Friday, February 23, 2007

Mission 61

I'm proud of my friends, the Butlers. For the past few months Bill has been painting like a possessed man...possessed by the Holy Spirit. A mutual friend of ours loaned him some space in his warehouse, and Bill quickly converted it into an art studio. During the course of the past few months, he's produced approximately 50 amazing pieces of art work. What's really interesting is that when I looked around the art exhibit last night, it looked like 20 different painters developed these pieces.

Bill developed a style of paint pouring and he let the Holy Spirit guide his hands, producing image after image of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, the Lion of Judah, the apostles and some abstracts. Honestly, it was the first time in my life in which I felt the presence of God just by being surrounded by these art pieces. They weren't just pieces of art, they were prophetic and alive. They spoke different meanings to different people.

So why sell all of these magnificent pieces? Bill's visual communications firm Thomas Lift is to begin operations creating clothing that glorifies the Lord based on Isaiah 61. The making of the clothing is integral to the entire process. The clothing is not to be made by those who are oppressed and abused. Instead, the clothing will be made by a community of people in Jamaica. By paying these workers fairly and treating them with love and compassion, Thomas Lift will help restore broken lives and communities.

This clothing is to be a blessing to those who wear the clothing as well as to those who make the clothing. 90% of the profits from this clothing will be given back to bless the orphaned & poor in Jamaica, thereby blessing the very communities where the clothing is made.

Last night when the new proud owners began removing their artwork from the wall, I stared at the empty spaces left behind and felt a sudden rush of emotion. I felt like it was symbolic of the Butlers leaving Iowa for Jamaica. As the paintings left the wall and space was created, it felt like I was watching them pack up their belongs and move from their house.

I wish I had a speck of their faith. They are great examples of living faithfully and following their calling. What if more of us lived this way, chasing our dreams and the face of God without fear?

God speed Butlers. I love you guys.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Worship Web Site Idea

For all of my faithful readers (I think there's just one - hi Mom!) I thought I'd let you peek into my brain for a moment. After much prayer, our family recently decided we should lend our support to our satellite church, NorthBranch in the northern suburbs of Des Moines. Despite the30 minute drive, the move has proved to be a blessing to our family. I've taken on the role of worship leader and have been driving the music since the beginning of the year full-time. I've been tasked with developing and growing the worship ministry from the ground up. Thankfully I already have an awesome and anointed band. I could just use some more worship leader types.
As I pick music and build the worship set each week, I take a look at the sermon topic and try to align the music to the subject. Sometimes this proves to be kind of difficult as some of the subjects are either vague or outside the norm. I've been contemplating this dilemma for the past couple of weeks and am pondering developing a worship leader web site that helps worship leaders pick music based upon subjects. (If you already know of a site, please let me know)

So let's say the subject matter is "Why does God allow suffering?" A perfect song for that might be "Sweet River Roll" by one of my favorite bands: Waterdeep.

What if the topic was missions? Then "If We Are the Body" by Casting Crowns might be the song for you.

This kind of site would definitely need to be driven by its users...a.k.a. "consumer generated content" if you're an internet marketing junkie like me. =)

The other part of the site that I would like to incorporate is the ability to let worship leaders build and post their worship sets for their respective services. They could post the songs/artists and write comments about what worked and what didn't work.

I think this would be beneficial to worship leaders because they will likely learn about new worship songs but more importantly learn from the example of others. Plus it would hopefully encourage and support the community of online believers.

I don't think the role of the site would be to post lyrics, chords and mp3s of songs. There are plenty of sites out there that already do that (eg:

So if you stumble upon this post and have any insight, I'm all ears.

Thanks for reading!

God bless,