Tuesday, November 27, 2007

If You Like Star Wars...

(Even if you don't) Listen and watch ALL of this! It progressively gets awesome-r!

My wife found this one for me.

Weekend Recap Nov. 24-25

Series: The Thing from Another Planet
Message: The Stories That Keep You Awake at Night
Speaker: Mark Waltz
Worship Leader: Jason Miller


Chariot by Gavin Degraw
This is a great groovin' song. Jason Miller, my brother, does a great job with it.

Worship Songs

Blessed Be the Name - by Matt Redman - I liked this in the key of A rather than the typical B - easier to sing
Another Worship that I honestly can't remember. (I didn't write it down! Sorry Jason!)

Campfire Stories by Jeff Petersen with script by Kristin Baker
A lighthearted script with a great group of our actors. This was a challenge to tape, considering that we needed it to be outside because of the fire (duh) and the fact that noise is very difficult to filter out while taping. The media guys did a good job of keeping the light consistent and moving the story along. Our actors had some great facials and reactions to play out the spoof.


The Stories that Keep You Awake at Night
What an enormous amount of info that we threw at our crowd this weekend! We covered from birth to college years and allowed each of our key leaders in these areas to comment. Not to mention that we let our crowd text in questions. And then we had a few additional video clips to help drive home the points, from kids and then a good interview of Shelley Brasseur who is the mom of a high schooler. I saw the 5:30 message on this one, so I'm sure that things got smoother as we went. I'm so glad we have great people like Corey Mann, DC Curry, Georgia Fawcett, and Jason Miller leading our kids and young adults.

Song Special:

Proud Father by Jon McLaughlin
Leroy King, our "soul man" did a great job with this touching song. I love it when Leroy can really own a song and deliver it with heart-felt authenticity. I think this is critical to meaningful communication. Almost, like a method actor, singers need to connect with the part of the song that is their own voice and live the song from there.

Looking forward to Let it Be... Christmas this next week!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Great American Germ Exchange

Maybe it's because I was a teacher for 8 years that I always notice this. Right after Thanksgiving, massive amounts of kids get sick. I finally put it together. Thanksgiving is not only a great time to give thanks and gather with family, but it is truly the "Great American Germ Exchange"! Families that are normally spread apart and building up resistance to regional germs, now SHARE THEM with their cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Parents take note in the next few days if this happens. If I'm right, we'll see more kids sick in the next week or two.

Okay, now you can go buy some more Flintstone Vitamin C for you kids to keep the germs away. Go, go, go! :)

Tips to keep your family safe HERE

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sugar GOOD!

One of my favorite Christmas movie moments:

From Elf

Buddy: "Can you pass the maple syrup please?"
Emily: "I... I didn't put... It's spagetti."
Buddy: "Oh, you know what? I think I have some. Yes."
Emily: "You like sugar, huh?"
Buddy: "Is there sugar in syrup?"
Emily: "Yes."
Buddy: "Then yes!"

Sound here

Anybody else got one?



Weekend Recap Nov. 17-18

Series: The Thing from Another Planet
Message: The Brain that Wouldn't Die
Speaker: Rob Wegner
Worship Leader: Dan Vukmirovich
Attendance: 5,770


The Blob by Burt Bacharach
THIS WAS FUN! We took a great risk by actually using a vocal track behind this one with the words "beware of the blob it creeps, and leaps, and glides and slides...". Having our talented sax player Jeff Kamp around also was great.

Worship Songs
Everlasting God - Lincoln Brewster arrangement - very standard
Awesome is the Lord Most High - Chris Tomlin - also very standard

Drama/Music Element
Overture for Moms - performed by my wife, Lisa
This was a highlight of the service for me. So many words. We found it on YouTube here, and my wife MEMORIZED all those words! Yeah, we listened to the song about 300 times - literally! I think the crowd really loved it.

Rob Wegner did a fantastic job using "the brain" of Mark Beeson to teach us many great, practical points on parenting. Quantity time/quality time go hand in hand, etc.

Stage Props
put together by our own Mike Schaeffer and team
Everything from a Jacob's ladder and dry ice, to massive beakers with anti-freeze, we had a primo mad scientist's lab. Great work Mike and team!

Mad Scientist produced by Jeff Petersen
A great green screen laboratory set up with Rob shouting "It's ALIVE! It's ALIVE!" When Jeff wants to make something look convincing, man, can he do it. It looked REAL!

The Brain/Beeson Kids produced by Albert Martin
A floating Mark Beeson head gave us words of wisdom with some fun interactive effects that Rob acted out on stage. This was a great "sticky point" that Rob talks about a lot. Things that people remember. Then the interviews with the Beeson children about how they were parented. Great kids who speak very well. Mark and Sheila have done a great job with these three.

Song Special
Watching You by Rodney Atkins
Performed by uh... Me :)
The great thing about this song was that I got to wear a cowboy hat! Okay, more than that I had the chance to sing great harmonies with my wife and Faith Stevens. Plus, the fact that I got to sing the words, happy meal, buckaroo, scoobydoo, and camo pants in one song! That's country for you. Great story song, I must say.

Looking forward to our next series - Let it Be...Christmas!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

In Your Anger...

So my youngest daughter, Sophie, has a few issues with her temper and anger. She can really get frustrated by her sister, or me, or her missing toy. Since we know that this is true, we have been talking to her about it. It has the possibility of being something that she'll deal with all her life. So, we have been teaching her about how to handle her anger. We've talked about the verse from Ephesisians 4, "Be angry without sinning. Don't go to bed angry."

So Sophie, has found a way to deal with her anger in a healthy way on her own - she draws! When she gets mad, she'll head up to her room and make pictures of people crying, and write out her anger in words. When she got the consequence (from me) that she would have to go to bed early, SHE GOT TICKED! Yeah, the tantrum thing. When it came time for bed I found this note hanging outside her door:

She had put herself to bed. Okay, she got the first part of the verse right - don't sin. But she fell asleep on the don't go to bed angry part. Hey, we're all in process though! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We're Lookin' to Move!!!

Hey everyone!

We are looking to MOVE. (Don't worry, it's still in the area!) We have a few houses in mind. We're open to just about any time frame. We thought we'd ask all of our friends to see if anyone might be interested in buying our house. Also, if you could pray for us that God would place us in the perfect place at the perfect time at the perfect price. We're really seeking God's will here, which is why we're not waiting until the end of the year.

We live at 18333 Westover Drive, South Bend, IN 46637. We're located near the intersection of Cleveland and Ironwood. We're 8 minutes away from Granger Community Church, 6 minutes to the Mall, and 10 minutes to downtown South Bend.

So here is a video and some photos of our house:

Here is a map of the house.

View Larger Map

And HERE is the spec sheet. NOTE TO AVOID POP UPS, LOOK FOR THE "Save file to your PC: click here" AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested.


Thanks so much everyone for your help and prayers.

Wisdom from Mark Twain

Heard a great quote from Mark Twain today:

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth."

I'm a fan of living like heaven is in the continual process of coming to earth as we reshape the world into what God had intended.

Lots of wisdom in them words there is I reckon... :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Beauty and Brains

Here's a pic of my girl, Anna.

Now, I'm biased, but I think she's BEAUTIFUL.

Here's another pic of my girl, Anna.

Now, I am also biased on this, but I think she's SMART. This time, I have evidence to back me up. She made HIGH HONOR ROLL at her school this quarter! All A's! One of only a dozen kids in her entire school. I'm a proud papa!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just Sayin'...

Just sayin' that I had an awesome date night with my hot wife last night!

Ahi Tuna appetizer at Bonefish Grille - $8.90
Pan Asian Swordfish at Bonfish Grille - $16.90
Tickets for Across the Universe at Cinemark 14 - $14.00

Getting a chance to be with the perfect woman for me - PRICELESS!!!

Weekend Recap Nov. 3-4

Series: The Thing from Another Planet
Message: The Leeches that Wouldn't Let Go
Speaker: Mark Beeson
Worship Leader: Dan Vukmirovich


The Simpsons Theme by Green Day
We pulled this one out again, though we used it back when the movie came out. The tie of parenting and Simpsons seemed tight. Also, the idea of getting more mileage than one weekend out of a song is a good thing.

Worship Songs:

Mighty to Save by Hillsong (Ben Fielding/Reuben Morgan)
Running with Your Heart (Charlie hall)
We did a medley of these two songs using a track to flow from one to the next. This particular medley was a little different in that Mighty to Save is within a few clicks of being half as fast as running with your heart. So we went from a slow song and then basically double-timed it to keep energy flowing. This seemed to work. However, I realize that our crowd is used to more upbeat songs that are clap-able. These two were not, so I think the crowds energy lacked a bit.


The Daughter of Frankenstein - an original drama written by our own Kristin Baker. Very fun idea of what it would be like if Frankenstein and his bride had a "normal" daughter. Brought out some good issues of picking your friends wisely.

Song Special:
True Friends by Shannon Curfman
This was a fun, kinda Bonnie Raitt style song. It's actually pretty old - 1999 release date. Dustin Maust, my brother in programming, and I were having a impossible time of finding a song about friends that wasn't "And a friend's a friend forever..." or "You've got a friend in me...". So through a long chain of events, including a look at Hannah Montana songs (yes, you read that right - she has a song called True Friend). Kim Stewart really was in her sweet spot this weekend. Great energy and attitude.

Most memorable moment, that will stick in most people's memory for a long while was Mark Beeson putting two leeches on his arm each service. Yeah, the blood was flowing. Not for the faint of heart! Great message all in all about helping our kids choose their friends carefully. More influence as they are young.

Song Special:

There Goes My Life by Kenny Chesney
Yeah, we went country. The highlights of this were Tim Prugh singing also in his sweet spot, country. And Chuck Smith playing pedal steel which cranks the authenticity factor up about 10 notches.

Find songs that fit your people's sweet spots. No one can sing everything well. The days of having people sing any old "special music" are over, but the idea back then was that the singer would find something they could sing and do it well. Now, we sometimes find the perfect song for the message and can forget about the messenger who has to deliver it. They need to be able to communicate the song authentically. This sets our people up for success which is what we all want.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Counting the "Yes" votes (or count your chicken eaters)

On Wednesday, during our all-staff S.W.A.T (Staff Working Together As a Team - I know that's SWAAT, but work with us!), our senior pastor, Mark Beeson shared with us the concept of "Counting the YES votes".

Too often we can hear the squeaky wheels in our ministries that somehow always seem to know when we've made a mistake. They like to point these things out, ya know - just to help! :) We certainly need to listen to them for that 10% of truth that anyone can give us in terms of feedback. However, if we let them sap our energy and take our focus away from the people who are saying "YES! We love what's happening here. What more can I do?", this is not a win for the Kingdom. Especially with new people coming into our ministry via our Volunteer Expo (check out Mark Waltz's awesome post on this) we need to focus on keeping the ship sailing for those who are truly "on board".

Mark, used the idea that Chick-Fil-A can either focus on the tons of people that are coming into it's restaurant and drive through each day (the chicken eaters), or they can stand on side of the road and lament that so many people are passing by. He also pointed out that if no one's buying chicken, then you probably need to look at yourself and see what's happening.

I had a good reminder of this in an assembly that I led for 4-6th grades at North Liberty Elementary. We sang songs, danced, and learned about music. Much fun. However, there were a few kids who looked at me and with their looks they basically said "DARE US TO HAVE FUN!!!" I could have paid attention to them, and tried to get them going, but then that would have cheated the other 99% of kids in the assembly out of my full attention.

Good reminder! Thanks, Mark. No kissing up here, but I LOVE OUR SENIOR PASTOR! He rocks - for an older guy :)!

No Blogging = Crazy Life

Literally, every time I sat down with one blog thought in my head last week, I had to do something else! Yeah, yeah, I know that we prioritize what's important. So here's life in a nutshell last week.

- finish off Men's Retreat
- help program our Christmas series - a lot of meetings!
- squeeze in Halloween stuff
- do 2 assemblies for North Liberty Elementary School - Thursday AM
- install a new vanity, sink top, and faucet in our bathroom remodeling project
- rehearse and get ready for this weekend's music
- sleepovers last night with our friends the Wegners

Yes. I had some things that took priority over the blog. So, I'm back. Just letting y'all know.