Sunday, January 16, 2011

how does God do that?

This week I had NO IDEA where the Chris' may be going with the message. I always find it interesting when praying, reading and preparing for the stage design to see where God leads me. This is where God led me this week.

First I was drawn to the great story about Elijah the prophet in 1st Kings 19: Elijah was waiting on the LORD in the mountain and the Lord comes to Elijah in a gentle whisper.
Then, I decided to add 1st Kings 18 when Elijah was challenging the false prophets of Ba’al.
Hopefully this reflects both.
The first two pics are what I drew out as the concept.

(fb friends link to for pics.)
I then found out on Friday, the last song was going to be “Fire Fall Down”. Perfect.

Pulled everything together. This morning when I was told what the pastor was talking about today. I got flat out excited! It was 1st Kings 18, with an emphasis on 1st Kings 19.

So everything was set up at the rear of the stage (mid stage right)
Here are the plans we had. Mostly the same as last week; grey tech cart covered with black cloth.
This week we wanted to raise it up higher.
So were thinking about adding ½ of the cover for the sound board on top of grey cart and also covering it in black.
Placing the crown on top of that.
Then hanging either purple or red satin (hopefully red, if we can find it), vertically behind it.
Then placing an oscillating fan behind the material. The hope being that the fan will billow the material and cause it to move gently, reminiscent of the fire the Lord sent and the gentle whisper.

Well, it worked. And the oscillating fan gently moved the cloth…
But, I was moved by the same still voice of God that helped me create the stage design this week.
WoW! Gotta love how God works!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

going, going, gone…

I am sure the only person that will care about this is Jim Drake. I design with a lot of fabric. It is so quick & easy to use, particularly for a mobile church. And it fills up an empty black stage really well.

A couple of years ago you could find tons of material at Walmart for only $1 a yard.
Gotta love Walmart
Then about a year ago, Walmart decided to close out most of their fabric/sewing departments.

So I researched and found one location that still would continue to carry fabric in my area. It’s only 8.5 miles away, but in the DC Metro area that is about a 40 minutes drive. The cost of the fabric slowly crept up to $2 a yard. O.k. I dealt with that. So, every 8 weeks or so, I would travel to Fair Lakes and see what they had in stock. Probably spending $40-$80 each time.

Well, Thursday I made my little trip to the fabric Walmart. Oh, everything was 25% off. Yippee! Then I found out why. They were closing out their sewing/fabric department there also - to make room in the store to convert it to a Super-Walmart.

Ugh! Oh, no…
What am I going to do now?
Yes, I know there are other fabric stores. But when designing on a budget, there is nothing like getting fabric for $2 a yard vs. $4.95 and up at other fabric retailers; especially when it comes out of my personal pocket & when I purchased around 15-20 yards at a time.
I bought extra Thursday. They may get another shipment, so I will make another trip (or two) out there and stock up.
Thankfully I have quite a bit of fabric now in stock. We are currently organizing, hemming and measuring all the material we have on hand.
In light of all the praying and reevaluation we have been doing, I gather it is time to revamp my thinking. We will see where this journey shall lead.

Friday, January 7, 2011

extrapolating experiential elements from extreme sheep herding....

While I've seen sheep herding with lights before; this is extreme sheep herding. And it reminds me of an experiential element I've thought about for church.
No, I am not going to rent a bunch of sheep; simply because that is really expensive. No seriously, renting animals is expensive and yes I have checked it out.
So see this...

...this combined with: we were talking about a previous designing for Philistines post this week at creative team-where GCC plays Simon Says (April 2008)

see this...

Camp Friendship Plays Simon from Grant Ferguson on Vimeo.

Obviously this would be for fun; but it could work when discussing communication, doing what God asks you to do. Actually that is why we were discussing it at our creative team meeting. We were planning for the 1 Chronicles message later this month. Thinking about what you are willing to do when God asks you to do something and/or where would you draw the line...
Thinking several things.
For example: Creative movement/percussive element
Lights out.
Dancers entering from the back, walking up the aisle creating movement light designs with glow sticks to a percussive beat. Maybe handing out glow sticks to people in the crowd. Lead into opening worship set. Band with glow sticks encircling their arms?
That's just one idea I was thinking about.
Just thinking...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

yesterday I went to an adult oriented sex store with a man, not my husband….

Often with me there is a story behind what I say; this is no different.
Here is the back story…
It all began with just a few seconds in time, a few words quoted from a newspaper article.
In a special message given by my friend Greg Genter, May 30, 2010, entitled “My Lavish Lifestyle”. Nestled in his message (about 38 minutes), he briefly mentioned a newspaper article.
This is what he said (quoting from the article)…

3 massage parlors were shut down in Sterling (a local community in our area) because of sex trafficking. Congressman Wolf described the crime as this “Sexual services performed at a businesses operating under the guise of a massage parlor or other business store fronts This establishment is forcing women into sexual trafficking through debt bondage, isolation and other manipulations to keep women indoors at all time, unable to escape.”
Wolf announced his intent to encourage all local officials to begin further investigation into human trafficking In addition he will be asking local religious organizations to begin provided temporary housing for those rescued from human trafficking.
Those few seconds have snowballed.

Since Congressman Wolf had asked specially for faith-based organizations (that new pc word for churches) to step in, our pastors talked and called his office. They got to meet with the Congressman in person.
During that time, we found out that Congressman Wolf’s office had sent out somewhere around 400 letters to various churches in our local area asking for help. Sadly not one responded. We were not one of those churches.
We called simply because of that little blurb in the newspaper that Greg read to us.
One of the things that was shared in that meeting was the police are aware of various locations in our area that are trafficking people sexually (including children) in this area and are prepared to raid them-but the problem is there is nothing really established to provide after care for the victims.

Now the second part; our pastors are involved in a Pastors Consortium in our county. The consortium has decided to take stopping Human Trafficking in our area on as a cause.
Then they contacted and invited in Polaris Project to come and present a training session on how to identify the various types of human trafficking in our neighborhoods. It was cool. We had at least 50 people, representing 9 churches in our county and multiple organizations involved in this issue.

Next, one of the previous members of our church was in town and had lunch with our lead pastor. Just a catch up lunch. During lunch, Dan Clark was sharing what he has been doing in Ohio. He and his wife had started an organization called Doma International, Among others things, Doma steps into the judicial system and stands with the victims of Human Trafficking and provides after care.

This has lead to developing a local Human Trafficking Task Force for Loudoun County/Northern Virginia. I am part of that task force.

Can you see how God is moving to bring all these pieces of a puzzle together?

We are currently meeting. We are praying for discernment for God’s will on what we should be doing to help this issue. Part of it is finding on what is needed to see if we are able to contact all the services we can find in our area and put the pieces of the puzzle together, help them to work together, and then see where the missing puzzle piece is and fill that gap. Then the pastors consortium will take present this plan to their churches and let people know-this is how you can personally get involved.

We know that we will be hosting a second training session on victim identification education program by Polaris Project. This time we probably be using a 2,000 seat venue, And afterwards offering people places to put action behind their feelings of wanting to serve.
It’s in the beginning phases, but we are very excited to see where God is going to lead us.

So back to, why did I go to a adult sex store? A friend thought they might be interested in at least providing materials to their customers and helping support this project. Strange bed fellows you may think, but this connection will reach people that you and I can not reach. The first meeting was a success. They are willing to have materials displayed in their store and they are willing to e-mail their “Friends” list informing them of the next victim identification education program.

What we did may not make sense to you. But it worked. This is a very real issue in many areas; chances are it is happening in your town. You may simply not be able to see it. If it burdens your heart - I challenge you to do something.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

before it went viral...

I know it is way early to start talking about next year (or is it?), but I had a thought for next Christmas.

It started with Campbell’s question and comments at the leadership dinner last week. (121210)
The question was, which person from the Christmas story do you identify with and why?
Then his message was on how important telling "stories" are.
Then I received this vid from Igniter Media "A Social Network Christmas" (121610). Check it out.

Perfect intro.
So for next year I was thinking about short vignettes about each person in the story of the birth of Christ. Either live and/or videos.
Who would you be…
STORY of the nativity
Work with the pastors as to what each person would be feeling.
Zechariah -
Mary - with a photo montage of pictures of a 12 year old girl - when you really think about her being about 12 and seeing 12 year olds - it feels very different. (thought came from Mark Driscoll)
Elizabeth -
Joseph -
An animal

So, we will see how this plays out for next year...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

capturing the convoluted process of creating a stage design idea…

This is the thought process for me, behind creating a stage design.
1. Read the synopsis: “Unpack the seven or eight identifiable attributes of spiritual maturity that we seek to gain; use the stories from (1st & 2nd Samuel, 1st & 2nd Kings, 1st & 2nd Chronicles) etc. to identify example of those who got maturity right, or those who didn’t as positive / negative reinforcement. “
2. Try to get more details. Ha, ha. That didn't work, until much later.
3. Prayer, lots of prayer…
4. Study 1st & 2nd Samuel. Re-read “Tale of Three Kings” (Gene Edwards) since I know our lead pastor really likes that book. I also recommend it. Study the “Relevant Word” (our study guide for the year). Based on this, it is a fairly safe bet that the teaching pastor will be covering Samuel/Saul/David...
5. Glean info: obedience, waiting on the Lord, & having total trust in God's intentions for
our lives. First two by prayer and reading, last one from an e-mail from the pastors wife.
Now go...what do you think the stage design should be?

6. EUREKA: An idea! A crown!
Now this is the part of the creative process I can't explain. It just happens. Input information and out pops an idea in my brain. I give all the credit God.

(fb friends, pictures here)

7. Draw out idea (I often do this on a Starbucks bag, during lunch at work).
8. Make a list of things to do.
9. Ask dear sweet hubby to get Coroplast in Springfield (1 ½ hrs)
This is my first time working with coroplast.
10. Measure twice, cut once.
11. Cut the crown out of the coroplast with a box cutter/utility knife and (drill/punch) details out. Ugh! Here is the point where I bemoan the fact I am not artistic or handy. I AM creative, but sometimes implementation is rough (face/palm).
12. Glue on details.
13. Finding gold spray paint (it may be in my garage or at the church offices). Finally found the spray paint. Hubby had hid it.
14. Paint it, let it dry…Remembered to wear gloves this time, so I don't have gold fingers and nails.
15. Get jewels. (Two stores. WalMart & Michaels)
16. Add additional detailing of jewels.
17. Get the crown in the car and transport it to the school (easier said than done)...
18. Get the tall ladder. Decided not to fly the crown, but just set it up above band.
19. Hang it up.. (forget that detail)
20. Ta! Da!
21. Take it back down, put in trailer.
22. Put ladder back.
Repeat 17. - 22. for several weeks.
There you have it...