Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Time for Everything

I did something today that I've never done before in my life. I sewed. It was pretty fun, actually. My media director, Byron Mathe, and I are working together to make the stage setting for our Good Friday Service. Even Brad Stephens, our Media Assistant, was in on the action. I am so excited about this service. It being our first one ever, I have no idea how many people to expect. But, one thing I do know is it is going to be a great service. I'll post some pictures here of the finished product late this week. For now, check out the picture Brad took of my first sewing expedition.

Good Friday 2010

It is amazing to me that I have been in ministry 15+ years now and have never been a part of a Good Friday Service. I've planned a couple as projects during my years in seminary, but I've never actually been to one. This year will be a first for me, as well as for Immanuel.

I have been creatively thinking through how to stage such a service. It has been exciting, yet challenging. Once I came up with the look and feel for the service my emotions have been running wild in the planning process. Pastor told me he wants to walk through the 7 Sayings of Christ on the Cross. With that in mind, I've staged it, planned the music, and gotten key people in place. You really have to pay great attention to every detail beginning with when people first walk in the door. What is the setting? What do they see? What do they hear?

Now that I have completed the actual flow for the service I can tell you that you don't want to miss it. If you are in the Southern California area on Good Friday, you need to be at Immanuel at 6:30pm. Again, I have been very emotional just walking through this service in my mind while just planning and creating it. I know that the actual service is going to be so powerful that it will have a great impact on all who attend.

I can't wait. I am so excited for Easter weekend.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Easter Musical

I am so proud of our people. Our Easter Musical this year was amazing! The cast were great, but I want to acknowledge a few people individually:

1) Lisa Lyons - she serves on our Worship Staff as Outreach Production Coordinator. She directed the musical, Godspell. I watched her work countless hours at her desk, as well as in rehearsals. She put on one of the best performances I've seen in a long time. Great job, Lisa! Thank you so much for your ministry.
2) Byron Mathe - he serves as our Media Director and did an amazing job. The lighting was superior to any stage play I've ever seen. Thank you so much for the time and sacrifice you made to make Godspell a huge success.
3) Lee Lyons - he designed the set. Amazing job Lee....as always! You are an important part of this team.
4) Brad Kaenal - Brad served as musical director and did a great job with the band.
5) Countless others, including Sharon Paul, Eric Kelley, Larry Wheeler, Alan Paul, all of our actors and actresses

I can't say enough about the entire team. Thank you so much for all of your work. Lives were changed and souls were added to the Kingdom. I'd call that a success.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Rock the Star!

The STAR is standardized testing in California public schools. One of the San Bernardino city schools holds a rally for the students in the morning preceding a full day of testing. The purpose of the rally is to pump the kids up and relieve the stress that often comes with the testing. This year, some of the teachers decided to write some lyrics about the STAR and put them to the tune of Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feelin'". They asked me to create the music and record the demo for them to perform with.
At first, I honestly felt like this was going to be a failure on my part. I thought "how am I going to sound like Black Eyed Peas?" Well, the answer to that question was "I wasn't!" But, I could create something in the style and make it high energy for the kids. The results? I think it's hilarious....

So, it is done! And Jody and I had a lot of fun creating it. The teachers did a great job formulating the idea behind it and making such a great link between what could have otherwise been a grueling, boring test and a hip, fun song that the students can relate to. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Friday, March 05, 2010


My head is still spinning from everything that is going on. We are in the middle of our annual Global Outreach Celebration. We have 27 units of Missionaries here with us at Immanuel, and I have the awesome opportunity to lead them in worship. This past Wednesday night was our Kickoff Celebration, I led worship for them this morning and will again tomorrow morning, and then Sunday Morning and Evening are our final services. In addition, I am planning our Student Worship Choir tour to Chicago, so I've been on the phone, planning itinerary, and trying to make monies match the budget. I am working with a new planning website for our worship teams, staff, and volunteers. So, I've been logging many hours of tutorial videos and uploading of info. I had an article due today for Brentwood-Benson's Publication that is due out in April. So, I've been writing that. (For those that care, it is called "Impact Worth the Sacrifice" - Not that you asked or anything!) I am teaching for LifeWay in Glorietta, NM in August. So, I had to develop 5, count 'em, 5!!!, classes that I will teach. Those are being emailed tomorrow. I laid out the worship flow for the next 2 weeks. And now, here I sit at 1am waiting for what is sure to be the first feeding of the night for our 6 week old daughter, Ava Drew. What should I fix her? Hmmmmm.....I guess I'll go with the old standard. Milk.

But, amidst all of this I was somehow able to watch "American Idol" and keep up with the drama on "Survivor". I am a renaissance man :) I also caved for the sake of a friend of mine. He asked me to get together about 20 voices and to premier a worship musical of his at MusiCalifornia in less than 4 weeks. Am I crazy? Probably. But, I will start work on that as soon as the music arrives. The easiest way to do it was to throw it to my praise teams. I needed people that could read well and learn the music primarily on their own. We quickly had 20 voices and are going to do it. Insanity!!! But, I don't go it alone. There are many of you right there with me.