Tuesday, April 25, 2006

722 on My Treo!

Hey all you treo toting worshippers. I just discovered that 722 makes their video stream available to mobile internet users. Everything is shrunk down and treosized so you can experience great worship and teaching anywhere!

Go here on your windows mobile enabled device:

Root, Root, Root for the Home Team

So one big benefits of living here in Reston is finally having some pro sports teams to cheer for. Being from Hampton Roads, we've been denied that privilege.

Last night Phil, a friend from my small group, had a bunch of tickets to a Nationals game, so we rounded up some guys and went to ball game. Thanks Phil!!! It was great fun! It was my first MLB game in over 20 years...so needless to say I was psyched.

This was a group of guys that I don't normally get to hang out with a lot together, and they are all loads of fun, so a good time was had by all. BTW we had amazing seats. The only bad part of the evening was that I had to leave my wife at home because we didn't have a baby sitter. She is such an awesome wife though and gladly let me out of the house to hang with the fellas! Thanks Darlin!

The crew waiting for the game to start...

Andrew...well actually I was taking a picture of the guy in the brown shirt...he looked like someone famous...can't remember who...so that makes this picture just of Andrew...

Our sweeeet seats

Always a camera watcher...never on camera...apparently they think if you have good seats you don't need to be on the jumbo tron...they're wrong...

Friday, April 21, 2006

In Favor of Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

Psalm 63:3-7
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, 6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
Verses 3 - 5 of the verse above make up the chorus of a song I wrote a while back...I'm not even sure I like the song anymore, but I always remember those words...they are ingrained in my heart because I have sung them and meditated on them.

Sometimes I will complete a set list for a given Sunday and look at it and wonder if we should sing that song again. Then I bring the set to the band and sometimes they moan...but then we sing with our church and after a while the peoples voices soar on the songs that they know. When they aren't focused on learning a melody or a lyric, they are free to worship, and there is a marked increase in their expressiveness before the Lord.

Beyond the corporate context I think there is a real value repetition of worship music. If people know the songs in their guts...that's what they'll be singing during the week. I would love it if the words of Scripture put to music could win out in the meditation of folks hearts over coldplay, or eminem, or whoever....

I'm always challenged by the accounts of Jonah, and Jesus, and others who in moments of great distress and need, turned to Scripture songs that were deep in their hearts...the natural outflow of themselves in that moment...their spiritual reflexes per se, were in that moment...worship.

As a worship pastor part of my job is helping to shape this in the people who attend our church. That's why I lean more toward repetition. That's why we often have "theme songs" for a particular sermon series or season in our church.

That doesn't mean we don't do new songs...I love new music, and we are doing something wrong if fresh songs aren't being sung, (I think the Bible says something about singing a new song...) but I constantly ask myself if the way and frequency that I present new songs is leading people toward really engaging with God in worship, and getting His truths in their hearts, or just tickling my need for a hot new guitar lick.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It's Official...

Just booked my flights and registered...I'm headed to So-Cal in June. My lovely wife is coming with me...I'm super excited! Anyone else going?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Easter Thoughts

Wow...this has been quite the week and weekend. Yes I realize that it is Wednesday night...last weekend is well past.

Right after our Easter service we headed to Va Beach to spend some time with my parents. It was a great time of lots of food and lots of just doing nothing.

Some reflections from Easter at History:

1. It was Awesome!!!!

2. Great attendance, but I was bummed some of my neighbors didn't come...we are developing such good friendships with them, and I so desire that they could see first hand what we do, and most importantly hear about Jesus in the context of that community. I am praying that they see Christ in me...in the way that we love them...

3. Five people put their trust in Jesuss...the best part of all!

4. We used a third center video screen...way cool...it will be tough to go back to just two. It was a ton of work, but our team handled it amazingly and it really added a lot to the feel of the worship set.

5. It was definitely a bit more of a rock n' roll Easter worship set than I have done before, but it was great...

6. My worship team rocks...

7. Had a really good setup time on Saturday night...saw some new sides of Ben (can you say "Ice, Ice, Baby?")

8. Was reminded of some important things:
It was really easy for me to get distracted by the music and the new media elements that we included in this service. My stress level leapt up during the days prior to Easter. It was hard for me to even sit still...thinking of all of the details involved in morning. But over and over I was reminded that the music, eloquent delivery, and great uses of technology are all for not without the power of God sweeping through that place and changing peoples hearts. The Lord has been reminding me lately of what Paul says in I Corinthians 4:20:
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.
We definitely must be relevant to our culture and communicate in ways that make sense to them...this was the way of Jesus...but Jesus also relied on the power of Holy Spirit and partnership in His Father's mission as He ministered...

All that said...I think God showed up at History this weekend...God changed lives...and we got to be a part of that...that rocks!

Friday, April 14, 2006

A Good Friday Song

Psalm 22:1-31
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 "He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!" 9 Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother's breasts. 10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother's womb you have been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help. 12 Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet- 17 I can count all my bones- they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. 19 But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen! 22 I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. 25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. 26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. 28 For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. 30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"God" in Spanish

My little girl Hope, who is two years old, was downstairs today walking around saying "Hallelujah!" My wife asked her: "Hope do you know what Hallelujah means?"

Hope replied confidently: "It means 'God' in Spanish!"

Close enough... :-)

More Love, More Power

Some of the methods that we use each week to share the love of Jesus with people involves needing to plug lots of stuff in to get more power...(yes I realize the spiritual metaphor and tangent evident here, but I will refrain as this is a very practical/technical post.)

To avoid tripping breakers in the elementary school we are meeting in we have extension cords going everywhere trying to spread the love..and with the addition of some new lighting and sound gear recently I've been a bit skiddish about tripping a breaker in the middle of a service.

This weekend our power worries will come to an end. I just talked with an electrician who is building us a panel that should handle the load of all of our gear, and then some. It will have its own breakers and outlets, an be plugged into a 220V outlet in the kitchen behind our stage at the school.

It wasn't cheap, but it should really help us as we need more power to share more love....

Monday, April 10, 2006


Friday, April 07, 2006

the cure for a busy schedule

my wife always has something fun and tasty planned for us after rehearsal on thursday nights...there are definitely some drawbacks to rehearsing at my house but large amounts of ice cream and goodies are definitely a plus!


Blogging has been a bit sparse this week for me. We have been going full blast with getting ready for Easter. I almost feel like this Sunday is sneaking up on us for all the attention that Easter is getting...

A few things happening:

1. Jen Anderson is coming on board as our new Children's Director and Graphic Designer. I'm really excited about this next step for History.

2. Plans for Easter are coming along quite well...we are pushing ourselves in some new areas, and I think it will really produce good fruit. I have some thoughts brewing about this...but will take longer than there is room here...

3. Bought one of these this week. I'm so excited about what this will do to our sound.
4. Firming up plans to head out to the purpose driven worship conference in June. I'm super excited about this. The conference looks amazing, and I have never been west of the Rockies...or even as far as the Rockies...in fact beautiful South Dakota just about does it for me...California has to be better!

5. Taking a couple of days off after Easter to visit with my family. It will be great for my girls to spend some quality time with Nanna and Boompa (I can't wait till I can pick a crazy grandparent name for myself!), and it will be great for me to just veg a bit...