Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Film Thoughts



I mentioned earlier this week that I would post something regarding my journey into video production, so I've decided that Friday would be the day.

I twittered yesterday that we ordered our gear for the CSI TV Studio, and yes, I'm now like a kid waiting for Christmas to come!  Many years ago, my brother and I used to commandeer my brother-in-law's video camera and make our own segments.  I vividly remember, "Arctic Dentistry" (we lived in Canada), where at the time, my brother at age 9 or 10 had a tooth that he could remove.  Here was the script:

(Dentist walks up to patient (Bob) standing out in the snow)
Dentist: "So, you've got a tooth that's been bothering you?"
Patient: "Yes, doctor, it's killing me!"
Dentist:"Well, let's take a look.  Yep, looks bad alright, think we better get that removed."
Patient: "uhhhhhh..."
(Dentist punches Patient in the mouth, fade to black)
(Fade in from black, patient's mouth with tooth missing)
Patient: "Thanks Doc!"
Dentist: "No problem"

I so have to find that footage to post here.

Anyway, here's a look at what we ordered yesterday to get started, try not to drool on your screen!  Click Here if you want a detailed list.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan


I've been reading some great encouragement lately regarding this.  I know, it sounds like so much of a cliche, that we are tempted to pass right over it.

But have you ever stopped to notice how easy it is to drift and just coast in life?  It's usually a sign that somewhere along the way we've given up.  We've been knocked down by someone or life's circumstances.  Then we start to justify the drift.

Recently, I've had to do some planning surrounding an idea we had at work for developing new marketing strategies.  Yes, I had to force myself to sit down, do some research, talk to experts, list necessary items and delivery mechanisms and develop a spreadsheet of topics and deadlines.  Stuff that I've tried to just "wing" in the past.

And WOW!  You talk about OPEN DOORS!  You've heard the terms, "Forward Momentum", "Failing Forward", etc.  I'm here to tell you it's true.  There is something about a well thought (not perfect) plan, that helps all involved to see the potential and get excited about moving the plan along!

God is a planner, just read a couple of these verses:

Jeremiah 29:11 MSG
I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Job 15:8 MSG
Were you listening in when God planned all this? Do you think you’re the only one who knows anything?

Hebrews 8:8 MSG
But we know the first was found wanting, because God said, Heads up! The days are coming when I’ll set up a new plan for dealing with Israel and Judah.

This morning, we begin implementing the new plan, and of course, there will be some tweaking along the way, but this is also going to be a great adventure!  Life is good because God is good (re-read Jer 29:11 above) and moving forward under the favor of God is the best plan of all!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A New Focus in 2011


2011will be full of new adventure for this guy living the good life.

We are starting a new video production arm of our marketing department at work.

Which means next week I get to order some new toys.

Cameras, Lighting, Audio, and lots of accessories.

And building out Studio space.

If you're into video production, filmaking, etc... stay tuned for a once a week update on our efforts.

Now, to go find a beret... and ACTION!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 23 / Christmas Party Gone Wild

Sooo... last night was the annual Christmas party with the Clintons and Campbells.

Most of our friends are afraid to go with us, but we always have a wild and crazy time!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 19 / Cutting It Close

Ever been under the gun?

How do you deal with stress when you need to be ready sooner than you thought?

It happened today when cue-ing up video to show at our Greenville campus. We got only 1 minute behind the main Anderson campus, so prepping it to roll was tight!

But we made it, and no one else will know how close we came (unless you're reading this) to being late!

Confidence in the process helped us to be ready even under unexpected pressure.

Kind of like life... how do we cope with life's pressures? As Clayton King is reminding is today, "Peace is not the absence of crisis, but the presence of Christ"

Preparation for life and eternity starts with Jesus. He brings the confidence to cope AND THRIVE in this life and the next.

A relationship with Jesus makes you ready for anything. It's the best preparation!
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Friday, December 17, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 17 / Last Day of School

Kids are out of school.

Kim and Jessica have done some baking already.

Jessica is coloring Christmas pictures.

Steve and his friends are planning fun and writing songs.

Nicole is getting ready for a ski trip with a friend.

The Christmas tree is lit and looks nice!

Christmas week starts now.

Love it!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 15 / Christmas Shopping

Last night Nicole went shopping with me. I gotta say, when you've got a lot of shopping left to do, a 15 year old daughter comes in very handy! Nicole is a great shopper! We had fun working out our purchases to stay in budget and plan our route stop of stores.

This house of lights was a cool diversion between stores, too.

We absolutely knocked out our shopping, and I for one was thankful for the help! Thanks, girl! That was fun!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 13/Jesse's Christmas Program

A little of the program tonight. Our LAST year in elementary school. Where does the time go??!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 8/Sing Off

Our family has really enjoyed the show Sing Off this December!  Really crazy talent in mixed vocals, no instruments!


Tonight the NewSpring Greenville campus choir met to lay down some augment tracks for the Christmas services.  This group was pretty amazing too.  In a matter of 30 minutes, this group had the melody and harmonies down and tight!  I was thinking as we were singing that we should be trying out for Sing Off!  That was a lot of fun!

We're really praying God uses this song in a big way to bring HOPE to all who will hear!  Christmas services are Dec 23 at 7pm, Dec 24 at 10am, 4pm, and 6pm, you can get your FREE TICKETS HERE!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 6/Defining Goals


Pushing forward is not always easy!  It's easy to dream, but it's even harder to put definition behind those goals to make them attainable.

We had a 2011 planning meeting in our marketing department today where we presented a big idea to our senior management.  Pretty cool stuff coming to take our marketing into the 21st Century.  They love the concepts we presented, but... they also wanted to see a concrete plan around it to make sure it's a sustainable vision that won't fizzle out after a few weeks or months.  So while we have done some preliminary planning, now the nitty gritty plan must be refined, and packages created for our Vendor partners to buy into.

What are your dreams and/or plans that you seriously need to define and implement?  Someone once said, Success is 20% Inspiration and 80% Perspiration!  Now I really know what they mean!  Time to get on it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 5 / Sharing Jesus

Had fun watching Jessie in the Greer Christmas Parade. She did her squad proud!

Then cinnamon rolls and coffee at Grammy and Grampa's!

While there, Kim got a call from a long lost distant relative, who was looking for Kim's grandmother. She was here, and handed her the phone.

Nellie is 95, and very much with it. Listening to the conversation, I heard as they compared which relatives they knew and who was still living and who has passed.

Then she very naturally asked, as I have heard her ask so many people so many times: "Do you know Jesus as your savior?" He must have said yes, because then she said, "Praise the Lord, thats a good thing!"

"...and that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown..."

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The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 4/Jessie

Oops!  Missed a day!

So today we watched the Carolina/Auburn game.  Well, there's next year, right??

The funnest part of our day today was after watching Jingle All the Way, as the credits are rolling, Jessie put on a dance for us that has us laughing!  She is quite hilarious!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 3/Powderpuff

So tonight Nicole got to partake in a great Riverside High School December tradition - girls Powderpuff Football!

Freshmen v. Juniors  Nicole was starting quarterback for Freshmen, and threw a nice 17 yard pass for their only 1st down of the game.  They had 2 offensive lines and the the other line got our only touchdown of the game.  The Juniors only had a rushing game, and near the end, the Freshmen defensive line had the Juniors runs figured out and with a little more time the Freshmen might have pulled an upset.  But instead, they lost 14 to 6.

It was a fun little game to watch.  And really cool to see Nicole growing as an amazing young lady. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 2/Exploring Passions

Getting ready to setup a video studio at work.  So I've been doing some research in the way of YouTube videos, and picking the brains of some smart production people!  I'll be starting on the cheap, so this video was intriguing! I love to find alternative ways of getting started in something new!

How does this relate to Christmas, you ask? You remember that feeling as a kid when you really got into something fun? That's a Christmas feeling! Part of it is discovering a passion that is new or was forgotten. Take time to rekindle the passions that God has placed inside you. You know it's there, waiting! Get on it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 25 Days of Christmas - Day 1

Well, can you believe that December is here?!  Thought I'd try something fun for December and gonna try and post something small each day this month.

Some days will be a video posting, music posting, thought posting, who knows!

So that's the challenge to myself!


Day 1 Posting: Oil-less Turkey Frying

A buddy of mine has one of these and is going to let me borrow it for my Christmas dinner.  These things are amazing!  Can't wait to try it!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet Memories (Canadian Thanksgiving)

What are we thankful for?
So many blessings in this life
That seem to come our way
All through the years they run
Each one a special one
Flowing from the hand of God
The hand of God

And sweet memories, they come callin’
They call me to a place where I belong
Where there’s love and peace
Joy everlasting
And faces that I hold dear to me
These sweet memories

What makes a memory?
Last an eternity
So that it can change our lives
Is it the love inside
Shown on the outside
Filling our hearts with memories
Sweet Memories

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Weekend Hunt in PA


As I write, Steve and I are riding with Tom, heading to the PA hills for a weekend deer hunt.

Funny how you make friends with certain people who become like family. Tom is one of those guys. He's one of those guys that prefers to live life as an adventure. So needless to say, we always have an interesting time!

I'm very thankful for friends like this who keep me from settling for ordinary!

So, it'll be around 2am when we get there, then in a tree around 6am!

Hopefully will post a nice pic of a buck tomorrow! : )
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thoughts on Home Groups from our Virginia Roadtrip

The Trip
Yesterday, Kim, Nicole, Jessica and I left for Collinsville, Virginia.  We stayed overnight in Reidsville, NC before finishing our journey this morning.  Got to worship and fellowship with friends, Michael and Julie Harrison and their family.  Michael pastors the The Community Fellowship there in Collinsville (located near Martinsville, for all you NASCAR fans!) 

The Visit
We arrived in time for the morning service.  Worship time was sweet and Michael preaches with a passion that flows from his deep relationship with Jesus, his obvious love for his family and the people he pastors, and his love for the community around them in Henry County!  We got to hear about their recent trip to the LA Dream Center and their dream to begin one in Collinsville and of the incredible Hope that God wants us to know!  One of the other things that struck me in the service was the lady who shared about the power of Home Groups in her and her husband's life.  They came to know Jesus as a result of friends inviting them to church about a year ago and then were baptized.  And they are fed by Michael's teaching each Sunday.

The Take Away
But the home group has been the environment where they have really grown in their relationship with God.  What an amazing dynamic that while The Community Fellowship runs around 200 people on a Sunday, small enough that you'd think you could know everyone, the real fellowship and growth catalyst still comes from that Home Group environment where meeting, eating, studying, sharing, serving together open the doors and unlock the keys to their hearts!  We were designed for community.  Anything "we do" for God comes as a result of the work "He does" in us.  God uses those close to us to encourage us to remain in Him and welcome His work in our hearts.  That work becomes the fountain from which our service flows!  Many times, people in larger churches complain about growth as keeping them from enjoying the sweet fellowship of the good 'ol days, but in reality, no matter the size, we all need a small sized group (i.e. Home Group) that surrounds us with fellowship with people we can be real with. 

Your Thoughts on Home Groups?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Andrea BocelLeo and Celindy MacDion



Yep!!

  • Prep
Getting ready to sing for my niece's wedding in 3 weeks. She called this week to see if I could sing "The Prayer" with one of my other nieces. I must say it's been a while since I've broken out the somewhat Operatic voice! I've been in a couple operas - back in the ol' college days, always as part of a men's chorus section. Even got to sing in Handel's Messiah a couple times. Good times... but that was 20 years ago! Most of my singing has evolved to a little more country/indie feel. My family smiles as I head down to the studio for a little practice session with Andrea and Celine. Nicole can't wait to hear me sing like that, Jessica says, "I only sing like Taylor Swift", Steve thinks it's epic to sing opera style, and Kim is pretty sure she'll have to leave the room when I sing at the wedding 'cause she won't be able to keep a straight face! Ahh, family : )

  • 3 Weeks Away!
Truthfully, I'm really looking forward to the privilege of singing with my niece, Cindy MacDonald, one of Canada's premiere female vocalists! Cindy is a very versatile musician, with many vocal styles at her command, and an accomplished pianist. It will be a lot of fun!

  • Health

So I am in Uber-healthy mode, downing vitamin-C and Airborne. A musician's nightmare is a scratchy throat as performance day approaches! Your prayers for Cindy and I are much appreciated!

Sincerely,  Andrea BocelLeo

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thoughts From St. Arbucks Workspace


It's kind of nice to be able to work from anywhere these days. Got a few hours between appointments today, so I pulled into a local Starbucks for some free wi_fi. We really live in a connected world anymore. Now normally I'm a Dunkin Donuts guy, but Starbucks works in a pinch too.

A lot going on in my life right now. Having to juggle different work responsibilities and roles and I'm hoping to narrow things down a bit in the next few weeks.

Excited about what God is doing at our church right now. I've lost count of how many people have given their lives to Jesus in the last few months (He hasnt!) Also excited to learn more about some ways we can serve our communities in the coming days. Our family is ready!

That's all, time to get a little work done.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Blogging From Droid!


Well, here goes! I got the Droid Incredible a couple weeks ago and have really liked its ease of use and the "fun" factor! So now, I've found the Blogger app and thought I'd give it a whirl. Pretty cool! Nice way to post quick thoughts on the go.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Season Change


Well, it's that time already!  Where did summer go?  It still gets pretty warm during the day, but the mornings are beginning to have the autumn feel!  There's nothing in the world like the changing of the seasons, the different smells and feels as planet Earth tilts a little in our hemisphere. 

It seems to be ingrained in us to associate different activities with different seasons, and for fall it can be football, hunting, hiking, exploring new little towns in the mountains, bonfires, camping..

Seasons come and seasons go... to everything there is a season... there are different seasons of life too.  This year we begin a season of having a kid in college.  New challenges figuring out the ropes of getting Steve all set for courses, books, new job, etc.  So far, so good!

Seasons of ministry... I look over the past of our involvement with the Church.  Youth pastor, worship leader, home church, currently volunteering with our church's video production team, and excited about where our church is venturing into with serving our community.  Working through ministry ideas with a good friend regarding using our speaking and musical abilities.

What's your favorite season?  What season are you at in life?  Seasons come and go, learn to embrace them and give all you can to them.  You'll be better off for it!  They are gifts from God.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Latest Song

You Are The One
c. Leo Gallant 2010



Opening [G   Em   D   C2] 2x
G                 Em          D           Em
You are the One who knows it all
G                 Em          D            C2
You are the One who hears us call
G                        Em      D             Em                C2
And You always rescue when we lose our way again
        G         D            C2
You are my God and King
G                 Em          D           Em
You are the One who sees my need
G                 Em          D      C2
You are the One who sees me
G                        Em          D                 Em                C2
And You are the One who wipes every tear from my eye
       G          D            C2
You are my God and King

Chorus
                     G       D
So I give my life to You
                Em        C2
I give my heart to You
               Em    D      C2
I give my all to You, Jesus   [G   Em   D   C2] 1x

G                 Em          D            Em
You are the One who sees my need
G                Em           D      C2
You are the One who sees me
G                        Em          D                 Em           C2
And You are the One who wipes every tear from eye
        G         D            C2
You are my God and King

                      G      D
So I give my life to You
                Em        C2
I give my heart to You
               Em     D      C2
I give my all to You, Jesus
               G       D
All of my life to You
               Em        C2
All of my heart to You
               Em     D      C2
All that I am to You, Jesus

G                 Em          D            Em
You are the One who sees my need
G                 Em          D    C2
You are the One who see me

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Adventures


Remember summer as a kid?  Full of anticipation and uncharted adventures, we would embark on each day like the antics found in a "Pirates of the Carribean"... sort of a "Never Ending Story"...

It's awesome to see my kids and their friends carry on this great tradition of childhood (even at the ages of 11, 14, and 18!).  Each day brings things like badminton, swimming, hiking, exploring new lakes/fishing, frisbee, rafting, camping, music writing/playing, etc...

For those of us a "little" older, how do WE look at each day?  Do we still have that same youthful approach to summertime?  They say the key to staying young starts in the mind.  It's too easy to sit back and coast; it takes effort to tackle the day, the will-power to say, "Let's GO!"  When we do, we experience those classic summertime - "Best Day Ever" moments.

So who's ready for adventure today?  Carpe Diem.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Heading to ISTE 2010 / Denver

Just about there, typing this in-flight.  Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

People Connections


A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of hearing John Maxwell at the ARC All Access Conference hosted by Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, LA.  Dr. Maxwell has just released a new book titled, Everyone Communicates - Few Connect and his premise is that our natural inclination is to make conversations and meetings with people all about ourselves and then we wonder why we don't have influence with people!  We blah, blah, blah our way through relationships often not taking the time to really connect with people.  One of the things he said that stuck with me was, "If you're at the top, but you're all by yourself, you're not a leader, you're a hiker." Ouch!

So, I've been trying to be way more intentional in connecting with people lately.  Closing my mouth more, listening better, maintaining eye contact.  Today while working production at NewSpring, I learned more about one of the guys recent trip to the FL Keys, update on the progress of their renovation.  Another guy just returned from a Cruise with his wife and daughter - funny stories of their time in a pool with dolphins, and his daughter and her friend's adventures on the boat!  Also found out one of the guys is interested in a software job opening at my company, so I emailed our HR lady to give her a heads up on watching for his resume.  Tonight, I drove to Raleigh and met some great folks at a local High School to assist with tomorrow's meeting and again, really enjoyed connecting with the principal's husband who works in a similar field (technology) as me and has travelled around the world.  Tomorrow afternoon, I also get the privilege of going to see Michael Harrison and what's happening at the The Community!

Life really is better shared with others.  There's an old saying, "To get what you want, help others get what they want".  Jesus (who connected with people better than anyone) said it like this, "If you want to keep your life, lose it, and give it away; don't hold on to it!"

Let's be intentional in our connections!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summertime Fun!


This weekend kicks off the unofficial SUMMERTIME season!  Right now, all the lights are out in the house, there is a thunderstorm flickering outside and there are 5 kids and Kim playing hide-and-go-seek in the dark.

I love this time of year.  Excitement and relief from the end of the school year for Nicole, graduation for Steve, and A/B honor roll for Jessie along with her acceptance into school chorus and safety patrol for next year.  Just like for Phineas and Ferb, excitement lays ahead for all the possibilities this summer holds.

Steve is in the midst of diving into a summer ministry taking at-risk kids into the wild adventures of hiking, kayaking, and rafting.  A dream job for him!

Flowers are planted out front, grass is mowed, trees trimmed up.  The screen porch beckons to all of us.  Conversations with friends, Kim, kids... Steve hangs his hiking hammock and sleeps out there often and the girls do too when he lets them : )  I take the guitar out there and make up new stuff.

God was so good to give us changing seasons.  Life is good.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tomorrow!


Looking forward to seeing some new Promethean products tomorrow at the US Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC!

After that, we get to do some rafting compliments of Promethean!  They really are great partners and treat us well!

Will post pics and video from there tomorrow...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Making Music

I enjoyed listening to Steve's music this afternoon.  He and Hank have got about a dozen songs worked up now.  Really good stuff across a wide variety of subjects.

Music is a gift that keeps on giving and like any art, evokes different imagery every time it's expressed and experienced.

Now, I'm trying to get them to work up a few really good numbers to perform locally.  They don't realize how good they are and it will be fun to see them feed off the energy of an audience.

Too many times, we don't take our talents far enough and share them.  When we do, something amazing happens that changes both the artist and the ones they reach.  True magic...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Headin' To The Hills!


It's Turkey Time!

Heading up to Pennsylvania with my buddy, Tom (no pun here), his brother Jim (Outdoorsman-Extraordinare!) and my son, Steve for a little spring turkey hunt!  Nestled in the hills of mid-central PA, we will set up on some 500+ acres where Tom and his brothers used to roam in their younger years.  It is always a blast (no pun here either!) hanging out with this gang; there is always a new adventure around the corner!

I'm going to try and capture Steve on film bagging his first turkey, so hopefully, video and pics will follow this post!

A few weeks back, the streams were stocked with about a hundred trout fingerlings, so the fishing should be pretty awesome too.

Later!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yard/Garden Work Therapy

We started out our weekend Fri night with some yard work...  Kim weeded the garden while I pushed the lawnmower.  There is something strangely therapeutic about working the land for us.  I think for some of us, it is genetic.  I have friends that consider yard/garden work a waste of time, but interestingly enough find their refreshment/therapy in other activities such as mechanical or hobby activities.  We are all wired differently, but we have the need to unwind a little through activities that are not part of our everyday routine.

Our push mower needed replacing this year, so we picked up a new one a about a month ago.  I have 3 areas that I push, and the larger area out back that I use Carl's (father-in-law) riding mower.  It takes me about 2 hours to push the front and back lawns, so it's like 2 hour, very varied terrain, workout on the treadmill!  Great cardio on the push mower, and then when I get on the rider, it's a great time to just let my mind think about the nature around me. 

There's quite a forest next to our home where there used to be a cleared field of 3 acres.  Pines, dogwoods, cypress, and many other varieties are now filling that landscape and even attracting wildlike back.  A few weeks ago, the kids saw 7 deer in our back yard, we see bunnies quite frequently, and once or twice a week, we wake up to hear a coyote or two preying on something at about 5 in the morning!  Keep in mind, we are located right in the middle of the Greenville/Spartanburg area with subdivisions all around us!

I also have some of my best conversations with God on the riding mower. Row upon row, clipping away, it's pretty cool to connect with the Father and just bask in His love and grace.  Sometimes, I don't say a thing, and just feel His presence and listen for His voice; othertimes, I'm just telling Him what's going on with me.

Whatever your unwind activity is, I know that most of you can relate to this.  Some of our best ideas or solutions to problems can come during these times kind of like from dreams in the night.

Guard these times, don't give up on them.  It's not easy to get the mower out or head to the garden to weed, but when the grass and weeds are getting long, it's a reminder that there things in my mind that need a little trimming  and working too!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Help Needed for Flooded Nashville, TN!


Hey guys, just a quick post on how we can all help the flood victims in TN!  This has been called a "500 Year" flood and the devastation is crazy!  Our good friends from Healing Place Church, who endured Hurricane Katrina, were one of the first churches on the ground in Nashville this week working with CrossPoint Church in helping with clean-up efforts and in distributing bottled water, food, and needed items to get people back on their feet.  CrossPoint Church in Nashville has already been on the move in a big way in assisting people who have lost much or all!  Seriously, giving through Crosspoint will be THE biggest bang for your helping buck! - ALL of it goes to the assistance (no admin fees)!

Here's the link for giving at CrossPoint, anything you can do will be much appreciated, When filling out the form, be SURE to choose Nashville campus and then choose Flood Relief Fund on the fund line.

Let's BE the Church.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts from Last Night at All Access

Wow, what a great time last night with the ARC All Access 2010 Conference!  We got to hear from 10 rows back, speaker and leader of leaders, John Maxwell as well as Hillsong Church pastor, Brian Houston.

John spoke on the subject of his new book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect and I gotta say, has such a way of illustrating the simple truths of relationship that go deep into the heart.  Here's a couple of excerpts from last night.

  1. Connecting with people means it's about OTHERS.
  2. The worse thing in the world is an insecure leader who thinks everyone out to love him/her.
  3. Connecting with people takes energy.
  4. Look at how Jesus was willing to be inconvenienced to connect with others.
Brian spoke on the power of Prayer and that God LOVES to do the Extraordinary with Ordinary people through prayer.  Prayer can involve:
  1. Being still before God.
  2. Crying out to God.
  3. Being fervent (indignant) before God for the wrongs we see around us that need God's touch.
And what a great time of worshiping with the Hillsong United Band.  I think we sang for over an hour and a half!  Surprised I can still talk today!

Today will be another great day, loving getting to meet the guys I've connected with through Twitter and  online Bible Study, adventures will abound today, for sure!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Family Picture Night...




Had a lot of fun tonight with Kim's parents and Aunt/Uncle over to see our pics from our Florida trip.  Kim and her mom are both getting ready to redo their family picture walls.  We haven't done family photos in several years... lets just say I was still a vest-wearing, goatee-sporting worship leader from the late 90's when we last posed!

It's always interesting seeing everyone's take on what they like or don't like in a photo so needless to say, Kim and her mom will have quite the time trying to narrow down their choices from the 470 pictures!

These are a couple of my favorites - hey, it's my blog, so I can choose! : - )




















Here too is one of Steve and Emily out on their Prom night tonight - what a handsome couple and looking all grown up!                                                  











And hamming it up with his best friend, Hank!














And that's all for tonight!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Thoughts from a Proud Dad...

Sitting here in the breakfast room at the Hampton Inn while the fam sleeps in...

This weekend we are in Columbia.  Steve had his semi-final high school lacrosse game last night.  Wow!  What a game!  We came so close to beating Greenville HS, but didn't quite make it.  The guys played their hearts out, and really made us proud.  Both teams played very well and it was a nail-biter for sure!

So proud of my son and the man he is becoming.  It's not easy to accomplish what he has: academically, athletically, musically, and spiritually.

Academically, in the top 10% of his class (gets that from his mom!)

Athletically, captain of the lacrosse team for 2 years and one of the team's leading scorers.  I'm pretty sure he can bench more than me now and I don't know if I could take him any more in an arm wrestle!


Musically, he is really developing his God-give talent for writing and performing songs!  He and Hank are an inseparable song-writing team, and will work hours on crafting  just the right song, then with the help of Josh, record the tracks.  So enjoyable listening to them in this creative process!

Spiritually, a leader.  Never afraid to talk up Jesus with any of his friends - and not just his church going friends, he is admired and respected by all.  He is a friend to all of them.


I gotta say, going to NewSpring Church has been one of the best moves for our family.  I believe that one of the reasons Steve is where he is today in his walk with Jesus, is because of what he gets to hear from Perry Noble every week.  Perry has a real way of reaching young men that appeals to them.  He tells it like it is.  And the Youth Leaders, Davey, Joe, and Tony there have really taken to Steve and spend time with him and keep him challenged.  Seriously, Kim and I could not do this on our own; it takes the Church augmenting what we teach at home to help take our kids to the next level.


42 more days to Steve's graduation.  Hard to believe he's heading off to college in the fall.  Please keep Steve in your prayers, good men can be hard to find in this world, and I believe God has incredible plans for him!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Back in the Saddle

After a week off last week, it can be especially hard to refocus back on the job!

Lots to do at work, so for me, it involves making out some lists and prioritizing to get me back on track.

And of course, I love this video description of all our jobs at times...

Enjoy!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Ahh, the sounds and smells of Spring!  This weekend, Kim and I put our garden in.  Planted lots of good things.  We work 2 different garden plots with her dad, Carl.  The top level garden we do vegetables, and the lower level is mostly corn, sometimes with a few squash plants.

We keep things simple on our side of the garden,  2 large tomato plants, 1 Roma, and 1 Cherry.  2 Straight-necked Yellow Squash plants, 2 Zucchini, and 2 pickling cucumber plants.  1 row of peas, and 1 row consisting of Beets and Radishes.

On the lower plot, Carl has planted 4 rows of corn already, and we'll plant some more in another week, trying to keep a steady supply of corn throughout the summer!

After planting and seeding, Gardening is a lot of watering, weeding, thinning, and more watering and weeding!  However, there is something strangely soothing about being out there in the soil keeping things clean and conducive to growing.  Maybe it's our connection with the soil from creation when God formed us from the dust of the ground.  The dirt runs through our fingers as we pluck weeds, smoothing around the plants and rows, gets under our fingernails, and invariably into our socks and shoes!  Still, there is no better therapy after a busy day and such a great environment for light and deep conversations between Kim and I.

We plant, water, and weed in faith that we will be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor in a few weeks!

Gardening has so many crossovers to life if we'll take time to consider.  So many of the above mentioned principles apply.  Relationships take nurturing.  I think this is why Jesus spoke using so many references to agriculture.  Care in our relationships with our spouses and children will yield a bountiful increase in our lives for many, many years.

So... how's your garden?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jesus

Tomorrow is the Big Day. 
Have you ever thought about why Jesus sweat "great drops of blood" as he considered what was about to take place?  What gripped him so much that he prayed, "Father, if there is any other way, but not my will, but yours"
Can it be that the Son of God for the first time in his life and eternality came face to face with the 2 things that he had no idea would be like? 
Sin and Death.  Never before personally experienced by any of the Godhead.
Sin from my life placed on him.
My deserved death served up to him.
Sin that could only be paid for by his blood.
Death that only could be resurrected by his Father.
No wonder Jesus is the one who can mediate for us like no one else.
He gives life through his Spirit to all who call on him.
He is... Jesus

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Discipleship... a.k.a. - Doing Life


Had a great time last night with our Home Group! We've been going through Rick Warren's study on the Purpose Driven Life and last night was on the topic of Discipleship. Rick has a great way of breaking it down and showing the simplicity of God's growth plan for us.


Many times we complicate this thing called Discipleship. Often, in the name of Christian Discipleship, we lay a heavy burden on someone who has just accepted Jesus, like all of a sudden, there is a Humungous list of "do's and don'ts" they need to follow! O, we start innocently enough and often a new believer in their zeal will anxiously follow anything they are told when told forcefully enough! This type of "Discipleship" is really just a form of abuse... It's not a formula, a list of rules, or a systematic theology... most of the guys who tried to live that way missed Jesus all together... O yah, and they nailed Him to a cross!


To really be a disciple of Jesus starts with a relationship with Him. There was not a lot of complication for the men who followed Jesus on this earth some 2000 years ago. They were probably one of the most messed up group of guys on the planet in their day! My kind of guys... : ) They simply walked and talked with Jesus every day. They did what He asked them to do. They listened to Him. They often argued with Him (and no lightning bolts!) and did life and ministry with Him. They saw the amazing and supernatural done by Him. They experienced the grief of seeing Him die. They received the Holy Spirit as a result of His resurrection power. They were witnesses of Him and saw His church multiply like wildfire. They became bold spokesmen of His church. They gave their lives to the service of His church. Many gave their lives for Him.


I am always amazed at people's life stories like the ones that were shared last night in our Home Group! God is so at work in lives all around us. Stories of near-death, healing from past hurts, and reaching out to offer help to those in need... This is Discipleship, emulating what Jesus did and wants to do through us everyday. Doing life with Jesus. Doing life with His church; our brothers and sisters.


That's true Discipleship!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Songwriting


Just wrote a new song last night. It was a combination of a "long time coming" and and "quick inspiration"...


Been tooling around with the melody for several months now, and last night, the lyrics flowed out of my time of just playing and singing to God. God inhabits our praise!


Here are the lyrics, will record soon in Garage Band and post on this site.


You Are The One
Copyright 2010 Leo Gallant

You are the One who knows it all
You are the One who hears us call
And You always rescue when we lose our way again
You are my God and King

You are the One who sees my need
You are the One who sees me
And You are the One who wipes every tear from my eye
You are my God and King

Chorus:
And I give my life to You
I give my heart to You
I give my all to You, my King
All of my life to You
All of my heart to You
All that I am to You, my King

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Better Way to Do Business


Just got back from the NCTIES conference held in Raleigh NC. Our company had the privilege of being one of the major sponsors and as such helped to bring the amazing Ron Clark to speak at Thursday's Keynote Luncheon. Wow, what an inspiration for educators today. You may have seen Matthew Perry's portrayal of Ron in "The Ron Clark Story" and Ron definitely resonated big time with the 1200 teachers in the room! He brings a passion to the classroom that is infectious! Ron not only leads a great school in Atlanta, he brings a new twist to teaching to thousands of teachers who visit each year. Ron still teaches 4 or 5 classes a day, amazing dedication! Take the time to watch the video, and have a tissue handy. : )

I always meet a lot of great and dedicated teachers at these conferences and NCTIES is no exception. Teachers appreciate a little time away to recharge their batteries with a little "grown-up" interaction!

Many times at these conferences, businesses/exhibitors hold a dinner or cocktail reception and ONLY invite IT directors and other key decision makers and then proceed to grill that prospect or customer with BUSINESS. In reality, these folks would rather attend an event where all their staff are welcome. We planned with the help of some of our vendor partners an all-night event where everyone could come and hang-out and play a couple of RockBand games on our big screens. Needless to say, it was so much fun, that we had close to 200 people show up and they would not leave! Finally at 10:30, we had to shut down the last Promethean board with Rock Band!

People love to do business with people who accept and welcome; with people who are passionate and fun! Yes, you'd better have a great product and service, but the differentiator is people. By the way, in the midst of the fun, there were great conversations about business, but we let it start from the customer rather than force it. Big difference!

Thanks all!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Important Things...


My heart is full tonight. Got to stay curled up on the couch with Kim tonight, Steve texted me to let me know he and friends were going to a movie, enjoyed teaching Nicole the Canadian national anthem : -) and just got a big good-night hug from Jessica. It doesn't get any better than this!


Had a great convo with a friend today about success. As Jonathan was saying, "how many times have we heard from other people, 'Success isn't everything' " when really what they probably mean or should mean is "money isn't everything"; because, in reality, Success IS everything. True Success, that is. Scripture is full of examples of both sides of it. Stories of lives where outward appearances did not make up for lost relationships. Stories of humble surroundings/beginnings, loving relationships, and huge elevation by God.


Let's remember to keep the important things in priority in our life. As we serve God and man, let relationships run deep with those God has placed in our life starting with our spouse, kids, extended family, and friends. Those are THE things that we will give an account for. If we are trying to reach the "world" and neglect those closest to us, it is safe to say that it will be in vain.
The important things, however, will remain...forever.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Living Large in Texas!

HOWDY from the great state of Texas! Out here in the land of "everything's bigger", there have been a few things that have impressed me.

1. Everything really is bigger! The Convention hall here at TCEA is huge! And more importantly, it's full to capacity!


2. Texans are some of the most genuinely friendly people I have ever met!


3. I've seen a lot of these parked but not really seen them being used. We so wanted to rent 4 of them and race through Austin like "The Italian Job"!


4. Our flight home just got cancelled! BOO!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blogging from 35,000 ft!


Wow! What an age we live in! Here I am up in the air and able to do this... With todays technology, there really are not many barriers to Communication anymore! With great tools comes great responsibility! So here's your encouragement for today!

Proverbs has great insight into the human condition and such great advice and wisdom for our lives! Things like: Think before you speak or act. Last night at Steve's basketball game, I was watching a kid on the other team that "seemed" to have a terrible taunting attitude. In my mind, he seemed to be really in Steve's face and upsetting him. In reality, Steve loved playing against him and enjoyed the competitive banter. What a great attitude on Steve's part but a clear indication of my tendency to see negativity!

I have so much to learn I and learned from Steve last night that often life is what you make of it!

God, let your Spirit be the One to guide my thoughts, words, and actions today!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

SNOW DAY!

Well, maybe more like Sleet/Ice Day...


Still, it made for some great sliding today. The kids started out in our yard with a little SuperSlider Soccer action.





Next, our trip down the road to a great little hill at a church.



























Always a good day filled with outdoor fun, hot chocolate, and great food! Enjoy and savor these days; around here, they only come once a year!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

God Is Good


I was reading in Genesis 45 today the continuing story of Joseph. What an incredible story! They say truth is often stranger than fiction and this is no exception. Being the firstborn of Jacob's true love, Rachel, Joseph enjoyed his father's favor, and endured the wrath of his step-brothers. I can only imagine the horror of being thrown in the pit and then sold into slavery by your own flesh and blood!
Enter the Haiti scene today, and the destruction there is unfathomable. Even the heroes that are there as I write this (guys like Shaun King, Ken Joslin, Chance Craven, etc) have a hard time processing all that they are seeing as they fight to bring hope in the way of aid, food, water, and rescue. Our hearts were not created to know how to deal with this, so they push on, often trying to push images out of their mind but not quite able.

In times of destruction and chaos, the questions always fly around, "How can God allow this?", "How can this happen to good people?" Whether the chaos is caused by forces of nature or by people, there IS a purpose in this storm.

We find the key in Joseph's response when he revealed himself (now as Ruler of Egypt, 2nd only to Pharaoh) to his brothers. "At the time, you meant if for evil, but God meant it for good!"(paraphrase) Joseph had come to understand that in the midst of chaos, God shines brightest. God had sent him on ahead as a slave in Egypt to enable a huge disaster recovery plan that would save not only Egypt but the entire middle eastern region of the world!

Haitians are finding hope in this chaos and the Church in Haiti with help from the Church at large is leading the way. Remember to keep praying that the goodness of God will shine brightly through His Church in Haiti and give if you can give, and go if you can go to help.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Church at the BiLo Center!


Wow, still recovering from today's NewSpring 10th Anniversary Celebration! Around 14,000 (almost capacity) people joined together under one roof today to celebrate the work of Jesus over the past 10 years! My family and I have been a part of NewSpring Church for a little over 2 years now, and are a part of that history!

Our son, Steve decided to be baptized here. He accepted Jesus at a young age and so it was so fulfilling to see him make this decision as a young man to identify himself with Jesus through this baptism.

Our daughter, Nicole, gave her life to Jesus last Easter season and was also baptized. Jessica is still in the question phase... but what a great environment where she gets to hear about Jesus on her level every week from people who really love her!

God is SO at work in our extended family members and friends (up to 16 including us because someone invited us!) who started coming and keep coming back! Seriously, there will be a book written about it someday!

So today was very emotional getting to hear about so many lives touched by Jesus through the ministry of NewSpring Church. But it didn't stop there!



Over 350 people made their way down front to receive Jesus into their hearts and lives! I was ushering in the nosebleed section behind stage and there were people from there that walked all the way down to pray at the front of the stage! They then walked all the way back up to continue praising God in song - the tears were flowing!

The music was just amazing today! We have such an annointed and blessed group of musician/worship leaders that have committed their gifts to Jesus and HIS Glory - and it shows!

I am worn out! In a good way... : ) Pray for Perry and our church leaders, they have to be exhausted!