Archive for December, 2007

18
Dec
07

More Pics…Imagine That…

Imagine Christmas Melanie

So, you can go here and see more pictures of Imagine Christmas. Millie is the best!

Let me know what you all think!

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17
Dec
07

Imagine Christmas…

Well, it’s over! I can’t believe it…it was absolutely amazing! Everyone really stepped up and our team just blew me away! Both shows were packed and the energy in the building was so cool! From the carolers in the parking lot to the cookies and cider in the lobby, the atmosphere just screamed “Christmas”! I will write more later and post more pictures but now I have to clean my house that I have neglected for the past month…yuck!

Theses pictures are from my dear friend, Millie Holloman. She is an amazing photographer and I am grateful that she agreed to shoot the show for us… This first one is our two angels (Pastor Matthew and my smoochie, Don) and Mary (Karen Pray). The set is from the incredibly selfless Valerie Bowden and her team…

Imagine Christmas Set

This is our cloud angel, Taia Baker. She was fearless and agreed to fly from our angel deck 15 feet above the crowd…you rock, girl!

Imagine Christmas Angel

If you saw the show, I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave some comment love, please!

12
Dec
07

Imagine What Can Happen…

Four days until Imagine Christmas…

This has been such a rewarding experience for me. From the day we started planning for this event I have felt the hand of God on us as we have ventured into new territory. This production is HUGE! So many details have kept me up at night….last minute glitches and fixes that are just part of the deal. I think the biggest thing for me has been seeing how people have caught the vision and stepped up to help. So many of you have spent countless personal hours making this happen and have given your financial resources to make this great.

So, if you have not yet made plans to be here for Imagine Christmas – do whatever it takes to clear your schedules and get yourself here this weekend! Bring your friends and family – especially if they don’t know the Lord…they are ones we are doing this for. The message of salvation is the most important message they will ever hear and we are going to bring it to them in a way they would never expect. You can go here and send an e-mail invitation to everyone you know!

We have a few surprises up our sleeves, so don’t miss it. Don’t be late because you won’t get a seat! (Come early and hear some festive Caroling and get some free Christmas Goodies, too!)

11
Dec
07

Pastor Bryan In His Finest Hour

bryanscaffolding1.jpg

I really love my brother – I think he’s the only one around here crazy enough to do this job….and he let’s us take pictures like this.

By the way….only five more days!

🙂

10
Dec
07

Making It Stick

I have been faced with a very specific challenge this week and I have struggled to know how to handle it. In my frustration, I have started this post several times and used the delete key more than once.

The bottom line is this – some people need to be schooled on commitment. It is far too easy to just throw our hands up and run away when things are difficult. It’s sooo hard to stick with it and fulfill your word. But we must! This is so important to learn and parents, especially, need to instill this in their children. Things are never going to go exactly the way you want them to – life is full of surprises. Some of them great but a lot of them painful. So, how should we respond with the road seems to suck instead of being the wonderful yellow brick road we think it should be? We get over it and do what we’re supposed to do anyway. We dust ourselves off and become the man or woman that God created us to be despite how painful it may feel.

Life is hard – there is no denying that. But we make it so much harder on ourselves when we form the habit of “giving up” instead of “stepping up”.

All of you in my life that are committed to my family and this ministry – thank you, thank you, thank you! There are so many of you that truly “have it”. Those of you who are struggling, don’t give up! It’s through trials that we are victorious – we are never victorious when we give up….

Your thoughts, please. (especially those of you in leadership positions – business or ministry – how do you instill commitment in your team?)

06
Dec
07

The Process

We are 10 days away from our biggest production event in the history of this church. We have really stepped out into new territory with this project and I am so grateful for all of the countless hours of volunteer work, my incredible staff and the grace of God throughout this process. Thank you, Willow Creek, for such amazing material that got us started on our journey to Imagine Christmas.

Several months ago, we were brainstorming in a creative meeting about what we wanted to do for Christmas. Every year for the past 4 years or so we have continued to “step it up a notch” in the level of artistic excellence that we presented to the community and we knew that the step this year was going to be a big one. Instead of starting from scratch and coming up with a completely new concept, we searched and dug around until we found the Willow Creek Christmas show that they did last year. I knew immediately that this was the one. It had all the elements I was looking for – creative ingenuity, artistic excellence, visual beauty, biblical integrity and the utilization of all of the senses. Now our challenge was to adapt this production from a church of thousands to one of 500. This was quite the challenge. There will be more posts later outlining the process a bit more – but for now I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

But my team has been best – and I’m not surprised. Carolyn, my assistant and our media director, has been absolutely indispensable and has organized every facet of anything technical as well as helping me with the artistic elements of the show and every bit of advertising. I love her – and I never want to do anything like this without her! Melanie Haulman, my artistic director over at Glory Academy of Fine Arts has spent countless hours volunteering her time to choreograph and rehearse every piece of dance in this show – and that is a lot of dancing! Whew! Mel, you are an incredible woman of God who is completely selfless and willing to give your best to the Lord as worship – I love you! Valerie Bowden – my Lord….I have lost count of how many hours she has spent designing and constructing our set. She is superwoman… You are all going to be blown away by what her team has done…

Every singer, musician and actor has given over and above what is required – thank you so much, team, for sacrificing your time and your gifts so we might reach this city with the life-changing message of our Savior.

As we near the end of our preparation time and move toward performance and ministry time, let’s all remember why we are here. It’s not to be recognized for our individual talent or contribution to this endeavor or to receive any glory for ourselves. This is for the glory and honor of our Lord and to spread His message of hope to the over 100,000 people in our city who do not know Him. This is what we are called to do, people! All around us, people are searching for something and we have the answer – this is why we are busting our butts to present something that is excellent and mind-blowing. This city has never seen a church present something like this – so we need to bring it…whatever it takes…let’s give it all – lay it all out there and see a city changed.

Still want to volunteer to help next weekend? There are still places to serve…leave me a comment or call the office and we’ll get you working.

04
Dec
07

Can You Guess?

Imagine Christmas Stuff

What do you think this is? (hint…it’s something we’re using for Imagine Christmas…)

If you work here and already know…you can’t guess! (but you can leave your usual sarcastic comments…we all love those)




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