Wednesday, August 5, 2009

18 years

18 years ago, within a 2 week span, I had one of the greatest things happen to me, the birth of my 2nd son Joey, and, I had to say "see you later" to my dad. 2 weeks ago, we celebrated Joey's 18th birthday.

It doesn't seem possible that my Dad has been gone that long. It seems like we were just talking about baseball and watching the all star game together. That was one of our things that we always did, we watched the MLB All-star game. Even when I was stationed in Germany, we watched it together over the phone (It was 4am my time).

When he died, there was a huge void in my life, and there still is. He was the one that I always turned to when I had questions about taxes, or finances, anything really, he was the one that was always there when I was doing something. For years after I moved to Bowling Green, I played softball, and every once in a while I would catch myself looking in the stands to see if he was watching. My dad played semi-pro baseball in his younger days, and was quite a hitter. Here is a picture of him back in the day...

Baseball was a way of life at my house. He was the only coach I knew until I got into High School.

One of the many nice things in my life now, is that I get to see a little of my dad in each of my children. In Andrew, I see my dad because he looks like me, and in turn, like dad. He also has that drive to work hard and help people. Now Joey, who's middle name is Alfred, you have to know what you are looking for. Joey gets a mischievous look, and grin on his face right before he is going to do something to mess with someone else. My dad did the same thing. And Aaron has the same love and ability for mathematics. My dad was a wiz with numbers and so is Runt.

I wish that my son's could have known my father, or "Alf, the wonder dad", as all my friends in High School referred to him. He was a great man, and I miss him a lot.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Setlist 8.02.09

Today was a pretty great day. I was back leading today after a week off (that felt like a month). I love leading worship on Communion Sundays. We got to do a new song, started a new series, and I got a sweet gift from a friend's little boy (more on that in a minute).

Here is the Setlist...

Famous One
Welcome, sermon set up and prayer
Enough (we are going to be doing this each of the next 2 weeks as well, to tie into our sermon series)
Surrender by Marc James
Potter's Hand
Announcements and Offering
Your Name (we used a video on the screens of the names of God edited by Stephen Proctor. You can get it here)

All in all, really good day. We took an inventory this afternoon of how many man hours went into today, and came up with 130 or so. The team that we work with every week is amazing.

Now to my sweet gift this morning. My friend Joe Patterson (our Pastor of Family Ministry) and his little boy Kellen walked up to me after church. Kellen told me he wanted to sing a song for me. He put his arms out for me to pick him up, and when I did, he held my head, and put his mouth right up against my ear (like he was telling me a secret), and proceeded to sing "The Lord's Prayer" to me. He sang the whole thing. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. Here is a picture of him...

Imagine this sweet boy singing in your ear. Precious. A perfect end to a great morning of worship.

Later kids...

This post is part of the "Sunday Setlists" blog carnival over Fred's place. Click on the graphic to see what other worship leaders had to say about their Sundays.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Just not going to be the same

Today is the funeral for my friend, Dean Maggard. Dean was a long time member of the church I currently serve, and was one of the sweetest, talking-est people I knew. He was great. Deep baritone voice, contagious laugh, big smile that you couldn't chisel off. He used to say that he had a voice and a face for radio, and that the reason he liked me was I had the same.

When we do a series of messages that are tied to Wednesday night gatherings, we call that a super series. For me, the best part of doing a super series was getting to the Wednesday night component early, before the meal started, and sitting at the table with Dean. We would sit and laugh, mostly making fun of each other and our wives. Wednesday nights will not be the same without my friend Dean. The room of 200 people or so will seem empty.

Rest in Peace my friend. We will see you later...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My first look at the Wasabi Gospel

A few weeks ago I answered a twitter from Shawn Wood about possibly getting to read his new book, “Wasabi Gospel” early, and writing about it here. To be honest, I didn’t think that I would get to participate, because I didn’t respond the very second he tweeted it (Shawn is a popular guy). I couldn't not try, as I am a big Sushi fan. Low and behold, I got the email and here I am. This is just one of many in the “Wasabi Gospel Book Bomb” on You can pre-order today and get a good deal on both of Shawn's books.

Having read the entire book from virtual cover to virtual cover, I can tell you that it has caused me to re-think how I look at pieces of scripture, and not just the ones covered in the book.

I have chosen to write today, about the first chapter in this post, not just because it is, what I am sure will be, the first of several posts about the book, but because it is in the first chapter where a term that completely wrecked me came from… Preemptive Forgiveness. I have always known that Jesus died for my sins and the sins of others, but to put it in that wording brought it back to life for me.

One of the things that I struggle with is anger issues, which extend sometimes to forgiveness problems. I have in the past few days in particular, been praying about a situation and I keep going back to this quote: “We often become intoxicated by our anger, happiness, sadness, or other emotions and are left with an emotional hangover. In order to make sober decisions we must somehow separate ourselves from our emotions.” (pg 16). I haven’t perfected it by any means but I am working.

I say all that to say, go out and get this book, you won't regret it, even if it wrecks you, and it will.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day reflections

Today has done a couple things for me. The first is to remind me how blessed I am to have a family that loves me and blesses me with their talents and gifts. Note...
  • My day started by seeing a drawing taped to my dresser from my middle son Joey. It made me smile. He is talented like his mother.
  • I then got the great gift of having my oldest son, Andrew be the Front of House sound engineer for worship this morning. He is an amazing servant, and has a great ears.
  • During church, I got to watch people be touched by a video that my beautiful wife Jenny shot and edited. She has a way of making the story jump off the screens. God gave me a gift I didn't deserve when he sent her to me.
  • After worship, we had lunch together as a family, and then we sat on the couch as my youngest son, Aaron, played piano for me. He is my free spirit, easily distracted, but gifted.
  • When he was done, he went to the computer and started to lay down piano tracks for a video that Jenny is working on.
The second thing was just how much I miss my dad. He has been gone almost 18 years, and I still miss him desperately. I wish my sons could have known him. I wish he could have been a part of their lives. I have spent my life wanting to be him.

So today has been bitter sweet for me. Mostly sweet with memories, old and new.

Later kids...

Sunday set list 6.21.09

Happy Father's Day.

Today was one of those days where I woke up late and kind of rushed to get out the door. On of those days when I hoped I hadn't left a gap unshaved on my head or face. A day where one of my vocalists, who happens to be our children's pastor, calls me and tells me he can't sing because his host for this morning is sick. A day where one of our camera ops doesn't show up and we have to put a new guy in the booth with one of the graphics computers. Sounds like a horrible day, huh?

Not at all. It was wonderful. We got to do an extra song, happy fathers day to me, and we got to hear from one of the great seasoned men of our church. All in all, no major distractions, and the congregation sang out strong, even with our numbers down just a little. I went without my in ears monitors today, and I am glad I did. My son Andrew was running FOH, and he had a really good mix today. I could hear well, and I coiuld hear the congregation too. I got a couple of compliments on his mix this morning. He is Awesome.

Here is how the day went...

"My Savior Lives"
"Mighty to Save"

Welcome, and set up
Father and Son mini testimony and prayer

"Marvelous Light"
"My Jesus, I Love Thee/Tis So Sweet" Bart Millard arrangement

Message (Our Associate Pastor, Adam, preached at our campus today, and our Senior Pastor was at our Greenwood Campus)

Announcements and Offering prayer
"Your Grace, Still Amazes Me"


Later Kids...

This post is part of the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival on my friend Fred McKinnon's blog. Click on the logo below to see other setlists and worship reports from around the world.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday set list 6.14.09

It has been a couple weeks since last we spoke friends. Here is my report from today.

We are in a series called "StoryTellers", and we are working through the parables. Today was the parable of the wedding feast. We used a video from the Free Hugs Campaign to illustrate the invitation to the party. This seSries really plays to strength of both Rick and Adam, in that they are both very comfortable with using stories in their sermons. After the service, I got to go out into the Atrium and hold a sign that said "Free Hugs". I got about 100 hugs. It was great. Being Italian, I will hug all day long.

Here is how it went...


Welcome and set up of the day

"Sing to the King"
"At the Cross"

Message with "Free Hugs" (see it here)
Prayer written by Mother Theresa
"Dear Lord, Help me spread your fragrance wherever I go. Flood my soul with your spirit & life. Penetrate me, possess my whole being so utterly all my life may only be a "radiance" of yours. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me, but only you, O Lord! Let me preach you without preaching, not by words, but by my example by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you. Amen." Mother Theresa

Announcements and Offering Prayer
"Healer" Kari Jobe version


Later kids...

This post is part of the "Sunday Setlists" blog carnival over Fred's place. Click on the graphic to see what other worship leaders had to say about their Sundays.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday set list 5.24.09

I know, it has been a long time since I posted. I have had a rough last couple weeks, not sleeping and having nightmares again. Luckily I slept pretty well last night. I needed it.

We did something that we have never done. We used a drum, click and loop track. Our drummer was out of town, and we have been wanting to try it, so we took the plunge. I have to say, it went really well. We only did 2 songs with it, but we tied them together and let the computer run. The 2 songs that we did were familiar to everyone, so they didn't have much trouble. We used Ableton Live 7 and ran it out to an M-Audio box that sent the different tracks out separately so our FOH engineer could mix them.

We also got to do a baptism today. That always gets me fired up. Makes me all jumpy and excited.

Here is the set...

"Holy is the Lord"
A prayer based on Psalm 147
"Here I Am to Worship"
"Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)"
Announcements and Offering
"Free to Be Me"
Commissioning of Stephen Ministers

It was a busy Sunday, but a really good one for us. I will post later this week about what, if any, reaction we get to the loops and such.

I hope your Sunday was as fun as mine.

Later kids...

This post is part of the "Sunday Setlists" blog carnival over Fred's place. Click on the graphic to see what other worship leaders had to say about their Sundays.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday set list 4.26.09

OK, so today was one of the crazier days I have had as a worship leader. First, it is always crazy when whoever is speaking has to cover both campuses. Today was Adam's turn. On days like today, we have to front end everything in the service in order to give Adam time to drive across town. At the end of the set, during the last song before offering, we had a person pass out, and the folks around him started working on him, and then they called out for a doctor. So, and this is one of the reasons I have the best band in the world, we faded out of the song we were doing, and I started praying as they worked with him, and got him into a wheel chair and out to the EMT's. When the song was over, Adam had arrived but was back stage and didn't really see what happened but heard me talking. I made the decision that that moment was not at all the time to take an offering, so we went ahead and sang a scaled back version of "Enough" and then went into the sermon bumper and sermon. We had planned to do a song at the end of the sermon anyway, so when Adam finished up, we came out and I led into the offering and did the benediction out of that. Good news is that Eric, the guy who passed out, is fine.

So here is the set list...

"Beautiful One"
"Mighty to Save"
Welcome and Sermon Set up
"Blessed Be Your Name"
"Never Let Go"
"Enough" scaled back for prayer sake
Sermon Bumper
"Draw Me Close" (on the fly, thanks to my Piano player, a 25 year veteran of worship leading)

This post is part of the "Sunday Setlists" blog carnival over Fred's place. Click on the graphic to see what other worship leaders had to say about their Sundays.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Setlist 3.29.09

Today was one of our best Sunday's ever. Even with introducing 2 new songs (not something that we normally do) the participation was great.

"Thief" (Third Day)
We started the service a little differently today, by doing a song that I would classify as a special. We did some different things lighting wise, in that we don't usually do a lot of changes during songs, and it was just me singing. It was well recieved.
Welcome and set-up
"Glorious One" (Steve Fee)
"Trading My Sorrows" (Darrel Evans)
"Today is the Day"
(Lincoln Brewster"
I have been wanting to introduce this song for a while now, and the sermon and the theme for the day fit well, and after teaching them the verse and chorus, they sang right along.
Offering Prayer
"Glorious Impossible"
(Carl Cartee)
I heard this song for the first time when I was at Re:Create in February. It is an amazing song. It pushed me vocally in the chorus (the key is in F#), but it was well worth it. Powerful lyrics.

I have to give a great big shout out to my tech team today. They did an amazing job with all the lighting changes, and the screens looked great.

This post is part of the "Sunday Setlists" blog carnival over Fred's place. Click on the graphic to see what other worship leaders had to say about their Sundays.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Poor Man's versa tubes

A couple of you have asked about a comment I made about my "poor man's versa tubes". Basically, they are corrugated roofing panels, made out of white PVC material, lit with as much LED light as I can throw at it. Here are a couple of pictures... one of the panel, unlit and one lit with a primary green.

Where I got the idea that they looked like versa tubes is when I put the LED's on auto, and they changed colors really quickly. The corrugations and the shadows in between, looked like individual tubes.

I can't take credit for this, really. I got the idea from Van Metschke. He is a designer and tech director at South Hills Church in California. Check out some of his crazy good designs and knowledge at The Soundbooth

Later kids...

Sunday Setlist 3.22.09

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah in know. I'm late, again. I couldn't find my card reader to get the pictures of my "poor man's versa tubes". More on that after the set list.

All Because of Jesus
Welcome and sermon set up
Mighty to Save
Here I Am to Worship
Everything Cries Holy
(an oldie but it it fit with the sermon well)
Announcements and Offering Prayer
Hear Us From Heaven (another one that we hadn't done in a long time, but again, it wrapped up the theme of the day well)
I stood them up after the offering was taken, and they sang with us really well. After the last chorus, I prayed the benediction and then we sang one more chorus as they started to leave.

All in all it was a really good day in worship.

This post is part of the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival on my friend Fred McKinnon's blog. Click on the logo below to see other setlists and worship reports from around the world.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday set list

I know, I am late with this. Anyway...

Sunday was a really fun day in worship for me. I got to sing with Diane Carter, who is the worship leader at our Greenwood Campus. Diane and I have been singing together for 10 years going all the way back to youth camps at Hillvue. She is one of those people that I just naturally sing well with. It was just the 2 of us, and we split the lead stuff.

"Lord Reign in Me"
We had a testimony from the chairman of our council that was funny, and really tied into the theme of the day.
"You Never Let Go"
"Revelation Song"
Diane took the lead on this and really lead the congregation. It wrecked a few folks, as I saw a few tears, and heard a few sniffles when we finished.
Today we continued in the book of John with the story of the woman at the well. We started with a clip from "The Gospel of John". The striking thing for me from this clip was the woman. She gives an amazing performance, and her face was perfect.
We ended the message with another clip, this time it was a spoken word piece from the woman's perspective. You can see it here.
"Praise You in this Storm"

This post is part of the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival on my friend Fred McKinnon's blog. Click on the logo below to see other setlists and worship reports from around the world.

More explosive goodness

As many of you know, I am a big fan of Jeff Dehut's art. He is an artist who spends some time as a barista at my Starbucks. I wanted to give you a look at his latest work. If you want to see more, go to his website. He has posted some of his sketches from his moleskin, and also some animated stuff that he and his brother Craig have done.

Enjoy this morning goodness...

Later kids...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm a bad parent

OK, so I am a bad parent. As you may know, my son Joey stepped on a huge piece of a broken glass, and sliced his foot open. The bleeding was really bad, and we had to call an ambulance because if I took any pressure off his foot, it started pouring blood again. We spent a long time in the ER at the Medical Center, and even after several hours of pressure on his wound, when they took the bandage off, it started bleeding again. They stitched it up and told him no weight bearing at all for 2 to 3 weeks. The doctor told us to leave the dressing on until today, and then change it, clean it and re-dress it.

Well, here is where the bad parenting part comes in. Today I was cleaning and re-dressing his foot, and the first thing I thought of was, "Man, I need to take some pictures for my blog". Horrible, I know...

But here are the pictures.

This is what it looked like after I took the bandage off.

After the cleaning

All nice, clean and dressed up.

Seriously, thank you for your prayers for him. They are much appreciated.

Later kids...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Please pray

Hey guys,

Would please pray for a worship leader in Florida. His name is Will Pufall, and he is in a pretty dire place in the hospital with an infection. He is a close friend of my friend Fred McKinnon down in GA. Fred posted a few minutes ago that they have asked Will's family to come to the hospital.

Thank you for your prayers

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wizard of Oz

For the last 2 weeks my sons and I have been working on "The Wizard of Oz" at our Jr. High. I lit the show, and Andrew did sound. It was a lot of fun and the kids did a great job. Here are some pictures my brother in law took. My son played "Nikko" the head of the flying monkeys.

Later kids...

Sunday's setlist 3/01/09

Good morning,

Yesterday was one of those days when I wasn't sure what was going to happen. As some of you know, I am having a really hard time with my ears. I had tubes put in 6 months ago, when I was having so much trouble hearing. In the last 3 -4 weeks, my hearing has gotten a lot worse, and my ENT doc told me that both of the tubes had moved out of position and that they were blocked and unable to drain my tubes. So, in a week and half, I have to have the old ones removed and new ones put it.

Until March 11th, I have to put up with not hearing well at all. That is why I wasn't sure about the service yesterday. Luckily, I have a great band and group of singers who held me up, and took care of it for me. The set was a good one for this sermon, on the man born blind.

"Better is One Day"
"Let Everything that Has Breath"
I started the chorus cold, as the pastor said Amen, as the response and celebration of the baptism.
"Touch of His Hand"
This song was written by a friend of mine, and was the perfect tie to the song. You can listen to it here
This song wrecks me every time. Simple, yet powerful. "Your everything I want, Everything I hope in, Everything my heart cries out for"

That will be my prayer this week.

Later kids...

This post is part of the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival on my friend Fred McKinnon's blog. Click on the logo below to see other setlists and worship reports from around the world.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lenten fast

Good morning,

I wanted to drop a note and tell you how cool my kid's are. On Monday, we finally sat down as a family and discussed what we would do for lent. We usually try to do something together. This year, my boys drove the discussion and decided that "we" would give up eating out, and meat. Now, eating out is not too big an issue, but MEAT? I am a carnivore. I said, "Well, that won't be too bad, I can still have fish and chicken, right?" My middle child looked at me and said, "No, if it had a face, we don't eat it!" Dang, it.

I am really proud of my family, and it will be an interesting40 (47 really) days.

What are you fasting from for Lent?

Later kids...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beautiful Jesus

Several of you have asked about the song Beautiful Jesus. It is by Kristian Stanfill. You can get it on iTunes or Amazon. There are 2 versions of it. One that starts with electric guitar, which is on his album "Hello", and one that starts with an acoustic. This one is on the Passion CD "God of This City"

I hope you use this song, and it speaks to you and your congregation as much as it does to ours.

Later kids...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday's setlist 2/22/09

Sorry this is so late. We spent most of the afternoon watching really bad movies.

Yesterday was a day that I was really looking forward to since we were going to introduce "Beautiful Jesus" to the congregation. I love this song, and it seems to grab me and pull straight to Jesus every time I sing it.

Here is the set list...

"Beautiful Jesus" just a verse and couple of choruses
Welcome, sermon set up, and announcements
"Beautiful One"
"Open the Eyes of My Heart"
Prayer and Greet
Adam, our associate pastor, did a really good job with the message today. He and I work pretty closely together, but he is usually at our Greenwood Campus on Sundays, so it is good when he preaches at Melrose. The sermon was right in his wheelhouse as he spoke of spiritual development.
"Beautiful Jesus"
Our congregation really sang out on this. I am very excited about it. It usually takes them a couple of times hearing a song before they start really singing out. I foresee this song being in our regular rotation.

All in all it was a good Sunday. Thanks for checking in.

Later Kids...

This post is part of the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival on my friend Fred McKinnon's blog. Click on the logo below to see other setlists and worship reports.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lent Series graphic

Here is the new graphic Jenny has put together for our Lenten Series that kicks off on March 1st. I will include updates, stage pictures and sermon highlights in my Sunday Setlist postings over at Fred's Place.

The series will visit different people from the Gospel of John whose life was completely changed when their life met Jesus.

Later Kids...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Love You

This morning, as I sat in Starbucks pouring over planning center and finishing up the next month and a half of music for the Melrose Campus, I got a facebook chat popup from my friend Kate. The only words on it were, "Love You". This is the only thing that Kate ever says in these chats, and they are completely random in timing. This morning was particularly impactful for me. During my week at Recreate, I learned to look for God in all things, not just music or a beautiful piece of art. This morning, as I was bogged down in the busy-ness of ministry, God jumped out at me, through a beautiful little girl with Downs Syndrome.

Thank you Kate, for reminding me that I am loved by God, and by you.

Tell someone "Love You" today. See what happens.

later kids...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Sunday

Today's set list went like this...
"Mighty to Save"
"Every Step I Take"

At this point in the service we got to celebrate baptisms. We did 3 immersions. We don't have an installed baptistry, so we use a cattle trough. Interesting thing, those things. They don't come equipped with a heater. So early this morning we ran a hose from the kitchen and emptied the water heater. I love getting ready for baptisms. They are my favorite part of a service.

"Sing to the King" as a response to the baptisms.

We ended the service with a song by my friend Mark Hendrix, called "Let Your Love Pour Out".

Thanks for checking in...

This post is part of the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival on my friend Fred McKinnon's blog. Click on the logo below to see other setlists and worship reports.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A birthday at BG retirement village

This is sort of like a worship confessional. I went to BG retirement village today, like I do every 2nd Wednesday, to speak for their worship time. We sing a couple of hymns, I speak for about 10 - 15 minutes, sing another hymn and that is it. Today was a little different, because the lovely little lady that plays the piano for us told me that last week she celebrated a birthday. Now, any birthday in this facility is a good one, so it isn't unusual for them to tell me about birthdays. It is what birthday she celebrated that got me. Last week she turned 99. Yes, you read that right. She lives in on of the apartments, with a piano in it, that she plays every day. She says that is what keeps her going. She plays hymns everyday. She is pretty amazing.

She once told me that she rehearses for the prelude that she plays every service. It is always different, and always a classical piece. She said that she would like to play more different hymns, but it is getting hard to read the notes out of the hymnal. I tried calling Cokesbury (the publishers of the Methodist Hymnal) to see if they made one that had the sheet music larger, but alas, they do not. If any of you know where I could find one, please let me know. She would love it, and just having some new hymns to play just might a sweet little old lady's day.

Later kids...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I am excited to tell you that I just registered for the 2010 recreate conference. I am already looking forward to being with my friends and getting to worship and encourage each other.

So, lunch at Merridee's on the Monday at say... noon?

Later kids...

Friday, February 6, 2009

reCreate day 4

Yesterday, I was able to hear from someone that I have been following in the blog world for quite some time. Anne Jackson has written a book called "Mad Church Disease". It is a set of conversations aimed at people in ministry and the need for them to be healthy. As she started, I must admit that I was thinking that she would be saying things about Sabbath, and leaving things at the office/church and things like that, which she did, but not like I expected. She did it by forcing us to consider 2 questions.
  • "Is serving in the church interfering with your communion with Christ?"
  • Are you living in the integrity of your conscience?"
With these questions, I felt like I was being stabbed in the gut. After a time where we prayed for each other that were with us at our tables, we had a time of discussing how we are staying healthy. This part was very difficult for me. I am still hurting inside from some of the answers that I was forced (willingly, I might add) to face.

At the end of the day, I traveled to New Song Church here in Franklin for a dinner and time of worship. I have one word for you. Fee. Steve Fee and band played for us, led us in worship and blessed us. I am going to be honest here, we are friends, right? I was probably a little more excited about seeing these guys than I should have been. I am a fan of the music, I go weeks where I can't get their CD out of my truck's CD player. I was not disappointed. The guys delivered a loud, in your face, rockin' time. They did the songs I expected, and a couple that I hadn't heard before and am now waiting to get my hands on. They did a song called "Glory to God" that he wrote with Vicki Beeching. This will be a great song for communion for us.

Afterward, I had to say goodbye to some of my new friends. I had an incredible week, and I will be realizing things for months to come.

Today, I will be at EMI for a day of songwriting and such. Then home.

Later kids...

reCreate day 3

Now that I am a full day past Wednesday, I think I can write about the day. It was a day where Randy opened his heart, and laid it out in such a way as for us to see the places where it was broken, and the places where there was healing, and even a couple places that were healed completely. It was a beautiful time of hearing from a man who has the history to be credible and the heart to trusted.

After a wonderful lunch, we came back to a 3 song worship set from Billy and Cindy Foote. This was really exciting, since we do several of their songs on a regular basis. I found myself running through the catalog of thier songs in my mind. As Billy said thanks for having us, I must admit I was hoping they would do Sing to the King. My heart was lifted as he started playing the chord that was so familiar, and Cindy sang "Sing to the King". I was lifted up, and we worshipped as a family of creatives. What a blessing.

What happened toward the end of Wednesday afternoon is hard for me to describe. We celebrated the Eucharist with Ian Cron (an Episcipal priest). It was beautiful, and as he explained what we were celebrating, I was taken into a time with Jesus that I still cannot explain. I found myself with my eyes closed, and hearing Ian not just in my ears, but in my heart. To be honest, I only remember bits and pieces: Ian singing the liturgy, Mark Roach singing as we came forward to kneel and recieve, the touch of the bread in my hands, the smell of the wine, the taste them on my tongue, and then being lost in prayer flat on my face on the concrete floor of the worship space we were in.

Let's just say I was wrecked for the rest of the day. I hope to unpack this even more when I read some of the other guys postings and talk to them about it.

Later kids...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

reCreate day 2

Where do I start? When we got there, Carl Cartee brought some amazing worship. He introduced a couple of new songs that are pretty great. Honestly is a sung prayer that will make it's way into our set lists soon.

The first speaker of the day was Steve Guthrie, a professor of art and theology. He spoke some needed and welcome words about the perceived dichotomy (what he called the "2 halves of Worship) in some of our services between the music and the teaching and how they are not to be separated, but an embraced single entity. He also said that it isn't enough to just find a word in a song that goes in the sermon, but how do we "enact" the words.

After our first session, it was time for lunch, but before we left for the restaurant, Mathew Ward (from 2nd Chapter of Acts) sang the Lords Prayer. He is amazing. We made our way to the "Boxwood Bistro" for lunch that was sponsored by Centricity Records. I had grilled chicken and pasta and it was really good. After lunch, Randy told us to hurry back over to the worship center, because they had a surprise for us. When we got there, the stage was set up with a 12 string guitar and a couple microphones. A Representative from Centricity came up and told us a little about the company, and then introduced Billy and Cindy Foote (yes, "Sing to the King, You are God Alone, Amazing Love). They led us with 3 songs and they did not disappoint. Cindy's voice was a big as any recording I have heard from her. Amazing.

After wishing for one more song, we went to our next session, with Ian Morgan Cron, author of "Chasing Francis" If you don't know, Ian is an Anglican priest from New England, and has studied St. Francis pretty extensively. I am still unpacking all of what he said, but here are a couple quotes that reached up and bit me.

Most Christians go through life taping fruit on trees
Silence is God's first language
Our Christianity should be an Instinct not an Effort.

Like I said, I am still trying to get around his stuff. More later.

After that, we were in the worship center, where the guys from Compassion International told us that they were giving every registrant of Recreate a trip to learn about Compassion's ministry and to take that back to our churches. WOW. They are going to Ethiopia as one of the trips, and I hope that is the one that I can work out.

The night ended with a time of worship that Word publishing helped with. It started with a songwriter showcase with Matt Boswell, Meredith Andrews and Michael Farrin. I was blown away by Meredith Andrews. She is a little bitty girl that has a massive voice.

The day ended with Michael W. Smith leading in worship in a "Story Tellers" style, very relaxed time. It was very intimate, you could hear us singing with him. The highlight of the time for me was when we sang Majesty together, and, the sounds of the voices, all worshipping was moving. Being in a room with a bunch worship leaders.

I got back to my hotel room and collapsed.

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

ReCreate day 1

If you know me at all, you know that I have been really excited about coming to reCreate for some time now. It is no secret that I have been a little crispy around the edges for a little while. Here is the report from day 1.

We are in Franklin, TN and this is a really cool place. Lots of downtown (which I love) and we spent yesterday mostly in the downtown area. We met at Merridees, a bakery and such with some really great food and coffee. I got to meet several new friends, chris from canada, Jim, Jonathan, Joel, Fred, Alistair and Jan.

The next event was the meet and greet. I met so many people that I can't remember their names. It was really tight, but it wasn't uncomfortable, because it felt like everybody knew everybody.

At dinner, I got to sit with Ian Morgan Cron, author of "Chasing Francis". Around our table we had an engaging conversation about everything from music, to Italy.

After we got done stuffing ourselves with Mexican food, we went to the Factory to see the Adam Nitti Band. All I can say is "WOW". This is a Jazz band full of virtuoso musicians. I will post a video in my wrap up post. I almost didn't get any footage because I couldn't move I was so blown away.

I will be posting everyday. I am getting ready to get going. Today we get to worship with Carl Cartee, and Michael W. Smith. Go ahead, hate me.

Later kids...