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!


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...

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!!!


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.


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


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


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.


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!!)


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 :)


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.


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"?
Did they make the connection? were they timely?
Did the songs fit and flow with the service or were they completely random and unrelated?
Church Participation
Were people engaged or glazed?
Was it electric or was it stone age?
How effectively did we purposely move throughout the set and service? Were we leading people anywhere or just wandering aimlessly?
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?


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!



Fantastic Contraption