Sunday, November 30, 2008

Light show army

Nothing would happen without each one of these people!! These are the
the interior warriors!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Are you in the doghouse?

I couldn't resist. This is funny.

Power hungry squirrels

Something chewed through our Christmas lights! What's up with that?!
I thought someone cut them, but I saw two little buck teeth marks
right next to the cut mark. Shocking experience!

So here's my repair job.

Family night with the kids from out of state

Can you say - OVERLOAD!

Ryan hits the (Christian) jackpot

200 tickets out of the Wheel of Fortune
at Chuck E Cheese! Our kids will love him forever.

Black Friday takes on new meaning

Seriously, this is ridiculous - don't you think?! There will be
precautions next year, like staying home or not working. As one person
mentioned today - I hope they got their freaking Elmo.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Too much dancing

Kayla spun out and busted her lip.

Kids go crazy

Joshua and Kayla go nuts and dance to the miniature house that plays
music to lights. Thanks to Sandy Balocca for a great gift last year -
that keeps on giving!

Thanksgiving @ the Nelson's

Joshua and Kayla hang ornaments on the tree. Listening to Christmas

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stand by Me: performed by street musicians who never met

Check out this video...put together by street musicians around the world. Amazing.

For our friends in Lititz, PA

This year we may have started a family tradition on Thanksgiving Eve.
We put up outside lights, popped popcorn, and let the kids pick out a
movie to watch.

Included in our outside lights is a Moravian star.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My bro, wife, and their twins

Ever want to meet my brother? Check out the video...can you pick him out?

Our family blog: light show hits home

My wife just updated our family blog. This is what Lisa wrote...

Yesterday, Joshua (our almost 4 year old son) was coloring with stencils at the table while I was picking up in the living room. He called to me "Mom, look at my picture. It's the Christmas light show!" Holy cow -- for those of you have seen the light layout, the stars along the top are where the colored snowflakes are. And, Joshua informed me that the banners are supposed to be the rolling snowscapes -- can you tell our family has been eating, thinking, breathing Christmas light show??? Joshua is SOOO pumped!

They cut up my Blockbuster card!

Look at the smirk on his face. And it was his first night on the job.

Whatever it takes ... marketing. The non-Blockbuster video store said
they'd give me a free rental if I allowed them to cut up my Blockbuster
card. I had that thing for 20 years! But to save a buck, I handed it
over. I wonder if Blockbuster could get me a new one? I wonder if
Blockbuster will get involved in card cutting wars.

I'm currently taking donations - anyone have an unused Blockbuster card?

Our God Reigns (Forever): video now online

Many people think we came up with the concept for the "Our God Reigns" video this past weekend at TBC ourselves. Wrong. We didn't invent it. The best ideas we typically use are borrowed from other environments and creative people. The video concept was one that I saw at the Innovate08 conference at Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). You can view GCC's video online as well. You'll notice that GCC lowered the key of the song so it's more singable. How smart! How dumb I was. I barely made it through 3 gatherings of worship at TBC.

Regardless of who generates the concept - it's more important what the concept is communicating. In this case, it's a beautiful picture of how God reigns over the ugliness that life can dish out and how things simply "aren't right."

If you use loops in worship, then you'll appreciate the audio loop we used to back this song. It was created using Apple's GarageBand. If you ever wanted to hear me sing falsetto - there you go!

Here's the video - with Delirious? singing of course. And we used Apple's low end / but nice iMovie to produce it. I'm not a fool to put my voice up on the internet! If you like their song, you can buy it online at Amazon.

The golden generation lights up

Wow! They put together over 130 lights today. And they tested each
one. That's quality control in Topeka's light show! We're out to blind
the musicians in the windows this year!!!

The wisest generation adds enormous contribution to light show

This contribution of interior lights assembly will save hours of setup
and teardown over years! And maintenance will be thankful the tape
from last year won't strip paint and wallpaper. This generation

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hank in awe of the light show lift

Hank wishes he could be on the lift, too.

10,000+ lights on the mega tree

And we added a new special element to the tree this year - 24 STROBE

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Turkey for 600+

TBC has their annual feast with over 600 people. That's a lot o' turkey!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

How to rehearse a band

Bob Kauflin posted a great video from a conference seminar he led. Check it out. It's on how to run a rehearsal with a worship band. Nicely done - and I didn't even have to pay travel or the conference fee!

Developing Arrangements Quickly - Band on the Run Video

Over the years I’ve tried to streamline our rehearsals. Part of it is knowing that folks have other things they’re involved in. Like being with their family. But the other part is that sometimes we just don’t have a lot of time to rehearse. So I’m always looking for ways to maximize that time. At the WorshipGod08 conference I led a seminar called “Band on the Run” that tried to address this issue, covering topics including context, feel, instrumentation, and structure. The seminar was also designed to help churches that were less familiar with arranging songs for a band.

Below is a video of the seminar that lasts about 75 minutes. You can download a copy of the notes here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama at church, what would you do...

What would you do as a church to get the presidential family to attend your church? Would you want them to? Why or why not?

Are you ready to get frisked before each worship gathering?
The Washington Post

Churches Vie to Attract The Newest First Family

Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 22, 2008;
Page B01

It's part of the spirited competition among Washington churches to land the most sought-after Christians in town: the Obama family.

Methodist, Baptist, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Episcopal -- all have been courting the Obamas to be regulars in their pews on Sunday mornings.

They are waging a "quiet but intense campaign . . . to put their best foot forward," said Terry Lynch, executive director of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations.

Some churches started their campaign even before Obama won the election. Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ sent a letter to the Obama campaign several months ago inviting the family to worship with them.

Coincidence or divine appointment?

Looky who we met at Olive Garden on our date night. It's Lucas from the "other establishment" from our last date! We couldn't stop laughing. For the former post on our first encounter with Lucas, you'll need to read it here.

Was it coincidence or divine appointment? Personally, I don't believe in luck. Think about it. He wasn't even supposed to work tonight. Plus, out last date night was October 10th - just happened to be the last night Lucas worked at the other restaurant. And to top it off, two TBCers had dinner in the booth next to ours at the same time and said to Lucas, "By the way, TBC is the best church in town." Coincidence? You tell me.

PS - Lucas, if you are reading this - we'll get you a full itenerary of our upcoming dates for you. We follow good service!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Zap, you're it.

Light show extension cable mania. All exterior lights are up and
plugged in (except for 3)!

Blogging from 30' up in 30 degree weather

Light show roof extension cord party!

Church turns into a luxury experience

Check out what the author says about his feeling on by own church
attendan e. While church attendance has nothing to do with how
spiritual one may be, this article does reveal and confirm the
feelings of the author and maybe some others who feel like him when it
comes to church.

Link to article:;jsessionid=D4FBD9372395B5B67C5C0349572F7B53.live7i

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nine foot snow flakes

Yup, they're big?

Go Johnny Go Go

He does more than play guitar...working behind the scene.

It's alive!

Lights networked and working!

Juiced up light show

Extension cables are connected to half the grid. Second half goes in
tomorrow at 9am.

Mega tree is up

Beautiful sight!

Michael complies with OSHEA

My hands are sweaty.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Secret light show project

We can't reveal it yet - but it's gonna be an awesome new addition
this year. Lynn and Mary are sworn to secrecy.

Mega tree for light show gets tested

Three strands of three colors makes one super strand. And they ALL
worked after a year of hibernation.

Free drinks at Wendy's

The light show guys had lunch at Wendy's today. We discovered Wendy's
gives free refills in a new cup. They let you keep your old cup to
throw away. BUT if you don't throw it away, you can take THAT cup
back to refill on your next refill - filling two cup. Then 4. Then
8, 16, 32 and so on. After about 20 trips for refills, you'd have
over one million drinks! I wonder how many trips to the bathroom
that'd be?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Amazing light show progress today, 2 weeks in 3 days

Amazing light show progress on the exterior lights. Last year it took
two weeks to accomplish what has been done in 3 days. Guys on the
lift today were Rick Wenger, Bill Riphahn, and Steve Williams. My
favorite part was Burger King lunch, and working in the office in my
gifted arena - administrative leadership.

Linda Metzler jumped on board today to be the front line with phone
calls to volunteers. It kinda happened by accident - or divine
appoint, like how I like to look at it!

Post-It Note Mural with 1,200+ names we are praying for

Check out the post-it note mural with 1,200+ target 3 names on them. Michael Mize put the mural together after TBCers wrote down three names on a post-it note. Each name represents someone we are praying for to come to one of our three outreach events as a part of the campaign.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

High quality ice cream

You know the economy is bad when this is what I found in our
freezer tonight.

Lisa writes out music for lights show

She does an amazing job of lifting the parts from the recording.
Check out her site at for her creative side

Light show forecast for setup

We couldn't ask for better weather than this for setup week!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The lights are up least the first ones.

Helicopter lands on Topeka Burger King

...a Burger King table that is. This is what happens behind the
scenes during the light show lunches. Nice control by Steve Williams.

Up she goes

First section of gridwork goes on the south Mulvane wall

Friday, November 14, 2008

Topekans will jot and tittle this Saturday

Check out what's happening Saturday in Topeka for all you Bible jot and tittlers (if that's a word)! If you want to be one of over 31,000 people to write out the Bible in their own handwriting verse by verse, then here's the article to tell you what's up.

Cool idea. If anyone does it, let me know. I'd love to see a copy of a Bible with YOUR handwriting in it.

This is a good reminder of how God's Word is incredibly influential today and will be forever.

clipped from

People invited to write verse for new version of Bible

The Capital-Journal

A cross-country tour in which more than 31,000 Americans will have a hand in publishing a new edition of the Bible is coming this weekend to Topeka.

The 42-foot-long Bible Across America recreational vehicle will stop from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the Petro Allied Health Center parking lot on the Washburn University campus, near S.W. 19th and Washburn.

People are invited to visit the recreational vehicle and contribute a verse in their own handwriting for the Bible Across America.

It will be reproduced and published by Zondervan, then distributed nationwide.

The original manuscripts will be bound and offered to the Smithsonian Institution.

For more information, log on to

Down she goes

Gridwork leaves its home for the light show.

Our blue friend arrived today

Lift for the light show

Nelson #3 JC Penney picture

Peek a boo!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Late night light show rave party

Yes, the camera IS level.

National be rude to Carol day

Come on folks. Only a few more hours to go!

Stairway to Heaven plays on iPhones

This one takes the cake folks...
clipped from

Stairway to Heaven

Written by Joel Klampert on November 12, 2008 – 9:22 am -

There is a new app for the i-phone called ocarina. Here it is being played with a guitar to Stairway. It is really lame and super cool all at the same time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What you listen to will affect your heart

The Bible says what you surround yourself with (like music) will affect your heart (spiritually). It's why the Bible even commands to fill yourself with pure things (Phillipians 4:8). But now there's evidence that music can affect your heart physically as well! Read the following article...

Joyful Music May Promote Heart Health

ScienceDaily (Nov. 11, 2008) — Listening to your favorite music may be good for your cardiovascular system. Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have shown for the first time that the emotions aroused by joyful music have a healthy effect on blood vessel function.

Dr. Miller believes that a physiological reaction to the type of music is behind the formation of positive and negative blood vessel reaction. "We don't understand why somebody may be drawn to certain classical music, for example. There are no words in that, and yet the rhythm, the melody and harmony, may all play a role in the emotional and cardiovascular response."