Monthly Archives: November 2011


hu-la-la... i love it.

my dad loved to wear hawaiian shirts.

every. single. day.

when he wasn’t wearing a sweet looking suit, starched shirt, swanky tie and the occasional silk hankie, that is.

so… when he died 3 1.5 years ago… we had a closetful of his hawaiian shirts. each with its own set of memories. some more beloved than others.

i wanted a hawaiian shirt quilt… this year for christmas my mom surprised me with a quilt with each of the shirts… and even their collars. there are also little images that represent different elements of who he was in the center of the shirts.

i know that i didn’t “Freak out” like my family wanted me, too. they had video cameras trained to capture my response… and mostly i was just shocked… speechless… and sad, too. he doesn’t need the shirts anymore because he is in heaven. awesome for him, bummer for us.

i am also thrilled. it’s a wonderful way to honor his memory and his spirit. the work is GORGEOUS… if you could see it you would marvel at the crafstmanship. i’m looking for the perfect place to display this masterpiece. and even though it makes me teary to see certain patterns – it is also wonderful because of something i firmly believe.

THE PAIN VALIDATES THE TRUTH OF THE LOVE…it hurts because i loved him so much. it’s a treasure and i’m so grateful that my mom sacrificed the shirts to me and planned ahead to create this wonderful surprise.

so you wanna be a star… ?

starring julie

starring.... julie alexander and jeff klein.

because we have a place for you in treehouse :).

seen here, julie alexander – who works as a reading teacher in portland – spends her weekends acting in the treehouse for @lhkidz.

you see, this week, the star is very confused. we are learning a verse that says “then Jesus said to them again, i am the light of the world, and anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

we started advent. the first candle is “PROPHECY”, so we looked at different prophecies that were written 700+ years before Jesus birth, that were proven true when he was born. AWESOME. God doesnt have to do this… but yet he still gives us proof that we can hang onto.

anyway… our star will be a recurring character that will keep trying to do things that make him more God-like… when really he just needs to learn to let God love him… this week he was trying to be the light of the world instead of walk with Jesus, the light of the world.

we are so often like that, we think we need to work so hard, to hear God’s love. here’s the thing  – nothing you can do will make him love you more, or less. embrace it. like our pastor said today – rest in it. God loves you. Just how you are.


if any of you want to participate in the fun we have in treehouse – finding new ways to reveal the eternal story of Jesus to the Long Hollow Kidz.

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i’ve been writing and planning for the Christmas season this week. i know, i know… thanksgiving is upon us and hasn’t even happened yet… but for those of us that are planning christmas experiences for church… it’s upon us.

this year we are going to focus on advent. we are going to go through the candles. we are also doing something really fun with

this is a series that includes weekly scripture memory with tattoos… the kids will get a new tattoo each week with a scripture that pertains to the lesson. AWESOME. they will love it, and lives are changed when we trap God’s word in our hearts. we are even giving 50 family sets away in our homelink venue on the hendersonville campus, and more sets on our other campuses. why? because we believe scripture is the key to living the abundant life God wants for you. we believe memorizing God’s word … gives life.

in the midst of planning the sunday morning experiences i have run across some amazing music, some new, some old.

so i want to share that with you:

first of all… i’m obsessed with Toby Mac and Jamie Grace’s Mary’s Little Boy

i’m humbled by Go Fish’s It’s All About the Cross

What advent experiences have you had that I might incorporate into our experience?

sidenote: my family used to do advent together, and we would have “hat night at advent” – i’ll look for a photo to share next time.

Help me write my show by sharing your ideas about advent.

know how you get a lot of people to attend your event?

you get alot of people involved…

you know what happens when you get people involved?

you create marketers. you have built-in participants. you enlist investors.

essentially, you ensure success. you build a tribe.

I was in a meeting with my boss, Jeff Lovingood, the other day… and he was inspiring us to plan for more. Expect great things. He reminded us that if you don’t plan for more, then you will not be ready when they come… so they won’t come back.

Don’t get caught without the capacity to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of your clients… or they won’t come back.

If you want 100 people to come, buy food for 120.

If you want 1200 kids to come, be prepared for 1,300.

Every person you enlist becomes part of your branding strategy… just by virtue of being involved.

The more people you can expose or educate about your thing… whatever your thing is… the more people are likely to tell other people… and get involved.

It’s certainly not rocket science, but it is something we forget about. Something we forget to focus on.

Instead of just meeting the need, how about creating the demand!!