Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the most important number is 1...

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something:
Yet, just because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can!” – Helen Keller

My dear cousin @ Thomas Lindsey Hooppaw commented on my last post where we were collecting clothing for local elementary children in need, he said “Just so sad that there are that many needs tho.”
It’s true, it is so sad…

But the exciting thing is you can help at least 1

For example: This is a video we did at XC a few weeks ago to raise awareness of adoption.

We have several families at XC who have adopted children from all over. The family @ 3:33 adopted little Faith from Ethiopia a few months ago.

The most important number is 1 from Sonya Judkins on Vimeo.

That is 1.

Another family just recently adopted two brothers from Africa.
That is now 1 + 1 + 1
See how that works?

This week we are helping 86 children at a local elementary school in need of basic clothing…
That is 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 +
You get the idea!

The needs of this world seem so overwhelming,
We cannot do everything
But we can do something
Of all the statistics, the most important number is 1
It only takes 1 person to the life of someone forever.
But, the most important number is 1

What is God calling you to do?
Is He calling you to help?
You cannot do everything.
But you can do something….
What will YOU do??

Monday, November 22, 2010

worship & justice…

XC’s mission statement is: love God, love others, serve the world…
No bells & whistles. No flashing lights. For me, this is the most exciting pictures of the stage design this week. But these blank boards show you the heart of the people that make up XC Ministries.
We like to offer Missional challenges at XC.

While were we planning the details for our Missional Sunday - We were looking at various organizations that need help & then to challenge the members to serve. Then we received a last minute request from a local elementary school. They have 86+ children that don’t have coats, shoes, clothes, socks or underwear…can you imagine?

This is a big challenge for us. We usually run about 180 in attendance and there were about 300 cards for the various items need. One cool note: some of the members of our creative team are already purchasing items needed.

In addition, our older FLIPT kids (children’s ministry) is taking on the challenge of providing all the socks needed!

So the set design this week is various pieces of clothing for the children and four boards, with all of the requests cards attached (269 cards left). We started out by hanging some of the articles of clothing; nixed that - looked like invisible children hanging in the air. Oh, well.
Then we simply displayed the items on tables in front of the stage-with the request boards standing next to the tables.

11/21/10 – Deuteronomy (Part 2): "Missional Emphasis / Injustice"

Worship Set 1
Instrumental Opener (Call to Worship) Our Love is Loud
Everlasting God

W/G & Announcements – FLIPT Out

Worship Set 2 (challenge element package)
Precious Jesus
I Heart Revolution clips interwoven throughout second worship set
Tear Down the Walls

Message – Great message on Deuteronomy, talking about God’s heart and telling us to take care of the poor, the widowed and the orphaned.

Challenge Bridge: for Hutchinson Elementary – explaining the need at the school.We are giving the congregation two weeks to purchase items.
Challenge Bridge: w/ Beans & Rice Challenge
This is the standard challenge to see what most of the world eats for dinner. We have individual packages of beans and rice for people to take home and have for dinner that night.(Congregation to pick up cards off of the boards, at front of auditorium & collect their beans & rice at the back doors).

Worship Set 3
Mighty to Save

At the end-ALL the cards were taken. People took the cards off of the display (things that had already been purchased) Several came and offered money (which we will use for additional needs for Hutchison). And we handed out about an additional 50 cards for more underwear.
I tell you what-I love the people of this church!
Hutchinson Needs…
86 pairs of shoes
38 coats
17 sweat suits for girls
18 sweat suits for boys
55 pkgs of underwear for girls
55 pkgs of underwear for boys

This is one of the reason I love CrossCurrent!
Our last challenge was a backpack collection: The middle school where me meet, ask for help in collecting backpacks that were needed for children attending the school.
The challenge was issued at the end of the service. The drop off was 4:00 p.m. the same day. Here are the results and we met the goal!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Well, today we started with a crying toddler.
Which is really pretty funny because it doesn't bother me or the other children. We work together to get him interested in what we are doing.
So today we started we MUSIC! It worked in a matter of about a minute, he was dancing around with us.
I’ve been working on a cd of various songs for each week for our study. I finally handed it out to each child today. We first sang the Books of the Bible (rap) to go along with the first five books of the Bible I've made.
(see pictures on blog)

Then on to the lesson. This week we were in Deuteronomy. We were going to learn more about those Israelites that we have been studying about.
First we learned about "how" they read the Bible. With the prayer shawl, covering their eyes with their right hand. We put on our fake prayer shawls, covered ours eyes and read the Shema.
So we chatted about:
Shema is the scripture (Deut. 6:4-9), that starts with...
Hear, O Israel, the LORD is our G-d, the LORD is one...

תרגם: שמע ישיר ישראל, ה 'אלוהינו; ה' אחד

The Shema is the prayer.
The mezuzah is the piece of parchment with the Shema inscribed on it.
We rolled our own mezuzahs, and placed them in little wooden boxes.
Then we went over the a door jam and I showed them "how" and "why" they are placed on the door.

Then we fast forwarded to Mark 12:28-34! You know, where the scribes tried to trick Jesus.
You know the story? Scribe says '“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
And J.C., the man said...you guessed it ZAP!
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these."

So...basically Jesus said the main thing you need to know is...

"love God, love others, it's simple..."

Then we learned our song for the day. "Love (The Greatest Commandment)" by Jeremy Blaido.

Snack: Cookies from China and nuts. Yummy!

As you can see there were a lot of coloring sheets today! They really like to color; but we didn't color all of them.

Then they asked if we could please play the ENTIRE cd. So we did, we sang, danced and played musical instruments for a half an hour.
Another fun week in the basement.
SONGS on cd that we've been singing and using for our studies
We didn’t meet for the week of Genesis.
1) We the More We Know the Bible (our theme song), sung to “The More We get Together”.
2) Sow, sow, sow the Word (Matthew - Parable of the Sower), sung to “Row, row, row your Boat”.
3) Let My People Go (Exodus - 10 Plagues)
4) Perfect 10 (Leviticus – went back to the 10 Commandments)
5) Facedown – Matt Redman: (Numbers – Israelites complaining about the manna)
6) Love (The Greatest Commandment) – Jeremy Blaido (Deuteronomy – 6:4-9)
7) Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho (Joshua – The Big Battle)
8) Books of the Bible Rap – Rob Biagi: (as we play with the Books of the Bible being created).
9) Consuming Fire (because it’s one of my favorite songs)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

good element-poor execution…

Ugh! Sometimes that just happens.
The experiential element designed for this week, had some issues with execution.

Shema is the scripture (Deut. 6:4-9), that starts with...
Hear, O Israel, the LORD is our G-d, the LORD is one...
תרגם: שמע ישיר ישראל, ה 'אלוהינו; ה' אחד
The Shema is the prayer.
The mezuzah is the piece of parchment with the Shema inscribed on it.

This week we were in Deuteronomy.
The message focused on teaching the future generations...
For the experiential element, we made a replica of the mezuzah and during the service, we invited people go to various stations and pick the replica to take home with them.
We also had a brochure for further explanation.

Well, some got it and others did not.

The stage design was a representation of the traditional receptacle that the mezuzah is place in. It is box placed on the door jam of traditional Jewish homes.

Lessons Learned:
- Remember that a lot people don’t listen (during instruction).
- Really thinking the element all the way through. We (the creative team) knew all the ends and outs of what we were doing (or some of us did). It didn’t translate well enough to the whole congregation.
- Must remember to keep everything at the simplest level. Remember the 5 W’s & 1 H (who, what, where, when, why and how)
- Some people only picked up one piece and not the other (an explanation brochure). When explaining I only picked up one piece (the Shema scroll) and not the explanation brochure. I should have picked up BOTH pieces.
- In the last minute editing of the reading portion of the element, I probably forgot to even mention the brochure. This week it may have helped to put the two pieces of paper together in one unit, so that people would have the explanation attached. Simplify the process.
- Make sure the entire creative team sits and listens to the entire element. Remembering that most people won’t read even though the entire element is posted on our communications network.
- Didn’t bridge or tie in effectively enough into the over all message. (read last point again)

Interestingly enough, I bet I will have better luck when I do this same element with the preschoolers this Thursday. LOL

Well, we get a chance to redeem ourselves this week-we have two take-way challenges. And thankfully, I don’t have to bridge the pieces. Let’s see if we learn from our mistakes.

Now I need to go to Michael's and pick up adhesives dots to create one of the take-way challenge (collections of new clothing items for a local elementary school in GREAT need) for this week. BIG project – BIG need! Stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

quail coming out your nose (pt. 2)...

It's always interesting how to get a story across, the whole story, but in a kid friendly way.

The perfect example is this week. We are studying the book of Numbers. The story this week is all about the Israelites grumbling and complaining SO much about the manna, that God is not happy with them at all. So much so, that He gives them SO much quail that it is threatened that it will come out of their noses! It's in there. Seriously.

This little Bible has been very helpful in reading the various stories each week. Each week we read the story.

Next is "Larry" the puppet. I love "Larry". He has such a great personality. I was going to introduce him this week. But decided that he needed to be introduced to the family, before I introduced him to the little Bible study.

We talked about our favorite food and foods that are not our favorites. We decided that even eating our favorite food only, for just a week wouldn't be a lot of fun. We talked about the quail, and it coming out our noses!
Then, we acted out the manna falling during the night scenario. The children laid down on a blanket and pretended to be sleeping (while playing "Face Down" on cd); while this was going on I sprinkled the rose petals all over them to show them how the manna fell during the night
while they slept. Then we "woke" up and exclaimed "What is this?" (that is what the word manna means). It was very cute, they really got into playing their parts of the Isrealites, picking up the manna with awe and proclaiming it was a miracle. We learned about how they were only were to gather enough for one day (we put it in our pockets) or it would turn into "yucky" stuff. I wasn't going to go into maggots.
Then we talked more about the grumbling and complaining.

Our snack this week was a much healthier version of "Frosted Flakes" from our Sunday element. More like a Kashi flakes.

Last, but not least...
As we go along, I am making the books of the Bible out of cereal (and other types of) boxes. I'm am introducing them slowly as we tell the stories from the book. It's then sort of like a game/puzzle where they will be able to sort and match them in order. Though we haven't hit Deuteronomy yet, I will show them how the first five books of the Bible are considered books of the "LAW". That is what the folder/label thingie is for.

I think the coolest thing for me is at the beginning I would have them just play, while I got things readied. After the first week, they have started asking each week after a couple of minutes, if we could just do the lesson first. So cute. i thnk they truly enjoy learning each week!

For all you fb friends visit the "designing for Philistines" blog for pictures .

Saturday, November 6, 2010

quail coming out of your nose...

Normally we have a fine breakfast bar. Coffee from Starbucks or Dunkin' Doughnuts, bagels (from Panera's), other homemade goodies, nifty snacks on the kiddie table.

Well, this week...we had frosted flakes & water, frosted flakes & water and some more frosted flakes. That's grrrreat!

My favorite kind of experience to design is one that starts before you walk in the door or just as you enter. This was one of those weeks. With the message focusing on the book of Numbers and how the Israelites grumbled & complained about the fact all they had to eat was "manna", all we had on the breakfast bar was Frosted Flakes and water. It certainly got people's attention.

FUN FACT: manna actually means "what is it?"

Then we had a complaint box in the center of the table-with a fake hole, so you really couldn't put a complaint in the box. LOL!
This element really hit the mark of interaction with the people and was tied in perfectly by our teaching pastor; up to and including a point where he was eating the Frosted Flakes off of the floor. LOL!

We also had a visitor. A puppet named Mr. Curmudgeon. Who helped emphasize complaining. He was funny. My favorite part was when he talked about the fact we have a 'biker gang". Very witty. His video will be posted soon on XC website.

The stage was simple, created to invoke the tower of smoke (and fire) that hung over the tabernacle. If you will notice there are also white petals on the stage (again representing the manna). Really fun to put together. It was fun having Allison back with the team this week.

If you'd like to see all the pictures visit me at the "designing for Philistines" blog.
Now going to get ready for the children's lesson for Thursday....

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Here is the story...

I haven't abandoned blogging about stage designs. Sadly, the photos of the last week's stage design done - got eaten up by a boogie monster in Picasa.
We are currently in a mini series entitled Law & Order. If you want to see the stage follow this link to the podcast, you will be able to see it behind the pastor)

So there will be more to come. We have some really interesting ideas coming up, particularly this Sunday. So stay tuned...

Here just because I like to add pictures - here is a random picture of "ducky"

In between posting about stage designs, I am writing about projects that I am doing for the children I am watching during my daughter-in-law's Bible study on Thursdays. Some of what you are hearing in these projects are elements that were rejected by the fuZe creative team (the team that designs the elements for the main weekend experience)

For example-the 10 Plagues game I did with the children, was based on a take-away suggested for the main service. Since I do the experiential elements, I nixed this one for main service.
Too expensive to expand that idea for 200-250 people & I really didn't feel it would have the impact desired. Just would have been cute and then people would have thrown them away.
Unlike the Tenebrae service where we gave out, a nail and a strip of black cloth.
Or a piece of rope we handed out to represent an eternal time of God.
People still carry those around.

I particularly appreciate those of you who follow my designing for Philistines...blog.
I continue to design stage and experiential elements that
entice the skeptic,
challenge the lukewarm &
ignite passion in the believer (to go into the world)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

oh, no! how to teach Leviticus...

Oh, no! How in the world do you teach Leviticus to little ones?
I thought I drop back to Exodus and do the Ten Commandments this week with the children. You know, Leviticus = Law; Ten Commandments = Law.
Last week we sang the song called "The Perfect Ten". We will be singing it again and talking about each of the commandments. I am not sure if I will be using the dice or not...

Here are my initial thoughts:
First I will hand out their bags with all the little pieces in them. We will pull out each one and have a short discussion on what it means...
Then we are going to lay the pieces out on the floor in a circle; and sing the song.

Are you able to envision this: music starts...
#1, we've just begun, God should be first in your life
pick up the #1 piece over our heads and wave it back and forth.
#2 the idol; rule, those graven images-aren't nice
lay down #1, scoot over and pick up the gold pieces, shaking out heads "no"
#3 God's Name should be never spoken in jest
lay down #2, scoot over and pick up the smile face. Put it over our mouth.
#4 the Sabbath's for our worship and for rest
lay down #3, scoot over and pick up the Bible. Do worship action and sleep action.
#5 we all should strive to honor father and mother
lay down #4, scoot over and pick up the mother and father figures, wiggle the figures when it says it in the song.
#6 don't get your kicks from killing one another
lay down #5, scoot over and pick up the hand, hold over head and shake head "no".
#7 life is heaven when you're true to your mate
lay down #6, scoot over and pick up the ring and reach back and touch the mother and father figures.
#8 don't steal and break this rule for goodness sake!
lay down #7, scoot over and pick up the baseball bat.
#9 don't be the kind who goes around telling lies
lay down #8, scoot over and pick up the "A,B,C" put over mouth
#10 don't covet when you see your neighbor's house or wife
lay down #9, scoot over and pick up the house and then lay it down
Then clap our hands for the rest of the verse.

I am a little more ahead this week than I have been before.

I went to Michaels and Wal-mart to get the items for the teaching. Here is what I got.
1. a big #1: School section at Wal-mart. I glued the number (#1) to a piece of foam)
2. gold coins: (From Wal-mart party section; to link back to last week's story about the story of the Israelites making idols)
3. smiley faces: we will draw X's over the mouth (see this post) Smiley stickers from Michaels. And larger smiley's from foam to play the game.
4. a Bible: (a painted little wooden disc from Michaels .29 cents)
5. little wooden mom and dad to color and that stand up (Bargain bin at Michaels, .29 cents with crayons) We will color this.
6. a wooden hand: (Michaels)
7. a shiny engagement ring: (from Michaels wedding section)
8. baseball bat: (stealing the base) LOL. (a painted little wooden disc from Michaels .29 cents)
9. A,B,C wooden figure: (for words-not to lie) (a painted little wooden disc from Michaels .29 cents)
10. a little wooden house: (a painted little wooden disc from Michaels .29 cents)
I am also getting some more "Silly Bands" that are fuzzy and cool. I think this will lend itself to understanding "coveting" something that isn't yours.
The video of the song can be found here: (I downloaded it from itunes).
The Perfect Ten Song

The words are below:
the perfect 10
In a cloud of fire and smoke
a mighty voice of thunder broke
as God descended to the mountaintop.
High upon Mt. Sinai,
He gave the rules we should live by
as God gave out the "shalts" and "thou shalt nots."
Number one, we've just begun, God should be first in your life.
Number two's the idol rule: Those graven images aren't nice.
Number three; God's Name should be never spoken in jest.
Number four, the Sabbath's for our worship and for rest.
Number five; we all should strive to honor father and mother.
Number six, don't get your kicks from killing one another.
Number seven, life is heaven when you're true to your mate.
Number eight, don't steal and break this rule for goodness sake!
Number nine, don't be the kind who goes around telling lies.
Number ten; don't covet when you see your neighbor's house or wife.
That's the list and God insists we stay away from these sins;
That is why we memorize commandments one through ten.
The perfect ten, the perfect ten;
They're just as true as they were way back when.
God gave the perfect ten, the perfect ten;
Let's say them once again. (song repeats and ends with)
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 - The perfect ten!