Friday, October 31, 2008

Creating Friday

Episode 3 of "The Church Office"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's the Bus-i-i-est Time of the Year

There is so much going on at Immanuel right now that I hardly know where to start. So, follow the list:

1) Harvest Festival is tomorrow night. It is definitely one of the biggest events of the year. We will see 10,000+ on our campus. Big night. Big rewards.
2) Johnny Hunt - Wednesday, November 12, 6:30pm - Johnny Hunt, Pastor of First Baptist Woodstock, GA, and President of the Southern Baptist Convention will be with us and preaching in our Wednesday Worship Service.
3) Thanksgiving Services - Wednesday, November 26, 6:45pm, we will celebrate the Lord's Supper together and return "thanks" to the Lord in this sweet time of worship. Be here with your family to celebrate Thanksgiving with ours.
4) Immanuel Lights - A Community Christmas Tree Lighting - Sunday, November 30, 6:30pm. This is our very first year for Immanuel Lights. The Mayor has RSVP'd, along with several other city councilmen and women. We are canvassing our Highland neighborhoods to invite people out for this fun family event. Great music, food, a tree lighting, and a special guest appearance by one of Christmas' favorite animated stars. Hint: he is really cold. (And Todd Lollis, no it's not V.)
5) Our annual Christmas Dessert Theater is December 11-14. Get your tickets now. This is an awesome event. Mucho fun!
6) Christmas at Immanuel - Our Christmas Eve services are great. The entire service is compacted into 30 minutes, and there are 2 to choose from. Wall to wall energy, music, and excitement. There's no better way to spend Christmas Eve than this.

Don't miss a moment of Life @ Immanuel.

Monday, October 27, 2008


There is only 1 week left until the election that will shape the future of our country. I vote by mail so I have already voted. One thing I hate about voting that way is that I don't get that cool sticker that everyone else gets to sport around on election day that says "I voted". So, no sticky little fashion statements for me. But, I digress.

We have actually been invited to an election party that night. We're not sure if we're going. Due to kids needing to go to bed. But, we will be glued to the news watching the results.

So, find out the truth about the candidates and the PROPS and VOTE!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Recommendations

So, Christmas is coming up soon. That little piece of wisdom goes out to all of you who wait until the last minute to shop. Along those lines, I have had people from time to time ask about gifts to give people. Some ask about great Christmas CDs. And, let me just tell you. If you want a great Christmas CD, don't wait until Christmas to buy it. That leaves you, or the person you bought it for, NO TIME to enjoy Christmas music. Get it now and enjoy it through the season.

Others ask about good books I've read lately and want to know what I recommend. So, I have partnered with AMAZON.COM to throw my recommendations out there to you. You know...for those of you who want them. You can also tell a lot about a person by what he/she reads or listens to. So, check me out in the carousel above. If you see something that interests you, just click on it's image and it will take you to AMAZON.COM to see more about it, and how you can purchase it.

I have enjoyed EVERYTHING I have ever purchased from AMAZON, so I am completely confident in recommending their services. As I hear a new CD that is great, or finish a great book, I'll post them in MY RECOMMENDATIONS at the top of the blog. So, always check that out when you visit and see what great things are out there that I think you should try. Often times it's overwhelming to go to a site and not really know what you want. So, go through the carousel "to a mystical world of literacy".

You can always post your own reviews on here as well. If you read a book or listen to a CD on this page, give me your review. I'd love to know what you think!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


If you live in California, then you know about PROPOSITION 8...unless you live in a hole somewhere and never keep up with current events. For those of you who do not live in California and are unaware of what PROP 8 is, let me clue you in. We are in a major battle in the state of California. We are urging everyone to vote YES ON 8 to establish, by law, that the state defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, only. The people voted for that in 2000 but 4 supreme court judges threw out that vote and overturned the decision of the people.

The homosexual agenda is a brutal one. I have had YES ON 8 signs torn up and stolen out of my yard. People have been assaulted for distributing material for the proposition. This is what happens when people look at things through the eyes of sin. As goes California, so goes the nation. Please pray that God will be honored through the passing of this vote.

I have heard from Christian and non-Christian alike that the church should not be involved in politics. Personally, I feel that if the church had stood up when prayer in school was being attacked, we would not be fighting this battle today. As the church, we need to stand up and influence this country and its laws for the Gospel of Christ.

Lovin' It

So, I've gotten a lot of mileage out of my birthday this year. The Worship Staff took me out to lunch today to Chili' choice. It was great. We all had a good time hangin' together. I love to hang out with my staff. They are a lot of fun to be around.

And, what makes this time of year even better? Well, I'm really getting HEAVY into Christmas. I've been listening to Christmas non-stop all day today. I am getting things lined up for Immanuel's Christmas Eve Services. We will have services at 4:30 and 6pm on Christmas Eve, and the Immanuel Choir and Orchestra will be leading at both. We are getting into some Christmas music this week in rehearsal, and will have fun doing it.

How can you not love this time of year?

Merry Christmas!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Change of Plans

Alright, so I changed my mind from my last post. I will still be featuring video footage on Friday, but it will instead be Episode 2 of The Church Office. I'm posting the 50s Film Strip today.

Do you remember those crazy videos we used to watch in school? You know, the ones that always seemed like they were shot 50 years ago with some very outdated equipment. Well, the reason for that was...well...that they were. And, they always had the cheesy music and voice over to go along with them. Well, at Immanuel, we've recreated that video, but with an emphasis on evangelism.

Our Pastor was preaching a sermon on "Inviting Others" to church. He was equipping us with tools to reach our neighbors, friends, family, etc...and getting them here to church. But, before you can know "what to do when inviting others" you have to understand "what NOT to do when inviting others to church". Larry Wheeler, our in-house video director (and king of anything Mac), developed this video. Good Stuff. So, sit back, relax, get out your pencils boys and girls, and lets flash back to those school days together.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

End of the Week

I have seen such a great response from people concerning "the church office" video on my previous post, that I've decided to start featuring some creative element ideas that we have toward the end of each week. Each week I will post a video, stage setup pics, or a creative element idea that we are using in worship to help spark ideas of your own and to give you some new ones. So, check back each Friday to see what we're up to.

Next Friday we'll be featuring a 50s Film Strip video that you are going to want to see. I'll explain more later!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Church Office

With so many events going on at Immanuel, however do we promote everything? The answer? The Church Office. The Church Office is a 4 week promotional video that follows the idea of television's comedy hit THE OFFICE. We are not trying to impersonate any of the characters from the show. We are simply giving you, the viewer, an unrealistic, over-exaggerated behind the scenes look at the happenings in The Church Office at Immanuel. This is episode 1, "The Candy Man", and will air in the 10:45am service this Sunday. Tell your friends!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


My kids love bedtime stories. But, not the kind you would read in a book. They want me to make up a story, on the spot, "not about us or anyone we know", and "not a story we already know". Well, talk about demanding kids. Can't you just be satisfied with a story from a sweet little bedtime story book that's already written and proven with kids from multiple generations? But...I digress.

Over the years I have come up with some pretty awesome stories. Sometimes these stories are in song, and are funny in nature. Other times, these stories are based on fairy tales, but have a twist at the end. The twist usually comes as a result of me forgetting exactly what happens in the real story. But, that seems to be what my kids like best anyway, so I still have my job as storyteller.

However, other times, these "made up on the spot" stories don't turn out so good. Last night, I was asked by Caleb to tell a story. "But, not about anyone we know, or me, or any other real story." So, I was left scrambling. I went into song, because that's what I do....good or bad....if I'm going to fall on my sword, I am going to be singing something while grasping for a rhyme.

So, I went into song about a 7 legged beast that walked into town one day. The beast approaches people's homes to chat with them, but everyone hides behind their couches and in their closets. They are all scared of the awkward creature. Each day he is greeted by the same reaction. Until one day as he was walking down the street, he saw a shadowy figure off in the distance. As he got closer, he realized it was another 7 legged beast. They fell in love and lived happily ever after.

Caleb's reaction: (laughter....pause.....laughter.....pause...thinking....wheels turning) Wait. That's gross. Please tell me they didn't kiss.

First story (song) of the night - C-.

Next, I was putting Abby down for the night. I could hear Jody singing karaoke in the other room and wanted desperately to get in there to show her how it's done. But, I was met head on with another story request. (I'll elaborate on the karaoke thing in a future blog.)

I decided to go a different route this time and avoid the song and dance. So, I came up with the story of the Ugly Princess. I cleared my throat and the adventure began.....

Once upon a time, there was a princess. And this princess was uuuugggggglllllyyyyyy. I mean to tell you, she was so ugly that when people saw her, they went (make screaming noise). I mean, she was so ugly that when you saw her, if you didn't already have bad eyesight, you wished that you did. She was (as we say in the south) rurnt. She was tore up from the floor up. (Abby laughs - good sign - then says "daddy, you're mean" - bad sign).

Ummmm, okay.

So, one day the princess went into town. (All of my characters seem to go into town at some point. Give me a break. I'm making this stuff up on the spot.)
When she walked down the street people would scream when they saw her. Others just had to stare because she was so ugly.

One day, when the princess walked down the street, she saw a little puppy in need. The puppy was very hungry and was being treated bad by all of the townspeople. So, the princess picked up the puppy and held it tight. She kissed it, and loved it. And, soon found it some food and water. But, the princess wasn't done. She was gonna give those people a piece of her mind.

So, the princess walked back into town. Amidst the screams and the scurrying of the people.... ("Daddy, what does a miss mean?" Uhhh....just listen. I'm almost done.) So, while people ran around screaming, she yelled out...."may I have your attention please." Everyone stopped to hear what the ugly princess had to say.

"For years now, you have all screamed and ran away from me because you find me less than appealing.....well.....okay, I'm ugly, okay. I'm not easy on the eyes. But, you have treated me so bad, that it has really hurt my feelings. I am just like you on the inside. And, because of your treatment of the little puppy that I've decided to name UGA (that's for the University of Georgia...go dawgs), I want you to know that you are the true ugly ones. You have shown your true character by the way you treat others."

And from that day on, the ugly princess was known as the Beautiful Princess because of her inner beauty....but, she was still rough to look at.

The End.

If any of you need stories written for your kids, let me know. I'm thinking about posting some on ebay soon and would be honored to terrorize a few of your kids.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Church Office

We just shot 4 of the 5 episodes of "the church office" comedy sketch today. Tony Burton made a guest appearance, and was hysterical. The purpose of "the church office" is to promote several events that are going on in the church through the remainder of the year. Because it's very media driven and edgy, we are only showing it in the 10:45 contemporary service. We will promote the events in the 9am service, just not in this new format. They will continue to be promoted in announcements, skits, etc. I can't wait to see the footage. It's going to be great....hopefully!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ring the Bells

Travis Cottrell's new Christmas Album featuring (Jeff Bumgardner) Natalie Grant, (Jeff Bumgardner) Great Arrangements (Jeff Bumgardner), and a Christmas Choir (starring Jeff Bumgardner) is finally available. I am working to get some in the church bookstore at Immanuel. You can read an article about it HERE . Check it out. This Christmas album (and Jeff Bumgardner) is apparently giving goosebumps to millions.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I Love Fall

I absolutely love this time of year. I love the fall(hence the title of this blog)! I love going in stores and seeing all of the fall decorations all around. I love to feel that cool, crisp weather. I love the fact that I can feel Christmas on the way. And, my BIRTHDAY just so happens to be in the fall. OCTOBER 16 to be exact. Yes. My BIRTHDAY on OCTOBER 16. It is nice having a BIRTHDAY in the fall...especially on OCTOBER 16. I never know what is in store on MY BIRTHDAY. Sometimes I get CARDS WITH LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY in them. Sometimes I get PRESENTS from sweet, sweet, God-fearing people. Usually, people who don't love the Lord are the ones that don't give me presents on my BIRTHDAY on OCTOBER 16. I love fall.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Natural Disasters

I am a southern boy. I must admit it. I was born and raised in Georgia, which just so happens to be in the south. Get the connection? Okay. Good. So, I grew up understanding what rain was. Of which we see very little in Southern California. Also, I have a firm understanding of what it means to be under a tornado warning.
But, last night took the cake. (mmmmm, cake. I just had a craving.)

I don't make it a habit of falling asleep on the couch, but last night it happened. I had just sat down to watch a little UFC action that I had recorded. I hit the play button, and that's all I remember. The next thing I know I am awaken by the couch shaking around. I sat up, only to feel the floor shaking, too. It soon stopped, as the realization set in that we had just had an earthquake. Remember the Chino Hills quake back in July? Well, this one was only a 4.1, but it was closer to us. So, we felt it.

Again, I'm used to storm warnings and things of that sort, but you're not going to turn on the weather channel and hear about an earthquake that's going to rumble your area beginning at 3 this afternoon. There's no warning. Just the shaking. Pretty interesting. Kinda exciting. I just don't want too much excitement. A few seconds is one thing, but a life altering quake would not be so good.

Funny Stuff've got to check this video out. It makes me laugh. Hard.

Great Site

I found this new site about a month ago and thought I had blogged about it. But, apparently not. So, I wanted to let you know about it so that you too, could have a little fun with pictures of yourself. What else is there to do online but read this blog. This site allows you to upload your own picture and position your face into their picture. It's kinda a play on the old carnival cutout faces boards. However, it creates your picture to look like a yearbook photo. You choose the pic you want in 2 year intervals, from 1950 - 2000. So, there you go. I've placed a few pics of my own for your amusement. Go check it out and have fun with it. Comment below to let me know which pic of mine you like the best.