Monday, July 31, 2006

Weekend Update

Had a great weekend this week.  We had a full house for this time in the summer, and a lot of teenagers back from YL camp.  God has really blessed our church with a ton of YL students.  It exciting to see them come back from such an intense time with God and have a desire to get involved in a local church.  I pray that we will be effective in seeing them become mature disciples of Christ into adulthood. 

With all these teenagers sometimes comes parents.  Two fathers gaver their lives to Christ at History this weekend.  That is why I'm in this thing.

The message was really good.  Ben has been preaching from the life of Jacob and has had some amazing insites...check them out here. Worship was great.  The congregation was so responsive, and the band nailed every song.  We did one new song during communion that I think is becoming a favorite of mine: Let Us Love Sing and Wonder.  It is an old 18th century hymn that Jars of Clay did on their Redemption SongsRedemption Songs cd.  The band did a great arrangement of it.

Finally got the final edit of the music for the History commercial.  I'm pretty happy with it.  I discovered that writing 30 seconds of music that is meant to blend into the background is tough stuff...huge thanks to David and Jesse for knocking this one out of the park!  Ben posted a link to the mp3 on his blog.

Blogged with Flock

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Please Read This

[here]

I thank God for my friend Ginny and the work that she and many like her are doing around the world. May we never be so comfortable and calloused that we see God as small, convenient, and unable to do the impossible.

Friday, July 28, 2006

tools of the trade

Jeff inspired me to speak out. I'm passionate about this pencil:
It is a Pentel Twist Erase...the greatest mechanical pencil ever. Just read this:
Featuring a rubber grip for non-stop writing comfort. New and improved twist barrel to advance and retract oversized eraser. Produces a smooth, crisp line with dark imprint for easy reading. Jumbo eraser is larger than all ordinary pencil erasers. Ideal for office, home, and school.
Its my conviction that a pencil is only as good as its eraser. (insert spiritual analogy here) And that makes this pencil hands down the best you will put your hands on. Go pick one up and try it out.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

a word from Dr. Peterson

I've been getting into the book of Revelation the past couple of days in my devotional times with God. Definitely a book that I have often wrestled with, but such a great book for worshippers and worship leaders.

Yesterday I read Eugene Peterson's introduction to this book in the Message...he has some amazing thoughts on worship:
Worship shapes the human community in response to the living God. If worship is neglected or perverted, our communities fall into chaos or under tyranny. [whoa!]

Our times are not propitious for worship. The times never are. The world is hostile to worship. The Devil hate worship. As The Revelation makes clear, worship must be carried out under conditions decidedly uncongenial to it.
Enough said...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

time for an escape

Just signed on the dotted line for one of these yesterday: .2005 Ford Escape. I've been a long time Toyota faithful, but it was time for something a bit larger and safer. My wife wasn't down with carting our two kids around in my 2-door Toyota Echo any more. :-)

It sucks down the gas...so it isn't as good for the environment...but my wife and kids are safer so as Mark Driscoll once said, "I'm protecting my environment!" :-)

frustration


Today we had a conversation in our staff meeting that I hope we will have continually no matter how large God grows our church. We spoke of a dissatisfaction with our current effectiveness at reaching people. There are some great things happening in History, but there are some barriers that we are so anxious to push through.

As I reflect on that conversation, I think about how many times I have been in communities that didn't have this passion...where telling folks about the saving work of Jesus Christ was an after thought. I'm so thankful for this community and for our pastor and for the ways that I am continually challenged to think of the gospel and its proclamation as part of my identity as a follower of Christ.

For what its worth...as a worship leader, I have a firm conviction that this kind of passion is found first in a life that is steeped in worship...the more you worship...the more you get to know God...the more you catch his heart...the more you realize that you must speak it out.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Birthays and Bell

So today should be interesting. I have two back to back 3 year old birthday parties...only to rush home to hop in the car to see Rob Bell speak at a pub in Arlington:
I feel like there should be something interesting or funny to say about this sequence of events, but I'm at a loss....feel free to add your own. :-)

Honestly I'm excited to hear Rob Bell in person. He is a great communicator and if nothing else has an amazing knack for making you want to hear what he has to say.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

step up to the microphone....



heading over to my bassists house tomorrow morning to try and get a good recording of the little ditty we put together for the commercial. looking forward to working with my guys in this kind of setting. i like the initial ideas that we have and i'm excited to flesh them out a bit.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

just finished...

...this book: Manifest Presence by Jack Hayford.

I have been a longtime fan of Jack Hayford. His ability to communicate the bible is simply amazing and his clear pastoral heart bleeds through every book that he writes. I'm so often struck by the influence that God has given him in the area of pastoral leadership and worship that truly crosses theological and denominational boundaries. He is truly a pastor's pastor. I find it so helpful to read the thoughts of a truly seasoned leader...

This book was typical Hayford...some of it sounded much some of his other books, but the last two chapters were really great. The last chapter especially captivated me. He spoke of worship as a unifying thing within the church...and the necessity of that happening. He cast vision for that...and what it will be like when that is ultimately the case before the throne of God. I think it struck me because so often "worship" is the polarizing thing in the church as a whole. We are all so different in the way we worship...but there is no greater unifier than the One that we worship....good stuff.

Monday, July 17, 2006

my new favorite distraction


this thing borders on creepy...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

an inconvenient truth

We had a great weekend.

Before we moved up here to Northern Va, we really prayed that God would plant us in a community where we could form real relationships with the people in our neighborhood. God totally answered that prayer and last night we had a wonderful time out with our next door neighbors and a group of their friends. It was fun to just be out with my wife, but it was also fun to be out with new friends as well.

Our neighbors aren't Christians, and it was such cool thing to be invited into their community of friends and that not be a weird thing...I know that sounds silly, but people get all squirrelly when it comes to issues of faith. Tricia and I pray for them regularly, that God would bless their family, and that they would see the love of Jesus in us.

I got to meet one of their good friends and we had a really interesting conversation. He just recently came from a viewing of Al Gore's new film, An Inconvenient Truth, and was so moved by it that he bought 100 tickets at $7.50 a pop to give to his friends in hopes of getting more people passionate about the issue of global warming. He said, "if something is wrong at home you just have to take care of it...there is something wrong with our home."

I was so struck by his passion. It was a great glimpse into the things that move our culture today. It reminded me that when people really care about something...when they are personally invested...when it is a personal crisis...they are moved to do great things.

If we could be like this in the church. If we could see the hurt and need for Christ in peoples' lives as a truly a crisis...we could be moved to great boldness, sacrifice, and effectiveness...and even beyond that we are offered the power of the living Christ...that would make some noise...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Task

Had a hankerin for some new "clothes" for my blog. So here's the new look for now.

Friday, July 14, 2006

leading people

If you are worship leader and not actively striving to grow as a leader of people then you are simply leading a cover band playing to a captive audience.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

going commercial

Just spent the better part of the day working with a guy on my team coming up with some music for the commercial that we just shot for History. It wasn't an easy task, but it was a fun day!

It was a great time hanging out with Jesse though...he's super talented, and the chance to collaborate with him was awesome. I like what we came up with in the end...so now we just need to hand the rough cut off to the video guys, and then get working on a better recording. This process has made it painfully clear that I need to pray harder for some better recording gear. We were definitely piecing stuff together to get something down.

To contribute to the Matt Morgan recording fund send your gifts too.... :-)

I love my job!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Worst Music Video EVER

so i was looking online for the best cowboy song ever, looking for music for a kids event we are doing a couple of weeks. i stumbled upon this...the worst music video ever. enjoy...or not.

Just Finished...


...this book. I have been a fan of Walter Brueggamann ever since seminary when I read his Texts that Linger, Words that Explode. He's a bit of a heady writer, but he writes about the OT with a sense of imagination, story, and applicable truth that for me makes me hungry for that ever so long part of the bible.

His commentary on the psalms is a must read for worship leaders. The psalms are so much a part of the world we live in, we need to be chewing on them all the time.

He approaches this book with a bit of a different perspective that I found really insiteful. He breaks the psalms into three basic categories:

  1. Psalms of Orientation
  2. Psalms of Disorientation
  3. Psalm of New Orientation
He uses this to format to describe a fairly normal spiritual journey that happened in the life of the psalmists, and I think is a good reflection of the journey that we often go through.

Anyhoo...check it out...

ps: despite the sweet 1980's cover art, the book is actually really good. :-)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

set list 07.09.06

It was so good to be back on Sunday. History is such an amazing church, and I really love what I do, so its tough to be away...though I have to admit...a week in OC wasn't ALL THAT BAD. :-)

The team did great, we had a last minute issue with our bass player, and I had to call on one of our guitar players to step in and play bass for this week. He hadn't acutally ever played bass, but you wouldn't have known it. He did an amazing job. When I found out the situation we were in, I made sure to choose songs that were very familiar and had some fairly easy bass lines. Its important as worship leaders that we set our teams up for success whatever the circumstances may be.

Here's what we did:
No One Like You
Blessed Be Your Name
Marvelous Light
Wholly Yours
This was an acoustic version during the offering...this week we'll add in the full band and give it a bit of punch.
There Must Be More Than This (Consuming Fire)
I enjoyed doing this one after seeing Tim Hughes play it last week.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

just like being there...well not quite...

One of the messages that really challenged me at the pd worship conference last week was John Ortberg's talk. He shared from the book of Ester and talk about mission and our tendency toward a "shadow mission." Come to find out he used some of the same material when he spoke at his church this past Sunday. Their materials are free!!

You can check out a video of this message here.