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January 2009
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March 2009

39 days

Through our campus blog, we began a 40 day prayer journey toward Easter yesterday (we exclude Sundays since we pray together.) I have made a commitment to take these next days ahead to pray earnestly and for the beauty of the cross to overwhelm me. I have spent the last 2 days confessing my shortcomings and asking God to reveal those things that prevent me from true intimacy with Him. I have been amazed at the things that God has brought to my attention... Attitudes, pride, immaturity... And the freedom I feel being honest with God about these things causing distance between me and my God. I'm looking forward to the journey ahead and 39 days of focused time with Him.

Are you doing anything to prepare your heart for Easter?

Click the link below to join us on our prayer journey... Campus blog


I'm not being rude, really

Images
Congressman twittering during Obama's speech last night? Click here to read about it...

I have been twittering for over a year, but when I entered the wonderful world of iphone ownership about 2 months ago, I REALLY got into it.  Sometimes technology complicates life, but the iphone and twittering has enhanced my being a wife, mommy of 2, worship leader, creative soul, techy wanna-be life in a HUGE WAY. Todd and I LOVE to twitter and talk with ministry friends all over the world as well as just with each other. I get answers to questions faster and I learn from what others are saying.  I have also gone paperless...the wonderful NOTES app on my iphone looks like an actual legal pad and that is what I use in meetings now. SO much less clutter in my life.   I use the Youversion Bible App to do my daily Bible Reading and for sermon planning meetings.  However, I have been confronted with people that feel that my iphone use gives the "appearance" that I am not paying attention. Some people were offended at the twittering last night during the speech. Was that disrespectiful? I don't think so.  To the people who were following the twitters of their elected officials, I bet they felt more informed about where their guy/gal stands on the issues, instead of political rhetoric that they get from the news.  I am a multi-tasker. I can listen to what you are saying, make notes, get the info out to those who need to hear it, and keep listening to what you are saying.  I am just embracing technology.  I agree that if I am having a conversation one-on-one with you, IT IS RUDE! But in meetings or large groups listening and participating in dialog, let's ALL get in the conversation.  I'm not being rude, really...

What do you think?


Sunday Recap

We are in our 4th week of being the same message on the same week and I am LOVING it!.  I feel so much more like one church in two locations.  Pastor Jeff interviewed 4 other pastors (Including Todd from our campus) who have recently started churches in our county. Our county, Beaufort, is the most unchurched county in the state of South Carolina...only 9 percent attend church.  Pastor Jeff invited our people to LEAVE LowCountry Community today...he encouraged all of us to be about the Kingdom of God and if that means us joining another church in our area that is just starting to help them reach people, than GO...just don't sit on the sidelines. It is such a privilege for me to be a part of a church that doesn't believe that WE are the only ones doing it right.  It's about the KINGDOM, baby! Here was our service...

"All Because of Jesus" - Steve Fee
Welcome. Announcements
"Hear Our Praises" - Hillsongs
"Agnus Dei" - MWS
Scripture Reading
Message
Time of Response
"God of This City" - Tomlin

Musically, it was great to have Rob on cello and Susan on flute...I arranged a duet for them on "Agnus Dei" and they just killed it! I love adding different instruments to the color of our worship from week to week. I love rocking it out...don't get me wrong! But, when I change up the instrumentation, it feel likes when an artist decides to use an entirely different color in his painting.  Thanks, guys, for the color change today!

Join me at Fred's for more discussion...


A proud Blog Mama

We all have blog mamas and papas....Randy Elrod is my Blog Papa. He got me into this in February 2006. Actually, it was a year before that, but I was a slow starter.  This has moved from being something that I did (one-way) to a true community of people in conversation (two-way). I am very passionate about people sharing ideas, sharing their journey, and being in authentic community...that is why I love blogging. The online community has been amazing, but the face-to-face conversation that has been generated by my blog has been unbelieveable.   I've spent most of this week developing a campus blog for our core campus and tweaking our own campus blog. It has been a privilege to come alongside our Lead Pastor, Jeff, and help him start his blog this year (which, by the way, he was BORN to do this!) Our entire Hilton Head Island Staff are bloggers (ok, there are only 3 of us, but it is 100 percent participation!) I am also working with other staff on the Bluffton Campus over the next few months to help them become a part of this community.  Clay has ben a huge help as a fellow blogger since he knows A LOT more about CSS than I do and has a great eye for design.  I've had a blast this week!  Check these out...Todd Cullen
Jeff Cranston     Barb Weatherwax     LowCountry Community Church - Hilton Head Island Campus Blog
LowCountry Community Church - Bluffton Campus Blog


Good questions

My husband Todd and I know that we are a little different. Most people would say planting a church with your husband could be a really, really dumb idea...especially if you are both staff members.  I don't care how many years you have been doing ministry on a church staff...church planting is a different ball game.  I'm not going deny that this experience has not had some really tough days. We are constantly learning how to keep margins in our life with ministry, people,and our family. BUT, as only God can do, we are surrounded with the most loving people in our church, leaders who are so willing to give, and a Lead Pastor who is the real deal. Our family is thriving here on the Island. We are "finding our groove" with our 2  preschoolers and having a blast in the process. With Sean and Sydney playing around us, Todd and I spent the afternoon identifying new leaders in our church for new levels of ministry. Here are some questions we asked ourselves...

  1. What are we doing that someone else would be willing and more able to do?
  2. What is our "TO BE" list look like - not our "TO DO" List?
  3. Who are we robbing of the opportunity to lead by being too "hands on?"
  4. Why is Sean covered in a sticky substance? (Just seeing if you were playing attention - he found the treasure box filled with candy in Promiseland - sorry, Barb!)

What are you asking about your job, family, or ministry? Share some of it here.


Sunday Recap

Is it me or does this happen to you ? The week that you are doing music that is really challenging vocally you get sick...yeah, that was this week.  You know how it is...you plan and plan to have the right players with you to intro a song or whatever, and you end up being the weakest link. I was laying in bed (with strep throat) on Saturday morning with less than 24 hours before I had to pull of songs that on my best day are challenging and I was doing some serious praying! God pulled me through. I did an open mic recording of the music yesterday and listened back and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved how this service came out - the flow, the message by our Mission Pastor, the music I chose - it was just a great service.

"Counting on God" - Jared Anderson
"Because of Your Love" - Paul Baloche
Welcome/ Announcements
Message
Prayer
Time of Response
"Not Too Far From Here" - Ty Lacy/Steve Siler
"Mighty To Save"
Scripture Reading - Psalm 146
"Solution" - Hillsongs United

I labor over how to take people from one element in a service to the next.  For some reason, this service in particular got re-worked several times and some songs changed.  The Holy Spirit kept wrestling with me on this service and I truly saw after yesterday the beauty of that struggle and how glad I was for it. Our congregations are filled with linear and non-linear people and we need to create experiences that engage all people. Not all of us receive inspiration and spiritual encouragement in the same way...we are all unique. Some of us are analytical...some are artists...some are doers...you fill in the blank. Our worship experiences need to allow for space for everyone to worship God as they worship Him...in Spirit and in Truth....However, this week, my plans were not His plans. HE is the MASTER service programmer, isn't He?

Meet at Fred's for more Sunday Setlists!


This is love

098 Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday.  I love all the big red hearts filled with candy, giant teddy bears, red roses, and mushy cards.  I love romantic movies, especially "Sleepless in Seattle" which was the movie Todd and I always call "our movie." Todd knows how much I love this day and goes all out every year. I even got my own personal e-vite this year to a magical evening for the two of us. Well, that did not happen. Between my daughter's double ear infection and strep and MY strep throat, it's been a week.  Todd has dealt with the 2 of us being ill, working his job, answering my phone and dealing with my job,  keeping up the house, handling our very active 2 year old (he's not sick!), and trying to keep all of us fed and taking meds on a schedule...this is love.  No mushy card or candy (which I got this morning when I woke up) can show love like what my husband has done this week. I won't remember this as the best Valentine's Day ever (because I still feel horrible!) but it will definitely be the one that I remember that I saw love in action.  No movie, sappy card, or romantic dinner can top this. I love you, honey.  You are my  "Knight in shinning armor with medication and hot tea"...all my love.


Weak

I had a great rehearsal on Wednesday night. I don't get to rehearse with the boys very often, so it was great to just be together and play. On the way home, I felt something coming on...now I know it was strep throat. I believe God allows illness in my life to remind me that I am fragile and weak. Fever, aches, sore throat... I have slept a lot. But, I've also prayed a lot. I prayed for Sydney and I to recover, for Sean not to get it, and for Todd to have strength to handle all of this. I need moments like this in my life that remind me how powerless I am and how truly dependent I am on God.

Sunday Recap

This was our first week being same message/same week because our Bluffton Campus started a Saturday night service. In theory, we thought it would work, but you love it when it REALLY works! I attended the Saturday night service and it was great.  I got the hand off of the DVD (straight burn from image mag to DVD) and the new worship folders (new design - love it!) and we were ready to go on Sunday. The DVD looked great and sounded great. Our tech team rehearsed the DVD cue on the front and back end several times in soundcheck and did great in the service with the cues. Our Tech Pastor in Bluffton attended our services on Sunday and he said he was pleased with the overall product. Whew...I'm taking a nice, big breath today.

I tried something different in our service this week. I moved the Message up sooner in the service and left more time at the end for response and reflection. I really liked it! Here was the service flow...

'Unchanging"  - Tomlin
"Forever" - Tomlin
Welcome/Announcements/Greet
Message
Time of Response
"Mystery"  - Hall
Responsive Scripture Reading - Isaiah 61:1-11 (Key chapter for this message series)
"Everlasting God" - Brown
Dismiss

We all get into ruts from time to time and it is VERY hard to change that sometimes. We had a lot of run-through in soundcheck so that everyone got the transitions and understood the emotional flow of the service. I was pleased. We had 7 people accept Jesus Christ as their Savior between the 2 services...Praise God!

After being gone all week at Recreate, I was so pumped to be back with our people. Meet me at Fred's for more discussion...(I got to meet Fred this past week! It's awesome when bloggers ACTUALLY meet face-to-face!)


Recreate - Day 3 & 4

IMG_8464 IMG_8466 Attending this conference is like drinking from a fire hydrant for your brain. I come away overwhelmed with new ideas, encouraged by old and new friends, refreshed in my spirit, and charged up to face the world at home that awaits me.  No matter who you are and where you are from, this is a safe week in your life because you are among people who get you.  We all have unique personalities as artists and it's OK to be "quirky" here. The draw of the week is the coming away from everyday life and being in community with like-minded people.
Randy Elrod (conference leader) led a session for the 1st time at Recreate. Here are some thoughts I gleaned from that session...

  • We need real people who are physically present in our lives. Technology is great (social networking), but we need to be where we are. 
  • A person of influence is someone who makes you feel better when you leave their presence.
  • "It not just about life and art. It's about the ripple effect."
  • We view suffering in our culture as if we have done something wrong.


Ian Cron led a beautiful communion service for all of us. It was so refreshing to be a part of this and not have to plan it or play for it. He incorporated liturgy and as well as songs of response written at his church...it was one of the most beautiful experiences I have had in worship. I attached some pics of the table.

Anne Jackson led our last session on Thursday. She recently published a book entitled Mad Church Disease that discusses burnout in our churches today (it's on my list to read!) Here are some thoughts I gleaned from her...

  • Is serving in my current church role interfering with my communion with Christ?
  • The only way to fulfill our purpose with people is with a sincere relationship with God. Apart from God, we can do nothing.
  • Am I living with integrity in my conscience?
  • it is not my job to be my provision - it is God's job!

I need some time to process alot of what I heard and experienced and I look forward to sharing that over the next few weeks.