I'm not being rude, really

Congressman twittering during Obama's speech last night? Click here to read about it...

I have been twittering for over a year, but when I entered the wonderful world of iphone ownership about 2 months ago, I REALLY got into it.  Sometimes technology complicates life, but the iphone and twittering has enhanced my being a wife, mommy of 2, worship leader, creative soul, techy wanna-be life in a HUGE WAY. Todd and I LOVE to twitter and talk with ministry friends all over the world as well as just with each other. I get answers to questions faster and I learn from what others are saying.  I have also gone paperless...the wonderful NOTES app on my iphone looks like an actual legal pad and that is what I use in meetings now. SO much less clutter in my life.   I use the Youversion Bible App to do my daily Bible Reading and for sermon planning meetings.  However, I have been confronted with people that feel that my iphone use gives the "appearance" that I am not paying attention. Some people were offended at the twittering last night during the speech. Was that disrespectiful? I don't think so.  To the people who were following the twitters of their elected officials, I bet they felt more informed about where their guy/gal stands on the issues, instead of political rhetoric that they get from the news.  I am a multi-tasker. I can listen to what you are saying, make notes, get the info out to those who need to hear it, and keep listening to what you are saying.  I am just embracing technology.  I agree that if I am having a conversation one-on-one with you, IT IS RUDE! But in meetings or large groups listening and participating in dialog, let's ALL get in the conversation.  I'm not being rude, really...

What do you think?

A proud Blog Mama

We all have blog mamas and papas....Randy Elrod is my Blog Papa. He got me into this in February 2006. Actually, it was a year before that, but I was a slow starter.  This has moved from being something that I did (one-way) to a true community of people in conversation (two-way). I am very passionate about people sharing ideas, sharing their journey, and being in authentic community...that is why I love blogging. The online community has been amazing, but the face-to-face conversation that has been generated by my blog has been unbelieveable.   I've spent most of this week developing a campus blog for our core campus and tweaking our own campus blog. It has been a privilege to come alongside our Lead Pastor, Jeff, and help him start his blog this year (which, by the way, he was BORN to do this!) Our entire Hilton Head Island Staff are bloggers (ok, there are only 3 of us, but it is 100 percent participation!) I am also working with other staff on the Bluffton Campus over the next few months to help them become a part of this community.  Clay has ben a huge help as a fellow blogger since he knows A LOT more about CSS than I do and has a great eye for design.  I've had a blast this week!  Check these out...Todd Cullen
Jeff Cranston     Barb Weatherwax     LowCountry Community Church - Hilton Head Island Campus Blog
LowCountry Community Church - Bluffton Campus Blog

Recreate - Day 2

Don't mess with a good thing...that is what I have always said. So, I didn't know how Recreate would be this year because it was going to be different than in years past.   I have lost count, but I think I have been to Recreate 5 or 6 times. This is the 1st year I brought my hubby Todd...we were not all staying at the same place. Let's just say, all apprehensions have been removed. I LOVE IT! Randy and Chris have once again KNOCKED IT out of the PARK!!!! Our sessions today with Dr. Steve Guthrie and Ian Morgan Cron were...I am without speech.  Here are some random thoughts.

  • The truth of God is announced in words or deeds...not just finding a song with the word "humility," but showing it.
  • Music and the Arts have an important teaching experience to give. Teaching is not limited to the words. 
  •  The most meaningful we may do as worship leaders is allow God's people to sing.
  • A Contemplative life is not all about content - it's about intent.
  • As artists and worship leaders, we need to help others seek clearly what they have felt vaguely.
  • Action without contemplation is a disaster
  • Contemplation without action is a disaster
  • There is nothing wrong with the loud moments in our worship, but nothing can imitate or replace the importance of silence.
  • Consider Jesus' prayer life.
  • The paths of beauty, truth, and goodness must all be explored to be a true contemplative.

Some of this might not make any sense to you.  However, I encourage you to read Ian's book Chasing Francis...it changed my life...get it here.

We enjoyed a songwriter's night with Meredith Andrews, Matt Boswell, and Michael Farren. The songs they shared were unbelievable and will definitely become a part of our song list at LCC-HHI. If that wasn't enough, Michael W Smith ended the evening by leading us in worship.  See the quick video clip below or view it on the right at Cullenhouse TV.  I can't wait for Day 3...

Recreate - Day 1

Meet and Greet here...Dinner here...Live Jazz by him.  This is your typical church conference :)
You never know what to expect at Recreate and that is why I am here.  We have a great 3 days in store and I can't wait to share about it here at cheval glass. Follow me on twitter for micro-blogging throughout the conference.

Speaking truth

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?

Click here to read Perry's post
Click here to read Seth's post

Choosing worship songs

So many of you have asked about our worship stations at LCC-HHI so I posted a detailed account of how it works here. Thanks for asking!

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Sunday Setlist

I'm a part of Sunday Setlists!

Today was an awesome morning of worship because we celebrated our 1 year anniversary as a regional campus.  Todd (my hubby) preached a great message about being people of action. I edited a couple of videos for the service with some shooting assistance from Joel and you can see them at our campus blog. Here was the rundown...

"Sing, Sing Sing" - Tomlin
"All Because of Jesus" - Fee
"God of this City" - Tomlin
"Tell the World" - Hillsongs

I actually did a little jumpin' on "Tell the World!"  We had lunch after the service as a church complete with cotton candy and a jumpy house. I sat with our drummer Randy and bass player Davey and listened to them tell their stories of being musicians in the Lowcountry - it was just an awesome day. On that note, I'm beat! Till tomorrow...

Tomlin vs. the Laurie Berkner Band

Laurie05b Christomlinec03_2I purchased the New Laurie Berkner CD last week...Sydney and I are huge fans and we used to be Upper West Side neighbors with her in NYC.  The week before we moved, we attended her concert and it was awesome. I was very excited to get the new CD and we went to Walmart (I was going to download it, but Syd likes the packaging.) We get it in the CD player and the van is rocking! It is a terrific album.  Later that day, we are driving around and Sydney says, "I want to hear the 'Sing' song."  I said, " Are you sure?  This is so great!" She said, "The 'Sing' song is my favorite!"  So Chris, you win over the Laurie Berkner Band! "Sing Sing Sing" beats "Rocketship Run"

Do your kids have favorite songs that surprise you?

(This post is a part of Watercooler Wednesday. Join us!)

Fireproof the Movie

Blog_header Todd and I attended a private screening of Fireproof last night in Savannah. I had seen a good bit of this movie at Recreate in February, so I already knew it was gonna be terrific. It was truly outstanding. The storyline was very developed and the contrast between dramatic moments and comedic relief was perfect. I have always been a huge advocate for the church to create culture and for art to come from us to our culture. Not be imitators - be creators. Watching this film has given me continued hope that We as the church can do this and do it with excellence and creativity. Go see this movie and take people with you.  The conversation that Todd and I had on the way home about the movie will greatly impact our marriage.  Good film does that and creating culture starts new conversations.  Thank you, Sherwood Baptist, for being culture creators and for starting conversation that directly affects my life.