California Wildfires

Santiago Wildfire, originally uploaded by Kevin Labianco.

Pretty incredible picture from Flickr of the wildfires in California.


From the Booth

I’m privileged to work with some great people. Some of the best are the guys that are part of our MediaTech Team. Rich, Doug, Curtis, Ken, Richie, along with Jon, Cliff, and Dana are dedicated and really care about the quality of each service. It’s not always perfect, but we are always trying.

This pic was taken last night during worship. That’s Curt working the computer for video projection. We have the best seats in the house. (And some good coffee.)


Seeing is Believing

when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him – and in seeing him, become like him. – 1 John 3:2

Here is the teaser video we played on Sunday to announce the Scrooge Starter meeting.


Prelude to a Decision

Today was a big day.

We started with competition, as Shae, Sam and Adam presented their Drama Ensemble, Small to a partially empty (or partially full) room. They did a great job, but you never know what the judges might be looking for.

The results were back quickly and they were good – a “Superior with Honors” rating. That is quite an accomplishment since – as of this writing – 115 entries have been judged in this category and only 22 have received a “Superior with Honors” rating.

Now we wait, since the category doesn’t finish until noon tomorrow, then we will see if they have to do a “callback” performance.

This afternoon I participated in the General Council business session. Even though I’ve been ordained since 1996, this has been my first opportunity to vote at a General Council. There were several resolutions that were voted upon, but the biggest issue was the election of a new General Superintendent. After the 3rd electoral ballot, the field has been narrowed to three – George Wood, Alton Garrison, and Doug Clay, with Wood the favorite.

Voting on this and other offices will continue tomorrow. I’ll be there.

This evening we attended the Youth service. Rich Wilkerson was the speaker and did a good job. And the music of Planet Shakers was good, too.

Now we are relaxing back at the hotel, getting ready for another big day tomorrow.

(Pictured: Mom and Dad before the Council’s afternoon business session. Mom’s not a registered voter – she was just holding the voting device before leaving to sit elsewhere.)



Sam, Shae, and I – along with friends Adam, Ashley, and Jeff – are in Indianapolis for the National Fine Arts competition and A/G General Council. After a lo-o-o-o-ong drive, a night in Nashville, and more driving, we arrived yesterday at the RCA Dome.

There are alot of people here, and we’ve already seen a few people we know.

Last night we went to Cracker Barrel, where we tried to let our server, Kate, earn her second star. Then it was on to the youth service in the Dome. Planet Shakers led worship and Reggie Dabbs was the speaker in front of about 10,000 people.

It was very good.

Then we stopped by McDonalds on our way back to the hotel.

Today we are headed to watch some competition, including Shazmynn Barnard this morning. Ashley performs her sign language solo at 1:56pm today, and Adam, Shae, and Sam do their small drama ensemble tomorrow at 9:08am.


I’ve Been Working…Really

I’m in Arizona for the Assemblies of God’s Teen Bible Quiz National Finals. I’m representing Peninsular Florida in my capacity as District Bible Quiz Coordinator. National Finals began with some preliminary activity on Sunday, then a qualifying day on Monday with nine rounds of quizzing. That has been followed by the main competition on Tuesday and Wednesday. Today is the last two rounds of quizzing, followed by playoffs and some individual and exhibition quizzing. My role in this has been to help officiate.

It has gone well, but there have been some long days. However, I have also been able to get in some golf.

Sunday afternoon, John Sullivan – from Houston – and I played at the Resort course here – a very nice and expensive, mountainous course. It was a lot of fun, but my game fell apart over the last 3/4 of the round. I think I shot about a 105 – after opening with two pars.

Yesterday, we traveled to north of the city to play at the Pines, a very nice, but cheap, course that is Arizona’s only quarry golf course. Up and down with lots of shots over ravines and gulleys.

It was a GREAT day. I shot an 81 – first time doing that in a very long time. And we played from the back tees.

I’m off to quizzing. And another round of golf tomorrow at the Gallery, where they play the Accenture Match Play Championship. We will be playing the south course, where they actually play the tournament.


Girls Night Out

Several factors were at work tonight.

– Sam and Shae are currently at Student Leadership 101 in Orlando.
– Big Bunco night at my house tonight for Trudi and her gang.
– A few weeks ago, we went to Pirates 3 and there was no sound for the first few minutes, so the theater gave everyone a free pass to another show.
– Summer and Sawyer (also known as Daisy and Petal) and I were homeless, looking for something to do.

Which is how we ended up at Evan Almighty.

I’ve heard this was an outreach film. In fact, at the Willow Conference there was Evan merchandise and “outreach” materials.

Yes, a pretty good version of God was in this, and thankfully, it wasn’t Steve Carrell. Despite the title, Morgan Freeman didn’t grant any supernatural powers to Evan. Morgan Freeman played it well and it was written well. My only objection was a reference to God being “in all things” – a very Buddhist view of things.

But I don’t see the real outreach potential of this, unless you’re evangelizing for the Sierra Club. Of course, when you start by equating the Creator to the Creation, I guess outreach becomes what you make it.

There were other good messages about “families sticking together” and Morgan-as-God’s assertion that “whatever I do, it’s because I love you.”

Apart from those good nuggets and some funny bits that made me laugh out loud, the movie was only so-so for me. It didn’t make me hate it or love it. But it is safe and enjoyable for the whole family, so I would recommend it. Especially if you have free passes.


Picture from the Arts Conference

Finally got some pictures from Rich from our trip to the Willow Arts Conference in Chicago. This is the main lobby outside of the Willow Creek Community Church auditorium. Just another little church struggling to get by.