The greatest thing about being a part of the blogging community is connecting with people...people that are just like me, totally different than me, smarter than me, crazier than me...you fill in the blank. The biggest blessing to me has been how God uses blogs of friends and leaders I respect to speak truth into my life...at just the right moment and just the right time. Today, I received 2 blogs from 2 people I read a lot...Perry Noble and Seth Godin. These guys are on opposite ends of the spectrum of what they do and why they blog. However, today, they both had a word for me. Perry's blog is pretty self-explanatory for why I loved it today. #11 and #13 were a needed reminder. However, Seth's blog may be a little strange to you. He hit on something that I have experienced, watched happen to others, and that I want to help my children with one day when they face it. You're just dying to know what they said, huh?
My friend, Matt, at North Point was such a great resource to me when we started the HHI Campus last fall. I was very happy to give him some quotes for the North Point Ministries Newsletter this month. I meant every word...this is a great resource! Click here to check out the North Point Music Blog.
The hardest thing for me at my current church is that I have been spoiled my entire Worship Arts life. Serving at larger churches with a lot of worship staff (yeah, cry me a river, right?) makes you very comfortable because there are others that do what you do. This is the 1st church that I have served where I am the only worship leader on my campus on a regular basis. Our High School Pastor, Rob, comes over to our campus every other month and leads if we can work out the schedule, but I still usually play in the band since I'm not 2 deep on any band position (yet!) I know some of you are saying, "Hey Cyn, welcome to what the rest of us do every week! WHINER!!!" BUT, I got really sick this week...THE WORST head cold/sinus whatever-thing and I was out for 3-4 days. I was SO thankful that Rob was already scheduled to lead worship on our campus...I just didn't have it and God knew I needed help. Doesn't He always know what we need before we do? Anyway, it was an AWESOME service! Rob leads with such passion and energy. Our people love him! Rob and I are a great team..I played keys/sang some BGV's with Christine. We tore it UP on "Lord of All." Calling all female worship leaders!!! This song is SO cool with a female lead. Christine just threw it down. Here was our service...
"Sing, Sing, Sing" - Tomlin
"Happy Day" - Hughes
"Let Me Sing" - Fields
Scripture Reading - Acts 4:32-37
"Praise the Father, Praise the Son" - Tomlin
"Lord of All" - Kristian Stanfill
Pastor Jeff laid it on the line today about what God says about our money. The coolest thing, however, was the green room conversation that I had with our band about the subject. God is doing something in our team and I am DEFINITELY convinced it is because our Pastor is not holding back sharing with us what he is hearing from God. "Leadership is nothing more than listening to God and then doing it." I loved that statement today from Jeff. People are signing up left and right for Financial Peace that we kick off tomorrow night on both campuses. We also had several families on both campuses commit to start giving on a committed basis. I sense from twitter that the economic crisis is really waking up THE CHURCH as a whole. I really believe God is positioning THE CHURCH for something incredible that I know I have not seen in my generation..are we ready for this?
Meet me at Fred's for more Sunday Recaps.
I was the 20-year-old who started her day with a Baby Ruth and a Dr. Pepper and never thought about it. High metabolism...very active...no big deal. Then my late 20's hit and I started adding a pound a year. Then the gaining and losing game of my early to mid 30's with having children really freaked me out. I gained about 35 pounds with my first child, but lost about 45 pounds by the time she was 2. I had a good friend who I walked with 3 times a week and she really helped encourage me to learn about portion control and calories. I gained about the same amount with my 2nd pregnancy, but this time, I have not been able to lose the last little bit. I made a promise to myself that by Sean's 2nd birthday, I could no longer use the excuse that is was "baby weight." Well, February 5th is coming, and I have 1 pound left! I don't believe in diets, because it won't last. Here's what I'm doing...
- I know how many calories I should have each day for my height and my weight-loss goals. Click here to find that out for you.
- I am learning to have a lifestyle of exercising 3 times a week. Cardio, weights, and core training.
- I am being aware of what I put in my mouth! Click here for a list of my favorite treats.
- I do not eat after 7PM. The only exception is if I skip dinner that night becuase of rehearsal or something and can't eat till later. I usually choose cereal for dinner on those nights.
- I downloaded the livestrong app for my iphone which lets me see the calorie-count at restaurants and fast food places so I know as I pull through Chick-fil-A what my best choice will be.
- I don't worry about tomorrow. I just try to make the right decisions today.
So, I will report on Feb 5th if I met my goal. What about you? Are you dieting this year or changing your lifestyle?
I have been watching the day's events unfold with such a wide range of emotions. The peaceful transfer of power is an amazing thing to observe. No other nation has past world leaders and current adversaries standing on the same stage, shaking hands, waving, and even embracing. As I've seen on twitter and other blogs today, I agree that THIS is a proud day to be an American. Regardless of your political views, THIS IS A GREAT DAY for our history and for our country. God bless America and God bless our new President.
Do you remember the A-Team? Hannibal would say, "I love it when a plan comes together" at the end of most episodes. As a Type -A-overachieving-control-freak Worship Arts Director, that is what I want to say when the worship service is over. However, God has patiently taught me the last 14 years or so that it is not my plans, but His that matter. We heard Pt. 2 of Pastor Jeff's "State of the Union" to our church yesterday and it was all about CHANGE...taking the next step wherever you are in your spiritual journey. I chose worship songs that celebrated the Attributes of God and His Redemption of Man because in the light of who He is and what He has done, we can change. I knew the message would require some time for people to process what our Pastor was saying, but before the Message, I rocked it out. I did a song that has become one of our favorites in our campuses' 18 months of life...an old one, but a good one...'Trading my Sorrows." I don't use a road map on this song - the band just follows. People were REALLY getting into it and were belting it out..."Yes, Lord, Yes Lord.." Well, I had NO idea that Pastor Jeff was going to make saying "Yes to God" as a key part of his message! So for all of you HHI attendees who thought, "Man, that really connected!" Yeah, all God...not me. Here was our service...
"All Because of Jesus" - Fee
"Salvation is Here" - Hillsongs
Small group interview
"Trading My Sorrows" - Evans
Scripture Reading - Acts 2
"You are God" - Charlie Hall
"Center" - Charlie Hall
I introduced " You are God" to our congregation...such a great song. We had a Small Group leader interview a small group attender...I gave the small group leader a lot of lattitude to script that himself (just gave him a time limit and told him to help our people see what they are missing out on by not being in a small group.) They knocked it out of the park! I honestly believe that when we allow our people to tell our people truth, it is SO much more powerful than when we who are PAID staff tell them the same thing.
And drum roll please....We had 3 people pray to receive CHRIST! Glory to God!
Meet me at Fred's for more setlists!
Blogging forces me to take very seriously what I think and how I say
it. At times, I know I am a lousy communicator, however I make every
effort to speak from my heart. I'm far from being the most profound
thinker of my generation, but I know I am contributing to the overall
conversation. I want the reader to think. That is my reason. Seth
Godin's recent blog entry reminded me of the importance of my words.
Here's a excerpt...
"The neat thing about the online world is that you are judged almost
entirely by your actions, usually based on just your fingers. If you
do generous things, people think you are a generous person. If you
bully people, people assume,you are a bully. If you ask dumb
questions, people figure you're dumb. Answer questions well and people
assume you're smart and generous...online interactions are largely
expected to be intentional. On purpose. Planned. People assume you did
stuff for a reason."
What is your reason?
(Go to www.sethgodin.com to read the entire article.)
I heard this morning that as of today's latest reports, job loss in our country has not been this high since 1945. As you read this, I'm sure someone comes to mind that you know is in this situation (maybe yourself.) Would you pray right now for that person?
Worship leaders are always asked "There are SO many worship songs out there. How do you pick the ones you sing at church?" Some songs like "Amazed" by Jared Anderson just knocked me over. Some songs like "Counting on God", I hated the 1st time I heard it. Then I heard a different version and I could not get it out of my head and I fell in love with it! Most of the time, however, there are some KEY things that I look for in a song...remember, this is MY process :) not THE process!
- Does this song have a beautiful marriage of music and lyrics? As a songwriter, I strive for this in my writing and I expect the same from all worship songs. If one thing is great and the other isn't, we don't sing it. Obviously, this is VERY subjective, but I can't lead others in worship with a song that I personally struggle with one or the other being deficient.
- Is the song confusing? Some worship songwriters have chosen to write about certain things in Scripture that I find confusing. If I feel the need to explain the song, I probably will move on.
- How does this song make me feel toward God? Ok, this may be a little weird for some of you, but I want songs that encourage people to move toward God with great passion and speed. For example, "You are God" by Charlie Hall is in our rotation right now. There is a line that says," You fight for us, You make us brave." I CANNOT sing that line without a smile on my face! I feel that my God WILL do that for me when I sing that line! That helps me face Monday, so I know it will help my congregation as well.
- Does this song teach Biblical truths that I can easily understand? I learned from a wonderful mentor that I have a responsibilty as a worship leader to teach Biblical truth through song choices. I am reinforcing my Pastor's heart and his desire for our people to understand the Word of God when I choose songs that teach even the most basic of truths in the Christian life...prayer, obedience, holiness, Christ our Redeemer...the list goes on, but you get it.
- Is this song timeless? This is a hard question. Not all songs that I do can pass this test, but I would say 90 percent do pass. In the past few years, we have seen a resurgence of hymns in our worship sets because they are timeless. I'm on a Charlie Hall kick right now and his song "Center" is one that I have ben doing ever since he wrote it. He does a great job of making this song timeless by combining it with "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus", but even without that, the words and the music he chose are timeless.
- Does this song celebrate the attributes of a Holy God and/or His Redemption of Mankind? I cut my teeth as a young worship leader on the teachings of the late Robert Webber. I remember him encouraging worship leaders that it was our responsibility every week to celebrate these things in our weekly worship.
- The Holy Spirit factor - this is just a sense in my spirit that "He" wants me to do this song.
I am going to spend some time over the next few weeks here at cheval glass sharing songs that I feel very strongly pass these tests. I take choosing worship songs SO seriously. I have 4-5 songs per week... that's all I've got. I am shaping the worship experience for my congregation through my song choices. I am influencing their view of God. No time for games with this one.