Monday, December 22, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 12

This is just straight dude humor, but I thought it would bring you joy on this Monday. And whattaya know.... it could be a great last minute gift idea for that special someone.




Toot-a-loo!

~A

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 11

Whatever Holiday Humdrum has consumed you and whether this is a Manic or Monastic Monday, take heart. You have nothing to fear except fear itself... oh and if you're President Bush add flying shoes in there. Here is the AP footage from the President's press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. It's from a Mexican TV news program. I will not be liable for anything they say, because frankly, I cannot translate. Regardless, they just seem to have a way with tone, inflection, and cheesy sound effects. Enjoy!




Did that guy wear his house slippers to the press conference? Did you check out ole Georgie's cat-like reflexes?

Have an Un-malevolent Monday!

~A

Monday, December 8, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 10

Wow!
What a crack up!
Funny how funny this is!
It's more than just free entertainment; it's frentertainment!
How lucky I am to have partaken!

These are only a few of the exclamatory remarks that came to mind when I had the opportunity to view a few vlog (video blog) posts creatively created by my good buddy Pedro. Below is only one of those posts I thought would make your Monday special. But do not be deceived, the true comic, ironic, and utterly catatonic nectar can only be tasted when you indulge in all of the previous updates. You must! Do not delay! It will only take a few moments, but, henceforth, your life will be certainly not the same or different!

Enjoy "Q4 update: Day 10" by Pedro_Munoz


Day Ten from Peter Erickson on Vimeo.

~A

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Weekend Update 11/29 & 11/30

Setlist
My Savior Lives - G
Mighty to Save - G
Majesty - A
Still - D

Report Card
Rehearsal 3.5 - Got started late again... I think everyone showed up a little late. Had a hard time finding a bass player and sound guy. Thanks to Aaron, we were able to at least get up and running.
Technical Execution 3.0 - We struggled this week all around. I was playing leadish electric on Saturday night.... that's always distracting to me and I'm sure to others.
Transitions 3.75 - Pretty good.
Content/Flow 4.0 - Flowed well in the context of the service... esp. Still
Church Participation 3.5 - ok. Kind of perceived a general hangover from thanksgiving dinner.
Energy 3.5 - A little lower because of too much turkey. Aaron's message really brought some good energy though.
Movement 3.65 - yes. Pretty effective especially from Mighty To Save through Still

Overall = 3.56

~A

Monday, December 1, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 9

Yeah that's right, it's December 1st and in honor of the dawning of the dusk of 2008, I offer you something free that I do not own. What could break the Monday Monday Blues better than free stuff? Nothing I proport... absolutely nothing!

What might this free stuff be? Oh, well I'm glad you asked. There is a website that I have come to really dig, even if it's way over my head most of the.... all of the time, Smashing Magazine! Not only do they just have some of the coolest graphics/photography on the web, they also offer something quite cooler; monthly calendar desktop wallpaper... FOR FREE! I know it may not seem very cool right off, but you have to check it out. After all, it's December 1st and if you act now, you'll be sure to get your money's worth. Wait, you didn't spend any money!!! That makes it even better.

Check out the Wallpaper Calendars for the Month of December Here.

If you still doubt, here is the one donning my desktop as we virtually speak. Thought it was kind of quirky and yet very Decemberish. You have an unlimited selection of 55!

Merry Monday!

~A

Monday, November 24, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 8

This here is another one of those posts that should make you feel better about your plight. (if indeed you do have a plight that is not so favorable, in your opinion.)

The past couple of days have been rough for our little Grady man. He's been stuffy nosed and feverish with a little cough. This morning and yesterday he woke up with a nose full of boogers. They were even in his hair. Bummer. We took him to see Dr. G,well his nurse practitioner, today and she said he just had a cold.

So, if you're having a bad day, take heart. Grady seems to be having a worse one... Mommy and Daddy are running a close second.


Happy Monday-ing,

~A

Friday, November 21, 2008

News and Notes for 11/22 & 11/23

Rehearsal tomorrow same bat time same bat channel at 3:30.

The church is still getting cleaned up today, but we should at least have some lighting on the stage this week.

Changes:
-Song of Hope - A - First song replacing "My Savior Lives"
-All That I Can Say - A - Change key


-Kindness and Amazed stay the same.

Let's make a solid effort to get started on time this week... :) We will do our best to have sound up and running smoothly.

See you tonight if you are able to attend the Worship and Tech Holiday Party! It starts at 6. Email me if you need directions.

~A

Weekend Update 11/15 & 11/16

This past weekend was our first in the temporary configuration of our auditorium. Basically, they took about 30-40% of our auditorium space and closed it off with a big wall. We had to install temporary sound, lighting, and projection so it was wheels off up until Saturday. Thanks to the hard work of some great volunteers it went off pretty much without a hitch. Here's the completely one-sided score card for the week.

Setlist
Blessed Be Your Name - A
Cannons - B
From The Inside Out - A
The Stand (Ch and Br) - A

Report Card
Rehearsal 4.5 - Had a couple of issues getting started with the temporary system, but otherwise it was an almost perfect rehearsal. Great Job Team!
Technical Execution 3.5 - Pretty Solid - Harry rocked the Falcon! Our overall tempo was struggling
Transitions 4.5 - Great job Charlie again on the transitions... no dead time between songs. I had really thought through the ending transitions. It makes a difference when you think.
Content/Flow 4.25 - Last song "The Stand" lined up with John's message about Esther.
Church Participation 4.8 - Really good again this week despite the building, sound and lighting differences
Energy 4.75 - Saturday night was alive... good crowds throughout the whole weekend. Lots of people volunteering to shuffle services to make room.
Movement 4.5 - Good transitions helped us to really focus on God together.

Overall = 4.4

~A

Monday, November 17, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 7

Oh happy Monday afternoon!

Here's a little help to keep up those spirits!

Lately I have been totally enthused with a show called "Time Warp"! Holy cow! I thought that "How It's Made" was awesome, but I'm tellin' you what... Time Warp is seriously awesome-er! No it's not a show that explores the possibilities of time travel with cutting edge new technological innovations, although that would be a cool show.

The concept of Time Warp is much simpler actually: Two guys with high-speed cameras film all kinds of cool stuff. The result: Amazing slow motion video of things like bullets colliding with bulletproof jackets to drops of water falling into a puddle. Oh it may sound quite mundane, but you should see it for yourself.



Name: Time Warp
What channel: Discovery
When: Wednesdays at 8 ET / 7CT

Discovery also runs various episodes throughout the week so you can catch a bunch of them on DVR if you want.

Don't hesitate!!! It is only Monday... that means you have two whole days to prepare! Let the anticipation accellerate, the tension intensify, and the mayhem multiply!!

TIME WARP!!

~A

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Weekend Update 11/8 - 11/9

I have to humbly say that this past weekend was awesome! In all four of our services there was just a genuine sense that God was present (not that He isn't always). As a worship leader, these times when you can feel emotional and spiritual energy in the room brought on by the presence of God are so encouraging and refreshing, but they are not the final way of measuring how much God is working in the church. They ARE moments when God chooses to grace us with a physical sense of His supernatural presence and it feels good. I want to be clear about this though, this is not a way to determine whether God is or is not moving and working in people's lives or in the church. There is no doubt that God is working at all times in us whether we are feeling it or not; sitting in church or not; aware of His existence or not. OK, I'll step down from my soapbox... after this one last comment. I pray that God gives us more times where we experience his presence together in a tangible way, but I pray more that He would use us, WE the church, to bring about lasting life-change in the lives of people who are seeking and needing Him. Instead of praying, "God, I want to feel You." Let's pray, "God, by Your grace, let Your presence change me no matter how I feel or how much I feel You."

Setlist
Voices of Heaven and Earth - Bb
Marvelous Light - G
Mighty To Save - G
Overcome (Chorus and Bridge) - G

Report Card
Rehearsal 4.0 - Good job team! Little late start, but hit it hard and did some good work.
Technical Execution 3.75 - Still progressing, but hey, we're progressing
Transitions 4.5 - Charlie / our drummer did a great job transitioning
Content/Flow 4.5 - Had a few good moments that really lined up with the message and weekend's theme
Church Participation 5.0 - In every service, people were engaged!
Energy 4.5 - The highlight of the weekend in the second half of the set and the ending. So much energy in the room.
Movement 4.4 - We really moved from a time of celebration to a time of reflection and surrender.

Overall = 4.37

~A

Monday, November 10, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 6

Yes, I have taken a break from blogging for the past few weeks because we were in the process of packing up our old home and moving into our new home.... needless to say, my extracurricular blogging time was cut way short. Ok, it was non-existent.

But now I'm back, to let you know....

That just in case you have a case of the Mondays, you should take a look at this fly hippity hop video... Don't cut it short!! Watch it til the end. It is totally worth it!





Happy Monday-ing,

~A

Friday, October 31, 2008

News and Notes for 11/1 & 11/2

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. We were on our staff retreat from Monday through Wednesday and we've been packing and preparing to move the rest of the week.

Jonathan will be leading rehearsal this weekend. The set is as follows:

My Savior Lives - G - Jonathan or J.R.
Cannons - B - Anne
Center - E - Jonathan
The More I Seek You - E - Anne

The rest of the service shoule be simple.

I do need someone to volunteer to lead our Psalm and Prayer time during the 8:30 service. Anyone?

Let me know. I hope you guys have an awesome weekend. I will probably peek my head in on Sunday morning sometime. Rock-it-out!

~A

Friday, October 24, 2008

News and Notes for 10/25 and 10/26

This is something new that I am trying for all of our worship team members serving on a particular weekend. It's just a few thoughts and notes about the weekend before we arrive at rehearsal. I hope that this will further open the lines of communication and help us to be more efficient and effective with our time together.

This week's notes:

List -
Everyday - Bb - Aubrey
Cannons - B - Jen
All It Takes - E - Aubrey
Grace Like Rain - E - (Slower) - All

1. Make sure to log on to planning center and listen to Cannons. We are doing it in B, everyone's favorite key I know!

2. All It Takes will transition right into Grace Like Rain which will run right into communion.

3. Communion will be this weekend in every service. We will stay up and play through it. We will probably end with a chorus or 2 of Grace Like Rain.

4. I need a volunteer to lead our Psalm and Prayer time on Sunday morning. We will be reading Psalm 127.

5. Rehearsal starts at 3:30 by faith... so come in time enough to be ready to start at that time.

I think that's it. Please say a prayer for me because I'll be tag-teaming with John on the message this weekend. Here we go!

~A

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Weekend Update 10/18 & 10/19

Let me just say from the start that this was one of the best weekends we have had in a long time. Everything just seemed to flow together from rehearsal to our worship times.

Setlist
Voices of Heaven and Earth - Bb
Everlasting God (Chorus and Br) - Bb
Cannons - B
From The Inside Out (Chorus and Br) - B
Jesus I Am Resting Resting - G

Report Card
Rehearsal 4.0 - Smooth... Still started a tad late, but had some late-comers.
Technical Execution 3.9 - Consistent all weekend
Transitions 4.75 - This was definitely the strength of the set
Content/Flow 3.9 - We've been talking a lot in the current series about surrender and trust... The last song "Jesus, I am Resting Resting" was a perfect ending.
Church Participation 3.75 - People really grabbed onto "Cannons". It has such an easy to learn chorus and bridge. I feel like it went over well.
Energy 3.8 - Pretty consistent. 2nd service on Sunday was packed so that seemed to up the level a little. Still room for growing here.
Movement 4.4 - Felt like the set really led people down the path of worship and surrender and contemplation.

Overall = 4.07

~A

Monday, October 20, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 5

If you've been listening to worship at all for the past 10 years or so, you've heard of Hillsong United. And you've possibly heard their song "Take It All"! It is kind of one of those tunes that's on the borderline of being monotonous, but really fun to sing all at the same time. Anyway, a friend showed this video to me the other day and I thought it was the perfect fit for the song! It's a pretty hilarious interpretation of the lyrics and the emotion. In fact, there's a whole series of these videos made for United songs, but this one by far is the best!

My favorite part is the guys with J-E-S-U-S painted on their chests... Enjoy!





Happy Monday!!

~A

Monday, October 13, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 4

Ok, here's your Monday dose of Miracle Drug for the Malay that is Monday!

In case you find yourself wollering in self pity today, just take one look at this guy...



Remember, there is always someone with bigger problems than you!

~A

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weekend Update 10/4 & 10/5

Jen and I left early Sunday morning for St. Paul Minnesota. We are leading worship all week at Northwestern College for their Homecoming Week Chapels. It has been awesome so far and we have been so encouraged by the students here. It's just me, Jen, one acoustic, and 1500 students singing out at the top of their lungs! There have been moments each morning where we were not the ones leading worship. We were just there kind of directing the map of the song! Jen commented that they were singing so loud that she couldn't even hear herself in the monitor. It really is a beautiful and amazing experience.

In lieu of Jen and leading, Mr. Jonathan Andrus took the reins this weekend and here is his evaluation of the weekend "worship through music" set.

Setlist
Song of Hope
All That I Can Say
Mighty To Save
Pure


Rehearsal – We started a little late, but were able to get everything together so that we had plenty of time to run over the entire set after we had a chance to work technically on each song. 4.5

Technical Execution – Miraculously, Saturday night felt great…I think the only service that we had trouble with was 3rd service mostly on “All that I can say”…we kept speeding up then slowing down L. Other than that the band did an awesome job, and I was really able to get into it without thinking about it. 4

Transitions- No problems with transitions…we changed some of the song maps, and I think it worked well. J.R. did a good job with the beginning for “Song of Hope”…chorus then intro. 4

Content/Flow – Songs were all very engaging…I actually liked going from a mild paced song like “all that I can say” to a bit of a pick me up like “mighty to save”. 4.25

Church Participation- I think that people were following the flow pretty well, but not “off the chain” or anything. 3.5

Energy- Pretty consistent with participation…good not great. 3.5

Movement– I think that we flowed thru pretty well in most services. There was really no major distractions and I was able to spend some quality time with the Lord. 4

Overall = 3.96

~A

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 3


Ok... I know I know, it's Tuesday, but I know that some of you are suffering from a Monday hangover. So, here is another dose of a miracle Monday remedy...

You should read Joshua 10 today!

Go ahead! It will make your day, even if it's your worst, feel like a walk in the park. If you think this is going to be the longest day of your life, ole Joshie's got ya beat there too.

Don't worry! Be happy!

Happy MonTuesday,

~A

P.S. Sweet graphic huh? Love the flames!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Weekend Update 9/27 & 9/28

It's Weekend Update Time... and I have 5 minutes!

Setlist
Grace Like Rain - E
Voices of Heaven and Earth - Bb
Mighty To Save - G
Refuge - D

Report Card
Rehearsal 3.0 - Still cutting it too close to service time.
Technical Execution 3.75 - Good job all around!
Transitions 4.5 - Saturday we did Voices of Heaven and Earth, a new song, first and it didn't really work, but Sunday we switched it to 2nd and it worked so much better. There was also a scripture reading before Mighty to Save and then Communion before Refuge... I kind of fumbled through the intro to "Voices" but all in all... really good transitions
Content/Flow 4.25 - Tried to line up with the theme of the message... The scripture reading from Proverbs 3 and Refuge.
Church Participation 3.5 - Good engagement... Had a good moment during the new song as well as during Refuge.
Energy 3.75 - Good in all services this weekend. Had a lot of people in Sat. service for baby dedications... The new song on Sunday seemed to pick up the energy a bit.
Movement 4.0 - Tried to move people toward responding to communion... I feel like it worked pretty well

Overall = 3.82

~A

Monday, September 29, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 2

I ripped this one off of a friend's site...

Listen, here's the deal. I know sometimes you feel like you're going crazy, but perk up you pejorative pessimist and take a look at these folks...



I'm not saying that I don't love trees, because they happen to be on my list of favorite things. But I can say with a great deal of confidence that I do not worship them. Do you?

There now, (head pat) see it's not all that bad now is it?

Happy Monday!

~A

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weekend Update 9/20 & 9/21

Holy Schmoly! Can you believe it's almost the end of September? Which means it's almost my birthday. :) Hint hint.

For this installment of Weekend Update, I would like to say that I love everything about Turkey Reubens. I did not have one today, nor did I have one this weekend, but oh did I wish I had one right now! Not only do they have Sauerkraut, swiss or provolone, and Turkey, but they have a "special sauce" like the Big Mac. In fact, I think it may be the same! Oh, and Reuben is such a cool, but tricky word to spell.

So... to the weekend...

Setlist
I Stand In Awe - E (Original)
O Praise Him - A
Mighty To Save - G
Treasure - C


Report Card
Rehearsal 2.75 - I am finding it more and more necessary to have a sound volunteer present for rehearsals. It is so difficult to lead rehearsal and run monitors at the same time. To some of you this may be a no brainer, but to me it's difficult to ask that of somebody.... But wait, I'm asking the whole band to be there... Uhh... so, I will probably implement that.
Technical Execution 2.75 - There was something distinctly missing in this weekend's set. It felt a little empty and I'm not sure why. It was probably my arranging or just the house volume being lower on Saturday. I talked with Mark about the possibility of him coming to listen during rehearsal and help us work some of the kinks out from the "listener's" perspective. This could be awesome! I hope he was serious, because now it's been blogged about! :)
Transitions 3.0 - We struggled a little with delayed transitions this week. It was due to a miscommunication between the me and the drummer. By 2nd service on Sunday though things were clicking.
Content/Flow 3.5 - Treasure was a Saturday rehearsal add, because I felt like it went with the theme. We also worked up an instrumental version of "Free Ride" that was a lot of fun to play and, heck, it went along with the "Road Trip" theme.
Church Participation 2.5 - The first half of the set I really had to encourage our people to jump in there and give God their best. The second half was better, but what do I know? I got plenty of comments that people really enjoyed our time of worship together this weekend.
Energy 3.0 - It went from about a 2.5 at the beginning to about a 3.5 at the end ... so we'll settle somewhere in the middle.
Movement 3.0 - Good, but questionable on the last song. After Mighty to Save, I thought we would just do a softer version of Treasure. It worked, but may have been too soft. Who knows?

Overall = 2.93

In the end, I felt like we experienced a wonderful moment of stillness before God... I could sit in those moments for days. That's worth a +1 Spirit Point!! Yessssss!!!

Overall + Spirit Point = 3.93!!! Waahoooo!!!

~A


Monday, September 22, 2008

Do You Have A Case Of The Mondays? - Vol 1

So here's to another great kickoff to the week!! I know that most people hate Mondays, but just get over it and enjoy yourself. When you feel yourself getting down about how you have to go back to work on Monday, just think, "My life can't be too bad, at least I didn't work all weekend like my friend Aubrey." Ahhh... but then there's the fact that I enjoyed working all weekend. What I'm trying to say, in the words of the great Curtis (my step-dad) is "Suck it up!" (man, if I had a dime...) I haven't always worked at the church and loved my job. No, I've worked my share of crappy jobs, but I don't ever remember consistently dreading the kickoff to the workweek. I am a firm pillow user and believer that 99.9% of the time the difference between enjoying life and hating it starts with your attitude. I hate the cheezy-ness of this quote from Johnny Maxwell, but it's still true, "Your attitude determines your altitude." Oh... and your aptitude, your amplitude, your feelings toward your toothpaste tube, and your experience at the jiffy lube!

So, if you find yourself with a case of the Mondays... don't spread it like a disease like you normally do... just watch this video from the Echo Conference that I recently attended. It should cheer you up... If it doesn't, you should consider sleeping through Monday all together.


Johnny & Chachi LIVE @ Echo 2008 from Echo Conference on Vimeo.

~A

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekend Update 9/13 - 9/14

Ok, so it's a little late, but here's the breakdown from last week. In addition to our regular services, we had a Night of Worship on Sunday night where we experimented with a few things. We had a couple of places around the auditorium where people could write or draw their impressions of Portrait, the theme for the night. There was a room set up where people could record video testimonies of what God had done. We also experimented with some architectural projection and it turned out to be pretty schnazzy! Way to go Aaron for putting this together! I'll try to post some pics soon.

For the sake of time, the evaluation this weekend will encompass all of this past weekend's activities... 3 rehearsals, 4 weekend services, and 1 night of worship. Pretty ambitious to say the least... that's just a cooler way to say "absolutely crazy"!

Setlist Weekend Services
Marvelous Light -
G - Added during rehearsal to replace a new song "Voices of Heaven and Earth". We'll be adding that in next month.
Blessed Be Your Name - G - oldie but a goodie
My Life For Your Plans -
D - Transition Chorus
Mighty To Save - G - New... to us anyway! In my opinion, rocked.

Setlist Night of Worship
King of Majesty - E
- Anne led this one - I messed her up, but she stuck with it.
Voices of Heaven and Earth - A - New Original... Jen led... need to raise it 1/2 step and tweak, but good for first runthrough
O Praise Him - (chorus) - A - Great transition out of Voices
Portrait - C - New song led by J.R., one of our youth guys. Served as the theme of our night. Listen to the original here. It's by a band named "Freely."
Instrumental - Violin and Aco Gtr
I Am Waiting -
B - Jen led - an original song off of our "One Step Closer" album
Mighty to Save - G - Just rocked!
Our God Reigns - G - Paired with Mighty, this was the climax of the night. Good time of just singing and playing all out for God!
Portrait (Reprise) - Just a plain good song!


Report Card
Rehearsal 2.5 - I tried to fit way too much into one 48 hr period. When we do something like this again, I will definitely schedule an extra rehearsal prior to the weekend of the event.
Technical Execution 3.75 - Even though our work load was heavy, I think our guys and gals really put it together this weekend. Way to go!
Transitions 4.0 - Again, in spite of ourselves, and by the grace of God, transitions went well, even with making some changes on the fly.
Content/Flow 4.5 - Content of both sets was really driven by the content of the message. Good flow with the weekend and worship night themes.
Church Participation 4.1 - I really have to give it to our people this weekend. They jumped in there with us and went for it!
Energy 4.25 - There was lots of energy in almost every service. We had a record attendance for a non-Easter weekend; over 1600! Love it or hate it, more people in tight spaces always seems to bring more energy... for the short-run.
Movement 3.75 - Good overall. The worship night took a little while to gain momentum, but then it really took off!

Overall = 3.84

~A

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall


Man, I am so pumped for fall to get here. And even though it is brief in Texas, it is still my favorite season. Growing up in Tennessee fall was always a time when everything outside was splashed with warm oranges, reds, and yellows. Everywhere you went the scenery was a beautiful landscape painting. It seemed like even the mundane drive home was awash with new vibrancy and color. Mixed with a cool autumn breeze, these moments served as points of reflection and relaxation.

But with the same swiftness in which it arrived, fall inevitably gave way to winter. The colors faded, the air chilled, and the leaves covered the ground creating gargantuan menacing piles of... yard work. I couldn't stand to rake, bag, tote, and haul bags of leaves, but it was part of the process. If I wanted to enjoy the colors, I had to do so with the reality in mind that I would soon be grasping the rake in my hand to clean them up when they fell. But, you know, I would do it every time without complaint... because I knew that was the price I paid to see the colors.

Everything we do is for the purpose of glorifying God and seeing others drawn closer to Him. Some days I see the colors so bright and alive in people that I am overwhelmed with the opportunity that I have to lead God's people in worship. At other times... I feel like we're just out there raking leaves. So, I say thank you to all of you who are willing to be a part whether summer, winter, springtime, or harvest in what God is doing in our church and in our world. God is using you in every season.

~A

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Last week's Grades from Aaron

In order to catch up from my time away in Nashville and as a pre-runner of tomorrow's weekend evaluation, here is Aaron's evaluation of the music portion of last week's service... He led in my absence and I'm sure he has inflated the numbers quite a bit to pad his own ego, but hey, I wasn't there so.....

Rehearsal - 4.25. Everybody showed up on time (even a little early) and were ready to rock when they showed up. We tore through the special pretty fast, and moved onto the worship set. We finished up at about 5:15, a good 45 minutes before service started. Great job! (I hate him for this!)


Technical Execution - 4.25. The band played well this week. Mistakes were held to a minimum, with the biggest mistake being a fluke when the drummer's kick pad actually got stuck in the cuff of his pants. We missed a few beats but he got it together. (Uhh, 4.25 is extremely gracious, is he some kind of bribe taking Olympic Gymnastics Judge?)


Transitions - 3.5 Musically they were good, but when I tried to talk in a transition it didn't go as well. I wasn't prepared on what to say and even a little rusty, so things went better when I just shut my mouth. Musically transitions were easy based on the keys of the song. (Finally a little honesty)


Content/Flow - 3.5 The songs had a good flow b/c they were all in the key of E or A, so it had a good sound to it. Content-wise, I really liked this set. They were all songs that the audience knew and could sing along with easily. Very good set in lifting Him up and focusing our lives on him (center and the more I seek you).(I totally set this up for him... to make him look good ... This one should've been a 4.5 if he is worth his salt as a worship leader :)


Energy - 4.0 The crowd seemed to sing along pretty well this weekend. Nothing above average, but I guess having 1500 in attendance helps again. People seemed to enjoy themselves. The "life is a highway" special went over real well, even when Marticus lead the audience in singing. (I have received some corroborating evidence supporting this assessment! Oh and it always helps when Marticus shows up!)


Movement - 4.4 I thought this past weekend's service order was smooth and strong. Transition out of worship was smooth, into the service order, announcements, Road Trip video, the motorcycle ride, and then the sermon. Very good service. (I think he should've danced... then I would've given him a 5 for movement! Maybe the Holy Ghost hop? Or the Shambock shuffle?)


Overall - 4.25 Good service! (come on... you're like Prince Ali marvelous he Aliah-Babuaaaa "So Generous, So Generous!!)


A


Monday, September 8, 2008

No Vacation for the Committed


I'm with the fam on vacation in Nashvegas and I have but a few precious days to make sure that I'm in tip-top shape for our triathlon... actually, a few hours shy of 12 days before the maylay commences.

There is no rest for the weary and no quit in the heart of a champion... so I'm gonna have to settle for wingin-it, because I'm definitely mixin in some rest and quitting between now and then.

So here's the schedule for the next few days.

Sept 8th - Swim, swam, swum and run
Sept 9th - saddle up the old pink "planet" bike my sister-in-law has kindly or not-so-kindly let me borrow... now that's real commitment!
Sept 10th - Swim, swam, swum and run
Sept 11th - Run
Sept 12th - quit
Sept 13th - Trial-Tri with the whole crew... doin a run-through of the whole race in the country... which is a all around my house.
Sept 14th - 19th - TOP SECRET! You don't want to know for fear of intimidation! (that's code for "I have no clue")

Wish me luck... Next time I'll post a good linky to the guys that are participating with me in this joyous jaunt!

Happy Training! I'm headed off to eat school pizza :)

~A

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weekend Update 8/30 & 31

I think I'll begin using some sort of measurement scale/grading for these updates. Maybe it will help to add some feedback that's a little less subjective... But oh do I like subjective so this may be hard.

I have come up with a few categories, but I would love to hear some of your suggestions as well. I'm starting with a 1-5 scale, but may change it as we go. 1 = sucky and 5 = never been better.

Categories

Rehearsal
Was it successful or not / well-organized or not / Did it prepare us or beat us down?
Technical Execution
Did we nail it or did we leave comforting ourselves saying "oh, most people wouldn't have noticed that"?
Transitions
Did they make the connection? were they timely?
Content/Flow
Did the songs fit and flow with the service or were they completely random and unrelated?
Church Participation
Were people engaged or glazed?
Energy
Was it electric or was it stone age?
Movement
How effectively did we purposely move throughout the set and service? Were we leading people anywhere or just wandering aimlessly?
Overall
Not Overalls... but All in all.


Ok, here's the rundown from this past weekend.

Everlasting God - A - Aubrey
O Praise Him - A - Jonathan
From The Inside Out - A - Aubrey
Pure - D - Anne

Report Card
Rehearsal 3.0 - started a little late / went a little long
Technical Execution 3.25 - Saturday night struggled but pulled it together on Sunday
Transitions 4.0 - Songs flowed smoothly together / no dead time
Content/Flow 3.5 - Content was good / songs selected outside of service content
Church Participation 3.5 - I felt like people were engaging with us through most of the songs
Energy 3.0 - The room felt warm, but no one was goin crazy (that's ok w/ me)
Movement 3.5 - I feel like we led people to a place of worship and surrender

Overall = 3.39

Comments? Suggestions?

~A

Monday, September 1, 2008

Made Just For Me!

No, I'm not talking about my beautiful wife... although I believe this to be true about her.

I found a link on a blog I follow called The Plow ! A literal and virtual treasure trove of endless fascination is a game called "Fantastic Contraption".

At the moment, I have been engrossed in it for about an hour and I am speechless... and so is my wife (for different reasons).

You should definitely try, but don't say I didn't warn you... about its addictive nature or about the look you will get from your wife!

I think I'll show this to my 10 year old nephew when we go to Nashville this week. According to Jen, we should have lots of fun!

Enjoy!

~A


Fantastic Contraption

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Violation!!

This weekend Pastor John continued with Part 4 of our Half-life series. He talked about the half-life we live as members of the body of Christ if we keep jumping from church to church. The cycle goes like so...

Phase 1 - Reconnect - to the church
Phase 2 - Romantic - "this is the perfect church"
Phase 3 - Reality - "this is not the perfect church"
Phase 4 - Response - What do you do now? Go back to Phase 1 at another church or
Phase 5 - Rediscover - When you stick it out! This is where whole-life is found.
(You can listen to the whole thing here if you like! Click on Half-life Part 4)

We had decided to split worship; two songs up front and two songs after the message leading into communion. After all, we were talking about the church and what better way to solidify that message than with corporate worship and communion?

Here is the original set list:
Up front:
My Savior Lives
Here I Am To Worship

After Message:
Majesty
Center

Just prior to rehearsal I was struck with this great idea for a song. So I decided to go for it because it was about the unity of the church and how God desires that we would be as one. Ok, great idea, right? The problem is that I violated one of my own principle rules of songwriting... Wait!

Now, what I mean by "Wait" is pretty simple... wait... as in don't go... as in not yet... as in let it simmer... as in don't pull out your "jump to conclusions" mat just yet. The reason I value waiting as a principle of songwriting (as well as a principle of any creative process) is because undoubtedly things tend to become clearer over time. After you get somewhat emotionally detached from something and can look at it objectively, you have a much better chance of really judging whether it's worth more effort or none at all. If you are an artist or a whatever, you have probably felt the rush of adrenaline that comes when you feel that what you just created is the absolute best thing that anyone has ever done! Immediately, you are filled with the confident resolve that everyone will like it as much as you do in that moment and that crowds will line up at your door for access to your new... whatever it is.

Ahhh! But if you wait, you will begin to see the flaws, the subtle ways in which you could make it even better, or the fact that it is not worthy to be seen or heard by the public at all.

The result of this particular situation? Well, I have to say that it wasn't all that bad, but it just didn't fit well on Saturday night during service. The words were great, the melody was good, but it just didn't fit with the flow of the service. It kind of put the brakes on the momentum that Pastor John had created with the message. This one small part didn't serve the purpose of the whole. Soooo, we ended up canning the new song and doing three songs up front with Center transitioning between the message and communion. Ahh and all was well...

So, the moral of the story is don't violate your personal creative code of ethics... unless you have just written a song that makes Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" sound like a nursery rhyme or you have painted a piece that makes people stand and say, "Mona who?" In other words...

DON'T VIOLATE! YOU MUST WAIT! (Johnny Cochran who?)

What is one of your most important guiding principles in your creative process?

~A

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Baseball and Fast songs

Hmmm... well, things are kind of busy today so here's the run down from this past weekend...

-Rehearsal went rather smoothly and ended about 10 minutes late. We did get the chance to run through the whole set with band and singers before the service. This may be something that all good worship leaders do every week, but we like to keep things raw.... and well, I'm just not the most effective runner de rehearsalos. I'm workin on it though.

-Actually started on time in 2 of 4 services... Victory!! After all, our motto here is "progress not perfection, right?" (and just in case you're wondering, I meant to put the quotations after the "right?" because most of the time we have no clue whether what we are doing is right or not. But dangit it, we will not lack for geniune love for God :)

-Set list
-Marvelous Light
-Everlasting God
-My Soul's Release - an original that Jen just kills!
(that's a good thing... youknow? kind of like a kill by Kerry Walsh in Olympic beach volleyball.... smashing... uhh... demons... and other stuff that needs to be killed by innocent God-fearing Christians)
-Center - Honestly, not much of a Charlie Hall fan and not just becuase I lack affinity for Kangol hats and long biker-gotees.... but this song.... yeah, it hits the nail on the head for our people and for me!

Hey, so does anyone else find it difficult to keep good fast songs in the rotation? Is it just me or does it seem they just get so old so fast? Some slow songs just get better with time, but fast songs just don't. There are a few songs that have stuck around for me like Everyday and O Praise Him, but, for the most part, they're like the super-extra-tangy-sour lemon ice thingy that you get at a baseball game... they are pretty good for the first bite, but very quickly you realize that you should have gone for the milder and much more bearable-to-the-bottom watermelon flavor... and after all that, you have to go buy the $8 bottle of water because you are now parched as you bake in the solar oven that is.. a baseball stadium. And then you call into question whether baseball is a sport even worth attending... or is it even a sport at all, because you surely can't watch it on TV either.... hmmm... Does anyone else feel my pain regarding baseball or fast songs? For that matter, does anyone have any good suggestions for new fast songs that you are doing?

Here is a working song list that my buddy Aaron and I compiled for our uses here at Hope Fellowship.

King of Majesty Here I Am To Worship Marvelous Light From The Inside Out Everyday!!

~A

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back In Action and HOT!


Big News this week! After an extended leave, the hottest worship leader on the planet was back in action!!! Of course, she also just so happens to be my wife! Yep! Our little man, Grady, was officially 7 weeks old yesterday and this past weekend his mom decided to join the action again. I can't tell you how cool it was to have her up there again. She has such a wonderful presence and 10x's the voice than yours truly! So here's to Jen... my favorite worship leader... (no offense to my other good friends leading worship, but I am quite unapologetically partial :)
Let's see, here was the set from this past weekend...

#1-Stand In Awe - Me - an original Key of "E" - There's a recording of it Here

#2-King of Majesty - Jen - changed to a "girl" key and it sounded really good - Key of "E"

#3-Lead Me To the Cross - Jen - Key of "D" probably could've worked a little better transition between "King of" and this one, but it worked alright. After the last chorus of "king of" died down we sang it with just acoustic and bass a couple of times a little slower. Worked well transitioning from the A at the end to the Bm at the beginning. This is my favorite song that Joey Honescko plays on the 'lectric gitter. He hits it every time! It is also a signature "Jen" song!

#4-Transition Chorus - Me/All - a simple original that I wrote on Friday, but totally forgot it by Saturday, so we had to kind of make it up on the fly. Yet another reason to record everything you write! Actually, I must confess that I stole the first two lines from a message that Louie Gigglio did at Catalyst a couple of years ago and the third one I think has maybe been used before, but not sure. chords: D D/C# D/F# G

My life for Your plans
My heart in Your hands
I surrender to You

#5-From the Inside Out - A - Me - Just a plain good song!

For next weekend, I'm workin' on a new fast song (well, i started it in October of '06 so it's new to everyone but me). I think it might turn out to be pretty good... We'll see.

That's the rundown! Any thoughts on this past weekend for you folks?

~A

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

S is for Saturday - Yeah is for Sunday

Well, I'll be short and sweet this week with my update. Warning: Incomplete sentences and bullet points to follow (much to the chagrin of you grammatical crazies out there!)

Saturday
-I love and hate Saturdays.
-arranging special song, programming lights for special song, rehearsing special song... making chord charts for special song in F# and Gb. (A guitar player's nightmare!)
-started regular rehearsal way late... while throwing in a new song "From The Inside Out" (I know it's not really "new", but "new" for our church.)
-Other selections included: Marvelous Light / Song of Hope / All That I Can Say
-had an idea for a video bumper for the sermon... turned out ok... kind of halfway thrown together
-didn't get to rehearse with singers.
-started a few minutes late... hey, why not?
-fluke mute scene button pushed on John's headset at beginning of message... whattayagonnado?

Sunday
-it's a new day!
-the special song which was a medley of The Real Me by Natalie Grant and I'm Not Alright by Sanctus Real was really kick butt!!! Aaron, Jessica, and the whole band rawked it ouwt!
-I was so encouraged by how many people were truly engaging in worship
-The fellowship time was awesome!!! Mardi Gras masks, Chasing spotlights, E,W,&F "Shining Star", and Marticus!
-Message was a strong beginning to new series "Half-life"
-Great first service meeting w/ worship team - great feedback and people offered some great suggestions and help. Let you know how these things pan out.
-My baby boy got to come to service! We ran ProPresenter together during the special song!!

Started out rocky, but turned into a good weekend!

Anybody have just an awesome or sucky weekend? What did you do?

~A

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Cup


No, not the Nextel cup or the Stanley Cup nor the protective cup worn by little league football stars such as myself. Nay, not even the Scotty P's cups that have so subtely cluttered up our cabinets.

Last weekend John talked about "The Cup", meaning the one that Jesus shared with his disciples during communion. He also related it to the cup that the Pharisees did a half-butt washing of... you know, the one where He totally schooled them about being so concerened about washing the outside while neglecting the inside... Anyway, it was one of those services that just came together. I was off at Youth camp with my homeboy Aaron, our favorite intern Courtney (who also happens to be our only intern, but this makes her no less cool), and a few of our trusted youth leaders. John was in and out doing what John does best... ummm... eating lunch with faithful parishoners. Libba, the third wing of our triumverate was... well, I'm not quite sure what she was doing... Probably chasing her kids around... God love'em. So all that to say that our normal programming meetings and preparations did not occur, but nonetheless God showed up in a big way. Here's the rundown:

-Hey - Leeland - Special request of the Exley family who is returning to Africa tomorrow. How can you resist Melia requesting anything? If you don't know her, she is seriously so cute she's edible.
-O Praise Him - Led by one of our Oklahoma vagabonds, J.R. He is awesome! Can't wait to see what God is going to do with him.
-Fellowship - backed by a little Run Kid Run!!! Oh Yeah!!
-Announcements
-Offering
-John's message - One of the most unique and best teachings on The Lord's Supper I've ever heard. It's called "The Cup" as I mentioned before.
John invited people to write things on a cup they had been given that they needed to pour out to God. Then he instructed them to place alms or gifts for the poor in the cup if they felt led. This was according to the scripture where Jesus instructed the Pharisees to take care of the poor instead of gorging themselves when celebrating the Lord's supper. After that, John told them to observe communion as they felt let.
The response was immediate in every service and people were moved to give, to pour out, and to contemplate the words of Jesus.
-During the response time, we did
-Remedy -
-Do This In Remembrance - An original by some dork worship leader named Oobrey Mcgoowen I'll see if I can link up a copy of it for ya to hear... worn out camp voice and all.
-The Stand - just the bridge (sorry band guys) but it just fit.

In the end, there was just so much energy in the room in all four services. I really feel like Jesus was worshipped and honored.

This weekend begins a series called Half-life and we're starting it off with a medley of Natalie Grant and Sanctus Real.... Sounds weird, but I totally think it will work!! We'll see... I'll let you know... or maybe you'll let me know.

~A

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm delirious...

Yes, as you've probably heard by now, Delirious, my favorite band of all time, is throwing in the towel. After 14 albums, the guys feel like it's time to take a different turn parting ways on good terms according to their website. As I think back over the last 15 or more years of my own life following/listening/worshiping with these guys, I am struck with how truly influential they have been on me and on modern worship as a whole. If it tells you anything, I still listen to "Cutting Edge", their 2 disc breakout album, the source of songs like "Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble", "I Could Sing of Your Love", and "Obsession" and I wholeheartedly believe that it is still just as good and just as relevant as anything I hear from current artists and leaders. I hope someday to write songs like Martin Smith and help people to say what they want and need to say to God! They may be calling it quits, but their songs are not... I think that is a true mark of good/God-inspired songwriting and artistry.

Here are some fitting lyrics from the song "History Maker":

I'm gonna be a history maker in this land
I'm gonna be a speaker of truth to all mankind
I'm gonna stand, I'm gonna runInto your arms, into your arms again
Into your arms, into your arms again

I think they truly lived out these lyrics and encouraged countless other like myself to do the same.

Thanks for the inspiration guys! Can't wait to see what's next!

In light of this, what are some of your favorite Delirious songs of all time well-known or unknown?

Here are a few of mine:

Obsession - Cutting edge 2
Oh Lead Me - Cutting edge 1
History Maker - Live and In the Can
Majesty - World Service
I've Searched For Gold - Cutting edge 2
Jesus' Blood - Mezzamorphis and Glo
King or Cripple - King of Fools
It's OK - Mezzamorphis
Miracle Maker - Mission Bell and Live at Willow Creek

~A

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This weekend at Hope

I thought this weekend went pretty well for the most part. Here are some thoughts...

Our set was:
My Savior Lives - G
Marvelous Light - G
All It Takes - E
Kindness - G

Strengths:
-John's message on repentance was great! I think it was well-given, well-timed, and well-received.
-Great Beverly Hillbillies clip about repentance!
-The worship set flowed well within itself and with the message.
-Julio was back on Bass after a long absence and Jolene was back singin'!
-Harry really kicked butt!
-I was able to use in-ears so we didn't have a floor monitor on stage
-I love the people who serve on our team!
-"All It Takes" went great when i finally remembered it.
-Jonathan sounded great on "Kindness" which was a last minute Saturday morning add.

Weaknesses:
-Another Saturday night 6pm dress rehearsal (That would be fine except for the fact that we just happen to have a service that begins at 6pm as well)
-Weak unplanned transitions
-Started late every service
-Zune crapped out... need a reliable backup or a totally different/more easily navigated solution.
-Despite my best efforts, the lights are still not fixed and timer on projector is still not reset.... ugh!!

The good news is that we get to try it all again next week... That's the beautiful and ugly thing about Saturdays and Sundays, they come around with amazing speed and frequency.

~A

Monday, July 7, 2008

"Think" with Krys Boyd

I listen to our local public radio station on a regular basis and in particular a show called "Think". Other nationally syndicated shows like "All Things Considered", "Morning Edition", and, surprisingly, "The Diane Rehm Show" are engaging and addictive. "Think" on the other hand, is a locally produced show that rivals all the other big names in thought-provoking, inspiring, and eye-opening commentary on issues of history, science, politics, current events, etc.

It began as a replacement for "The Glen Mitchell Show" which I was very fond of. For a time, after the sudden death of its host, Glen Mitchell, I doubted that they could replace the show's personality, content, and overall engaging nature. But now I have succumbed to the power of public radio once again! You should give it a try. They even have a podcast that you can subscribe to for quick and easy anytime access.
Today, host Krys Boyd talked to Peter Senge about his new book "The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World" and to Rob Walker author of "Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are".
Just plain good stuff...
~A

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Little Encouragement

I just received this email from one of my great friends Lance and was so encouraged by it. Especially because Jen and I just had our first child, Grady, on Tuesday. He is beautiful and amazing... A true example of the beauty and awe inspiring nature of our God... Grady, that is... Sorry Lance.

From Lance:
----------------------------------------------------------
Hello Everyone,

I would like to be open and transparent so to share something beautiful with you. Whether through self pity, circumstance or lack of discipline, I have been going through times of discouragement lately. Tonight was one of those times. It has been a long day, in fact a 18 hour day: off to work in the morning, scarfed down a sandwich at my desk during a conference call at lunch, ended up staying a little late at work and had to rush to my class that starts at 6:00 pm and is supposed to finish at 10:00 pm – to make matters worse, class went over by 30 minutes. Instead of going home, I called Stephanie and let her know that I needed to take a walk to blow of some steam. I walked around campus for about 30 minutes and on my way back to my car, I recognized a gentleman from my class standing outside of the Library entrance, at the base of some stairs under a side walk lamp (kind of reminded me of the scene in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” where they go through the closet and meet the fawn under the street lamp in the middle of no-where). His name is “Chief” and he is blind. I was surprised because the professor advised him to leave 30 minutes prior to dismissing the rest of us. As he left, she said she knew he had to catch a ride. I approached him, introduced myself and called out I wanted to shake his hand. He shifted his guiding stick and extended his hand. I asked him if he had missed his ride and needed one to go home. He said that he was waiting on DART (public transportation) to come pick him up. I decided to wait with him to make sure he got home. We started visiting. I was fascinated by the life and routines he described. I discovered that Chief works full time and takes classes at night. I asked him what time he was going to get up for work in the morning (knowing he had more obstacles to overcome to prepare for the day than I). He said 5:00 am, sometimes 4:30 am. Through course of conversation he shared that he was from Sudan, entertaining me with stories of his country, Chad and Egypt. I had recently heard that dust from the Sahara was traversing the Atlantic and reaching as far as Dallas. He confirmed and said that clouds of dust would cover the sky at times with a darkness you could feel. Then out of no where he exerts that his ride was there. I thought, “What do you think I am, blind?” I didn’t see any bus, and then over a quarter of a mile away, through Live Oaks and three parking lots I saw a yellow bus making its way through the campus – then I heard it. I looked over at Chief and he was smiling – I knew he was showing off. It took a couple of minutes for the bus to get over to us. We finished up our conversation and parted ways. It was now 11:15 and he had been waiting 1 hour and 15 minutes.

I share this with you because I was blessed with this encounter. Not because of any emotional gratitude of abilities from encountering someone who is less physically capable than I. I am the one with the disability. I disabled myself. I thought I was at my max – I thought I could do no more. I have been tired and discouraged.

There are so many wonderful analogies to be drawn from this encounter, but from it, I wanted to encourage you to dig deep and find the extra sense that God has given you to shine in your circumstances and adversity so that others can be blessed and encouraged by your life. Christ did not die and give us spiritual site so that we could reach our max and limitations. There are no limitations in Christ and he has equipped us for every good work. Run the race with endurance, work hard and be faithful. Be patient – even if God’s work in your life takes more than 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Lance
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~A