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August 2008
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October 2008

I love my rental

In light of the financial news of today, I love my rental house.  I always thought I was a person of great faith until we had to sell our home in Atlanta and move to NYC. It took us 2 years (2005-2007) to sell our home.  The interesting thing is that our house sold at exactly the specific time in our lives when we absolutely 100 percent HAD to sell.  God brought just the right family and it sold. I learned more about praying with persistence and with endurance through those 2 years than any other time in my life.  I learned that God's timing is NEVER my timing and that I don't have a clue what He has in store for me - I just have to trust Him. He gave our family the most beautiful rental house last Spring on the Island, complete with a swing set in the backyard and a separated living room for my piano and music stuff. Today has been a really tough day for so many people and my heart breaks for them. For me, today has been a reminder of God's lavish blessings that I really don't deserve.


LowCountry - Hilton Head today

We have been blessed at LowCountry-Hilton Head with some amazing musicians...I'm talking about string and woodwind players - Susan on flute, Rob on cello, and Sam on viola.  They bring such color to our worship and today was no exception. Christine was co-leading with me today on vocals and just killed it. Here was our set list:

"Trading My Sorrows" - Darrell Evans // "Alleluia (More than Worthy)" - Sheri Carr // Readings from Psalm 33// "Uncreated One" - Cynthia Cullen // "Ancient Words" - MWS version // "Lord of All"  - Kristian Stanfill

It was fresh, different, and so worshipful.  Of course, our new subs made it unbelieveable as well! As a musician, there is something so fulfilling about being able to write instrumental parts that enhance the musical environment that you are creating. As a Service Programmer, there is such fulfillment in seeing everything connect from Scripture Readings to intro's of the songs to the Message from your Communicator (Pastor Joe really connected).  Some days I walk away and I'm glad it's over (usually because of something stupid I did.)  Today, I felt that we had prepared spiritually and musically and it showed. I loved every minute of being with our people through the music, Scripture Readings, the Message, and Communion.  This was one of my favorite Sundays.


Gov. Palin interview with Charlie Gibson

Apsarahpalincharlesgibsoninterviewt I admit that as a woman, I have been energized by McCain's choice of Palin. Although I am not a Hilliary supporter, I was disappointed that her efforts in the primaries were not rewarded with a Vice-Presidential nomination from her party. Palin's nomination is bringing issues to light that working mothers face everyday, especially in this area of sexism. I felt that Mr. Gibson's interview did shed some light on some very specific areas in her political career that I wanted clarity ( Bridge to Nowhere, banning books, "Trooper Gate") since her arrival on the national scene. I do have a couple of questions for Mr. Gibson...Have you or will you ask the other candiates if they are afraid to be President/Vice-President? If they said no, would you ask them again if they felt overwhelmed? Have you asked the other candidates if they felt it was sexist to ask how they would be fathers to their children and be President/Vice-President? If you know of a transcript where these questions have been asked the other candidates, please let me know. If not, I look forward to these questions being asked of the other 3 candidates who might possibly be President.


Twittering for kids?

Logo Being a mother of 2 small children, I am very intrigued about how technology is shaping their lives even as preschoolers.  I'm all about protection and filters for my kids on the internet and  I REALLY think about what I show on videos that I post at cullenhouse (our family blog). However, they are growing up in a world where technology isn't something you avoid- it is an active part of life ( Look how Obama is taking McCain to task because he doesn't do e-mail). I twitter, but now my kids can?  Check this article out...

"IT would be easy to assume that the first month of Cameron Chase’s life followed the monotonous cycle of eat-sleep-poop familiar to any new parent. But anyone who has read his oft-updated profile on Totspot, a site billed as Facebook for children, knows better. Cameron, of Winter Garden, Fla., has lounged poolside in a bouncy seat with his grandparents, noted that Tropical Storm Fay passed by his hometown, and proclaimed that he finds the abstract Kandinsky print above his parents’ bed “very stimulating..."

Read the whole story here. What do you think?


It's not about your music

0624146200 Talk about some fallout from the VMA's on Sunday night...No, we are not talking about the musical performances of the artists - we are talking about their political, social, and moral views.  To Jordin Sparks and the Jonas Brothers, a big APOLOGY from musical artists everywhere.  We should be talking about your music, but we're not.  I applaud their convictions, but this is a MUSIC AWARDS SHOW.  They should not have to defend one another's moral convictions or for that matter have Paris Hilton do it - this was a night to honor their music. As Randy says in his blog today, "Come on, MTV, give us art-whether we agree with it or not! It certainly would go a long way to help legitimize a preachy and meaningless award show--and channel. "

It's not about the music anymore...does this upset you?


Finding our groove

Img_7899Img_7901 1 year ago today, LowCountry Community Church-Hilton Head Island opened its doors (Well, the doors of the 7th Day Adventist Church we were renting, but you get the idea). Today, we held services in our OWN permanent location on the Island where we have been for 3 months.  Our festivities are being postponed for a couple of weeks due to the threat of Hanna (which turned out to be nothing, thank God). Today was just a good day.  My service producers, audio guys, and video team are OWNING it...shooting video, editing pieces, tweaking our service elements, buying new speakers (yeah!), and keeping me on my toes on Sundays. The band is coming together now with the addition of a new drummer and bass player and we are really starting to click.  I felt it today...you know what I'm talking about...that place where things are really starting to find their groove and your team is understanding what it is all about. Sometimes in church planting, there are real serious times of loneliness. I have felt it at times this past year. I didn't really know any musicians or creatives here on the Island and that was very discouraging at times. But I have prayed and God has strategically brought each creative and musician to this church campus in HIS time.  When I look at the incredibly talented people around me, I just cannot believe that this wasn't here a year ago. Even better, this team has become more than just creative people that I serve with in ministry...they have become friends.  Today, I really felt like it was all of us moving toward a common goal...creating a worship environment that "Honors God and Inspires People" as is our mantra at LCC. BTW, we had about 10 people sign-up to be baptized(at the beach!) and 3 people indicated they were believing in Christ for salvation for the 1st time...it was just a good day.


A fresh voice

Sp_photo_4 Over the last week, I have investigated the life of Gov. Sarah Palin and have come to admire her accomplishments and her strengths as a leader first and as a female second. The media has done a fantastic job of helping me respect her life even more.  But as I sat and watched this historic speech, I thought about my 4 year old daughter and I was overwhelmed with the importance of this entire Presidential campaign in my life and in hers.  Although I do not share the ideals of Sen. Clinton, her campaign was historic. The nomination of Gov. Palin on a Republican ticket is historic. These women have destroyed barriers that will have lasting effects on this generation of women and beyond.  No one can deny that women face certain challenges that are very different than men when it comes to being in positions of influence. Working in the church world for the last 13 years has shown me that. I have been blessed to serve with leaders who have embraced my leadership skills and helped paved the way for me to have the opportunity to be a leader at a level not normally offered to women in the church world.  My experience has been amazing, but I know it is not the norm. Gov. Palin's nomination to the Vice-Presidency is an opportunity for women to be heard at the highest level. I know that Gov. Palin does not speak for all women, but for those of us who share many of her ideals, she is a fresh voice and someone who can elevate the discussion in this country with regards to issues that effect women everyday. As a working mother of 2, I am proud that she is on the front lines for me.


Change

I did an hour bike ride this morning and it was delightful. Fall is coming, the winds of political change are coming, and Hanna is coming.  4 years ago, I was a DINK (double-income-no-kids) and now I am a mother of two.  15 months ago, I lived in New York City, ordered groceries online, and didn't own a car. We cannot escape change.  It is going to happen. I'd like to say that I handle change well all the time, but that would not be true. There are seasons of my life I wish had not changed.  There are things about the present I do not want to change (like the age of my kids). There are things about the future that I cannot wait to change. My prayer today? to be confident through change. I love this quote...

"Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind.  To the fearful, it is threatening because it means that things may get worse.  To the hopeful, it is encouraging because things may get better.  To the confident, it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better."  - King Whitney Jr.

How do you handle change?