place naturally.
The Prayer Gardens at Glorieta is simply one of the most inspired natural spaces that I've seen.  The majestic Aspen trees lead your eyes to the heavens not to mention the sounds of water and birds.  My senses were in overload yesterday as I spent an hour here in prayer and worship with God.

Natural spaces are inspired spaces.  Some of the most beautiful ones are the simple ones which call for quiet reflection and stillness before God.

Enjoy the pictures--it was 10 times better in person.

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on Ragamuffinsoul.

When Pleasing You Is Killing Me!

This was the topic today in one of the breakout sessions here in Glorieta.  A timely session after seeing my friend Pete Wilson struggle with this same idea on his blog yesterday.  I told Pete that I would take good notes for him.

Seriously this is an issue that most ministers and pastors struggle with.  We simply don't want to disappoint people even though we know that being "right" for everyone isn't always possible.

This book is a six-week study (is that all that it takes to fix this disease?)on learning skills to balance and order your life so that you can quit being a people pleaser.
I come by it honestly--it's in my DNA from my Dad who struggled to say "NO" until the very end of his days because he was afraid that people would never ask him again to preach or speak. I remember that as clear as yesterday him expressing that fear.   Maybe that has been ingrained in me too.

The class today gave these practical steps in "breaking the cycle" of people pleasing.  I'm sure they are not exhaustive and I'd love to hear some feedback from other people who suffer from this malady:

Seven Signs You Are A People Pleaser
1).  You do things out of duty--it's your duty to do something for someone (you may even be guilted into doing something because of your job title or position)
2). You set aside your own legitimate needs (this is not healthy)
3). You equate being decisive with hurting feelings (so you don't do it)
4). You have difficulty with limits in your life (ouch!)
5). You have sensitivity to judgements (or you make rash judgements about people)
6). You need help in keeping life controlled.
7). You are dishonest about who you really are.

People pleasers by definition are the ones who have a tendency to cater to other's preferences to the detriment of their own personal well being.   People pleasers yield to the whims of others without regard for their own personal thoughts or feelings.

I won't tell you what I scored on the evaluation--but it's an area that I need to pay attention to.

So tell me--are you are people pleaser?

Watercooler Wednesday-Practicing Your Craft



I was part of the local theatre production of HANK THE COWDOG this past weekend. We did three performances this weekend and will do another three the next.

What I love about being involved with the local theatre company is this:
1) I meet artists that I otherwise wouldn't meet in a normal work week. This production included 5-6 people who had never been involved with the theatre or had been away from the scene for a long time. One of the actors surprised us with his backgroud--he had quite an extensive resume with experience in TV, Film and videos in Hollywood. Wow! I told him he was holiding out on us.
2) It gives me a chance to practice my craft. I'm not an actor by trade, but creativity comes in practicing your craft in many shapes and forms. Creating a character on stage helps in unleashing other creative parts in my life.
3) It gives me a chance to add to the art and culture of my community. Meeting the people who have seen the production I feel a sense that I have added to their understanding of art and culture. Most importantly are the kids who come through the line and express their appreciation. I believe we are building the next generation of artists who will take our place one day.

I've been asked to direct a production at the Ritz in the coming year. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to lead a group of artists as we put together a production that changes our culture.

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

Glory Be---I'm In Glorieta!



As I write this I have finally made it to the Baptist Mecca of "Glorieta" (Glorieta New Mexico that is). We're just outside of Santa Fe at the Baptist encampment for a week of Senior Adult Fall Enrichment classes. We left early this morning and enjoyed a leisurely trip up to the mountains. It's cold here... 40 degrees tonight and to be in the upper 30's by the morning. Let's see--1 week ago 115 in Egypt; tonight 40 in New Mexico. My body is really messed up.

I've always wanted to come to Glorieta. It's the site of many large Baptist gatherings through the year. It has been the site of many missionary commisioning services and my parents came here in their days of ministry for training and encouragement. I'm looking forward to the week--especially the Fall colors in the Aspen trees.

Dr. Jim Henry is the pastor for the week and we're singing some old hymns--but everyone is having a great time. I got my first look at the new Baptist hymnal that was debuted here this summer. Interesting!

I'm Not Your Typical Dad












I attended my son's football game on Saturday.  It was the first one that I've been able to see all  year.  The first ones were while I was gone to Egypt.   They didn't win although they gave it a valiant effort.

What was even more interesting was watching the coaches and the fathers that help with the team.  It was nothing short of a "banty rooster" contest between the men to see who could yell louder and meaner at the boys ( at one point one of the sons shouted at his Dad " I'm doing the best I can--get off my case").  Wow--what an eye opening experience.

Even more interesting was hearing a father walk up and down the sideline on my son's team and say " it just feels good to hit somebody!"  Less than 5 minutes later this father was being thrown out of the game because of his mouth on the sideline.  All across the stadium you could hear him yell and scream as he was told to leave the grounds.  I felt sorry for his son who just bowed his head.  What an embarassment.

I realized then that I'm glad I'm not that way.  In fact when my wife arrived I told her about the incident and promptly told her that I'm an "atypical" father.   I don't do those things to my son and wouldn't think of doing that in public.  Maybe I'm odd, but that's just who I am.

Have you seen behavior like this?  What did you think when you saw it?

Worship Post-fessional, Sunday, October 5

Back in the saddle again!  I've been away for two weeks so this is my first time to lead since the middle of the month.  


Here's the set list for today:
You Are Holy (Prince of Peace)-Imboden
Father, Spirit, Jesus
Welcome
Because We Believe
Message
Revelation Song
Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy Is The Lord
You Are God Alone
Awesome God

Most of the songs were programmed on the backside of the message to be a response to the teaching about the character of God.

So how was your Sunday?

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

The Ultimate LED Fan Sign



I wish I had one of these at the local football game last night. What ever happened to making your own sign with cardboard?


HT: Make Magazine

School House Rock--"I'M JUST A BILL"


With the bailout bill sitting in Congress waiting for a vote, I remembered this little song from SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK. In fact my son came home singing it the other day because this semester in 5th grade they are talking about American governement. He started singing it and I chimed in. He looked at me and said "Dad, how do you know that song?" I told him that SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK was a staple in my afternoon TV watching when I was a kid. He couldn't believe.

Go back and check out these TV shows. They talk about ADVERBS and CONJUNCTIONS as well as other things such as MATH. Is there anything today that is educating our children through TV or are we just entertaining.

What was your favorite SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK.

Clutter Kills!

I found this article very interesting.   This picture is from a home in Houston where a lady had been contacted over and over about her account.  When they finally got permission to check on the lady, this is what they found in her house.  Can you say she had an obsession with Whataburger?

It points out that one of the number one killers in America is clutter.  Unfortunately, I have a mild case of the disease--but none as bad as the sister to the left. 

We keep and collect too much stuff.  A piece of paper here, a program there, a reminder note and it all begins to pile up. Our kitchen counter is the worst magnet for clutter.  The mail gets dumped here and more.  It's the first piece of surface that you see when you come in the door.  We are constantly fighting the battle with clutter at this point in our lives.

I love the show on HGTV where they pull everything out of the house on to a tarp and give you 30 minutes to sort through everything.  You decide whether to keep it, toss it or sell it. After these moments you are left with a smaller pile--but then you have to go through the keep pile and put it on a smaller tarp.  Hard stuff to watch, but it points out that most of our decision about clutter comes down to two things:  1)Emotional attachment to things-we place great value on things and who they belonged too.  I'm just as guilty on this one.  I have old family photos that I'm keeping and items from my parents.  They're stored away but taking up space in that storage.  I know what they mean when they say that we are emotionally hitched to things in our lives. 2) Lack of decision--we just don't want to have to make a decision about things right now, so we put them off.  That's when the clutter bug strikes.

I want to read this book in the future to help me with this disease.  Do you have anything that helps you avoid clutter in your life?

Hank The Cowdog Returns Again!

This weekend will be the opening performance of HANK THE COWDOG:  Every Dog Has His Day.   Hank is the story of a West Texas Cowdog who is head of Ranch Security.  Only the animals can hear Hank and his other friends talk, but it's a lively show.  I'm reprising my role as Wallace The Buzzard.  They can't seem to find any other Buzzards in town.

If you're in the area--stop by and check it out.  Saturday at 2pm and 5pm and then on Sunday at 2pm also.  We'll repeat the performances the next weekend at the same time too.


Other posts related to this entry:  Creating Culture-Start Where You Are

CREATIVE CHAOS- Inspired Spaces













Large spaces-can you name the large spaces in our lives that require design, decoration, atmosphere and experience?  Hotel lobbies come to mind and having seen the inside of 7 of them in the last two weeks I was interested to see how each of these entities treated the lobby area with design and decoration.  

These pictures are from the Sofitel in Cairo and the LeMeridian Hotels The welcoming areas were expansive with tall ceilings, wide spaces and huge windows that overlooked the Nile river.   Their floral displays were massive, yet contained and artistic.  What I noticed in particular were the groupings of masses of flowers together to create an impressive display (this was true in several places in Egypt).

What I learned from these spaces were the principles of design:
Scale--matching the scale of the pieces to the space--nothing tiny and small.
Color-using color to enhance and deepen the atmosphere.
Texture-interesting textures to draw you in.
Lighting--direct and indirect lighting to focus you on gather spaces.
Lines--clean lines were the order of the day--nothing cluttered.
Repetition-same colors and designs were seen throughout the spaces.
Rhythm- movement, even the slightest indictation, is pleasing to the eye.

So, how does this translate to the large spaces we have in our churches?  Can we learn something from these places who try to invite and draw people into an experience in their hotels just by their impressive lobbies?

This post is part of Creative Chaos over on Ragamuffinsoul

Watercooler Wednesday-Meeting My Blog World

One of the joys of blogging has been the connections that I have made not only across the U.S., but across the world. My sphere of influence has grown immensley since meeting these friends through the blog you are reading now:
ChrisfromCanada: Chris Vacher is from Orangeville, Ontario
SimpleChristFollower: Paul Fowler is from Nova Scotia, Canada
SuperSimbo: Ally Simpson, designer from Ireland.
Jafferblog: Mark Jaffrey is from Cairo, Egypt.

When I found out that I was going to Egypt in May, I knew that I wanted to meet Mark. It's not everyday that you happen to be in the neighborhood of Cairo and I had been following Mark since the end of CRE:ATE last year when he was landlocked in Egypt because of a church event.
Last Saturday we finally made connection in Cairo and he hosted myself and my sister for a wonderful view of life there in Egypt. He welcomed us to his beautiful home and introduced us to his wonderful family. His wife made the most delicious lemon cake and the brother fixed me up with a Coke "with ice"--refreshing.

Even more refreshing was spending those hours with him getting to know his story, his heart and his passion for Worship and the Arts. We laughed and talked about so many things.

I've had people question me about meeting these bloggers--some say it's just too crazy to meet with folks that you've only known through the blog world. I can see their point, but for me connecting and meeting people in my blog world only reinforces my desire to meet like minded people and to learn from them and share life with them, even if it is worlds and seas apart.

So tell me, do you want to meet people in your blog world? Next on my list is the infamous PETE WILSON. I'll get to do that in February when I attend CRE:ATE with Mark.

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