Monday, October 24, 2011

pushing pause...

more later...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

do people know you and where you stand…

Do they know you as a political pundit?
Do they know you because you are mad about hula hoops?
Most people who know me after a time, know certain truths about me.
One of those truths is that I am in the fight against human trafficking.
One of my sweet girls from Starbucks posted this picture on my facebook page (xoxo Jessica)

"It's a shame they don't use signs like this. We'd be able to fine 'em faster, that's for sure"
So, I ask again…
What do people know about you and where you stand?

Friday, October 14, 2011

rainforest African water drums...

I spent the day reading, clicking and reflecting...and I happened to take a path that led me to this...
a sound track I used over 10 years ago and lost when my computer crashed. Same exact sound track. This sound is amazing to me. It captivated me when I first heard it, and it still rings through my mind. LOVE it...

This would be near impossible to pull off in a rented venue, but if we could work it would be truly amazing!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

this is a ball...

This is a ball…

It is a bouncy multi-colored ball that lights up when you drop it…
I found this bouncy ball at work one day…
It sparked a creative idea in my head…
I often wonder about creativity and how creativity happens.
I keep track of ideas I have that are inspired by the world around me. Sometimes I know exactly what the idea will lead to, other times I do not.
Specifically I deal with stage designing and experiential elements.

For example: one idea that I knew where I was going with it came from a quick simply question from my brother. Which was, “what do you think about QR codes?” This is what happened with that thought.


Another idea I had was from a rubber mat at a library. I have no clue when or where I will use the idea (it has to do with the “feel” of walking across the mat). Super bouncy.
This is my reminder of that mat. It's an actual picture of that inspirational mat.

Who knows…it will find a way into some sort of design or experiential element. I just don’t know when or what.
That is the way it is with creative ideas.

These are just a few things which have inspired creative ideas for staging & experiential elements:
  1. A ceiling (at the Cheesecake Factory)
  2. From retail establishments
  3. Pony-tails
  4. Scrabble board
  5. TV
  6. Simply exploring on the internet
  7. A bouncy ball (which lit up)
  8. Watching SYTYCD
  9. Reading other creative’s blogs
  10. Starbucks
  11. Brainstorming with our team
  12. Ikea
  13. Talking with my brother (several ideas)
  14. On top of a ladder
  15. Doughnuts
  16. Iconography
  17. Reading the Bible
  18. Old dilapidated church
  19. Driving (this one is hard, because I either have to remember or stop and write the idea down)
  20. Home Depot (amazing place)
  21. The “Lion King” (the stage play)
  22. Reading (in general)
  23. S.T.O.M.P.
  24. Various types of material
  25. The stars in the sky
For me, this is the way the creativity happens, or the cookie crumbles, or the ball bounces...

this week isn't a "spider"...

Everything creative flew out the window for this week.
This is the end of the “Useful Jesus” series.
While previously we were expanding on the “spider” stage set-up; this week was completely different.

When I am up on the ladder “flying” a design, I often will design in the air. Honestly, I walked in - with some sort of a concept in mind. But as I started to soar in the rafters; the design took on a life of it’s own.
Sometimes this happens.
Again, as with the majority of these designs, this was done with griff clips and safety pins. There you have it.

Oh, wait. I forgot, we did use an animated intro created by Rich Oster of the song "Come Alive", by the Foo Fighters. It was fun.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

expanding on the "spider"...

I think it's funny how stage designs get strange monikers. But that is how it works sometimes. This series got named the "heavenly spider".
We tend to do mini-series and the stage designs morph, as the series continues. Partly because we are a mobile church and have to strike the stage each week and re-set it up again the following week. Plus, as the series continues, things change and grow in the stage design to match the "feel" of the message.
This is how we have morphed the stage design for this series so far:

(if you are reading the facebook feed and wish to see all the photos, you will need to click over into the "view original post" link at the bottom of the note)
Week 1
Week 2, 3 & 4:

I haven't mentioned it in a while, all of these designs are created with our standard griff clips, safety pins and a tall ladder!
We have been interspersing some experiential/interactive elements in these messages. I will update those soon.
There you have it.

why I do, what I do…

She was about 5 years old, smiling from beneath long auburn curls, clutching a teddy bear wearing Marine dress blues. We were chatting and laughing. She told me she was leaving on a plane to go to El Paso (TX).

How much fun! We talked about going “sledding” on the white sand dunes of White Sands Missile Range (in New Mexico).
We started talking about her bear- as her beautiful mom was sharing that all of this wee child’s parents (mom, dad and step-dad) are active duty Marines. Of course, I thanked the mom for her service and shared I was a Viet Nam Era Veteran.
Soon it came out that the reason for their visit to El Paso was to attend the little girl’s father’s funeral; who was killed in action in Afghanistan just this last Friday.
The tears started to well up in my eyes. The little one continued to share that she was the “primary” (beneficiary), and that she was going to get her daddy’s flag at the funeral.
I asked and then hugged them both; and said I would be praying for them this week.
As they were departing we said we would see each other again soon.
I certainly hope so.

Lord, please wrap your loving arms around this charming young child and her mom as they deal with giving so much to preserve our country.
This is part of the reason why I work as a simple barista at Starbucks.
In my life, random people I meet tend to simply share rather important things that are happening in their lives. It just happens. Is it because I take a little bit more time and listen to what they are actually saying? I am not sure. All I know is that this type of thing happens over and over and over again in my life.
- A man whose sister was dying of congestive heart failure.
- Another man, whose dog was suffering from cancer and ultimately died later that week.
- A woman who was dying of cancer (I later attended her funeral)
- Another person, whose best friend has relapsed with aggressive brain cancer.
- I sang Happy Birthday to someone (I do that often), who later shared I was the only person who acknowledge her special day.
- The woman whom I choose to hug, who said it was the first time someone had even touched her in years.
These are just a few of the stories I hear.
So why do I work as a simple barista? Because that is where God wants me to be – touching people’s lives in a seemingly random place like Starbucks.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

the missing step #2

What happened to step number 2? I literally just got the word that the (TVPRA Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act) didn't pass yet, so there is still time to contact your representative.
So step #2 is:
2. Sign the petition asking your U.S. Senator to Support the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) It has expired and needs reauthorization.

It is such a simple thing to do...
All the details you need are here: (you may need to click into the orginal post to find the link)
Click International Justice Mission.

"Congress voting to renew The Trafficking Victims Protection Act, whose current authorization expires on Sept. 30, the main U.S. law that makes human trafficking and modern-day slavery illegal, provides critical services for victims, and must be reauthorized by Congress every three years. Advocates and survivors are concerned that this year, funding for victim services - among other important provisions - will be cut."

what I did on the rainy weekend...

The weekend of September 23rd and 24th; I went to a music fest and got VERY muddy. O.k. I didn't so much go to the music fest; but spent the entire weekend manning a Human Trafficking Awareness Booth at the fest. It constantly amazes me that people don't realize that there at 27 million people currently enslaved in our world, and a lot of those are enslaved in our country, in our state and in your town.
There were 9,500 people that that attended the music fest and we talked to at least 1,000 people at our booth.
Here are some of us at the Human Trafficking Booth from that weekend.

Four simply things that you can do now:
(you may need to click onto the orginal post to find the links)
1. If you aren't aware that human trafficking still exists; you need to become more aware and education yourself. Contact me and I can hook you up with information to read or arrange for you to attend a training class.
2. Oh no, what happened to step number 2? Read the next blog post.
3. Spread the word and educate others. This is so simple. Purchase and wear an awareness t-shirt. I've had amazing results with this.
I wear this shirt (and 5 others) in public:

Now note the hash marks on the sleeve and hem of the shirt. Each hash represents a person that has stopped me and asked me about what my shirt means. The red hash marks represent someone that I have exchanged information with and are now working with us in the local fight to end human trafficking.
It's so simple: all you have to do is get a t-shirt from
4. Buy the Freedom cd from Family Christian Bookstore, not on Amazon. It only cost $5 and every single penny goes towards International Justice Mission. It a really great album with artists like Third Day, Relient K, toby MAC, Mercy Me and Jars of Clay.
These are simple steps. Most you are able to do just sitting there at your computer.