Thursday, January 31, 2008

schools cancelled….

Well they have already cancelled school for tomorrow so the girls went to bed knowing they have a snow day tomorrow. I do not remember growing up where they cancelled school the night before. Plans are to sleep in and then head outside after breakfast for lots of snow fun. Snow ball fights, making snow angels and snowman will fill the morning. I will head back to church tomorrow afternoon to catch up on prepping for the weekend.

The fam is loving this snow fall……



enjoying the falling snow outside and the warm fire inside....can you tell we are excited.


it's snowing.....

So the snow came a bit early today...but none of us are complaining. The school had a teacher's work day scheduled so the girls already had a half day of school. They now get to get a jump start on this early snow fall.

I have cancelled the tech and design teams tonight at church. Because I am usually at church on Thursdays till about midnight I dont go in until around noon. With the snow making it messy today and the teams called off I am staying put. Enjoying a fire and the kids.....I love unscheduled time off.


eagerly awaiting snow....

The Swaringim household is eagerly awaiting the highly anticipated arrival of snow! They have been predicting it for the last few days. Yesterday they were calling for seven to ten inches of snow on Friday and now today its four to eight...I hope it doesn't dwindle down the closer we get to Friday.

Now this is a highly anticipated event due to our experiences while living in Chicago. The first snow fall up there typically happens on the last day of summer...well, ok - the middle of fall. And it would typically happen often enough that we would go through winter so there would be a white layer covering the ground all the time. This year in St. Louis we had one good dump of snow. Thats it. blaaaaaa.

We are excited. If we get the forecasted amount the girls will have a snow day from school. I think I will make sure all things are covered at church and take a snow day as well. In fact, if there is a good amount of snow on the ground to make a snowman but school is not called off I just may keep them home anyway. This was discussed this morning and it seems all parties involved were in agreement on that. Sooooooooooooo..................

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

lost, love and soul.....

I have not yet jumped on the LOST bandwagon – the plot never intrigued me. I much rather watch Survivor. At least all that back biting and plot twists end up winning someone a million dollars. But I am watching this rerun finale that includes on-screen back story and facts of the show. One, to see if I can actually get into the show but two because our Lead Pastor at The Crossing wanted us to pay attention to the lower crawl of info and see how that enhances our experience. As we look toward doing church distributed (multi-site) we need to find creative ways to communicate and engage folks that would off-set the lack of interaction that our communicators facilitate so well. So hopefully I will get LOST one way or another.

So we have a new member on the team. I love her....we all do. Her name is Lulu. She is gorgeous. She is in her forties. Incredible body and pearly whites and man can she wail. WOW. This B3 organ is a great addition to the team. She is on loan from a very good friend. She has been totally refurbished for another job but we have her in the mean time. I can’t wait to mic her leslie cabinet, focus some blue light on her and set a B-shot camera on her keys to grab those great shots of the player sliding down the keys. Pics and possible video coming after the weekend.

No sign of Carlos yet. Our Goal: has yet not been achieved. Have you visited his blog We will continue till he finds us.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Goal: Carlos Whittaker

Goal: Carlos Whittaker

Current Occupation: Service Program Director, Buckhead Church, Atlanta, GA

Beyond the blog: I have been tracking with since Carlos was back with Sandals Church but for some reason I didn’t add him to my Google Reader until he went on staff at Buckhead Church in Atlanta, GA. I like what he has to say and the boldness he says it in. He has over 3500 readers of his blog so I am hoping that someone that knows someone that knows him will let Carlos know that he’s our Goal:. Now, I am not positive, but pretty sure Carlos doesn’t know who I am. I have never been in communication with him or anything. But he seems to be a pretty nice guy since he invited all of us to come and stay at his place some time.

Here’s the rules….

For you – the non Goal:
1) If you don’t know anything about the Goal: click on their blog and spend some time there.
2) Post your question that you want to ask our Goal: in the comments section. Feel free to add your name, blog and any info like that.
3) Feel free to engage in other posters comments….discussion is not a bad thing.
4) Be nice!

For you – the Goal:
Thanks for finding us! Please read through the comments and take a moment to answer. That’s it! We will be happy with just you being part of the conversation.


blogosphere economy.....

Just under three months ago I posted about the worth of this blog. I even offered anyone interested to buy this blog -no takers though. To bad though, it was a bargin at $2,258.16.
Today this thing is worth $3,387.24..... o.k. - this is your second chance... Anyone looking to buy a blog?

My blog is worth $3,387.24.
How much is your blog worth?


Monday, January 28, 2008

and now the news....

I mentioned that I had some news. No, we are not expecting another little one or anything like that.

Leadership has approved us hiring an Associate Technical Arts Director. Job description is here and instructions to apply can be found here. This position will work closely with me and our tech teams in daily prep and weekend worship production needs. We are also in the process of bringing in our part time Assistant Technical Director that will lead our team in our Loft Experience during the weekend services. All this due to our growth and strategic plans to accomodate growth and reach more people for Christ.

We also have an intership program with year long and summer interns. The Crossing is a great enviorment for gaining both technical and ministry experience. You can email to request an application packet.

Pass along the word if you think someone you know would be a great fit.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

goodbye soundboard....

My Admin Assistant, Mike, showed this to me. He has a cousin that works at a church up in Michigan and their audio mixer bit the dust…so they had some fun. Now, before all you ‘good stewards of God’s gifts’ email know that the mixer was dead and they are buying new. For all you ‘good sound guys’ know that it’s a Mackie (UPDATE: We have been notified by the owner of the mixer that is not a Mackie but instead a Soundcraft now it is a little painful) they are destroying….ahhhh feels good, huh.


our next Goal:....

I have finally decided on who our next Goal: will be. It will be a lofty Goal: but we will have fun. Tomorrow we will officially announce the next Goal:.


I was going to do a series of posts that would highlight the various areas of our technical production system but like many other things it had to be lower on the priority list. I will tell you that our main auditorium runs a Yamaha PM5D v.2 and our Loft has a Yamaha M7CL. I am a fan of Yamaha for their audio mixers for some time we will do our good share of homework on deciding what the consoles for FOH and Monitor World will be for our future auditorium expansion.

We have a handful of guys that can make the PM5 purrrrrr. Leading that audio team is Jim Michaels. Jim has an exceptional ear and more so is an outstanding tech. It’s guys like Jim that allow me to spend more time hanging out with people and doing the vision thang instead of hunkered down in the nitty gritty technical stuff of electronics and such.

Jim has recently started a discussion board for Yamaha Digital users Jim says " was created to provide those who operate Yamaha digital sound reinforcement consoles a place to ask questions, seek advice, to troubleshoot and otherwise "just talk about" these wonders of digital sound."

On the road, in the theater, or in a house of worship, Yamaha has become a leader in digital audio. If you or one of your team members is lucky enough to mix on one of their desks then I would encourage to use this great resource.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

I've got news....

...and I will share with you after I share with my team leaders this Sunday afternoon.



I heard this was coming but didn't know it was out. I saw the post over at AV Club and got all excited. I soooo want this. Eye-Fi


now I twitter....

I set up a twitter account last night. I watch a few others and their posts on twitter which they have on their blogs. The last two days I have had things happen or did something that I just wanted to let my online friends know. Each time I thought to myself ‘I need to twitter that’. Now that I have twitter I am sure that nothing will happen and will never use it. Nahhhh… we will see how it goes……

Those of you that twitter....let's follow each other.


Goal: Scott Hodge = Achieved.

So apparently Scott Hodge is an overachiever. He commented like 30 minutes after I posted. That’s ok…now the next Goal: will have something to live up to. If you have not yet checked him out and want some good insight in church leadership and a pastor that’s obsessed with St. Arbucks go check out Scott.

Since it has been less than 24 hours since I conceived this Goal: idea I have not put much thought on who would be my second Goal:…I was assuming I would have atleast a day to think about it. I’m thinking it’s a toss up between Tony and Carlos. Neither of them have a clue to who I am so it will be interesting.

I think I need to tweak this Goal: concept as well. I like the idea of thinking that blogs are mediums for online conversation. So, once I post a Goal: its then up to you, the reader, to post in the comment section questions for that Goal:. Then that Goal:, once we finds the blog, should answer those which I hope would let us get to know that person better and I would hope that it would stop at that. This would hook you up to their blog and the conversation continues and maybe grows. Hmmmmm……. I need to work this out.

It’s like introducing you to somebody at a party and getting their business card to connect with them for coffee or something like that. Hey, it’s an online coffee shop….I hope it's Caribou….humor me!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Goal: Scott Hodge

Here’s the down low – I’m tired of posting little ditty’s that are in my head and stuff about church and figure you are pretty tired of reading them (though you are still here reading). I could easily give you a glimpse of my list of blogs I follow by posting them over there on the right hand column but that would be so blah as everyone else does the same (not that it’s a bad thing). So I’m thinking how I could do something different and fun. This is what I came up with….


Goal: is my way of sharing with you the blogs I follow by pursuing the poor person long enough that they will visit my blog (either by noticing the large amount of traffic coming from my blog link or someone telling them) and posting a comment on my blog of one blog that is their favorite. They are also encouraged to answer questions that are posted in the Comments by you! Yup -ask away...anything you want! Then we all get to go and see what’s up with their favorite blog. See-this will be fun...and I am the Master of Fun! All this with the goal of having my favorite bloggers (that includes you) post a comment on my blog.

My first Goal: is....

Goal: Scott Hodge
Current Occupation: Lead Pastor, Orchard Valley Community Church, Aurora, IL
Blog address:

Beyond the blog: I have been reading Scott’s blog for some time now…close to two years maybe? He was one of the first blogs that I read and have stuck with. I like what he says and love what he is doing out in Aurora, IL which is like 30 minutes from where I use to live and work in Wheaton, IL. Scott and I have had a conversation or two via email and he actually invited me out to have coffee with him once, though differences in taste in coffee didn’t allow it (he likes Starbucks, I liked Caribou). If my schedule would have allowed or they thought of starting a Saturday service back when we were in Wheaton I would have loved to attended a service at Orchard Valley. I do know that he visits this blog every once in a while….let’s see how long it will be before he posts.

Let the fun begin folks!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008


First off, welcome Monty Hobson to the blogosphere. Monty is a singer/songwriter, our staff worship leader at The Crossing and just a...hmmmm unique individual. I like Monty. I'm looking forward to reading his blog. Check him out.

While you are there, check out this post and video. Yea, those are just a few of our kids from church...note: they are 12, 13 and 14 years old so you didn't see them in the youth weekend video led by our highschool students. So much to say about this but still speechless.


youth weekend video....

I posted a few weeks ago about our last youth weekend. As promised, here is the video to the service. It comes from our youth pastor, Randall. Read what he has to say about the weekend here. And when he says it will take a while, he means a while...but its worth the wait.


Monday, January 21, 2008

...its been a week

It has been like a week since I have posted anything here. Church is keeping me busy and my mind is nonstop with what we have going on and upcoming. While it is mentally taxing, I love that I am a part of a church that is continually looking for ways to connect with people. Part of that means taking elements or the entire worship service outside of our auditorium. That currently looks like a HD video feed to a 8 x 14 foot screen with full tech support around it in another room on campus we call The Loft. This is our testing ground of things to come with our plans to go multi-site this year….and that may be sooner than later. Multi site stuff and a run down of our HD video upgrade will be great future posts.

But for now I was happy when I came across this...

...then I was bummed I didn’t find it a month or two ago.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

and the total is....

Our Lead Pastor here at The Crossing announced this weekend that $345,000.00 was collected over our ten Christmas Eve services for Living Water, Int. With more than one thousand churches involved with Advent Conspiracy this year there will be a countless number of lives changed forever through this initiative. Lives in third world countries where this money will go to provide fresh water wells and to those people here that took a stand against consumerism and changed thier Christmas focus.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

it arrived today...

. ..that small tin of goop that ADI gave me on my Dallas trip. Cathy calls it 'speciality green goop'.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I am not one to hype on bands or their albums but I will say one of my absolute favorite bands around is Leeland. Their freshman offering was an amazing showing of tremendous depth and maturity in poetic and composition form. All done by a group of teenagers. It made me wish for more.

Today, they threw me a bone. Released on iTunes today is the single “Count Me In“ from their sophomore project titled Opposite Way slated for a February release. Find it here.

Enjoy my friend, enjoy.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I'm in that mood again. Ready for something different and it's alot easier to renovate the blog than the hall bathroom. Hope you like the new will be here for atleast a day unless I get tired of it sooner than that.

Whacha' think? Let me know by leaving a comment.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

a day off...

Since Youth Weekend was happening I was able to take the day off. It was my first Sunday off since I have arrived at The Crossing...besides the Sunday I went out to Life Church out in Oklahoma with some of the staff. It was a real good day. In fact, I think I’m gonna take every Sunday off….oh, wait – I have a job.

So I started the day off by waking up after an eleven hour nap. My precious wife let me sleep in a little but put me right to work and had me up on the roof taking down the Christmas lights. It was a beautiful day with temps in the high 60’s. It was more like a warm spring day than like the middle of winter. After six years of winters in Chicago, the family has had somewhat of a time getting use to the weather here in St Louis. But the day was to be a day to be enjoyed.
We took the girls out to Chuck E Cheese for a few hours. They have a blast there. Although I think we are raising a generation of gamblers every time we go there. Those games like ‘Surfs Up’ and the ‘Rubble Bubble’ always have these kids dropping their tokens one right after another just for another ticket. It’s addicting, thinking that the next token will drop just right so the little broom will push the token enough to push the huge pile of tokens that are half off the ledges just ready to drop awarding another ticket… know what I’m talking about.

So we feed the ‘ticket muncher’ his far share of our token gluttony and headed back home. The girls got to play outside for a while as I headed back to church for the New Comers Dinner. The last one I was at I was a ‘new comer staff member’ but tonight I was just staff. It is so cool to see hundreds of new people each time getting a chance to hear Lead Pastor, Greg, talk about church stuff and then field questions. I love the fact he takes the time to be a part of this and does an amazing job communicating who we are and what and why we do it. I am excited about being at The Crossing and these New Comers Dinners just continues to remind me why. On my way out I had the chance to see Rob in shorts and his white – really white – legs.

Tomorrow gets me back to work for our first full week of 2008….I’m looking forward to it!


youth weekend...

It’s Youth Weekend at The Crossing –meaning Student Ministries took the place over. I got to take today (Sunday) off and on my end (the tech side of things) youth and volunteer youth staff took the helm for the weekend worship services. No worries here though with things in the good hands of tech intern SteveO.

I sat through run-through, the first service and the debrief meeting Saturday night and then got to sit with Teresa and Brittany the second service and experience it from that perspective. I inherited a phenomenal team. Along with Randall and Rob, our new student ministries creative arts guys Eric, the youth band that led worship, our tech team did a stellar and professional job. I loved sitting in that seat last night realizing that I wasn’t even thinking about ‘tech’ and let alone worship was being led by a bunch of kids half my age but caught myself worshipping….thanks guys!

This entire weekend didn’t happen just because some kids have talent and we have a good sound system. It happened because adults have poured themselves into this generation. It doesn’t only happen in youth services but talented adults bring young people under their wing and lead them, train them and love them. Some churches will tell you that the ‘young people are the church of tomorrow’ and hire a youth pastor and let them have their own service. The Crossing has realized that the young people are the church of today and mentor them, lead them and let them be a contributing part of our weekend services and the church. I look forward to seeing my kids grow up here.

I will hopefully be able to update with some pics or video of the service.


Friday, January 4, 2008

christmas eve attendance....

Have you watched the podcast from the Christmas eve services yet? Don't forget.

We have the offical numbers in for attendance of our ten Christmas eve services.....

There are some amazing stories flying around this place coming out of Christmas Eve. It is so cool to see how God moves in people's lives. I don't know why, as believers, we are so amazed when He does His stuff... but it's amazing. We keep getting the emails of how the service and everything wrapped around it was beautiful, inspiring and were challenged by it and how God changed lives - I love those emails!

2008 will rock!


the Dallas trip...

The plane ride there and back were very uneventful, which is always good when traveling more than a half an inch off of the ground. I have realized that in the last five months at The Crossing I have been to Oklahoma, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Dallas and no more do I get ‘woozy’ when the plan takes off.

Our visits to Watermark Church and Northwoods were good ones. Each place has their unique character. Some people say they don’t like this church or that church because of this or something and others church hop because of it but I have come to appreciate churches of all kinds, especially those that are reaching and growing. We took some good ideas from each church and are gnawing on it now as we continue to process this new building phase.

I don’t think the highlight for me on this trip was the church visit (they were good though and thanks to the church’s staff). The true highlight was seeing certain individuals from a certain consulting firm in action. To protect the integrity of this certain consulting firm that is into acoustics and A/V/L design whose office happens to be in Dallas….and New York (though I still respect those guys up there a little) I will not discuss the many ‘mishaps’ that happened yesterday during our visit. This would include taking a twenty minute trip down the wrong road on the way to their client’s building! And I won’t even talk about the wrong turn made trying to just enter onto the highway that took us around in a circle.

BUT, I would like to mention this certain consulting firm who apparently enjoys employing certain individuals with a sense of humor that I do not have. If you read my retraction post from yesterday - here's the rest of the story. As we were leaving Watermark and heading to the cars the individual who will be named…hmmmmm –let’s see, we will call him Craig Janssen. Craig told me that he had something for me. Not knowing what it is, and thinking just getting to see him again would be a gift enough for me, I watched him pull a bag out of his car and bring it back to me. While handing it to me he said, “Cathy (whose last name starts with a ‘H’ and ends with a ‘n’ and has ‘utchiso’ in between) and I were reading your blog and wanted to give you free stuff."

Well, my heart pumped in excitement and then I looked down at the bag. I looked back at Craig and he had this silly smirk on his face. I pulled out of this then black book bag with yellow logos of Texas a shirt from a respectable audio company ( I will not divulge the name as they are assumed innocent) and a small tin of green goop. Craig kept sayings, ‘all you said was you wanted free stuff’. I got a good chuckle from this little shenanigan the folks from A.D.I. (initials so to protect the consulting firm’s name) until I realized I had to get on a plan last night with this in my bag. I could only imagine standing there at the airport spread against the wall with police as the bomb squad was trying to determine what this little tin of green play putty was. So I tucked it down behind the drive seat of David’s minivan. I hope they mail it to me – I like getting free stuff!


Thursday, January 3, 2008


As I stated in my last post: Please note: feel free to send me free stuff!

I must retract that statement and offer this so not to confuse any other readers...

Feel free to send me free stuff that has a value of $15 or more and of the useful nature (to me). If you are in doubt that your free stuff sent to me does not meet this criterea then you may contact me before sending. I am not responisble for the charges of shipping the stuff...or the purchase or anything that would remove the word 'FREE'. Thank You.

Stay tuned to hear why I was required to make this retraction.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

starting off the year....

I will be starting the year off right and heading to Dallas to see the crew at Acoustic Dimensions, Inc and to look at a couple of new builds they have done in the area… Watermark Church and Northwoods (here’s some pics of their new building). This trip is to continue the ongoing discussion we are having for building Phase 3 of The Crossing.

Speaking of getting more seating…rumor has it that we had over 80% capacity for our ten Christmas Eve services. I will divulge that info and the Living Water total collected over the services as well in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I told you that you had to hear Greg’s Christmas Eve message…it’s online now and you can go here to get it.

And speaking of starting the year off right, the good people at Clark Pro Media in Atlanta sent me a Christmas card and copy of NorthPoint’s latest album Louder Than Creation. It is totally worth picking up – great music from those guys.

Please note: feel free to send me free stuff!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

starting 2008 off......

I wanted my first post in 2008 to be one to thank you for hanging out with me here.
This little blog here has gone national with hits from California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kansas, Florida, Texas, New York, Virginia, Utah, Missouri (outside of St Louis) and international from British Columbia and England. Since most of you are returning I guess I will continue to babble about stuff going on around here at The Crossing and with me.

I think 2008 will be a good year. I look forward to seeing what God will lead us through both at home and at church. I can’t wait to share that with you. So, thanks for reading along – I will try to throw in some useful and interesting info every once in a while for you. Let me say that this is my place so the thoughts and all that is posted here is from me and not necessarily the thoughts or views of my employer, fellow staff and even my wife.

Now, I’m off to practice writing 2008 on the date line…..