I am getting ready to start a creative coaching program this week. When Carlos sent around the assignments for the first session one of them was to read Ezekiel 37:1-14. This is a passage I was very familiar with. Below is an article that was written by my wife for our adoption agency newsletter back in spring of 2003.
Jason has attended our church, Grace Fellowship, since he was a child. Now on staff, Jason came up with the new name, “Grace Kids”, for our children’s building because he was a Grace Kid. Jason also designed the new children’s logo and he spent literally months working on special lighting for the children’s building before it opened. When the doctors told us we would probably never have children we were devastated. We made ourselves go to work and keep going even though we wanted to just close ourselves away from everyone. At least twice a
week Jason had to walk those children’s building halls, knowing he would never have a child who would benefit from the fruit of his labor. Late one night, Jason went to Wal-Mart and purchased baby stuff. He arranged it in a big basket and set it in our bedroom as a faith statement. Soon after, Jennifer Hatch, a teacher at our Christian school gave an interpretation of Ezekiel 37:1-10 during staff devotions. We held on to this scripture. Simone even taped it to her computer monitor. “So I prophesied to my dead dreams like God told me to. And I commanded
life to come into my heart’s desire. And that inner dream God gave me lived and rose up fully manifested.” When Simone took Jazz to the nursery the first time, she was given a new mom’s gift pack that contains a bib, bottle, rattle, and fridge magnet all with the Grace Kids logo that Jason designed!! After Jason took this picture he realized the sleeper Jazz is wearing was one of the ones he purchased that night. Our once empty sleeper, purchased as a faith statement, now is filled with a beautiful baby boy. What a testament to God’s never ending mercy and faithfulness. Now the “inner dream God gave us lives and has risen up, fully manifested.” His name is Jazz David Paul.
Sometimes, in the chaos which is life, you lose sight of the amazing things God has done. When we lose sight of these things is when we start to think that we can do it ourselves.
God, never let us forget your amazing power at work in our lives. Let us continuously reflect on the love you have shown to us.
My status was: “Chicago. Summer. Night. Exhale.”
Dave Pingel, a friend of mine and awesome man of God, wrote this in response. Dave is one of the best examples of a loving and tender father that I have ever seen.
“In the calm and quiet solitude of the middle of the night
beneath a velvet canopy bespeckeled with star light,
when the hurried, worried pace of life is at a rest
and the hustle and the bustle await the next day yet;
when the air is cool and clean, soothing to the soul
and time is somewhere sleeping, all by itself, alone -
the voice of God resounds in noiseless quietude
proclaiming ageless mysteries to the listening, chosen few.
God’s voice is like the night – of peace, tranquility;
like a sea of silent sound whispering eternally.
He speaks not to the ear but softly to the heart
with words worth more than gold His ways He does impart.
Yet, God is not like man, nor are His methods mortal;
He needs no helping hands, no earthly wreaths of laurel.
God needs not the MIND of man to receive the gifts of heaven -
but it’s to man’s HEART that the heavenly gifts are given.
As a tech/creative guy it’s nice to know what you do with technology in a service is having a deeper impact on people and not just entertaining them. Jackson just sent this excerpt from a email he received this week.
“You can share though to whomever is correct person(s) that you all do a great job with the media, different ways to keep our interest via texting, scripture finding, photos, short video clips, music, lighting changes, decoration changes … I have been coming to Park for about 4 years and just in the last year – through small group and a mission trip, I think I am finally getting closer to “accepting or authentically living” with Jesus (words feel a little uncomfortable for me to say. The media, attention you all give to service – keeps my interest (which is what I actually still need) … something that pulls me to service as it just isn’t something i know that I like/need until I get there – sometimes still kinda dragging myself there.”
Create with purpose!
At Park, we are using texting to better connect with our people. We use many features of our provider, Jarbyco, to keep people informed and to find out what they are thinking. Tim Schraeder, Park’s communication director, manages all the texting options. I manage the implementation into our projection system.
A couple of weeks ago, we did a texting poll. It was very useful for Jackson Crum to understand where our people stood on the issue of speaking in tongues. We did this live during our service with results in real time on our screens.
Click here to try the poll for yourself. After the flash app opens, text your answer to the number and watch it change in real time. The poll will reset itself when reloaded or refreshed.
We have some fun ways we are going to implement texting in the near future. I will let you know how it goes.
I am going to start a new series to show the photos I take. Living in a City like Chicago I am always surrounded by amazing inspiration for the art I create. I often have my camera with me and will snap photos of things I find interesting.
Reflections at Millennium Park
Train tracks at the Art Institute
In the gardens surrounding the Art Institute
Found this in a garden at the Art Institute
Love the contrast
The entrance of the Roosevelt Theater
Iconic Chicago Summer
Love the texture
Just a fun picture
Again love the texture