December 2012


Merry Christmas from the Franks family! The blog will return next week after a long winter’s nap.

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As I type, we’re wrapping up day one of Christmas at DPAC, and getting prepared for two more services on Christmas Eve. It has been – in short – amazing. Freakishly amazing.

Our First Impressions Team has been in top form and have made me so, so proud. Our Summit Kids Team has served with class, skill, and thousands of Goldfish crackers. Our Production Team has never been slicker. The Gospel was shared 152 different ways: if you didn’t hear it, it wasn’t for lack of God speaking.

And our Worship Team?

Aw heck…our Worship Team.

I knew exactly 1.5% of the program setup before the first service launched at 11 AM Sunday. I was blissfully ignorant of what was to come. And then I snuck in for a few minutes at both the 11 and 2, but then sat through the 5.

So how was it?

I can’t explain it. Nobody can. But good grief…they absolutely tore the place to pieces. You need to understand that I’m a man with zero musical talent. When I sing it sounds like a flock of howler monkeys with emphysema have been shoved into a wood chipper. But I’m pretty sure I know when I hear something that sounds good. And they did.

If you read this early enough on Monday, you oughta join me at DPAC for the 2:00 or 5:00 services. Officially, the free tickets are sold out. However, if you get there an hour before service, there’s a good chance the box office will hook you up. It’s worth a shot.

And speaking of shots, here are a few of my faves from day one. Big thanks to Brett Seay for sneaking me a few…

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It’s Friday, kiddies, and that means you get recycled content.

Hey, it’s better than coal in your stocking.

  • Let Her Go, Let Her Go, Let Her Go.
  • Up on the housetop reindeer pause, and watch in horror as Santa falls…
  • Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire

See all 26 of ’em at the original post.

I’m neck deep in volunteer spreadsheets for Christmas at DPAC and also not too shameless to take another opportunity to tell you that you can still sign up to serve. For that reason, here’s three things that have been rockin’ my world this week. (Remember kids, click on the bold print to link to the original post.)

School Shootings and Spiritual WarfareBy far the best response to the horrors of last Friday in Newtown, Connecticut.

…let’s remember that Bethlehem was an act of war. Let’s remember that the One born there is a prince of peace who will crush the skull of the ancient murderer of Eden. Let’s pray for the Second Coming of Mary’s son. And, as we sing our Christmas carols, let’s look into the slitted eyes of Satan as we promise him the threat of his coming crushed skull.

Five Ways to Play with Your Kids this ChristmasWow. I needed this.

During the holiday season, we’re tempted to spend too much time on our iPhones, on the computer, or watching television. Following our example, our kids isolate themselves too. We’re together physically, but no one is having fun. No wonder by New Year’s everyone is ready to get back into the normal routine.

Three Days Til the Alpacalypse. (Not everything can be serious today.)

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Just in case you missed the link earlier this week on my Twitter account, we have a heckuva worship team with some crazy mad skills.

Last week at our staff Christmas party, they unveiled their latest music video. I think you’ll find it as inspiring and…um…magical as I did.

Crank those speakers, skippy. You’ll want your co-workers to hear this ‘un.

 

If you live in the Raleigh-Durham area, you’ve hopefully seen the billboards, commercials, and inviter cards promoting Christmas at the Durham Performing Arts Center. These five events over two days is the Summit Church’s gift to our community, and I want you to be a part of it. No, seriously…be my guest. I want you to come. And if you’re a Summit regular, I want you to serve with me. Here’s the skinny:

  • Get a ticket. They’re free, but they must be reserved online. And they’re going fast.
  • Sign up to serve. We need people on the First Impressions & Summit Kids teams, and we primarily need them on 12/24 at 5 PM, 12/24 at 2 PM, and 12/23 at 5 PM, in that order. For more on why  you should serve, see this post.
  • Invite your friends. All of ’em. Bring the ones you love and the ones that you’re trying to love. It’ll be a great experience.

You can do all of those things above by visiting the Christmas at DPAC website. Go on. Do it. Now.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen our production team’s commercial, watch it. Those guys are freakishly talented.

 

Yesterday Merriem and I accompanied Jacob, our oldest, to his company Christmas party.

That’s right: we’re old enough to have a child with his own workplace party. After it was over with, we shopped for nursing homes.

But I digress. Jacob works for Chick Fil A, which if you’ve read this blog you know is one of my favorite companies out there. And after hitting a behind-the-scenes gathering for employees and their families, I walked away being an even bigger fan of their passion and the reality that – while the financial bottom line is important – they sure do seem like a company that’s more interested in the people walking through the doors.

But I digress again. Roughly halfway through the party, I looked out the window to the parking lot to see a man in his 60’s walking towards the door. Keep in mind it was a Sunday. We were sitting in Chick Fil A, the company that is infamous for being closed on Sunday. And there was a sign on the door that said “Closed for a party.” Oh: and there were wall-to-wall people inside and two buffet lines set up (please please please Chick Fil A add a buffet line to the menu) and a Dirty Santa gift exchange going on and an owner/operator emceeing into a microphone and just general pandemonium all the way around.

But I could see it on this guy’s face: he wasn’t paying attention to any of that. He walked across the parking lot, through the open door, to the restrooms, and then back out of the building and to his car.

(No word on whether he washed his hands.)

And all the while, a party that wasn’t for him was going on all around him. He’d slipped into Chick Fil A bizarro world and never knew what hit him. He came in and went out and went on with his day, none the wiser of his surroundings.

On the drive home I couldn’t help but draw the parallel between my Sunday afternoon entertainment and what seems to be the “new normal” this time of year. We’re surrounded by celebrations: lights and music and smells and tastes and presents and family, and yet we fail to recognize the true party that’s right in front of us. As Sally Lloyd-Jones says in her children’s book Song of the Stars, “the one who made us has come to live with us.”

Presents. No presence.

Gifts. But not the Gift.

Lights. But not the Light.

Managing chaos. But no manger amidst the chaos.

We have just over a week to go until Christmas. As for me, I plan to carve out some quiet moments to reflect, to worship, to celebrate the real party that is unfolding around me. How can you do that as well?

The one who made us has come to live with us.

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