LA Shoot with Erwin McManus

A few weeks back, our team returned from Los Angeles to film their fourth major video project with Erwin McManus, based off his ever-popular book Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul.

The weekend of the shoot was perfect. LA’s weather was flawless and our team had a blast shooting the beautiful scenery and vast terrain surrounding them. The prime location for the video series was Griffith Park in the Hollywood hills.

Our crew set up their cameras overlooking the expansive Hollywood reservoir. Erwin reviewed his notes and in no time, the cameras were rolling. In a simple yet profound way, Erwin challenges young adults to give their life away by tapping into the talents and gifts God has given them. He states, “We are magnetized to a world filled with opportunities and often paralyzed by the inherent responsibilities.” His charismatic teaching style inspires this generation to change their ordinary life into one with extraordinary passion.

After a long day of work, all the footage was complete. It was hard for our team to pull away from sunny LA and Erwin McManus; however they were anxious to return to their offices and edit the footage. They packed their bags and headed back to Dallas.

The Bible study series filmed in LA with Erwin McManus will be called Uprising: a 6-session video-driven Bible study and will release Sept. 1, 2008. It will include a leader’s guide, workbook, 6 video sesssions, and the book itself. Check out our current DVD resources with Erwin McManus: Impact, Choices, Dreams, and Advance.

Article on Radiantmag.com today

Two years ago, fresh into marriage, Jeremiah and I went through a major trial. Several months ago, I finally felt led to write about it and I submitted it to Radiantmag.com. They posted it today. Click here to read it. It’s called When the Clock Struck Two.

My husband and his pot pie

I was pretty tired on my way home from work tonight, fighting Dallas traffic. I walked in our apartment determined to have a good attitude and be thankful to see my husband. I was scared I’d be cranky as I tend to be when I am overtired at the end of the day.

I walked in the door and on our granite countertop set a dish of chicken pot pie, made from scratch. Carved in the pie were the words, “I love you.” My husband, Jeremiah, stood next to it proudly showing it off like a trophy. My jaw dropped because I personally had never made chicken pot pie from scratch. I had planned to soon because I really do love to cook. Well, not only did he make the pie, but he used the chicken broth to make delicious chicken and rice soup- all from scratch.

I knew when we were dating that Jeremiah was a rarity- he cooked, cleaned, did the dishes, made his bed, and much more. But now being married and living with him it’s so amazing to see just how incredible of a man he is. I mean, what guy would slave over the stove and make a pot pie? He’s been doing an awesome job at being sensitive to me being pregnant and working a lot. He has gone the extra mile to give of himself and put me before his needs.

I have to say that I am much more selfish than he is, but I am learning… and slowly growing. He teaches me every day about selflessness. He is the godliest man I know- what he is behind closed doors is what he is out in the open. You’re the best, Jeremiah.

Oh yeah and he also made mini muffins from the pot pie.

How it feels to be Credit Card Debt free

After working out this morning and getting out of the shower, Jeremiah rushes in the bathroom with a beaming smile on his face. “We’re debt free of all our credit cards. I just paid all of it off.” I didn’t know what to say but “oh my goodness this is so awesome. We have to celebrate.”

As a married couple, we’ve never known life without credit cards. It’s just so crazy. And we even have a substantial amount in savings for any emergencies.

Since we’re still being intense about the rest of our debt, we will celebrate, but not go all out (We have about $30,000 to go in car payments and student loans but we’re going to attack it). So today, we went to Chick-fil-a and got a breakfast bagel (which we never eat out for b-fast) and today Jeremiah’s going to bring me lunch at work. We’re really going to celebrate together by thanking God for his grace on our life and for helping us learn more about money.

We’re hoping to take a babymoon soon and perhaps then we’ll celebrate with a vacation. And then maybe after that, a trip to Italy (the place of Jeremiah’s ancestry- Sicily). But right now, we must focus on today. 🙂

Bible Study for Youth Groups with David Nasser and Bluefish TV is filmed in Rome

 A few weeks back, David Nasser and some of our crew returned from an unforgettable journey retracing the steps of the Apostle Paul to help teach youth groups across the country.

Our last project with David Nasser, the I AM youth group series with David Crowder and Chris Tomlin led our Director of Production, Phil Warner to ask about potential project ideas brewing in David’s mind. David said, “I’ve always wanted to teach in Rome.”

David’s response was taken seriously and our production crew and David packed their bags for a 7 day shoot in Rome, Italy. Rome would be the teaching location for the new Bluefish TV 2009 Youth Ministry Kit.

Standing on the streets of Rome, David taught about the cost of discipleship at the Tre Fontana (the three fountains) which is now a monastery and the supposed spot where Paul was beheaded. He taught about the “Roman Road” on the actual Roman Road (the Appian Way). He spoke on grace at the Scala Santa (The Church of the Holy Steps); the steps in front of Pontius Pilate’s house in Jerusalem where legend believes Jesus stood when was condemned to the cross.

David’s favorite segment was at the Roman Forum. He walked among the ruins and deteriorated remains of what at one time was the “center of the world.” David taught that no matter how powerful a nation may be it is never indestructible. “Ancient Rome can serve as a real warning for modern day America. Rome was the fashion, entertainment, military, and social capital of the world at one point (much like the U.S. today). But the one thing that brought Rome to its knees was its own arrogance,” says David.

 David’s teaching is scripturally focused. He motivates youth groups to venture deeper into God’s word and further investigate Roman culture. The 2009 Youth Ministry Kit for youth group leaders with David Nasser is Bluefish TV’s first teaching series in Europe. It is scheduled to release August 1. You can watch for release details at bluefishtv.com.

If you’d like to explore and purchase other Bluefish TV Youth Ministry Bible studies, visit the following youth studies: Teens Vs. Parents with Mark Matlock, Sex. Dating with Michael and Hayley DiMarco, and Revolution with Doug Fields.

Cutting Up My Credit Card

 I’ll never forget the day I cut up my credit card. I performed this plastectomy on my baby blue Wachovia card 2 months ago. It was the best feeling ever. Looking back, I don’t miss it one bit.

You see, I used that card as a “crutch.” When I couldn’t afford something at that moment, I would swipe it and always say “Oh it will get paid off.” In reality, the debt and interest just kept building on itself and before I knew it, I was in $1,000 or so of debt in just a blink of an eye. Perhaps you know the feeling.

Dave Ramsey inspired me to cut my card up. I did even before it was paid off and the temptation to swipe no longer exists. I buy only what I have in my account- in cash mainly. Sometimes on our debit card. My husband’s credit card will be paid off this weekend and we will be credit card debt free. We still have student loans and a car payment to go, but we are on our way to being debt free.

I can sum up credit cards in one word: bondage. Just like all debt.

 

A Baby?!

In early February, my husband and I found out we were pregnant! We are just now letting the world know as our first doctor’s appointment was April 4. It was a wonderful experience. Our doctor is Dr. Steven Harris at Baylor Hospital. He has an incredible bedside manner and is very tenderhearted.

When he took the ultrasound, I believe our worlds were changed forever. When we saw Baby Krieger move around it made the idea that we are having a baby become reality. See, the doctor didn’t need to see me until week 12. I had to keep waiting and trusting that a living being was inside me and was growing healthy. I had to trust it was there, even though I couldn’t see it. It taught me a lot about faith in fact.

Baby Krieger is scheduled to arrive around mid-October (Oct. 17, give or take a few weeks). We have been very busy with our jobs, school, and ministry but everything is slowly starting to sink in and it’s exciting and life-changing. I’ve seen a change in Jeremiah as well as he embraces the fact that he is a dad (wow that’s crazy to say!). He is so joyful about it. My nephew, Parker who is almost 3 yrs. old, wants “baby cousin” to come right now. Everday his mind changes on whether it’s a boy or girl. My sister and bro-in-law who are living in NC are very excited as well, along with my dad and mom who will be “grandparents # 2.”

Here are the ultra sound stills- three different photos. As you can tell by the legs, he or she was very active. It was adorable.

So, do you think it’s a boy or girl? (Boys outnumber girls 3-1 in Jeremiah’s family and girls dominate in mine). Only time will tell!

Thanks for sharing in our JOY!

Sex & Money- Taboo?

  Thoughts on Financial Peace University… I am in my twenties. I’ve talked to many wise people who are beyond my years who said that when they were growing up the two words never talked about were Sex & Money. In this category, I’m not going to talk about the sex part (I’ll save that one for later). But, it is interesting that many people are raised having never been taught how to handle money- let alone how to create a budget. They or their parents never made it a priority.

I know many people are in that category. I am one of them. I was handed many wonderful things growing up which I am so appreciative of, but I never had the desire to learn about money when my parents wanted to sit me down. I was stubborn. Besides we had everything so what was there for me to learn? I wasn’t looking into the future.

If you feel you’re in the same boat of never having learned much about finances. You are not alone. Don’t feel stupid or mad at yourself that you never took the initiative to learn. Learn from that careless decision and move on. It is never too late to start the journey now- no matter if you’re in your 50’s, 30’s, or 20’s.

Break the curse of money being taboo… and begin to talk about it with your friends and family.

Rise and Whine

Focus on the Family’s January ’08 Couples Issue published my article, “Rise and Whine.” I had several people contact me and say they struggled with the same thing. I thought I was the only one. For real.

If you are polar opposites from your loved one in the morning, you will understand this article. You might laugh along with it. If you can relate, feel free to share an experience.

Don’t worry.

We’re in this battle together as we aim to make our marriage beds a better, sweeter place to wake up from.

Is Recession Coming our Way?

Alan Greenspan, former federal reserve chairman, claims there is more than a 50% chance our nation will go into recession. My husband found the article today and told me about it on the way home from work today.

Hmm. This really gets me thinking about the financial state of America. Do we see the severity and understand the issue at hand? Since Financial Peace University, I am only scratching the surface of what I still have to learn. One truth I know for sure is that our aim and goal in our marriage is to completely get rid of all debt. Get rid of bondage. How come (especially in my generation) we think we deserve things when we don’t have the money to pay for them?

Generations before me paved the way to where we are today. They worked hard and earned their keep. The consequence is that we’ve become lazy and we don’t know what Save means because we’ve been given everything. With this mentality, our desire to have things has not come with the same discipline that was met with the generations before us. Instead, we have given in to borrowing more than we can afford making ourselves servant to the lender.

Isn’t it time to break free?

Do you think America can break free?

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