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March 2010
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May 2010

Early Pricing ends today for NWLC in Kansas!

Can you believe it is almost May? This year has flown and TODAY is the last day for early pricing for the National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas.  If you register, be sure to indicate in other that you heard about it from BLOGGER CYNTHIA. I am so excited to be a part of this conference this year as a first time attender and as a blogger for the conference.

Just look at this line-up...Louie Giglio , Chris Tomlin , Marcos Witt, Israel Houghton, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Matt Redman, Lisa Harper , Steve Berger , Laura Story, Phil Wickham, Scotty Smith , Pocket Full of Rocks, Lenny LeBlanc, Starfield , Dr. Quentin Schultze, Tenth Avenue North, Billy & Cindy Foote, Matt Papa, Jonathan Lee, and One Sonic Society.

Don't miss out today! See you there!

Sunday Recap - The Back-up Plan

No matter how long you are involved in ministry, there are always "firsts." Todd was scheduled to speak at our Bluffton Campus and Pastor Jeff was preaching at the Hilton Head Island Campus where I was scheduled to lead worship. He had been suffering with kidney stones the day before but felt ok to preach the night before. As we were rehearsing our last couple of songs, he walked in about 9:10 and he didn't look good. He told me he needed to talk to me immediately and I could see it in his face that he was in a lot of pain. He said he was going to try to speak, but it very quickly hit me that I was going to have to come up with a back-up plan for our two services and I hadn't completed rehearsing for the service we planned. About 10 minutes later, Pastor Jeff looked at me and said, " I've got to go." It's about 9:25 AM now and the Pastor just left. The service starts at 9:30.

This is the moment when you are so thankful for ProPresenter 4 which allowed me to import new Scripture, backgrounds, songs and images in five minutes. This is the moment that you are so thankful that you are prepared to do Communion every week already. This is also the moment that you are thankful for the musicians that you scheduled that day who have led worship with you so many times and are going to have to play songs they have not rehearsed. This is the moment you are so thankful for your team and their flexibility.

I asked one of our Elders to read Scripture and lead our people in taking Communion together. We started the first service about 10 minutes late and I shared with the congregation about Pastor Jeff's condition and we prayed for him corporately. I told them that we were here today to worship God and that was exactly what we were going to do. I transitioned every element and we had about 45-50 minute service. Here was our service:

"Salvation is Here"- Hillsongs
Welcome/ Announcements
"Glory to God Forever" - Fee/Beeching
Scripture Reading- Ephesians 3:14-21
"Breathe on Me"- Beeching
Scripture Reading for Communion- Luke 22:14-20
Time of Confession- keys underscore/ viola playing "Amazing Grace"
"Amazing Grace ( My Chains are Gone) - Tomlin/Newton
Communion elements retrieved at Stations
Scripture Reading/Prayer- receiving Communion together
"Center" - Hall
"Inside Out " - Hillsongs

Honestly, I was sick at my stomach all morning. I felt so unqualified to be leading the entire service. After the first service, I was more at peace for the second and I had some time in between to pray and gather my thoughts. On a humurous side, one of my girlfriends was taking bets that I was going to preach. Yeah...

Please pray for Pastor Jeff as he deals with this physical issue the next couple of weeks.

And to all of your worship leaders, I would love to hear if this has ever happened to you. If it hasn't, I highly recommend having Communion supplies ready at all times.

Join me at The Worship Community for more setlists!

A true story

Sydney and I were watching one of her favorite movies recently and she asked me if it was a true story. I told her it was not - it was just pretend. She started asking me about other videos that she watches and I told her they were all pretend. She said," We don't have a lot of true stories, mommy. Can we get some movies that are true?"

As a parent, I choose movies and videos that teach good values - being kind, sharing, obeying authority, and making good choices. We mix it up with VeggieTales and Boz the Bear as well as Barbie, Thomas the Train, and Dora/Diego. But my five year old is desiring true stories, not just truth in story form.

I find a lot of joy in reading a great novel or watching a great movie that tells a story, and as an adult, I am able to separate the truth from the fiction.  However, Sydney brings up a great point. We fill our minds with a lot of stories that may contain elements of truth, but the story itself is not true. 

John F. Kennedy said ,"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."

Is the fact that the story is fictional maybe communicating that the truths it is teaching are fictional as well? I am not suggesting a ban of ALL movies that are not true in our home, but it is making me think about what we watch and what I buy.

We bought Dave and the Giant Pickle the other night which is the story of David and Goliath from the Bible as told by VeggieTales. I explained that Goliath was not a pickle but a person, she was like, "Mom, I know..." But I told her, THIS was a true story of what a small boy did because He believed that God was able to do anything. She has wore out that DVD.

It has made me think and we will engage a lot more now about this rather than me just assuming that because there are elements of truth in the story, it is communicating truth to her.

Talk to me here. What do you think?

His love for us

The best part for me of being out of my daily routine is the ability and freedom to have time to reflect. It is in these moments that I hear God speak to me and teach me what I have been maybe too busy to learn or even to busy to stop and listen to Him say. Here are some thing He is saying to me right now...

1. "Cynthia, it will never, ever all get done so accept the fact that a completed to do list is not your reality any longer." This is hard for me. I think I can actually complete EVERYTHING and I get frustrated when, of course, that never happens.

2. "Cynthia, someone is always going to be disappointed in you, not pleased with you, or feels that you have let them down. You cannot change that." With all my new responsibilities at LCC, I am feeling this now more than ever. I struggle a lot between doing what I know is the right thing for me, my family, and ministry and making people happy, especially people that mean a lot to me in my life.

3. "Cynthia, I am pleased with you not because of what you do, but because you are MY child. No worship service you plan, no event that you organize, no disappointed person, no task uncompleted, and no amount of ministry  will ever INCREASE or DECREASE my love for you."  This last statement is where I am right now. I am dwelling on that promise and allowing it to permeate my heart and mind all this week. 

You are probably working today or maybe you are taking some time off. Wherever you are that you are reading this, I hope that number three will encourage you. Personalize the underline portion and meditate on this passage of Scripture. I love THE MESSAGE version of this...

31-39So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

 - Romans 8: 31-38 (THE MESSAGE)

Easter Weekend Recap

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We had an amazing time with Vicky Beeching this past weekend at the Bluffton Campus. She led worship for our five services there. She has been a "mentor from afar" (as I told her) for many years with her songwriting and her passion for the church so it was a great experience to spend a little time with her and to share what her music means to me personally as a worship leader.

If you haven't purchased her new album that just released THIS WEEK, CLICK HERE and do it! It is amazing! 

We had a fantastic Sunday at the Hilton Head Island Campus. It has been a couple of weeks since I have had the opportunity to lead there and it was WONDERFUL to be there. I loved singing Matt Maher's "Christ is Risen" and Debbie just brought it all to a wonderful close with Natalie Grant's "Because of Love."

We were able to install a fiberglass cross at our Bluffton Campus - something Pastor Jeff has wanted for us to have in our Worship Center. The picture really doesn't give you the full effect, but with the back lighting on a dimmer, the cross appears to "hover" on the wall...very cool. I highly recommend Superior as they made it and shipped it in a short amount of time.

I pray that your Lent Season was one of reflection and your Easter weekend was one of celebration. In spite of the craziness of pulling everything together with our team for two campuses, this was one of the most meaningful Lent seasons for me personally. I feel re-connected to the power of the cross in my life and I'm so grateful for what God is doing in and through me as His child.

Good Friday Conversations

image852494124.jpgI am loving the conversations I am now able to have with my five and a half year old daughter,Sydney. We spent the morning together catching up on what happened this week at school, whose birthday is next in our family (hers!) and talking about truth. Yeah, I thought this was a pretty big topic but man, she was ready for it.

We were watching one of her favorite kid movies at her "Beach Party" that she had constructed in our living room (yes, she was in her bathing suit) and she asked me if the movie we were watching was true? I told her no, it was pretend. She asked me if Easter was a true story...yeah, I was excited that things turned that direction.

We began talking about Jesus, His death, His Resurrection, His return to Heaven to prepare a home for us. The questions were Heaven real or pretend?Is there a bed for me there? Will all my friends be there? We talked about the gold streets, the pearly gates...she was all into the bling. Then she said, " I want to go right now!"

Me too, Syd... me too.