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I finally did it!

Apr. 25th, 2008 | 08:50 pm

I've decided to leave livejournal.com for a new blogsite.
http://janetfraser.blogspot.com/

hope to see you there!

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Apr. 20th, 2008 | 08:26 pm

A few times in my life, I've been asked to describe my family life. This question is most easily answered with, it's kind of like a musical.

I love musicals.
Second only to loving Jesus in our home, for me, was the need to pass on a love of musical theatre. I cannot take full credit for this... Michael too was weaned on musicals, Paint Your Wagon and Hair are two examples and perhaps the person deserving the most credit is his younger sister Kathleen, who provided them with ample opportunities to star in multiple musicals at the renowned Willow Pond Wilderness Camp each summer growing up.
My Favorite Movie: Sound of Music
My Favorite Musical: Les Miserable
1 of the Top Ten Moments of Glee in my lifetime: The first time I saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Well, my niece forwarded this link to me today and I had to share... this would pretty much be a dream trip to the mall for our extended family.



The group who pulled this off is Improve Everywhere... they're almost reason enough for me to sell everything and move to New York so I can be part of it... you can check out a story on them in the first episode/first season of This American Life's TV Show... (available on itunes for a couple of bucks). The best gig ever was the improv... the prank is let's find a struggling band and give them the best gig of their life. It's a very poignant story about truth and whether we really want it.

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Generations: Would You Like Another Family?

Apr. 19th, 2008 | 12:28 pm

I'm reviewing a John Ortberg Menlo Park Presbyterian Sermon Series from earlier this year as research and inspiration. The series is titled "Generations" I'm listening to it trying to see how God's design for "church" can be reflected within the two service formats I produce weekly.

I'll share my notes here with you as I review the series.
Some are "quotes" some are paraphrases of thoughts, followed by my own personal reflection.

You can get the talk, for free via itunes podcasts

Generations: Would you Like Another Family?
Original teaching date: January 4, 2008
Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise. Psalm 79:13NIV

God has a plan that life and love and wisdom and especially knowing Him should be passed on from one generation to the next.

There are a lot of churches that age and die, there are some new churches where everybody is young and they all know the same songs but they are prone to lack part of the "family".
There are not very many churches that are flourishing, growing, multi-generational communities. We have a lot to learn.

How can a church really be a family?

Look at 3 critical moments in the history of the family

Moment One: The Creation of family
The family is God’s idea
His design included the addition of a stranger who was a lot of work, very needy and self absorbed. It will grow be more work and just when they’re mature and capable of contributing they are going to move away. :-)
The concept of family is NOT a cultural artifact, it’s not just a biological mechanism. It is a divinely ordained idea created by God to be a reflection of his character and a manifestation of his Kingdom and the vehicle of grace.

Moment Two: When sin enters and breaks the family God designed.
Genesis is the story of families. Violence, Blame, deceit, shame, violence, unresolved conflict played out in the context of family. It is through brokenness that God is seeking to work out his redemptive plan. We are all broken and in need of God's redemption and plan.

Moment Three: God through Jesus redefines family in the church.
Mark 13:12-13 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." All who love God and want to be part of the family are.

Personal Reflection: The church should reflect these qualities, we should reflect His character, manifest His kingdom, be the vehicle of grace. We should acknowledge all our brokenness and our need for God and we should realize that we have never looked into the eyes of a human being for whom Jesus did not die.

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The Week in Review

Apr. 19th, 2008 | 09:22 am

Considering:
"I have in mind something deeper than the simplification of our external programs, our absurdly crowded calendars of appointments through which so many pantingly and frantically gasp. These do become simplified in holy obedience, and the poise and peace we have been missing can really be found. But there is a deeper, an internal simplification of the whole of one's personality, stilled, tranquil, in childlike trust listening ever to Eternity's whisper, walking with a smile into the dark." - thomas kelly (props to Kyle Welstad)

Learning:
Silence rarely means "yes"
Saw this happen in my life and others... someone 1 shared a great idea with someone 2. Someone 2 didn't reply, someone 1 moved ahead. Now there's conflict and a stall moving the right direction.

Someone 3/and me think someone 5 is capable of a new more challenging role. Someone 5 doesn't write or call or show up.

Someone (me) is asked to do something. Because I don't like a portion of it, I don't do it. Instead of discussing the issue, I stall.

Someone (me) summons the courage to share my heart with someone 6 via an email to begin an important conversation. No response.
Silence rarely means "yes"

Choose:
A friend said to me this week "people need two things:
to be understood
to feel appreciated.
At the end of a meeting this week "a shot was fired across the bow" questioning my motives. It undid me. If I had to choose, I'd choose being understood.

Prayer Request:
Now what?
I'm looking around to see what God wants me to do, day in and day out, week in and week out that will have more impact for the Kingdom.

Contradiction:
I'm impulsive yet I hate when plans change.
Am supposed to have Thursday pm - Sunday off this weekend. It didn't work out. Internally this rocked me. I sincerely love my work but my whole self was ready for one thing and now there's a change. Is this a sign of aging? I don't want to get rigid.

Adventure:
Going to try this recipe this weekend... http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_108367,00.html

Challenged:
Two trips to the healer with Abby. Feel a tug on me to explore more bio-medicine and good health practices. But that means I'd have to live differently.

Found:
Milos' Cafe on 14th and Broadway. Had lunch there with Laura yesterday. Chicken Piccatta to die for... for less than $9. (Speaking of things I don't want to give up).
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In Search of Healing

Apr. 16th, 2008 | 06:04 am

I'm perplexed today.
Growing up I was taught to believe that "something" was really not ok.
Yesterday, I experienced that "something" and a new world is open to me.
I have so many questions.

The "something" was a trip to the chiropractor for one of our daughters.
I went in very skeptic, but her dance instructor strongly recomended treatment for ongoing back and leg pain because Abby's been unable to participate at times this term in dance and it's recital and audition season.

The Dr. (do you call them that?) spent about 90 minutes with us, getting to know Abby, listening, exploring her whole life, counseling, explaining.
It was the kind of Dr. appointment you dream of.
He did ultrasound on a surgical scar on her belly which immediately gave her some relief and more range of motion. He did some snap crackle popping (minimal) which resulted in her feeling loose/better and her legs being more even in length. It's hard to argue with bedside manner, beautiful kicks and apparent results.

He seemed to want to distance himself from the general impression of chiropractics and said to think of him as more of a physical therapist and osteopath. I wondered if they "all" say that. He suggested that she might need 4-6 sessions, not a 12 or a lifetimes worth... this was one of my concerns going in.
My kids have (thank God) been very healthy, so my impression of our primary care physician is somewhat tainted by somewhat rushed, unfamiliar moments for sports physicals or minor infections where medicine is prescribed and works.
The "healer" prescribed more protein in our vegetarian's diet.
It all seemed so much more natural/healing, more intuitive.
His name, Dr. Brian Baisinger, Clearwater Chiropractic, downtown.

So, I'm asking all of you...
What's your experience been with Chiropractor's?
What's the downside?
Any cautionary tales?

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Podcast Reviews

Apr. 12th, 2008 | 06:05 pm

Thanks to Twitter, Guy Kawaski and I are now tweets.
When I was catching up this morning on the twits I saw this:
guykawasaki If you own an iPod, check this out: http://podcasts.alltop.com/
Well, being the hardcore podcast girl I am, I checked out a couple new ones today.

Manager Tools- (41:07- listened while running errands today)
Tools for an Effective Manager - Simple, but good.
From my vantage point I'd say that most people in ministry don't get adequate management training so this might be a great weekly sharpening of your skills. Nothing earth shattering in todays post on Interview Results Meetings but definately a process defined which I'll use in the future. And, the good thing about a podcast is that you can load old episodes, so it can be situational listening when needed.

NPR: In Character (8:50- listened to while grocery shopping)
Series exploring famous American fictional characters.
Ear candy. Not a must listen to, but enjoyable.
Today's interview was with Eric Cartman: South Park Character. I've avoided South Park, even though Chris finds it hysterical. The podcast explored the birth of South Park, character development of Eric i.e. it's not ok for him to be a murderer but maybe to make chili out of someone who was already dead???? It is SouthPark after all.
For someone like me who loves pop culture, this one is fun. Other characters explored... Jack Bauer, Walter Middy, Hester Prynne, Darth Vader and Cookie Monster.

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Madonna and Me

Apr. 12th, 2008 | 06:00 pm

Madonna
Notorious for reinventing herself, since I was in college wearing black jelly bracelets, I've always thought she was smart- in addition to lots of other things.
A couple of weeks ago I heard that Madonna (48) has partnered with Justin Timberlake (28) and Timbaland (32) on her new album.
So, if you were nearing 50 and wanted to make a hit record (yes they still call them that) what else would you do but partner with the youngest and best people in the business.

Last night at our staff dinner I looked around the room and thought of Madonna- ever so briefly- between laughs.



I believe I work with the best of the best, nearly all of them younger.
Now, best in my line of work is a little different than in Madonna's I am so blessed to be living this season of ministry with this group of people who I love, respect, am challenged by and enjoy!

On the other hand... it's just beginning to sink in what it means to be older among them. What do/should I contribute?
When should I listen, watch and learn.
Definately glad I lost the black jelly bracelets.

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One phone call, a brief interaction face to face and an email.

Apr. 11th, 2008 | 09:31 am

A while back I posted about an opportunity that might come my way... it was the Mother Ship post. You may have guessed, the "Mothership" is WillowCreek Community Church.

In February I attended training for another Willowcreek Event and saw the Exec Producer of the Global Summit, we exchanged "hello's" and "wish we had more time to talks" as he was up to his ears in producing the event. I can relate!

Then, today, an email arrives with travel dates and confirmation that I am on this new team of theirs. I don't have alot of details to share yet but thought a post would be the fastest way to let my friends/family know the news.

Here's some info:
Sunset has hosted a satellite broadcast of the Leadership Summit for 8 years and I've served on the team as producer each year. This event has been a highlight of my ministry leadership development as I have learned from both the content of the conference AND from working with the Summit production team from Willow AND as I've had to lead our team through the production of the event. In short I HEART the Summit!

The Summit went global a few years ago, meaning they translate the Summit in to native languages in something like 80 locations around the world then they add local worship teams and hosts and have their own Summit. This fall, I will be volunteering internationally at one global Summit location somewhere in the world.
My job will be to shepherd their production and tech team through their first Leadership Summit.

This blows my mind as I type this.

Why is this such a big deal?
I feel so completely drawn to this work and so utterly incapable of accomplishing the task. The tension of those two things is exhilarating.

I feel a strong call on my life to use my gifts and experience to serve other churches. I remain a small church girl. I have never wanted to move up in ministry but have recently felt such a push to spread out or be available to serve smaller churches, younger leaders. This opportunity will give me the chance to do this in a very challenging and exciting environment.

It also honestly feels like a confirmation/culmination of many years of submitting to where God planted me. I lived through several seasons of ministry where I just showed up every day and did my best with what I had in a world I knew next to nothing about, the technical realm, and over time I learned a couple things... mostly how not to panic, how to reboot and how to find (and hopefully keep) good people who did know something about all those gadgets. I know today that this experience is why Larry has extended me this rare invitation as a woman with no real technical skill. Wow, how's that for a resume. :-)

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Idol Worship

Apr. 11th, 2008 | 08:33 am

Shout to the Lord on American Idol...
What do you think?
There's definately a buzz around this...
the cynic in me, and she's very tiny remembered a friend telling me that Hollywood hires Christians to consult on programming...

But, the programmer in me who loves Jesus remembers Nancy Beach's comments at an Arts conference years ago which ignited a smoldering fire in me for the Arts.
A paraphrase is this... God is going to build his church. If we church artists don't get out there in the real world and use our gifts for His glory, He's still gonna keep building His church. What a shame that we don't commit ourselves as artists to releasing the art within, in relevant ways to partner with Him to build the church.



So, what did you think?

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Saving Face

Apr. 10th, 2008 | 08:48 am

I’ve been watching my girls become women lately.
As this is occurring we’ve been butting heads some. Quibbling over stuff. I feel a sense of urgency to make sure they’ve learned everything from me before they “arrive” as women.
I want them to understand and carry forward the things that matter to me… the gift of noticing things- a person, God at work, personal growth, the value of simplicity, the beauty of feminine strength and to recognize the stench of the enemy.

In my mind, these lessons are taught in peaceful conversations over tea filled with laughter and love. More often, in reality, these are worked out in stressful conversations in the car or grocery story line or via text as I try to mold them into… me?

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see them in action and I am so proud and humbled by who they are, not who I have tried to make them to be. The setting is silly, but today I am grateful for the glimpse.

After school Molly sculpted a mask.
On the way home she and I stopped for a couple of groceries.
When I got in the car, I threw the bag in to the back seat destroying the mask.
It was a total, horrible accident.

Molly could have spent the next hour being rough on me, instead she was forgiving and careful in the midst of real personal frustration and disappointment.
She was encouraging, tender, relational, creative, careful… beautiful.

Abby agreed to be the model for the second project, not because she wanted to, but because we asked. Abby was giving, patient, adaptable, communicative, funny…beautiful.

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