Friday, June 29, 2007

words for artists in the church from McClaren and Miller

just passing more tidbits along from the Willow Creek Arts Conference....

[from Brian McClaren's bio]
What is one thing you would say to artists and leaders who are just starting out in ministry?
Your idealism is a precious gift, but it can also become a kind of weapon turned either on yourself or others when you or they fall short of your high ideals. So keep your ideals high, but keep your sense of grace and compassion high too.

What is one thing you would say to artists and leaders who have been involved in ministry a long time?
The need to make a living can turn us into 'entertainers' instead of prophetic leaders. So be sure you're taking a risk and resisting the pressure of the religious subculture to provide it with more 'products and propaganda' masquerading as art.

[from Donald Miller's bio]
What is one thing you would say to artists and leaders who are just starting out?
I think artists and leaders both, who are working in evangelical culture, would do well to establish community outside of Christian community. This will round out their perspective so they have something to offer evangelical culture. This is not so difficult. A part-time job at a bookstore, starting a book club, cooking club or joining a neighborhood association are all ways to connect with people outside your church.

What is one thing you would say to artists and leaders who have been involved in ministry a long time?
I could only offer the same answer as the previous question, that broaden our perspectives by broadening the kinds of stimulation we receive as artists.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

remembering a year ago...

I woke up this morning about 6:30. As I was pouring water into the coffee pot I caught myself listening outside the kitchen window for air boats. When I let the dog out to pee I caught myself peeking around the edge of the door to see if there was standing water in the road.

I'm happy to say that everything in Conklin is fine. The rain storm we got last night (which was quite an eerie feeling!) brought much needed liquid to the brown and sluggish river that runs through our town.

I was talking with a neighbor friend a couple of weeks ago. She and her husband had to wade out of their house a year ago this morning. Her husband then got into his kayak and rowed down theslightly-sloping hill toward the end of their street to wake up some friends who were completely unaware that they were getting trapped by muddy, churling floodwaters. Then she and her husband spent the next couple of months clearing out the soggy remains of their basement and reconstructing it. When we were talking she said, "I'll be glad when the anniversary is past. Something about the year being over with will be encouraging to us."

I remember feeling the same way after our house fire. We marked the one year anniversary of the fire -- which happened on a New Year's Eve -- with a huge celebration. We must have had more than 50 people (including at least 20 or 30 small children!) crammed into our house to celebrate.

So, Brian and I decided to have a backyard picnic for our neighbors. I borrowed one of the most poignant flood photos our friend Stephanie took. And I borrowed the theme from the Willow Arts conference I just attended to create a beautiful picnic invitation to hand out to the neighbors.

And, even though Brian and I have been accused by a couple of people at our church for not paying enough attention to their families during the flood, we still have zillions of amazing memories of working together with our church family to help our neighborhood families to muck out and get back into their homes. Those memories are extremely precious to Brian, me and our kids. God allowed us to love our neighbors while wearing ridiculous looking boots and sweaty blue T-shirts. So, if you happen to be near Conklin this Saturday at 4 and want to stop by our picnic, we'd love to have you join us in our dry and safe neighborhood!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

more on the Arts Conference

Check out this post from Nancy Beach. She is commenting here on what was, to me, the most powerful session of the Willow Creek Arts Conference.

After you read the post/comments, I'd love to know your thoughts...

ps. make sure you read the Rev! magazine article link, too!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to Brian!

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Diary of a Woman in Need of a Road Trip!

8:55 Monday morning, 6/11/07:
I catch up on emails after a full weekend of Franklin Graham Festival activity. I see an email from Willow Creek stating that Sally Morganthalar will be a late-addition to one of the mainstage sessions of their annual Arts Conference. (Morganthalar is the author of Worship Evangelism, on Pastor John's recommended reading list) The conference begins in two days.

8:56: I have a fleeting thought that I would like to hop into the Blazer, crank up my iPod and drive to Chicago for the Arts Conference.

8:56:30: I realize this is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever had. I can barely stand the arts anyway and have been thinking about quitting this job I have at church because even though it's the best job I could hope for, I'm tired of all the work and conflict and discouragement anyway. Besides, if I worked retail at least i'd get a product discount!

8:56:39: I tell Brian my ridiculous idea. He does not think it is ridiculous. I begin to wonder if I should actually do it.

9am - 10am: I browse area hotels for a room. It begins to appear that there is no room in the inn, any inn, anywhere in all of Chicagoland. I remind myself the idea was ridiculous anyway. I remind myself that a mother of four with no money and no hotel room does not plan to go on a roadtrip by herself 13 hours away (if Cleveland and Chicago roads have any mercy at all). I email the owner of a Bed and Breakfast 11 miles away from Willow Creek.

10:30am: The owner calls me. She does have a room available. She graciously agrees to 'pencil me in'. I try to act like I am a sane woman and that the reason I am looking for a room at the last minute is that my important schedule just miraculously opened up and I am able to just flit out to Chicago on a whim. "I have a few other details to look into, but I will confirm the reservation with you by the end of the day" She does not need to know that the details include the fact that I have $0 in my wallet and 4 children who need care for the next 5 days and a husband to convince and a vehicle that is only questionably road worthy.

I go on with the rest of the day as if the idea were ridiculous and not worth thinking on any longer.

6:00pm: Brian and I attend two simultaneous softball games (it's tricky, let me tell you!) played by our 11-year-old and 9-year-old daughters. I had tucked the schedule of the Arts Conference into the paperback I'd brought along to read during the innings-that-never-end. I casually bring up the fact that isn't-it-funny-that-if-I-were-to-attend-the-conference-i'd-have-to-leave-in-about-12 hours! tee hee. Brian says, "Oh, the conference is this week??" And then, God forever bless this beautiful man, he begins making phone calls and working the numbers. I call my mom about money she's given me to pursue this passion. Previously, she'd let me know that she wanted to give me money for something like this, but just needed some advance notice. I ask her if 12 hours is enough notice??

8:30pm: I call the B&B owner and tell her that all the pressing details have been arranged (as if they included things like moving important meetings and arranging for a dog sitter) and that I'll take that room she has and will see her tomorrow night. She has to ask several times what flight I'll be arriving on before she realizes I'm actually going to drive. She asks me how I like my coffee.

more of my diary in next post...

Monday, June 11, 2007

To God Be the Glory

sing it with me now, friends!

To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the lifegate that all may go in.
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

It is an amazing time to live in the Greater Binghamton area right now.
And, I believe, the best is yet to come.

I agree with Z's post -- it was so FUN to see and hear about all the exploits of my friends and family this week as they served our community. Way to Go!

Friday, June 01, 2007

great story!

Check this story out!
Look here also.

And, don't miss the story of the boulder and the fire.
And what Spielberg had to say.
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