Archive for the 'creativity' Category


Sunday Afternoon Thoughts

This morning we woke up early so we could go have father’s day breakfast at Causeway Cafe – yummy! I stuffed myself on pancakes, bacon, cheese grits and fresh orange juice! We had a great time but it was really strange to be out with all the regular people on Sunday morning instead of at church for rehearsals. I felt like a heathen… 🙂

We pulled up to the church at 9:45…..9:45! That was just weird….but exciting at the same time. I am barreling ahead into a brand new season of my life and have such total peace about where God is leading me. I know that He has me and my family right where He wants us – and He has such amazing provision in place for our church. As we walked in the back door (I still have a parking space!), I could hear my team in the studio praying – I could hear all of them lifting up their voices together as they prepared their hearts to lead His people in worship. It was an amazing sound….

As I sat on the front row before church, I was so happy when they opened up the backstage door and they all came out with such contagious excitement on their faces! I knew it was going to be a great service…and it was.

From the very first note, there was a new sound in the building and I was almost taken back. I know that God has greater levels of skill and anointing for us in this new season – and I am grateful that we are not in “coast” mode. David is such an amazing man of God – his wife Karen is such an incredibly anointed woman of God – and they are here to facilitate growth in the creative arts’ department. It’s not just about how great of a musician and artist he is, or how talented Karen is – it’s about worshiping our God and leading His people into greater levels of relationship with Him. I am honored to have them on board with us as we move forward and can’t wait what all God has in store for us.

I have to admit that I am anxious to have this baby, take a little time to recover and then get back on the team as a volunteer! Excitement for the purpose of God is building around our church and I am glad to be a part of it! Let’s all welcome David and Karen to the family!



This weekend was the culmination of months of work – nine months to be exact. Glory Academy began it’s 10th year in Wilmington this past August and for the past nine months, 65+ students have been working their little patooties off in technique classes and discipleship training so that they could use their gifts for the glory of our Lord. All year – every month – we minister out in our community through the gift of dance – then it all builds up to one HUGE show in May to end our season.

I have to say that I am speechless when it comes to describing how I feel about what took place this weekend. We have some of the best families on the planet at Glory Academy that are dedicated to restoring integrity to the arts in the church. They are amazing and I feel so honored to work with them every week. I also have the most incredible staff anywhere…Melanie, Casey, Lynne, Carolyn, Ashely, Rachel, Elaine and Tim – thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication to this ministry.

Now for some pictures…I know that’s what you all really want…Millie Holloman and Matthew Ray came to shoot the show and they captured some really nice shots. These particular shots are from Millie. Thanks for letting me re-post these. You are the best, Mills!

This first set of shots are from the first scene – when God separated the light from the darkness…

This is several of our ballet classes – “Water”

Hip Hop 1 & 2 – “Light”

Pointe “Animals”- this is Victoria Jarman

Kristin and Kenna – “Sun and Moon”

Beginning Tap – “Penguins”

Beginning Ballet – this is Serenna Eason – isn’t she adorable?

Pre-Ballet “Butterflies” – Isabelle Carillo

Jazz “Earth and Sky” – Hannah Jarman

Adam and Eve – Melanie Haulman and Christian McCullen

Thanks, everyone! More pictures to come!


Big Dreams

When Don and I made the decision for me to step down as Creative Arts Director at The ROCK, we knew it was because our children were the most important thing in our lives. Reagan is the best gift I have ever been given – more than I could EVER dream to ask for. Rylee is coming in seven weeks and I can only imagine how much more love my little heart can muster. God’s gifts are always perfect and I can’t wait to finally see this little girl face to face and kiss her about a million times. This is why we made our decision – so I could stay home more and focus my attention on them.

Since deciding to make this change, I have realized that God’s intentions are far greater than we first thought. They usually are…

He’s been keeping me up at night – bombarding my heart and my mind with new ideas and big fat dreams. I was worried that my ability to create would be severely limited when I gave up my full time “payed” position and that I would be relegated to the nether-regions of mommy hood for the rest of my days. What I have discovered is that giving myself the room – clearing my mind of TOO much – has given me the permission to start thinking again and believing again in what I could truly accomplish if I decide to make it happen.


Our Winston Salem Adventure

We’re in Winston Salem with about 20 of our dancers and a bunch of moms and staff for the 2007 Dance Revolution Conference. What a great event…world class instructors and hundreds of dancers have invaded the hotel in down town Winston and we are having a blast! The girls are working so hard and are exhausted after just the first half day – but it’s all worth it. They will leave this place having learned so much and been exposed to so much great talent in the Kingdom of God.

Here is a glimpse at their schedule – makes me tired just to look at it!


This was in the seniors ballroom this morning – their ballet class…


Last night they had a dance party with a futuristic theme. Everyone dressed up in costume…these two are some of the DR staff… I’m sure the hotel staff will be looking for these lamp shades today. 🙂


These are three of our girls – Hannah, Jessica and Haley. They were called up on the stage for having one of the best costumes. They won last year, too for their interpretation of Fred and Wilma for the “Back In Time” Theme. (our girls are so creative!)


Our dancers are the best! We have so much fun… this is (from left) Madison, Natalie, Felicia, Victoria and Denae.


OK – so this last one I just couldn’t resist. His face has been blurred to protect his identity. (and because he was dancing so crazily that my camera wouldn’t focus) This was in the teacher’s ballroom (classes for studio teachers, not DR instructors…) (Lynne and I think this is Cameron in 20 years if there isn’t an intervention.)


See you all when I get back!


Pictures Are Up!


The rest of the Imagine Christmas Photos are all up! Millie is the best!

So, click HERE to view or order prints.


Artistic Community

I’m dying for more relationships with artists…to be challenged and motivated beyond my baseline of artistic expression. Sometimes I feel like I live in this bubble over here in my office frantically searching and reading blogs…listening to music…watching what others are doing. But what I really want is some serious, down and dirty face time with a real live, breathing community of artists. We have that to some degree here at The Rock, but I’m really searching for something more.

I know it sounds silly – after all, I am surrounded by creative people where I work. Graphic artists, writers, photographers, musicians, dancers, singers – but most of the time it just feels like work. I think that is a danger for everyone working full time in a creative ministry – our art becomes our paycheck if we’re not careful. We perform creatively to fulfill an obligation or an expectation instead of finding true personal fulfillment through our expression. This is the place I find myself in right now – drowning in expectations and not able to find the time or energy to create out of love for my craft.

I LOVE facilitating others in their creative gifts. I LOVE to see people truly become successful artists and if I’ve helped them or encouraged them along the way, that is truly fulfilling. I think that is a gift in me…to help others feel like they have a place in this artistic community. But somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to do that for myself or to allow others to be that in my life. This is not a happy feeling for me…

I remember traveling in ministry with Dony and Reba years ago – she would have weekly writing classes for all of the young people traveling on the bus. Most of them hated it and fussed through the whole process, but I remember trying to drain every last bit of creativity that Reba has in her (and she has enough to last her and all of us a lifetime). I remember dreaming about the next time we would meet and how excited (and terrified) I was to show her what I had been working on. And every night I had the opportunity to share a ministry stage with two of the most talented people on the planet. I would watch Dony’s hands on that keyboard to see how much I could learn about chord voicings and harmonic structure and listen as Reba sang the roof off of every auditorium we ministered in. That was two years of being stretched and molded artistically that I will never forget. I am grateful they took the time to foster the artist in me. (and thanks, Reba, for nudging me every once in a while even now…)

So – I have to figure out a way….I have to make the time between being a wife, a mother, a friend, a creative arts pastor, an arts’ academy director and a piano teacher to foster personal creativity. It just has to be done – or no one is going to want to be around me anymore. (that may already be the case now…)


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.

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