Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Phone troubles, hurricanes, holidays, and shaving

The past couple of days, our office has been without phone and internet. I didn't realize how much we rely on technology until a couple of days ago. It was like our office came to a sudden hault. How would we function if we were to lose power for a month like many have from the hurricane? What if we no longer were able to buy gas for our cars, because of world events? What if all electronic devices just stopped working? Our lives and our country would be in real danger. The are such great things about technology, but as soon as you rely on it, it becomes a nightmare to suddenly lose it.

We need to be praying for the hurricane victims. What a terrible tragedy. It is hard to believe that a storm can do that much damage and be so far reaching. I can't imagine not only losing my house, but my job and my city. New Orleans is 80% flooded. That means that just about everything is in some ways is ruined.

Summer has gone to Gatlinburg with her family. What a brave woman to brave a 10-12 hour trip with 3 children in a van, then get up the next day and drive another 4 hours to get to Gatlinburg. I wouldn't want to do it, but I know she will enjoy seeing all 14 of her family that will be there.

My friend Stephen Lamb will be coming in on Friday and we will hanging out for the holidays.

Well, I got up this morning and decided to shave my gotee. It is gone. I wonder how everyone will react. I guess I'll have to give a report on that in the next couple of days.

We are really close to closing on the house. I would say in about a week or so we will be closing. I'm excited to move.

Well that's it for now. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

House Hunting

Well, we are house hunting. We have officailly put down an offer on a house in Rockwall. We are excited. The house is awesome. It is more of a house than we thought we could afford, but this house is a neat find. It is in a great neighborhood with great schools for the kids. We probably looked at every house in our price range and specs in the area. Rockwall is a smaller community just east of Dallas. One of our other ministers lives in Rockwall as well, so we're excited to be closer to them.

I guess this will be three times we've moved in a year and a half. I think I want to be done moving for a while.

We should hear the counter offer back today. I think we should be able to get the house for what we are wanting it for. Time will tell.

Worship team rehearsals have been going well the past 3 weeks. They have been extra good. I love my worship team. They rock!!!! I couldn't ask for a better group of people. I have to brag a little today. Every Wednesday, they pray over me before rehearsal, they do the same on Sunday morning, and they have individually committed to praying for me everyday. I have just been overwhelmed.

Thank you God, for the worship team. They are a blessing in so many ways.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Ever Changing Worship

Last night, Cheryl, one of our praise team members invited us over to her house to watch a video of Jeff Walling and his son. They were talking about passing the baton to our children in worship.

Worship is such a complicated mess, not because God created it that way, but because we have made it that way. Worship has always been about God, but we so easily make it about us and our preferences.

One of the things that struck me from the video was about blended worship. Jeff was saying that the big problem with blended worship is that most people are going to dislike at least part of the service. And you know, he is right. It doesn't matter how I weight our service. If it is on the contemporary side, then I get complaints from those who like more traditional. If I weight it traditional, I get complaints that there was not enough contemporary. If I don't sing enough presentational songs, then there are complaints. It seems that no matter which way I turn, there is no way to make everyone happy.

(Then the light bulb starts to glow)

Then I am reminded that worship is about God and not about anything else. I am convicted that we need to teach our churches better on the subject of worship. We fail to tackle the preference issue because we are afraid we will step on toes. Jesus was not afraid to step on a few toes. My toes need to be stepped on. Your toes need to be stepped on. It is not just those who like the old songs, but also those who like the new songs. To be honest, if we are truly trying to reach the younger generation, most of the church would be uncomfortable with worship including myself.

What do we do? Pray. Pray for boldness to speak when we need to speak and pray for wisdom to keep our mouths shut when we need to. Pray that the heart of our people are focused on God so much that they don't notice how many of this song or another is being sung. Pray that if the do notice that they imediately think of all the people that are worshipping God because of that song even if it doesn't help them personally.

Humans are selfish beings. Every sin that we can committ, roots itself in our selfishness. I pray for forgiveness all the times that I have sinned by demanding my preference in worship. I pray that all of our churches can pray for forgiveness for demanding our preference and failing to pass the baton to our younger generation.

Father, we need your Spirit to guide us. May our worship be about You and You alone. Forgive us when our selfishness takes over. Give us the wisdom and the courage to step out of our comfort zones so that the younger generation can be involved in our worship. Help us to teach the younger generation that thier way of worshipping is important, but that the way thier grandmothers worship is important as well. In all things may you be praised and honored. Through Jesus, Amen.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Awesome Sunday

Yesterday was a great Sunday. Class was held in our worship center with me as the teacher. The praise team stood up there with me which was awesome. We talked about how being a missional church affects our worship. It went really well. This was the first time I've had the opportunity to be in that kind of setting with the church and I really enjoyed the time.

Worship was great. We had a couple of video testimonies about how certain songs had healed people in a time of hurt. We also had a couple of our members to speak on "Worship that Heals our Hurts."

At 3:00 the worship team met at Main Event for bowling and pizza. Micah San Juan gets my vote for "Gutter King." At one point I looked up and he had 11 gutters in one game. Around 7 of them were in a row. Ouch. Valerie Hawkins had the high score of the day and in a long skirt that she wore to church.

Last night I finished the new Harry Potter book. Wow. What a read. I'm not going to give any details out, but you find out lots of good stuff in this book. I'm excited to see how the story will unfold in the last book.