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January 2008
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March 2008

I want the truth

My Senior Pastor, Jeff Cranston, is a raving fan of Perry Noble and I have started reading his blog as a result.  This is good stuff for us creatives who are constantly working in teams and truly desire to be the BEST team we can be and be healthy in the process...Here's a section I really loved...

"...I am not one of those guys who allows only certain things to be said to me on certain days…I want honesty from those closest to me.

Let me say this…as a leader YOU must make sure to do all that you can to create this type of environment.  You MUST invite conflict.  For example, I’ve seen people give looks of disapproval when people make a comment but not speak up…and so I will say, “Hey Jason, it seems you didn’t agree with what Tony just said–what are you thinking?”

YES…it does create tension…but this is how the best decisions are made.

The same is true in our creative team…if I share an idea and it is not good–I want to know!  AND…if I perceive that someone isn’t being truthful with me…I want them off of the team!  Life is too short to surround myself with people who blow smoke up my rear end…I want the truth!

(By the way…this was not my idea…it comes from every successful leader I’ve ever seen.)

CLICK HERE to read the entire article...

Girls Night Out

Img_7194 Img_7195 One of the most special things about moving to Hilton Head Island has been this awesome group of women that I have met through a stroller fitness class I joined last April.  Most of us are not in the class anymore as we have gotten most of the baby weight off (yeah, right!) and our kids are older, but we all hook up for a girls night out about once a month. Img_7192_2 I haven't been in awhile, but I got to go last night and it was so refreshing.  I ate the biggest piece of German chocolate cake and had a huge cup of decaf - I didn't have to give bites to a 1 year old or a 3  1/2 year old! We went to this cool place I had not been before called the Brick Oven on the South end of the Island.  It was 3 hours of catching up with everyone on their lives, their kids, work, and how much we can't wait for summer and the beach!  I am so thankful for these women who went out of their way to befriend a new Islander...check out the pics!Img_7196_2

Acoustic debut

Today, I broke it out.  I played my acoustic for the 1st time in a service (We did Charlie Hall's "Marvelous Light").  I wasn't a distraction, but I wouldn't say my chops were all that (my audio guy is a good guitar player - he was very kind to me after I threatened him not to mess with me!). Of course, I videotaped the song so could analyze how it worked in the came off better than I felt it did.  It's an ego thing for me - I have been playing keys for 30 years now (yes, I started when I was about 4 or 5 - you can do the math).  It has been a humbling experience for me to put myself out there and feel so incapable.  I have a long way to go, but I had to do it.  I made a commitment to myself this year that I would play in a service by Easter and I did.  So to Mike Brown, Daniel Hoover, Brett Younker, and all the other guitar players that I have mooched off the last 5 years for help to learn the guitar, thank you for your investment in a keyboard player that sings and now plays acoustic...

16 Valentines

2323232327ffp337vq325I have had the same date for 16 years...he keeps asking me out!  Our first Valentines I got a huge bear and roses and a great, I got breakfast, lunch, and a great dinner, a card, and my favorite candy (Whitman's Sampler)...I think things are improving!  I am one of those people that love every cheesy,red, and pink part of Valentines Day.  It is the only holiday that as a church musician I do not have a service to play for or sing for every year!  Todd does a great job making it cheesy just for me.  Anyway, Happy Valentines Day to all you people who love this day like I do.

Mark Roach - 2 thumbs up!

MarkroachI was listening to my huge stack of CD's that I so graciously received from Recreate last week and Mark Roach's record "Every Reason Why" REALLY stuck out to me.  I think it is the beauty in the simple that he does such a great job of communicating through his songwriting.  It is a difficult thing to say the simplest of thoughts and not make the listener feel like they have heard that same thought a million times.  Even the chord structures and melodies are simple but very memorable without being repetitive and annoying.  I love this record - get it!

Things of earth

So it happened Sunday - We had someone make the decision to follow Jesus and enter a personal relationship with Him in our service at LCC-HHI. As I listened to Todd explain from the Bible how to do this, I was praying and I could sense it was going to happen.  I led our church in the song "Center" by Charlie Hall right after he prayed and It brought so much of the last 10 months of my crazy life into a focused moment.  The last part of that song is the chorus of "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" and for me the last part of it has stuck with me since then...

"...and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."
- Helen H. Lemmel (1922)

Recreate -Day 4 (going home)

Img_7167 I'm all packed and minutes away from my nice many thoughts from today - Our Communion time with Mark Roach , Mark Lee, and the Jesus Painter, Mike Lewis.  My favorite part of Recreate was this afternoon as Randy took all of us to the property where his dream of building a retreat and learning center for young artists is coming to fruition - Kalein.  I remember being at Recreate 3 or 4 years ago hearing Randy share the vision and to actually stand on the property today was more than I can describe.  So many old friends and new friends (thanks, Kim and Jennifer!).  I met Sheri Carr, a female worship leader with Vineyard - we do her songs at LCC-HHI ("Alleluia, More than Worthy). It was an unbelievable week of refreshment, excitement, resources (I am coming home with about 30 CD's and 15 books!), and the working knowledge of everyone that attended in written form (we had homework before we got here!).  I leave here tomorrow (in  6 hours) with a sense of new energy, better focus, and a passion to create culture on Hilton Head Island, not imitate it.Img_7155 Img_7176

Recreate - Day 3

Another "drinking from a fire hydrant" day for me...Dr. Thom Parham from Azusa Pacific University really "brought it" in his discussion with us about Hollywood and movies - I really enjoyed his thoughts on movies as pre-evangelism.  Jon Tyson, Pastor of Origins NYC, discussed with us his thoughts on how we may need some course correction in our churches today in a variety of areas a such as how we do services, how many programs we have, and the value of our people's time.  Jon's church is an awesome place!  Todd and I were able to attend a service at Origins during our time in NYC and the Gallery and Origins were started about the same time. We did a creative exercise at Lane Motor Museum.  I picked out my car - a 1971 Morris mini (picture attached).  Img_7125 A couple of us spent time with Jon tonight at dinner and heard what God has personally taught him through this process of planting a church in NYC.  My heart was resonating with so much of what he said.  We heard from15 songwriters tonight at the EMI/Worship Together Songwriter's Night - Steve Fee, Vicky Beeching, Michael Gungor, Kelly Minter, Rush of Fools, Matt Maher - just to name a few. Recreate conference always helps me to get the 40,000 foot view that I need  - it also hits me between the eyes about very specific stuff that I need to address in my life to be the worship leader/arts director that I am called to be....Peace out.

Recreate - Day2

Img_7117My head is still spinning and I am exhausted...It was such a refreshing day and yet a challenging day in that it hit me in every area of my life  - spiritual, work, and family.  The worship times today top the list for me - Vicky Beeching this morning and the Integrity artists (Paul Baloche, Jared Anderson...) We survived the tornado siren going off and the power going out once tonight, and we worshiped through it!  Today was gut check day for me...just evaluating so much of my life and my priorities in the light of who God is and what He wants for my life.  Dinner was awesome tonight with my friends Jennifer,Bobby (a.k.a. - man candy) and Tyler - thanks, guys - I needed to laugh!  Off to bed...Img_7120

Recreate - Day 1

A day of new friends, seeing old friends, and good food!  Yes, the creatives have descended upon Nashville once again in February. I met a new friend today, Kim Bontrager -  CLICK HERE to see her very cool blog.  It was god to see old friends and catch up.  1 year ago right now, I was packing for the hospital to be induced the next morning with my precious son, Sean David.  Yeah, I'm glad he's here and that's over!  Check out our diner table tonight and our fabulous dessert at SOL in downtown Franklin.  I'm done... 4am wake up call this morning...later..Img_7114_2 Img_7115