Archive for July, 2011

Systems, Processes and the great F1 outage of 2011

Posted on 31. Jul, 2011 by .

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So, if you use Fellowship One, you know that there were significant issues with Check In today. Even if you don’t use F1, you might have seen the traffic on twitter about the issues. I know that for some churches, the slow-down was crippling. Most of the morning, I was watching the twitter stream and saw all kinds of tweets. Most were encouraging, some were certainly frustrated. I thought that it was interesting that today happened the way that it did because I’m in the process of finalizing my outline for a workshop I’m leading at the Kidmin Conference in Chicago and the subject of the workshop ties into what happened today.

Here at Gateway, check in was as fast as it always is… maybe even faster. It actually didn’t really matter than Fellowship One was down because we had a backup plan. About 2 years ago we bought those over-priced church nursery, two-part stickers to use in the event of an internet outage or issues on F1’s end. In the three years I’ve been at Gateway, this is the first time we’ve not been able to use electronic check-in. Being that this was the first, everything went pretty flawless? Why, because many years ago we put a system in place to anticipate what would happen with a check-in failure and today we put the system in process.

I’m sure there are people who are really upset with Fellowship One right now. I bet they’ve already gotten some mean-spirited phone calls and even a dirty email or two.

Was Fellowship One at fault? For not being able to provide electronic check-in… absolutely!

Were they at fault for churches having a bad check-in experience today? Absolutely not! I’m pretty sure that in documentation and training, they clearly communicate how important it is to have a back-up plan.… Read the rest

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Pray for my “Pirate” Face!

Posted on 26. Jul, 2011 by .

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Well, yesterday was a bit strange. It all started yesterday morning when I was brushing my teeth. I was rinsing and went to spit and realized that I couldn’t spit straight. Sounds weird, right? It was just strange that I was having difficulty doing something that I do every day of my life. I went to spit and almost spit water all over the counter.

I didn’t think too much of it until later when something was just feeling a little off. I went to a mirror thinking that something was wrong and noticed it when I went to smile. Only half my face was smiling. Really strange. I ended up going to the doctor and was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. Essentially, it’s a condition where half of your face is fully or partially paralyzed. Mine is partial.

The good news is that for the majority of people, this is temporary. Anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months, the nerve in my face should start working correctly again. So until then, I’m stuck with a pirate-like face. Actually, it’s really not that noticeable… except for when I smile… then it looks like I’m smirking. Thankfully I seem to have a light case of Bell’s Palsy. If you think of it, please pray for me.

  • Pray that my facial nerve would go back to normal sooner rather than later
  • Pray that I’m not one of the select few that end up struggling with this permanently.
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Justin Graves Band

Posted on 21. Jul, 2011 by .

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While at Camp Zephyr this month, I had the privilege of sharing the stage with Justin Graves… and his band. I’d never heard of Justin before this summer, but I’m glad for the opportunity to work with him. I actually wanted to give him props here on the site.

Here’s the deal with me. I’m probably not the best to to critique or describe the nuances or what makes one band great and another one not so great. When looking for a group to play and lead kids in worship, there are so many different directions you can go. Some musicians are really edgy… perfect for your angst-filled pre-teens and others are better suited for pre-schoolers (even though they think they’re rockin’ it for pre-teens). I consider all that stuff when I hear a kids band for the first time… but there are things that I consider far more important.

How does this band connect with the kids? Does this band simply walk through a worship set or do they lead kids in worship? Lastly, how well is this band going to work with me as a team?

Let me tell you a bit about my experience with Justin. He gets kids. He loves kids and they love him. From the stage he had the kids on their feet, bouncing and having a great time. When not on the stage, kids just wanted to hang out with him. That’s great when dealing with pre-teens.

I also noticed that he was truly a kids worship leader. There would be times during the worship songs that he’d gently guide the kids to stop clapping or swaying and focus their worship to God. He was always very aware of where the kids were and where they needed to go. He knows his craft.

Lastly, I greatly enjoyed working with him.… Read the rest

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Illuminate Sponsorships… like hotcakes!

Posted on 20. Jul, 2011 by .

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Believe it or not, but Illuminate begins the 2011/2012 conference year in a little more than a month. Wow… I’m totally not ready yet. Ha! It’s going to be amazing. More details to come… I’m very excited though.

However, I’m finalizing the sponsorship process. Over the past few weeks I’ve been in conversations with dozens of potential conference sponsors and I’m wrapping up that process in just another 10-14 days. If you’ve not been contacted by me and you’re interested in partnering with Illuminate and promoting your organization/service, let me know before it’s too late. Click here to contact us and get involved!… Read the rest

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Camp Zephyr in Sandia, TX

Posted on 20. Jul, 2011 by .

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I figured that if I was going to write any more about camp, I better wrap it up this week… especially since I’ve had camp related posts for almost 3 weeks.

This is a shout-out to the camp I’ve been involved with the past two summers, Camp Zephyr in Sandia Texas. Zephyr is located on Lake Corpus Christi, only about an hour NW of Corpus. So, like most Texas Camps… it’s hot. Really hot.

However, I have only great things to say about this place. The staff is pretty amazing. They take great care of the camp and are always prompt and smiling. I remember one afternoon I remembered that I needed a hammer for an illustration. Someone got on the radio and said that I needed a hammer and within 5 minutes, I had a hammer in my hands. They’re great with stuff like that.

For two years now, I’ve been involved with their Pre-Teen Camp program. Most of the team are volunteers, but the camp director for the past several years really “gets” what kids want out of a camp. The activities are what you’d expect from a summer camp with swimming, lakefront, canoes, the blob and recreation. The food is on the better end of what I’ve had at summer camps. I think my system was ready to get back home to normal home cooked food, but what they served up was great. However, the program elements were fantastic. The kids couldn’t wait to get back to the auditorium for morning and evening sessions. The energy was electric and these times were planned just right to keep the kids in a place wehre they were always wanting more.

The option of having me speak sealed the deal for us having our kids at Camp Zephyr, but I can’t think of many other camp options I been a part of that I’d rather have my kids at.… Read the rest

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Camp Texas: #1 – Kids come from great distance!

Posted on 15. Jul, 2011 by .

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You know you’re at a camp in Texas when you have kids who traveled 7 hours or more to get to camp and never left the state.… Read the rest

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We’re having a _______!

Posted on 14. Jul, 2011 by .

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Woo hoo! We’re having a…. well, watch the video!

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The big gender announcement!!!

Posted on 14. Jul, 2011 by .

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So, we know what we’re having… but Titus doesn’t. So, we gotta tell him first. We’ll make the announcement at 6:30 PM CST! Stay tuned…

BTW, Grandparents do know. They may take cash bribes. :)Read the rest

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Camp Texas: #2 – Jalapenos

Posted on 14. Jul, 2011 by .

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You know you’re at a camp in Texas when jalapenos are served as a condiment at every meal.… Read the rest

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