Tuesday, December 29, 2009


When I listen to people stressing out about the holidays, my heart goes out to them. When did Christmas become more about shopping, gift wrapping, parties rather than about the little baby Jesus?
Have we forgotten what it is about?
Last year at XC, we did a visual movement piece entitled "Christmas Crescendo" (you can see it here). Which simply started with Mary singing to baby Jesus. Then slowly the scenes built to a crescendo of Christmas madness. Decorating a tree, shaking presents, shopping and even Santa and elves with children lining up to have their picture taken with Santa...and the baby simply seems to disappear amid the glitz.
The madness of what we now consider normal Christmas traditions.
Then all the madness stopped.
All that remained center stage was Mary and the baby.

Each year I will deligently work towards keeping that same simple message.
It's really all about the little baby Jesus.

This year we planned a Christmas drama. Then we got snowed out with almost two feet of snow on Christmas Sunday.

Every Saturday our weekend crew rolls in and converts the junior high school auditorium into our worship space. After set-up and sound checks we gather for devotions. This week we simply focused on that moment in time, just after Christ was born. It was just Mary, Joseph and the baby. The angels hadn't appeared to the shepards yet, the wisemen were still traveling towards the star. Just the family wondering what all this was about. Trusting God's word.

So this week, the Sunday after Christmas. this is what our stage looked like. The stage was bare with only a simple wooden stable with a star.
During the prayer before service an idea surfaced. During that last song, "Silent Night", all the lights would fade out and one simple spot would illuminate the star over the stable. We scrambled around to get a ladder, move the stage lights around, re-set lighting cues...

Then during worship, the last verse was sung acapella, the worship leaders stepped backed and all eyes were focused on the star.

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Now that is what Christmas is really about...

Friday, November 20, 2009

what is success...

The average church size in the United States is 90 people.

-The Barna Group

Think about that for a minute. 90 people. The Edge is 5 times that. MBC as a whole is more than 100 times that.

I think we sometimes have a tendancy to take for granted what God is doing at The Edge and McLean Bible Church. We forget that most churches would be blown away to have 400 people come one week, let alone every week.

The temptation when you start getting big can be to measure success in terms of numbers. An event wasn’t a success because it only had 200 people instead of 400. Or it was a success because there were 1000 people there.

But success is more than numbers. Success is more personal than that. God isn’t impressed just because we had 500 people at an Edge service or 2000 people at a 9:00 Tysons campus service. He’s impressed by life change and devotion to Him. Success is about individual people. God is more impressed by a church of 90 people totally devoted to Him than He is by 10,000 who are just meeting together for fun on a Sunday morning.

(As a disclaimer, that’s not a slam on “big church”. I know there are many totally devoted people there).

So how do you measure success of The Edge? Is it measured in good music and fun lights? Or is it in the hearts of the people there?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

thoughts on a Christmas sketch...

This comes for a conversation with someone who is designing a "Blue Christmas" service to honor and give voice to grief during the holiday. Just my initial thoughts...
I definitely like the votive candle idea. Linking the remembrance of the loved one-then linking it to the true Light (message of Christmas). We tend to get wrapped up in all the busy-ness of the season and forget what it is really all about.
I envision someone sitting and starting to tearfully unwrap all the Christmas ornaments, and being unable to deal with the Santa's, elves and shiny stuff for the tree. Then opening the box with the Nativity crèche and a single candle, while reflecting on the meaning of Christmas and talking about how (grandpa) loved the story of the birth of Christ and all it's true meaning, as they set up the crèche on a small table.
As they talk through their emotions, they link the remembrance of their loved one to the candle and to the meaning of Christmas. They light the candle saying something like..."this is all I really need this year. Happy birthday, Jesus. Merry Christmas grandpa."
Then close one of the other boxes and walk off stage
Then have people come and light a votive candle and leave taking the (takeaway gift).
For the remaining Sundays until Christmas, simply have a single lit votive candle on the alter or stage, along with whatever else you are decorating with. Those people will know.

Monday, October 19, 2009


8oz. of lifes lessons...

Monday, October 12, 2009

generation next...

"I see a generation, rising up to take their place, with selfless faith..."

One of the greatest things for me is seeing children exploring their gifts and talents.
I love being part of a church that truly appreciates the arts. We encourage people of all ages to share their gifts.

For example we have an adult drama team, but we also have youth join this team from time to time. Our youth group has a drama team and the elementary kids have a drama team.

We frequently rotate high schoolers into our worship team, lighting team, multi media team and stage design team.

No matter what age you are, if you come onstage when we are breaking down everything, we will find a job for you.

All the time we have children crawling all over the stage, playing the instruments.

The cool thing is, this is the next generation of creative. They are learning that there is a place for them to serve.

Here are some pictures from this weekend of young children playing "worship team".

What a great game.



How do you encourage the next generation?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

imperfect church, imperfect pastors...

This is the last week in our series entitled "imperfect church". This has been one of the very best series since I have been going to CrossCurrent. Really great messages and super fun stage designs.

Instrumental Opener

Worship Set 1
Our Love is Loud
How Great Thou Art

Welcome & Greet Announcements

Worship Set 2
This is Our God
All I Need is You (Hillsong)

Drama: Too Hard
Video -Pastor Journal

imperfect pastors... from dorothy (vicar of vibe) on Vimeo.

Message - imperfect church, imperfect pastors...

Worship Set 3
The Stand/Chorus of Tear Down the Walls
We wound up not doing the last song.

Come and see what other people are singing in worship across the world at Sunday Set List.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

imperfect church nuances...

Welcome to the creative fuZIon lab. Where we share elements that enhance the weekend experience.

This is the last week in our series entitled the "imperfect church..."Continuing with the "progression of thought" in this multi-week series stage design. Adding, subtracting, changing the design subtly to invoke a feeling or thought. A tiny experiential element. For the last few weeks of this series we are wanting to add a few "signs of life" into our stage image of the imperfect church. We added some candles to the front stage left and a few candles by the window in the rear.

And for this last week we added ivy to one of the windows…

Again, the really cool thing about this is, there are people who actually "catch" the vision of what we are doing. People who notice the small changes each week. As soon as they walk into the auditorium. They "get it", they "feel" it. Which for me, is just an added bonus.

What do you think about experiential elements? Have you tried these types of things before?

Man, I LML and what I get to do…

So what did you do this week? It’s your turn to share…

Sunday, October 4, 2009

imperfect church...

Worship was sweet this morning.
Da' band just keeps growing. We have had a mandolin playing for the last two weeks. That's right, a mandolin! Talk about rocking, especially during "How Great Thou Art". So, we have had a bit of an explosion in da' band. Amazing what prayer will do. Close to 40 people on rotation now, 6-8 worship leaders, diversity in instruments. Praying for a banjo or fiddle...
God has been adding to other weekend teams also...I just love the way God works!

Instrumental opener

Worship Set 1
Let the Praises Ring
How Great Thou Art

Welcome & Greet

Worship Set 2
From the Inside Out
Only You

Video - Alone in the Crowd
Message: imperfect relationships

Special Song- Masquerade

Time of Reflection (instrumental)
To find out more about what others are singing across the world, check out Sunday Set List at Fred McKinnon's blog.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

creative fuZionlab //33// tweeking the design...

A major disadvantage of being a mobile church it that each week on Saturday we have to load everything in and put it all up, then on Sunday, break it all down and load it out...
But this "disadvantage" often is an advantage. Because we have to reset every week, it also gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate the stage design each week and "tweek" it.

We tend to take a lot of photos. I find that it is easier for me to "see" the stage in a photograph. It gives a different perspective.

We are in week three of our series "imperfect church". So I thought I'd show you how we utilize this process to "tweek" a stage design.

This is week one...After reviewing the photos we decided that everything (the windows and photos) were flown too low on the stage. So for week two, we flew everything higher. After reviewing week two photos...
We thought we should spend more time on spacing things vertically across the stage. Not necessarily to be perfectly spaced out, but to even it out some. So, for week three...

and we did just that.
Also we like to add "progression of thought" in a multi-week series stage design. Adding, subtracting, changing the design subtly to invoke a feeling or thought. A tiny experiential element. For the last few weeks of this series we are wanting to add a few "signs of life" into our stage image of the imperfect church. We added some candles to the front stage left and a few candles by the window in the rear. We have more thoughts for the next two weeks.
The really cool thing about this is, there are people who actually "catch" the vision of what we are doing. People who notice the small changes each week. They "get it", they "feel" it. Which for me, is just an added bonus.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BIG shout out to God...

This is a BIG shout out to God!!!!
God often gives me big visions. Things that are absolutely impossible to do in my own strength. I see it, I jot it down, dream about, I talk about it and pray. I've learned not to be impatient, I continue to pray and just simply wait on God to provide.

Some of the things I have been praying for this year:

Sewing: I don't sew at all. We use a LOT of cloth and there are so many projects that needed someone with sewing skills. God sent Emily. Just one of the projects she has done was to create a skirt to go around our media cart in the lobby. We used to safety pin two table clothes and it looked pretty tacky. She has worked on several project since, including some costumes for our drama team, and some little tubes, which I will be using in stage designs later in the year. Emily is our sewing miracle.

Experiential Elements: I love what I do. I love styling the stage, but one thing that really floats my boat is experiential elements. I dream of incorporating all the senses into the worship experience. Breaking down the "fourth wall". Adding more take-aways. Things that people are able to take home with them to illustrate the sermon or worship experience. I have managed to add some of these elements over the time I have been serving, but I'm often constrained by the week in week out stage design. I have been praying for someone that truly has a heart for stage design. And God sent me Allison. She is amazing. She loves this. And the coolest thing is, Allison also like the experiential elements, breaking down the fourth wall concepts. And she really, really wants to serve. Allison is my "heart" miracle! Next...
Construction: I have had these construction project ideas for awhile now. One idea is for a portable table. Another concept is to build portable risers to create different elevations on the stage for the band members. So really recently a guy named Gordan approached our worship and creative arts staff person and said he felt God was really calling him to offer his construction skills to our team. He came to our meeting last night. Yippee! We chatted last night and I shared my ideas and he is off and running. And he fits right into our crazy cretive team.
3 visions
3 prayers
3 answers
But you know what is even cooler? I know that these people aren't here simply implement little ideas I've had. I had little visions and my job was to pray these people into our team. I see in Emily, Allison and Gordan people who will bring so many of thier own "God ideas" to the team.
How cool is that?
One other vision I have is big and hairy. Just so you know, I have been praying for several years now for somebody(s) who write grants. I fully believe that this person is out there. In fact I believe they are already in place and God is working on their hearts. They are longing to find that perfect place for them to serve.
God simply ROCKS!!!
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Monday, September 28, 2009

pub theology...

The tap is open, and the beer flows...Sunday Night Football and "Caddyshack" alternate on more than a dozen TV screens. And a jovial crowd of mostly 20-somethings laugh and talk over bottles of Bud Light.
It's not an unusual scene in Broad Ripple, epicenter of Indy's young adult club crowd. And when the band appears -- shaggy-haired, body-pierced and colored with assorted body art -- it's a safe bet that things are going to get loud and rowdy.
But by the chorus of the first song -- "What if God was one of us?" -- it becomes clear that this isn't your usual nightclub scene. read more...

Friday, September 25, 2009


Often we think we can't recycle thoughts and ideas for worship, everything must be brand new... listen to these songs using the very same four chords

What used to be true...

and clap hands...

for just a couple...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

creative fuZion lab //32// flying windows…

Who knew that flying things in the air could be so much fun? Think about it; you start with a completely empty stage, two hours later you have a slamming stage design. One day it goes up in about 2 hours, the next day it all comes down...six days later you do it all over again.

flying the windows: second week, same as the first with tweeking.

As mentioned before we used a heavy duty gauged wire with hooks and couplers to fly the windows. This week we needed to fly the windows higher. And we also noted that we needed to mark which window went on which side of the stage. LOL. We simply marked them with a sharpie on the bottom.

learning curve on flying the photos:

The pictures were printed on 3’ x 5’ foam core. Learning from previous experience; we added a piece of gaffers tape on the back of all the corners and then we gorilla glued the protective plastic corners (that came with the photos) onto the corners.

Then we drilled small holes on the top two corners to thread the fishing line through.

We threw the fishing line over the ceiling light trusses, threaded the fishing line through the photo itself, made loops then fastened the loops together with a safety pin on the back side.

This way we were able to adjust the photo’s angle by simply moving it back and forth on the fishing line, sort of like a clothesline.

See the last picture. This worked infinitely better.

Again, it all comes down on Sunday. Then six days later, we will do it again.

We also had a drama this week. That’s why there are trees and chairs on stage. Very funny. Written in house. You are able to view the drama here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Sex is really big deal, especially for men...watch as Mark Gungor charts a man's testosterone levels through out life.

Very, very funny...
But, like with most things it makes me think about God. That may sound a bit sacrilegious to some but; hear me out.
Men are passionate about sex (a lot of women too)
People are passionate about sports, hobbies, t.v. shows, you name it...

I often wonder why aren't people as passionate about God?
Do you wake up, not thinking about anything but God?
Do you whisper those words God loves to hear "Hey God, are you awake?"
If you were to chart your passion level with God, what would it look like?
video HL: Prophets and Popstars

Friday, September 18, 2009

xtranormal is fun...

xtranormal.com is a text to video application. I thought I'd post one to invite people to come try out the ENHANCE team on my facebook page. I also made one for the lighting team...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

creative fuZion lab //31// imperfect church...

Wow! flying decrepit windows, awesome flying pics that tell a story, all to illustrate the imperfect church- a story of hurt, pain and hope!
Here we go...a new series.
The series is imperfect church... hopeful story of redemption!
-We did our promos, marketing and creative element (still waiting for the video to be posted) based on a run down decrepit church. It is really cool looking. I was very excited because it was so well branded across the board. That has been one of my goals.
-Someone donated old windows (thanks Bill and fam). We drilled two sets of the windows together, broke out some of the glass and used heavy duty wire and couplers to fly the window sets from the trusses above the stage.
-We didn't used the colorful plexiglass that is pictured here. It didn't really fit in with the rest of the design. After spending several hours going to the storage locker, having to cut off the old lock, rumbling around in the messiness and going to go get my husband to bring his truck because it wouldn't fit in my Escape...ah, the things we do.
-The photos were printed at Kinkos, on 3' x 5' foam core. Very expensive.
-The last pic are some notes for next weeks set-up.
-It's interesting to have the pastor sitting in on our brainstorming and selection process; we get to actually spend church money. Most of the time I am limited in stage designing to what my personal pocket can afford. Currently that is what I am able to gift above my tithe. I am not complaining, I choose to do this freely, but I find it interesting that people are all like Oooohhh! This is so great! (We need to do more like this.) Maybe I should start asking for donations... Of all the arts at our church; this is one (of a few) that changes almost every week.
-Interestingly enough we had lots of help (extra hands) last week with this intense stage design; now this week we are going to have to duplicate the same design with me (the fluffy grandmothers whose fam won't let me climb ladders anymore) and a really tiny gal. Maybe others will pitch in and help.
-I also got to produce this weekend. It was one of those days-every single element just flowed together in perfect harmony.
-There are more details in my last two blog posts on the worship sets, order of service and the really exciting news!!!

Great weekend!

Monday, September 14, 2009

the best thing...

Everything I do is geared to my life's mission
love God, love others, it's simple...
Why I do what I do (styling the stage, production, etc) is to

entice the skeptic, challenge the lukewarm and ignite passion in the
believer (to go into the world)

This young lady (in the picture above) is a friend I met four years ago while working at Starbucks. We became friends. She had walked away from the church of her youth and God. Completely dechurched. We lost everyday contact, but every now and again, we would touch base, have a cup of coffee and catch up.

She hit me up on fb about 2 months ago and said she wanted to talked about God. We met for lunch and chatted. I invited her to come play with me on Saturday doing a stage set and then come visit CrossCurrent. She has been running back to God ever since.

She loved stage designing (in fact this weeks design was hers); and over the course of two months she has become active and we've had many heart to heart conversations. It has been such a exciting adventure.
After a Core Community meeting last night (kind of like a congregation meeting), we sat in my car and talk for about two hours. The conversation turned to a point where she shared that she was unsure if she was a Christian, and what that really meant. Last Tuesday in her car, after her first creative team brainstorming she gave up her life to God. I simply confirmed what she now believed. In all of her years going to church, she had never been given the opportunity to confess her faith.
People have so many misconceptions about what is needed to become a follower of Christ. We forget to tell them how easy it is to step into salvation. We forget to offer them the opportunity to cross the line of faith.
THIS is why we all do what we do...we may never be able to see the fruit of what we do. But, this is why. I would do this with all of my heart even if I never saw a life changed personally. But God gave me a giant gift last night. He allowed me the honor and privilege of walking with a person into new life.
Sweetheart, welcome into the Kingdom of God. I love you so much, but God loves you even more...
Thank you God for allowing me to be Your instrument of love!
Now it's time to don my green apron and off to Starbucks again, maybe I'll make a new friend today...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

imperfect church (part 1)

Did you ever have one of those really, really great Sundays?

This was one of those days from start to finish - every single element flowed together in perfect harmony.
People came ready to worship today.
And the worship team, knocked it out of the house!!!!

We are started a new series, and the creative element was one of the best I've seen us do in-house. I hope to have it posted a little later this week. But you can get an idea from the promo video here.

But, the very best thing that happened is a wonderful friend has became a new believer! This is why we do what we do...nothing else matters in the scheme of things.

Worship Set 1
Our Love is Loud
Not to Us

Welcome & Greet
Video (creative element)
imperfect church

Special Song

Worship Set 2
Better is One Day (On Fire chorus- Switchfoot)
Holy, Holy, Holy

Join in and check what other wl's are doing across the world at Fred McKinnon's Sunday Set List blog carnival.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

10 thousand doors…

One of my favorite things to do is think creatively, bounce ideas around with my brother who is in advertising. He is a professional; I am simply passionate about it.
So, my awesome brother sent me this link to 10 THOUSANDDOORS… on fb.
It’s a must go to…

The concept RETHINK CHURCH What if church wasn’t a building, but a thousand doors? In one word brilliant.

The site is easy to navigate. Using a twitter feed is culturally relevant, though I was thrown a bit when I clicked, because I wasn’t expecting a twitter feed.

I physically felt drawn to enter into the doors. I wanted to find out more about the random doors placed in the middle of a park across from the Capital, overseas, at a building site…

I particularly am fascinated with the concept of keeping the UMC logo small. It bothers me when anyone gets all “splashy”, including churches. It reminds me of “Make My Logo Bigger Cream”

“Splashy” no – branded yes. I saw it almost immediately.

IMHO the UMC denom is one of the very few denoms that has actually successfully re-branded themselves well in recent years. This website is proof.

In short, well thought out and skillfully executed.

The best part for me is this website gave me fodder to extrapolate a thought for our current series at XC. Don’t ask how this works, it’s just the way my mind works. The series is based on one of our taglines that has become central to our DNA.

“imperfect church. be safe, be real, be changed…”

Here is one of the pics we are using for print media…
We are also printing this (sans series title) and two more onto 4’ x 6’ foam core and going to fly them on stage along with old windows and a door.
So my initial thought was I need to buy a “No Trespassing” sign to hang on the door. Duh, not sure why I didn’t think about it before. What I’d love to see is during one of the messages, that the teaching pastor actually take the sign off the door and rip it apart.

Do you feel it?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

imperfect church...

We are starting a new series this coming Sunday and this is the promo video for the series.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

creative fuZion lab //30// simplest...

I have been on a "secret mission" for a couple of months.

I tried implementing scent before and got major push back.

I have been testing this concept out slowly in a section at a time in the auditorium over the last few months. What a difference a year makes...

I actually had to laugh, one of the major things previously brought up was scent sensitivity (duh!). I explained I really know what I was doing, I've researched a lot and just happen to be highly scent sensitive myself...

So this week our experiential element was some Hazelnut aroma plug-ins through out the venue. Gentle, unobtrusive...nice.
This time...no reactions, no complaints...
Secret mission accomplished!!!
What a cool experience this weekend. I was producing, so I asked the newest person on the ENHANCE team what she thought we should do with the stage. I really had no set ideas except for simplest...
Since this is the end of a year long series...
This is what she came up with...lots of candles (I went and bought some more flameless candles at Walmart)and (LED) tealights. We simply safety pinned the tealights into the curtains. We've done this a couple times, it particularly looks cool when the stage and house lights are off.
It looks like stars...
Great job Allison. She really has "it" I think.

Coming up...we are starting a new series emitled the "imperfect church". I don't thnk I have ever been this excited about a new series. From the creative element vid, the logo and stage design...I'm just flat out excited!!!! Stay tuned...

That's a wrap for this week...

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Change -Taylor Swift

Worship Set 1
Let the Praises Ring

Welcome & Greet
Announcements & promo for "imperfect church" series

The Imperfect Church from CrossCurrent Ministries on Vimeo.

Message: was on freedom from fear through the gospel.

Worship Set 2
Only You
I Surrender
Be Thou My Vision

Join other worship leaders who share worship sets on Fred McKinnon's Sunday Set List.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

creative fuZion lab //29// simple, simpler

The set this week was very simple. For a lot of reasons but mostly because I got the weekend off...
We are excited:
A new church wide process...
We are gearing up for a new series...
And a new creative team process...
stay tuned....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

creative fuZion lab //28// parting shots...

It's hard to believe, but we are winding down with "parting shots" to our year long series "the Jesus Experiment".

Sunday, August 23, 2009

short and sweet...

Worship Set 1
Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

Welcome & Greet

Worship Set 2
Beautiful One
Only You

Message: was WoW!

Worship Set 3
I Surrender All
Blessed Be Your Name

I must say I am ever so grateful for the gift of faith.

I appreciate all of you who serve week, after week, after week. may your passion be magnified a hundred fold. See other worship recaps at Sunday Set list...

entice the skeptic, challenge the lukewarm and ignite passion in the believer (to go into the world)...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

creative fuZion lab //27// learning curve...

The stage design this week was fairly simple for us; again simply using gaffer clips and safety pins. We've got this down.

The newest challenge has been playing with ways to implement additional projections during worship. This definitely doesn't fall within my skill sets. I see it visually, but I have a ton to learn about technical implementation - I am in a steep learning curve right now.
This week we projected crashing waves during one song, and a video of our baptisms during the closing song "Jesus Paid It All". These were last minute additions. The baptism images were really powerful...
Details: We are trying to figure out what to project the images on; since we aren't at a point of buying a second projection screen. One week we tried just projecting straight onto the black curtain, looked nice but not enough contrast. We also tried projecting onto a white (curtain) hung on the back curtain. I'm really not happy with the effect yet. Still thinking and I am open to suggestions.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

volunteers rock!!!!

TONS of tech issues and last minutes additions by the pastoral staff this week. I stepped into the producer role late this week and let me tell you, I simply can not say enough about the awesome weekend experience volunteers at our church. A lot of these people log in 15-25 hours a week, every single week. They stepped up and made everything happen.
School is about to start here so we had to do a complete load out this weekend. Afterwards several people jumped in to help.
OMGoodness, huge hugs to everyone!

Worship Set 1
Our Love Is Loud

Worship Set 2
I Will Exalt You (see below)
We Are Hungry

The newest Hillsong cd Faith + Hope + Love was released on August 4th and I got to hear Brooke sing "I Will Exalt You" live August 5th. Amazing! Also got to hear her at a couple of breakout sessions; she is so humble.

I Will Exalt You - Hillsong from Carlos Whittaker on Vimeo.

Worship Set 3
Jesus Paid it All (with a back ground video of the baptisms from last Sunday)

Have you heard Faith + Hope + Love? Tell me what you think of "I Will Exalt You"...

This is part of Sunday Set List blog carnival at Fred McKinnon's blog.

between a rock and a hard place...

I am producing this weekend. One of the responsibilities of the producer is to sit down at 10:00 with the people serving on the weekend and do a devotion.
I've been thinking and praying for two days (when I found out I was going to produce) about what to share this morning...
I woke up this morning thinking about the parable of the sower.
see, hear, smell, touch, tasting...
take away...

parable of the sower
Matthew 13
The Parable of the Sower
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear."
10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"

11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
"Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
" 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.'[a] 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18 "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

creative fuZion lab //26// designing with a basketball hoop...

Seriously. I never in a million years would have though that I would be doing a stage design on a basketball hoop. Well, this week that is exactly what I did.
This was a baptism Sunday and since we are a mobile church we rented space from a retreat facility nearby. The venue was an outdoor pavilion/basketball court. The baptisms were done in the pool.
I hadn't seen the venue until I arrived Sunday morning. When we arrived for set-up, people were pitching in getting everything ready. I kept seeing the basketball hoop and thinking "ugh!".
Luckily, thankfully, sadly...I had several bolts of cloth in my vehicle. So we just started throwing the cloth on the basketball hoop and moving it around with the percussionist's rain stick until it looked decent. For a basketball hoop... Didn't use one safety pin. LOL!
We worshiped, did the baptism and had a super great cook-out wih games and activities for everyone. Over a dozen people of all ages were baptised this week. What a great week!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

creative fuZion lab //25// the art of using a safety pin to implement stage design...

I use a tag line all the time that the only thing you need to be able to do to serve on the ENHANCE team, is to be able to operate a safety pin. And I am serious.
Most everything I do is created with the use of safety pins and gaffer clips. I realized that it may not make sense, so I thought I'd try to visually explain how I think in designing a set.
First I see I design. Then I figure out where to place safety pins to create the desired effect.
Here is
Restart the slide show below. You will first see the stage design that was created, then you will see closer shots of where the safety pins were placed.
I've added notes to the slides how. Hopefully it will make sense.
It really is very easy to do. You may need to link to Picassa to see it.

Now, I'm off to the WAVE worship leader conference in Virginia Beach, Virgina today...
Mr. Linky isn't linking again...ugh!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

retro Sunday...

Kind of a retro Sunday today. This month we are concluding a year long series the “Jesus Experiment”. So I was going retro to the stage set we did when we started the series. Here...

But the stage design kind of exploded when we were doing set up yesterday. Cool. Which is also what sort of happened in worship today.

Particularly "Hungry" was off the charts. It was done with a Fleetwood Mac feel.

Worship Set 1
Fields of Grace
Happy Day

Welcome & Greet / Announcements
Highlight - Baby Dedications (Yippee!)

Worship Set 2
Message: David Nicotra (our summer youth pastor intern gave the message today) He spoke about the responsibility of the body.

Special Song
Can Anybody Hear Her? (WoW!)

Worship Set 3
The Wonderful Cross
Happy Day

Loads of technical issues this weekend. We are seriously thinking about our worship presentation software. So many issues since we downloaded the newest version.

I also thought I’d include a vid that we did a few weeks ago, since they are never posted on Sunday. We have an awesome media and drama team.

This is church? You bet it is…

And since it is summer we get a little bit of a break and don't have to completely break down everything each week. Here is what the stage looked like when we left.

Yep, I love what I do... How about you?

Join other worship leaders (and others) at the Sunday Setlist Blog Carnival on Fred McKinnon's blog. See what happened in worship today in His church!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

creative fuZion lab //24// inspiration...

Welcome to "creative fuZion lab" at designing for Philistines (on Thursdays)...
This is the blog kingdom where freaky creatives are able to share the chaos created in their minds for THE Kingdom.
This is the place to share whatever creative element you are using in your weekend service or just something you have been dreaming about.
Come and see what others are doing, come and share what you are doing.
Let's spark each other's creativity...
So here’s what you do
Ready to begin? Here we go.
Let the creative fuZion begin.
Spread the Word.
Dorothy (vicar of vibe)
I see inspiration all over the place. I am always searching for ideas to inspire. This weeks design was inspired by a picture I found somewhere on the internet. It's the first photo in this slideshow.
Then I look at the overall "picture" I am trying to design and use the safety pins to pin it into place. Does that make any sense?
This is almost completely done with safety pins!

I realized how much I do with safety pins. Next week I am going to share a little more about safety pins...
What tool do you use the most when you are designing?
Now it's your turn to share

ugh! Having Mr. Linky issues...and I have to go to work. Please just post in comments if Mr. Linky doesn't appear..

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I Will Exalt You - Hillsong from Carlos Whittaker on Vimeo.

I will exalt You

I will exalt You

I will exalt You

You are my God

My hiding place

My safe refuge

My treasure Lord

You are My friend and King Anointed One Most Holy.

Because You’re with me

Because You’re with me

Because You’re with me

I will not fear

are you surrendered?

I LOVE when people choose to step into God and surrender! I've been on this journey myself and I have NEVER been more excited about where I am in life.
This morning I was reading about Lori surrendering her life to God’s will for her life. Wow! I LOVE when God moves this way! It is such an exciting journey.
Makes me think of Kim Walker's song "I Surrender". I find it really cool that I see more and more people stretching their surrender muscles in the various circles of my life. I am constantly challenging the believers in my world to give it up.

What stage are you at in your life?
Are you just stepping into the journey?
Are you ignoring God?
Are you running away from God?
Is your relationship with Him compartmentalized to one day a week?
Is He even a part of your life any more?
Or are you trying to finally lay it all down and surrendering?
Are you ready?

Chronicles 7:14 "if my people, who are called by my name, will
humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Truly, I challenge you to give up. Take a few moments and spend time with God. Step into the journey. Surrender.
So today’s challenge:

I greatly look forward to hearing more about your journey...

HL: http://www.loribiddle.com/2009/07/my-day-off_27.html
For more challenges

Monday, July 27, 2009

what we hear...

Smacked with a very meaty message yesterday.
These are two juxtaposed conversations I had based on the same message and what each person heard...

What the believer heard:
God WANTS us, but doesn't need us...
YOU must follow all the rules...
Left feeling CHALLENGED...

what the seeker heard:
God wants us, but God doesn't NEED us...
You must follow ALL the RULES...
Left feeling UNWORTHY...

It's a journey. Some are very brave and press into the journey even when challenged GREATLY. While others feel challenged and run away and hide...
If you are a believer you are CALLED into COMMUNITY. Be there! Be challenged.
If you are a SEEKER, I am so proud of you for VENTURING into community. Welcome!

SEEKER, you are BOLD and COURAGEOUS. Focus on the fact that God WANTS to be in relationship with YOU.


A lot has been going on this month. It’s been an exciting whirlwind.
As you may know, I spend a lot of time just hanging out at Starbucks, chatting with various people, developing relationships. Out of the blue about a month ago, one of my very sweet gals who I used to work and hang out with at Starbucks, hit me up on facebook and said she wanted to talk about God.
She is ready to start journeying back into a relationship with God. It has been fun and exciting to be on the journey with her!
What is also cool is that she loves theater. She has an amazing knack for stage design and has plugged right into the teams that serve on the weekend. Love it!

We also had about 50 people who had just returned from a local missions trip to Appalachia. So the place was buzzing with excited energy.

Worship was awesome this week. People came ready to worship. First song and everyone was “there”.

Man, I LML!

Worship Set 1
The Time Has Come

Small Group Highlight - Creative Team

Worship Set 2
Sing To the King
Tear Down the Walls
Message: Jesus, Beyond Space and Time

Worship Set 3
Til I See You

A big shout out to at my WL peep’s at Fred McKinnon’s blog carnival. Check out what others are doing in worship across the world!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

what's up with this 5:00 a.m. wake up...

For the sixth time this week I was wide awake between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m.
See God and I have an agreement. If He wakes me up early, I'm supposed to get up and spend time with Him. o.k., So I got up and was reading this morning.
But Samuel replied: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offering and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." (I Samuel 1:22)

One of the main points in today's message was "To obey is better than sacrifice."
I will continue to do so...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ezekiel 2:10

9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

creative fuZion lab //23// inspiration...

Welcome to "creative fuZion lab" at designing for Philistines (on Thursdays)...
This is the blog kingdom where freaky creatives are able to share the chaos created in their minds for THE Kingdom.
This is the place to share whatever creative element you are using in your weekend service or just something you have been dreaming about.
Come and see what others are doing, come and share what you are doing.
Let's spark each other's creativity...
Ready to begin? Here we go.

Let the creative fuZion begin.
Spread the Word.
Dorothy (vicar of vibe)
This weeks design was inspired by a picture posted on flickr creative elements design WAREHOUSE lab, by wplynn. The whole design of the WAREHOUSE lab is to share creative design elements to inspire each other.
Six clothes hung from gaffer clips in the rafters.
The clothes were then spread out and safety pinned to the
various curtain legs.

Then we added several of those little "pop" on closet lights. One round one and three star shaped ones.
Thy were hung by "S" hooks and then attached to safety pins on the curtains.
I don't know what I would do with out safety pins. Seriously.
Your turn.
What inspires your designs?

Friday, June 26, 2009

art, art, I want you...

So today is my Sabbath and I am excited. I am meeting today to discuss starting an artists community at CrossCurrent.

I hopefully will have more to say later.

Any one have any thoughts to contribute?


In your spiritual banking account, do you spend more time doing apps than you spend completely focused on God?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

who do you hang out with?

I was lucky to find STUFF CHRISTIANS LIKE early on before he became such a phenomenon in the blog world. Jon is great at smacking people upside the head with the sometimes ridiculous things that we do/believe as Christians.
One of his earlier posts was called #58. Calling people "seekers" . It actually helped me come up with the rather tongue in cheek name of this blog "designing for Philistines..."

I've always thought the term "seeker" was more than a little condescending. I fight the term all the time. I prefer the word "skeptical". I love people who are skeptical.

Disclaimer: Yes, I understand we need other believers, blah, blah, blah. But honestly a lot of "Christians" insulate themselves in an exclusive world that doesn't have them interacting with anyone who is skeptical. And honestly, I think that is just wrong. I said it "wrong"!
I will choose to hang out with "people who Jesus loves" anytime over a "believer". It's what I am called to do...

So today's challenge is really a question:
How many people do you have in your life that are on a journey of skepticism?
Or do you surround yourself with "believers"?

If you are interested, here are a few classics from Jon's blog.

creative fuZion lab //22// videos...

Welcome to "creative fuZion lab" at designing for Philistines (on Thursdays)...
This is the blog kingdom where freaky creatives are able to share the chaos created in their minds for THE Kingdom.
This is the place to share whatever creative element you are using in your weekend service or just something you have been dreaming about.
Come and see what others are doing, come and share what you are doing. Let's spark each other's creativity...
So here’s what you do
Ready to begin? Here we go.
Let the creative fuZion begin.
Spread the Word.
Dorothy (vicar of vibe)

You will hear me say again and again; we have a mad creative team. Here are two recent examples. The first is Barbie's House (part 2) video; which was written, acted, filmed by our team (and other talented people)

Barbie's House Part 2: Robo Dude from CrossCurrent Ministries on Vimeo.

The second here is a sketch entitled "Middle of the Garden". Again written in house.

Man I am so blessed to work such talented people.

Why not share something you've been dreaming about doing?
Mr. Linky

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

don't ASK...

When is the last time you simply spent time with God and didn't ASK for anything?

That is your challenge for today...or maybe the week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the Word...

The Word is a living, breathing testiment of God.
What is your favorite scripture and why?

Monday, June 22, 2009

consuming fire...

Be consumed by the fire.
start this link Consuming Fire by Third Day
Then click this...

Consuming Fire by Third Day (the lyrics)
Set this place on fire
Send you spirit, Savior
Rescue from the mire
Show Your servant favor
Yesterday was the day that I was alone
Now I'm in the presence of Almighty God

and yes our God, He is a consuming fire
And the flames burn down deep in my soul
Yes our God He is a consuming fire
He reaches inside and He melts down this
cold heart of stone.

Set this place on fire
Send Your spirit, Saviour
Rescue from the mire
Show your servant favor
Yesterday was the day that I was alone
Now I'm in the presence of Almighty God

and yes our God, He is a consuming fire
And the flames burn down deep in my soul
Yes our God He is a consuming fire
He reaches inside and He melts down this
cold heart of stone.

Did you realize that inside you there is a flame?
Did you ever try to let it burn?

shhhh! (secret mission clue #3)

Here we go...follow along with the secret mission of an element I'm working on...
I bought something at clue #2.
It goes here... hee! hee!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


About once a quarter our youth group, IMAGE take over the worship service.

They are amazing!

We have a thriving youth ministry. Our youth have their own monthly worship service, home neighborhood groups and they have several creative arts ministries themselves.
We also have youth that are being mentored in lights, Media Shout and as worship leaders.

Several youth are now being integrated into regular rotations in the band and tech.

We installed a summer intern youth minister last week.

This is just our high school and junior high school ministries.

Recently our elementary youth started their drama ministry called FREESTYLE.

Worship Set 1

Let the Praises Ring

Happy Day (Kim Walker; Jesus Culture)

Human Video to World So Cold (12 Stones)

Teen Testimonies

Both of these elements were extremly powerful...

Message: Playing for the End Game

Worship Set 2

Agnus Dei

Mighty to Save

Video and Honor Grads

Grads pray over congregation

After worship today, we had a cook-out. People were encouraged to invite friends and neighbors to worship this morning and then join us for lunch. We actually had to out and buy more food!!!

I have to say, I really love Agus Dei, it is so powerful and worshipful. What is your favorite worship song?

Come and see what worshipers are doing across the world at Sunday Set List 48 on Fred MacKinnon's blog.