Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year....

Let me be the first to say - HAPPY NEW YEAR.....it's less than two hours till midnight now but its the New Year somewhere in the world. I dont think I am going to make till the clock turns the calender to 2008 here in St Louis so to all of you Happy New Year....and may God be with you for the next 365 days.

good night.

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stinking sweet......

Sometimes you come across something that just blows you away and you have to shake your head and come to grips that there are people out there just to smart for their own good. Yes, I know that happens to you every time you visit my blog but now let me share this with you.

We have used whiteboard technology in our worship services and I am always looking for ways of incorporating new ideas that allow us to communicate the Gospel with technology that creates a sense of awe. I think I found something here…and it would mean buying a Wii!



You can read more here.

I think the first of the year will bring some time for research and development on how we can develop this technology for worship.....and log some time on the Wii at church.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Year end.....

Is the last week of the year really that boring that everyone has to do the ‘best of the year’ lists and ‘year in reviews’? Why doesn’t anything memorable happen during these last few days of a year? And if it does, does it ever make the ‘top ten of the year’?

I must admit, I am enjoying time off work and spending lots of time with my family during this last week of the year. So this may possibly be the last post of the year for my blog…may and maybe not. But if it is –isn’t it boring too? See, my point proved.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

12.24.07 Christmas Eve Service Closing

We made it through our ten Christmas Eve services. They were all beautiful. We made tweaks, changes and more tweaks and each services was perfect in it's own way. We hit overflow several times and even hit a record attendance in one of the services....more on that another time.

Programming, music, media and tech (not to mention the whole gobs of other volunteer and staff that worked guest relations, kidz ministry and more) went the distance for an amazing year.

We landed the service with Third Day's King of Glory. Here again, from my digital camera - but it was just way to good live not to post.

Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 24, 2007

12.24.07 Christmas Eve Service Opener

Ok....this is just too good to just post a few pictures of. Here is the song I posted about the other day. Again, off my little digital camera so its not the best of quality - but you should have been there! This does not include any of the art reveal that happened during the song.

What Child Is This

video

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Merry Christmas Eve!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

12.23.07 Sunday Morning Christmas Eve Services

9:30 service went great besides three glitches....3! Our 11:30 is going amazing so far. The room is packed. The Loft (our video venue is packed) and there is a crazy energy in the room. I think our 11:30 service is best so far.

No pictures or video today. Plenty will come tomorrow.

Off to do the Christmas Eve before Christmas Eve thing with the in-laws later this afternoon.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

12.22.07 A few little known details…

….that you probably don’t care about –but here goes.
For our ten Christmas eve services we have….
31 LED Wall Wash units
9 LED Par Can units
7 Mac 250 Wash
2 Mac250 Entours
10 lekos for gobos
And I don’t even want to know the number of mini lights we are using.

Remember ‘Jesus is the lights of the world!’

We have 63 light cues

We are using 13 trees in the design and over 1,920 feet of luan for our lattice back drop and a total of 19 candles (which is a bit on the low side for us.)

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12.22.07 Joy To The World



We showed a video clip called Christmas 101 with elementary school kids telling the story of the birth of Christ. Coming out of it we featured one of our teenagers and our NEW Youth Creative Arts dude on our version of Sufjan Steven’s Joy To The World….another sweet moment.





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12.22.07 Opening Song

Service three and four of our ten service marathon have been tweaked and bugged out and running pretty smooth. I think we are a point where we want the service to be and now get to focus executing these next six services with the best we have.
We do the Daniel Kirkley’s version of What Child Is for the service opener of our Christmas Eve service. It is a bit of a mystical flavor to it…it sounded sweet. Over at house left we did this art panel reveal. Preservice we put the panels on the frame and as music begins the panels spin in to place to reveal a little hand holding an adult figure. Kinda sweet.



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Friday, December 21, 2007

It's late....I'm still going....

It’s after 11:30pm; I am sitting here still amped from our first night of Christmas Eve services. For the most part all went well. There are many tweaks that are being made and still trying to get our timing on the lighting cues perfect and working on smoother transitions on our visuals. We will be back in tomorrow to finish up and be ready for run through before the doors open for two more services. I think the changes will hit spot on.

Teresa has dozed off on the couch and I have ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ on in the background as I finish up some work on the computer. She surprised me last night when she brought home chips and guacamole from Chipotle. That was so awesome. I LOVE thier guac. I have not had Chipotle since moving from Wheaton. I had adopted Chipotle as my ‘office away from the office’. We would often do lunch there – at least once a week if not more. Then the family would go for dinner there every so often. I forgot how much I enjoyed eating there. So……..if you were reading this and thinking what you should get me for Christmas…..CHIPOTLE Gift Cards!!!!!!

…..now if only I could find a Caribou coffee around here – I’d love a Caramel Coffee Cooler!

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12.21.07 Offering Music

The band did thier version of Trans Siberian Orchestra's O Come All Ye/ O Holy Night....they kicked it!!!! WOW!

My camera does not do the sound justice.....

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12.21.07 Christmas Carols

The ladies aren't named Carol...they were leding them....
O Little Town of Bethlehem
The First Noel
and Away in the Manger


...by the way, thats Ali, Dale and Robin (from left to right).

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12.21.07 Worship

O Come All Ye Faithful / Here Is Our King medley (which our music director, Jack Miller, wrote the arrangment....it was killer)




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So far so good....

We are about 50 minutes into our first Christmas Eve service....so far so good! Ofcourse, there are a few tweaks we need to make, but thats typical of what we do here at The Crossing.

The room looks awesome, the worship is amazing and Greg is hitting it out of the ballpark. I never knew that bugers and ten dollar bills could be a part of a Christmas Eve message....yup. You will ahve to wait till we get the podcast uploaded to see this.

Pics and video to follow.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Eve is early for me this year…

I am now counting down to our ten Christmas Eve services that begin tomorrow night at 5:30 at The Crossing. Ten identical services! That means there are about 10,000 available seats over four days that 10,000 people can sit in and be a part of this advent experience and hear the life changing Gospel at a time of the year when non-believers are more apt to attending church. 10,000 seats!. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us this weekend.

This Christmas season has been so different for me. I have gotten use to prepping and working a number of Christmas events and concerts along with the usual weekend services. This year, I have been able to focus on our weekend services building up to our ten Christmas services. Being able to spend our resources, both personnel and technical on our main weekend services has allowed us to give our design, technical and personal best. And while we have still gone full throttle this season, I still have some physical and mental energy going into Christmas Eve and I am actually looking forward to the services and not dreading or just going through the motions.

As this is my first Christmas eve…oh by the way, because so many people attend the Christmas eve services here at The Crossing, we have to add extra which means we program one service for the weekend and add the number of services needed to get the number of seats for people … which means we have our first Christmas Eve on Friday. Here is the schedule of services …….
Friday December 21 5:30 & 7:30pm
Saturday Dec 22, 4:30 & 6:30pm
Sunday, Dec 23, 9 & 11am
Monday, Dec 24, 1,3,5 & 7pm …..which means I get to get home early and tuck the children into bed!

Now, because this is the first year at The Crossing, I am going to try to do some pic taking, video capturing and blogging during the services to give you a glimpse and taste of what The Eve @ The Crossing is like. Don’t hope for HD video from our new system…it will be captured by my digital camera and I will try to upload and post one of the highlights during each of the ten services.

So let the countdown begin!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This Advent



So this is something I have been wanting to post for a while now. Our Lead Pastor Greg Holder with a few of his buddies Rick McKinley at Imago Dei Community in Portland, OR and Chris Seay of Ecclesia in Houston, TX are leading an initiative that is catching on fast and making an amazing impact on the world.

According to the World Water Council, 1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water; 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation. 1.8 million People die every year from diarrheal diseases and 3,900 children die every day from water born diseases

Advent Conspiracy exists to be a catalyst for the church to help us worship Jesus more fully at Christmas and therefore be transformed by the God of Advent. The vision is that in the next decade Christ- followers, acting as one people, can blot out the water crisis in the world. The estimated cost to solve the water problem is 10 billion dollars. This is doable given the number of churches and the amount of money that is spent on Christmas each year.

No money comes through the Advent Conspiracy. Through Living Water International, ten dollars can give fresh, clean, healthy water to an individual for the rest of their life. Deep wells will be dug to provide communities of third world communities this fresh water. When you consider that we as Americans spend over 400 billion dollars during the Christmas season this fresh water problem seems so solvable.

Advent Conspiracy pushes back on the commercial empire and consumerism and refocusing back on what Advent really is. It has hit my household. Not only has the Christmas list been edited to reflect this refocus but so has our family values. No longer do we swing by QuikTrip to buy a round of Freezonis but take the money that we would have spent and put it in the jar. Or when we are out to eat, we all forgo the drink and drink water and put the money we save into the jar.

I am so proud of how the girls are living this out. The ‘Living Water Money Tank’ lovingly named by the girls is almost full. It will head to the bank on Saturday to turn it into cash. The offering that is received at all 10 of our Christmas Eve services will go to Living Water. We will put the money in the offering that night.

Take a look at a video we did after Greg returned from Libera and his visit to a new well dug by Living Water. Want more info or want to get involved? Go here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It’s beginning to look a lot like….ahhh-not really...

I am sitting here in my comfy recliner, have some Christmas music playing, my youngest is playing with her Polly Pockets next to me on the floor, my other girls are at school and Teresa picked up a substitute teaching job today…so the house is pretty calm. It's a good time to rest up. The sicky-poohs have been chasing me for the past week. They finally caught me Sunday but I think I am on the upswing today and feeling better.

Last night, Teresa made some Christmas cookies and the girls and I worked on Christmas ornaments spending some quality family time in the kitchen. It has been a while since we have done that. This season feels a bit different. The past six years the Christmas season has meant non-stop working on Christmas Teas, concerts, services and programs and while I was so busy that we really couldn’t enjoy the season all the festivities I was involved in it made it feel like Christmas. This year, I have none of that! And I am not complaining!

It just does not feel like Christmas yet. I am not sure what it is. We have the tree up –and it looks great this year. I spent about two days hanging lights on the house. Teresa has done a great job decorating the inside this year. We took the girls to get their picture taken with Santa. I have Christmas music playing as much as I can. We have watched Polar Express and White Christmas. It just does not feel like Christmas to me. Is this what happens when you grow up…what, did I grow up yet? I miss that magic and anticipation of Christmas. I can see it in my kid’s eyes. We do our best to balance the excitement of Santa and the wonder of Jesus during this season. I miss those high strung emotions I remember having as a little boy during this time of year.

All of those feelings and memories come rushing back to me on Christmas morning though. At the ages the girls are this year I really think this will be a fun time. I can’t wait wake up to the sounds of shrills of excitement seeing the evidence of Santa’s visit. The floor covered by torn wrapping paper and smiles that light up the room.

Until then, we will watch another showing of Charlie Brown’s Christmas and the Polar Express. We will continue working on homemade ornaments, finish decorating Christmas cookies and will be dreaming of a white Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2007

catching up....

Ok…so it’s been like 2 weeks since I have last posted…but not because I don’t like blogging but I have been up to my nose in schtuff – yes, schtuff. I am sure that you have been more productive though as most of you have this blog on a RSS feed and don’t have to do anything to see when I post. For the rest of you, sorry for wasting your time come here seeing if I have posted anything profound.

These last couple of weeks have been craziness for me. We finally finished up the installation of the new HD video system last week and went online with it this past weekend. WOW! What an amazing difference in quality. Go to www.wcrossing,org and click on the Links and Sign Ups to find the podcast. I will take another post and write about the system and everything surrounding it and include pictures.

With the new HD system our lighting team implemented a whole new light plot that was designed by lighting designer Andy Dunning. It looks great on video. And so they would feel the love too – we threw in eight new Martin Mac 250 wash automated lighting units. Again-that’s another post with pics!

Let’s see….oh yea, I spent the night…well till about 1 in the morning with our stage design team this past Thursday as we set the stage for the Advent season. Yup – pics of that too…coming soon.

It’s been busy, but it is good. Things are slowing down a bit till we hit prep time for our 10 Christmas Eve services. I have a great team of peeps working behind the scenes and executing the scenes which makes my job so much easier…and a joy to do!

Now, go download that podcast from Dec. 1&2 and see the fruits of many, many, many, many hours of labor and let me work on getting those pictures.