Advent thoughts... I am a few weeks late in wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Yes, for those of us who follow the liturgical (church) calendar, Advent is the beginning of the year. We are already mid-point in Advent, and the days end earlier, and darkness descends upon our world in many different ways. But Advent brings hope, the promise of the Light of the World being born among us, and with us always.
As we close the calendar year, I want to thank everyone who reads my newsletters and my books or who shares both/and. I am grateful for my congregation spread throughout the world; for as a pastor, my congregation is my readers: YOU! Bless you all for your encouragement and support.
A special thanks to my writer's critique group; my agent, Rachel Kent; my editors and publicists and marketers and the publishing houses who bring my dreams and words to life. Books would not happen without all of you.
I want to give a shout-out to my dear friend and web designer extraordinaire, Lisa Scott Jones, without whose help these newsletters, my website, and all the beautiful graphics I use would not happen. Lisa belongs to the church where Greg serves as pastor, and she creates beautiful slides for worship and events that enhance the words and music in remarkable ways. Lisa founded Envision Worship and is extremely skilled at what she does. Check out her PowerPoints, they're incredible! And as you read her story below, you will discover that the work she does is a calling as well as a gift. It is certainly a gift to me! Bless you, Lisa!
My life was changed forever one morning when I walked into church and saw that huge TV screens were suddenly projecting the lyrics of the songs. Truthfully, at first, I was not sure I like them. But I was intrigued by the potential of bringing art into our very plain looking Sanctuary. Soon I found myself volunteering to create the worship slides each week and slowly my passion for worship visuals grew.
After a year or so, I was surprised that church visitors started stopping by the tech booth to ask how they could get the worship slides for their church. I knew many churches were struggling with how to create quality worship slides. I also could see how meaningful worship visuals were deepening the worship experience at my own church. I wanted this for all churches.
I felt called to start EnvisionWorship.com - to create an affordable, high quality, online PowerPoint resource for all churches. This was quite an unexpected turn of events for me - up to this point in my life - I had always worked professionally as a children's program manager for non-profits. Yet I believed it was the right thing to do so I stepped out of the boat.
It has been quite a learning experience - with many, many struggles and frustrations. Yet twelve years later, Envision Worship PowerPoints are now a part of worship in 31 countries - a fact that still amazes me. I especially love Christmas Eve and Easter - from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep at night - somewhere in the world - Envision Worship PowerPoints are a part of glorifying God in worship - it takes my breath away. I have always felt that Envision Worship is a God thing - all successes have come from God and I am simply blessed to be a part of it.
It brings me great joy to still be volunteering at my own church creating the weekly worship PowerPoint, social media graphics and event posters - it's a centerpiece of my life.
Along my journey with Envision Worship, I developed skills in graphic design, website design and social media. I enjoy helping friends create website platforms to build and strengthen their own creative careers. I especially love working with Kathy Bostrom who is so incredibly creative and gifted. Her books add depth and meaning to our lives.
Thank you for letting me share my faith journey. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas ~ Lisa