Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Senator Barack Obama Elected President

I watched the results stream in tonight between the internet and the television. I watched as Obama gained the popular and electoral votes needed to claim the white house.

I also listened to McCain's concession speech... some powerful words were spoken. I think he acknowledged his feelings, quelled booing and shouts of disapproval of Obama, and spoke of unity and support for the president elect.

You may agree or disagree with Barack Obama, and I won't share my feelings either way. However, I am excited at the history that has been made tonight in this election. This country has come a long way, and we still have a long way to go, but this history making event has opened doors for conversation and empowerment.

I pray that Barack is able to uphold his promises and that this country is made better through his presidency.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Music Setlist 11.01.08 and 11.02.08








Here's our music setlist from that weekend (with links to purchase the original recordings from the artists listed):
Beat It - Fall Out Boy
Happy Day - Kristian Stanfill
Great In All The Earth - Starfield
Saving Grace - Planetshakers
Call Me When You're Sober - Evanescence
I Surrender - Kim Walker

Props to my team... you guys totally rocked the house! Joni, Taylor and Amanda - you three did phenomenal on vocals this weekend!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tagged!

Ok... so I've been tagged by multiple family members (thanks Keith and Kristen) so here goes.

Here are the rules:

1. Post these rules on your blog
2. Write 6 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 6 people at the end of you post (I’m making this optional to relieve any guilt, including my own for continuing this).
4. If you get tagged, DO IT and pass on the tag.
5. [Rule 5 was deleted because the author of this blog considered it lame :)]

Here's my six things randomly selected for your reading enjoyment:

  1. If I lived alone or my family would let me, my house would be 68 degrees in the summer and 62 degrees in the winter. I love the cold and am most comfortable when it's cooler.
  2. I love chocolate pudding. No I mean I LOVE chocolate pudding. My wife graciously makes me a giant bowl of home-made chocolate pudding for me on my birthday.
  3. I have lived in at least 14 different houses in 7 different states. My current house marks the longest I've lived in any one house.
  4. My hair use to be one-length down to my belly-button. Now I have it shaved off every week.
  5. I have within the last year listened to more books on CD than I have read in the same year. My mind wonders like crazy when I try to read so it takes me a long time to get through a book.
  6. Went to college to become a sound engineer, ended up going into music education, then into electrical engineering, computer science and finally graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology. I have the classes and equivalence for three additional AA degrees in the previous subjects.
That's it for me! Wow... took me forever to post these. I'm not tagging anyone and everyone at the same time :)

What's a random thing that most people don't know about you?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Birthday Wishes 4 Todd

I'm not one of those people who celebrates year after year the birthday of those who have passed on, but this year I'm going to.

This picture is from last year. Todd loved birthdays. He loved just having fun period. He was just that kind of guy.

Today, he would be 43.

We usually tried to go out on or around each other's birthdays - though we were better about going out to celebrate our wives special days than our own. It was always a good time!

So, though I'm sad that he is not here - I still wish a great day for him and his wonderful family. A day to remember all the good things.

Really miss you big guy. Can't wait to see you again!

What's Up Doc?










Today was go-visit-the-doctor-so-he-can-poke-and-probe-you day.

Don't like going, but promised my wife I would.

He said I was a buff, healthy dude that was much more physically fit than most men my age.

Ok, so that may not be exactly what he said but at least it appears that I'm healthy overall. So now I can begin training for the 5k in Chicago.

I'm particularly mindful today of the importance of having a regular checkup. I hate it but preventative maintenance can save a life.

So, go. Today. Now. Make an appointment and go.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Great 8!

This last week, as some of you read via twitter, I was in Atlanta at a conference called Catalyst. Had a great time but missed my family. Came home late Friday night (early Saturday morning) and was exhausted.

Very little sleep.

I promised Seth I'd take him to a movie and to lunch on his birthday. I was going to be spending most of the day getting ready for our Saturday evening service, but I thought it was important to celebrate my son's life. We saw a movie we had already seen (which he enjoyed anyway because he LOVES movie popcorn and being with the fam).

Can't believe this dude is 8 years old! Seems like it was just yesterday - isn't that what we always say? But it does... time is flying. He's a pretty cool guy and I enjoy hanging out with him. He's at that age where it's still cool to hang out with dad.

Hope that doesn't end anytime. I think I need him as much as he needs me.
Happy Birthday Seth!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Music Setlist 09.20.08 and 09.21.08

One of the guys on staff with me and a good friend for many years, Chris Bell spoke this weekend on what the Orchard is becoming. He used Psalm 1 to talk about the Orchard in comparison to a real orchard. This was Chris' last time speaking at the Orchard as part of the staff and I pray blessings for him and his family as they continue to lead, but now in a church in VA.

Here's our music setlist from that weekend (with links to purchase the original recordings from the artists listed):
La Grange - ZZ Top (instrumental)
Your Grace Is Enough - Chris Tomlin
Hosanna - Hillsong United
You Are The One - Lincoln Brewster
Point of Difference - Hillsong United
All Because of Jesus - Fee

Friday, September 19, 2008

INNOVATE08 - Innovate Impact

Steven Furtick up on the mic next...

Relating the story of David being anointed as king to leaders who feel like they are being overlooked by God.

You are called by God

It always starts small.
Jesus using a small amount of fish to feed thousands.

Has time talked you out of your dreams?

Hold on to the audacity to fulfill God's promises.

Sometimes the process is the point.

INNOVATE08 - Lifechurch.tv Lessons

Lessons from Lifechurch.tv's DLT:

An organization is the reflection of its leadership.
A team is a reflection of it's leader. A vision/mission oriented leader creates a very vision/mission oriented team, which is good but also need to be self aware of the things you miss. Take time to celebrate. If there is a character trait in a leader that is a negative, that too will be reflected in a team. Know what you're good at and what you're not good at.

"We'll do anything short of sin to lead people to Christ."

Everyone has a unique personality and there are ways for us to integrate and playoff of each others strengths and weaknesses. Self awareness of this issue helps to develop a good team.

Willingness to "get naked"
More on self awareness... really understanding who God has called you to be as a church and sticking to it even when others try to tell you otherwise. Trust that God is going to do big things through your faithfulness.

[My thoughts: Be real with who you really are... seems to be a consistent theme thru the conference though it's not the topic. I think that's cool that even within the scope of "Stop Talking, Start Doing" that this sub-theme has emerged. Very pertinent to those who come to conferences and then think they are going to go home and do exactly what they saw done.]

The difference between where you are and where God wants you to be is the pain you're unwilling to endure.
Sometimes it's easy to keep doing what you are doing or to not change but change is difficult and many times painful. It's difficult when the decisions you make impacts families and others, especially when the decision is a mistake, but you can't be afraid to step forward and be willing to make mistakes [and then willing to admit when you've made a mistake]. The impact on lives is also true when it is not a mistake - there is also an impact.

God will not give you more as a leader until you obey what he's already asked you to do. Our capacity as leaders will be found in our ability to endure pain. What decision is God calling you to make? IS there a decision God has asked us to make that we have avoided?

INNOVATE08 - Missional Moves

Rob Wegner on the mic at Innovate this morning.

Here's the skinny of it...

Most people think being a christian is how we get out of trouble with God.

Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God... what is a kingdom?
Most either answer external things or internal realities.


Thy kingdom come -> Jesus definition is the place on earth where God's will is done as it is in heaven. Bringing the up there down here.

Missional move 1: from saved souls to saved wholes.
- verbal proclamation - what happens on the weekends through message and arts.
- demonstration proclamation - doing something about the things that are broken in this world: the lost, the hurting, the dying, the hungry, the homeless, the poor.

Missional move 2: from "flashlight" to "laser" focus
More is not better. Don't confuse the great commission with the great commotion.
Narrow our focus - Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Ends of the Earth (local access, domestic access, cross cultural, international)

Narrowing our focus dramatically increased our impact.
Narrowing our focus helped build ownership.

Missional move 3: Professionals to full participation.
Mobilizing people to get them out of their seats and into the story.
Things that keep people from doing this: Fear and Busyness.

God is calling us to a bare-fisted brawl with evil - calling us to live dangerously for him.

Our God reigns! May we proclaim that in our communities.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

INNOVATE08 - Pop Goes The Church

Missing my family very much.

Enjoying seeing my team get excited about the environment here at Granger and some of the things we've discovered and connected with.

Tim Stevens is now speaking... here's what I'm getting from him:

Reality #1: Most churches aren't impacting their communities. Churches are known for what they are against more than what they are for [something we've talked about at The Orchard].

Reality #2: Spiritual interest is growing in our culture. Sadly most don't know where to begin. Church attendance dropping but spiritual interest rising.

Acts 17 - Tim talked through the theological background for leveraging culture to reach culture. In this section of scripture, Paul acknowledges that the men of Athens are looking for spiritual answers. He quotes from their poets and pagan philosophers to talk to them about Jesus. Why so that people connect and are willing to listen to what he had to say about Jesus.

How do you look into culture and see Jesus in the culture so that you can use culture to reach culture :)

- Use pop culture to package a topic and attract a crowd.
- Use pop culture to get people thinking or laughing.
- Providing a new interpretation for a popular cultural element.
- Use Pop culture to encourage the people who are making the ministry happen.

Why do all this? So that... lives are changed.

Thanks Tim! Always great being a part of one of your talks.

INNOVATE08 - Brand Schizophrenia

Wow Shawn Wood on the mic! Great visual presentation, fast moving, great communication and hilarious!

Here's what I got from what he shared:

Stuff = how we tell the story through spoken or sung word on digital, web, print media etc.
We need help with stuff. How do we do more stuff? How do we do less stuff?

The Mooey principle... we let stuff become the object of our affection. The only reason we leverage technology is because of Jesus, not because of the stuff. Do we have a 'zest' for the stuff above our love for Jesus? Stuff won't change people. Jesus will. If we have it switched we have brand schizophrenia... we no longer know who we are and present different things to the people in our communities.

Some of this happens when we as a church try to be what another church is because we like what they do instead of being what God has made us to be. Be and innovate the way God has called you to be and innovate. Otherwise you might as well be in the marketplace. You end up just managing stuff.

So who are you?

[Mike Jones interruption here: If you think about it, the churches that are successful, growing and healthy are the ones who are not trying to copy what someone else has done but trying to be and do what God has called them to be and do in the community and culture they exist in.]

Brand: the aftertaste left by an emotional experience. What does your website say about you, about your brand? What about your print media, your videos, etc?

Used an illustration about Diet Coke and Mr Pibb (you'll want to get the podcast of this when it's posted if you are a church leader). He talked about thinking he was getting Diet Coke and getting Mr Pibb instead... compared that to guests coming to our churches and their experience of our 'brand'.

The challenge: don't try to be anyone other than who God created you to be.

Great talk - thanks Shawn!

INNOVATE08 - Stop Talking

Long night of driving, laughing and not sleeping.

My team and I are now at GCC for Innovate08.

Mark Beeson on the microphone right now talking about how we need to stop talking :) About us as the church should stop just talking and start doing - that there are dire needs in our world that need to be addressed with action.

Hilarious but poignant drama about the church on fire and the board discussing what to do about it until they all pass out.

There is an urgent need. We see problems and issues and needs. We start talking to God and start trying to tell God what He needs to do to fix it.

What if we could get real clarity on the truth? There are people driving through life pedal tot he metal, having no idea that if they don't change their course they are going to crash. Families, marriages that are going to get hurt bad in the process if they don't change direction. There is a time to stop talking about something and start doing something to help.

Mark talked about leaning in. Leaning in and doing something about the things we're facing. There is no one else who is going to do what we need to do, what we are positioned to do. When we lean in, we are off balance but we are moving, doing something.

Mark Beeson drawing a correlation between Roman culture at the time of the disciples and American culture today... cut to the chase. We want the info, the bottom line now. Forget the rest.

We are in a culture that wants something to happen.

The attention span for hearing what we have to say is too short in America. We have to tell it with pictures, with video, with story, with song. YouTube videos are only around 3 minutes - that's about all we can handle at one time. We have to say the important stuff, say it briefly if we want to expect immediate results

We must immediately diagnose reality. Our world is driving all out heading for a crash. We need to use whatever we have to wrap the message in story and image to bring it to people so they will respond immediately and alter their course.

Great talk from Mark!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Music Setlist 09.13.08 and 09.14.08









Becoming: to grow to be; to turn into.

This series has been amazing. We always plan each series hoping and believing it will be better than the one before and so we thought this one too would be better than the previous. For me personally it has gone beyond what we ever thought it would be.

So what's your story? How has this series impacted you? How have you seen God move through these spiritual practices in your life? Email us your story to info@orchardvalleyonline.com.

Here's our music setlist from this last weekend (with links to purchase the original recordings from the artists listed):
It's Not My Time - 3 Doors Down (instrumental)
The Time Has Come - HillSong United
Let Me Sing - Todd Fields
Majesty - Hillsong United
Lead Me To The Cross - Brooke Frazer
Communion - Third Day

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sometimes Stuff Happens

Rain. Flooding.
Sump pumps going out.
Teammates trying to salvage basements and homes.

But wait... the team is finally together and all the pieces are coming together for our Saturday evening gathering.

One of our never failing iMacs fails.
Drops dead. No power.
Apparently a common thing with the new silver iMacs.
This happens 25 minutes prior to our start.

Grab a computer from the office.
Already has the software we need to run on it.
Good. Very good.
Doesn't have any of the lyrics for the songs we're doing.
Bad. Very bad.

Searching and typing and formatting and working to get it all in place.

A few typos and pagination items but ready just in time for our start.

God is good.

I'm blessed me with a great team that is able to work under pressure to make things happen when they need to. The sign of a great team - to stay cool when the heat is on.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Peace.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Music Setlist 09.06.08 and 09.07.08

Here's our music setlist from this last weekend (with links to purchase the original recordings from the artists listed):

Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5 (instrumental)
Today Is The Day - Lincoln Brewster
Let Me Sing - Todd Fields (not available in iTunes)
Center - Charlie Hall
Whatever You're Doing - Sanctus Real
I Give You My Heart / Center - Amanda and Mike

What songs have you enjoyed lately in your local house of worship?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Motivates U?

That question changes depending on what it is we face, what it is that we are doing. Most of the time it's something that excites you and drives you to do whatever it is you are doing.

Other times it's what is needed to begin the task at all.

This is the case for me and working out.

Now don't get me wrong, I love playing sports and doing things that require exercise. I don't mind working hard physically if it means also doing something enjoyable in the process.

For example, I love to play football, baseball, softball, racquetball, and the like, but I hate just lifting weights or running. I ran track when I was younger and would rather do short sprints or even run hurdles than to just run long distance.

Enough about me :) What motivates you to exercise, to work out, to stay in shape (or get in shape)?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back To School

So my kids started full-time back to school this morning. My wife and I homeschool our kids (mostly my wife to be honest... she's brilliant). They've been doing math, reading and science over the summer but now they kick into full gear. I have very smart kids, bu they also get overwhelmed a bit with the beginning of school - which is funny since they never really stop.

Unfortunately, my wife gets a little overwhelmed as well.

This is the same woman who also hasn't stopped schooling them and who mentors other homeschooling parents through tough times of schooling their kids.

I love all of them very much and am confident they can accomplish the tasks they have ahead of them. They just have to beat the mental game part. The tasks aren't really changing, but the mindset has changed.

Do you do this? Do you find yourself stressing or getting frustrated about a project or a task, only to find it's more of a mental challenge than anything?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Music Setlist 08.30.08 and 08.31.08

We had Taylor Phelan out the Orchard last weekend to lead us during some of our worship time. He did an excellent job and has a great voice! Dang! We did have a lot of fun hanging out in downtown Chicago - eating food and taking pictures.

Though I have to say he made me feel a bit older considering the guy is only 19!

Here's our music setlist from this last weekend (with links to purchase the original recordings from the artists listed):

Stranger Things Have Happened - Foo Fighters (instrumental)
Awesome Is The Lord Most High - Chris Tomlin
Marvelous Light - Charlie Hall
How He Loves - Kim Walker
Wholly Yours - David Crowder Band
Light - Shawn Mcdonald

How was your weekend? If you were at the Orchard, let me know what you thought of the worship experience with Taylor - I'd like to pass those on to him.

Peace.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Downtown Chicago

This last weekend, we had a guest worship leader in town who stayed with my family and I. Taylor had never been to Chicago before so of course we had to have him check out a variety of the great food around here. We also tried to give him a small glimpse of this great city.

Here's a few of the pictures we snapped (yes, believe it or not, I took a few of these myself - though my wife's are the best).

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Blog Banner

Used one of the photos my wife took of me and my kids to create a new banner for the blog.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stage Pics: From the Current Becoming Series

Becoming... everyone is becoming something, who are you becoming?

This has been a great series so far and we've been able to expand creatively with some decor and elements that we haven't done in some time.

Here are a few of my favorite set pics from the last couple of weeks along with a link to the rest on Picasa (photos by Dan Andersen).

Thoughts?




















Music Setlist 08.23.08 and 08.24.08

This last weekend, was a tough one for me and some of the staff. Many of you have visited here and know that I lost one of my best friends. While we grieved and celebrated his life, we also continued to do what my friend Todd did... lead other's in a growing relationship with Jesus.

I am very proud of my arts team! While they grieved along with me, they continued to move forward, not only in honor of Todd, but in praise to God. Thank you again to all of you for your prayers, care and support - it has brought strength to all those involved.

So this last weekend was the second week in our series BECOMING. We explored silence and talked about meditating on scripture. You can download Scott's message here.

From a creative standpoint, we used the song In Your Presence, by Jeremy Camp, but rearranged it with some different layers including strings, cello, congas, acoustic guitar and a bluesy-electric lead. We had each layer come in individually then half way through, the musicians began to stop playing (one by one) and walk off the stage. There was some tenseness in the room, which was great! We transitioned from there into a short piece on silence where we led our crowd through a time of silent meditation using only our screens.

The cool part about having the musicians leave one by one is that it gave us a way to lead into the silence in a dramatic way. We ended with Jess on the cello which was amazing! Something in the back of my mind which was later also pointed out by another artist, is that it also showed how important each piece, each musician, is to the group. We did not have anyone on the drums. When each person stopped playing and walked off the stage, that missing piece was felt in a big way. God is awesome in how he uses creative elements to reach people on many different levels.

Here's our music setlist from the weekend (with links for you to purchase them from iTunes):

Belief - John Mayer (instrumental)
Salvation is Here - Hillsong United
Everlasting God - Lincoln Brewster
Center - Charlie Hall
In Your Presence - Jeremy Camp (same song prior to message and after)

Peace.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Great Posts About Todd

There are a lot of things happening right now and I'm trying not to have every blog post or twitter be about my friend Todd. That's hard to do, as he had a big impact on me and many, many others.

I'm looking for stories... stories about Todd. Moments of influence, of encouragement. Times of strength and inspiration. I would love to be able to pass these stories on to Paula and her boys.

My wife shared a couple on her blog
.

If you have others or links to other blogs that share things about Todd, would you please post those?

Thanks everyone.

Service Times For Todd Mitchell

Family, friends and co-workers of Todd Mitchell...

Here is a link to the Orchard's blog page with information regarding visitation and memorial/celebration for Todd.

http://orchardblog.wordpress.com/2008/08/21/service-times-for-todd-mitchell/

If you have any questions, please contact our office at 630.897.8888.

Thanks everyone.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Todd Mitchell

First let me say to all of you who have been following the twitter and praying for Todd and his family... thank you. There was a lot of peace and comfort felt as the result of those prayers.

I am confident that God is going to do something great through all of this.

Please check out Scott's blog or the Orchard blog on the latest.

Thank you also for your care, prayers and concern for my wife and I and our family.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Update on Todd

For all of you who have been following along and praying for Todd... I adapted this letter from Scott and echo his thoughts.

I’m writing this from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Last Saturday, Todd collapsed at home after unexpectedly suffering a cardiac arrest. Tragically, one thing led to another and it has since been discovered that Todd has suffered severe and irreversible brain damage.

What all of this means is that outside of a miracle, Todd’s prognosis for survival is not good. So as you can imagine, his family is now faced with some pretty tough decisions.

This is obviously a very sad and difficult situation, so please continue to keep Todd, Paula, their kids, family, and loved ones in your prayers today.

At the same time, I want you to know that even in the midst of the shock and grief of the situation, God’s presence and peace is being felt in some very tangible ways right now. Todd’s family is hopeful, and they are steadfastly resting in God’s promise that He will guide them and walk with them through each step of this journey. For that, I am so thankful!

I know so many of you are concerned and would love to be around Todd’s family right now, however, we would like to limit visits to family and close friends only at this time. I would also like to ask that phone calls to the family and hospital be kept at a minimum right now as well.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I know it means so much to the Mitchell family! They are extremely thankful for the outpouring of love they are experiencing from all of you.

Please feel free to leave a comment here on this blog. We will be sure to forward them all to Paula.

And check back periodically for updates.

Love and appreciate you all!

Mike

Monday, August 18, 2008

What About Todd

This is Todd doing what Todd does well.

Among many things Todd is an excellent drummer. There is a professional quality to what the man does on a drum kit and it's almost hard to describe. It's loud but it's amazing!

Though Todd could be defined by 'great drummer' or even 'corporate vice president', I believe his character says so much more about him.

I have known Todd for several years now and I have rarely met another person with so much to offer - so much leadership, so many skills in so many areas - and yet so humble.

Todd is a great example of what it means to be generous. He exudes the qualities of any great encourager; of any great leader. He loves his family and he gives everything he has to whatever he sets his mind on.

Above all of these things, he is one of my best friends.

They say a person ever really has but a few close friends in their entire lifetime, so I consider myself very blessed. Since the day I first met Todd, he has been an encourager to me, no matter what I have faced. He has walked with me as a friend in good times and rough times.

Now he is fighting for life.

If you've been following the twitter on this blog you know Todd is really sick right now. All I can do is stand by, and try to encourage him, pray for him and let him know that I love him like one of my brothers. I feel helpless, yet not hopeless. I am confident in what God is doing in Todd's situation - something that has a far reaching effect, typical of Todd's style.

Thank you to all of you who are praying. You are a part of Todd's story in overcoming this adversity. Todd has a fire and a zest for life. He has a lot to live for.

Continue to pray for him. Please. I know his wife and sons appreciate it and Todd does as well.

If you want to know more, check out my twitter page here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Wife and Her Camera

Here's some shots from our latest photo expedition. My wife is a great photographer but she's spent a while away from it. So I picked her up a new camera and I'm trying to get her back into it.

Let me know what you think.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Highlight of my weekend

This last weekend, I had the honor and privilege of baptizing my son.

I have baptized my wife and both my daughters, among many others. Each one was special, but I have cried with my family's public decisions - tears of joy.

I swore I wouldn't cry this time, but I bawled like a baby :)

Very proud of him!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coldplay, BBQ, and a Waterpark

What a weekend!

Finished our message series at the Orchard called At The Movies, where we used clips from different films to talk about things like injustice, creativity, courage, prayer, significance and the power of a story. The weekend was incredible! My arts teams did a phenomenal job with lighting, transitions, media, and music.

We used the song Fix You by Coldplay, which was probably one of the hardest songs I've ever sung. It's not just a vocally challenging song but it is so emotionally tied with a video we did in 2006 that it is hard to listen to, let alone sing without tearing up - powerful song. My instrumentalists and vocalists did an excellent job though!

The weekend continued from there.

Teams of volunteers setup for our annual BBQ and Baptism event, with a live bluegrass band, catered BBQ, and a collage of games for the kids. Everyone seemed to have a great time. We had beautiful weather and 600+ people to enjoy it.

After we all ate, we walked over the to the waterpark next door and we baptized around 140 people... men, women, children, couples, moms, dads, entire families. If you've never witnessed anything like this, let me tell you - it was amazing! And the stories! They way that God has moved in the lives of these people is inspiring.

Videos, pics and more on this later.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's Gone!

The dollar movie theater (which actually cost two dollars everyday other than Tuesday) my wife and I go to is gone.

No more seeing a movie in the theater, except on special occasions (too expensive).


No more taking the kids to the theater - with four it really adds up.

Bummed about this... still and it's ben gone since July 5th. They are tearing it down to put up a mega-gigantic theater instead. Wish I hadn't bought Kristen a bunch of gift cards to the place at Christmas time (we liked going to the movies together on our date night).

Anyway, just had to express my sadness in regards to this. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but a fun activity for us now out of reach.

Unless you all know of another one :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weekend Setlist (07.12.08 and 07.13.08)

Marvelous Light - Charlie Hall
Filled With Your Glory - Starfield
Came To My Rescue - Hillsong United
Leave Out All The Rest - Linkin Park

Great start to our new summer series, At The Movies.
Our lighting enthusiasts took things to the next level this weekend with great transitions and color mixing, not to mention some cool effects.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

What's New?

Let's see...

My wife had a great post on her blog about my daughter, her money management and her newest responsibility. I am very proud of her - almost makes you feel like you are doing some right things as a parent, though she has really done this all on her own.

Finishing our series at the Orchard called OnePrayer. This week we are honored to be hosting Perry Noble from NewSpring Church in Andersen, SC (via video). I have had the chance to meet and talk with Perry in person and share a meal with him... he is as funny in person as he was on the screen this weekend! The music team totally rocked the house so far this weekend too - can't wait for tomorrow (ok... a few short hours from now).

Starting a new series next weekend (July 12/13) called At The Movies. We're kicking off the summer in a series taking clips from some mainstream and indie films to teach some great life lessons. Great speakers part of this. Should be a lot of fun and leads us into our BBQ and Baptism in August - very exciting time for us! We so far have over 60 people signed up to be baptized this year as of last weekend! Amazing!

Working on some song writing along with two handfuls of other projects :) . We continue to tweak or new lighting system and have really been enjoying the color mixing and creativity with now have with our lights - makes a huge difference! I remember making my own par-can lights with some friends using stove pipe (innovation at its finest).

That's it for now. Working on trying to get some stuff out to you on the blog, so stay tuned.

Peace.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Elephant

My wife sent me a short story she got from a friend of hers. Thought it was funny....

My five-year old students are learning to read.
Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,

"Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!"

I took a deep breath, then asked..."What did you call it?"
"It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"
And so it does...

" A f r i c a n Elephant "

Hooked on phonics...woo hoo!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ok... Ok.... Ok!

So I'm struggling getting back into blogging, especially now that I've been introduced to twitter.... that's right, I said twitter. Very busy week back from vacation but a good week.

I've realized a couple things now that I've had a little time off:

  1. I love my wife. She is a fun person to be around and hang out with. She is a great conversationalist because she likes to talk and yet is a very good listener. I had a blast just hanging out with her, planning and dreaming and working on some home projects. She is someone you should get to know if you don't already.
  2. I love and miss my kids. While it was cool spending time alone with my wife (the first time we were alone in our home for a week in over 12 years), I miss getting to see and hug my kids. They are great kids. Kristen has done well raising them :) They are fun to hang out with and it doesn't hurt that, at least for now, they like to hang out with us too. I know they are having a good time and they are getting a vacation from us as well. Everyone needs a little time away (yes Charlie, I know that's from Chicago).
Glad to have had the time off and am trying to be more intentional about doing this more in the future.

Peace.

Monday, June 16, 2008

And so it begins...

...my vacation that is! I had an opportunity I could not pass up and am very thankful for the chance to take a little break. I love doing what I do, but everyone needs a little time away (I think there's a song in that).

This week is kind of bitter sweet. While I get a chance to refresh, my kids are also taking off for Arizona. I know they will have a great time, but Kristen and I will both miss them. Obviously we get time just the two of us which will be nice too. It's been 12 years since we've been at home just the two of us.

Yep, my daughter just turned 12 - can't believe it! I don't know where the time has gone. I've started to panic wondering if I've shared and taught her what she needs to know. She's oficially a tween. The "T" stage is next and I just don't feel old enough to be the father of a teen. She's a great kid.... er... um... I mean young adult.

Dang that sucks. Time just flies too fast.

I guess you just can't take anything for granted, including time. So, I'm off to enjoy my vacation though I anticipate blogging more than I have been.

Peace.

Monday, June 09, 2008

New Fragrance by Calvin Klein

Remember Kramer and the Beach fragrance he wanted to create (which was later produced on the show by Calvin Klein)?

I now think that they need to create a fragrance for women called BBQ or Charred... possibly Smokey would work as a name as well. Delicious!

What's better than the smell of a campfire or a smokey BBQ on your wife when she's been out grilling before you get home? Shoot, I love the smell on my own clothes!

Kooky I know but we're all made a bit different. My other favorite - orange blossoms! Love it!

What's your favorite scent?

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Skinny

What a whirlwind couple of weeks. Hard to believe everything that has happened, but here's what's been going on while I was away from my blog...

Went from running the heater to running the AC. Not a big deal to most but I prefer the cold to the heat.... definitely worth noting.

My wife left me for another state with my girls... course it was to visit my mom and help take care of her after brain surgery. Go figure.

Because of the above I was a single dad of two boys for nearly a week. No easy task though my boys did an excellent job of keeping me in line.

Kristen's mom went into the hospital to be put on dialysis... she is now home.

I have actually planned a vacation... hard to believe I know, but I am planning to take a week off within the next couple of weeks, including from the weekend services I lead at The Orchard. This will be my first weekend off since August of 2007.

My wife is so hot! Ok just on my mind and had to say it :)

Dropped off my workout plan because of most of the above and because I was bored. Supposed to start back again tomorrow.

Twitter has taken over... I know I haven;t been blogging but I hope you have been at least keeping up on the twitter section of my blog to the right.

Twitter rocks!

Lights... what can I ssssaaayyy abbboouuttt lights? Yeah that's right... I might just have been shocked too many times by live voltage. Thanks to Bradster and a few electricians, the project we started around the time I took my last vacation has been completed! Ok so there are a few small things to be wrapped up and it is not the end but the beginning. The lights are a huge improvement!

Uh yeah... for the above, we hung 46 lights, ripped down 30, re-wired 18, dangled off a truss to hang some of them and then I proceeded to dream about lights for the next couple of days!

My Mac power cable burned up. Apple replaced it the next day.


I'm rocking on Guitar Hero 3 - my first Guitar Hero experience. Course I'm playing on easy mode but my kids think I'm a rock star.

Started a new message series this weekend... we're linking with more than 1200 other churches for a series called OnePrayer. Great weekend!

I guess that's good for now.
Thanks for hanging out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Caption Please...
















Found this picture online when my daughter and I were researching puppies.

She wants one of these but I haven't given the go ahead yet. Puppies are cute until they grow up.

I'll admit that this pic almost sold me.

Definitely need a caption though.
Peace.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Q: Favorite Cereal of All Time

I love cereal.

My wife doesn't understand it. But it's one of my favorite foods. I could eat it any time of day, and sometimes do.

Do you remember the cereals they had when you were a kid? I remember Buckwheats - that was pretty good. They had a C3PO cereal for a little while, and they even had Donuts cereal (that was good.... mmmmm... powdered donuts in milk). Life cereal, both regular and cinnamon.

Seriously... delicious!

Probably one of my favorites even to this day is Golden Grahams. I even used to like the S'mores made with Golden Grahams!

So, for you cereal lovers out there, which cereal is, of all time, your favorite?

Enjoy a bowl today!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My wife - An Amazing Mom

My wife, Kristen, is an amazing woman! This last weekend, we continued our series at The Orchard called, That's What She Said, where we've been celebrating and learning from some great women.

Mother's day weekend, we chose to do something different from what we've done in quite a long time. We rolled out a red carpet that ran from the curb inside to the auditorium. We dressed one of our guys in a tux (nice job Jason) and had him host the red carpet by cheering and celebrating the moms and women who came to one of the services. We had their pictures being taken on the red carpet and a live audio/video broadcast feed of the red carpet events being projected on the big screen inside the auditorium so the rest of the Orchard community could celebrate too. We had silk flower petals of various color all over the seats and floor in the auditorium. We also had more of a living room feel on our teaching platform where we got to hear from the hearts of four wonderful moms.

Scott interviewed four moms from The Orchard. Each shared about their struggles and triumphs as a mom. It was a great weekend! The last service of the weekend was packed and the ladies received a standing ovation! It was an incredible thing to be a part of.

I say all that to say that my wife is amazing! She is an incredible wife and mom. I know that she was very nervous about speaking in front of such a large group of people but she did not freeze up. She spoke clearly and intelligently.

I'm so very proud of you Kristen - not because of this event but because of the person you are and because you are my wife. I have to say though, I was beaming at the back of the room during every service you spoke!

If you get a chance, you'll want to check out the podcast here.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Never Ending Story - Update

I am impressed by the wit and creativity you all have unleashed on the previous never ending story post. Quite a humorous tale being concocted!

If you're not familiar with the story or if it's been a while since you've checked it out, you can catch up on it here.

Sorry, I just couldn't let the poor lunch lady bite the dust so soon in the story :)

What about the spindly man?

What's up with the ninja monkey wrangler? Why is he troubled?

Who's hat was thrown at the monkey?

What does all this have to do with ketchup?

You'll have to read and find out!
Thanks blog readers!
Peace?

Twittering

As you can see by my sidebar, I've joined the few and proud who are twittering.

According to wikipedia, "

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send "updates" (or "tweets"; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service (e.g. on a cell phone), instant messaging, or a third-party application such as Twitterrific or Facebook.

Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them.
I used to think, "how am I going to twitter when I can barely blog" but twittering is easy! You can text your updates or IM your updates and people can follow along.

Kind of fun.

If you want to subscribe, you can follow me here.

How about you? Do you twitter?

Tweet.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

SALE!!

Saw this driving around Springfield the other day.

Now let me ask... who's in?

A discount on tattoos.

Is that something you really want to see discounted?
You have to ask yourself... why is it on sale?

Freaky.

Peace.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sloppy Joe: Never Ending Story

I convinced my kids the other day that it's pronounced SHloppy Joe and said more gravelly... besides it's more fun that way.

I hadn't had these since I was a kid and Kristen has never made them, so we decided to try a new recipe of these ol' favorites with the kids. Went better than I anticipated.

I think it helped that Kristen started this one-line story thing that entertained the kids while they ate spaghetti sauce on a bun.

So here's the deal: here's your chance to collaborate on a story with the other readers of this blog. Keep it clean (inappropriate comments will be deleted).

I'll start it like I started it with the kids the other night:

"The ketchup was good"

Your turn.
Four words only, building from the previous line to create a story.
Have fun.

Peace.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Kids Are Smudged

We've been in a series at The Orchard called Smudged.

It's all about the lenses we see life through and how sometimes we allow those lenses to get smudged, which in turn affects how we see different areas of our life. Once your lenses are smudged, you see things only through those smudged lenses and not necessarily how they really are. Anyway, you can check out the podcasts here.

This weekend we talked about our kids and our parents and us as parents. Now, being a part of the creative planning team, I get a glimpse and even get to help create the message concept for the weekends. This message still kicked me in the chest. Seriously check out the podcast. Though we also did the Ugly Kid Joe version of the song Cats In The Cradle before the message. It aided in building the tension for the talk to resolve. Hard song to sing for me because I have found myself saying things like the lyrics in the song to my own kids, for seemingly good reasons. I've even found myself saying things like that to my own parents when they have wanted to see me or spend time with me. It's hard being a grown up sometimes.

We used the analogy of scaffolding to illustrate how we can say words of empowerment, pray for our kids, and give them examples to learn from so that their lives will go far beyond our own. By doing these things, we build scaffolding in our kids lives so that with each generation, they become better leaders, better Christ-followers than the last.

Two things impacted me as we talked about building scaffolding in our kids lives. I have not given my parents enough credit for building scaffolding in my life. For years I focused on things I shouldn't have and at the same time did not celebrate them for the encouragement, prayers and support they have given me over my life. I know they are proud of me and have said as much. I know they believe I have what it takes. I know that many others did not grow up in a loving home like I did. While my parents were not perfect any more than I am as a parent. Parenting is hard, but I think they did the best they knew how to do and I have learned a wealth of great things from them. Mom and Dad - thank you for all that you have taught me and shared with me.

This message also inspired me to take the time and opportunity to ensure my sons know that I whole-heartedly believe they have what it takes. That they can undoubtedly accomplish anything they set their mind to. Does it mean they won't fail - absolutely not and they will probably fail a lot. They have seen me do this. They have seen me make mistakes, which is good. They need to know that a mistake is not the end of the world but a learning point if you handle it correctly. I believe though that they will also see success in the areas that God has purposed and designed them for. I pray for open eyes for them to see that direction and for me as their dad to see that and support that as well. I pray that for all of my kids.

For my girls, I want the same things for them as I do for my wife... that they know without a doubt that they are beautiful and that they are worthy to be pursued. I want them to know that they are special and wonderfully made and that no one can take that from them. God has given them that and it goes beyond the outside but stretches in to their heart. I also pray for them to be able to accomplish their dreams and to dream big.

I am very proud of my kids - not because of their accomplishments but because they are my sons and daughters.

Thanks for letting me get that out so that I can swallow this lump in my throat down.
Peace.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Creative and Funny

I have to say... I'm hooked on this dude's blog. Very creative, a good writer and his posts are just plain funny. If you have not been over to John's blog and are in need of a laugh, you need to go there.

Now. Go ahead. It's ok if you leave mine to go check out his (just make sure you come back :)

The dude is becoming a blogging fiend too.

If you missed it, here's some videos he wrote scripts for. Pretty simple, pretty clever, and funny.

Let me know what you think.
Peace.

1. Yeah I said Twitter.



2. Bath time.



3. I just learned spanish.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Retro: The new vehicle

We finally broke down and got a new car payment... I mean a new car :) We had a lot of help in trying to get a vehicle that would fit into our budget and for that we are very grateful.

We also had some really good friends who let us borrow a car when we needed it in the interim. And not just any car, but a Hummer H3... their best vehicle. It's very humbling to have friends like that who will not only help you but give you their best.

Thank you!

On a side note, the car is perfect for getting me to and from the office. It's also been cool to go out on dates with my wife in something other than the minivan. I also realize with this car how nice it is to have headlights and windshield wipers that work.

We got a Hyundai Accent GLS that feels like driving a suped-up go-cart with a CD player and air conditioning - I love it. Thanks to the help we got from friends, it looks like for now I can keep the motorcycle (I'm VERY thankful for that!)

One last thing on this... this car is the base model - other than the Cd player and A/C it has nothing else. My son gets in the car for the first time grabs the handle on the side and says, "what's this for?"

Man did I laugh! They are growing up in an age that they may not even know what window-roller-handle-things are.

Ahh the things we take for granted :)
Peace.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bye Bye Intrepid

Well we officially said goodbye to our '97 Dodge Intrepid. The cost to fix it was just too great and with 167k miles on it, I'm afraid it's time for a change. So we donated it to charity - they still wanted it even after I told them about it!

We got the Intrepid from another pastor I was on staff with and it's been a pretty good car.

It had quite a few miles already and had several mechanical problems. For example, during torrential downpours, it helps to have windshield wipers that don't stop in the up position. It also helps to be able to see at night if your driver-side headlight has not been turned into a fish tank (the thing constantly would fill with water... I nearly added the goldfish to complete the look).

The hood was one of my favorites though... it wouldn't open, which made it real easy to check the oil and other fluids. Taking it to get the oil changed was always fun. You had to take a pair of pliers, pull on the hood release cable while someone aggressively yanked up on the hood. It didn't always work either. I could never figure out why the stupid latch just would not work.

The latest - transmission didn't want to switch out of second gear. Forget driving on the freeway. Forget driving pretty much anywhere in the Chicago area. It made me a slow moving target.

Good times. Lots of memories we won't forget but wish we could.

Time for something completely different.
Peace.

Feelin' Good

Several weeks back, my wife and I decided to start using the fitness center at the clubhouse in our neighborhood.

Why not? We pay for it and have only been living here for three years... might as well take advantage of the facility for more than the pool during the summer.

Half-way through our seventh week of working out and feeling pretty good. Not losing weight very fast but I'm more into it for the exercise. Kristen is doing great and I think we both motivate each other well.

We've had a week or two that was rough because of travel or illness but I feel like we've developed a pretty good routine.

Now everybody and their brother is going so we may end up having to change the time we go or start doing something else. Our entire neighborhood must be trying to get ready for swimsuit weather now that the sun is back out.

I'm almost at the 200 mark and am looking to get toned down to 185. I've been running on the treadmill and am up to a 12.25 minute mile for 45 minutes... quite an accomplishment for me!

We've started adding in some weight training and it's kicking my butt!

What do you do for exercise?
Peace.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bald Worship Leader

I got a text message from a friend of mine in New York this weekend.

Hilarious.

Go check out this blog post. Look back at the picture in this post. I won't say I was the first but I definitely fit the description, unintentionally.

At least I shave my head :)

Go ahead. Say what you gotta say about it. Get it out so we can move on :)

Make sure you read some of the comments too - funny (thanks for the link Kenny)!
Peace.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Silence Part 2

If you missed the previous post, check it out here.

I've uploaded the file that we used for our First Wednesday in Silence. We use Keynote as we run everything on Mac at The Orchard so I've uploaded a few options for everyone else:

  1. The original keynote (Manksans font, 1280 x 720 screen size, no slide transition but a 2 second dissolve "all at once" build in and out on the text pieces).
  2. A manual advance flash file that you can check out in a flash enabled browser to get the idea of the flow and the elements we used. We did the whole presentation manually advancing text so we could gauge the room better.
  3. A zipped folder of the slide images. This includes a .jpg image for each part of the build so that if you put each image into a powerpoint or keynote presentation and assigned the dissolve transition to the images you should be ok.
If for some reason you still don't see what you need and would like to check it out for use in a small group or church gathering setting, let me know.

Simple but very powerful.

After you check it out, let me know what you thought of it.
Peace.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

American Idol Goes Christian??



One of the songs that was performed by the final 8 during both the AI Gives Back and the results show tonight was Shout To The Lord.

They performed the song very well, and though it seems like there are several of the finalists who are Christian I was still surprised to hear the song. Even more so that they performed it twice.

Strange choice of songs considering their topic but pretty cool that millions of people are watching the show and hearing that song. They really did preform the song well and actually did the whole song on the results show.

What did you think?
Peace.

So much to blog about...

The office is finally back! As one of my few TV indulgences, I've missed having some new episodes.

I've been watching season two on DVD and even went back and watched a few episodes online of season three (don't own it yet). Still makes me laugh. I just don't see how you can get any more inappropriate than Michael Scott?

Jim, Pam, Dwight and the gang did not disappoint. Uncomfortable and funny show tonight.

I actually got to see the American Idol results show with my kids tonight. Haven't got to do that in quite a while. I don't think the right person was voted off but I'm sure he will do well on his own.

And what about the American Idol Gives Back??? I didn't get to see the show but they showed highlights... AI has really moved up in being able to get bigger stars. Pretty high quality acts.

Tonight they had Jordin Sparks perform with Chris Brown - her latest single No Air. Last night they hosted previous AI contestants Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwood. The night apparently was filled with performances of Heart and Fergie (doing Beracuda), Annie Lennox, Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, and Miley Cyrus. Terri Hatcher, Brad Pitt, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and several other celebrities threw their faces in the ring to help raise funds for impoverished youth.

So far they've raised 60 million dollars - that's awesome! A lot of young people living in poverty around the world will hopefully benefit from all this.

Peace.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

First Wednesday in Silence

I met some new people tonight who came to our First Wednesday service this last week and they shared how impacting it was for them. I too am still thinking about our time together in silence.

It was powerful.

For those of you who don't know what First Wednesday is, here's the short of it... every month at The Orchard, we get together on the First Wednesday to worship together, to catch our breath and begin our month by keeping first things first.

It's our chance as a church community to commit each month to God.

A chance to take a break from the business of life and focus our attention on our Creator.

We actually do some pretty creative things on FW to help us connect in different ways and I plan to post some of these ideas on future posts.

This last FW, we used silence - just taking the opportunity to be quiet and listen for God's voice. When a room of 100-150 people are doing this, it's powerful. We used the Nooma film "Noise" to help get things into this mindset of being quiet and still. Then we directed people purely with words on our screens. We spent nearly 40 minutes in silence.

We meditated on some scriptures in silence.

We took communion together in silence (the breaking of the wafer all together after so much silence was amazing).

We prayed together in silence and left together in silence.

It was probably one of the most moving FW experiences I've ever had.
I'll post the keynote or a version of it so you can see how it worked.

Have you ever taken time to connect with God like that before? In silence?
Peace.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Up and Running

I know, I know - I've been away from my blog for a bit, but the weeks have been full and I have a lot to share.

We have been crippled, in a vehicular way, the last couple of weeks. My cars' transmission is toast along with several other issues (which is unfortunate since I finally fixed the wipers and headlight :) and my motorcycle had been having some battery issues. It had been a bit cold to ride anyway so I had been reduced to driving the minivan. Not necessarily a bad thing I guess, but it left my family at home without transportation.

I do have to say that driving the minivan brings to mind images of Clark Griswold and the family truckster.

We've been blessed that so far it has worked out and have had some help from our friends. I went to work on the bike today and I am happy to say that it is up and working great!

I plan to ride this weekend and leave the minivan for my wife.

Lots more to tell you, but it will have to be later.
Peace.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Absolutely Amazing!

Amazing weekend.
Totally exhausted.

Great weather outside. Rained inside. Nearly 1600 people at Orchard services. Fantastic music and message. Great celebration!

20,000 eggs at Helicopter Easter Egg drop. Transformer-style outdoor stage. 2-3 thousand parents and kids gathering eggs! Made ABC and Beacon news.

Going to sleep. More pics and follow up later this week.

Happy Easter!
Peace.

Monday, March 17, 2008

20K!!!

20,000!!!

Looks like mikejonesblog.com hit 20,000 viewers this last week! Not much for most of you guys who have that much readership in a week but for me that is pretty cool.

Thank you all for your comments and for those of you lurking around here - thanks for checking the blog out.

Here's to more posts and insight into Mike Jones... kind of freaky.
Peace.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

1 Week and Counting...

It's been a very busy couple of weeks but the good thing is I'm feeling good heading into Easter weekend. For us at The Orchard, Easter weekend is one of our biggest - though outside of a few creative items, we prepare a 'regular' weekend for our guests.

We know that there are many people who will come to check out the Orchard on Easter that may not come any time of the year. We want them to be able to experience what a weekend at the Orchard is always like.

Yes, we do add a few extra lights and even an Easter Egg drop with thousands of eggs falling from a helicopter. For us this is an opportunity to wow our guests with something they would not expect. We still have a great message, fantastic music and irresistible environments.

Pictures and the follow up to come.
Peace.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Am Legend

My wife and I got an opportunity to go to the dollar theater here in town (which is actually $2 a ticket but still a great deal) this last week. I talked her into seeing the movie I Am Legend as neither of us had seen it yet.

I have to say it was probably one of the best movies I've seen in a while, especially at the theater. We love suspense movies that actually make you jump and that also have a storyline to them. This movie did not disappoint.

I didn't know much about the premise of the film going into it so I wasn't sure what to expect. This movie has some very creative elements to it. I'd even say it has some very biblical undertones to it without being an over the top 'Christian' type movie.

I don't want to say too much and ruin it for those of you who have not seen it. I will say the suspense level kept me on edge the whole time once it hit. I also feel like I need to own a German Shepherd and a Bob Marley CD.

If you have not seen this movie yet, I highly recommend it (especially if you can see it on the big screen).

Once you've seen it (or if you have already), what did you think about it?
Peace.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Caption Please...

You know Spring is in on it's way to Northern Illinois when you can see the ground and most of the snow is gone.

However, I can honestly say I didn't expect to see THIS while I was out driving the other day.

I need a good caption for this - who's got one?

Peace.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Votes Are In!

You voted.

I listened.

The crowder stays... for a while.

At least my chin stays warm!
Peace.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Breathe, man!



A friend of mine sent this to me last night... a beat-boxing flautist playing a medley of inspector Gadget and XLF.

I love when you can take something that has one feel, mix it with another art form and make it something that would appeal to a different/broader group of people.

This guy is good, though I found myself having to take breaths just watching it. He has a few other tunes he's done like this as well.

What did you think?
Peace.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Weenie Whistle

We took this on Friday this last week.

I think my wife was more excited about seeing the Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile than the boys were - they didn't really understand the whole thing.

They were not disappointed, however, to each receive the infamous weenie whistle.

Life has not been the same since.
Peace.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day

Once every four years this day comes along.

Hope you did something special today. Hope you made a memory today that you will reflect on for years to come.

I had the opportunity to go out with my wife and a couple from our church. Had a great evening!

How was your day?
Peace.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Week in Review

Finished up our message series, Deal or No Deal last weekend and we're gearing up for the start of another 3-part series this weekend called The Other Side.

If you attend The Orchard or are in the area, this will be a series you will want to check out and invite your friends to. If you just can't be here, I'm glad to tell you that we do have a weekly podcast you can check out.


What else happened this week...

  • Started a new workout routine with my wife. I just plain need to get in better shape and I also have as a goal to lose 18 pounds.
  • Our staff went to Chicago for our annual staff outing. We had brunch/lunch at Fogo De Chao, which is a really good Brazilian steak house (for those who aren't familiar, you are continually served various cuts of beef/chicken/pork/lamb until you tell them to stop brining it). I might have picked the wrong week to start working out (or the right one, depending on how you look at it). We also went to Wicked, the off-Broadway play. I won't say more about that yet :)
  • Had our normal weekend rehearsals, lighting setup and pre-production review. We always prepare and make every weekend count, because every weekend is someone's first time at The Orchard. Every weekend has eternal significance, and we take time to make sure everything is lined up and ready to go for our services. Yes, we still mess up but we review after every service to see if there are things we can improve going into the next service. We value excellence and believe that everything we do at The Orchard should be done well.
All that and it's only Thursday :)

Tomorrow is my day to recharge before the weekend and my date night with my wife.

Peace.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sasquatch Part 2

See the previous post to catch up on this, but dang! I just saw some of the funniest videos I've seen in a while from Brent Hodge (no relation to Scott that I know of) over at Table Rock Fellowship in Oregon.

Looks like they recently did a message series called Urban Legends and put together four videos using the Legend of Sasquatch as the backdrop... HILARIOUS!

Check all four of them out here. I love the A-team feel!

They actually have it filmed over at the Sasquatch trap near their town.
I wonder if they've ever caught one in the trap?

Anyway, thanks for the laughs Brent!
Peace.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sasquatch

My wife just watched some sasquatch Discovery Channel show and is totally freaked out.

She can't figure out why no one has tranquilized and studied one of these things.

While I love her tremendously, this is the same woman who thinks us landing on the moon is a conspiracy. Let's see... landing on the moon... no. Sasquatch real... yes.

The videos are kind of interesting, AND whether real or not - are they that scary? My wife says yes.

Peace.

To Crowder or Not To Crowder

That's the question.

The question I pose to all of you out there. I need you all - all of you who check out this blog to chime in here.

I've discussed it with my family and now I'm putting it out for you to decide:

Crowder or no crowder?

I'm totally serious. I've had a crowder for the last 4 years. I'm kind of attached to it, yet I could go for something new.

What do YOU think?

You have one week.
Go. Quick!
Comment now.

Peace.