I blogged here about legacy last week...and then I watched Leno's last show. WOW...I was exhausted from moving all day and I was almost jumping out of my skin watching this...one of the most POWERFUL moments in TV that I have witnessed. If you didn't see the whole show, click here. The one thing this clip doesn't have is Jay's acknowledgement of his wife of 30 years, Mavis. He said that he brought her to the dance 17 years ago and he was so glad to still be dancing with her. Watch this video clip with the eyes of a Christian leader and think about the legacy you are leaving when you take your "final bow."
We "tweaked" our service times about a month ago and wow, what a difference! Our numbers have edged up, our 2 services are more evenly distributed, people are more on time, and the energy has been great! We just pushed everything 15 minutes later...we are now 9:30 and 11:00. My friend Kim Smith led worship with me on Sunday (her family visits us every Memorial Day Weekend.) It was such a treat! Here was our setlist:
"Because of Your Love" - Baloche
Memorial Day Prayer
"Alleluia (More Than Worthy) - Sheri Carr
"Here is our King" - Crowder
"Your Name" - Baloche
We did a shorter set because the message on DVD with the video bumper has been close to 40 minutes lately and we did a special Prayer for Memorial Day. Good move on my part - the service was perfect! I had a Veteran in a previous church tell me one time how disappointed he was that churches get Veterans Day and Memorial Day confused. Memorial Day is to honor those who have passed...Veterans Day is to honor those who are still with us. I have never forgotten that and always make a distinction between the two in services since that conversation. Here is the prayer we used by Rev. Rick Kozelka
Creator of years, of centuries,
Lord of whatever is beyond time,
Maker of all species and master of all history --
How shall we speak to you
from our smallness and inconsequence?
Except that you have called us to worship you
in spirit and in truth;
You have dignified us with loves and loyalties;
You have lifted us up with your lovingkindnesses.
Therefore we are bold to come before you without groveling
[though we sometimes feel that low]
and without fear
[though we are often anxious].
We sing with spirit and pray with courage
because you have dignified us;
You have redeemed us from the aimlessness
of things' going meaninglessly well.
God, lift the hearts of those
for whom this holiday is not just diversion,
but painful memory and continued deprivation.
Bless those whose dear ones have died
needlessly, wastefully [as it seems]
in accident or misadventure.
We remember with compassion those who have died
serving their countries
in the futility of combat.
There is none of us but must come to bereavement and separation,
when all the answers we are offered
fail the question death asks of each of us.
We believe that you will provide for us
as others have been provided with the fulfillment of
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
"There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. "
John 15:13 (NLT)
Join me at Fred's for more setlists..
Last night, we hosted a vision night for our church campus. We gave an update on finances, future plans, and the BIGGEST news of all...we are GOING LIVE every week now with our Message instead of video. Our Senior Pastor, Jeff, co-led the night with Todd. These guys have known each other for 23 years. Todd was in Jeff's youth group as a kid. I was sitting in the back of the room observing these two men talking about God's vision for this church (and I was kicking myself that I left my iphone at home!!!) and I just was hit with one word...legacy. How many of us a ministry leaders get the opportunity to see those we invest in actually go out and do their thing on their own and then get to serve with them as colleagues? I was overwhelmed for Pastor Jeff, thinking about his 26 years of ministry and that he is getting to be a part of the fruit of that work through Todd's life as his Campus Pastor on Hilton Head. We had about 80 people total there last night including kids...there was SUCH excitement about the road ahead. For me, I was smacked in the face once again with the importance of investing in the lives of our students. They are our future. I just saw it play out right before my eyes.
When I arrived in Hilton Head 2 years and 2 months ago, the thing everyone kept telling me was, "You will never find any musicians." Yeah...that is what you want to hear as a worship leader. I got on my knees for the 6 months before we launched our campus and prayed for God to send them. I told him I would use them if he sent them. Out of the 20 months that our campus has existed, I have gone only 2 Sundays without anyone on stage with me and 1 of those was a service outside at the beach. I am losing Rob our cellist to college, Susan our flautist to a job transfer, and Carma our Lead Producer to a job transfer this summer...I'm grieving. Not only are they wonderful artists, but they were the 1st ones to say "Sure, I'll join the team." But God keeps doing His thing and sending, as I call it, "Fresh blood." I have 2 new bass players joining us this summer, a worship intern who plays drums, keys, and sings, and a guitarist who also plays drums. I write this post to give God the glory...100 percent. I also write it to encourage all Worship leaders and Worship Arts Directors to pray...just ask God for what you need. I also encourage you to use who God has sent you. Have extra rehearsals...spend time with them...put them with a more experienced person on your team so they can learn. I do my best to find places for everyone who wants to use their artistic gifts for God. The key there is "gift." I am looking for gifted people. I am looking for people who have ability and maybe need some development or opportunity to grow. The pros on our team are so willing to help guide the younger ones on our team...it really overwhelms me to see their servant's hearts. I pray everyday for musicians, tech people, producers, and artists in the low country to find their way to LowCountry Community Church. I love my job.
Are you praying for "Fresh Blood?"
When I was 8 years old, I had a secret life. Elaine Jones - FBI Agent. I wrote cases, investigated them. I wanted to be an attorney at one point in my life (Todd says that I would have made millions based on our marriage "discussions" and my ability to win the argument!) I love mystery novels (BIG Nancy Drew fan - I have them all.) I love challenges. I love solving mysteries. As an adult, I love problem-solving. Yes, I am one of those weird people who does not absolutely hate conflict. I don't look for it, but when there is a resolution to a difficult situation even if it was bloody, I am actually energized. I love progress. I love the deep end of the pool. I love long shots. I love throwing caution to the wind. My biggest fear is not being challenged. I have no problem asking God for wisdom to solve problems, for guidance to make the right decisions, for strength when I am tired and worn out. So what is the hardest thing for me?....to stop "doing" so much and start "being." I made a commitment in January of this year to change my life. It's May, and I can tell you that God has revealed himself to me in ways I would have NEVER experienced. Things I am praying about - God is answering...in His time. Restoration has happened where it needed to happen...change is happening in my life and in others...Hope has been reborn in my life in areas that I gave up on a year ago. I'm being...not doing...and God is working. This will always be the hardest thing for me. It's not natural. I will have seasons like right now that I am in the zone. And I know I will have season again that I get it wrong. But, the victory for me in my life right now is that I have identified my hardest thing...and I am embracing it. What is the hardest thing for you? Do you know?
I chose very familiar worship today. Partly because we have been doing some new stuff lately, and I wanted to have a familiar week in there. Also, because we usually have guests with us on Mother's Day. Thirdly, because of the Message topic. We continued with Part 4 of our Message Series called My House with....the bedroom. Yes, this fell on Mother's Day. Best of all, my hubby was up to preach live this Sunday! Yes, the one message every pastor tries to avoid and then to have to do it on Mother's Day. He did a fantastic job. Yes, I am biased, but I love my husband enough to tell him when....well...he doesn't quite "bring it." That was not the case yesterday. With such a tough subject, I was so amazed how strongly he presented God's Word and His standard on the subject of sex and yet with such compassion to those who have been abused by the misuse of it. At the end of His message, he wrapped it up by talking about God's redemption. I shared a brief testimony and a word of encouragement to all women that as a church, we are committed to helping them walk the journey of restoration and forgiveness if there has been abuse in their lives. I then sang "Healer" over them before we had our Time of Response. It was a neat moment. I've never considered myself a "speaker" but this was one time, I felt VERY compelled to share my heart with our church campus as their Pastor's wife and their Worship Leader. We had 1 person indicated that they accepted Christ yesterday. Praise God!
Here was our service order...
"Come, Now is the Time to Worship"
Message: The Bedroom
Prayer of Invitation
Time of Response
"Mighty to Save"
I edited a video of our Baptism from last year spotlighting 4 people from our campus that were baptized. It was very cool. Our Beach Baptism is this Sunday and I can't wait! We honored all women by giving them a carnation as they entered the Worship Center and my 18 year old cellist, Rob, brought me flowers! The band said he only did it because he was late :) but it was so sweet. He's leaving for college soon and I'm trying not to think about it. It was a fabulous Mothers Day. How was yours?
Meet me at Fred's for more Sunday recaps!
1. That my personal priorities are always filtered through what I desire for my children.
2. That I have to be ok with house work not getting done because sometimes they just want me to sit with them and watch a movie.
3. That my kids "need" a new outfit before I really ever think about the fact that I have been wearing the same pair of pants for 4 years.
4. My heart breaks anytime I hear about a child being hurt.
5. That I have 4 eyes watching my every move.
6. That I can have one day that I feel like "Mom of the Year" and the next day feel like an unfit parent.
7. That I truly believe my mom was crazy to have 3 kids.
8. That my kids give me the greatest joys in life and the deepest sorrow - sometimes in the same hour.
9. That I will always feel guilty that I am not doing enough to raise them right.
10. That I will never grow tired of bedtime prayers and songs.
11. That I will never grow tired of mealtimes together.
12. That I will never grow tired of their hugs and kisses.
13. That I maybe understand now that my Heavenly Father truly only wants what is best for me.
14. That I cannot fathom God's love for me to give up His only Son's life for someone like me.
15. That I am able to give my kids the legacy of faith that my mom gave to me. I love you, mom!
To all mothers out there, enjoy your day. You deserve it.
1. For my children to know God and for Him to reveal Himself to them as they grow up.
2. For my husband to continue to grow closer to God and closer to me.
3. For my church to love our Island community by serving it and sharing Jesus with them.
4. For our nation to look to God as our answer and not a stable economy.
5. For our troops abroad and their families at home.
6. For myself, to be the wife, mother, minister, and friend God had called me to be.
I was so struck today by Acts 13. Hear are verses 1-3. "Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called “the black man”"Go to" Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas[b]), and Saul. 2
One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy
Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which
I have called them.” 3 So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way."
They were already fasting and praying. You can read on and see that they were going to a TOUGH place to minister. This required MORE fasting and praying. Are we doing that in the face of churches declining at an alarming rate? Are we doing MORE fasting and praying or are we coming up with a "new strategy" in our staff meetings? I am all for "If you are riding a dead horse, dismount." However, the Holy Spirit told them to fast and pray more for the challenge ahead. This hit me square between the eyes. This is what I need to be doing for the challenges ahead...more fasting and praying...and less planning.
What do you think?
It was one of those weeks...I chose a new song ("All Praise to God") and I loved it all week. It went ok in rehearsal. It just didn't cut it on Sunday. I love the song and I will definitely do it on my own on acoustic, but it just didn't work... the band agreed. We added "The Doxology" to the end and it was cool - I definitely recommend doing that if you do this song. Don't get me wrong - this is a GREAT SONG! It just didn't work for us. I changed the order after the 1st service - didn't like the way the songs were working with the other elements. It went SO much better in the 2nd service. We opened with "We Stand" by Lee McDerment. It rocked! This is GREAT opener and the people loved it! My 9-volt in my acoustic died during the 2nd service, so I had to switch over to keys for "All Praise to God" (which I had never played on keys before!) but we pulled it off. Just a weird day...Here was our service flow (from the 2nd service).
"We Stand" - Lee McDerment
"Sing to the King" - Foote
"Let Me Sing" - Fields
Psalm 96 Reading
"All Praise to God" - Foote- w/ "The Doxology"
Time of Response
"Lord of All" - Stanfill