Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Hello everyone. If you haven't already figured it out, I am on a bit of a holiday from blogging. I just thought I'd check in and post a few cheesy Christmas album covers from the crew at inflammatory cartoon. I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas and New Years break. I will be spotty in my posting for the next week and then be back in full swing starting in January.

Is that a lump of coal on her plate???

Friday, December 22, 2006

Amazing Grace

A few weeks ago I blogged about this movie, which is based on the life of William Wilberforce. It will hit theaters in February. You can read my previous post here. Below is the link to the trailer for this movie. It looks fantastic. I am really looking forward to seeing it.

(HT: JTaylor)

Thank You!

I wanted to take a moment to thank all of those who worked so hard over the last few months in the preparation for, and presentation of, our “big” outreach weekends in December. Over these two weekends we enjoyed such a fantastic spectrum of Christmas music. These weekends were not only defined by their diversity, but they also maintained a high level of excellence that I believe encouraged our community and pleased the Lord. I only pray that God would see fit to extend his grace into the lives of all who attended. I know many who were there did not know the Lord. I pray that the seeds that were planted will spring forth in new life and that those who brought friends will faithfully continue to sew the gospel into their friend’s lives.

Thanks for sacrificing to help make the arts at Parkview a medium for bringing glory to God. I honestly feel that I am privileged to work with some of the best people in the world. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on the mission of Christ to share His message with our community, nation, and world. I look forward to digging in with you all for another year of ministry at Parkview! To God be the glory!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Keith Green Documentary

I grew up as a Christian listening to Keith Green’s music. A friend and I would often spend an hour a week going to the church to play and sing Keith Green tunes. I read his biography "No Compromise" years ago and was most attracted to his passion for serving the Lord at any cost. From vitaminz I discovered that a new documentary about his life can be viewed on youtube. I’ve included the link to part one below. If you have a history with Keith Green music, you will undoubtedly enjoy this documentary.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Readerware and a USB Barcode Scanner

Do you own a lot of books, CD’s or movies? Have you ever wanted an innovative way of cataloging, organizing, and tracking them (especially when you lend them out)? All you need is a copy of Readerware (you can get different versions for different applications) and a barcode scanner (found anywhere from $12-80 on ebay).

Josh Malone, Pastor of Young Adults let me in on this sweet system a few weeks ago. I got my barcode scanner yesterday and started scanning in books right away. Once you scan in the books ISBN number the software does a search on the web and automatically inserts a visual image of the book cover, title, author, publisher, estimated value, description, rating, etc… It’s amazing.

This is a great tool for people with a big personal library and students who want to be able to quickly pull information on a book for a bibliography page. You can checkout the Readerware here. Thanks for the hot tip Josh!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Unanswered Questions

We just finished our second weekend of some amazing musical celebrations for the Christmas Season at Parkview. I'm pretty shot, but very thankful for some amazing things God has done over the last few weeks. I will post more about the weekends in the next day or two. If any of you have digital pictures from the weekends, please send them my way. I'd love to see them and maybe post some of them.

In light of my brain-dead state, I thought I would share a few of the "unanswered questions" my brother shared with me in a recent email. They're worth a laugh. If you have more "unanswered questions" or answers for the unanswered questions, feel free to leave them as a comment.
  1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE
  2. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?
  3. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
  4. Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?
  5. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Chipmunks Slow-mo

Did you ever wonder who the voices were behind the chipmunks? Someone finally got the idea to slow down one of the chipmunk songs in order to let us hear the real voices behind the sped-up squeaking many of us grew up listening to. Check it out here. Funny! Thanks for the hit John!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Before the Marvel of This Night

The following is a lyric from one of the choral anthems the choir will be singing this weekend. Great stuff.

- - -

Before the marvel of this night
Adoring, fold your wings and bow,
Then tear the sky apart with light
And with your news the world endow.
Proclaim the birth of Christ and peace,
That fear and death and sorrow cease:
Sing peace, sing peace, sing gift of peace.

Awake the sleeping world with song,
This is the day the Lord has made.
Assemble here, celestial throng,
In royal splendor come arrayed.
Give earth a glimpse of heav’nly bliss,
A teasing taste of what they miss:
Sing bliss, sing bliss, sing endless bliss.

The love that we have always known,
Our constant joy and endless light,
Now to the loveless world be shown,
Now break upon its deathly night.
Into one song compress the love,
That rules our universe above:
Sing love, sing love, sing God is love.

(Jaroslav J. Vajda, choral setting by
Carl Schalk published by Augsburg)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Recommended Film Scores

Bob Kauflin, the Worship Director for Covenant Life Church and Sovereign Grace Ministries studies while listening to film scores. He sites that though film scores don’t always make good reading/studying music, they typically are purely instrumental so they are less distracting to focused studies. I thought his recommendations were interesting so thought I would pass them on.

Here are ten of Bob's favorites, in no particular order:
Flyboys (Trevor Rabin) - beautiful, grand and majestic. Lush orchestrations.
Tuck Everlasting (William Ross) - folksy at times, more organic. One of the most peaceful songs I've ever heard is "Winnie and Tuck"
Amistad (John Williams) - dark at times, contains some choral stuff, but it's in another language and wonderfully joyful. "The Long Road to Justice" contains one of the most hauntingly beautiful trumpet solos I've heard.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Thomas Newman) - great variety, creative string arrangements combined with synthesizer sequencing. "The Letter that Never Came" is simple, beautiful, and moving.
Rudy (Jerry Goldsmith) - a little short, a little repetitious, but stunningly beautiful melodies.
Cinderella Man (Thomas Newman) - Newman is very gifted with strings and moving melodies. This CD contains a number of jazz tunes from the 30's. I leave them off my I-tunes. This is a movie I've seen and recommend, especially for the example of marital commitment between Jim Braddock and his wife.
Dreamer (John Debney) - The main theme is repeated throughout, but again, it's beautiful and worth hearing a number of times. A Bethany Dillon song is included at the end.
Little Women (Thomas Newman) - Vintage Thomas Newman. Very enjoyable soundtrack.
Pride and Prejudice (Jean-Yves Thibaudet) - classically influenced, piano and strings throughout, nice variety. "The Secret Life of Daydreams" is beautiful.
Searching for Bobby Fisher (James Horner) - This is one of my favorite family movies (for kids 11 and older) and the music is excellent.

(HT: Worshipmatters)

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Choir Schedule for Spring 07

    Below is the choir schedule for the Spring 07 ministry season. I've attempted to program some small breaks throughout the season to give everyone a little extra R&R. Note that the Atrium Venue is moving to the Chapel starting in January.

    January 20-21 (MAINSTAGE)
    • Rehearsals – Jan 10, Jan 17
    February 4 (CHAPEL)
    • Rehearsals – Jan 24, Jan 31
    February 18 (CHAPEL)
    • Rehearsal – (Jan 31), Feb 7
    • NO REHEARSAL – Feb 14
    March 3-4 (MAINSTAGE)
    • Rehearsals – Feb 21, Feb 28
    March 25 (CHAPEL)
    • Rehearsals – Mar 7, Mar 21
    • NO REHEARSAL – Mar 14 (Spring Break)
    April 7-8 / Easter (MAINSTAGE)
    • Rehearsals – (Mar 21), Mar 28, Apr 4
    April 28-29 (MAINSTAGE)
    • Rehearsals – Apr 18, Apr 25
    • NO REHEARSAL – Apr 11
    May 20 (CHAPEL)
    • Rehearsals – May 9, May 16
    • NO REHEARSAL – May 2

    Messages Now Free

    Parkview's messages are now all free and available online at this link. The fonts are still looking a little funky for mac users, but that should be fixed soon (the look doesn't limit functionality). Dan, our master of the web, will be continuing to add messages from the past in order to develop a very nice resource on numerous topics and passages.

    Monday, December 11, 2006

    Video Contest Results

    On December 3rd I had a little contest based on our Christmas promo video (below). Fortunately for JimC, no one else took the time to answer the questions. As a result Jim is now enjoying a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com.

    Below is the correct answer to the questions....
    • What brand of amplifier is Phil carrying? Carvin
    • What kind of brush is in Ann's hand? Toilet Brush
    • How many pieces of paper does John toss on the floor? I looked at the hi-rez video and honestly couldn't tell. I am pretty sure 13 (At one point he threw two down at one time).
    • What is the blue stuff in Kristen's hand? I believe painters tape
    • What key is Greg playing tuba in? Bb
    If you want to see the video again, you can see it below!

    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    Christmas Gallery

    Over the Christmas season the Visual Arts Team is displaying artwork within the theme “The Light Shines In Darkness.” Below are some “low-rez” images from the display. To see the real deal, you can visit the atrium any time during the week or over the next several weekends between services. Thanks to those who were willing to share their gifts in the gallery and also those responsible for dressing up the rest of the church with stars!

    Friday, December 08, 2006

    John on Indieheaven

    Hey all! Thought I’d pass on that our Instrumental Music Director, John Carlson is the featured artist this month on Indieheaven, which is a site dedicated to independent Christian music artists. You can go to this link to check out the feature article.

    Note that John’s newly released CD’s are available at $9.99 throughout the month of December. This recording would make a great gift and/or stocking stuffer. You can purchase right from John’s artist page on Indieheaven here. For those of you who are in the Iowa City area you can also get the CD's at the main office during the week or at the audio CD/tape booth on the weekends.

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    The Nativity Movie Gets Mixed Reviews

    I am sure many of you have heard about the movie “The Nativity Story” which is presently in theaters. A lot of Christians have expressed high hopes that it would be an accurate and moving rendition of the incarnation story. Today “Christianity Today” posted and article from multiple reviewers who share a diversity of opinions regarding the movie. Before you go see it, this might be a worth while read.

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Nacho Libre

    If you haven’t seen this movie then you’re not alone; however, you should all be aware that Nacho has come to Parkview. Nacho A.K.A. Pastor David Foster is living out his dream. Yes, in the tradition of those annoying trekies who dress like Klingons and Captain Kirks, we have our own Nacho. For those of you who attend Parkview; beware, Nacho may show up when and where you least expect it!

    Thanksgiving at the Spot

    I just found out that our Thanksgiving Services at our Southeast IC Hope location, "The Spot" hosted almost 170 for a Thanksgiving Church service. It appears that God is preparing to birth something very special through this ministry. Thanks to Doug Fern and all the other leaders and volunteers who are investing in the lives of so many through this ministry!

    Wayne Grudem Interview

    Over the last few years I have enjoyed participating in a theology study with several friends. Our material for discussion has been Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Bible Doctrine book, which is a truncated version of his Systematic Theology book. Grudem’s Systematic Theology is a staple text for theology courses in most Evangelical seminaries. Dr. Grudem’s latest passion has been to defend a complimentarian view of men and women in ministry. He has done this by writing numerous books on the topic.

    Adrian Warnock is featuring a multi-part interview with Dr. Grudem on his blog. You can read part one here and part two here. The rest of the interview should be posted tomorrow. It's an interesting read, especially for those of you who have enjoyed Grudem's writings in the past and have wanted to get to know the man behind the books a bit better.

    Not My Job

    (HT: Seth Godin)

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Pray for John

    Yesterday John (Our Instrumental Music Director) was spray painting music stands in the worship center. As you can tell, the fumes were really getting to him by the final stand. Don't worry, he does "appear" to be functioning properly today.

    Final Preparations

    Our Christmas outreach series "Light Shines in the Darkness" starts this weekend with Jeff teaching from Psalm 2 on how "Jesus Offers Salvation." This week teams have been working hard in preparation for this new series. It all started with the Visual Arts Team on Sunday afternoon. Ann had a fantastic turn-out of workers who transitioned the stage from our James series into a starlit sky for the month of December.

    Below are a few pics from today where the stage was set for 17 string players, band, and vocal team. Sorry, the pictures are from my phone, so they aren’t the greatest.

    Kristen and her team from the Atrium have been working diligently in preparation for the Chapel Venue service. The service will feature classic Christmas hymns, vocal anthems/solos, and an engaging drama by our drama team.

    The scary thing about all this is next week we are going to turn the main-stage around for an equally engaging weekend of worship with choirs and brass on the 16th and 17th.

    In closing, I thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve in helping to fulfill His mission and thank all the people who have been working so diligently to help make these services a reality! To God be the glory!

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Christmas Tree Fire

    The danger of real Christmas trees. One other reason I'm glad to have an artificial tree this Christmas.

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Christmas Promo Video Contest

    Yes, the arts leadership and their teams have been working hard in preparation Christmas Services this December at Parkview. Watch the following video and see if you can answer the questions...

    What brand of amplifier is Phil carrying?
    What kind of brush is in Ann's hand?
    How many pieces of paper does John toss on the floor?
    What is the blue stuff in Kristen's hand?
    What key is Greg playing tuba in?

    The winner gets a special prize!

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    Augustine on Christmas

    Thanks to Ron Mann's December Worship Notes for this little jewel quote by Augustine regarding the incarnation...

    Man’s Maker was made man
    that the Bread might be hungry,
    the Fountain thirst,
    the Light sleep,
    the Way be tired from the journey;
    that Strength might be made weak,
    that Life might die.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    Amazing Grace: The William Wilberforce Story

    I first learned about William Wilberforce a few years ago at the Piper’s Pastor’s Conference in Minneapolis. Every year at his conference Piper delivers a biographical sketch on a saint whose life influenced the church and world in a powerful way. The focus of the 2002 conference was on racial reconciliation, so it was fitting to highlight Wilberforce who, as a member of English parliament, was the primary force that led to the abolition of slave trade in England. You can read or listen to Piper’s message on Wilberforce here.

    This all leads me to the exciting news that Wilberforce’s life story is about to be released as a major motion picture entitled “Amazing Grace: The William Wilberforce Story.” You can read a recent review on this new release by Kathleen Parker here. I am really looking forward to this movie. Wilberforce is an amazing example of a man who loved God dearly and devoted his life to using the political system to bring about moral and social reform within his culture.