Friday, April 10, 2009

Making the transition!

Change your RSS feeds!! My blog is making the transition to Wordpress . . . more soon. Easter is upon us. He is risen indeed.

Monday, April 06, 2009

It's April 6th, and it's snowing outside right now. Ughh... If there's anything that's a sign of the apocalypse . . . .

My wife wants to start a Tshirt line that says "I'm for Global Warming." on the front. Ha! Anyways,

This last Sunday was a great day. We began the first of a 2 part series called "Easter: a Hunt for Hope". We are telling the story through music, video, and readings from the triumphal entry to the cross. On Easter, we will move from the cross to the resurrection. Now, onto my soap box . . . I grew up in a tradition that did not celebrate Easter. The reason for this was because we did not want to be like the other denominations. However, we communicated (ironically) on every easter that we didn't celebrate Easter on EASTER because we celebrated it EVERY Sunday. Of course, this was a crock.

In many ways I have rediscovered Easter and love this time of season. The emphasis on spiritual "new life" is amplified all the more with the reawakening of nature from winter. The new life springing up from the ground cries out new creation!! So, why is it that we focus almost solely on the cross on Easter? We should be celebrating the resurrection! This season is about joy! Too many of the songs and videos coming out focus on Jesus' death and never get to his life. I really take issue with that. We desperately need more songs in our hymnody that celebrate Jesus' resurrection and his continuing life in us.

Some of you are saying by now: "Well we do have songs about that: What about 'Low in the Grave He Lay', 'Christ the Lord is Risen Today', and 'Because He Lives'"? True. But is that all? Anything else? Where is it in modern worship music?

I'm thankful to Chris Tomlin and Hillsong for their musical contributions to this under celebrated theme. "I Will Rise" and "Mighty To Save" tells of the richness and power when Jesus overcame the grave. "In Christ Alone" by Keith Getty moves us through the entire story from birth to resurrection. Those of us who are songwriters need to lean into this and keep 'em coming!! Ok, ok, . . . . off my soapbox!
All this being said: Here's the worship order from Sunday (Part 1):
Dramatic Reading: Hail, King Jesus!
Hosanna, You're My King
That's Why We Praise Him
And Can It Be
Above All
Beautiful Lamb: Special song
When I Survey
Ten Thousand Angels
I Will Rise
Announcements/ Admonition
Worthy is the Lamb

Last Sunday (Palm Sunday!) was a powerful day. We rehung the paintings from Illuminate on the stage for the visual reminder if the cross. Big props to all our praise team members and tech who made it happen! Thanks for all your hard work. One more big Sunday, guys!!



Friday, March 27, 2009

Illuminate 2009

Last weekend was our third annual youth conference called Illuminate. 300 teens and adults descended upon our church and spent the weekend worshipping and praying with each other. The thing that sets apart Illuminate from all the other "run-of-the-mill" youth rallies are two major things.

1) The BREAKOUT sessions are top notch. There are no "filler" classes. They always tie specifically in with the theme and have a point that complements the Major session lessons. I love the purpose behind it.
2) Instrumental worship on Friday night!
3) The quality stage designs! (my wife and Jodie Anspach did them!)
Anyway, I am still in recovery and am waiting for one good night of sleep to catch up. Till then, enjoy these videos!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Interesting article

Just read this interesting article about the current state of religious life in America. Thoughts?

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Breakfast Song

First off, I want to say thank you to Jon Knutson who shared this tasty little song with me. I can't get enough of these videos. Please enjoy!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Series Designs

Here are a few designs I've designed from scratch and/or adapted from other sources. Doing this kinda stuff is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Been busy in grad class and family has been sick- more soon!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Check out this album!

I listen to a lot of music. I admit it. In fact, most of the hard drive on my computer is dedicated to the ever growing library of rock, alternative, classical, R&B, a capella, and worship music out there. I especially listen to a lot of worhsip music. I am always listening for a song that speaks to my heart and one that would be meaningful for our church.

Oftentimes, I know I have found something special when I find myself worshipping and bursting into song without a second thought. Or my eyes fill with tears as I listen to a powerful song that captivates me.

Kari Jobe's new CD does that for me. I LOVE her vocals- they are soothing and full of depth. She does some great versions of "Healer" (from Hillsong) and "Revelation Song" (which she sings on the Gateway Worship CD). But she has some great new tunes that minister as well as inspire me. Check this CD out!