Worship Confessional, May 31, 2009

Today was the conclusion of our Ephesians series.  It's hard to think back all the way to February (we started this series when I went to RECREATE this year).  It's been an in-depth study of the book and I think most people have really enjoyed it. Our small groups studies were centered around the book too.

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on Fred McKinnon's blog.

Set List:

Grace and Peace (Fernando Ortega)--another Fernando piece this week.  This is a quote from the beginning of the book (1:3) and we had all of the "Grace and Peace " scriptures scrolling through this part (A trio sang this to open)


Great Things (Maher)  we used this song during the series--so we reprised it.  Great song--great track--GREAT THINGS!

Welcome/End of our Shoe Campaign-we collected 600 pair of shoes for BUCKNER INTERNATIONAL.


This Is The Gift of God (Cartee)  Another song that I heard at RECREATE this year was perfect for the series--so we reprised it too.  See a trend?

Awesome In This Place (?) Oldie but a goodie----haven't sung this one in a while


Undying Love (Altrogge)  This song stuck with me the first time I heard it almost 6 years ago.  Because Paul closes the book with "Grace to all with an undying love"--we sang this one.

I Worship You Almighty God (Altrogge)--another oldie but goodie---great combination on these two.

How was your Sunday?   Next Sunday we head into the book of Jonah.  Any suggestions?  No fishy songs, ok?

Give Me A Gun--I'm Andrew Carnes in OKLAHOMA

I received word this afternoon that I have been cast as "ANDREW CARNES" in OKLAHOMA at The Ritz this summer.  He's Ado Annie's father and I get to have a gun and get after Allie Hakim--yee haw!

This will be a family affair.  All of the kids (Taylor, Mattie, Daniel) landed a part too.  Guess Diane will have some quiet time at home in the evenings!

When Dreams Become Reality

Almost 4 years ago I walked into The Ritz Community Theater here in Snyder just to see what was there.  Along the walls of the theater were pictures of past productions that spanned some 11 years.  I thought to myself "I'd love to direct a play here someday". That dream came true this weekend with UNDER THE SYCAMORE TREE.

I've been part of three productions here (as an actor) and expressed my interest to direct last fall.  It all came to be with this production and now that I am on the other side of it I can speak of the lessons I've learned.  This was in ways a whole lot like a church production and very different at the same time.

1.  Resources are always at a premium.  Even though this was a secular venue--I had to make the most of the least.  Every old flat was used; every can of old paint was inspected; every prop was borrowed or loaned.  I've seem to become an expert in this field with many years of church productions.

2.  People are your most important asset in any project.  Knowing a bunch of people from different venues here in the city (church, school, social, business) helped in pulling together talent across the spectrum to make it happen.  Never discount that little piece of information you learn about someone--you might just need it some day.

3. Organization and lists are a must in any big project.  If you aren't detailed--then surround yourself with people that are.  I'm a BIG PICTURE kind of person--I was so fortunate to have so many detailed people around me on this project.

4.  Celebrate the wins--minimize the losses and keep moving.  You have to remember in any project there will be setbacks, but ultimately with the goal in mind you move forward. This is true in any organization or project.

5.  Dream it-then make it happen. This project came together in less than a month.  Not ideal but it can be done in a short amount of time if you put your mind to it.

6.  Don't stop there--keep dreaming.  I've already begun planning another show.. I know--I'm stupid but I loved it.

What projects are you working on?

I've Joined Flutter--The New Twitter!

Have you?

Worship Confessional, May 24, 2009

Sorry for the late post on this. We finished our production of UNDER THE SYCAMORE TREE at The Ritz yesterday afternoon--then an evening of Small Groups and I was done for the day.

Set List for 5-24

Open The Eyes of My Heart 
I Will Sing of My Redeemer (Fernando Ortega version)  Heard this 2 years ago at National Worship Leaders Conference.. it's one of my faves.  Would have been good if we could have done this set in G (but it's only written in F)
How Can I Keep From Singing (Tomlin)... Love the Key of G--but my mistake it was pulled in Bb --Again I say Tomlin is a great girls range--and not congregationally friendly in those areas.
He Is Exalted (Shane and Shane version)  Finally to the Key of G and it felt friendly

The Armor of God--video from the North American Mission Board (circa 2001). I still have this cd with this video on it. WE pulled it and used it today.

Message--Ephesians 6:10 (The Armor of God)  Finishing up the series in Ephesians
Be Strong (Jeff Berry)  Would have a been a great song to wrap with--but I cut it because of time
Above All / Breathe---good closers

How was your Sunday?

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on Fred McKinnon's blog.

Opening Night--Under The Sycamore Tree

Tonight was opening night for our play UNDER THE SYCAMORE TREE. We had a great audience and it always helps when they laugh in the right places.

I'm so proud of this cast. This production was put together in 3 1/2 weeks.. amazing and also very harrowing! Tonight I had the chance to sit back and release it to the artists who volunteer so willingly to be in these plays.

Way to go cast.

Thomas Boyd took these amazing photos. You can find him at his blog site.


The set for UNDER THE SYCAMORE TREE is done. The crew did a fantastic job on the set. It was a collaborative effort. Thanks Nathalie, Selena, Lance and Trisha!


It's production week for UNDER THE SYCAMORE TREE. The box office is open and taking reservations; the set is almost complete and it's looking awesome; the technical stuff has been eating my lunch; the cast and crew have spent copious amounts of time together and bonding and all we need is a show.
We go up on Friday evening. If you haven't secured your tickets--do that today.
Don't look how the director is dressed... it's casual on the set--really casual.

These pics don't do justice to the set and the awesome floor. I'll post more of those on Friday after we have our official photo shoot Thursday.

Any last minute suggestions?

Worship Confessional, May 17, 2009

This confessional is part of SUNDAY SET LISTS over on Fred Mc Kinnon's blog.

It's been a busy and hectic week with all of the preparation for our play at the Ritz.  I'll try to make this short and sweet.

Set List

Sweeter (Israel Houghton/Cindy Cruise) Travis Cottrell arr. I love this song and we carried an "EVERYDAY" theme in the first section.   We haven't done this one in a long time.. and well maybe I remembered it better than the congregation.  Was a little hard to engage them on this one.

Every Day With Jesus (old chorus)--to bridge the time between our first and second songs I had them sing this old chorus... and it worked,got them engaged a bit. Wouldn't do this all the time--but it works from time to time.

Everyday (Houston/Hillsong)- Again, a song we've sung--but not in a long time. I think they remembered it.. I think.

Welcome/Announcements/ Graduate Recognition

The Stand (Hillsong)  We did the chorus several times in February. Today was the first time we tied the verses to it.   I sang them and the congregation joined in on the chorus.  David our drummer did a killer track for it. Oh my...

Message- Dave Bilderback one of our Elders brought the message today.  From Ephesians 6 about Slaves/Workers-tied it into being Employee/Employers who represent Christ.

Take My Life (Tomlin)---Great closer to this message.

How was your day?

There's No Business.. Like Show Business...

I've been spending the last 4 Friday's at The Ritz Theater getting ready for our production next weekend of UNDER THE SYCAMORE TREE. Since I've done everything that I can do visually (base coating the flats) I've been sworn off the finishing details on the backdrop, I'll spend today getting the music and lighting cue sheets ready while also recording some final voice overs. It's getting close!
These pictures were taken Wednesday night as Nathalie Kelley began her work on the background. She's amazing and it was such fun to watch her work.

The cast is hanging out at the Theater running lines and really enjoying each other's company. I forget how much community is built in the theater when you work on a production.

Ok--off to work on the sound cues!

Screen Your Sunday Soloists!

If you've never auditioned your Sunday morning soloists, here is a good reason and reminders why you should probably meet with them early on to see what it's going to be like.

WARNING: Turn down your speakers!

Worship Confessional, May 10, 2009

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on Fred McKinnon's blog

Set List

A Life of Worship (Shift Worship) Opening video

Your Grace Is Enough (Maher) (Should have been the Key of G--we did it in A because that's what the track was keyed in... lower Key Jim, lower Key!

A New Hallelujah! (Smith) Second week for this song! We'll let it lay low for a couple of weeks and then bring it back.

Welcome/Mother's Day/ Baby Dedication (10 babies!)

Be Thou My Vision (Praise Charts)-- always a fave

Offertory Prayer

We Fall Down (Tomlin)

Message-- Children Obey --but watch out Mom/Dad---an encouragement for Mom's and Dad's to be intentional in the lives of their children.

Trust and Obey (Hymn)--this was a change at the last moment. We had scheduled "YOU NEVER LET GO" but when I sat down I just felt it wasn't right. Ever have those moments?

How was your Sunday?

PS. An accident last night with my Powerbook had it looking like this

This isn't my computer... but the screen to the right looks an awful lot like it.

An Unusual Funeral

I got a call about a week ago from a friend. His request was a little different. He asked if I would officiate at a mock funeral for Shattered Dreams (the program which recreates a scenario where kids are killed in a car accident because of alcohol abuse)

We met last Saturday and conducted the services. Their families were there and believe me it was just as difficult for them even though they knew that this was only pretend. I had to deliver a sermon (thank goodness for those preaching resources I have). I brought a message about the life of Job ("the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away--blessed be the name of the Lord)

I couldn't say anything about it until this was over (they presented it to the student body on Wednesday of this week)

You can see more of the photos here.

Taking Control

So, I'm back to an exercise regime. After laying off for a while ( I won't tell you how long) I'm back to rising early to walk 2 miles around our house.

It hasn't been easy but my recent weight loss due to surgery has spurred me on to get back in shape and I'm finding that I really missed this.

  • I have more time to think about the day and what has to happen.
  • I'm thinking creatively.
  • I'm communing with God as I listen to some great scripture songs while I walk
  • and I've set some goals for short term and long term.
I'm finding that I have more energy for the day and I'm sleeping better at night.

So, hold me accountable to this new project. I'll keep you posted how it's going.

What do you do for exercise?


This post is an update on the progress of the set for UNDER THE SYCAMORE TREE, which we will be doing at The Ritz Theater on May 22-24.

We are deep into rehearsals and so while trying to get the cast ready for the show I'm trying to work the edges with the set, sound, props, publicity etc. Not that I have to do all of this but being Director/Producer you have to make it happen. Luckily I have great people who will say "Yes" when I look at them with puppy dog eyes. Actually I enjoy trying to connect people to a project.

The flats went up this week (or most of them did) and we'll be ready for our local artist to come in and do her magic over the weekend or early next week. The stage won't quite be to concept (it's much smaller than I thought) but we'll get the gist of the scene.

I'm really proud of the cast. Early on it was slow getting to know each other and knowing the script, but they have picked it up and are moving really fast through the scenes. We run Acts 1 and 2 tonight off book (this is only 1 week after we did read through) and we'll finish blocking the whole show on Monday. That will leave us about a week to run and polish the show. I know that's not much time--but you deal with what your given.

Thanks to Dorothy for letting me post this on Creative Fuzion. I know it doesn't pertain to Church creativity--but it's where I'm expressing mine the most at the moment.

Publisher's Clearing House Winner--Not, but I did Win Something Big!

I've always dreamed of the day when my name would be called in the Publisher's Clearing House Giveaway. I secretly selected which house I wanted, which car and how much cash as I licked and affixed those stamps to the document. But I never won.

However, today was a different day. I was sitting at lunch when I got a Tweet from Fred McKinnon that said

"YOU WON! You won the registration to the National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas (off my blog). Send me email addy"

I shot back "No way!" but it was real. I have won a registration to the National convention in Kanas City in July! Awesome!

Fred will be there; so will Kendall, my blog friend from Hamlin and many more.

What a cool way to start a Monday!

Twittering In Church (Part 2)

I received a tweet yesterday about a Time magazine article this week about Twitter and church (you know the media is so "leading edge"--I wrote about this over a year ago)

I went to the article and realized it was quoting my friend, John Voelz, who had implemented Twitter in their services a year ago. John is definitely leading edge and they have implemented Twitter for use in their church (talkback during services, communication and note taking).

The media is all over Twitter now because the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Oprah Winfrey have jumped on it. But people like John are the real users of Twitter. They've learned how to harness the technology for impacting the world with the message of Christ.

Congratulations John! I can now say I know someone who was published in Time!

Worship Confessional, May 3, 2009

A great day of worship today @ FBC Snyder. I knew that it was going to be good Thursday night when we practiced.

Here's our set

You Are Holy (Prince of Peace)--Imboden--Love this song. We kind of wore it out when I first got here. It's been in the archives for a while. Brought it back today--it had power
A New Hallelujah!-(Smith). I've been holding this one since February when I hear MWS lead it at Recreate. It's a great song...and it goes great with YOU ARE HOLY!
Agnus Dei (Smith)--Wow--such power in this song this morning. People were really singing.

Welcolme/Announcements--we are still in the midst of our SHOES FOR ORPHAN SOULS campaign. We had the regional rep come today for an interview and showed this video.

How Marvelous (Tomlin)--I love this arrangement, but the repeats on the song (verses)make it seem so long. But it worked here today because it was the only song before the message.

Message: Husbands and Wives (Eph. 5: 22-31). A really good talk today about the roles of Husbands and Wives. Russell began with vs. 31 where it talks about leaving and cleaving. This really put the parameters on the marital relationship. Russel said "you can't love your neighbors until you love the neighbors you live with in your own home." It was powerful.

I Surrender All (HymnCharts arr). We used this one a couple of months ago... it's a good arrangement.

The Spirit was really present today--I could sense the power in the room. Just an overall good day.

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on Fred McKinnon's blog.

Big Government Spending For Dummies--Watch This

We found this video yesterday. All I can say is "Wow!" When you simplify the way our government spends money like water--it makes you want to have a TEA Party everyday! (Sorry Mr. President--TEA parties are real communication even though you choose to make fun of people who are fed up with the government that you make bigger everyday)

Watch this and tell me if this doesn't make sense!