Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Who are you praying for?

Prayer is something that for me has been difficult in my life. It seems that for me without some structure, my prayers are very unfocused. When my prayers become unfocused, my prayer life suffers. I have decided to do something about that because I am convicted that my prayer life is vital to my ministry.

I now have a prayer list that sits on my desk. I decided to type everything I need to be praying for on a regular basis on a Word Document. I left space at the end for special needs that as they come up I can write them in.

What I have found is that I have so much that I feel I need to pray about. If you saw my list, it might look pretty overwhelming. It seems that the list continues to grow everyday too. I'm having to break the list up in sections because I think if I prayed for everyone on the list like I think I should, it might take a couple of hours to do.

If you are reading my blog, you are most likely on my prayer list. I do want you to know that I am praying for you and that I as a worship minister am trying to be more commited to being a prayer warrior as the foundation of my ministry instead of just a part of my ministry.

I pray that the peace of God will be with you all today.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

VBS is Over

VBS is always fun, but it is always good when it is over. The thing I have realized about VBS here in Texas is that everyone has a different idea of how children's songs go. They generally are not on paper anywhere, so that means from one part of the country to another they are sung differently. That puts me as the singing guy at a huge disadvantage, cause I only know my version and it may not be the one they are used to. Examples include "I'm in the Lord's Army," "The Butterfly Song," "12 Men Went to Spy," and "Who's the King of the Jungle." Some have different words and some have different tunes. Why can't people just teach the correct version. (the one I know of course) :)

And of course when it comes to music, people are pretty stubborn about how it is sung. It is more than just children's songs. When I rehearse the worship team, if it isn't the arrangement they are used to or if they are used to doing something that is not in the music, then they let me know about it. Not in bad way, but it is obvious that when people sing something a certain way, they don't like to change it. It is kind of like big hits. I love the song "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban. That is the first person I heard do it and I love it. You can't top what he has already done. To have a girl sing the second verse just doesn't do the song justice to me. Now some of you first heard it when Selah did it and you can't imagine the song any different than the way they do it. It is funny how stubborn we get about music. It seems to be a universal thing with most people. That fact alone makes worship ministry a difficult job, because everyone has a view on how things need to be sung or what needs to be sung. I'm stubborn too. I like what I like, but as a worship minister, I don't have the luxury to just do it my way all the time.

What is about music that makes us so stubborn? I think I have an idea. Music touches a part of us that not many other things in life touch. When music touches us we associate the way it is done with the feelings we have. When we hear a song sung differntly it throws up immediate red flags. ("Wait, that is not the way that goes.") Is the new way bad, no, but it is different and in the case of music, different is in many cases bad.

There are times when it is easy to change a piece of music because the way it has been done in the past has not been effective. But if a group of people are touched by a song, it is not worth the fight to change it.

An example at PRCC is the song "There's a Stirring." PRCC sings it differently than I learned it at Lipscomb. When I first put it in the order, they didn't sing it to the music and added a different descant line than I was used to. When I changed it I got several phone calls and emails disapproving of my changes. I then sent out an infamous email to the praise team entitled "There's a Stirring in the worship team."

I guess you could say that music has the tendancy to bring out our selfishness, yet God says that our singing needs to be about others not about ourselves.

I do think there comes a time when a song has been done so many times the same way that most everyone welcomes a change in the song. I think that is why you are seeing the old hymns revitalized throuh different arrangements. "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" is a great hymn and means a lot the way it has always been done, but there is something fresh about some of the new praise bands putting a new twist to the music.

I don't claim to know how all this works, but so far these are some of my insights. What I do know for sure is that music is powerful and because of that people hold "their" music very near to their hearts and are more than willing to speak up if it is done too differently.

Sorry for the ramble.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Happy Birthday Summer

It is the first day of summer and Summer.

(imagine me sining) Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday dear Summer. Happy Birthday to wonderful, marvelous, beautiful you.

Just in case you forgot, sweetie, 27 is far from old.

We are getting ready to head to Six Flags for her birthday. The kids will have childcare and Summer and I can ride all the rides we have been wanting to ride. I'm excited. There is nothing like going to the park on a day that very few people are there and the lines will be relatively small.

Everyone give Summer a happy birthday over on her blog.


Monday, June 20, 2005

VBS and Sudan

VBS has started. We are doing Group's Serengeti Trek. Our church looks like a jungle, especially in our worship center. Volunteers have spent weeks preparing the decorations on this event. When we decorate for VBS, we decorate. There is no half doing anything. I will try to get a picture and post it.

My fried Stephen is leaving for Sudan today. Please stop and pray right now for him. The Sudan can be a very dangerous place. They are doing some survey work for the mission field. This trip could be crucial in getting missionaries into Sudan where that has not been possible until recently.

Summer and I will be heading to Paducah on July 3rd. We are going to leave the kids with my folks and we are going to get away for a couple of days. I'm so excited. I don't even care where we go. Just to be away for a couple of days will be excellent.

Tomorrow is Summer's birthday. Everyone be sure and wish her a happy 27th birthday. Summer have you thought about it? You are only 27 and you have been married 8 years and have 3 children. You are awesome and I love you.



Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Help fight poverty

Did you know that child dies every 3 seconds from poverty? In the time that you have taken to read to read my blog today, several children will have died. What can we do about it? There is something that we can do. Rick Warren has done something that we can all do. Instead of tell you about it, I will just post a link that will tell you all about it. Mike Cope also talks about it on his blog as well. Please join the effort help those who are in poverty.

  • Fight Poverty

  • A few days ago I found out that my vocal coach has 2 tumors on his liver. They did a biopsy yesterday and he will know results in a couple of days. Please pray for him. Generally, the liver doesn't just get tumors, they generally come from somewhere else. He has been jaundas and has lost quite a bit of weight in a short period of time. His name is Jim. Keep him in your prayers.

    Also pray for Ed. He passed out while driving to work on Saturday and had a wreck. He fractured a vertebre and will have to wear a back brace for 3-6 months.

    Won by One came and performed at our church on Sunday night. They were awesome. I've had the privalige of hearing many of the college groups and even singing in one when I was at Lipscomb, but Won by One has the best sound out of all of them. Their arrangements are top notch and the singers, especially the girls, are some of the best. If you haven't heard them, you need to. They are awesome.

  • Won By One

  • One of the girl's dad is a barbershopper and a really good one. He has been in the top ten quartets in the world. I thought that was really neat. John, Crysty, and I took them to lunch yesterday. They are really a neat group of people.

    I went to half price books for the first time yesterday. It it huge. They have tons of books at half price. I picked up a couple of commentaries and a couple of magazines for my hobby. If you haven't been there, it is a great place to find books at a cheaper price.

    That's all for now. Have a great day.


    Thursday, June 09, 2005

    My wife took all my stories

    Now that my sweet wife is blogging, I have no more family stories to tell. She tells them all much better than I ever could on her blog. If you want to know about what is going on in my family, read her blog.

    We got our couch in which means that we have to do something with the old couch. It is now in my office. When I finally got it in there under the florescent lights, it looked terrible from all the abuse my kids gave it. I took the fabric off of the cusions last night and washed them. It faded the color a little, but it got most of the nasty stuff off so in all it does look beter. It still may be the best bet to get a slip cover though I really don't like the way they look.

    Because our couch is so big, we are going to have to move the toys. There are only a certain number of places that they can go, but unfortunately for me the best place is where I have my hobby set up which means my hobby goes to a closet. Isn't it funny how things happen? I used to have a room for my recording studio and hobby stuff. When we had Rebekah, Micah moved into my old room, my hobby stuff took a little cubby hole in the living room and my studio came to the church. Now that we have this toy problem I get a small space in a closet. From a whole room to a little closet. Gotta love it. When we run out of space in that closet I'm sure the next place for my hobby stuff will be the out building. A family of 5 sure can fill up a 3 bedroom house in a hurry. Especially when you have kids toys that you don't want to put in their rooms, but in a central location so Summer can keep an eye on them when they are playing.

    Well, enough of that for now. Have a blessed day.

    Thursday, June 02, 2005

    We couched

    We bought a couch. It will be delivered next Wed. I'm excited about it. It is probably the nicest piece of furniture we have ever owned. What is cool is that we got it so cheap. The greatest things in life you get on sale. (I feel a sermon coming on)

    New Leather Couch... Retail: $3200
    Sale: $810

    New Kawai Keyboard... Retail: $2000
    Sale: $1250

    New Clothes... Retail: $too much
    Sale: 66% off at Dillard's

    Perfect Wife... Retail: Way more than the richest person can afford
    Sale: A poor worship minister got a perfect wife.

    Sin.... Retail: Death
    Sale: Forgiven

    Though we can get almost everything on sale, God paid full retail price for our sin, the death of His Son. Don't take for granted the things we recieve on sale. Some of the spiritual bargains we recieve in life were paid at retail price so that we might have life.

    Have a blessed day.