Friday, May 30, 2008

extrapolate...

Perfect example of extrapolation...

The creatives at Topeka Bible Church, in Kansas took the popular idea (culturally relevant) of synchronized Christmas light shows to great music and created a Christmas Light Show with live music presented in the venue of their parking lot as a way to reach out to their community.

What a great example of being culturally relevant, co-missional, and smashing paradigms...

My Music Writer in Kansas

Thursday, May 29, 2008

wordle...


(wordle from a vision casting message)

going backwards...
wordle in worship...
Jim Drake wordles his sermon notes...
Carolyn Mejia worked it into set design...
both worhty of stealing!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

feathers...


Feathers from trey taylor on Vimeo
I’d like to share a simple creative element that we did last year. Shannon and I got to do a series called ‘words’ while Pastor was on sabbatical. The last week I did a talk on gossip and we created this video.
Ok so its just a video, the fun part is what we did at the end. When everyone got to their car, we had put a feather on their windshields as a reminder. And I’ve been blown away by the response we’ve had from that simple thing. I still have people talking about it. What’s really great is that several people didn’t notice that every car had them and they thought someone was trying to tell them something.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

dust...

I have found a couple things on Trey Taylor's blog that resonate with what we are going to be doing...

This is from a series they did entitled "dust". I really like the name. It came from the simple concept, follow Jesus so closely that your covered in the dust of His feet.


Dust_Capernaum HD from trey taylor on Vimeo



Dust_Sea of Galilee HD from trey taylor on Vimeo

Monday, May 26, 2008

details for bread scent element...

We sent out an e-mail to ask people if they had a bread machines we could borrow.

We gathered all the machines and tested them all to see how they worked (and if they worked properly). This was important, especially after discovering one of the machines (the Breadman) made a lot of noise when it was kneading. And it beeped a lot in the beginning cycles.

The timing of the entire process varied (from 80 minutes (Oster machine) to two hours (Breadman machine).

The commonality we found was: the last rising and baking for each machine was 1 hour. This meant there wasn’t any noise going on during that last hour. That is how we determined the timing.

We babysat each machine and unplugged it when it was down to one minute on the timer. That way it didn’t beep at the end.

We carried the machine with potholders out into the hallway to get the loaves out of the machines.


We used Hodgson Mills White Bread Mix (under three dollars a box). It was simple to use, it included the yeast and we only had to add warm water and oil.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

bitter coffee...

I realized some time ago that God calls me to be with his children that are tattooed, pierced and disenfranchised… It started out as unintentional for me (not Him).
I just would go and sit at Starbucks and they seemed to gather around me. Not just the baristas, but the guests also… Now I work at Starbucks.

It thrills me to no end that there are others out there that “get it”.
I see a couple other pastors that hang out also. Good people. Building real relationships, not spouting judgmental garbage.

I must say though, I keep an eye out for the “other” Christians that are not so loving… they hang out at Starbucks also. But they are serving up some bitter coffee.. They are ready to throw an “irrelevant track” in the tip jar (sorry, that may led people to believe there are relevant ones, there are not)…why do those people think that works. Ugh!

Trust me it just makes them not like you all the more…

Friday, May 23, 2008

design team

Hi Beth,
I believe our church is going to be 4 years old in January; it actually was birthed out of a young adult ministry (for several years before it became a church) at a larger church. (our mother church).
I started attending regularly last September. I was asked to be on the creative team (called fuZe) in December and I became a member of Cross Current in January.

Actually our creative team is kind of an interesting set up. Creative team is an invite only group.
The meeting is “run” by the leader of the writing team (volunteer). He just runs our meeting, writes on the whiteboard. Herds the cats. He loves to do this. He sits back and lets us run wild.

Current we design about 6 weeks out. Striving hard to be even further out. Especially since we do a lot of in house writing and filming/multi-media elements.

We start out doing a small amount of business. Then we read over the week(s) we are designing for. We worship together and spend some time in individual prayer.
Then we just throwing ideas out…
Then we come up with a group consensus on which elements we will do. Whoever pwn’s the element(s), then takes it to their team to complete it.

We work from a series synopsis from our pastor. Sometimes is detail, more often not. As you saw, we are currently starting a 52 week series entitled “The Jesus Experiment”. We will break it up into smaller series within this series.
We also had a creative retreat weekend in June where more people were invited (including members of all our individual teams. Where we had a free for all. We are using some of these ideas as a jumping point for elements this year.

Our worship leader is the only paid staff on our fuZe team, at the meeting she is a contributor and later liaisons with the pastor along with our meeting leader and the head of our production team.
Since she is full time staff and leads the worship teams, her responsibilities with our team tends more towards keeping us on track, helps us when we need it. For example, she’ll communicate with other church wide teams, she made arrangements for the printing of the large images this week and picked them up. two weeks ago she and I spent the day looking in our storage facility and shopping with me to get supplies for our tabernacle stage set.

She does this in addition to her leadership with the worship teams. We are blessed to have multiple players for almost all instruments (except for one rocking violinist), and she is currently our only worship leader. She also, works with the youth band and ministry. Though she serves there, because we do have a staff member for our youth ministry and a staff member for our kid’s ministry. She does too much.

Back to our team. The rest are volunteers, the majority are team leaders. Some team leaders are newer, others have been with Cross Current since they were a young adult (college) ministry. Our youngest member is 21, our oldest is 54.

Dance: (4-5)
Drama: (4-5) Just got a team leader.
Lighting: (2)
Multi-Media: (4 people) newly formed team. About 3 months.
Set design and experiential worship elements: I started that in January (have 4 regulars, two hubbies that help, including my husband who is not a Christian). I am intentionally reaching out to unchurched people right now to join the team. Two people I know are very interested, just haven’t been able to get the timing down right yet.
Sound: (3)
Worship Graphics/Media Shout: (3-4)
Writing: (2-3)

There is some cross over in teams. Currently each team is small and we are working on building our teams. This has always been a creative church. There have been times when the teams were fairly large and times when they’ve dwindled down to just one person.

What specifically are your challenges? Besides doing too much of everything? I do know and believe that the team has really grown in the few months I’ve been here. It’s because the leadership team and the prayer team were very focused on praying for leaders to emerge. I truly believe that is what led me to this church in particular.

Hope this helps, if not. Feel free to ask more specific questions.
Sorry this got long winded.

Dorothy

today's wordle

learning pyramid...

If this isn't a case for experiential worship design, I don't know what is...

This just gives teeth to why I am constantly pushing to add experiential elements into our worship design. I am not a numbers person, but these numbers are hard to deny.

In practice: I think we do well at XC with the first three levels of this pyramid. Lecture, reading and audiovisual. Though we still don't do near enough.

It's once we hit the last four levels of learning on this chart that we don't seem to hit the mark.
Some of it deals with doing design "from memory", instead of "imagination". Which seems to be constant battle.

Other thoughts are that our team doesn't have enough experience with these type of (experiential) elements and don't seem to understand the implications and increase of retention that occurs.
I am constantly aware that I speak a completely different language of ideas.
Think about the exponential implications of incorporating 5S (all 5 Senses) when reading the following comments from Steve Fridsma at archiNEXTure:

"Lets go back to the learning chart. According to the National Training Laboratory:


-People retain only 5% of what they experience in a lecture setting. What is a sermon?
-Add the reading of words on a screen - perhaps song lyrics and scripture. Maybe some sermon bullet points. That doubles retention, to 10%. Plus, the singing is at least participatory and aimed at God and gives us opportunity to reflect and listen.
-Add images, pictures, video, props, illustrations, a theme, a metaphor. We're now at 20% retention. Not too great, but still 4 times the talking head.
-Add interactive discussion and Q&A. We're now at 50% retained. Ten times the talking head.
-Add service projects - either internal or external - hands-on, interactive ministry with concrete results. 75% - 90% retained."

So, I will just keep pushing the envelope trying to add interactive/experiential elements each week...









Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stained Glass Dove


Stained Glass Dove
Originally uploaded by Ascendingkitty

Collecting stained glass images for service

Stained Glass Majesty


Stained Glass Majesty
Originally uploaded by Ascendingkitty

wordle...




Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stones


Stones
Originally uploaded by missy t

Great idea for Jesus Experiment

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

sweet...





Some sweet stage design sets from production nuts.

Man, someday...


Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

new creation for cardboard testimony Sunday...

I just found this -thought we should use it for the countdown on Cardboard Testimony Sunday...


Screen Element


New Creation from FC Post on Vimeo

details on how they did the drums:



New Creation Video Content from Pace Hartfield on Vimeo

Id love to do that drum element someday...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

deep deep love of Jesus

Mary's Child by April Eads

Bm A G D A G
O come and calm my heart. O come and quiet my soul.
D A Bm A G
The journey’s been long, I’ve had to be strong
D A G
I’m here but its taken its toll.
F#m G Bm A
They’ve come for miles just to see my baby’s smiles.


CHORUS
D A G
Angels and shepherds are singing your praise
D A G
But I want to worship right here in your gaze
Bm A G
Tomorrow a savior but today just a babe
Bm A G C G
Tomorrow on a cross but today in a manger you lay.


Bm A G D A G
Help me not forget this moment when all I love is in my arms
D A G D A G
Help me live here in this moment. Don’t let me drift too far
F#m G Bm A G
Troubles come, seasons come and go
F#m G Bm A
Life will get harder as you grow


C G A
Oh I know you came to save the world and my soul
C G A
Oh I know someday I will have to let you go
Bm A G
But now is not the time
Bm A G
Now you’re just a child of mine

Friday, May 16, 2008

Postcards from Eternity Script

Postcards from Eternity
written by Jenn Wadell

Cast:
Father – One writing the postcards
Mother – his wife
Robert – Son
Judith – Daughter
Madeline – Daughter
Stuart – Son
Cecile – Sister
Jasmine – Granddaughter – daughter of Judith
Luke – Grandson – son of Stuart
Man One

______________________________________________
Park
Scene One – A tree lined park.

Lights up on a park bench, stage right. Robert and Judith jog in from stage left. Stop at the bench to stretch, check pulse, etc.

Robert: (looking at his watch) We beat our time from yesterday by another minute. If we keep this up, we should be able to get one more mile in every morning.

Judith: (sarcastically) Joy.

Robert: Don’t look so excited.

Judith: You’re my brother and I love you, but if you keep pushing me, I’m going to have to kill you. (Robert opens his mouth to say something) And, for the last time, I am not running in that 5K with you. I’m doing this for exercise only.

Robert: Okay, I hear you. I’ll see you tomorrow. (He turns to walk away)

Judith: (pulling a postcard out of her pocket) Robert? Can I talk to you about something?

Robert: (turning around) Shoot.

Judith: It’s about Dad.

Robert: Then, no. (turns to go again)

Judith: (looking at her hands) I got a postcard from him yesterday.

Robert: How in the… You know what, I don’t care. I have to go.

Judith: Robert.

She watches him jog off stage. She is left alone with her postcard. She stands up and begins to pace as she reads.

Judith: Dear Judith, Well, here I am in the Jungles of India, my mission field for the next month. I’m not even sure if this is going to reach you before I come home, but I was thinking about you so I wanted to let you know. Sweetie, there’s something I’d like to speak with you about when I get there, but just to get you thinking, let me bring it up now. I know how hard you’ve been working lately. Trying to balance a job, kids, and looking out for your mother in my absence is not easy. I really do appreciate you. There is something that concerns me, however. When was the last time that you went on a date with your husband? Mom tells me that he is staying at his apartment in the city more and more. Honey, it’s not too late. Remember when you first fell in love with him? He was all you could think about or talk about. How often do you think about him now? I know it’s a difficult time and it’s not all your fault, but what would happen if you took the first step? Don’t write him off. Love him back into your home. I promise, you won’t regret it. I love you so much, Dad.

Lights fade.

______________________________________________
Fire Station
Scene Two – in front of a Fire Station

Spot on Robert down stage right sitting in an armchair, talking on his cell phone. Lights up on Fire station. Stuart slowly enters stage left dressed in jeans and button down shirt, kicking an imaginary rock, head down, talking on his cell phone.

Robert: Are we still on for lunch today?

Stuart: Can’t. (pause) I’m not going in today.

Robert: You sick?

Stuart: Nope. (pause) I’m taking the day off.

Robert: You sick?

Stuart: I’m reevaluating.

Robert: Reevaluating what?

Stuart: Things, work, pretty much my whole life.

Robert: Stu, you’ve been working toward that promotion for months. You are days away from it and you’re backing out? What is going on?

Stuart: (long pause, big sigh) I got a postcard from Dad. (another long pause) You still there?

Robert: I’m here.

Stuart: Do you want to hear it?

Robert: No, I really don’t.

Stuart: I figured you wouldn’t. (pause) It was really pretty profound.

Robert: How nice.

Stuart: So, I’ll call you tomorrow?

Robert: Think you’ll be done evaluating by then?

Stuart: This isn’t easy for any of us, you know?

Robert: Yeah, I know. Talk to you tomorrow.

Stuart sits down on the firehouse steps, pulls out his postcard and reads.

Stuart: Dear Stuart, I was sorry to hear about the immoral road that you’re boss has decided to take. I am so proud of you for sticking up for what you believe is right. I know your coworkers want to blame you for the loss of funding and the subsequent downsizing. Don’t believe their lies. You did what was good and right. You will not have an easy time, but hang in there. Even if it costs you your job, it will be worth it in the long run. I wish I could be there to help you though it. I think of you often and lift you up in prayer every time. Love, Dad.

______________________________________________
Bakery

Jasmine is on the phone with her aunt Madeline.

Jasmine: Aunt Maddie? I need to talk to you. I just got a post card from (looks around and lowers her voice) from Grandpa. How did he do that? (pause) There’s that much of a delay? Wow, okay, so listen to this. (she pulls out her post card) Dear Jasmine, your Mom tells me that you’ve started to run with the wrong crowd. (speaking to her aunt, waving the post card around as she speaks) Can you freakin’ believe that? Mom tells Grandpa – of all people – that she doesn’t like my friends. She doesn’t even know my friends. (continues to read) I know that you are not involved in the sexual promiscuity that they delight in themselves, but I know that they have corrupted some of the girls you used to be friends with. It’s only a matter of time until you succumb to their way of thinking as well. Turn away from them, my dear. Turn toward the One who made you and who is longing to lead you down His well lit path. I would love to discuss this with you more in person the next chance I get. Clear a spot on your schedule for me, I shall be home before you know it. All my Love, Grandpa.

Why does anyone give a crap who I hang out with? Dad’s gone half the time, and Mom is too tired to have any real conversations. Aunt Maddie, what should I do?

Lights fade.

______________________________________________
Courthouse
Scene Four – outside a Courthouse

Robert, dressed in a suit and overcoat, wearing gloves, carrying a briefcase, hurries across the stage, Man One hurries to catch up with him.

Man One: Hey, Buddy! Hey, slow down! (Robert turns around) You dropped this. (he holds out a post card)

Robert: (glances at the post card) That’s not mine.

Man One: It flew out of your coat pocket when you pulled out your gloves. I’ve been trying to catch up with you for blocks! You are a really fast walker. (he chuckles)

Robert snatches the post card out of the man’s hand and hurries off stage.

Man One: (waves in Robert’s direction) Have a nice day!

Man One exits stage left, passes Luke entering stage left. He checks his watch, looks around, then takes a seat on the Courthouse steps. He pulls out his post card and begins to read.

Luke: Dear Luke, You are my one and only grandson. The family name lies with you and your descendants. Our name has a good reputation and I know it will continue that way. You are a good kid, and I am proud of you. Your Dad told me that your grades are coming up and that you’re studying hard. I do want to say one thing though; you need to figure out where you stand when it comes to authority. Someday, your entire family will look to you. They will be following you, who will you be following? Be wise in whom you seek for counsel, know who you’re talking to. Do not tolerate anything false in your life. Take the bad with the good, but know what the truth is so that you will not be misled. I believe in you and in your abilities. Love, Grandpa

______________________________________________
Dry Cleaner & Library
Scene Five – outside a dry cleaner next to a library.

Robert is helping Aunt Cecile down the library steps. She has a couple of books in her arm and is carrying a great big purse.

Robert: Here, Aunt Cecile, let me carry those books for you.

Cecile: (slapping his hand away) Nonsense, I can carry them myself. It’s bad enough to have to lean on you coming down these steps, but I’m afraid I might slip and that would be even more embarrassing. (beat) I’m not old!

Robert: (trying to hide a smile) Of course not, Aunt Cecile.

Cecile: Oh, speaking of help. (she dives head first into her big purse. Her voice is muffled) I got something in the mail the other day. The handwriting is atrocious and I can’t quite make out the words, so if you’d be so kind (her head comes up out of the purse) as to read it to me, I would much appreciate it. (she holds the post card out to Robert)

Robert: (staring at the postcard) What’s that?

Cecile: (impatient) What does it look like? I want you to read it to me. I can’t figure out the scrawl on it.

Cecile holds the post card up close to her face, then slowly begins to pull it away until she’s holding it at arms length.

Robert: I really have to get going.

Cecile: Yeah, (beat) right after you read this. Come on. Won’t take but a minute. Who’s it from, anyway.

Robert: (without looking at it) It’s from Dad.

Cecile: (turns her face away) It must have been sent before he…

Robert: Must have.

Cecile: (presses the post card into Robert’s hand) Please, Robert.

Robert: (reluctantly takes the post card and reads it) Dear Ceci,

Cecile: (smiling) He always called me Ceci.

Robert: How I miss you. I miss our lively conversations and your quick wit. You can always make me laugh. God gave me a word for you, dear sister. Your life is far from over. The Lord has work for you to do. So, get your head out of those romance novels, get off the couch, and get on your knees.

Cecile: Words only a brother could say and get away with! (pause) Go on.

Robert: It’s not too late. You are still useful. Ignore the lies that say you are too old. Look at me – on my first over-seas mission trip at the age of 71. You can do it too, I know you can. I’m looking forward to sharing pictures with you over a cup of tea and your famous lemon bread. I love you like a sister.

Cecile: There you have it. Words to ponder I shall say.

Robert: You’re not going to listen to him, are you? Who is he to tell you how to live your life?

Cecile: (obviously hurt) Thank you for reading my post card to me, Robert. You may go now.

Robert: Aunt Cecile, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…

Cecile: I know you’re very busy, so off with you.

Robert exits as lights fade.

______________________________________________
Construction Site
Scene Six – near a construction site
Madeline and Jasmine are walking together.

Madeline: Hey, I got a post card from your Grandpa too. Do you want to hear mine?

Jasmine: Totally.

Madeline: Okay, here it is. Dear Madeline, The Lord has spoken to me regarding you. I have no idea what it means, but I’m sure you will. Don’t be afraid, no one will be able to shut the door that the Lord has opened for you. Walk though with confidence. I’m so excited for you, whatever it is. After everything you’ve been though in the last couple of years, you deserve it. Stay strong, you’re almost there. I hope we get a chance to catch up soon. I love you, Daddy.

Jasmine: Aunt Maddie? What door?

Madeline: I’m moving.

Jasmine: What? No! What will I do without you?

Madeline: I’ve received a job offer in Phoenix. It will be a chance for me to start fresh – in a town where the memories of my past don’t constantly haunt me. I have to do this, Jas. I’m going to tell everyone about it next week at Grandma’s Birthday party.

Jasmine: But, I need you!

Madeline: It won’t be so bad, you’ll see.

Madeline puts her arm around Jasmine as they exit. Lights Fade.

______________________________________________
Home
Scene Seven – Living Room

Entire Family is gathered, eating, drinking, talking. There is an empty recliner in the center. Mom is wearing a button that lights up and says “Birthday Girl” on it. All noise stops when Robert enters. Family stares at him.

Mom: (walks over to Robert and gives him a hug) I’m so glad you could make it, Robert.

Robert: I would like to read my post card. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I think you all need to hear this. (he clears his throat) Dear Junior, I hope you can forgive me for the awful fight we had just before I left. (Robert pauses, fighting back tears) I know I was hard on you, but I hope you know that I wouldn’t be so hard if I didn’t love you so much. (pause) You have been so complacent in your life lately, and my hope is that you can live passionately, enjoying what you have, and enjoying your family. You are rich in money, but poor in love. You act like you don’t need anyone or anything, but I know you do. Let others into your world and they just may surprise you. I want you to know that I forgive you. I’d like to have coffee with you when I get back. I’ll see you soon. Love, Dad. (Robert collapses into the recliner and cries silently into his hands.)

The room is silent.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Postcards from Eternity Week 1 details

Weeks 1:
Details scene 1 and message 1
Church: Ephesus
References how it relates to the identity of Jesus and linked to the promise of the Word:
Rev. 2:1 - walk among church(es)
Rev. 2:7 - eat in garden (Eden) where we walked with God.
Problem in church: loss of passionate love
Promise: Eat tree of life/Abundant life
Problem: Truth with out compassion
Related scene: Judith is told to rekindle her love for her husband.
Related set: park with trees
Prop: apple

Details scene 2 and message 2
Church: Smyrna
References how it relates to the identity of Jesus and linked to the promise of the Word:
Rev. 2:8 - died and came to life
Rev. 2:11 - not hurt by death
Problem in church: under heavy fire of persecution
Promise: not hurt by hell
Problem: untouchable
Related scene: Stuart is encouraged during a time of persecution at work after refusing to support something wrong at work.
Related set: fire station
Prop: Illusionist’s flash paper and/or fire extinguisher

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Postcards from Eternity Week 2 details...

Week 2:
Details scene 3 and message 3
Church: Pergamum
References how it relates to the identity of Jesus and linked to the promise of the Word:
Rev. 2:12 – sharp sword (Word)
Rev. 2:14 – (Word) corrects teaching (?)
Rev. 2:17 - hidden manna, white stone, stone has new name written
Problem in church: confused with its identity and place in world: Very secular city.
Promise: manna & white stone (hospitality & identity)
Problem: compassion & grace without truth
Related scene: Jasmine is told to turn away from the wrong crowd. Don’t succumb to their way of thinking. Turn to the One who made her.
Experiential element: baking bread in bread machines during the worship service.
Related set: White Stone Bakery
Prop: Fresh baked bread (manna)


Details scene 4 and message 4
Church: Thyatira
References how it relates to the identity of Jesus and linked to the promise of the Word:
Rev. 2:18 – eyes, feet bronze (power/strength)
Rev. 2:23 – search (eyes search)
Rev. 2:27 – rule (bronze and strong metal)
Problem in church: church in deception, being led astray by a powerful leader
Promise: Rule with scepter (gavel). Authority & Impact
Problem: compassion & grace without truth
Related scene: Luke is told to be wise in whom he seeks for counsel, know who you’re talking to. Do not tolerate anything false in your life. Know the truth so you are not misled.
Related set: Courthouse and steps
Prop: gavel (scepter)

creative fuZion

Welcome to "fuZion lab" at designing for Philistines (on Thursdays)...
Once upon a time there was a blog kingdom where freaky creative’s could share the chaos created in their minds for THE Kingdom.
Sadly, it went away. Yet the creative minds keep blogging.

Now there is a place to share all those creative elements again at the fuZion lab on Thursdays. So here’s what you do…

1. Each Thursday YOU post a blog on whatever creative church element sparks your passion.
2. In your blog, link back to this weeks specific creative fuZion lab.
3. Then link your particular post in the comments here.
4. Share your name, a brief description of the element and most importantly the link to your blog. If you don’t blog yet, still feel free to share your idea in the comments.
5. Go visit other peoples ideas, comment and share.
6. Ready to begin? Here we go.
Let the creative fuzion begin.
Spread the Word.
Dorothy (vicar of vibe)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

whatever creative church element sparks...

whatever creative church element sparks your passion. Whether is is stage/set design, graphics, lighting, songs, vid's or something you are wanting to design...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Renee's story...

(edited)
To Write Love On Her Arms

"Pedro the Lion" is loud in the speakers, and the city waits just outside our open windows. As the music pulses, I ask what she'd say if her story had an audience. She smiles. "Tell them to look up. Tell them to remember the stars."

Renee is 19. When I meet her, cocaine is fresh in her system. She hasn't slept in 36 hours and she won't for another 24. It is a familiar blur of coke, pot, pills and alcohol. She has agreed to meet us, to listen and to let us pray.

She has known such great pain; haunted dreams as a child, the near-constant presence of evil ever since. She has felt the touch of awful naked men, battled depression and addiction, and attempted suicide. Her arms remember razor blades, fifty scars that speak of self-inflicted wounds.

Everyone is asleep. The sun is rising. She drinks long from a bottle of liquor, takes a razor blade from the table and locks herself in the bathroom. She cuts herself, using the blade to write "FUCK UP" large across her left forearm.

The nurse at the treatment center finds the wound several hours later. The center has no detox, names her too great a risk, and does not accept her. For the next five days, she is ours to love. We become her hospital and the possibility of healing fills our living room with life. It is unspoken and there are only a few of us, but we will be her church, the body of Christ coming alive to meet her needs, to write love on her arms.

She hands me her last razor blade, tells me it is the one she used to cut her arm and her last lines of cocaine five nights before. She's had it with her ever since, shares that tonight will be the hardest night and she shouldn't have it. I hold it carefully, thank her and know instantly that this moment, this gift, will stay with me. It hits me to wonder if this great feeling is what Christ knows when we surrender our broken hearts, when we trade death for life.

Don Miller says we're called to hold our hands against the wounds of a broken world, to stop the bleeding. I agree so greatly.

She is alive now, in the patience and safety of rehab, covered in marks of madness but choosing to believe that God makes things new, that He meant hope and healing in the stars.

God wrote “LOVE” on her arms.

She would ask you to remember.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

Christmas Crescendo details...

Creative Element: “Christmas Crescendo

Designed to show how often the true of meaning of Christmas is lost in the hustle and bustle of what Christmas has become to society.

Curtain opens to a blue spot on Mary and baby Jesus. She is quietly singing to baby:
O, Come, O Come Emmanuel (one verse)

She remains center stage as: Start: Electronic wav file of Carol of the Bells, entire band joined in layers on top of the track. The song gets louder and more hectic as the following scenes unfold:

Lights: Leg of curtains, lights up on each side of stage.

Stage left: Husband and wife bring in Christmas tree, set it up and decorate (plug in lights), they also bring in gifts. Their young children enter (in p.j.’s), shake packages and play around tree. Read book.

Stage right: shoppers enter with rolling rack of clothes.

Stage right: Santa comes in, seated on a rolling platform with elves. Photographer enters and sets up his lighting and camera on a tripod. Families with children line up to get their picture taken with Santa.

More Lights: Icicle lights on back curtain light up.

Another rolling rack with clothes enters into the auditorium with another shopper and retail sales person.

ALL ACTION STOPS: Music ends abruptly, actors freeze in place, all lights black out except the blue spot again on Mary & Jesus

She sings (short intro of) O Come, O Come Emmanuel, which transitioned into:
Mary’s Child (amazing song written by April Eads, who also played Mary)

Worship Set 2 (done completely with an acoustic guitar only)
What Child is This? (Actors exited stage during intro.
Mary and Jesus exited after the first verse)
O Holy Night

Message: The Real Meaning of Christmas (and giving a gift of ourselves to Him)

Worship set 3 (the full band was back: w/communion and interactive family element)
There were several gifts boxes on each row. Everyone was asked to write or draw on a piece of paper, a gift they wanted to give to baby Jesus. (Families were asked to work with their children, which was really cool to see). Then place the note in a small gift bag and tie a ribbon around it. Then go as a family or with friends to the communion stations. And give the gift to Jesus (a manger was set up at each station).
Glory in the Highest
We Three Kings
O, Come, O Come Emmanuel
(the percussionist used a really nifty Samba beat to this, totally cool!)

It was one of those amazing moments in time, where everything combined to share the true meaning with Christmas with all those who entered in today.

Interesting notes today:
My husband (not a Christian) came today.
He only comes to church once every couple of years. My son and his family visited again (four weeks now). It is so cool to be able to worship together. I particularly love how my three year old grandson loves to stand in the aisle to worship. He sways back and forth, claps his hands. My two year grand daughter also joined us.
Someone (a friend I have made at Starbucks, currently dechurched) I had invited, came and texted me afterwards that he thought the worship was awesome!
And two people came up afterwards. One person wants to join the pPod team (that implements the interactive experiential worship elements) and another wants to join the lighting team.