Saturday, June 30, 2007
We're having our annual "Worship Concert" this weekend:
It's a fun time, but TONS of work. Props out to our great team who makes all of this happen. I know every church brags about their music, so I won't stop the trend now. Our music team is UNBELIEVABLE!! We currently have close to 40 vocalists and musicians that rotate during the month. I'll get more into that in a different post.
Needless to say, this group of folks have it going on! They are talented, dedicated and willing to do "whatever it takes" for God. I love that attitude! As a matter of fact, to be on the team you MUST have that as part of your DNA. We work our butts off to make sure that God is the focus, not us. We don't always get it right, but I can tell you that the team is pumped about sharing the TOP 10 Worship songs of 2007. Meadow Heights Church voted on their favorites and this weekend we're counting them down. Don't miss it!!
I'll post the Top 10 lists after the weekend is over for anyone interested!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he,
I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)
Is that how you have felt about serving God lately? Excited? Ready for the next challenge?
“So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” Romans 12:1 (MsgB)
We had a great response from those turning in their commitments. But can I be honest with you? It’s not enough. God calls all of us to serve Him. It’s not optional. It’s not whether or not you feel like it. It’s not “I’ll serve Him tomorrow.” It’s our responsibility to serve Him here and now.
“Once more you'll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn't, between serving God and not serving him.” Malachi 3:18 (MsgB)
My challenge for you this week is to serve God – each and every day. It might be through worshiping Him, helping a neighbor, finding a ministry at church. Whatever that looks like for you, go for it! Today – here and now. God is always there for you; He came and He rescued. Serving our God should be a natural response to His loving grace. What are you waiting for?
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I have done many conference calls over the years, but not a combo "call and PowerPoint" live at the same time. Very interesting concept! I can see huge applications for the church at some point, especially for training purposes, meetings, etc.
Kudos to Leadership Network for hosting this, and for Dave, Jon and Eric for their work and the info they presented today.
You can check out more information on the Big Idea here.
Lots of announcements today!!
This one just came in:
Terry and his team at LifeChurch have been developing a new online Bible resource called "You Version." This doesn't look like your plain ole' online Bible either - it's slated to take full advantage of Web 2.0 complete with audio, video and the works. I can't wait to see this in action. If you guys need Beta testers - count me in!
You can read more details at this blog. Be sure to visit the You Version site and sign up for email updates.
Be sure and check out their resources here. Oh, and be sure to thank them as well!
Why doesn't Puma or Adidas (or even Nike) pay the management of the SF Giants to bench Barry Bonds before he hits the record? Now you'd have a brand that really stood for something.
Why don't local businesses buy $50 worth of quarters now and then and feed all the meters in town... just put a little flyer under the windshield wiper.
Once you change the rules, the sponsorship opportunities are endless.
[Brandon has a warning, though, for anyone thinking about parking meters.]
Monday, June 25, 2007
For those of you in Fredericktown, I'm not sure how we can relate. Maybe Olympic Steakhouse to...hmmm...the Pig? Or possibly Tunes Steakhouse to A&M?
I'm so glad we've already addressed this obstacle at Meadow Heights Church. We focus on only five things: weekend experiences, All Stars Children's Ministry, 24-7 Student Ministry, Life Groups and mission opportunities. We don't always get it right, and some of these areas are still under development, but what you see is what you get.
What you won't see: Sunday night church, Wednesday night church, men's ministry, women's minstry, singles minstry...the list could go on and on. Not that any of those things is bad, it's just that we only focus on the five and try to do them with excellence.
Let's continue to focus on the "steak" and leave the buffet to everyone else!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Let me just say this...
"Times are a changin'!"
The MacBook is schweet! I'm totally in to anything new and challenging - this fits the bill. The interface is incredible, the design of course is phenomenal, and this thing is stinkin' quick!
Matt is a Mac guy, and he tells me that I won't be sorry if I go this route. For now, I'm going to sit back and enjoy toying around on this machine. We'll see what the future holds!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Don't miss this weekend!! Jeremiah will be sharing about his experience at camp, and we'll also hear from a couple of volunteers and a student or two. We're continuing the theme from camp called "Here and Now." Sometimes I find myself in the "there and later" camp. There's always tomorrow. That's an easy way of saying, "God...I've got it all under control. I'll just do what I want to do, when I want to do it."
We've been praying that our kids will get dangerous, but what about the rest of us? It's easy to pray for our kids, but it's another thing altogether to get dangerous ourselves. It's difficult to obey God in the here and now. It's easy to put things off until tomorrow. It's difficult to follow Jesus.
What "camp" do you find yourself in today? "There and Later" or "Here and Now?" One is safe, the other is dangerous. The choice is yours.
If you haven't read his blog - subscribe today. You won't be disappointed!
From Seth Godin:
A lot of people have blogs. But most people don't.
I think you should. Even if you only have one post in you.
Having a blog is pretty daunting, especially if you don't like blank paper and are the sort of person that hates falling behind. I can imagine that the idea of posting 50 or 300 times a year is a little bit nuts for many people.
But what if there's just one thing you need to say, but you can say it clearly and well and in a way that hasn't been said before? What if you've got one great blog post inside of you, and, even better, you're willing to update that post as you learn more and gain more insight?
An entire post about a certain kind of fossil. Or the misuse of a certain word. Or about a key difference between two kinds of bluetooth...
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Willow Arts Conference Blog - this site has all the info, including video clips and highlights
Dave Ferguson and Eric Bramlett - these two made several appearances at this year's event
Tim Stevens - as usual, some great thoughts on the conference
Kem Meyer - another Granger cat, she hosted a "cup o' coffee" breakout session on blogging
These are just a few of the blogs I follow. For tons of blog references, go here and type in "Willow Arts Conference" and you'll find more links than a sausage company.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Sex God is an interesting book to say the least. For those of you who don't know, I am a HUGE Rob Bell fan. Check out this photo of my son Seth and I during a past trip to Mars Hill Church in Grandville, Michigan:
I have been following him since I became a follower of Jesus. I love his insights into the delicate fabric of scripture, specifically his take on the Greek and Hebrew roots of today's translations. I share a common interest in this area of knowledge as well.
Sex God captivated me from the start. I love chapter one. It gets a little weird from there. Bell is obviously concerned about the world, it's politics, and the atrocities that plague it. There were a few parts in the beginning where the soapbox became noticeable to the reader. It quickly passed, but the thoughts stick with you. I was compelled however, to continue thinking about my goal of traveling and helping others across the globe. Rob's passion definitely finds itself in sharing Jesus with a suffering world.
The book continues by explaining the connection between God, sex and just about everything else in the world. Both singles and marrieds will find content of interest with this book, so I highly recommend this for both audiences. There were points that I was smiling from ear to ear, others that brought me to tears, and another where I just had to thank my wife for choosing me from over 6 billion people in the world (quite a thought...if you stop and think about it for your own relationship!).
Bell will definitely stimulate your thinking and provoke some interesting conversations. Take time to read this book - I don't think you'll be disappointed. Stick with it, get past the political grinding near the beginning, and enjoy his unique style of writing and blend of wit, humor and of course, biblical foundation.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
We'll be wrapping up the "Who's Kidding Who" series this weekend. It's been a great series - we've had tons of comments on how God is working on moms, dads and kids alike and it's been amazing to see transformation and changed lives.
I'm pumped about this weekend as Bryan takes a new and different look at the "prodigal son" story. The band will be kickin' it with the Daughtry tune "Home" - it could very well be a defining moment that will rock our church family. All I can say is this - don't miss this weekend!!
Don't forget to check out the Who's Kidding Who Blog and leave a comment. Let us know how this series has impacted you or your family and some practical ideas that may help others. We'll leave the blog up a few extra weeks for anyone that wants to join in the discussion.
See you this weekend!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
If you are new to the blogging world, this book is a must for you. This book is also required reading for any pastor who is contemplating starting a blog - some great gems for you to consider before you begin.
For those of us who have been blogging for awhile, no incredible breakthroughs, but some great reminders about blogging. It really gave me clarity as to the "why's" of blogging, although I must admit that I am probably a cross between a personal and ministry related blog. While the authors suggest that this is not all bad, I tend to go back and forth to often (which might explain my limited readership?).
One last note - I have resisted the RSS feed for over a year now. I am from the "old school" where I like to visit each page individually. This has been quite easy with Firefox's tab feature - open all blogs I follow in tabs simultaneously and then click through very rapidly. HOWEVER...I am really working on streamlining my use of technology, so a few days ago I subscribed to all of my favorite blogs (24 total) via Google Reader. So far it has saved me a tremendous amount of time!!
Thanks to Bailey and Storch for their work on this book - get it and check it out for yourself. Whether your a newbie in the blog world or a seasoned veteran, you won't be disappointed with this book.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Not any HUGE announcements this year, but there were some interesting thoughts:
- Some big games will be released for Mac - are they trying to capture a share of this market?
- Leopard looks stinkin' awesome!! Some additional interface designs that look phenomenal including a better search function.
- Time Machine - one click backup - simple, easy and very effective.
- Some other odds and ends: iPhone details, Leopard price points, etc.
UPDATE: I've noted that this site is occasionally not accessible for some reason. Keep with it - you won't be disappointed! I'm sure they'll get the bugs worked out soon. NOTE: This blog author is living in Guam.
It's definitely Monday. I've been on vacation for two weeks and tomorrow I head back to work. We spend a lot of time prepping for vacation and a lot of time catching up once we get back. The time in between? It seems to go by so quickly.
I'm pumped about getting back to work, but I'm also hesitant because I didn't get as much done over my break as I wanted to do. Isn't this the norm? I've enjoyed the extended time with my family and God spoke to me in little ways that held big meaning. The question I've been delaying is whether or not I will listen and obey. That's always the challenge.
So for this Monday morning I'll continue to contemplate life, prepare to retreat from vacation and establish some priorities for the weeks ahead. Life is good.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Tony points us to this site.
I've never considered roasting my own beans, but it sure looks awesome!! If I can keep from electrocuting myself, I might even give this one a shot. Bring on the beans!
By the way, two questions for the coffee lovers out there:
(1) What is your favorite type/style of coffee?
(2) Where is your favorite place to order coffee/beans?
If you are a jazz enthusiast or just looking to experiment into this musical realm, you won't be disappointed with Pilgrimage. You might even come away as a believer in the musical faith of jazz. Whatever the case, this album will stand as a tribute to Michael Brecker and his passion and love for his family and the core of his soul, jazz music.
Here's a great site with TONS of resources and fantastic little articles. If you're interested in GTD, try this entry. It's chocked full of great links and ideas.
What are some of your tips for staying organized? Are there any software solutions that you would recommend? Let's get this discussion started!
Thursday, June 07, 2007
- In a world of infinite choices, choosing which activities will occupy your day is likely to be your single greatest driver of effectiveness.
- Successful leaders–and, therefore, successful founders–invest the time to clearly identify, prioritize, and communicate key goals. They then measure their success by real progress against those desired outcomes.
- Because many of us are so accomplishment driven, we tend to look at both activities and outcomes as accomplishments.
- Once founders begin to assess their team against key measures, they are often surprised to see how quickly they can create a results-driven culture. In that kind of enlightened organization, it’s about ownership, trust, accountability — and not about hours worked.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Since the stroller jacking, tire blow out, leaving late and the construction, we decided to stop at Patti's Settlement for dinner. If you haven't been to Patti's, I would HIGHLY recommend it!! It's located in Grand Rivers, Kentucky right off Interstate 24. The food is delicious and the desserts are incredible. Here's a shot of my food - their infamous 2" pork chop (and yes, it tasted just as good as it looked!):
I had the chess sinker for dessert (Melissa had the Coconut Cake) and then we were back on the road. After nearly 24 hours on the road, we finally arrived home at 10pm Tuesday night.
Today we unpacked a bit, caught up on email, took a nap and basically "vegged" out all day. Both Melissa and I felt out of sorts today - lack of sleep, structure and trying to get past the "vacation hangover." I'm sure tomorrow will be more productive (I hope)!!
So that's it for the 2007 Walt Disney World trip - I hope you enjoyed a week in the life of the Goldsmith family!
We had lunch at a great little local restaurant and then headed over to the beach for a few hours. The water was exceptionally clear and the kids enjoyed swimming in the ocean for awhile.
Kayla had the day off so she was able to go with us. We decided to let her drive back to Orlando so that I could get a quick catnap before the long drive home. On the turnpike one of our tires suddenly blew out. I don't mean a little flat going on, but an entire blowout - the tire was completely shredded. Fortunately Kayla was able to guide it over to the shoulder (I was sleeping, but came awake VERY quickly).
I started assessing the damage and groaning about how long changing a Suburban tire was going to take when out of the blue a "rescue" vehicle pulls up and offers to help. I have no idea how this guy got there so fast and none of us really saw him pull up, but obviously God had it all worked out! Here's another catch - I found out that we had no jack!! Our jack had been jacked! We had no idea how blessed we were that this fellow showed up when he did. In about thirty minutes our tire was changed and we were back on the road.
When we arrived back in Orlando, we decided not to take a chance driving without a spare so we found a Wal Mart at the very exit we were at. It was past seven and the lady said they were not taking any more customers for the day. When she found out that we were driving to Missouri, she talked to one of the mechanic guys and they said they would work us in. Two and a half hours and four new tires later, we headed back to drop Kayla off at her apartment.
It was sad to leave her, but we had a great time seeing her. You can read more about Melissa's thoughts here. I really think Kayla is excited to be in Florida, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if she decided to stay and go to school full time in Orlando. She has some exciting thoughts in mind and when the time is right I will be able to share more on this blog.
We hit the road at 10pm - exhausted but ready to return home.
Next blog entry - the return trip!
Day seven warmed up a little more - the upper 80's but still sun, sun, sun! We headed over to the Magic Kingdom (most of our family's favorite park) for the day. It was a day to catch up on a few rides as well as hit Emilee's favorites again.
Emilee really enjoyed this ride:
Which is surprising since it has a HUGE drop near the middle/end of the ride. But, she loved it! She also enjoyed Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which is no easy roller coaster for a four year old!
Her favorite "little" ride? Peter Pan.
You may not know this, but Peter Pan is THE most popular ride in terms of the fast pass system. By mid-afternoon all fast passes were gone for this ride - several hours before other major attractions had sold out their passes. Peter Pan lasts a mere two minutes, but kids love it.
The big event for this day? Our stroller was stolen - or should I say "jacked." In four visits to Disney World, we have never, ever had an issue with our stroller. Melissa, Emilee and I rode a couple of rides and came back to the stroller parking area to find Emilee's Tinkerbell backpack attached to a different stroller. Ours was a new Winnie the Pooh umbrella stroller, but we suddenly found ourselves with a broken down many years old Pooh stroller! YUCK! Long story short, in true Disney fashion, they hooked us up with a rental stroller for the day, six fast passes and a free box of popcorn for Emilee! Stroller owners beware - don't get your stroller jacked at the Magic Kingdom!
We closed the day by watching the fireworks - my personal favorite part of the day. The fireworks are themed with various music soundtracks and include a real life flying Tinkerbell. It was the perfect close to a wonderful day (minus the stroller incident of course!).
We're checking out of our condo tomorrow and heading southeast for a few hours to visit my aunt Susan. She lives in the Palm Beach area, but she is meeting us part way at Vero Beach. It will be great to see her!!
Then we took a train out to Discovery Island. None of us had ever been to this island before, but it was a fantastic experience. It was a place to learn about animals, what they feed them, see the animal hospital and they even had a petting zoo. It was similar to a zoo experience, but of course, with the Disney touch!
After a morning at Animal Kingdom, we hopped a bus over to Epcot for the rest of the day. Thankfully the tropical storm blew on through, and by afternoon the skies were blue and the temp was a perfect 80 degrees!!
We headed over to World Showcase again and began another tour of each country. You really can't see and do everything at Epcot in just one day. This time we grabbed a bite to eat and for dessert we headed over to Norway for their famous "school bread." This was actually our second school bread of the trip, but who's counting!
It tastes even better than it looks - the inside is filled completely with a light and tasty custard. Not the heavy and crazy sweet stuff you find in most donuts, but a very light and incredibly tasty filling. I absolutely love these things!
We continued touring the different shops and also stopped off to see more shows including this one:
The Taiko drummers are a staple in the World Showcase. Melissa also bumped into (literally!!) Peter Noone. He was heading over to get ready for his show that evening and Melissa clipped him with the stroller! Whoops!
We ended the evening at Planet Hollywood. It's a short walk from Kayla's work, so she met us there for a late dinner. The food was average (most Planet Hollywood's that I've eaten at are this way) and the service was not so hot, but it was great to hang with Kayla and have some good conversation.
Only one more day left at Disney - we'll celebrate this by heading over to the Magic Kingdom tomorrow!!
We were up early today as we moved into a condo for the weekend. Our friends had a timeshare place until today, so I found a great three bedroom/two bath condo online for an UNBELIEVABLE price!! (Feel free to email me for details) We spent the morning moving in and then we headed over to Animal Kingdom for the day.
Animal Kingdom is my son Seth's favorite park. He is seriously considering a career in the animal field (possibly a zoologist?) so he was pumped about this park. This is Disney's fourth major park and is not as large as the others. There are lots of things to do however.
The best ride in the park is Everest. If you like coasters, this ride will thrill you. It has a great theme and you ride forwards and backwards at times during the ride. A definite "must ride."
We also checked out the new Nemo Musical Stage Show. I wasn't sure what to think at first (not to mention we had to be there 45 minutes early just to get a seat) - the cast members were holding a larger "puppet" sized version of the character they represented. It's hard to explain, but it struck me quite odd at first. However, that soon went away and the show was really quite good. No pics were allowed of any kind so I don't have a peek to give you.
While the "big kids" rode Dinosaur, Emilee and I headed to her favorite "little" dinosaur ride and then to the Boneyard where she climbed different towers and then slid down the numerous slides. Disney is phenomenal about designing kid friendly areas and Emilee loved it.
By late afternoon, tropical storm "Barry" rolled in and we experienced the first (and only it turned out) rain of the trip. It was a steady sheet of rain for about 12 hours, so we headed back to the condo and turned in early.
Tomorrow we'll head back to Epcot for more!
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Stay tuned for updates, pics and more information than you probably cared to know...
Life is GOOD!!
Friday, June 01, 2007
Rockin' Roller Coaster is the park's MOST popular ride - Seth and I grabbed a couple of Fast Passes and then headed over to ride Tower of Terror (twice!). Both rides are definitely worth the visit to this park.
MGM is one of my favorite parks. It's not just because of the two rides above, but mostly because I LOVE MOVIES!! I'm an avid film buff, and this park hits the highlights from the past all the way up to today. It's also Star Wars Weekend, so we'll definitely be seeing a lot of the characters from those movies. The park is not very big, but there's a lot to do and see, plus there are quite a few "shows" here. I had the chance to see a friend of mine (Doug Teel) from college perform the "pre-show" to Beauty and the Beast. You can check out his group here.
We hit the condo a bit early to prepare for a "date night." Our friends from Illinois (Cary and Angie) joined us for a night out at the Cheesecake Factory. I LOVE THIS PLACE!! I love it because they must have the most menu selections than any other restaurant I've been to, and second, because they have great desserts!! I had a new one (for me at least!) tonight - Chocolate and Coconut Cream Cheesecake. It was DELICIOUS!! It had a chocolate brownie type bottom layer, followed by a layer of coconut cheesecake, followed by a layer of coconut custard with whipped cream on top!! UNBELIEVABLE!!
Now we're back at the condo with our bellies full. Tomorrow we'll meet Kayla early to get our tickets, and then we'll be switching condos for the rest of our stay in Orlando. After we get settled in to our new home we'll hit Animal Kingdom for the day. It should be a great day - until then!!