october tapestry prayer email

thanks to adam holte i am now trying mailchimp for the email i send out each month to those who have been praying for tapestry. it’s free for up to 1,000 subscriptions and 6,000 email sends. this will last a couple of years for us and it makes it easy for people to subscribe/unsubscribe. in fact if you would like to subscribe to the email just click this link – subscribe to the tapestry prayer email. it really seems to be a great thing.

here’s the email that was sent out today for the october requests.

i’m a traveling man – but i don’t want to be

traveling man

over the past week i have driven to and from new orleans (school), chicago (to pick up claudia), and  merriville, indiana (to drop off claudia). i’ve driven around 4,000 miles in the past 9 days. that may be nothing for many long haul truck drivers but it is pretty signigicant for me. i love driving long trips but i have to tell you that i’m really tired of driving. some of this is probably the fact that i am also fighting through a cold. argh! i’m tired and ready to stay home for awhile.

my typical requirements for driving long distances are: 1) diet coke, 2) sunflower seeds, 3) audiobooks, and 4) podcasts. my sodium levels are probably off the charts at the moment considering the number of seeds and diet cokes that i have consumed (at least 4 pounds of sunflower seeds during these 9 days). the biggest problem with the sunflower seeds are that they tear the inside of my cheek up when i eat a lot of them. the salt make my cheek swell up like a chipmunk. i finished a few audiobooks during my trip – 1) “snoop ” – a psychological study of predicting personality based on possessions, and 2) “paul of dune ” – a “dune” sequel that i liked because i am a scifi geek. both of them were pretty interesting. i couldn’t tell you all the podcasts i went through but i will say that “wait, wait don’t tell me” and “this american life” always keep me awake.

thankfully i don’t have to travel anywhere outside of wisconsin for the rest of the year. 🙂


no need to worry …but i thought you might like pictures

stevens point mill on the wisconsin river

some of you may have heard our community on the national news recently. central wisconsin is flooding and that includes the point area. at the moment it is not community wide. there have been a few homes really hurt by the flooding, others have been evacuated from their homes for fear of flooding, but thankfully the waters haven’t completely torn our town up. hopefully the rain will stop for awhile and the wisconsin river can go back to its normal banks. prayers for a stop in the rain in central wisconsin and north of us would be greatly appreciated.

here are some photos i took of the wisconsin and plover rivers today. it’s the highest i’ve ever seen either of them. to my knowledge no one within the tapestry community has needed to be evacuated yet but if anyone else is looking for a place to stay the people of tapestry would love to help.

btw, the top photo is a pano made of 5 photos. if you click on it it will show you a LARGE photo of the wisconsin river. the river is truly kicking it.

the handicap fishing pier on the wisconsin river - normally 8 feet above the river this is a part of iverson park - about 500' fro the riplover river this is where we normally baptize on the plover river

star wars presentation


a few years ago i changed the way i use powerpoint during messages. the reason for this was twofold: 1) watching ted talks presentations and being amazed by how good they are, and 2) beginning to read gary reynold’s blog presentation zen. both of these sources taught me that i had been using my powerpoint slides as a crutch for my speaking and rather than helping me spread the message of the gospel they were detracting from it. these speakers taught me that presentation slides can be very helpful when they are simple and visual. most of the people in any venue can read the information on your slides faster than you can speak it so if your powerpoint has a ton of bullet points on it and most of your information you might as well sit down and shut up because the audience can simply read the information for themselves. reynolds suggests only putting up visuals that will reinforce what you are saying. words, quotes, pictures, images, etc. are great things to help make your message stronger.

the speakers at ted talks are some of the best examples of this. these speakers not only typically have fascinating ideas (fascinating even when i disagree with their conclusions) they also almost always do a remarkable job of presenting those ideas. that is part of the shame of many churches – we claim to have the most important message in the world and then do an absolutely lousy job of presenting that message.

anyhow these two sources caused me i swap to a much more visual style of preaching a few years ago. i prefer it and i think those that are a part of tapestry do to. if you would like an example here is my powerpoint presentation for this past week’s message. simple, visual stuff.

today i ran across a post that gary reynolds wrote a few weeks ago. it is comparing the star wars death star attack meeting from the movie with the way it might be done now. it is a great way of making the point that simple slides are much more effective. who knows what would have happened if the movie’s meeting had involved the above powerpoint slide. the star wars universe could have been destroyed because all the pilots would have been too bored to remember what to shot and luke might not have used the force. 🙂

interested in curling?


there are a couple of us threads that are members of the stevens point curling club and supposedly there are a few others that want to join this year. so here’s your first notice. if you are interested in trying the great sport of curling we have a few open houses coming up so you can try it out. our open houses are:

  • Wednesday, September 29 from 6 pm to 9 pm
  • Saturday, October 2 from 3 pm to 6 pm
  • Tuesday, October 5 from 6 pm to 9 pm

you have now been notified. 🙂

i talk too much

new bulletin design

i know this will be a surprise to some of you but every now and then i can talk a little too much. this is especially true when i am excited about something. it appears that my extended talking has reared its ugly head during the announcements at the beginning of tapestry each week. you see the problem is that i want our guests to understand the things that make tapestry special and therefore i explain the little things that go on within tapestry. for example:

  • i explain that we want people to talk during the message. it’s not considered an interruption to bring something up. instead it is consider another way that GOD speaks to us.
  • i explain that if you need a bible please take one of the ones on the chairs as a gift.
  • i explain that it is fine to get up and grab more food or coffee during the evening.

these things can take a while but i just want to make sure that new guests understand what is going on and feel welcome with us. the problem is that we have been having new guests every week and explaining all this can take awhile. i get excited about it but everyone else thinks “come on! we’ve heard this 50 times before.”

this week was really bad. we didn’t start the music until around 6:30 p.m. when we supposedly start around 6 p.m. (i say supposed because we always talk till around 6:10 pm). it was so bad that pam mentioned something to me about putting some of this stuff into writing for people just to be able to read. it appears that others were thinking the same thing as pam because a couple of people mentioned it to her – sounds like a mutiny to me 😉

well i think it is a great idea. we typically just have a half sheet of paper as a bulletin with the scripture for the night on the front and announcements on the back. i’m thinking about going to a full sheet of paper folded in half. i figure i will put a different quote concerning worship and faith on the front each week, while placing the stuff i would normally tell our guests on the back. this leaves the middle for scripture and announcements. here’s what it would basically look like.


help me out here people. we need to shut me up while also making sure that our guests know generally what is going on. let’s face it people, we tend to do things a little differently, so our guests need a little info.

SIDE NOTE – if someone wanted to start producing and printing these each week i would gladly pass this off.

a strange catch


i love fishing in the wisconsin river. i really do love it. the fishing is consistently good on it around point. this afternoon i went fishing with bart, an old friend from missouri, on the wisconsin and witnessed him make one of the strangest catches i have ever seen.

we were fishing in an eddy along some pretty swift current when he hooked onto something and said he wasn’t sure if it was a fish or a stick. he thought it was just a stick but it just didn’t quite feel like a stick normally does. when he pulled up his lure he discovered that he had just caught a working gander mountain guide series im7 graphite spinning rod and reel combo (worth about $60). the above photo is the rod he caught. first fishing trip i’ve ever been a part of that paid for itself in something other than meat.

btw, he caught fish too.


foam swords and the bible


a month or so ago i was asked to speak at this year’s first uwsp intervarsity large group meeting. they wanted the message to talk about “what is the gospel” (their theme for the semester). since i believe that the new testament teaches that the “good news” (aka “gospel”) is that GOD’s kingdom is at hand and the old kingdom has been and is being defeated (in other words another world is possible) i thought it might be fun and memorable to stage an imperial coup in the midst of the intervarsity large group meeting. one of the threads, jackie, is involved in the uwsp belegrath society (sorry guys i can’t find a link for you). this group was gracious enough to come and help with the sermon by arranging an attack while i was speaking. it was amazing! it was the first time in my life that i have ever needed to give a danger warning before a sermon. i basically told people not to stand up for 10 minutes unless they were ok with being beaten back into their seats. i even found music for the two parts of the fight – the “the imperial march ” from star wars for the bad guys and “o fortuna (from carmina burana)” for jackie, who represented the “good news.” again it was amazing.

i really need to figure out other ways that i can involve sword play into sermons.

SIDE NOTE – this past weekend pam and i got to spend time with some amazing friends. bart and carol pierce have come up to wisconsin for the week and we are getting to spend time with them. this past weekend matt and alan joined them and we got to hang out with them. it was a pretty wonderful weekend.


no tv month

around 10 years ago the terrell family started a tradition of killing our tv for the month of august. since we were going to be away from home for two weeks during august we decided to move our month without television to september (it seemed against the spirit of the tradition to do without tv merely because we were somewhere else). as computers became more a form of electronic entertainment we starting moving them into the month also.

so starting today the electronics in the terrell house will be nixed for a month except for work purposes. this means i can use my computer for work but nothing else. i’ll still update my blog every few days because pam and i agree that form of communication is essentially work related. i will also check my email and send a tweet from my phone every now and then but checking twitter or facebook are out.

see you in a month.