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...