Up The Down Staircase... MY New Office

Today is the first day I really feel settled in my office. I'm across the complex, up the stairs on the opposite side of the building. IT'S SO QUIET OVER HERE. I love it.

I'm reminded though it's a little like living in a two story house. You can't just remember to go back and get something. I'm constantly thinking of what can I take and drop off downstairs when I run for an errand and what can I bring back. Oh well, small price to pay to have some quiet time for me. I felt very productive today!

Worship Confessional, August 30, 2009

This post is part of Sunday Set List over on Fred McKinnon's blog. I've been posting these confessionals over there for a year. Thanks Fred for doing this. I've met some incredible worship leaders through this avenue.

Set List:
Indescribable (Story)--from the Brentwood-Benson collection "30 Minute choir

Today Is The Day (Brewster/Baloche) I taught them the "Oh Oh Oh" part today. Told them it was an ancient Old Testament song that the antiphonal choirs used to sing across the temple to each other.. I don't think the bought that, but they laughed anyway. Great song...

Baptism---two of our missionaries children were baptized this morning. Great to do this while they are home.


Our Heart (Dearman) I first heard this song 16 years ago and fell in love with it then. Since then Don Moen has done it and Travis Cottrell did it on VOICE OF THE FAITHUL, This song was on my ipod when we were in India 3 years ago. As I sat and waited to board the plane, this song was going over and over and over as I watched the nations go by me and get on the planes. This is Travis' version here on this video. I would have used it for our service, but the words were too small.

God You Reign (Brewster) This was a new one for us this week. I just love LINCOLN BREWSTER! Such a powerful song....

Holy, Holy, Holy (1verse) Our missionary was to lead on REVELATION SONG, so he came in on Holy, Holy, Holy to get him there and ready (and in key). Set up was great.

Revelation Song (Riddle) Terry led on this one too and the team backed him up. Congregation joined in and stood up too! Wow!

Morning Message--Terry Jones
This was our second week to hear from local people who are serving around the globe. The Jones' live in India.

Terry spoke about his ministry there in India and basically brought the message in the style where he would go and speak to believers in India (recalling a biblical story and then asking them to repeat the story to him). I loved what he said about WITNESS in the new testament. It's never used as a verb--meaning to "do" but it's always used as a noun--meaning that's what we already are and should be! Wow! He also described that a healthly church in India is expected to plant other churches --if a church doesn't give birth to another churcn in India it's considered to be a "problem" church. Hmm..does that word condemn the american church who is so preoccupied with more and more and more... Wow again!

You Said (Houston) One of my favorite Reuben Morgan songs. Such a call to missions and sharing Christ.

Mighty To Save (Houston) Another Reuben Morgan song. Worked well! Can I just say I love Reuben Morgan's songs... everyone of Hillsong's faves I have are Morgan's songs. There's just something about his writing that captures me.

NEW MEMBER PRESENTATION--presented new members.

How was your Sunday?

DNA-- Knowing Why You Were Created

There are few sermons that I go back and listen to for the second time. I mean they are rare. Today I'd like to tell you about one that I've listened to twice and probably will again.

Pete Wilson, pastor at Crosspoint Church in Nashville, preached a sermon two weeks ago in the opening of the their DNA series. I'm telling you that it gripped me the first time I heard it and it did the same thing today. You can listen to the sermon here.

Some of the things that stuck out to me from Pete's message:
  • "I don't want to give my life to an institution"--Pete
  • " Spiritual growth is not measured in how much you know about Jesus, but how much you've grown in your relationship with him and with others"
  • "It's time to get our noses out of our study and into action...we don't need another bible study to make us grow-we need to exercise what we already know!"
  • "Spiritual growth is measured in relationship"
  • "You are responsible (to own) your spiritual life--to make it grow and go deeper. It's not the church's responsibility to make you grow"
  • "Love God, Love people--it's that simple"

I listened to this message as I ran this morning. It energized me as Pete spoke these words which I find to be true. I truly resonate with what my friend Pete preaches.

Let The Games Begin.. Snyder Tiger Football

I once heard a story about a seminarian who interviewed with a church about a pastoral position. The seminarian returned to the campus and told his professor "they kept asking if I was community minded?" The professor asked "What did you say?" The seminarian said "Yes! But they kept asking it again and again". The professor asked "You know what they mean don't you?" The seminarian "No". The wise old professor said "They want to know if you go to the out of town football games!"There is nothing more important in a small town than the local football team. The year and it's greatness hang in the balance every Friday night.

Tonight we begin the season in Big Spring. We'll have one in the band, one in the youth group bus and one with us. So--"we're community minded"

The picture above is our oldest and her friend Chance Young at the Pep Rally this morning. Yes, we even attend the pep rallies!

Time Is Passing.........Fast

School has started and as is our family tradition, we take a family photo on the first day of school. (and also a trip to the donut store)

The first pic is from 2001 and the other from 2000. By 2001 all had were in school ( and Mom and I actually went and celebrated that day). The last picture is yesterdays.

The kids have grown and I've grown old...wow---time flys by--fast.

Worship Confessional, August 23, 2009

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

Set List

Call To Worship--Worship Choir- THE SOLID ROCK
We are using the Brentwoon-Benson Book "30 Minute Choir" to kickstart our Worship choir this fall. Easy but great arrangements. Take a listen to them. This was the hymn The SOLID ROCK...upbeat! Good opener.

Today is the Day (Brewster)...man I've been waiting forever to do this song. We introduced it today. I reached back and told our congregation that every generation has sung this scripture in a different way. (I even reached back and sang the old "THIS IS THE DAY"--and said if you sang that song when it came out you were really cutting edge--with a beat. Then I taught them the chorus to the song first). Wow!! This song had such energy this morning--really exciting.

More information from Lincoln about the song can be seen here. We didn't do the the OH OH OH part...can't do it all at once.

Days of Elijah (Marks). Sometimes we sing songs that we really don't know the background to them. I shared the background of this song this morning. We aren't LITERALLY living in the Days of Elijah (that's not the point of the song) We are living in the days when the God of Elijah, Moses, Ezekiel and David still speaks, still moves and still acts. We are living in the days when God is speaking...will we be brave enough to declare "Behold he comes..." Wow--I've missed this song and our people SANG!


O Worship The King (Tomlin) Another great song that we don't sing often enough. Great!

Offering (Baloche) It's been 4 years now since we introduced this song here. It's become such a standard for us. When we sing it we sing with such feeling and heart--I just love it.

Don't Run--Missions Video from Worship Films. Thought this was a great intro into our missions section. Great video.

Speak To Me---I sang Tommy Walker's new song SPEAK TO ME. This song has become such an anthem for me in these days. I listen to it in the early morning hours when I walk and I see the handiwork of God. It fit perfectly after the video and asking the Lord to speak to us.

Morning Message---The next two weeks we are hearing from Missionaries out of our church. Today was Bob/Georgette Kornegay who have been in Guatemala for almost 2 years now. They sold everything and went down there to start a ministry. I was part of the trip to Guatemala in 2006 that birthed this vision in them. It's so exciting to see where God has taken them.

Heart of Worship---Redman.... Again--another goodie that we don't sing often enough. A great reminder in these days when we think the church has to have to much to be "in". All we need is a heart of worship.

How was your day?

Words Are Like Feathers!

Feathers from trey taylor on Vimeo.

My good friend, Dorothy Holland, sent me this video in response to my "WHY DO WE SAY THAT" post from yesterday. This is a clip from a series they did last year called FEATHERS. It's powerful.

Heard from someone else yesterday (in fact 2 people) that they had been victims in the last few days of stray words from believers. I guess hunting season is open! Be careful...and watch out for those feathers.

Do You Want Me To Do Your Funeral?

An interesting article today in USA TODAY was pointed out to me by my good friend, Kyle Goen. You must read it and tell me what you think?

Being in a small town, I'm called upon regularly to meet with families that have no church affiliation or relationship with a church. In fact a friend across the world the other day said "Jim, how many funerals do you do in a week?" There have been weeks when I've done 3-4.

When I meet with a family that doesn't have a church relationship, I listen very closely to hear their story. Most of them do want assurance of where their loved one is now. I don't try to make the deceased into a hero if he/she wasn't one. But by including the family story in with the story of God's greater story, somehow it all works together.

Where situations are difficult I focus on God's unchanging plan and love for the creation he died for and for the hope that we who are left on this place have in Jesus.

So, do you want me to do your funeral?

Why Do We Say That?

I guess I've become more aware lately of things said "in gossip" (and in Christian circles that can come in many forms--prayer concerns, spiritual concern, etc) about fellow believers.

It's going on all the time and I honestly think that it has become so much a part of who we are that we don't know that we're doing it.

Case in point: someone yesterday "supposed" to know something about someone that I love and know dearly. Their supposition about this person was completely false and in fact "GOSSIP". I really don't think they know they were doing it. If that fact has been shared about this person, then a sin has been committed.

Another case in point, I know believers now who are wounded because of words from"spiritual" people about the journey that these believers are on. Good and godly people have been injured by "supposition" about these situations (and I'm appalled at some of the things that have been said "in love" to these folks). We wouldn't dare treat the unbelieving world this way--why in heaven's name would we treat a fellow family member like this?

My thought - we don't know that we're doing it ( and sometimes we don't care that we're doing it).

I'm pointing the finger right back at me--my eyes have been opened to the way that we treat each other in the name of love.

God forgive us!

Worship Confessional, August 16, 2009

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

Call To Worship-- Scripture Reading Ezra 3: 1-13 - the people proclaimed "He is good; His love endures forever"

Forever (Tomlin)-- a good one that we forget about. Good to bring it back.

I Have A Hope (Walker)--Third week for this one. We'll let it rest for a while. But still love it.

We received an award from Buckner International for collecting the most shoes in the medium church category. We were presented with a bronzed shoe. We in turn gave Buckner the Large pair of 21 Nike Sneakers that we used to promote the Shoes Campaign. Good laughter here.

Video Bumper--Jonah Chapter 4 (from CCC Omaha) DIDN' HAPPEN
We would have shown this bumper video--but Media Shout decided not to cooperate and crashed each time we tried to import the .mov file. Very frustrating.

My Savior's Love (Hymn for Praise/Worship-Cottrell arr)-- Good change up on a familiar hymn.

Psalm 23--NIV--We read this scripture aloud. It's always great to hear God's people saying his word together.

You Never Let Go (Redman)

Morning Message

Big Enough God (Riddle) Last week for this one. This has been a theme song for us all summer during the Jonah series. Thanks Jenny Riddle for a great song.

You Never Let Go (Chorus)

So, how was your Sunday?

So, Madam Speaker, What Has Changed?

Wisdom From Beyond The Grave

You've got to listen to this speech by Ronald Reagan in 1961. It's scary how he predicts the situation that we are in now with our NATIONAL HEALTHCARE DEBATE. Can we bring Ronald Reagan back please!!!

Get "OUT OF MY DREAMS"--Oklahoma

A maddening thing about being in a musical is that the music is imprinted in your brain and short term memory so deep that it takes days for you to de-program from the production.

Case in point: Last night in my dreams all I could hear was " Out of my dreams and into your arms.." It was crazy!

So--OKLAHOMA--Get out of my dreams. I'm done with you!!!

Daily Audio Bible Podcast--The Word on The Run!

One of the things I'm enjoying the most in my morning exercise time is listening to the DAILY AUDIO BIBLE podcast. Each morning I get a new download with an Old Testament reading, New Testament reading, a Psalm and a proverb.

Each morning it is comforting as I walk/run to hear God's word spoken over me. As I'm trying to get in shape physically, God's working on my heart to make me inwardly strong.

They even have a podcast for kids--which I think is pretty forward thinking. Might just get Daniel to pull it up and give it a listen.

What other "digital" resources have you found that are encouraging to you?

A Family Affair--OKLAHOMA

Part of the fun this week has been the families that have participated in this production. We've had families with 4 or more members participating. These are their pictures. What better way than to spend time together in the theater.

Worship Confessional, August 9, 2009

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

Set List

Start Small--Opening video (ShiftWorship) a great thinking opener--find something to praise and thank the Lord about this week.

I HAVE A HOPE (Walker) Second week for this song.. I love it!



IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL (Hymn Charts arr.)

WHO CAN SATISFY (Jernigan) This section of songs was extremely powerful today. We had the family of the twins that passed away in our service today. I had no idea when I planned the service a couple of weeks ago that we would be singing these songs about hope and grace in the midst of the storms of life. Wow--Holy Spirit was there.

Morning Message-Jonah: Is Your God In A Box?

Only 1 more week in Jonah. We've intentionally slowed down the use of new songs this summer in order to "stay" with a song until it a catches on in the congregation. This has been very different for me--but it's been good as the congregation can immediately join in and contribute. I think when I looked last week that we had done GOD OF THIS CITY 4 times, BIG ENOUGH GOD 6 times and RESCUE three times in this 8 week period.

How was your Sunday?


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Make New Friends... But Keep The Old

Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test -
Time and change - are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray,
Friendship never knows decay.
For 'mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die,
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast-
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
Joseph Parry

Goodbyes are hard. Layne left this morning for Corsicana. He stopped by the hotel where our friends, The Rayburnes, were staying. I knew this morning would be hard, but it was doubly so saying goodbye to him and them at the same time.

Good friends across the years. They make the journey worth it.

Only A Twin Would Understand

Today's funeral for the two Dillard twin boys reminded me of something; there are just some things that only twins understand about each other. There is an unmistakeable bond between twins--and I'm not talking the psychic stuff.

Hearing the stories today of the Dillard boys and how they took up for each other and fought with each other reminded me of the times I spent with my brother Jon. We were together from womb
to High school graduation; sharing birthday parties, classrooms, Boys Scouts and RA Basketball.

Jon and I get along great and he's one of my advisers when I need another perspective. We're different in personality (I'm artsy and he's analytical) but we compliment each other in many ways. We even married girs with similar names (Jon married De Ann--I married Diane)

I texted Jon afterwards-- I don't tell him often enough how much I love having a brother.


Twelve years have gone by today son; it seems just like yesterday when they were telling me you were on the way. I can remember the moment you entered this world-screaming at the top of your lungs.

Twelve years have passed by; so many parties and places and friends. I hope this day you'll have a blast as you play with your block buddies and enjoy the last days of summer.

Thanks for the joy you've brought to our lives...and by the way, stay out of my ice cream sandwiches in the ice box!

Happy BirthdayDoodle Bug!

I Will Run The Race

Today begins week two of my running regiment. It's gonna be a slow process, but I think I can do it.

Back in 2002/2003 I was a prolific runner, doing 5k's and 10k's and really feeling good about myself and what I was accomplishing. Later in 2003 my world fell apart at church and I began to coast physically (still going to a gym) but not paying particular attention to my progress (or lack of) and my eating patterns.

When I arrived here in 2005 I started to run again, but the fire and desire of running had gone out. Again, I let my circumstances dictate my health and well being and thus found myself this year at a whopping 40 pounds heavier than when I arrived in 2005.

I began a walking regiment in April slowly building up from 1 mile to 2 and finally up to 8 miles and beyond. People have seen me walking all over the place and have questioned me why I'm out and about so far. I tell them not to worry, that is my time with God and with myself. I tell them to worry if they see me toting along a suitcase.

Last week I began to run again. I set myself some goals ("make it to the end of the block", "make it to the CVS on College", "make it Citibank" and today "make it to the Smith's on Ave. V") I'm amazed at each day when I pass where I was yesterday that I feel a little more confident. I have a little more spring and capacity in my lungs to go a few more steps.

I guess it's that way in life too. Just set a few goals and reach them, then move the marker and set some more. I had forgotten how important that was not only to your physical health, but to your mental health too.

I'm aiming for the 5K Run at the White Buffalo Days here in October (that's about 8-9 weeks away) and then my son and I will run a 10K at Thanksgiving in Fort Worth.

What are you shooting for?

PS: I'm down 35 pounds since March 2009.... and working on 35 more!

Worship Confessional, August 2, 2009

This post is part of Sunday Set List over on Fred McKinnon's Blog

Another goodbye today as our Youth Minister, Layne Scott, has resigned and is going into coaching this week. That makes 3 staff departures in a month and 1 more is to come as our Administrator leaves at the end of the month to go back into retirement. Add to that the departure of 1 more secretary and our children's intern for the summer--that will be 7 so longs this summer. That's a lot of goodbyes!

Worship was good today--but we're still a little reserved in our singing and participation. I think the departures have had some effect in that area. We introduced Tommy Walkers " I HAVE A HOPE" song. I really believe that song will be an encouragement to us in the coming days.

Here's the rest of the list:

Psalm 42 -Scripture Reading

I Have A Hope (Walker) This is a great song. So powerful and encouraging. Listen to it here!

Because of Your Love (Baloche) I love this song.. so exciting to sing.

Video--Faith Weaver Friends (a new program beginning in the fall)


I Will Sing of My Redeemer/You Set Me Free (Cottrell) Off of his new album--a good firm hymn with a new chorus that really sings. Listen to it here.

What Can I Do (Baloche) Ah.. one of my favorites!!!

Awesome God (Mullins) Chorus only

Message--Continuing series in Jonah ( only 2 more weeks of this)

Rescue (Anderson)
Everlasting God (Brown)

Speak To Me

In these days of changing situations with our church, this song has come to mean a great deal to me. It is the cry of my heart for the Lord to speak to me.

Listen to the song and let me know what you think.