Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas pictures

The Christmas gathering at Bert's is always the favorite time of year with the kids. Bert does a wonderful job at preparing and presenting a very good time for all. I thank you Bert for all your hard work and you generosity and thoughtfulness. You are a blessing to us.

Here is Bert and Brandie talking about the Christmas jacket that she got for Christmas and Brandie liked it so much she put it on immediately.

This picture from the concert we had at church was taken backstage and the hospitality volunteers did a wonderful job at making us feel like movie stars, it was pretty cool, the food was excellent.

Here is my favorite picture of Bert and Brandie. Brandie thinks the world of her and I have to say that I believe that the feelings are definitely mutual there. It is such a privilegeto have such a wonderful sister-in-law and great friend for myself, my kids and my family.

be strong and courageous

It seems to be a theme that is pelting me lately from all directions as if God is trying to get it through my thick skull that although times are tough, money is tight, and answers are few, I am to be strong, and courageous and trust that He is in control of everything whether or not I understand any of it.
Be strong
Be courageous
or as Pastor Chris reminded us yesterday...Fear not.
Transitions, uncertainty's, troubles of various kinds, these things are always going to plague us this side of eternity until He returns and makes all things right again. In the meantime, Trust that He loves us enough to lead and guide and we are to listen as best we can, and fear not for He is with us even unto the ends of the earth.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas eve concert and candle light service

Last night was our Christmas eve concert and candle light service. The Band was totally amazing and the crowds were spectacular. God was doing some tugging on the hearts of many and the enemy was doing a lot to try and stop it. Sunday during dress rehearsal the lighting board locked up and crashed and we lost all of the memory settings that were stored and Dave had to start reprogramming the board all over again. we were pretty bummed but Dave did an excellent job at getting the board reprogrammed in time for the services on Monday. We had an incredible staff of volunteers and every one of them had this wonderful attitude to them that just made me feel honored and privileged to be given the pleasure to work with them and be a part of something that was truly greater than ourselves and could not have been pulled off if God was not helping us and equipping us with the talent and attitude necessary to keep everything pulling together in a common goal of leading the audience into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, Which after four spectacular services, appeared to do just that. Here is a picture from one of the practices.

This was taken with my cell phone and I will upload some pictures below taken from my digital camera.

This is the light board that crashed, It really is a good light board, but the operating system has some bugs that needs to be worked out.

This is backstage after the first show. Our hospitality volunteer Pam out did herself on making us feel like we were in Hollywood. She had tables with fresh flowers set up and candles burning and lots and lots of food for us to eat.

The whole day was a huge win and I thank God that He gave me the opportunity to be a part of it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Lights done to music

I have blogged about Christmas lights syncronized to music before, but this one has always been my favorite. The guy who developed the program to syncronize this has got to be a very inteligent person to get the computers to sync up this well. anyway, When I first got this video that was sent around via e-mail, I had not heard of the Trans-siberian orchestra before, but after I saw the video and heard the very cool mix that the TSO did, I just had to get their music, which I hear is now available at wally world, but I got mine at their webiste.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas eve concerts

Christmas eve is a wonderful time of the year as we celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. TSO has a really cool song called Christmas eve in sarajevo which is totally cool.

We did this song last year in our Christmas eve Concert, maybe not quite as good as TSO, but we rocked the house off just the same. I am looking forward to this years Christmas eve presentation and I have seen some numbers that show a great deal of people are as well. This year the Orchard has done a free ticketing system to help estimate the attendance per show so that we can better prepare in advance for the numbers that are coming. The three O'clock and five O'clock services are all filled and the seven O'clock service is just about filled. Thats a lot of people (I saw a number that have 1100 in it and that is just for starters.) So they have a 1:00 one added.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Greeting

Here is a Christmas greeting I did on my macbook. This is my first attempt at a video so hopefully it looks o.k.

Monday, December 10, 2007

sermon slides, keynote and ProPresenter

Tried something new this weekend that seem to work out great. One of my pet peeves with keynote was the lack of user friendliness when you need to use it in conjunction with several other programs in order to make a professional looking show. The screens flash when you go into a show, tab out of a running show or escape when done with a show; How annoying. Now We have been finding that when we produce keynote in the wide screen formats and have to shrink them to a slightly smaller size so that the show displays correctly on our not quite standard wide screen screens, that the formatting of the slides and the others stuff in them seem to not translate into the dimension that look the best on the screens something ends up either looking a bit squashed or in worst case scenarios, stretched. So they have been creating the show, and then exporting the entire show in the 720 letterbox dimensions as .jpgs, and then remaking the show using the .jpgs and then when the show using the inspector function gets re-sized into the 680 dimension, the images keep their intended shape and Poof! a good looking show, but still needing to be run in Keynote... or is it? That popped into my noodle Saturday while I was running the show. The slides are all converted into .jpgs already, why not just dump them into a special image playlist in ProPresenter? we have to use it for the pre sermon bumper, and the mid sermon interview movie that we have to jump out of keynote for anyway, this way the slides can be put into the order of appearance and keynote is not needed during presentation at all. So I set up a play list and dropped the .jpg images into it and put the movies where they belong and ....Yes it worked just great, and not just great, but easier for the operator to navigate because he can see more than just the next slide. If the speaker needs to jump ahead because of time restraints or if he decides to reiterated on a point that was used already, the slides are there for the clicking and the movies also were ready for the clicking and all went well and smooth. Now we can't use any fancy pants transition this way, but technically, we weren't using any anyway. The cheesy stuff we don't use because it just doesn't add to the message but actually can be a distraction to it. So we now have a great way of doing the slides and the flash from dropping out of key note is gone because we don't use it, and all looks a whole lot better than it did and the operators are happy because it is now easier to run a presentation. Cool.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

slooooowwww dddoowwwnnn.......

It is First Wednesday,

The day of the month we gather at the Orchard to just S_L_O_W_____D_O_W_N!!!!!!!

Slow down and remember, reflect and respond to what God is doing and wants to be doing in our lives. It is a time to worship the one who Was Who is and Who is to come. To pull back from the hecticness of the season and to remember the reason for the season. Gods Love for us and His desire to bring us back to him. To free us from the bondage of sin and to change us into His likeness again.

I have to admit that the hecticness is wearing me down and I am weary from the stress, The reason flees from me and I loose sight of my goals of becoming more like Christ and start becoming more of the opposite. To resist becoming Scroogy; Grinchy; or just plain grumpy has failed and it is now time to take a step back and like Charlie Brown, Yell out "Doesn't anyone know what Christmas is all about!?!" and wait for Linus to say: " I know what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown... Lights please - " ...Luke chapter 2 (msg):

8-12There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

13-14At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child.

This is what Christmas is all about.

I need to slow down more than just about anyone and just RELAX!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The toy watch list

Go to the list and find out about these before you buy them and harm your child.

the gift of a cup of water

We have started something at the Orchard that is bigger than we are (IT's God sized) . We are going to take some of the money that we would have used for a gift purchase, and collect it together for a two purpose event. !/2 will go to life water to help provide clean water to areas across the world that do not have even the simplest of necessities that we take for granted here, like clean water. the other 1/2 will go to the needy locally. so this is a glocal event and it sounds to be totally cool. Scott has posted a video that he did to help [romote it and its on you tube now so I can embed it for you to watch as well so it is here:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Count-down timer in ProPresenter

The Count Down timer function works decent in ProPresenter, it is located down on the lower left portion of the layout in the same section as the nursery alerts. in fact it is now a tab within that module of the programs interface. we use a 5 minute timer before services and you can format any background to go with it. I think a self made background with "we will begin in..." floating all over the screen would look pretty cool and you should be able to make one in key note with graphics and other cool things. Export it as a QuickTime movie and use that as the background for your timer.  remember to keep the area in dead center open when you make the background because that is where the timer defaults to.