Month: August 2009

this made me happy today…

a howa howa howa howa!!


Worship Postfessional…

this post is part of the Sunday Setlist festivities that happen every week over at Fred McKinnon’s blog.


We had another great Sunday.  Pastor Nick was on vacation so Pastor Mike preached and since he was doing the first immersion baptism in our building, he wanted to build the service around “living water”.

last week the task was given to me to find a suitable tank to immerse someone in.  i found a RubberMaid 300 gallon tank that did just the trick.

i built the media shout with lots of water backgrounds and the altar had a fountain on it with some great flowing white material.  it looked very nice.

we opened with

Majestic-Lincoln Brewster (we used the iWorship Flexx video with this, and it seemed to work pretty good.  the congregation was ready to sing again this Sunday.  it’s so great to have them be excited to worship our great God)

Welcome/Opportunities for Witness and Service/Greeting Time

Everlasting God-Brown/Brewster arr. (thought they really got into this one)

God of This City-Passion arr. (we haven’t sung this in a few months, but you wouldn’t know it.  i nearly lost it myself as our congregation sang with all their hearts.  this song means something to the people of a small city that know they CAN make a difference.  great holy moment)

All Who Are Thirsty-Brown/Kutless arr. (it was pretty much a Brenton Brown/Lincoln Brewster day.  Pastor had requested a baptism song and this one had been on my heart.  we sang it as the offertory, but after the bag had passed, they were on their feet singing “Come Lord Jesus come, and then we switched to “Holy Spirit come” and brought that down to just voices, another great holy moment)

Sermon-Where Do You Get That Living Water?

Baptism-this was a wonderful moment.

Come Ye Sinners-Robbie Seay (pastor asked people to come up and touch the water to remember their own baptism.  many people did.  it was neat to see parents bring their children up to dip their hands in the water. we had 3 people join the church.  it was a great day)

well here it is…

the final day of August, 2009

it’s been a relatively cool August here in TX.  definitely not the “dog days” we are used to around here. 

it’s been a wild couple of months at our church.  we’ve actually seen attendance go up this summer.  our new Senior Pastor is amazing.  in addition to new SP, we’re also going through some more “staff” change. 

as the summer has worn on, i’ve had time to reflect on some things. 

that God will not share His glory with another.  something i’ve known for many years, but have come to know it very powerfully in the last few weeks.

that i can’t possibly know the answers. again, something that i already knew, but just the gravity of it hit me even more in these days.  i love the mystery that surrounds God.  i want to know Him more, but yet am overwhelmed by all that i don’t know about Him.

that He is in control, and i am not.  again, i know this, it’s just been made very clear to me.

so in reflection, i have to quote this passage of scripture.

Jude 24-25

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.





i’ve been hammering my way….

through this book.


it was given to me by my good friend Jim Drake.

i’m somewhat creative, but i’m desiring to develop the rhythms and habits that will most benefit my creative spirit and heart. i have things running in my brain that i can’t seem to get out on paper or in song, or whatever medium needs to express them.

so i’m reading yesterday the chapter called “accidents will happen” and some great things hit for me.

Twyla writes.

“The most productive artists I know have a plan in mind when they get down to work.  They know what they want to accomplish, how to do it, and what to do if the process falls off track.  But there’s a fine line between good planning and overplanning.  You never want planning to inhibit the natural evolution of your work.”

so artistic endeavors aren’t necessarily spontaneous.  they can be, but like she says productive artists have a plan in mind, but they don’t overplan. she goes on to say.

“I began to see that overplanning can be as pernicious as not planning at all.  There’s an emotional lie to overplanning; it creates a security blanket that lets you assume you have things under control, that you are further along than you really are, that you’re home free when you haven’t even walked out the door yet.”

this applies to me as i have some control issues.  i like things to come out right the first time as i am impatient and don’t give myself room to experiment and fail.  i’m praying for and learning more about letting life flow through me.  i’m also learning the little rhythms and disciplines of attempting to create SOMETHING every day.

Tharp next shares several problems that can derail your well-laid plans.


“for every person who inspires you and pushes you in the right direction, there is often another who is ‘missing in action’…no matter how well-intentioned someone else may be, things go wrong… You have to be able to roll with the changes and work with them instead of resisting…Relying too much on others, even in an inevitably collaborative process, MAKES YOU LAZY!”


“another trap is the belief that everything has to be perfect before you can take the next step.  You won’t move on to that second chapter until the first is written, rewritten, honed, tweaked, examined under a microscope, and buffed to a bright mahogany sheen.  You won’t dip a brush in the paint until you’ve assembled all the colors you can possibly imagine using in the course of the project.  I know it’s important to be prepared, but at the start of the process this type of perfectionism is more like procrastination.  You’ve go to get in there and DO…It’s better to be ready to go than to wait until you are perfectly ready….It’s tempting to believe that the quantity and quality of our creative productivity would increase exponentially if only we could afford everything we’ve imagined, but I’ve seen way too many artists dry up the moment they had enough money in the bank.”


“It’s natural to want to establish as many ground rules as possible about form before we get down to work, but you have to choose a form that’s not only appropriate to you but right for your particular idea.”


“…obligation, is not the same as commitment, and it’s certainly not an acceptable reason to stick with something that isn’t working…I should have heeded the CEO who told me, ‘You only need one good reason to commit to an idea, not four hundred.  But if you have four hundred reasons to say yes and one reason to say no, the answer is probably no.’  Whatever your reasons for starting with a project–whether crass or noble–they have to be clear and unencumbered.  Obligation is a flimsy base for creativity.”


“another error of planning is pursue the goal with the wrong materials.”

These mistakes–relying too much on others, waiting for the perfect setup, overthinking structure, feeling obligated to finish what you’ve started, and working with the wrong materials–are DEADLY.  Any one of them will undermine your best efforts.”

i find these hindrances to be so true in my own creative life.  i’ve quite often sought out people to help me move along in my career, rather than look for those who would push me to excellence.  i’ve thought, if only i could get into the studio, or the situation then i could succeed, but all of that has been an excuse not to write and play and create.  am i scared or just lazy?  i seem to sabotage my own efforts to do something i dream about. 

she concludes the chapter with these thoughts.


“Too much planning implies you’ve got it all under control.  That’s boring, unrealistic, and dangerous.  It lulls you into a complacency that removes one of the artist’s most valuable conditions: being pissed!

Creativity is an act of defiance.  You’re challenging the status quo.  You’re questioning accepted truths and principles.  You’re asking three universal questions that mock conventional wisdom:

‘why do I have to obey the rules?’

‘why can’t I be different?’

‘why can’t I do it my way?’

These are the impluses that guide all creative people whether they admit it or not.  Every act of creation is also an act of destruction or abandonment.  Something has to be cast aside to make way for the new.”

what are you going to DEFY today!  oh that we would all go out and create SOMETHING!!!

i’d love your thoughts on this….

my blog generally doesn’t generate a lot comments.  i’ll get a few Facebook responses to the link (although i get more debate out of a comment about the Jonas Brothers not being good, or how Chuck Klosterman hates soccer)


there’s never a great deal of debate, or discussion on this the actual blog, so i’m asking if you read this today.  please leave a comment, and here is the quote i want you to comment on.

“Let us

begin again,

for up

to now

we have



St. Francis

of Assisi

what does that phrase mean to you and how does it apply in your life today?

Worship Confessional…

this post is a part of Sunday Setlists over at Fred McKinnon’s blog!


we had a great Sunday.  it was the day before school started back and we had a great crowd.

We did an opening song this week again, and it rocked.  we had no technical issues and my goodness, the people sang.

Undignified-Redman (Crowder arr) this song was so fun and though it was unfamiliar to some of the crowd, they were really into it, and i was worn out at the end.

Opportunities for Witness and Service

Third Grade Bible Presentation/Children’s Time

Welcome and Greeting

All Because of Jesus-Fee (this song ROCKED!!  the congregation was really singing and the energy level was just electric)

Wonderful Cross-Watts/Tomlin/Walt/Reeves (our bass player David did a wonderful job on the intro for this)

Glory to God Forever-Beeching/Fee (second week for this and we invited them to sing at the end.  as a side note that afternoon at home, my 9 year old was in the kitchen singing “Take my life and let it be all for You and for Your glory, take my life and let it be Yours”)

Sermon-(it was untitled, but Nick challenged us to do something extraordinary.  to see possibilities instead of obstacles)

Take My Life And Let It Be-Tomlin arr (we let our other acoustic player Danny go on this one and he did not disappoint.  April sang lead and i picked up the chorus.  it was a wonderful way to end our service)

i really appreciate and love my team.  i had a comment this past week from a  guest who was in town doing a seminar for the UMC that he enjoyed the authentic nature of the service and my leadership being authentic in that.  i told him that every person on our stage and in our booth is authentic and that is what he saw.  i’m so thankful i get to serve with such humble, God-soaked people.  it’s a pleasure.

when i was a kid….

i couldn’t wait to get home from school to watch these two shows

how cool would it be to find them on DVD!  i actually tried to turn one of my battleship models into the Yamato.  on the playground i was Jason from G-Force!

so i’ve been blown away by this…

first off, on Sunday i watched Usain Bolt take down his own World Record in the 100 meters at the World Championships in Berlin.   he ran away with this race.  honestly it looked like he was jogging.  i don’t think i’ve seen a race where he actually runs full force to the end.

here’s the 100 meters.  he runs a 9.58.  commentary is in a foreign language.

ok amazing.  then last night i’m watching again and he does this.

ok, did you notice he made up the staggers before they were out of the turn.  he ran a freaking 19.19.  he obliterated his own WR by .13 seconds, unreal!!  again it looked like he was coasting at the end.

he’s never failed a drug test, and i’m continually blown away by his ability, oh and he turned 23 years old TODAY!!!

super human….i think so.

so i consider myself artistic…

i love art.  i love music.  i love design.  i love theatre.  i love photography.  i love film.   i love any artistic endeavor.

i long to design sets and lighting.  paint and do graphic design.  write and play music.  write poetry and prose.  i would love to write a script or screenplay.  i would love to film a documentary.

i’ve been a musician since grade school and still make my living doing that, but yesterday and today…for the first time…i painted.

it’s not a great painting,  and you can’t actually call it painting, because i didn’t use a brush.  i just had a canvas and an idea.

this picture isn’t going to hang in a gallery or a museum.  it’s just for my office, but it’s the start of me living out some of my creative dreams.

Picture 002

i painted it with several guitar picks that i superglued to some pencil stubs.

Picture 001

so i feel as if i accomplished something.

i feel as if my biggest struggle in being artistic is that i have all of these whacked out ideas in my head, but no real way of fleshing them out.  i want to unleash these ideas, but need help.

what is the big creative dream that you have that’s not being fulfilled?

Sunday Setlist…

This post is part of the major fiesta that occurs over at Fred McKinnon’s blog every week.


We had an interesting Sunday this week.  Some staff stuff is happening, so there was a buzz all over campus.  Information being traded, gossiped, refuted.  i was praying it wouldn’t be a distraction.

i decided that the instrumental opener didn’t work very good last week.  some people are just walking in, but some people are there and ready to go, so we started early and added a song.  i felt it worked great.

I Am Free-Egan/Promise Keepers arr.

Opportunities for Witness and Service

Children’s Time

Marvelous Light-Hall

Everlasting God-Brown/Lincoln Brewster arr

All Because of Jesus-Fee (we play this with a loop, and someone unintentionally switched wires around between rehearsal and service and so the click was playing in the house.  after our 2nd try, i said scrap it, we’ll go on, and we did.  those things happen, but it’s all good)

Glory to God Forever-Fee/Beeching (introed this as the offering, then invited the congregation to sing on the chorus.  i can see this one being one we sing together.)

Sermon-Doing Big Things for God


our people sang today and we had a great prayer response at the altar.  Jinx was subbing on guitar again, and played some great stuff, we also  had some guests from another church in the area who are doing a contemporary service on Wednesday nights, and enjoyed visiting with them.