Monday, October 30, 2006

Fall Fun Fest 2006 - Part 2

We had a great time at the Fall Fun Fest at the Orchard on Sunday night! There was a crazy amount of people there - we estimate more than 600 kids and parents! Kathryn Egly and her crew did a fantastic job at putting this all together.

As the Creative Arts Director, I felt I would be doing a dis-service to my church family by not participating in the dress up activities. So, my wife and I dressed up as Incredi-Jones' and had fun!

I include the following picture only to help alleviate humiliation to be possibly dished out by others. I do have to wonder how superhero parents handle their keys, cell phones, wallets and cameras! :))

I do have to say though, my wife looked pretty HOT in a cape and boots ;)


Fall Fun Fest 2006 - Part 1

All I have to say Scott is that you know you've reached some level of influence when people start dressing like you for Halloween :)

Great creative costume Bekah! Who would have guessed that Scott's "Beauty Salon" photo would make the costume racks this year!

Peace and fun.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Song of the Week: If Everyone Cared

Another great weekend at The Orchard! We've been in this series called BiG! and man has it been powerful! The stories and comments have been awesome. We've been talking about how big our God is and how a daring faith is not a domesticated faith - we've got to take some risks and get out of our comfort zone.

This week we used the song If Everyone Cared by Nickelback to emphasize BiG! Mission. Realizing that it's not about missions (where someone else does this in another country), it's about mission. And that acknowledging the mission is not the same as engaging in the mission.

We've been talking over the last couple weeks at The Orchard about how we can make an impact in this world, so this song seemed appropriate:

As we lie beneath the stars,
We realize how small we are
If they could love like you and me,
Imagine what this world could be

Singin' Amen, I, I'm alive
Singin' A-Amen I, I'm alive

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
We'd see the day when nobody died

There is so much that we can do even as individuals to bring hope to others in this world. All it takes is imagining what this world could be like and stepping out to do whatever we can. It all starts in our own backyard. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to engage in the mission.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Two Realms

Two realms. Heaven and hell. One - a place, a realm where things are as God desires. The other - a place, a realm absent of how God desires things to be.

In the book Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith by Rob Bell, he talks about this way of living that to me hits the nail on the head. We get caught up many times trying to see heaven and hell as an end result. Places where we will spend eternity in one or the other. We then try to get people into heaven.

Jesus talked very little about the life beyond this one because he understood that eternity starts now. The question for Jesus was not, "how do I get into heaven?" but how do I bring heaven here to earth.

I think this is what makes the greatest impact in the world... seeing eternity as beginning now and not someday in the future. Are we bringing heaven to this earth or hell to this earth? Are we choosing to do something about the hell here and now? Poverty, injustice, suffering... they are all hells on earth. Maybe you've experienced some this yourself. As a follower of Christ, am I doing what I can to resist hell coming to this earth?

The reality of the Christian life is not about escaping this world but about making it a better place, here and now. The goal is to get heaven here. To make this a place that God can come to and touch lives. Change lives. Big impact happens when Jesus followers can live this reality out in their world. Realizing this is part of the journey. The other part is realizing we can't do it alone, but that we need our God and a church community to walk alongside us.

I choose to bring heaven to earth. How about you?


Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Amazing Race... Selfless?

It's now the 10th season of the CBS show The Amazing Race. I've only ever watched a show here or there until this season. I don't really make time to watch too many TV shows but my wife and I watch a few together... it's a good time for us to talk and relax together. This season of The Amazing Race has been inspiring.

The show is a reality game show where teams race from location to location completing tasks and finding clues. It's a competition. It's a race. Teams who come in last during each episode may be eliminated. Tonight there were 7 teams at the start of the episode. The couple who came in last the week before did not get eliminated but were told they had to come in first place during the next leg of the race in order to (basically) stay in the competition. Again it's a competition. It's a game.

Two brothers, Erwin and Godwin Cho, not only booked the flight for the couple in last place but sacrificed losing the race altogether by giving them the advantage during this episode. When the video crew asked them about it, they responded, "they have become friends of ours and they need it more than we do. We don't want them to be eliminated today." No big deal to many but to me it was something rare to see - kindness, integrity and selflessness - in a game show competition. Kudos to the Cho brothers... they are my new favorites in the race!


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ant Bully Birthday

I want to give a shout out to my 6 year-old, Seth! We had a great day eating cake with bugs on it (the gummy kind of course), hanging with some of Seth's friends and watching the movie Ant Bully. Seth was given the honorary title of Junior Projection Technician and got to start the movie for us all to see (pretty cool actually).

Hard to believe this guy is six years old now. Seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital for the first time. My first son... I thought life was crazy having a couple of daughters, and then this guy comes along! He has been a blessing in my life and the life of our family. He's a really fun guy to hang out with. Him and I play video games together (Star Wars Legos is his favorite), wrestle and just hang together. I call him my homey.

I can already see that God has gifted him with a generous heart. He loves to give things away to friends or his siblings. He laughs a lot and thinks he is pretty funny trying to pop out from behind things to scare other family members... He's got his Mom a few times (his sisters and brother aren't fond of this little trait of his either).

I can also say that this little dude will be-friend anyone and within minutes. Everywhere we go he ends up 'claiming' a new friend. It's a pretty neat thing to see in person and I hope it's something that he hangs on to as he grows older.

So Seth, Happy Birthday! I hope and pray you have an awesome year and many more! I can't wait to see all the great things God is going to do through your life to impact this world. I'm proud of you!


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Song of the Week: Dare You To Move

What an awesome weekend at The Orchard... a BIG weekend! We kicked off our series BiG! by talking about our BiG! God.

Most people wouldn't argue how big God is. The thing we can't seem to recognize is that our big God wants to do big things through us and in us. One of our youth wrote a great post summarizing Scott's talk centered around the statement, "A daring faith is not a domesticated faith. "

The song of the week is Dare You To Move by Switchfoot. Check out the second verse and chorus (the music team actually performed this song this weekeend):

Welcome to the fallout, welcome to resistance
The tension is here, the tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be, yeah

I dare you to move, I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move, I dare you to move
Like today never happened,
Today never happened before

God, dare me!


Monday, October 16, 2006

Mmmm... Sin-namon Rolls!

Next to chocolate, there are very few things that are as tempting to me (from a food standpoint) as my wife's home-made cinnamon rolls! There are probably several things about these delicious treats that are horribly wrong for me, but they taste so right!

(Sorry Dad Curley... I know you love them too :)

What a great way to spend a Monday! Hangin' with my family and noshin' on some hot, frosted rolls!!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Song of the Week: Big Time

We're starting a new series this week called BiG! It's the first series I have had the opportunity to be involved with starting from the creative process (at least with The Orchard). One of our cretive team guys came up with the song "Big Time" by Peter Gabriel. It went pretty well with our series teaser we ran this last weekend. It's BiG time!

If you are at all familiar with Peter Gabriel, you know he has some great songs and is extremely creative. His videos are on the eccentric side but what creative artist isn't a bit out there? Instead of the lyrics this week, I invite you to check out the video for this song here.

Peace... big time!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's Official!

Well it was 'officially' announced Sunday morning. I have been offered and have accepted the position of Creative Arts Director at Orchard Valley Community Church in Aurora, IL. My family and I are very excited about the opportunity to be a part of such an awesome church family! God is doing some great things in this place! It is both an honor and a privilege to be working alongside the staff and volunteers at The Orchard.

If you have not had the opportunity yet to check this church out, I encourage you to show up on Sunday morning. Engage in the environment - the great music and life-changing message of Jesus... you will not regret it. And the people... man! Some great stories and just cool people to be around. The excitement there is contagious! I look forward to all that God is going to do in and through the community that meets there.

God is great!

Peace... and see you at The Orchard.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Stay Tuned...

... a BIG announcement coming soon! My family and I are very excited and can't wait to share the news. Soon... very, very soon.


What A Great Day!

My daughter, Faith, has a friend who hangs out with her nearly everyday. They get along well and she seems like a wonderful little girl. A couple weeks ago, she asked us about our church and if she could come along one Sunday. We told her it was cool with us and that we should probably talk to her parents first. Little did we know that she wasn't just saying this but had actually got herself ready and had come down to our house last weekend to go to church with us! The sad part is that we hadn't talked to her parents yet and hadn't known to be waiting for her, so we missed her! Man did we feel horrible!

The cool thing is that she still wants to go and we have got the ok from her family to take her with us this weekend. My daughter is excited and so are we! Anyway, some things just make my day and this young lady's desire to take this step made a great day even better.



Thursday, October 05, 2006

What's The Dill?

My wife claims that I have become obsessed with dill. I can't really explain it! I actually blame her for it :) A few months ago, she put some in her already delicious potato salad. Man, it was awesome! It seems to go well in almost everything - except chocolate and coffee.

What do you think?


Smiling Addiction

While I was at the Innovative Church Conference a couple of weeks ago, Granger Community Church put on their first annual film festival. They asked churches across the country to submit creative video clips that fit into three categories. I have to say, I was impressed by the ideas and cinematography of these films.

Three were mentioned as winners (though I can't say I know what they won). The best of show was the video "Smiling Addiction" submitted by Crossroads Community Church in GA. Check it out if you get a chance - way powerful. If I understood correctly, it uses original lyrics and music as well. Very cool! I also liked the concept video called "Sin", which I just realized is also by the same guys. Wow!

Let me know what you think.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Song of the Week: Don't Stop

Wow! What a busy and exciting week (more details on the way soon). Some great things have been happening in our journey as a family. I was thinking about the right song for this week, and decided to reach back a few years again to the late 70's...

I remember my parents listening to Fleetwood Mac when I was a kid. My wife and I actually have this best of CD and there are several geat tunes on it. One of the best tracks is "Don't Stop", which I never realized had some pretty great lyrics. Here's how the first part of the song goes:

If you wake up and dont want to smile,
If it takes just a little while,
Open your eyes and look at the day,
You'll see things in a different way.

Dont stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Dont stop, it'll soon be here,
It'll be, better than before,
Yesterdays gone, yesterdays gone.

Why not think about times to come,
And not about the things that youve done,
If your life was bad to you,
Just think what tomorrow will do.
Cool lyrics in relation to my week! How about yours? You can check out a clip of "Don't Stop" at Amazon.