So You Want To Blog?

Church Relevance has a great post today about blogging and how to get going on it. Check it.

I love blogging because it gives me:
  • a forum for expressing my thought
  • a place to chronicle what's going on in my life
  • a place to meet new friends/leaders
  • a venue to show others what I do and why I do it.
So many people ask me how to get started in blogging. Read the above post and you'll be well on your way to being hooked on blogging.

You Can Even Eat The Dishes

Tonight was a wonderful performance of Willy Wonka Jr. The play combined the best part of the original Willy Wonka Movie and the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movies.

Mattie was Viloet Beauregard--the bratty girl who loves bubble gum. Her suit even inflated when she was tasting the gum. It was priceless.

The kids did and outstanding job. Theater is big here in our town. It starts early and keeps on going. Way to go cast of Wonka!

Were you ever in a school production?

Willy Wonka Jr.-Tonight!

Tonight is Willy Wonka Jr.! Actually it began last night and they said it was great. To my faithful friend in Indiana that keeps checking... pictures will be up by 10PM--promise. Thanks for checking back.

In honor of Wonka--here's a little something.

What was your favorite part of Willy Wonka?

Back Seat Jesus--New Series @ Crosspoint

Back Seat Jesus_Promo from Cross Point Church on Vimeo.

This is the new series starting this weekend at Crosspoint Church in Nashville. Take a look at the video. It is well done! I'll have a link to the series on Monday so you can listen/watch.

What new series/teaching topic is coming up at your church?

Stop The Parental Guilt!

Don't ever let anyone tell you that having 3 kids is easy on the family calendar.  All three are very involved here in our family- golf, tennis, drama, and sports.  It would help if 2 of the three were interested in the same thing, but they're not.  So, it seems like we are constantly taking that one, picking up this and seeing one of them in action.

It's our fault.  We haven't limited their activities because we want them to see what they're interested in and what they enjoy.  However, it can be quite taxing on the parents!

On to my point, it seems to me that today there is a fair amount of Parental Guilt if you don't attend every event that your child is in.  We were subject to that this last weekend from a fellow believer--I just ignored it.  But thinking about it today-I think it's parental guilt.

My parents did not attend everything that I did.  Sorry to admit that, but they were older and when we got into school they wouldn't attend every out of town game, but they were there for home games.  I never thought anything about it and don't you dare tell me that they were any less than the great parents that I knew--I might have to smack you.

I love my kids and I'm there almost all of the time.  There are just some times when rehearsals land on the same night or something else.  It doesn't happen too often-but it does.  And if you tell me I'm less of a parent for it--I still might have to smack you.

So, do you think there is Parental Guilt when you don't attend EVERY single event?  Did your parents go to EVERYTHING?

Creative Juice--Growing A Good Crop

This video isn't new ( I posted about it last July) but I wanted to dedicate it to my fellow RECREATE attendees, especially Randy, John V., Dan P and Pat Callahan. Kim Bontrager and I were laughing the other day what would we do if you guys took this video seriously. Really?

Link Love Friday

Do you link to me?  Do I link to you?

Link Love is where you link to a site that you like to regularly read and they in turn link to you.  It's a Win-Win situation for all involved in blogging as your readers and my readers get to see what's happening on each of our blogs.

My blog roll is rotating--sort of?  If you regularly update, you are in my top 10 blog roll.  If you occaisionally do, then you are there, but it doesn't show up on the page.  I think I like that, because it always shows who has added to their site.  So-let's go!

Soyez bienvenus à Mes Amis de la France!

Soyez bienvenus à mon blog. Je remarque que vous êtes un lecteur régulier à mon site et je voudrais savoir plus de vous. Où en France vivez-vous ? Nous avons visité Paris il y a deux ou trois années, mais seulement pour le jour (je sais, ce n'était pas près assez longtemps) et nous avons vu la plupart des sites importants à Paris.
En tout cas, faites-moi savoir qui vous êtes - que vous faites et que vous aimez lire sur mon blog.

I have a couple of readers in France. This is a welcome to them and an invitation to get to know them better. In Texan it say "Howdy!"

Crayon Pixels

I wrote almost a year ago about my fascination with crayons.  It was the earliest instrument of creativity that I can remember.  Who could forget those colors and those names.  It always amazed me where they came up with those names and it certainly wouldn't be PC to call "flesh" the face color today--wonder what they call it?
So I was interested in this picture yesterday where this photo was created from CRAYONS as the pixels of the picture.  Look closely at the bottom picture to see it.  That's amazing.

What was your favorite CRAYON memory?

Other amazing Crayon pictures here

Creative fuZion

It's Creative fuZion day over on Dorothy's site, where we all get together and share something creative that we've done.

I guess some people wonder where I got my bent for visuals in worship. I don't know that I could place my finger on a certain day or event (I've always enjoyed arts, photography, etc) but I guess my connection with it in worship began with the Technology For Worship Conference in Dallas when The Midnight Oil team talked about Metaphors and what was happening at Granger Community Church. It was like a light bulb went off and I said "yeah, I get it, I see it and love it--give me some more"

I did some visuals at my church in the late 90's but it wasn't until 2001 when I landed at a church in the Metroplex that was moving to a new facility with large screens and lighting that I began to see the potential for this in worship. The above pics are from that church.

This was our ORDINARY DAY WITH JESUS in January of 2004. Some people called it our Mardi Gras Set. It was the next step in our use of visuals. These are just ordinary (no pun intended) items from Lowes; concrete forms painted for the columns; insulation board and my all time favorite, Wal Mart $1 fabric.

During this series we also did worship pathway stations (based upon the book SACRED PATHWAYS (by Gary Thomas) where we had the congregation identify their pathway. (Boy, I took some hits from our ultra traditionalist when they came into the room that day--I remember our Interim Pastor coming up to me with my emotional blood on my hands and him saying "Don't own that--that's their issue-not yours"- Thanks Bruce for that!) Oh by the way, I'm a Sensate, if you couldn't tell.

Alright, in honor of Mardi Gras (just passed) I present my stage design for ORDINARY DAY.

Test your Sacred Pathway here.

Where did you get your bent for visuals in worship?

You've Got To Be Ready For Anything!

I've got to tell you about our visit to the nursing home this afternoon.  We go every month to one of the two homes here and our Sr. Adult Choir sings.  We sing the old hymns and some of the special music that we sing in the early service.  It's enjoyable and we certainly have a great time ministering to these folks.

We have a man who usually comes to everything we do.  We haven't seen him in a while and we were concerned that he, uh, well had passed away.  But he hadn't and today we came in and he was sitting on the couch in the living room area where we sing (covered from head to toe in a blanket--blanket covering his head.)  It seriously looked like someone had passed and they were waiting for the funeral home to come pick him up.

About half way through our songs, he began to stir.  He's blind and deaf, but he began to belt out "I'm Gonna Lay My Burden Down".  He did a great job and we accompanied him.  As soon as he was done he covered his face back up and went back to sleep.

Just then out of the corner of my eye I caught the big screen TV in the corner showing Wild Kingdom or something.  So what you say?  Uh... they were showing the live birth of a giraffe.  I mean there was full coverage of the whole thing--I mean every possible shot.  I was trying to lead the choir, but was chuckling--thinking what else can happen.

When you go to the nursing home you've got to be ready for anything.  They just need your presence to let them know they haven't been forgotten.

What has been your most unusual ministry experience?

Congress Goes A "Twittering"

All the networks are a buzz this morning about the members of Congress Twittering during last night's State of the Union.   

It seems that Republicans Twittered more than Democrats and that seems to prove this article

Some of the tweets from the floor of the house were:
"The TV lights are so bright-could get a suntan"; "Pelosi looks smug"
"Hold on to your wallets" and finally, "The Texas A&M game starts in 4 minutes"

I like it that representatives have embraced the lastest technology to keep us informed with what's going on (in real time) during the sessions in Washington?

What do you think?   Is this against the decorum of Washington?

You Want Some More of This?

You won't believe the email that I received this morning.  The title caught my attention given my time yesterday trying to settle my account with Projector Lamp Center.

The email read  "Time for a bulb replacement?".  I thought, "who has the nerve to ask me that question today?"  Well, I clicked on the email and guess who it was.. PROJECTOR LAMP CENTER.  They had the audacity (or the stupidity) to contact me about ordering from them again. Can you believe it!

Uh.... I won't mention my response to them. It's one of my denials this week.


Add Me Some Art To That Thar Educashun'

This video is very interesting about the Arts being integrated into the Tuscon school system.
Opening Minds Through the Arts (OMA) is a student-achievement program that uses music, dance, and visual arts to teach skills used in reading, writing, math, science, and other subjects. The curriculum, based on brain-development research, is designed to engage specific skills targeted to each grade level. Independent research demonstrates that OMA has dramatically improved test scores and teacher effectiveness. Launched as a pilot program in 2000, OMA now thrives in more than 40 Tucson, Arizona, public elementary schools.
What was your favorite Arts program in school?

Visual Churches- Blue Ridge Community Church

2nd 2009 Design from Andrew Hunt on Vimeo.
Blue Ridge Community Church in Forest, Virginia is one of the most creative churches in their use of visuals. Andrew Hunt, Todd Foster and Colin Harman are the amazing team that conceptualizes and implements the designs for their stage.The above is a time lapse of their latest stage build. Here are some more pictures of the stage.


One of the benefits of a blog is getting your own platform to periodically sound off on something that really makes you mad. I'm taking that privilege today to step up on the stool and sound off about PROJECTOR LAMP CENTER

I ordered one stinking bulb for a projector in Sept. and it didn't ship! By Oct. 15 I had cancelled the order and was promised a refund... Wait...wait.. Then contact them in December--"You're in the cue to get a refund--just wait 30 days" Excuse me! It's been 90. Returned to badgering them again in Jan (4 times) and Feb. (5 times) only to get smarmy responses from them.

Read their blog here---it's a phony lie. I've commented 2 times and they won't post my comments.

Evidently, I'm not the only one who has had a problem with this company. I found over 61 reports of troubles with this company and some with names that I've been given that would help me! Well--they didn't and they haven't and I'm mad!!!

Spread the word--do not buy from this company. Do whaterver you have to do--link to this page, twitter it, facebook it... just get the word out .... FRAUD!

* Received another "Smarmy" note from them when I told them I was reporting it to my Credit Card Company . "sounds like a plan.  Enjoy yourself and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience"   Carly L.  

Again--don't do business with this company!  PROJECTOR LAMP CENTER, SAGERYDER

Your Prayer Life Through Facebook, Twitter and Iphone

We are plowing through Ephesians in a series called ROOTS. We're just now concluding the 1st chapter and we've come to the verse where Paul prays one of his first prayers for the Ephesian church.

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,

One of the exercises this morning in our devo was to list out the people who had great influence in my life. I started the list from when I became a Christian (1985) until now. That will humble you! To see whom God has put in your path these many years really makes you grateful. I can look at stages in my life and know exactly what I was going through and observe the people God placed there to minister to me. Some of them have made the JIM DRAKE Hall of Fame! (ask me about that).

So, today I wrote a bunch of them a short note and gave them this prayer. I actually prayed this over every name that God brought to mind. Then I began to think, why not use your Facebook Friends (yeah those 500 friends that you've added) or your Twitter or your Iphone contact list to pray for people? We always say that we don't have anything to pray about. Sure we do--we have a prayer list at our immediate disposal thanks to technology.

Why don't you use these things to spur your prayers on towards the saints and the people that have meant so much to you? You'll never know what those prayers might accomplish in their lives. All you have to do is to be faithful.

So--is this really a crazy idea?

Willy Wonka Jr.

It's production week around here as our middle child participates in her final Junior High production of Wonka.    
She will be Violet Beuregard, the gum chewing brat who evenutally pushes the edge and gets to be a giant blueberry ( Now that will be a sight!).   They'll have rehearsals everynight this week and I'll post pictures from their dress rehearsals.  Break a leg Wonka crew!

Worship Confessional-February 22, 2009

We took the Lord's supper today.. here's the table and set up. Good day--but different.  Still processing it in my head and don't want to put anything down to prematurely.

Set List:
We Bow Down/O Worship the King-Choir
Great Things (Maher)--Great song and it tied into our study of Ephesians of how we are supposed to be "the praise of His glorious grace"--by Shouting out his praise.
Blessed Assurance (Praise Charts)
What Can I Do (Baloche)-great song, great lead into the Communion time.
Lord's Supper
This Is The Day (Cottrell)- during Lord's supper  ( this is a great song--but high G on a morning is a killer.  It was ok.)
Morning Message
In Christ Alone (Reprise) Perfect song to end on...

How was your day?

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

Churched- Matthew Paul Turner

We've just finished reading "Churched" in our staff time.  It is a hilarious, whimsical and biting look at the serious business of church and the perceptions of Matthew Paul Turner growing up in an INDEPENDENT FUNDAMENTAL BAPTIST CHURCH.

When we began reading the book I contacted MPT because we connected through Twitter.  I asked him "Will this make me laugh--I need to laugh."   He wrote back "Depends on if you have a sense of humor".   I wrote back " I think I do--now where did I put that box of humor"

Thus began a good dialogue with the author while reading his book.  I finished it on the plane going home from Nashville and the last story he tells is about his encounter with my friend Pete.   Now, knowing both of these people,I could imagine how the story went and I was caught up in it. 

Someone walking by on the plane saw me reading the book and they said " you're gonna love it" and I did.

I told MPT the other night we had finished his book.   With great humor he asked me what I thought.   We'll have that conversation soon.

Here is a video of MPT doing a reading at Crosspoint Church in Nashville the Sunday after I was there.   Enjoy his humor.

Twitter- Finding Your Next Pastor

This message popped up in my reader today:
@fbcjdrake thanks for your recommendation of @___________.It was one of the many confirmations that God was at work in the process

Some weeks ago I began following a fellow minister.  He "tweeted" that they were looking for a minister in their church.  Just so happens that I know several ministers and one in particular was looking for God's direction.  I gave my new "Twitter" buddy this friend's name.   As of today that friend now has a new ministry field beginning March 1.  God even uses Twitter!   This was only one of several incidences where the new network of Web 2.0 connected this friend with this same ministry opportunity.

It could be in the future that churches will connect to ministers and pastors first on social media networks long before they get a resume from them.  Possibly they could connect with them even before they're looking--by reading their tweets and listening to their sermons.  Who knows?  That's just one possibility.

I continually say that if you aren't connected using some social media format (Twitter, Facebook, etc) you're not aware of the rising tide and coming wave that will carry the information age to another level.  Twitter isn't for everyone, but it continually amazes me that these connections take place-so quickly and easily.   I'm meeting people all over the world (artists, graphics designers, photographers, musicians, ministers, leaders and more) and we're talking about what's coming.

So, I ask you again--Do you Twitter?

Backyard Theater--Reaching Your Neighbors

We're constantly looking for ways for our congregation to connect with their neighborhood.  It's sad to say that for years the church has been going to the "church" to have church, all the while the opportunities for ministry were right there in front of them, and to the left and right of them--their neighbors.  

A recent effort of our leadership has been for our people to spend more time in their neighborhood getting to know people and ministering to them. For some-it has been a great success. For some-it has been very difficult.  Regardless, the need to reach our neighbors (and I mean reach them in their need, not just for heaven) has been a major project for us.
I found this video today of a man (not religously affiliated) who set up a Backyard Theater and invited his neighbors over to enjoy the evening.    He states that sometimes they don't leave until the wee hours of the morning and that the conversations move to "life".  Now that is building community.  Can we do this?  You bet we can!

A New Driver On The Road

I got this message yesterday while I was away for my Prayer/Planning Day:
"Daddy--I got my permit!  When can you be home so I can drive?"

Yikes!  I knew that this day would come and it has come sooner than I had wanted it to.

So now begins the process of teaching her the "practical" part of driving.  She already asked me not to jerk the wheel from her like her mom does.   If you see me and I'm shaking, there's good reason to believe that we've just been through a teachable moment.

And if you're on the road and you see me in the passenger seat and it's not Diane driving, get over and get out of our way.
Prayers would be appreciated too!

Have you ever taught someone to drive?

A Fortune Cookie Forecast

I love to go to Pei Wei Chinese Bistro.  And when I do I get fortune cookies.  These are some I've broken open recently:

One minute with a true friend is better than ten with a stranger.

Many new friends will be attracted to your friendly and charming ways

Everything has beauty just some people can't see it like you

Things that make you go...."hmmmm".

Disturbing Wildlife Trend

With the horrific incident with the chimp this week, I got this email from my brother this morning. Please take this seriously!

The photo below captures a disturbing trend beginning to affect wildlife in the U.S.
Animals formerly self-sufficient are now showing signs of belonging to the Democratic Party. They have apparently learned to just sit and wait for the government to step in and provide for their care and sustenance. This photo is of a Democrat black bear in Montana nicknamed "Bearack."

To my Democratice friends---please forgive, I couldn't resist!

Prayer and Planning

I'm away for a couple of days praying and planning for: Easter 2009, including our prayer stations and Maundy Thursday services; planning for the rest of the ROOTS series (or at least getting a little further down the road).

You'll see some sporadic updates here later on Friday--but if it seems I'm missing, I'm meeting with my best friend, JC.

Meet My Friend, Pete Wilson

Meet my friend Pete Wilson, pastor at Crosspoint Church in Nashville. Pete did this interview with Rick Smith and it gives you an insight into him, his ministry and his heart. Pete is the real deal! Diane liked the part about Cocoa Puffs--she was sold from then on. Take a moment and listen to him.

You can also listen to his sermons on Crosspoint's site and read his blog here.

All Over The World

I'm blessed in many ways.  This blog has opened the doors to relationships across the world.  So I'd like to take this opportunity to thank those from Egypt, England, France, Guatemala, Canada, Peru, and more for taking time to read this blog.

Let me know where you're from in the comments.  Include your flag if you can!

Friends Don't Ask Friends For Finances on Facebook

I was trying to see how many F's I could get in that title.

We had an interesting thing happen today. My wife called mid morning and said "Jim, is _______ in London?" I said "Not that I know of ." She said " I just got an IM on Face book that ___________ is in London and has no money because they were robbed". I told her to wait a moment while I called this person's child who is working in the town. Turns out that their parent wasn't in London. In fact, they were at work. Someone had hijacked their Facebook account and was asking for money. Evidently it's a new scam that you can read about here.
So--protect yourself. I changed my Facebook password this afternoon. And if I ever ask for anything less than $1 million's not me!

Creativity--Child's Play

Have you ever seen anything like this?  Of course you have.  Most of our children (and remember, even us) made something very creative out of something very common at one time or another.  Most creative stuff comes out of a sense of play and we must admit that as we become older we lose that sense of play (because it's childish!)
Creativity comes  when the boundaries of time, space, resources, limits and restraints are thrown off and the impossible becomes possible.  
There are times in my day when my desk is too limiting, the paper work and chores too daunting and the tasks ahead of me too constricting to feel creative.   It is in those times that I must escape and do something creative--write, draw, build, photograph, read, paint-until those creative juices are flowing again.   I wish it were that I could operate in that all of the time.  
Companies like Google have found that creating a "child like" environment stimulates the creativity in their work place.  I've posted about that here.

Why is it that the world finds that we "must" grow up and lose that child-like creativity?  Why does the world so value "factual" over the "fun"?   Is it because we think serious is more important than exploration?   Or is it because limiting creativity means that we can control the outcome?

Just some thoughts.  What say you?

Our Twittering Congregation

A post tonight on Clayton Bell's site  listed tonight all of their congregation who was on Twitter.  So I thought I would the same thing for our congregation here.  Here goes:

1) @fbcjdrake

Yep, that's it.  I'm the only one who Twitters, and in fact I'm the only one in my town.  It's a little lonely being a Twitter evangelist--but I don't lose heart.  Little by little they are hearing more and more about Twitter and who I connect with.

How beautiful are the feet of them who bring the good news of TWITTER!
HT: Clayton Bell

A New Association

There's something new and exciting happening among ministers and ministries today.  I believe that God is doing something new as connections are made not only locally, but regionally and even globally among parts of the church who have never communicated before.In days past local ministries partnered with local ministries and on occaision got together with state and maybe national like-minded ministers.  All of this was very informal and very sporadic--maybe seeing each other at local events or organized gatherings of these bodies.  And that was the extent of the connection between these partners.
Fast forward to today when ministries are connecting with each other at lightening speed thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and Web Sites.  For example:
I can connect to Mark Jaffrey in Cairo, Ally Simpson in Ireland, Chris Vacher in Canada,
and Francis Castinada in Peru as well as Fred McKinnon in Georgia or Joel Klampert in Rhode Island.   I can share a creative idea with Dorothy or ask a question of John or bounce an idea off of Randy or gain a word of encouragement from Pete or Dan.  There are many others that I could list here but for the sake of space and time I won't.
You see, as a minister your network has the capacity to be as big or as small as you want it.  However, I believe that if you are not expanding your network and learning from people like this, you are the one missing out on what God is doing.  God is truly connecting churches in ways like never before.  I wonder what He's up to?

Visual Churches- Willow Creek

One of the leaders in visual arts in the church is Willow Creek Church in South Barrington, Illinois.   From the beginning the arts have been a core value of the church as they use them to reach their community.  
They are the innovators in stage design and visual concepts.   I'm always looking to see what they do and how they do it.  They can make anything out of "building material" and I'm always looking to see what they do for LEADERSHIP SUMMIT in August as the stage design there has to transfer across their satellite campuses too.

Have you ever been to Willow Creek?

"In Sickness and In Health"

If you've been reading my Tweets and my Facebook updates over the weekend you know by now that Diane (my better half) has the Flu.  It was confirmed in a visit to the Dr. this morning.
When Mom is sick it throws the whole family out of kilter.  Daniel got up this morning for breakfast and was rummaging around for a bowl. As he headed toward the "dirty" dishwasher  I said "No bowls are clean."  He scowled  "Mom always has clean bowls for us."   
I did the best I could as "Dad-Mom" again.  Diane called from the Dr. and they had given her a strong shot to knock her out so she could sleep.   Needless to say--I was running around and around today.

Tonight it's off to Daniel's game, get Mattie to play practice and cook some dinner.  I really did mean it when I said those words  "In sickness and in health"--but I'm pooped!

Prayer Stations (Resources for Visual Churches)

Churches are constantly looking for resources for visuals and interactives in their worship services.  
I have found this site to be most helpful in setting up our own visuals for prayer stations (Easter 2006-2008) and we'll be doing it again this year.  I'll post that information as soon as it's planned.

Where do you find resources for interactives?

Four Chords--Hundreds of Songs

I found this video and thought it was interesting.   I'm often told that Worship music today has only 4 chords that you can play hundreds of songs (and that my be true since we did MIGHTY TO SAVE and THE STAND linked together today in worship).   Maybe it's just a result of the musical forms that our ears are used to these days.   Back in the days of Mozart, the resolution to different chords was seen as scandalous ( that people would even know what suspensions and resolutions is amazing to me).

Anyway, look at this video and laugh.  Then let's discuss the state of music--secular and sacred.

*not responsible for the language in Birdplane... sorry!

Worship Confessional, February 15, 2009

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on Fred McKinnon's site.
We're in the third week of our series ROOTS ( a study in Ephesians).  It also coincides with a daily study that we've launched that goes along with these sermons.  You can get that study here.

Set List
Jesus Saves (Contemporary Hymns)-from Brentwood; song is 141 years old; we just put a new coat of paint on it today--BLUES
Mighty To Save
The Stand (Pre-chorus/Chorus)
Mighty To Save (Chorus)
Scripture Reading (Ephesians 2:4- Ephesians 1:3-5)
This Is The Gift of God (Carl Cartee)--New song that I picked up at Recreate last week. It goes well with our study in Ephesians
Morning Message
Come thou Fount, Come Thou King (Gateway)
This Is The Gift of God (Reprise)

The only downer today was my kids--they fight every Sunday where we are going for lunch afterwards.  Can they come to agreement--no!  One wants Subway, one wants pizza--and I always tell them that eating out is a privilege not a right.  SOLUTION:  We came home and I pulled out the frozen chicken nuggets and fries and said "Knock yourself out!"  They've been quiet ever since.

How was your day?


The final strength I'll highlight here is LEARNER.  It's the strength that popped up in the last test of Strengths Finder.
I'm not surprised since I love to read and learn.  It's been the way that I've kept up with technology and trends.   I read these periodicals:
I'm most happy when I have a couple of books working in my head and I try to sythesize the material into my life. 

  • You love to learn. The subject matter that interests you most will be determined by your other themes and experiences, but whatever the subject, you will always be drawn to the process of learning. 
  • The process, more than the content or the result, is especially exciting for you. 
  • You are energized by the steady and deliberate journey from ignorance to competence.
  • The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice 
  • What you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered — this is the process that entices you. 
  • Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences — yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. 
  • This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential. 
  • The outcome of the learning is less significant than the “getting there.” 
So, are you a learner?

Mobile Projection--Art On The Run

Maker Profile - Public Projections on MAKE: television from make magazine on Vimeo.
I found this tonight on Make Magazine site. I thought it was interesting that large outdoor spaces are being used for installation art and projections. Camron Ware thinks this is the next wave in architechtural lighting.

A Valentine's So So

Diane and I had a date last night---they are becoming more frequent as  A) the kids are beginning to have their own social schedules  B) they no longer need a baby sitter.  I think I'm beginning to like this.

We dropped them all off at their designated spots and then went to dinner ( a quick dinner since it took forever to get them to each place).  We decided to catch the local production of "Allo, Allo"(a British Sitcom) at the local college.

You know that I love theater and I love to support the local arts scene.  I had never seen a production at this place--so I was excited.  The place was filled with young and old (seemed to be more college kids than I would expect at a production and there was a family with small children) and not a bad crowd for a Friday night.

From the get go I could tell this was going to be a production with lots of innuendos and they began flying fast as the bar owner Rene' recounted his escapades with Mimi and others.  It was uncomfortable. 
 It got deeper--much deeper.  Diane reached over and grabbed my hand and squeezed because she was uncomfortable.   We had no idea what we were watching. At intermission I saw the family leave with their small children and another couple that we knew departed too.   It was suppose to be a comedy but not many people were laughing and I couldn't gauge whether that was because we were uncomfortable with the subjects or it was just British humor.

I'm a big fan of theater and I believe that we should support it.  But there is so much good material out there, why would they choose to do something without labeling it as "watcher beware".   It baffles me.

Should theater be rated?  Family friendly or "At Your Own Risk"

Film Festival Winner

As part of our Recreate Conference last week we had a mini-film festival (where participants submit their best video work from the previous year and are ajudicated by a panel).   The videos were great.  Some of them were funny and some of them were serious.   The quality of them rivaled anything that you would see coming from a national TV campaign or such.

Here is the winning video--submitted by John Voelz from Westwinds Church in Jackson, Michigan.  I've already written about John. He's the true Renaissance man (painter, artist, poet, musician, writer, director)as he gives us an artistic look at the topic of temptation.


This strength has to have the most peculiar names--WOO.  When it first came up on my results, I thought "What is that?" WOO stands for Winning Others Over--and I discovered that most extroverted people have this gift.  It means that you meet people well--be it first impressions and such--and make people feel at ease.   Yeah, I think I do that.  Here's what else is included in WOO.
  • Woo stands for winning others over. 
  • You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. 
  • Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. 
  • You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. 
  • Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don’t. 
  • Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a con- nection. 
  • Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. 
  • There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet — lots of them.
Yep--that's me!
What are your strengths?


When I first took Strengths Finder Ideation was my number two strength.  When I took it again 4 years later--it was number 6 and as I read it is not uncommon for secondary strengths to move up and down in your scores.  Still, I beleiver that IDEATION is one of my key gifts.  I do identify with the description below as I love to think conceptually and mull over small ideas and see where they lead.
  • You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. 
  • You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. 
  • An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for con- nections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure con- nection. 
  • An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. 
  • You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. 
  • You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they are novel, because they are clarifying, because they are contrary, because they are bizarre. For all these reasons you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. 
  • Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.
What are your strengths?