Worship Confessional, May 30, 2010

This post is part of Sunday Set List over on The Worship Community Blog.

Today we began our series on BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH, complete with Robbie in scrubs as we looked at the 10 Characteristics of a healthy church. This week our church body is taking the CHAT (Church health assessment test).

Set List

Opening Prayer --Prayer For A Healthy Church

Love The Lord (Lincoln Brewster) We opened with this one since it was the "text" of the sermon today.

Bless The Lord (Laura Story)  2nd week on this one.  However, we did it in F-Gb (yikes) instead of our "G-Ab" from last week.  Reminder to self--do it in G

Welcome/ Announcements

Missions Moment--Belgium ( We featured my friend Kyle Goen who is going to plant a Sending Church in Belgium in 2011.  Kyle and I have known each other for 17+ years as we served as Ministers of Youth in the same association in the early 1990's.  It sure was good to see his face on the screen today)

Kyle Goen Belgium Testimony from Kyle Goen on Vimeo.

Offertory Prayer

Jesus Messiah (Tomlin)  Been a long one since we did this one.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Lincoln Brewster)  Great hymn

Morning Message--What Is A Healthy Church?  Robbie Boyd

Here and Now (Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown)  Last time for this one for a while.  I think we really know it by now.

How was your Sunday?

Let's CHAT

Our church is beginning this week to take the Church Health Assessment Test (CHAT) over on Healthychurch.net.   We are looking forward to seeing the responses of leadership and the congregation and understanding where we are and where we discern the Lord leading us to go as a body of believers.

I like what Rick says here that CHAT will give us ACCURATE INFORMATION and we add the PRAYERFUL DISCERNMENT and the end result will be CLARITY which I think any church now days would welcome.

I'll keep you posted on the results and the process.

Memorial Day--Remembering Those Who Gave

We received a message this morning from our local Boy Scout troops they were needing locals to come and help place flags on the graves of those who have served in the military to honor them on Memorial Day.  This is something I've always thought about doing--and so this morning we did.  Diane and I headed out, puppies in tow, to help at Hillside and Snyder Cemetery
Walking among all of those graves I recognized some prominent family names around here:  Cogdell, Stinson, Sears, Towle are some of the families that have lived here a long time.  Some of them had sons who served in the military and gave their all.   

I came across graves from 1950 (Korean War) and World War II and many who served but lived long past the conflicts.  My own father served in World War II (but the only insignia on his grave is a small chaplains cross) and Diane's dad is buried in a National Cemetery.  So, I had the feeling that I was honoring their service too as I walked among the locals.

Have you ever done this on Memorial Day?

Remembering The Reason For Memorial Day

Just a reminder why we are given the day to remember

Creative Church Stage Designs

I've found a new website for stage designs which gives me some great ideas for future sets. These are simple designs by local churches.

I love the creativity here (some simple as inspiration from a rug at Lowes) Some use fabric or coroplast circles. Dig into this site and see what you can find.

Other sites: Productionmusings.com

Getting Older In Leadership

I heard this bit of information the other day while on the SAGE conference (webinar) produced by the LEADERSHIP NETWORK (5/19/10) and I thought it was an interesting topic to explore about LEADERSHIP.

I don't even remember which speaker spoke about this but he was talking about the fact (undeniable) that leadership ages year after year.  As we all know situations around us are changing with the times (economic, political, social, religious, values, etc) and that each year leadership faces the challenge of staying "up with the times" or "relevant" as the new buzz word says.

The speaker talked about leaders who tried to keep the same "persona" that they had while they were young and that as they aged they couldn't see themselves any other way.  It almost becomes a farce to see these leaders who are stuck in the past and can't adapt.

But as sad as it is to see those stuck is to see those who try to be something they are not in order to be relevant.

He then referred to The William Shatner Effect (nod to SAGE conference on 5/19/10). We all know William Shatner (if not for STAR TREK then this generation will certainly know him from his PRICELINE ads).  Shatner has been a star on the scene since the late 50's and he's a person who has learned to adapt.

The speaker talked about two things that have made Shatner a player in today's game.

1.Shatner let go of who he was.  He's no longer Captain Kirk.  He's given that role off to another generation and he's taken on roles that almost are the opposite of Kirk with his zany lawyer role on a recent sitcom.  This, the speaker said, was Shatner's genius in that he no longer took himself so seriously and gripped to his past accomplishments in order to feel relevant.  Shatner's adaptability is something to emulate for leaders who are growing older.  Don't hold on to who you were--but hold on to who you are and let that be expressed in current terms, within the scope of your situation.

That's true for me as a worship leader.  I can not rock the look of a "castro hat, white belt, tight jeans and Abercrombie shirt" worship leader.  It would be almost comical for me to pull that off as "the new me".  However, I can be aware of culture and how certain things that are essentially me can be expressed in "current" terms.  I must be about that in order to stay up in leadership.

2. Shatner has matured not turned old.  Shatner has allowed his character(s) to express who he is right now.  His roles and visibility are the essence of who he is right now, not the gold shirt wearing Captain of the Enterprise.   He is "relevant" because of his presence in the "now" and not the "back then " (man, that's a lot of quotations in this post!")

A leader must define his current reality and let his skills and sets be expressed within that realm.  In that regard it is difficult to stay up with all of the changes in technology and things--but if you want to stay a leader you must stay sharp.  Knowledge is never ending and I'm surprised at leaders who just stop growing.  I hope I never get that way.

So, what do you think of the William Shatner Effect in leadership?

This might lead to a whole set of posts on TV CHARACTER LEADERSHIP (aka...The Andy Griffith Effect, The Jethro Bodine Effect.. )

The Skinny On Worship--See If You're Here!

Well, it's always fun to "laugh" at ourselves and how seriously we take the topic of worship. See if any of these tickle you!  

As I always say--there's truth in humor

The Tangible Kingdom

I'm kind of late to the game on this book. About a year ago I heard the buzz about it, but just now have cracked the cover on it and boy can I tell you that in the first 30 pages I tagged something about every third paragraph. There's just something when you see something in writing that has been rambling around in your mind and heart. I'm afraid I know how this will end--it will be another book to "ruin" me to status quo in the local church.  I won't ever be the same again.

I'll keep you posted as I go and as I delve into the issues and statements that I read. All those that I've already marked are worthy of individual blogs and posts here. I'll try not to overwhelm you with all of my gleanings.

You can download 16 pages of the book here and read it for yourself.

What A Healthy Church Looks Like!- CrossPoint Nashville

As we study healthy churches in the New Testament and in context of today's church culture, I thought I'd point to one real life example of a healthy church.  God is blessing them richly.

CrossPoint church is a 7 year old church plant in the heart of Nashville. They have 3 satellite campuses (Dickson, North and Bellevue) and have exploded in growth.  They meet most if not all of the 10 Characteristics of A Healthy Church.

1. God's Empowering Presence--I've been here in their worship services and it's true. The feeling of God's life changing power is in the music, in the elements and in the teaching of Pete Wilson.  They are constantly baptizing people and are having life change happen before their very eyes.
2. God-Exalting Worship--ditto...everything points to the Father.

3-Spiritual Disciplines --they are constantly urging their people to practice the disciplines of a spiritual life (prayer, fasting, scripture memory, bible study, journaling..etc)
4-Learning and Growing in Community --they are continually adding small groups and community groups to their body. They state that this is the heart of CrossPoint. It shows when 600 new people sign up for community groups in one Sunday
5-A Commitment to Loving and Caring Relationships--countless stories of people walking with other people through lifes situations (the Nashville flood recently highlighted the work of the Holy Spirit through Cross Point)
6-Servant‐Leadership Development --this is refreshing as I find that their staff is TEAM ORIENTED and leadership is shared across the organization---very different!
 7-An Outward Focus--again, when the Nashville flood hit, there was no question "if" but "when and where" CrossPoint would jump in.  It was immediate and was noticed.  They operate a shelter in downtown Nashville and continually have community service days for their congregation.
8-Wise Administration and Accountability -led by capable Elders and staff their structure is sound
9-Networking with the Body of Christ ---they are constantly networking across the country and around the globe to impact the world. They have works in Dominican Republic and India. Their networking capabilities brought in workers for flood relief from across the country.

 10-Stewardship and Generosity--- constantly teaching about the meaning of stewardship and generous giving, the people of Cross Point are amazing in this area.

I guess for me as we look at BECOMING A HEALTY CHURCH it's good to find examples to look out, not to compare ourselves to, but to say "IT CAN BE DONE!"  Thanks CrossPoint for showing the way.

Giving God Your "Yes"

Kyle Goen | April 19, 2009 Testimony from LifePoint Church on Vimeo.

I'm excited that this week in Worship we will focus on the country of Belgium.  My good friend, Kyle Goen, who is Executive Pastor at LifePoint Church in Smyrna, Tennessee has surrendered to a call to go and plant churches in Belgium.

Listen to Kyle as he tells how he came to this decision.  Knowing Kyle, this is a huge step in his life and the life of his family.  Kyle served at FBC Venus (not the planet--the town near Fort Worth) while I served in Alvarado in the early 90's.  We both knew each other pre-children days and shared some great ministry times together at church camps and events.  Our friendship has carried across the years.

Pray for the Belgium Team from LifePoint that will go and start a work there later this year and into 2011.

Is your "Yes" on the line?

Other articles:  A Church's Call To Belgium
                       God's Call To Belgium
                        Asking Questions

Characteristics of A Healthy Church

This week our church begins a series and emphasis on BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH.  We are not alone in this arena.  I read over the weekend where 82% of the churches in America are plateaued or declining and are in need of some close inspection as to "why" the church isn't thriving.

I suspect that we'll find over the course of the 12-15 weeks we'll spend on this that most of it is a spiritual condition, but human events and fingerprints on our condition will be noticed and evidenced.  It can't be helped because the church is made up of people.

We're taking a survey of leadership and the congregation at healthychurch.net and it's grading us in the areas of 10 Characteristics.  These characteristics were noted in a group of healthy churches; regardless of size, style, preference or locale.  All of them were thriving healthy churches.  Just think of it like a baseline exam that you get from your Doctor.  It tells you where you are now (not necessarily what got you there--although you probably have a pretty good idea already) and it tells you where you need to go to become healthy.

Here are the characteristics listed:
Characteristic 1-God's Empowering Presence 
Characteristic 2-God‐Exalting Worship
Characteristic 3-Spiritual Disciplines
Characteristic 4-Learning and Growing in Community
Characteristic 5-A Commitment to Loving and Caring Relationships
Characteristic 6-Servant‐Leadership Development
Characteristic 7-An Outward Focus
Characteristic 8-Wise Administration and Accountability
Characteristic 9-Networking with the Body of Christ
Characteristic 10-Stewardship and Generosity

Over the next few months you'll see lots of posts about this effort.  I hope you'll share your experiences in becoming healthy and also in helping the church become "what she was created to be--the BRIDE OF CHRIST--given to show HIS GLORY!"

You can also read a portion of the book that formed the basis of this survey here.

Worship Confessional, May 23, 2010

This post is part of Sunday Set List over on The Worship Community Blog.

Another Sunday... and I sit here looking back and looking forward.   I've said in recent post how the Month of May has seemed like an endless promotion for this or that (missions here, VBS, Camps, graduates, moms, babies dedicated, shoes collected, dinners, testimonies, business meetings, departures, etc).  Maybe it's just the musician in me, but for me worship (the act of the, the engagement in and the appreciation of the function of) has taken a back seat this month to all of the business of church.

We have continually shortened our worship portion in order to accomodate all of these special events this month.  Sitting there this morning the thought came to me that it's going to take a while to get back into the groove of worship (meaning really engaging in worship ) in the coming months and that won't be easy with people beginning to leave for vacations.  I guess for summer it will be a sensitivity how to get people back in the mindset of participating in worship.

I understand that when the church gathers that information must be communicated about group life, but hear me when I say that at some point "everyone's announcement that is urgent and necessary" becomes more dialogue to ourselves about ourselves and not about God.  Worship is for and to God.  I'm afraid that we've lost that meaning.

Bless The Lord (Laura Story)--I've been wanting to sing this song for a while.  We opened by reading Psalm 103 and I hope that people will remember that little chorus this week "Bless the Lord O My soul--all that's in me bless his name"

Indescribable (Laura Story)--Another Laura Story song.  My bass player said "Hey, it's a Laura Story Sunday" :)   We love this song.


Recognition of our Interim Teaching Pastor--Ed Ethridge.  This was Ed's last day with us as he heads back to the Metroplex to be interim at another church closer to home.

Missions Moment--Australia --Sarah Carpenter, member of our praise team is leaving in July for Hillsong Leadership College in Sydney.  Sarah shared not only about Hillsong but about the spiritual condition of Australia.  We also prayed for one of our students leaving for Kenya this week.

Recognition of Senior Class---Prayer time for these graduates.


Immortal Invisible (Laura Story)  -Cut due to time

From The Inside Out (Joel Houston)

Morning Message-- What To Say On A New Day-Ed Ethridge

Here and Now (Paul Baloche/Benton Brown)

Next Sunday we begin our summer series BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH.

Ronnie--Not Your Typical Church Member?

As we begin this journey on BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH it's good to sometimes laugh at things and think "oh, my goodness, we're not like that" (and we're not totally like RONNIE) But if we are honest with ourselves there is a little bit of Ronnie in each of us.

Our expectations of CHURCH LIFE have been set from our upbringing, our experiences, our education and our culture.  Could any one of these be a reason that "RONNIE" is the way he is?   Could that be true of us too?

So--laugh with (not at Ronnie) because truth be told RONNIE lives within all of us.

Strengths Finder--Me Vs. My Twin

On a recent trip with my twin brother, we talked about our difference and similarities and I urged him to take the Clifton Strengthsfinder test from Gallup.  I had taken this test some 6 years ago and have lived by its results ever since.  My results are:

(Ideation was a close one too--and it showed up on my original test)

Here are my twin's results
As Buckingham says in the video above " I know that I'm different than my brother, sister" and it's amazing to me that two people nurtured and raised in the same environment have such distince differences in strengths.  Guess it just goes to prove the scriptural basis "that I'm an fearfully and wonderfully made" and that my creator knows my individuality.
What are your strengths?
Where to take the Strengthsfinder test

Daniel Pink --Six Things

Here is a breakdown of Pink's 6 Things that will be important in the new economy

Design – He called this “a fundamental business literacy.” He spoke of General Motors‟ Vice Chairman for Global Product Development, Robert Lutz, saying “We are in the arts and entertainment business,” and of the CEO of Procter & Gamble saying, “I don‟t think anyone thinks we‟re not in the design business. . . It‟s all design.”

Story – He said that because “we live in a world of ubiquitous, free facts,” telling a story about a product adds value for customers. “Story as a differentiator is where design was about 12 years ago,” he observed. He told about buying wine and being influenced by the “back story” on the label of Big Tattoo wine. (You can read that story at http://www.bigtattoowines.com/about/)

Symphony – Describing this as “the ability to see the big picture, connect the dots, combine things into something new,” he said, “This is in many ways to killer app in business today.” He observed that a study of leaders by Daniel Goleman showed that the lone difference between today‟s successful leaders and others is “pattern recognition,” and he noted that self-made millionaires are four times as likely to be dyslexic as the population in general.

Empathy is valuable, he said, because it helps in designing products with significance and not just utility, and it‟s a skill that is “hard to automate.”

Play leads to creative breakthroughs and is also, he said, “a marker of organizational health.”

Regarding Meaning, reiterating a point he had made earlier he said, “The search for meaning has been democratized. I think it‟s one of the biggest things going on today


Authors That Have Shaped Me---Seth Godin

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?     Tribes: We Need You to Lead UsTribes: We Need You to Lead Us

My introduction to Godin came through Twitter and the buzz surrounding the book TRIBES.  It's a short book but oh so full of power packed thoughts and ideas.  I believe that it is the most marked up book that I have in my library.

What I enjoyed most about Godin was his non-linear approach to the topic.  The book read almost like a "brain dump" of collected ideas that were sketched on a napkin or in a daily journal.  I guess that's why each thought was so concentrated and full of "life".

I read the LINCHPIN book too with as much anticipation as I did TRIBES.  Godin again didn't disappoint with his insights into the changing economy and job scene.

I'd encourage you to pick up a Godin book and then tell me what you think.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Godin's Website
Godin's Blog

Authors That Have Shaped Me---Daniel Pink

There are a few authors who have so captured my imagination with their writing as Dan Pink have.  A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the FutureA Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
When I read "A WHOLE NEW MIND" I felt like he was inside my head, rummaging through the file cabinets of my ideas and feelings.  It was a good but strange feeling.

One morning earlier this month I awoke and couldn't go back to sleep. I searched on YouTube for Dan Pink's profile and came across these talks.  I listened to all 6 sessions and yes, he captured my imagination again with his talk on Abundance and Asia and other things that are affecting our world right now.

I'm working my way through Free Agent Nation right now.  It's a dangerous book, but everywhere I look I see what Pink is saying is coming true.  We are no longer a nation of factories and widgets, but of ideas and idealists who are searching for the next great thing.  That is where the future lies for the American economy.

I challenge you to sit down and listen to all 6 of these talks. They are amazing.  Then let's discuss what Pink says is the future...and how it will be here sooner than we think.

Summary of Daniel Pink talk

What Is A Healthy Church?

Macchia's book is an excellent starting point on church health. It's so practical and I love that each chapter ends with a prayer embodying the essence of that chapter in a couple of sentences.

Our focus this summer will be on "BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH" which begs the question "What is a healthy church?" It's a question that not only faces FBC Snyder, but the larger church in general.

This year I finish up my 23rd year in ministry and to be honest with you every church that I have served has had issues with church health. They varied in degrees, but all struggled with manifestations of poor health (lack of vitality, growth, discipline, vision, etc)but often they were masked by circumstances and events that somehow pointed in another direction.

I'm excited that we're going to tackle these issues. No, it won't be easy but it will be necessary to look under the hood and understand our church and THE CHURCH and do our part of being a healthy body. We've got many things planned to help us in these areas. I'll be blogging about a lot of this so get ready.

What do you think makes a healthy church?

What Glee Does Best

I've written before how my daughters are taken with GLEE and each Tuesday evening we all gather around the TV (even DVR'd) to see and hear the music of the week.

The magic of GLEE is a combination of music, high school drama and a reminder of those high school issues and events that we'd all like to forget.

They cover all music (from JOURNEY, VANILLA ICE, FRANK SINATRA, LADY GAGA, and the best of Broadway)

The "I Dreamed A Dream" sequence from last night's show was magical. No wonder it's a hit among all ages and I must admit that I have a GLEE channel on my Pandora internet radio.

So, have you seen GLEE? What do you think?

Focusing On A Healthy Church

This Summer we'll be focusing on BECOMING A HEALTHY CHURCH and I thought I'd list some of the resources we'll be using.
What Is a Healthy Church?

What Is a Healthy Church?

Becoming a Healthy Church: Ten Traits of a Vital Ministry
Becoming a Healthy Church: Ten Traits of a Vital Ministry

It's going to be a busy and interesting summer as we tackle this subject.

Worship Confessional, May 16, 2010

I'm pre-posting this since I will be in the final performance of SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY at The Ritz this afternoon when this comes up.

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on The Worship Community blog. It's where worship leaders exchange their orders of worship for the day and dialogue about worship.

Set List

This is a short day of music because of a special testimony and other things. Seems like May is the busiest month (Mother's Day, Graduates, Memorial Day, VBS Sign up, dinners, etc) I hate that we don't have more time for worship during this month. But, it is what it is.

HAPPY DAY (Hughes) Second week on this one. I'm running into lots of churches that are singing this right now.

Welcome/Announcements/ Offering

Offertory Music -Judy Brown


HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING (Tomlin) Brought this one back. It's been about 6 months since we sang it.

Morning Message- Ed Ethridge

HERE AND NOW (Baloche/Brown) Our commitment song for the month.

How was your Sunday?

Bombarded by Banquets

We are in the midst of BANQUET month here in Snyder. It began May 1 and will end near the end of May as each week we have at least one banquet (band, choir, drama, tennis, etc)

Talking this morning with my wife while loading up a bunch of stuff to help decorate for the drama banquet, I told my wife while I was growing up we never had this many banquets. I'm going to risk sounding really old when I say "we didn't do that when I was in school"

We had "the ALL SPORTS BANQUET" and "THE JUNIOR-SENIOR BANQUET" and that was it when I was growing up and I can honestly say, I'm ok with that. Nowadays we have a banquet and dinner for every group (and it usually includes the same things for all of them--honors, slideshows, trophies, certificates, etc) and each one seems to get bigger and bigger each year. Do we really have to have all of these? Are these just the invention of parents who somehow feel like "they missed out" in their school days? Really, I'd like to hear your opinion.

In my thought it somehow started as an innocent idea and has now grown into this "overscheduled" event that crowds out life at the end of school. A text I received from another parent today ("Another banquet?") makes me think I'm not the only one who is thinking this way.

Let me know what you think?

Environmental Projection

Over three years ago I was struck by the pictures from a magazine that showed Irving Bible Church and their use of environmental projection. Camron Ware was the designer and he created some breathtaking scenes for worship.

In the years since, this technology has taken off and now is one of the leading technologies on Broadway and other experience staging events.

More and more churches are using it to transform blank walls and space into cathedrals and cities to enhance their worship.

What do you think?

My Online Pastor--Pete Wilson

For over 2 years now I have been influenced by a Pastor that I don't see every week. I don't shake his hand at the end of a service. I don't even hear his voice live. But through the miracle of technology and the web, I'm able to hear and participate in the ministry of Crosspoint Church in Nashville.

Pete Wilson, pastor of Crosspoint (I love it when Pete introduces himself "Hi, I'm Pete, one of the pastors here at Crosspoint) has become one of the people in my life that I look to for direction and challenge. His constant challenges through his messages are highlights of my week. Pete has even become my running partner as I listen to his sermons as I run. There have been times that I have run twice as long listening to something very profound that Pete has said.

The recent Nashville floods have shown the world what I've known about Pete since I began to listen to him. He's a humble and authentic leader. He cares for people and for the Kingdom of God. It's evident and the world is finding out about it, not because that's Pete's desire, but because his heart of compassion is evident to all who meet him.

We've met in person a couple of times and keep in touch through social media.

His current series SHATTERED DREAMS began 2 weeks before the floods (how timely is that) and this message called THE BIRTH OF CONTROL rocked my world the other day as I listened to it on a long trip.

Who are the current pastors you listen too? What are their influences on you?

Related posts: Plan B Series


Snyder has a crime wave going! Yes, I know it's hard to believe that a small West Texas town is facing what it's larger city partners have faced for a while: petty crime and young criminals who are using their loot to finance their early experimentation into the world of drugs, etc.

Our church was burglarized on Monday night (they broke in through a back window and quickly made their way to the Pastor's office to rip the LCD TV off the wall--with a couple of quick jerks they had it off (Arm and all) all the while leaving computers, DVD players and digital cameras alone.

Several cars each night are attacked with rocks and boards and the contents turned upside down looking for wallets, ipods and cd's.

We're organizing a neighborhood watch party soon and I've come up with the idea to "LIGHT UP THE NIGHT" with each home turing on their porch and yard lights overnight to discourage these guys (or gals) from destroying our property.

What do you do to protect your home?

The Mayor Will See You Now

So I received a very interesting message this afternoon

"FYI--KRBC (our local NBC affiliate) out of Abilene just called and wanted to know what the Mayor was checking on at city hall regarding a break in"

I had 4squared a message earlier in the day that we were checking out the church (my city hall since according to 4square I'm the Mayor here) and the tweet was picked up by the local media. Ba ha ha ha !

After they learned that I really wasn't the mayor of Snyder (hey, who say's I can't be) they were no longer interested in the story.

We have had a rash of break ins here in Snyder and the church was hit Sunday night as someone smashed a back office window and broke into the Pastor's office and ripped the LCD flat panel screen off the wall (bolts and all). We kinda felt violated.

So--The Mayor (me!) is keeping a watch out on all of the neighborhoods and who knows--I might get me some more of that 15 minutes of fame. I kinda liked it!

Laura Story--Immortal Invisible

Another Laura Story song that I find myself singing over and over again is "Immortal Invisible" which is another fresh expression of an old hymn (IMMORTAL INVISIBLE GOD ONLY WISE) In fact the bridge contains bits of the melody from the old hymn.

I love taking the old hymns and giving them a fresh coat of paint and introducing them to the next generation. We're not changing them--we're updating them.

What hymns would you like to see the next generation know and love?

Laura Story--Bless The Lord

I'm captivated with this song by Laura Story. A retelling of Psalm 103, Laura gives a fresh expression of a most important text in our faith.

We're going to be learning this song soon as I believe that it not only teaches praise but teaches us truth of scripture. That's what it's all about.

The Drake Family

Over the weekend my brother and I attended the funeral of one of my two surviving aunts. My Dad's side of the family had 5 boys and 4 girls (actually there were 6 boys but one died in infancy) and now all that is left is one of the girls.

The trip to East Texas and back was a reminder to me about the importance of family and heritage. This little town in East Texas where the funeral was held was the landing point for my family when they arrived here from Alabama. Then as we headed out of town we passed cemetery after cemetery where ancestors are buried (I'm the family historian so I know where most if not all of them are buried) and I thought about the legacy I have in the Drake name. Our last stop was the cemetery where Mom and Dad are buried along with my grandparents and great grandparents.

Where did your family come from?

Sunday's Coming.... The truth behind the worship scene!

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

This video is circulating widely today among worship and church leaders. Some are laughing and some are not.

There is lots of truth in this video... if you go to any "cutting edge" church this is most likely what you will see and so its not bad to say "it is what it is" I guess the rub comes in those who are trying to be so relevant each week and not be in a rut to wake up and see that it's real easy to get in a rut--without even trying. (I'm not throwing stones... I'm guilty too here guys.)

In today's worship scene there are only so many moveable parts and I guess the tendency is to just keep moving them to make us think we're being "relevant" when in reality we may only be going in circles.

So--what do you think about this video? True or False--what say ye?

Worship Confessional, May 9, 2010

This post is part of Sunday Set Lists over on The Worship Community Blog.

I'm preposting this because when the set lists come out I'll be in the middle of our third show at The Ritz.

Set List

Happy Day (Hughes) We were suppose to do this last week--but because of Media Shout failure--we postponed it until today.

Welcome/Greeting/Mother's Day/Baby Dedication---what else can we do on this day?

Pass It On (Walker)---another fave and thought it worked well with Mother's Day and Baby Dedication.

My Inheritance (Freeman) We debuted this one a couple of weeks ago and came back to it today. Again--thought it fit with the theme of legacy and children

Morning Message--Ed Ethridge (our interim pastor will only be with us 2 more weeks) Ed has been a good steady voice for us since November. We will miss him.

Here and Now (Balcohe/Brown)---keeping our new song going--this is our third week for this one and I think they're catching on to it!

Thinking of Mom!

Today is Mother's Day and my mom has been gone for 5 years now. I think about her alot.

I think about her when I have some funny story to share about my children. I can't help but think that she would be very proud of the young ladies and young man that they've become

I think about her when I have a story to share from church. I know she shared many stories that she experienced as a pastor's wife.

I think about her when I taste some good food that reminds me of her. I can never look at a pound cake and not think of the wonderful smell of her pound cake each Thursday when she was off work and I came home from school.

I think about her when I have a frustration or an anger. She was such a good listener. You could dump anything on her and she would help you sort it out.

I think about her when I hear news from other parts of the family. She was the one always in touch with everyone and wanted to know what was going on.

I think about her when I hear the news. She loved the news and loved politics--although the War on Terrorism got her a little worked up in her last days.

I thought about her yesterday as I visited her grave and put fresh flowers on them. She's no longer here to give real flowers to, but she's here in my heart and I think about her a lot.

Mom--thanks for being the best Mother. I love and miss you.