This blog is a compilation of life lessons involving ministry, life, family and pretty much anything I feel like sharing.
Life's best lessons are learned from the trials and errors of yourself...and those around you. Hope you can learn from mine!
Thanks to my fellow worship/blogging buddy Jeff Miller for reading my Dad's book and posting a
fantastic review today. He pretty much sums up in a nutshell what I'm hearing from many people who grab me at the church or in my various circles. What I hear a lot of is "I had no idea". Seriously...if you've not read the book...if you've not considered reading the book...you need to. It has the possibility of giving you a completely different perspective on scripture, the middle east and the Islamic people. Here's a snippet of his review below. Be sure to go read it in it's entirety here.
Once an Arafat Man’s
sub-title couldn’t be a better synopsis of the book in general, “The
true story of how a PLO sniper found a new life.” The opening sequence
of the book reads like some of the best action oriented fiction out
there, but you have to keep in mind that not only are the related
events actual parts of our world history, but they are also a
first-hand account of the man writing the book.
I don’t want to give away a ton of what goes on in the book and
steal that pleasure from you, but the book is a real eye-opener for
someone like me who has always been a firm (sometimes zealous)
supporter of Israel. When you peek into the life of a Palestinian born
in a tent near the beginnings of the last century’s conflict between
Jews and Arabs, you cannot help but have your worldview shifted
somewhat—maybe not so much a shift in thought but an increased clarity
because of learning about the other side of the issue.
The Caldwell family won the coveted parking spot of the year at Grace Church's 2008 Trunk or Treat. The Christensen family put up a great trunk to keep the spot they've held for two years...but this was the year of McCain/Palin. Congrats Caldwell fam!
Tim wrapped up our brief 2 weeks series on "Who is God?". I can say this message was one of the best, clearly stated messages on the need for Jesus Christ as a savior that I've ever heard. For those
who struggle with why bad things happen to you...be sure to check it out here. Awesome stuff. We also had several salvations in the services. Check out Tim's post here.
This was the week of sickness for our worship team. With myself having to call rehearsal Thursday due to illness, we were forced to rehearse early Sunday morning. Thunderfoot Jon (drummer) was struggling Sunday morning...I think he probably had a fever (nothing a cowbell could help) and Brian King was just getting over some cold issues as well. Thankfully God used us in spite of all the illness.
Did anyone else in the services melt upon hearing Brian sing "Holy, Holy, Holy"? When I heard him sing it during the audio check I was blown away. That dude has some of the purest pipes I've ever heard. He nailed that tune acapella. He had me play a "D" note on the guitar backstage then he walked out there during the service and nailed it. Awesome job! As a matter of fact, we had two vocalists singing who are pros at what they do. Seriously...they went to school for music. I had several folks comment on how spot on the harmonies were. Great job to both Brian and Lisa!
I also had a few notes from folks expressing how much they enjoyed the set list Sunday. Something about these tunes really connected with people. Feel free to click the title to purchase on iTunes for your listening pleasure:
My worship leading friend, Wisdom Moon, came by the Grace offices to do a 30 minute interview for
AllAboutWorship Podcast. It was a unique time for me sitting on the other end of the mic being asked the questions. Be sure to email [email protected] if you think I might be an adequate co-host with Wisdom. Sort of the Chewbacca to Wisdom's Han Solo.
As the army of one million Ethiopian men and three hundred chariots came to war against Judah, Asa prayed to God:
"Lord it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!"2 Chronicles 14:11 (NKJV)
I think this might be a prayer that should be on a plaque somewhere in my office. In Asa's plea, there is a sense of humility and understanding that when the odds seem impossible, God can prevail on our behalf.
We kicked off a two week series today called "Who is God?". We're taking two weeks to knock down preconceived ideas about God found in the Old Testament (week1) and the New Testament (week 2). Our new pastor of Fellowship and Discipleship, Doug Howey, too the stage to share week 1. Give it a listen here.
When we came in this morning for sound check, we were hit with some funky things with our ear monitors. It made for a frustrating check for the team, but ultimately we ended up with a good enough mix to get us thru the service. Thanks to both the audio and band folks for your patience. We ended up playing 15 minutes before the service start time. Not the goal for us...but it had to be done.
Scott took the electric guitar role in Sam's place today and did a great job. I have to say I love our vocalists...especially when my wife sings. It's always a joy for me to sing with her. Both she and Mindy do excellent together. They've been singing together for over 12 years. Great job ladies!
Here's the songlist. Don't forget you can purchase on iTunes by clicking the title:
Catalyst - Last week I had my leadership rear handed to me. That's right. I was challenged and stretched in ways that left me both pumped and semi-discouraged. I experienced so many things that confirmed within me a "pat on the back" if you will...and I also experienced things that challenged my personality and leadership. I've pondered a post regarding Catalyst, but I haven't had time to really comb thru what I would share here. I did tell my worship band-mates I wish I could've packed them all up and taken them with me to experience the worship. It was refreshing for me personally and I think for the entire Grace pastoral team. Oh yeah...and I got to meet Bobby! Woohoo!
All About Worship Podcast - Next week my friend and fellow worship buddy, Wisdom Moon, will be interviewing me on the All About Worship podcast. It's funny when you're asked to do something like that. I'm sitting here wondering what in the world would anyone care to hear about from me? I'll post a link when it's up. Unless it totally goes horribly wrong...then I'll just let Wisdom promote it. :)
G3 - What is this? Hmmm...do I tell here? Or do I just encourage the Gracer folks to make it a
priority to be at the services on November 2? I'll just post a little graphic here and let you find out when Tim takes the stage at 9 & 10:45am at Grace on Nov 2.
Election - I've not talked much about it here on the blog really. But from where I sit the election boils down to this..."Symbolism vs. Substance". It's awesome to see here in America we've reached a point where we have an African American (50% African American) and a female VP on the ballot for President. It's amazing to see how far our nation has come. What concerns me about the electorate, is the desire to put someone in office simply for this reason. To have the first black American President or the first female Vice President. I'm really praying that people can look beyond the symbolism and dig into the issues.
Clone Wars - Oh yeah...Star Wars. Can't post randomness without it. Friday nights, 8pm CST on Cartoon Network. This has become a weekly tradition for our family. We're loving it. Are you?
Worship Leader Hair - I twittered about it while heading back home from Catalyst. I was chewing on a post about the great care worship leaders seem to take in the presentation of hair. It almost seems as though it needs to be included in weekly worship planning meetings. At Catalyst I say many well crafted hairstyles. One even confused me to the point where I actually wanted to say "Excuse me m'aam" when I bumped someone in the main hallway at the conference. Trouble was that it wasn't a m'aam. It was a sir....at least I think it was. I don't know...I'm still thinking about this one. Maybe Wisdom can help me understand the craftiness of worship leader hair on the All About Worship podcast next week.
Facebook Friends - Suddenly over the past 2 months I'm reconnecting with High School friends/acquaintences/people I never talked to thru Facebook. It's interesting to see all these folks.
Grace Website - Working with Steve Laughlin and Jeremiah Bentch on a Grace website relaunch. Just cleaning up the site and adding a few new features to it. These guys are quickly moving into my "hero" status along with her.
I had the privilege this week of sitting down with one of Grace Church's longtime members. Tucker
and Daneen have been a part of the Grace family for ten years...wow! This past Sunday Daneen was invited to share their adoption story and her struggles with trusting God. As promised, her interview is up and ready to be listened to. Be sure to email any questions to Daneen at [email protected]and I'll forward them to her.
Listen Subscribe in a podcast reader or listen here. Or give it a listen here
Contact Email the Grace Podcast at [email protected] or
give us a call and leave a voicemail at 206.426.5394. We might even
play it on the cast! Feel free to leave us a comment here as well. We'd love some feedback and topic suggestions.