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October 2009
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December 2009


We took some time off last week for the holidays and I took some time off from my computer. I've fully recognized the fact that I do not truly rest if I do not literally "unplug" from the virtual world!

I had some time to reflect on what I am most thankful for this year and here is what I came up with in no particular order. I am most thankful this year for...

  • the man I married almost 15 years ago - our struggles have refined not defined our love for each other.
  • the two children that God blessed me with to be their mother - they reveal to me everyday the divine and perfect design of God the Creator.
  • a church family that truly exhibits the love of Christ to me - encouragement, love, and support are their traits - not criticism and negativity.
  • friends that stay connected regardless of the miles (you know who you are!)
  • family that shares what they have with each other - not out of obligation, but out of genuine love and support.
  • a God and Friend who has been right there with me through all my immature tantrums, pride, selfish ways and general times of discouragement - not with a heavy hand, but with arms of love and security. 

Sunday Recap - one for the history books!

I've always prayed that God would keep my heart tender toward Him and His people as a Worship Leader/ Programming Director. You plan services every week and it so easy to become callous and predictable. But my God is neither of those things. So, here I am with this task of creating a worship experience every week that brings God's people and those seeking God to embrace Him, celebrate Him, reflect on their lives, and challenge them for spiritual renewal. I feel very under qualified a lot of times and not unaware of God enough in my own life to really accomplish this. And then we have a Sunday like we did this past week and God shows me how much He is in control and I am just the vessel...

I shared awhile back that I felt that God was leading me to do two things this year as a Worship Arts Leader...PRAY AND SHARE THE STORIES. This past Sunday was focused on doing those things and celebrating God's faithfulness in our finances as well as His goodness to us as we approach Thanksgiving this week. There was nothing really out of the ordinary in the plan. I prayed through my set list, edited a video, and prepared my team for the day. But then God showed up in a way that I still do not have words to describe. People were worshiping through song like I have never seen before. All songs they knew - nothing out of the ordinary. Mary Amonitti shared about her leadership experience in Financial Peace University and how God has laid it on her heart to start this for the Boys and Girls Club on the Island. Our FPU class retired more debt than any other class at both campuses!

After we showed a testimony video ( to be uploaded soon!), people were standing and applauding. I didn't know what to do. People were hooping and hollering and hugging the Krupas (in the 11 service.) They were so overwhelmed at this story. I thanked the Krupas for sharing it and then sang "Healer" which I felt best captured their story. Todd led us through communion together and then we worshiped in song. I almost felt like I had to REALLY dismiss everybody because I think they didn't want to leave. Some people continued to stay even after the lights were down on stage and we were playing them out and kept singing with us.

People are hungry to see and experience life change. I think that this past Sunday gave people the opportunity to hear and see firsthand what God can do. We didn't have a planned message other than people telling their stories of life change. Here was our service flow:

"Salvation is Here" - Hillsongs

"Jesus Reigns" - Todd Fields


Todd and Mary - FPU stories

Video -LCC stories - Brian and Cassie Krupa


The Lord's Table

"Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)"

Communion together

"How Great is Our God"

"Happy Day"

Meet me at Fred's for more Sunday recaps...

We've only just begun

IMG_0940 IMG_0946

I thought I would have kids one day, but the longer I was married and the more I enjoyed doing all I was doing, I thought," Maybe that's not for me." So I lived my life and enjoyed all the wonderful musical things that I was able to do.  And then it happened on a day in September. I was doing my normal "power walk" up and down the hills of Bentwater in North Atlanta and it hit me. I wanted to share my love and passion for the arts with more than just those I minister with and to each week. I wanted a part of me to experience it. I wanted to have a child and share every bit of my life with them.I wanted to play a part, but not THE part.

So, Sydney comes into my life and we have enjoyed her first 5 years to the max. Our almost 2 years in NYC allowed us to do SO many artistic things together at museum and preschool music classes. It was amazing. But now, school fills her days. And I make every effort to weave arts and music into her life as much as I can. Sydney decided this fall to start playing the piano. Since she has started to read in school, it all clicked for her.  I can't tell you the joy of being able to sit and play the duet part on Christmas songs with her. Probably just like my mom felt when she did it with me!

Sydney joined The Hilton Head Dance School this year after having two great years at Bluffton School of Dance. We made the move for several reasons, but mainly because of Sydney's love of ballet. Every year for the past 24 years, The Hilton Head Dance Theatre has presented The Nutcracker on Hilton Head Island. It is in every way, an Island tradition. The 5 yr-old classes were cooks. Yes, Sydney was thrilled since that it was she has told us 2 years ago that she wants to be when she grows up (Todd is already planning to open a restaurant with her one day!) I was the class mom for one of the two performances that she was in last week. Todd and I attended the other one. For three hours, I helped corral 10 five year-olds to be ready for their 5 minutes in the show. Now, you may be thinking, "All of that for 5 minutes?"  The entire process is what is important. Getting dressed, make-up, hair, getting into character, getting your props (she has a spoon!), the excitement of being around great dancers of all ages, and then having that moment to be out there. Sydney came alive. Her smile was non-stop even when she was so tired in the green room waiting for the curtain call. I was merely a spectator that night - adjusting costumes and saying "SHHHH" a thousand times when we were back stage. But for me, I got so much more joy out of watching Sydney be an artist in her own 5-year old way than any gig I've played, song I have sung, or song I have written.

We took her to dinner at Eastern Restuarant.  Her choice...she wanted fried rice. We all got dressed up. Sydney asked Todd to wear a tie so he would be "handsome." Sydney's ballet teacher, Katie Girardi, was also having dinner at Eastern with Karena and John Carlyle, the founders of the Dance School, and others. We walked over to say hello and everyone at the table made Sydney feel as if the night was entirely for her. Katie has been so patient with Sydney as she had a few tough classes in the beginning of the year. The gratitude that I felt in that moment toward these fellow artists and how they were encouraging my daughter - more than words can express.

Sydney did great once again as we watched from the audience. Her daddy met her at the stage door after she had changed with 12 beautiful pink roses. The show closed the next day for this year, but the greatest part for me? We've only just begun...


Sunday Recap - cold medicine or the Holy Spirit?

Todd assured me after I asked him that question that he truly sensed that God was moving in both of our services. My head was a fog (I forgot to start one of the songs - I just told everybody  - Sorry!) I had someone tell me that they like it when I mess up - it makes them think I am really human! Why is it that I always get something on a Friday night or Saturday morning - just in time to feel REALLY bad on Sunday morning, but then I'm over it by Monday when I really don't care what I feel like then? Seriously, Todd and I spent a lot of time together working on the service and going over his message. He preaches it to me and others on Thursday afternoons on stage so that he can work through the flow and how it connects to the response time. You need to feel bad for Todd. He really has it tough because I have been doing services in this role for about 15 years on a church staff - he just started communicating on a regular basis 5 months ago. This has been a learning curve for both of us, but Todd has had to catch up quick! I say this with all the sincerity in my heart - this past Sunday was THE BEST message he has preached (in my opinion) and it was about giving! You can hear it by CLICKING HERE. I am really sensing a fresh annointing on my husband now that he is communicating on a regular basis. He heart for these people, his passion for God, and His ability to be authentic (especially with our personal financial struggles) has blown me away. Here was our service flow:

"Solution" - Hillsongs


"The Lord Reigns"  - Gateway

"Everlasting God" - Brenton Brown

Video - Message Bumper - Volunteers telling us why they serve at the Hilton Head Campus


Song of Reflection - "O How He Loves You and Me" - Kurt Kaiser

Prayer of Invitation

Time of Response: Giving and Prayer Station open

Songs of Response

"O How He Loves You and Me" - Chorus only

"How He Loves" - John Mark McMillan

At the end of Todd's message, he had everyone close their eyes and he painted a picture of what Christ's death was like for each of us. I came up along with Dave (bass player) and we underscored a little bit and then Todd asked everyone to just meditate on that image of Christ dying for each of us as we played and sang "O How He Loves You and Me." We did Verse one and Verse two and then Todd came up and shared the Gospel Message and did a hand-raised invitation. Three people accepted Christ between the two services! I played keys on this song and then during the invitation, I switched to acoustic and led them in the chorus of it one more time after the invitation. The rest of the band had come up by then and we went right into "How He Loves." In the second service, I was so overwhelmed with the two people that had indicated they trusted Christ, I couldn't get through the first verse of that song. I got myself together and managed to just sing from my toes "He loves us, Oh how, He loves us, Oh how, He loves us, Oh how He loves!" Dave Mastellar joined us on bass this week and it was great to have him back with us.

God is doing something here...and it wasn't my cold medicine.

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

Sunday Recap

This past Sunday was a culmination of Todd and I working very closely together to create a worship service that captured the essence of the adventure that lies ahead for us as a new church campus. He prepared an amazing message that you can hear by CLICKING HERE about the church being many members and working together to accomplish all that God has for us here in this Island.  Todd and I shared some very specific recap stuff at our Campus Blog so you can CLICK HERE to read that. I gave Randy a drum solo in between "Counting on God" and "Because of Your Love." We put both songs on the same click and Randy worked out a solo in between them so that we went from one to another. It was so cool!

For our Time of Response, we did not have communion as a station - we focused solely on prayer. Todd had different leaders in each service come up and lead prayers for specific things and then we gave the congregation time to pray on their own for each request. I just underscored on piano. This lasted about 8 minutes. Here was our service flow:

"Jesus Reigns"  - Todd Fields


"Counting on God" - Desperation Band

"Because of Your Love" - Baloche

Message Bumper


Time of Response: Prayer for Leaders, Our Community, Pre-Christians

"Mighty To Save"

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

Sunday Recap

As Pastor Jeff said,"We sent the little pastor (my hubby is 5 ft 7") to the big campus (Bluffton- our core campus) and we sent the big pastor (Jeff is 6 ft plus) ) to the the little campus (HHI)." It was a treat to have our Senior Pastor with us on the Island and Todd enjoyed speaking at the Bluffton Campus (3 services wore the boy out!) Jeff brought a great message from Matthew 25 about the servants with the 3 talents. I loved how it ended it with having everyone hold their hands out to signify that all we have is God's and also to represent that all we receive is from Him as well. Our "Time of Response" focused on Jesus being Lord of all and how we need to acknowledge that in every area of our lives, especially our finances. Here was our set list:

"Trading My Sorrows"

Scripture Reading - from Ephesians 1

"Here is our King"


"Salvation is Here"

Video Bumper


Time of Response - communion, prayer, giving

"Lord of All" - Stanfill

"The Lord Reigns" (Chorus/Bridge/Chorus) - Klaus Kuehn

My two high school students musicians - Sam and Michael -  are really growing as musicians. I gave them a number chart this week for "Lord of All" - they hated it! It was hilarious! But, they embraced it and did really well. "Trading My Sorrows" may be an oldie, but it is a GREAT song to use to teach the importance of simplicity in playing together as a band. I am so proud of these guys and their desire to learn and grow as musicians. We are having a great time. Luke, one of our worship leaders, played drums this week and did an amazing job. I feel so blessed to have the team we have here at the HHI Campus.

Read more Sunday Recaps at Fred's place.