November 16, 2008
Ricky Blair, our Video Director, made an awesome video highlighting some of the baptisms we've had since moving into our new facility. Some of my favorites were from the Men's Prison. God is doing amazing things there (keep praying ~ there may be some awesome news coming any day now).
The Classes: We had about 30 people after first service and nearly 50 after second! 22 people signed up to be baptized on Nov. 30th (a service of worship and baptisms). And we're just getting started. So many people told us they were going to bring their "stuff" back next week.
What about you? Have you followed Christ through baptism? Need information? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
July 27, 2008
For me (in high school and college) it was Russ Taff and the Imperials. They forever changed CCM. For those of you who don't know, Russ Taff is the Steve Perry of Christian music ~ the quintessential male rock voice.
Tim Miller called Monday telling me his father, Jay Miller, had passed away early that morning. I told him how sorry I was and asked if there was anything I could do to help. He called me the next day. Russ Taff was a close friend of family and would be singing. Could I learn the songs and come play for him? Of course, I said.
It wasn't until later when this rush of embarrassed emotion came flooding over me. Instantly I felt 17 again. Not only was I going to meet Russ Taff, I was going to play for him!
Now, I've been playing and singing in front of people for 30 years. (37, if you count that whole "VonAdcock-Family-Singers" thing Mom put us through when I was 7. Probably still have the matching shirts she sewed us!) While there's always that adrenaline when you're on stage, I don't get that "fingers shaking, panicky sweaty" feeling anymore... until yesterday. It totally caught me off guard!
What an amazing service. What an amazing voice and person. Russ (we're on a first name basis now) was so warm and gracious. And still has an amazing voice. He even asked me for my autograph... well, it was more of a "name and phone number" thing. But, it's my story...
I have friends who never want to meet their "hero" because he'll never measure up. I'm proud to say, I'm glad I got to know this one.
SONGLIST: "Unto The Lamb" and "Kathryn's Song"
Russ Taff, winner of 7 Grammy Awards, member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, can be seen frequently on the Gaither Homecoming Tours and television.
UPDATE: Part of Randy Elrod's Watercooler Wednesday.
July 06, 2008
Go to Walmart now! (It's the exclusive distributor of Journey's new project: a new album, rereleases of their old stuff, and a live DVD for $11.88)
June 20, 2008
June 11, 2008
June 06, 2008
March 19, 2008
This section of John Ortberg's article from Leadership Magazine spoke to me. To all of the Creatives in my world, may we be People of the Book.
We get so used to the Bible, we miss its edginess. The prophets were the original performance artists. What they did was much more like radical street theater than it was like a church service. Ezekiel spent over a year laying on his left side just to makea point. He ate food that he publicly baked over cow manure. (And it took some bargaining between him and God to avoid even worse fuel.) Jeremiah buried an undergarment till it was putrid and then wore it around to show people what judgment looked like. Hosea married a prostitute to show people how much forgiveness costs a breaking heart. Jesus cursed fig trees and threw tables over in the Temple and took a whip to religious leaders.
I use a flip chart sometimes.
I think, if I'm honest about it, what holds me back is not lack of creativity. It's lack of urgency. I don't think the main force that drove the prophets was creativity for creativity's sake. I think it was spiritual reality. There was such a desperate awareness of the need for God to come fix things up that it drove them to do anything to make space in peoples' awareness for God.
I'm not a performance artist. I know that I work within a "jar of clay," as we all do. I don't want to be creative in a way that draws more attention to the creativity than to the message.
But I also don't just want to drone on while everybody goes to sleep. And I find the teachers I most learn from often find non-verbal ways to drive home what they are teaching: having a potter throwing pots while they are teaching about Jeremiah and the potter's wheel; Nancy Beach bringing an autumn leaf to teach on the beauty of the Creator; Bill Hybels having a bent reed and a snuffed candle and a jar that was used in the ancient world to capture tears while teaching on these images of the comfort of God. I think of Rob Bell with a goat to teach on the freedom of forgiveness.
March 12, 2008
"The man who has no inner life is a slave to his surroundings." -Henri-Frederic Amiel
I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions. - Augusten Burroughs
Some have been thought brave because they were afraid to run away. - Thomas Fuller
We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power.
We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little;
many services, but few conversions;
much machinery, but few results. —R.A. Torrey, How to Obtain Fullness of Power
"There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish." Warren G. Bennis
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." Joseph Chilton Pierce
February 07, 2008
Very few events in life (let alone family trips) do you get all done and say, "Man, that couldn't have been any better!"
A phenomenal dinner at Dad & Nancy's, In-N-Out with Mitch & Craig, The Original Pancake House with Kevin & Ginger Odor, Dinner with our dear friends John & Cathy (and they're incredible kids), the always amazing Buffet @ Wynn with Nick Ruggiero, afternoons & evenings with the Carders (can't wait til Dave gets back from Iraq), lunch & dinner with the Andrade's (thanks for sharing your chincera, Ashlea!). Rock climbing Red Rock Canyon, The Da Vinci Experience.
But nothing surpasses the incredible expansion of the Kingdom there as 5,100 people gather for worship and 3,500 have been baptized in the first 15 years. Can't wait for the day that happens in one year and then one day! Go God!