Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lethal Weapon

— 1 Peter 5:6-7 —

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
 Why do I have trouble with this? This is a big deal, but the more I do it, the easier it gets. Its when I'm on the fence between good and evil, between not consulting my wife, when I'm acting on impulse, instead of logic. I act out of anger instead of peace. I'm not an anxious person. I'm reminded of Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, here's this suicidal cop grieving over his deciesed wife. His anxiety leads him to have nothing to live for  and in return, puts him into the line of fire. He becomes fearless in some points. I wish I was like that, Riggs had to humble himself to a point of no fear. He had no pride but wanted to be left alone. When he partnered with  Murtaugh, things had to change. They were both so different, one was a family man, one was a widower. There are many times in my life when I need to cast my anxiety to God and just listen the his voice who's been talking to me this whole time. He's been telling me something simple or I need to do something serious. God has better plans for me than I think, he wants to make me lethal for him, I'm afraid that he's way crazy. All he wants is humility and he will take me from there. He has taken me, he wants my anxiety because he cares for me. Riggs and Murtaugh became an unstoppable team, they got in trouble alot but figured out that they were stronger as a team, even though they drove each other crazy. Even though I don't believe him, He will lift me up in due time and make me into a lethal weapon.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

from Fix to Freedom

— 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 —

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
The battle that rages in my life throughout the day, is what comes to mind. I don't wear a mask. I put everything out there. do I lose heart? I do. Do I renew myself day by day? not always. But my battles are to achieve an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Do I fix my eyes on what is seen? sometimes, I think differently though. I see far deeper than what I see. I do focus on what is not seen. The things I focus on are eternal, and I try not to judge. Do musicians really mean what they sing, or is the record label they are singing? if they do, then their messed up. I'll listen to all kinds of junk songs during the day, thinking that the musicians don't really believe what they are singing. Do they though? if they do, their messed up. All these battles are for a great thing, something I cannot see in the moment, something that is worth the pain, its that victory that I long for, that freedom that Christ is. Why do I fight God so much? he wants to renew me, and I think I'm fine. He's giving me a test, and I don't realize it. I can't fix anyone, because God frees he doesn't fix. He gives freedom, because he is freedom, and every light and momentary trouble is another opportunity to focus our eyes on what is unseen, even though I may not see it, I have to believe I will eventually. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Hopeful Captivity

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
The first thing that comes to mind is that what goes around comes around in whatever shape or form. Whether you're cool with someone in High school, you steal something, or you're faithful. I woke up my family with the coffee grinder this morning, so Shayne is watching cinderella at 5:30 in the morning and I'm hoping she falls back to sleep. Mommy is doing something on her phone and I'm sipping my kenya coffee. I read and think. This kind of smacks me over the head, now that I'm 35, the shame part isn't as tough anymore. I've experienced enough and believe that others have as well, that that its apparent that I need God. I don't know what I do without him. I was asked in college, what my greatest fear was, and after a lot of thought, my fear was if God would leave me. Yet the "fear of man" thoughts about a God conversation enter my head alot. As I watch Cinderella over and over again, I'm amazed with how despite her abusive life, she kept believing that she wouldn't be like that forever. She had hope, even though her family kept her captive, she knew they were foolish. She respected them because she had hope. It paid off too. I wish I were more like that, I really wish I wasn't as impatient as I am. But instead of living in fear of the Son of Man's shame, I need to live with the joy that I don't need to be ashamed and love everyone I see. Hits me, even though Cinderrella was in captivity, she wasn't ashamed of who she was, both of her parents had died, her step sisters had their mother, yet Cinderella kept dreaming because that's how she was. She wasn't ashamed of who she was, and neither should I be.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Doubtful Prayer

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Colossians 4:2 NLT

At first I'm thinking, again, preaching to the choir. But there's more here, there's always more. Prayer is this hidden power, that its almost doubtful at times. I get prayer requests emailed to me, I  see them on facebook, my wife requests them, I pray for my family. I don't think about having an alert and thankful heart. I just pray. I'm amazed though of how many times things come to my mind when I pray. Sip some coffee, I read and think. I see the word Devote, and I seem to pass it up. I find myself doing that alot with first word. I bounce around alot. its easy to pass this up and just go to pray with an alert mind and thankful heart. I often think about why God made us as humans, why we should pray, then it hits me, we are born half done, and need help to complete ourselves. Even getting saved means you have to pray. Yesterday God lead me to help an 83 year old woman to Him. I wasn't planning on this but it just happened. She's our neighbor, she was venting to me about some family issues and how she prayed for people, but I could tell she wasn't saved, but just trying to do what was right. I knew deep down that I couldn't just tell her that she was good with God because she prayed. I knew she had to confess with her mouth. So I had her repeat after me and she did. She began crying afterwards. I was very nervous during this time, because i wasn't used to doing this. Susan, Shayne, and I had some family stuff to attend to that afternoon and I was able to speak to her that night, she was very joyful, very happy. I'm amazed of how lightly I take prayer, up to that point, it was always a fix thing. I read and think. When I'm devoted to something I believe in it and I'm passionate about it. I'm also reminded of Petra's Secret Weapon. A song about prayer. I'm amazed when ever I tell someone who'm I'm not sure believes that I'll pray for them, what difference that makes. Things are going on in the spirit world that I don't think anyone wants to admit. It says be alert and thankful, prayer's a powerful thing, even when you don't think yours are working, they are. God knows my language. I don't get Him but He gets me. He'll make me alert when I'm not ready and He'll teach me to be thankful even when I'm not.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Need to Save God

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
Ephesians 2:8 NLT

At first I'm can't but think of the Men's Dinner that we had last night. Mainly the talk that Kurt Cotter gave about Paul. One thing he made us really remember was the phrase " by the grace of God, I am what I am". I had never thought about life and who I was until that point. I was actually feeling kind of depressed while I shot the sermon because, I could see maybe 25 guys in the chapel. I had worked so hard since the retreat to promote this event and seemed like my epectations were shot. I honestly went to the dinner truely believing that none of my promoting worked, and I was right, it didn't, lol. I only had 4 likes on facebook, we were way late with putting the promo out ( the night before). On the way to the dinner, I just prayed that God would be bring those he wanted (typical ministry prayer). We wanted young men to be there, and young men weren't really, it was the same old supporters as before (other than the worship team filled with young guys). Yet something compelled me as I felt stupid about my ambitions for the group. I knew I had to keep plugging away at it. I'm tired, sip some coffee, I read and think. I find myself seeing potential in people, organizations, and projects, but I also find myself getting this thought, that I'll do the work and everyone will think I'm the man at times. I think I belong in television, people have told me I'd be perfect for the news. My mind is in contant connection mode I feel. And I'm amazed of how often I think I need to save the world. I think thats where I get this "my way or the highway attitude". I think I get that attitude from my rejection years. Out of rejection I found that I had to really believe in myself whether it was just trying to understand the teacher and the lesson in the way best for me or in the work place, translating instructions in a way that was best for me, regardless of how I was treated. It's through that process of not feeling rejected I appear to have a prideful view of my way or the high way. Do I take credit for becoming a christian and believing? no, but do i want credit for my actions and promoting people? not always. I have the gift of encouragement, and when I come across something that I see important for anybody or simply has potential, I run with it and am passionate about it.  Hits me, God has saved me, not me saving God. He is saving people , not me saving people, I get that backwards, He does the work. No need to stress over numbers or quantity, God is doing his thing how wants to and when He wants to, I just simply need to obey, and can only by his grace.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ultimate Understanding

Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
Colossians 1:10 NLT
At first I'm thinking that I've heard this in so many sermons, or lecturers, or something. Its the truth, there's a lot here. I'm tired this morning, worked late last night. Sip some coffee, I read and think. I had to look a few scriptures back to see what was really going on here. This is a training that Paul was giving Colossa, he was praying for them to have knowledge and wisdom. I look at it as a programming and training that never ends. I'm reminded again of Home Theater sales back at Ultimate, when I was in training for 2 weeks prior to hitting the sales floor. I was amazed of how much I didn't know about people. I really like Ultimate's Philosophy about putting the customer first and not the money. It was that week that Ultimate had been purchased by Hollywood videos former owner, February of '05. In the next 3 weeks, all my trainers for let go. I was in the last training school without even knowing it. As I entered the sales floor not knowing what would have happen in a week, I began to use my training and 6 weeks later, we had to review our training and take tests again. These tests were for knowlege in products and sales.  They weren't easy and Ultimate wanted us to make sure that we weren't just selling stuff, they wanted us to understand what we were doing. I was one of those guys, that really tried to learn stuff, I had to learn to relax though. I find in my walk with God, I get too relaxed and just assume people are saved or dont' want to be bothered, my biggest problem was I was afraid to ask for the sale. My biggest problem at times is I'm afraid to lead them to Christ. Or I don't even honor God at all, because they tell me later they never knew I was saved. When began closing the store in April, May, and June, I began learning to close my sales, it wasn't easy, but I did it. I learned to build a bridge and continue to get trained by my colleages. I find in my walk with God, I need to listen to my brothers and sisters for knowledge and understanding in this life even when I don't agree, I need to listen. It's those examples that help me become relaxed and in turn help me to mentor and bare fruit of my own without knowing it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

You have to live the life you were born to live. - Mother Abbess

— Isaiah 43:1-2 —

But now, this is what the LORD says —
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
At first I'm thinking of how often I feel I know what I need to do, and no one understands me. And I don't understand why they don't understand. It's also those decisions that I have to make out of faith that I don't understand. I can't but think of Maria from the sound of Music. So misunderstood, she had a faith of a child and didn't care how she showed it, "I can't seem to stop singing wherever I am. And what's worse, I can't seem to stop saying things - anything and everything I think and feel".
 the her fellow nuns complained about her climbing trees and ripping her dress. Sip some coffee, I read and think. Maria believed she was Gods, not the abbey's and they couldn't stand it. How many times have I felt like that but was afraid to live it. Maria is sent to nanny the kids of vontrap, where again she is not recieved well. They warm up to her eventually, but when she starts falling in love with the captain she runs away due to her own fears of those types of waters. How many times have I been afraid of trusting God when it didn't make sense? when I didn't have it figured out? in business, many times, i just trust my partner even though I don't agree or understand, I know he knows what he's talking about and 90% of the time, he's right. After Maria runs back to the abbey, Mother Abbess tells her to face her fears. But it was what Mother Abbess told her :Maria, these walls were not meant to shut out problems. You have to face them. You have to live the life you were born to live. I find myself fighting between being committed and faithful to where I am, vs. being open to know where God wants me to be. It's like attending church. I can show up every sunday, and to all the events because I want to support and be faithful, but what if God is calling me else where. He did that many years ago, but I just couldn't leave things unfinished. Or my career, I had to listen to him, I always thought i needed to be in same career forever like my dad, because thats how it goes. I have to live the life I am born to live. Maria went back to face her fears and live the life she was called to live. Hits me, my family comes first, where does God want us? A year ago, I wasn't really praying this, I was surviving my job, now a year later, I'm more at God's feet saying, ok i'm listening, whats next? instead of "ok, i have this much vacation time so whatever you need during that slot is good". I am Gods,  through the waters, rivers, and fire, He's got me. That's how he works, I won't be burned, but refined. Just have to apply that.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Selfish Giving

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Luke 6:38 NLT
The first thing that I think of is the feeling I get of doubt before I help someone out, out of the blue. I debate depending on who it is, or I without thinking about it, just help. We saw Raiders of the Lost Ark for date night last night in Imax, it was fun, they really did a good job on restoring that film, the sound was amazing. I can't believe I spent $22 on two waters and a large popcorn, fortunately it was gift cards, but still. Sip some coffee,  I read and think, I'm reminded of the business world, and the amount of time, energy, and resources that goes into getting a business going. My partner has recently realized of how much I don't understand about that stuff, but I listen to him. Hard work pays off, I'm also reminded of again of Raiders, how Indy just wouldn't give up on the ark, and he still lost it to the U.S. when they wouldn't let the museum have the ark once he had it. What's interesting to me though, is how God puts people into my life without me realizing it. To draw us both closer to him, like this project were working on with Single parents with cancer. The amount of people that have come into these moms lives to assist them during there treatment completely volunteered. There are only two employees, all the rest volunteers to help 20 single parents every month with there practical needs while going through treatment. Giving is tuff at times, it makes you go into your heart, into that spot of selflessness, that spot beyond selfishness, that area that you think too much about and access everything. For me its not hard to access all depending on what I think I need to do. Sometimes its just tough, if its money or if its services, what is it? I read and think, the amount you give will determine that amount you get back? This is a big deal, its this feeling of being blessed by blessing someone else. The doubts I have prior to doing, the negative thoughts i get, the frustration, the temptations. Hits me, sure I can go to church and give all  I want because thats what I do, but when its out of the ordinary and in public, when I'm fighting myself, that's when it really counts, thats when the connections are being made, its those moments when you stop your day, when its out of the norm for me, when Gods saying obey me. it's these women helping single parents with cancer that they have never met to find hope, help and support through their treatment. The blessing will be abundant and poured into your lap.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Marion, don't look at it. Shut your eyes, Marion. Don't look at it, no matter what happens! - Indiana Jones

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Philippians 2:13 NLT

I always get this stuff backwards, I tend to live my life for God instead recognizing his working in me. Then I battle myself with the desire that he gave me, trying to make sure its not me who's doing it but him, its not an interest, a hobby, but his calling at the moment. I slept ok, took theraflu last night, now as soon as it wore off, i woke up around 3 am, so I got about 6 hours of sleep. I'm amazed of how many people give advice on how to get better. I've been working on this new business around the clock since April and now my body wants a break I guess. I read and think, I'm reminded of Raider's of the lost ark, why? because susan and I are going to see it in Imax tomorrow night. There's something about Indiana Jones that has always intrigued and inspired me. Not only does he get in way over his head but he has a passion for what's right, and will do whatever he can to make it right. He wasn't saved, but it goes to tell me, that God is always working in people even if they don't know him, how else do we find out accept for his still small voice. I can't but think of the ending scene when they're opening the ark, and indy says to Marian " Marion, don't look at it. Shut your eyes, Marion. Don't look at it, no matter what happens!" Indy respected that ark and it who it represented. God gave him the desire for truth and preservation. I find myself in the same boat at times with video production, seeing a non-profit or corporation that is in dire need of promotion. God implants on me, and sometimes i do need to have discernment, yet make sure I'm doing what he wants me to do. Indy was determined to save the ark, when it came time to open it up, he simply could only respect the father of whom it was all about, by shutting his eyes in humility. I have to let God be who he wants me to be, whatever desires and power he wants to give me, I need to take use as I feel he wants me to. Indy and Marion were the only ones who truly respected the ark, I need to learn from them, and in the littlest things obey God, even when its seems weird.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

If you'd lost all your faith, I couldn't be here. And here I am. - Fairy Godmother

I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.
Psalm 120:1 NLT

At first I'm thinking, when do I? and then why don't I enough? I slept ok last night. I have a wedding to do today. Sip some coffee, I read and think, I'm reminded of Cinderella, it seems to be all Shayne wants to watch these days. How this orphaned little girl gets into a step family, and due to her beauty is made a slave pretty much. She had to wait on her step mom and step sisters hand and foot. The only friends she had were the animals within the house. When the invitation to the ball comes, her step mother makes it impossible for her to go, when the animals help her out, the step mom leaves her in rags all due to her beauty. How many times have I felt like that in my career or my life? why isn't God blessing me, like it appears He's blessing people around me? As cinderella cries by the fountain her fairy godmother appears and says that she heard her faith behind the weeping. As she prepares her for the ball, she arrrives just her step sisters are making their appearance. The Prince sees her not them, as she wonder's around lost and vulnerable. Then it hit me, if her step mother hadn't ransacked her dress, she wouldn't get her fairy god mother, and she wouldn't have been late for the ball. It was all timed perfectly. Hits me, Cinderella weeped and just lost it, she had been through so much pain with her new family, treated so poorly, but there were other plans for her, despite the slavery she was in. Her prayer was answered, and due to her clumsyness with her slippers falling off all the time, it paid off in her behalf, when she had to reveal the other half of the pair to prove she was who the prince was looking for. Regardless of how many times I don't think God really wants to hear my anger or how I really feel about something, he does. He's got plans, not the way I see it, but His way, he's way different and even when the enemy thinks he's got me, God's using that scene to prep for his glory. Cinderella was the second princess introduced by Disney, however created in 1697 and actually means :whose attributes was unrecognised, or one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect. Regardless of how I feel about myself at times, God hear's my heart and will answer, even when I don't mean it, he knows.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The mechanics and chemistry of marriage

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And, love your neighbor as yourself.
Luke 10:27 NLT

I woke up this morning very tired, just alot of late nights again, continueing to transcribe and get other videos out. While getting ready for the day I began to think about the mechanics and chemistry that build a marriage. As I read this passage, I think of my relationship with God and how many times I don't apply this to God. Sip some coffee, I read and think. I'm reminded of wedding vows. Better or worse, sickness and health, death do us part, richer or poorer, and these days? until i'm not happy anymore. Then I'm reminded of how my relationship with God affects my relationship with my wife which affects my relationship with others. I think of the mechanics or the reactions I have to the chemical imbalance of my relationship or lack of it at times with God. Do I love the Lord my God with all my heart? not all ways, I don't think about it always. All my soul? I don't think about that much either, but sure. Strength? Mind? My neighbor? So many different situations affect my walk with God which affects my marriage and friendships, and vice versa. If' I'm in a bad mood in my marriage, I don't want to talk to God, then if i'm in a bad mood at work, I don't think of talking to God, all that chemistry is affected in different elements. Then there's the friendships with other people when your married which is totally affected by how your marriage is with your spouse and how well you two are getting along. If I'm not putting in an effort to work on the things that are important to the health of my marriage with my wife, then the chemistry in my business and my relationship to others is affected. These are things that aren't told you before you get married. It all starts with my relationship with God, If I strive to work on the mechanics and my chemistry with God, everything else will fall into place. That's where the battle begins, and where God puts things in the way to draw me closer to Him. Hits me, sure I can have a good work ethic and go crazy providing for my family because I want to have a retirement and good future, nice place to live, plan date nights vacations, but if my heart isn't in it, if its not with God, if my mechanics are not alligning to make the chemistry, I'll just feel numb inside. My love for God comes first, especially as the husband, as a child of God. Not passion for anything or anybody else, regardless of what the situation is.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Calling a stranger for help

Then when you call, the Lord will answer. 'Yes, I am here,' he will quickly reply.
Isaiah 58:9 NLT

The first thing I think of, is when I call. I have to call on God. When do i need to ask for help? sometimes too late. I'm am tired again, we've been transcribing interviews this week and shooting videos. The reason we transcribe is to transfer the audible to text, that way we can write out the script. In the movies, the writers make up the dialog, in our case the single parents are the writers and telling their story, so in order not to miss anything, transcribing is needed. One of the main things that the women have had to deal with is asking for help. Sip some coffee, I read and think. I'm one of those people who don't ask for help until sometimes its too late or people come up to me asking if i need help when I'm about done. I can admit depending on whats going on if I need help or not. I can't but think of the Singleton moms. These single moms with cancer and hearing their stories. How this non-profit has taken the things we consider part of our lives and come around these parents in need with support. The mothers all spoke of how they heard of Singleton moms, and the many ways that they were helped. I'm amazed when I do ask for help and its given. The mom's spoke of hurds of women flooding into their home to clean it, the "we don't take no for an answer" philosophy. Many of them said "complete strangers walking into your home with smiles". This is vulnerable, i'm not used to having people over, I always get nervous that they'll think I'm dirty or something or it smells weird. Hits me, there's something inside me that hesitates to ask for help, however when I see a need, I jump at it. I'm getting better at asking for help, God's there, sometimes he feels like a stranger, he may not give me the answer i want, but he will be quick to reply in a way thats best for me in his time. Singleton moms has a waiting list, its big, too big. You will get a reply and care, they will call you up and check on you, they will give you the emotional support you need during your treatment. God provides those people, he ignites the fire within them to reachout and to answer when you call. He does things like that. We don't get it, and we don't understand, but we need to accept it.

If you want to help or need help. and like them on facebook.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Foolish Praying

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.
Psalm 17:6 NLT

I'm not sure what to think of this one, maybe because I don't pray like that sometimes. I don't pray knowing He'll answer. I've been saved for a while, how many of those prayers have just been prayers? and how many time have i not, told God to listen to me, simply because I knew he was already? I slept ok, Susan and I were able to watch a movie after Shayne went to bed. Thats crazy, we didn't finish it but man, that's cool that we were actually able to watch something, we haven't done that probably in a year.

I've been trying Dunkin Donuts coffee, its ok, but I miss my starbucks, they just aren't on sale yet. Sip some coffee, I read and think. Prayer is a powerful thing, then why do I seldomly mean it when I pray. It's like a politician just saying words that work good together, he doesn't know if anything will work, and either do the people he's talking too, yet they cheer. I've heard men pray with passion, with power, with great sounding words, with healing, with fear, with logic, with lengthy words. I remember being in church as a young boy, and when the pastoral prayer came up, it was a contest who could keep their eyes closed the whole time and not move while they kneeled. Then there was the laying on of the hands after baptism. I didn't quite get that one. Why didn't we do that all the time, why only during certain occasions? I had a technician tell me once, he called that a super prayer. Yet God hears our grownings, he doesn't need words. I've prayed before thousands of meals, before road trips, before most videos, before opeating camera, interviews, business meetings, my first date with my wife, healing for people, my families health, my friends to get jobs, to pay bills. I knew God would answer in his time.  I don't think about it alot, because I think, I know I don't have control over Him, simply because he wants control over me. I find myself being fake with God, following the rules of a christian, my wife is real with God. I can see her praying just like David does here. I'm more logical, I say "well, God lives inside me, he doesn't need to bend down and listen". That's not the point, he wants me to tell him really how I feel, not with logic. With Nathan language, pray to him. Am I willing to, or am I afraid He'll be offended because I'm not being logical?  Hits me, This scripture isn't just words, its permission, its instruction on how talk to God, its not a thought, David spoke like this and it wasn't bad. In order for me to feel really free in Him, I need put it all out there, even if I'm afraid of it. If I can put my thoughts out for the world to see, why should God be any different, He's the one that really knows me, who am I fooling?

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Slide Plant

The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.
1 Corinthians 3:8 NLT

The first thing that comes to mind is audio visual again. Everything that makes a show happen. However there's one thing element that most crew members hate. It's pipe and drape. Pipe and drape consists of basicly two or several 20 lb 12x12 steel bases, two telescoping pipes that attach to the bases, and one cross-bar that is run through some drape and connects the two pipes together. It actually looks really nice once its done. The process of getting there, is tedious. I have yet to see an efficient kit or way to put this stuff together, without making numerous trips to different places to get the crap. We usually have it done last after everything is set, get all the crew together and knock this out.

Well Today is labor day, so why am I thinking about work? Sip some coffee, I read and think. I'm reminded of the house across the street from mine when I was growing up. I was called over to take care of it while they were on vacation. I was about in 8th grade. I brought a post-it note over because usually these things weren't very eleborate. Bob looked at me and said "you're going to need a sheet of paper". He was right, lots of plants to water inside and out, and catfish to feed in the pool outside. There was one plant that stook out to me, the plant the was growing on the slide at the pool. He specifically instructed me to let the hose run for 5 minutes on this one. Of all the plants I had to water, he said this one, needs to be flooded. This guy had everything in house, it was so cool, an office that looked like Davey Crockett lived there, a back room for pottery, massive garden outside, black smith shop under the porch, etc. When his vacation came, I began watering. When I came upon the bush growing on the slide, I set my timer on my watch and stood there for 5 whole minutes. Sure I had watered before but this was different, as I watched water flood this plant and come over the barrel, i wondered if he wasn't joking. When Bob got back from his vacation, he told me I was the first one to ever save that bush all summer. That appreciation ended the following summer when he had me water his house again but didn't mention the slide plant, therefore i didn't water it, and it died. That was the last time I worked for him.  I read and think. Hits me, it doesn't matter what I'm doing, watering a plant, pipe and drape, or just operating gear thats about to break due lack of attention to detail. Everything is important. Sure, I can plant, but without water, forget planting, I can set up lights and but can't focus until pipe and drape are ready. The band can play but if gear maintenance is being abandoned, they won't play long. Everything has its part, and if one is neglected due to interest or personal preference, thats noticed. Or the plant, of all 60+ plants to water, the slide plant was his favorite. Every job is important, every position has its value and none should be neglected they cannot work without the other.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Following the Action

— Psalm 40:5 —

Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
The first thing I think of is the Audio Visual booth at church. Why? we were working on it yesterday. In some church's its very undermined and misunderstood, in others it's very valued and respected. Yet what the booth produces brings glory to God. The men and women behind the scenes are probably the most under spiritual attack I have ever scene. I slept ok, I'm a lite sleeper, I was looking for a facebook group about lite sleepers, couldn't find one. Sip some coffee, I read and think. We call it the mix booth, sound booth, tech table, the booth, sound area. Back in the day it didn't exist, until congregations grew and volunteers from broadcast implimented there standards inside church. Now many are paid due to the demands of the leaderships vision. Little do they know at times, the spiritual attacks faced by all of us technicians behind the wood in the booth. It's either work or worship, what'll it be? You can't do both. When I'm operating the booth, I can't let myself worship or the lyrics, video, mics, lights, will be missed and out of sync. The worship leader will give me a look, the audience will look back, its just not good. How many times have I been so depressed, burned out, just lost, and operating a Sunday service. We call it, "following the action", having a list of events for the service, yet keeping attentive to the stage due to last minute changes that you didn't see coming. For us back in the booth, this always means S.O.P. (standard operating procedure) on each area, FOH (front of house or sound board), video, graphics, and lights. Then communication between all technicians in the room so we can keep up with the demands that can happen last minute. If we are ready, then everyone else can worship, if not? things could be disasterous. Then there's the repair and replacement that we have to track during rehearsal and service, to attend to on a later date (budget permitting that is). I read and think, The whole point of all this tech stuff is the audience doesn't notice we're there. So they can let God speak to them, and live this verse out. God will work regardless of technology, but when things work right, people don't notice us at all. There lies a different issue, the condition of our spiritual lives, sure we appear as guys in a booth looking at the stage but inside, are so many lost and broken hearts, men seeking acceptance, fighting depression, loneliness, burn out, bad marriages, temptations with who knows what. Just because we're in church and in the booth doesn't mean we can worship. It really means that we can't but make sure everyone else can. Seeing us in the booth is very decieving, we appear to behind gear and doing great because were in church. Our worshipping moments end up being outside of church or when we can get a break and actually attend a service as a spectator. Hits me, This life is about God, this service is about God, God uses us to communicate Him, no wonder we struggle, we have an important part to play. Just as God is using us in our weakest moments at times, He's using everybody else in the room to show His presence in their lives, and that is something to rejoice about.