February 29, 2008

first 2 backpacks

In order to launch Erase the Dark backpack donations this weekend (see "200 backpacks"), we're going to be sporting kid's backpacks this Sunday-oh, and mine will be the coolest....or should I say both of mine will be. I still have to figure out how to wear both.....
I woke up this morning determined to find a backpack to wear this weekend. So...I drove to the closest store that I knew would have everything I needed. In my haste, I sailed past the shopping carts-thinking I didn't need one - a grave mistake.
I briskly walked to the backpack section of this certain store, and my anticipation grew. I scoured the aisle, only to find the backpack of my elementary school dreams-brown and pink, silk-like, full of secret pockets and printed Hawaiian flowers. THEN my heart lurched as I spotted the pink, green, and brown camouflage with matching purse and I couldn't make up my mind. I pictured the smiles on the 2 5th grade girls faces as they were each handed one of these backpacks and I couldn't resist. As I practically skipped to the school supply section (one backpack over each arm), I thought of the wonderful times my mom and I shopped for school supplies right before a new school year started. Happiness overcame me-mistake #2. I seriously LOADED those backpacks up with everything I ever wanted in Elementary School (hoping the store clerk wouldn't think I was stealing everything AND also not thinking of the cash register outcome.) It was a bit heavy and awkward to lug those filled backpacks half a mile up to the register (I received some questioning stares and raised eyebrows in the process), but with a bounce in my step and a smile on my face, I paid and left the store with my purchases over my shoulders and thought of the girls who would be getting the coolest backpacks that I have ever wanted. I can't wait to see what else we can do for them!

life groups

we couldn't be more excited about the Stirring Life Groups . . . we're hearing so many stories of what God is doing in these communities . . .

the love & respect groups . . . men's groups . . . women's groups . . . high school groups . . . film groups . . . financial groups . . . i think we have over 26 groups and new groups beginning each week . . .

in fact, Dan and I figured out that there are more than 200 people in Life Groups right now . . . we really believe that this is the heart of our community . . . Sunday nights are just the beginning of a conversation . . .

our hope and prayer is that these Life Groups become where and how we follow Jesus and put His love on display in our city . . .

February 26, 2008

200 backpacks

we met with the principle at Cypress Elementary school downtown . . . she has an amazing heart for the students in her school . . . we're joining with the school to show God's love to these kids in the most creative ways . . .

here are some of our ideas . . . design a school shirt for the kids . . . sand the bleachers . . . paint the halls . . . create short videos for assemblies . . . provide clothes and socks . . . pizza parties for classrooms . . . and this is just the beginning . . .

this is such an amazing opportunity for us to move into the community and put God's love on display . . .

over the next 6 weeks, our goal is to purchase and fill at least 200 backpacks for kids in this coming fall . . . we'll fill these backpacks with socks and toothbrushes and school supplies and backpack kind of stuff . . .

in fact, Ava and I are going out shopping this week to buy our backpack for a kid . . . Transformers . . . because every kid deserves a Transformers backpack . . .

February 24, 2008

man in the water

i'm working on a screenplay for a short film I would like to submit in Erase the Dark . . . I call it 'Man in the Water' . . . kind of like M. Night's 'Lady in the Water,' but with a man in the water . . .

we're casting for the film . . . at this point, starring Kristina Hayes, Aaron Holmes, Dan Lance, Billy Brown, Derrick Fleck . . . and more to come . . . it's a work in process . . .

we may shoot the film at the Manzanita Manor . . . it's perfect . . . a bit creepy . . . the Coverdales are hooking it up . . . if you've seen it, you know exactly what I'm talking about . . . I'll keep you guys in the loop . . . if you want to help with the film, let us know . . .

February 22, 2008

erase the dark

we've just finished creating the fliar for erase the dark . . . we can't wait for this music, art and film festival . . . actually, this has been one of our dreams for the past few years . . . finally, we get to live it out . . . 

we've spoken with so many artists who are already writing songs . . . I have two friends who are already working on films . . . the art gallery will be off the hook . . . I'm writing a script for a film . . . my wife is a mad photographer these days . . . in fact, I think my daughter Ava may even submit some of her drawings . . . she's amazing . . . little people and monsters and flowers . . . she blows my mind . . . we want kids involved in this thing . . .  

and I'm trying to talk Dan and Patrick into doing an interpretive dance to open the festival . . . we'll see . . . anyways, if you're an artist, we'd love to have you involved . . . 

and all the proceeds go to Cypress Elementary School and the Eagle's Soar after school program to provide basic needs for children in the most creative ways . . . more to come . . .   

February 21, 2008

texas and hot tubs

yes, I'm in Texas . . . ribs . . . hot sauce . . . huge freeways . . . hot tubs . . .

we've finished day one at the C3 conference . . . creative church conference . . . ed young from Texas . . . bryan houston from Hillsong, Australia . . . tomorrow, T.D Jakes . . . unbelievable . . . the best speaker ever . . . T.D. Jakes brings it like no one else . . . takes it to a 'ho notha level' . . .hnl . . .

anyways, I sat in a hot tub with Patrick and Dan this evening . . . must have been at least 112 degrees . . . we talked about life and love as our skin melted off our bodies . . . 

we love what God is doing in Redding and we can't wait to see where God takes the Stirring this year . . . it's just the beginning . . . and we hope to blog about every single moment . . .  

February 18, 2008

Stirring bloopers

Our weekly installment of keepin' it real. This week, second gathering I was supposed to give an announcement...went for the handheld mic...it was dead...give the soundman the look and he says it's turned off...awesome...I turn it on and try it again...still dead...another look to the soundman...then I feel Nate's beard on my cheek. He's putting his over the ear mic in my face so people can hear me...one problem...we are inches away from kissing each other...awesome. I decide to go with the no mic yell at people approach and get the announcement out. Until next week...

What was the moment for you?

I forgot to put up this post last week so here goes. Each week we are going ask what the moment was for you at our gathering that you want to walk out in a tangible way or wrestle with this week. A song, a conversation, the kids, a point in the message, one of the testimonies?
This week we talked about heaven on earth and I have been trying to wrap my mind around what the restored earth that God originally had for us is going to be like. Nate said that we have never seen the earth the way that God intended it to be and I can't wait till the restoration of all things! I want to be an agent in bringing heaven to earth on a daily basis in and through my life.
What was the moment for you?

Stirring kids

Emily commented about the kids helping us lead worship this week and I thought I'd make it a post to get your thoughts. I love that our kids our learning to worship God at such a young age. My son (Zeke) was the one up there in the argyle sweater that didn't move or sing the entire time. He told me after the Stirring that I was singing way to loud when he came in and it scared him! Our kids can teach us so much about the heart of God. Freedom to love him even to the point of being silly, being quiet and realizing that we're being too loud. Jumping around and waving our hands in the air without a care of what the world thinks. I loved it...what did you think?

February 17, 2008

Set list for Sunday

We're playing Point of difference by Hillsong
Then Jesus paid it all, right into How great is our God.
We're doing God of justice for the second time and ending with From the inside out.
If anyone plays guitar and cares I have transposed the last four songs to be played with your capo on the 4th fret. I'll send you the sheet music if you're interested.
During our first gathering we are having our kids come in to help lead us in worship. We are going to have them come in periodically to show us how it's done.

February 11, 2008

Stirring bloopers

We like to keep it real here at the Stirring so I think we'll have a reoccurring post about the ridiculous things we do and say on any given week in our community. Last night I'm leading worship at the 7pm gathering and it's the last song (All I need is you)...Nate has just led us in a time of talking about our micro-finance loan to the Philippines and I'm not paying attention to what I'm doing...He tells people it's time to bring our offerings to the Lord ...I go into the song...I play through the first verse by myself...then the rest of the band kicks in...sounds like a train wreck mixed with a tone deaf tuba and bassoon solo...I'm thinkin'...what the heck is wrong with Jeremy and Tyler...we practiced this song and we nailed it at 5pm? Then I panic as I make a crazy realization....I started the song with a capo on the second fret of my guitar which raises the key of the song an entire step...I was supposed to take it off and somehow I spaced...So now I'm just praying that the guys figure out what's wrong...after a few more wrong notes and weird looks back and forth from Tyler and Jeremy...they realize what happened and transpose the song on the fly and lock into the rest of it like nothing happened.
My band is amazing and I'm an idiot. Things could of gone a lot worse but they pulled it off like champs. Oh, and the best part was the key of the song. Now it's a full step higher and it already has a really high part and I haven't really had my voice now for 3.5 weeks. When I go for the note it sounds like a cat getting punched in the stomach...good times. Anyways...stuff like this happens all the time so keep an eye out for the latest bloopers.
I almost forgot...Nate had a great one last week. He was introducing Sarah Schepens to come pray for Matt and Abby in the Philippines and he hurried her name and called her Scarah on accident. It was amazing...sorry Sarah.

February 9, 2008

Set list for Sunday

Point of Difference by Hillsong (first time we are going to attempt this song at the Stirring.)
Lord of all creation
All creatures of our God and King
Enchanted by Mars Hill (This is a new song that rules!)
All I need is you

This week we are talking about God's dream for beauty. He is the creator of all things and we are going to use songs that talk about God's creativity in nature. Should be really cool.

February 7, 2008

What books are shaping you?

Don't put the Bible and try to be more spiritual than everyone. We hope our community is in love with the scriptures...we hope that's a given. We listed some books on the right side with some links that are shaping us on staff. What are some of the books that are shaping you into the person you're becoming?

February 6, 2008

Do yourself a favor...

go buy this book. Nate and I sat across a table from each other today at Starbucks reading sections to each other like we were junior high girls. Every five minutes one of us would get our minds blown. This book is fueling a lot of themes we are covering in the "When God Dreams" series. It's my second time through the book and it keeps getting better. N.T. Wright is brilliant!

February 5, 2008

Life Group love

My life group met tonight and it rocks. We are going to go through the book of Luke and I'm pumped about it. Tell me about your life group.

February 4, 2008

Church, more than six letters.

This is a blog that I posted on my personal blog that I wanted to share.. Take a moment to think and see what, if anything, God may be saying to you. I did and am still processing.


Church is more than a six letter word..
Community, Love, Generosity, Selflessness, Humility, Life Giving, Family, Exciting, a Movement..

It's something worth giving your life to.!

When did church become about.. guilt, shame, loneliness, obligation, comfort, selfishness, criticism..?

It's more than a building. It's more than a membership. It's even more than a community..
It's a lifestyle.!

God calls us to live out what we learn. Share what we know. Care for those who can't. Live with the least. Love as though we care.!

What was the moment for you this week?

I thought I'd start a reoccurring post on this blog about the moment during our gathering each week that made the most sense to you and gave you a clear understanding of what you were supposed to do this week. Let me make this very clear...this is not a score card for our church were you can talk about your preferences and things you wished were different. Nate made it painfully obvious this week that the church is not a chair. We are a community called out in the name of Jesus to overcome the evil in this world with good. The moment for me this week was when Nate said Jesus has tied up the strongman (Satan) and now he's telling his kids to go plunder his house. We should be looking for those pockets of evil in this world and reclaiming them by putting the goodness of God on display. Our goal is not to stay away from evil...we should be looking for it and going to war to reclaim it for Jesus. This week I'm looking for people and places that the enemy has convinced are beyond repair. I'm going in with the confidence that the demons recoil at the name of Jesus and I am going to take action by putting God's goodness on display. Seriously Nate...this isn't a scorecard comment but you gave our church a call last night that I am proud to be about.
So what was the moment for you last night? If you don't have a blog you can still leave comments anonymously by hitting the comment button and posting.

February 2, 2008

Set list for Sunday

We believe (Brian Johnson)
Jesus paid it all (some old guy wrote it...it's a hymn...then Tomlin or Redman added that ridiculously huge ending that rules!)
Taste and See (Jenn Johnson) Jamie's gonna lead it
Here I am to worship...it's this new one...heard of it?
God of justice (Tim Hughes) amazing words. Leads into the God dreams that we are hitting on this week.
Any songs you've been waiting to hear? Any new songs that we have to start doing at the Stirring?

February 1, 2008

The Stirring vs. The Superbowl

Seriously...is there anyone that cares about The Patriots or The Giants? I used to be into the Giants when they had Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor but this game has no appeal to me. Maybe it's because I don't get local stations and I'm leading worship this weekend starting at 2pm. We'll see who the hardcore are this week! I'm predicting the biggest 7p.m. gathering in the history of the Stirring. Now if the Colts were in the Superbowl I might of mysteriously come down with some life threatening illness.
To be honest...if you're a football nut and you're having a bunch of people over to your house for the game we would much rather you do that then come to church. The church does not happen in the basement of a Nazarene gym...the church is coming together in many places this Sunday around tv's with huge bowls of guacamole. The church is the people of God walking and breathing in this world together in church gyms, living rooms, and Dutch Bros.
If you're watching the game this Sunday, somebody tivo the half time show because I am bummed that I'm missing Petty.
I know there aren't a whole lot of pastors that tell you to stay home to watch the Superbowl but that's how we roll.