Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Need A Few Uninterrupted Hours

Two days away from blog reading.

I open up bloglines and check the feeds, find out what I need to catch up on.


Just waiting for me....


Gotta go cook dinner.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Shuffle, Please

I rarely - okay, NEVER - do these meme things....I mean, what IS a meme, anyway? But J at our world together did it, and I was inspired. Or bored.

This one caught my eye/ear, being a musician and all. So here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.

Opening Credits: Tripp - On the Cusp of Everything and Nothing
*very strange, this. Heard this guy play at a youth function almost 18 years ago. Monster bass player...never saw him again, but love this obscure album
First Day At School: Caedmon's Call - Can't Lose You
Falling In Love: Shawn Mullins - For America
*don't think so...
Breaking Up: The Greencards - I Don't Want to Lose You
*yes, this is quite appropriate. thanks, Jayne...
1st date: Michael Roe - 20 Years Gone
*no kidding. Texas Rangers baseball game. B-O-R-I-N-G. I am sure he was as bored as I was. When we got home, he dropped me off at the curb; didn't even pull in the driveway. Don't remember his name...
Prom: Candi Staton - His Hands
*yes, well. Candi's talking about Jesus' hands here...
Life's OK: Sting - The Lazarus Heart
*never thought of this tune as one that indicated that life was okay. Maybe if you're weird like that...
Driving: Under the Tree - On the Western Front
*too slow to be a driving song, but another pretty cool obscure Cleveland band.
Flashback: Marie Digby - Fool
*oh, that I have been. Flashback indeed. Another gift from Jayne - amazing the impact this blogging buddy has had on my musical life!
Getting Back Together: Leeland - Beautiful Lord
*yes, thanks to Him...back together...
Wedding: Audio Adrenaline - Big House
*big house. Broken home.
Final Battle: Bob Dylan - Precious Angel
*I think this works...
Death Scene: Shawn Mullins - Home
*Interesting, another Shawn Mullins tune. And the ultimate home...
Funeral Song: Ashley Cleveland - Come Thou Fount
*oh to grace, how great a debtor/daily I'm inclined to be...
End Credits: David Crowder - The Color Song
*quite appropriate, I'd say...

I let the shuffle continue and wish that 'Sick Inside (Just A Girl)' (Hope Partlow) and 'Pretty Maids All In A Row' (Eagles) could count for something...

I have 3,700+ songs in this iTunes folder. Interesting what popped up.

What happens if YOU try this little exercise?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Worship Confessional 5.25.08

Finishing up our 'Growing Great Families' series, inspired by our pastor's study of family systems. I think we really helped some people these past few weeks. It's awesome to deliver some relevant truth about life, humanity and relationships, center them on the Word and then open the door for further conversation and study in small groups and other meetings.

Here was our set:

Everywhere That I Go - Israel Houghton. Always a great way to start a service, though we struggled with the groove at times...
Sing to the King - Billy Foote (has this guy every written anything but a great song?) This tune gave our young worship leader a chance to step out a bit after a long maternity break. Awesome song, easy for the congregation to sing, and powerful in that second verse, " 'Cause Satan is vanquished and Jesus is king!!!!!"
God of Wonders - Marc Byrd, Steve Hindalong. Haven't done this one in a while. It doesn't lose its power, in my opinion - unless you do it once a month.
I was sick this week and didn't get a chart written for the song I had hoped to do as a special during the offering, so we defaulted to a band jam. I brought in the simple chart for David Crowder's version of All Creatures of Our God and King . We played it three times through, after one run-through during sound check. Of course, we got tons of inquiries and compliments. Sweet song and timeless melody...

The message was based on how to have a healthy relationship with your spouse, and our pastor tied the 'be fruitful and multiply' to the Galations text about the fruit of the spirit. He gave good, solid instruction on how to view the bible holistically in this case, and take seriously what it meant to be 'fruitful' in the context of love-joy-peace-patience-kindness-gentleness-goodness-faithfulness-self control with your loved one. It was excellent, and out of his comfort zone; he memorized most of the message, and his wife came out and wordlessly illustrated his points with the couch he used as a prop. One of the best messages he's given.

As the message ended, our go-to acoustic player (Andy, who has a band you can listen to here) wandered out on the stage with his guitar. The worship leader came out and together they did a sweet version of Steven Curtis Chapman's I Will Be Here; a perfect end to the service and our own tribute to the Chapman family this week.


Friday, May 23, 2008

If You Are Called...

Friday and a long weekend. I'm looking forward to switching to low gear for a few days.

Currently working on a production team revamp. We are growing and expanding our Sunday ministries and trying to get a handle on a volunteer/staff organizational structure that will work most effectively.

Spending so much time online, checking out other churches - particularly those with a high profile - it's easy to get derailed and work with an imagined reality. Getting down to business and defining roles and responsibilities on this project has helped me stay focused on what is, now, here, where we are. Staying true to my calling. It is what it is, not what it could be - not even what it might be. Right now, it is what it is.

Wow. I think that's rather profound, even if it did just fly out of my head.

It is what it is, not what it could be - not even what it might be. Be here, now.

I am inspired today by the passionate, focused words of Perry Noble. I heard him speak yesterday at The Whiteboard Sessions (which, by the way, I really enjoyed) and his message hit home. He's a terrific communicator, and he communicated some serious biblical truth. Some of my notes...

"Understand your call. Understand your priorities. Our first calling is to be with Jesus; He 'called to him those he wanted...that they might be with him...' "

"Our calling and our time with Jesus should shape us; we spend too much time trying to get somebody else's mail..."

"Passion and fire come from time with Jesus."

"If you are called...Jesus gives you the authority to do whatever he called you to do."

Interestingly enough, God spoke clearly to me, though Perry Noble kept calling me a man. In a room of 800+ people, most were men. White men. But there were several females. Many of them were handing out things around the room, but some were sitting in seats, taking notes, listening intently. It's not like he didn't realize that there were women there, but he sort of ignored us. Kept calling us ALL men...

...and that was weird. But God pushed past the pronoun and I heard him anyway - both Perry Noble and God. For which I am grateful.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm Sick, And It's 2:00 a.m.

I spent the day in bed, sick with a head cold and head ache and some other coughing/sneezing mess. I get quite frustrated with illness. Must have something to do with my 'superwoman' complex.

I slept all day long. The kids were encouraging and sympathetic. I crawled out of bed around 4:00 and got in the shower. Feeling a bit better, I went on to the evening's planned activity: our first Leadership Dinner for PCC. Over 100 people in various leadership roles gathered at the county's best restaurant for dinner and vision casting from our fearless leader. Each staff member had been invited to speak, briefly, about our respective ministries and responsibilities, as a way to inform the leadership as to what, exactly, it is that we do. I didn't have much to say, but I just wanted to look out over the leaders in the room and catch my breath. Our church has grown so rapidly, and with such velocity, that I don't think I appreciate the people around me as I should at times. All these individuals, commited and invested in our church with their time, their resources and their lives - it is such a tremendous inspiration!

I'm paying the price - I can't sleep - cough cough sniffle sniffle - but I think it was worth it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

And Today, We Went Fishing

Don't tell the authorities, but the kids did not attend school today. They were feeling rather...brackish...and gloomy...and it seemed that a trip to the river was the only cure....

Courtesy of a winning bid at the PCC Auction last fall, we went on an all-day fishing trip at the York River. It was cold, and windy, and the fish ran away from most of us (uh - ME) all day long. I caught no fish. But others were more successful.

And it was a great day! Wonderful to get away and relax, watch the kids catch fish and be in the middle of nowhere.
Shannon was the fishing champion - she caught the most, none of which were very big, but she reeled 'em in! For a while, we were fishing at exactly the same spot and the fish completely ignored my line and were all over hers. For the record, I didn't catch any fish. Nada. None. I already mentioned that, didn't I?
David was the first kid to catch a croaker. He was pretty excited!

Daniel Hughes demonstrates a favorite position throughout the day. It was extremely cold

Daniel's catch...

Do you think this kid enjoyed being sick today? The smile says it all...

There's my dad, complete with pipe and his own catch of the day.

Susan had a great day, complete with nap and sexy boat girl poses....

Here's the champion fisher, demonstrating her relaxed technique.

"Here fishy fishy fishy..." And apparently, they heard. And responded.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Forty Five, But Who's Counting?

Today is my dad's birthday; yesterday was mine. We celebrated, as we do most every year, with a joint birthday dinner. Mom cooked a huge pile of ribs, beans, fried potatoes - and this unbelievable HOMEMADE ice cream cake.

My mother, she is amazing.

She also didn't blink at the THIRTEEN people in the house. Travis and Elijah were guests of the girls (and they brought cards and gifts as well!), Syd had a friend, and Justin is staying with us for the weekend. Mom was the perfect hostess.

(((loud applause for an outstanding woman)))

My birthday? One of the most remarkable for me, because of it's UNremarkable-ness (a made up word. Thank you.) This season of my life is one of contentedness, it seems. I don't know that I've ever experienced feeling so settled. All day long, there were text messages and facebook posts and emails and phone calls wishing me a happy birthday, and through it all I just felt fine. I even got a birthday biscuit at my 7:00 a.m. meeting - complete with a candle. And then I got the rest of the day off.

I'm settled. I love my savior, my church, my family, my job, my friends, my best friend, the rhythm of my days and nights. I am thankful.

So let's do it—full of belief, confident that we're presentable inside and out. Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. Hebrews 10.22-25, The Message

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hard Hat Area

This was a very welcome sight outside my office window today. My friend Susan shot this, and all morning I heard the crank and groan of Big Yellow Machines as they moved dirt and prepared to begin contruction!

After what seems like years (oh, wait, it HAS been years!)things are finally happening for the brick and mortar part of our church. I am excited - and yet somewhat reluctant. Having a building will change us, in ways yet to be determined.

My blogosphere friends who go to church - most of you go to a specific building. Church is a place as well as a community. Soon, we'll have a tangible place, and I just wonder how that will impact our understanding of community...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Worship 5.11.08

Yesterday was a good day - unlike many churches, we made no mention of the fact that it was Pentecost. However, we did give a nod to mothers as we continued our series on Growing Great Families.

Washed By the Water - Needtobreathe
Amazing song - I actually saw it mentioned online on Boomama's blog, gave it a listen and agreed that it was a killer tune. Our usual bass player for the band stepped out and sang it, and WOW! I never did settle on how it fit into the theme of the service, but it was a great opener. I LOVE THE INTERNET.

Child Dedication - We had about seven families come to dedicate their kids. We do an en masse dedication, with everybody on stage at once while specific pictures of the kids are on the screen. We introduce each family and child, and then do a covenant reading by the parents and the audience. It's very meaningful, though we don't have the pastor kissing and holding each baby one by one. Sometimes I miss my Methodist days...but this was a meaningful occasion.

As For Me - Michael Neale
We introduced this last week and brought it back. Killer tune, and great to see the audience singing along. Seemed like many were taking the words to heart.

You're Worthy of My Praise - David Ruis
We haven't done this tune in a while; my favorite arrangement is the one from the 1999 Passion recording (I'll never forget being there that year - maybe the first - and being blown away by the worship, the music, the was life-changing...)with the bass loop running throughout. Yesterday we had a bass player who could handle it, and he rocked the house throughout. We settled into the groove and I loved playing it. Great worship for our crowd.

Momsense - Anita Renfro
We covered this viral Youtube sensation; rather than cut the original recording of the William Tell Overture, I pulled out my classical chops and played a basic arrangment on the piano. Aside from the fact that the piano was horribly out of tune (thanks to the high school's musical schedule from the previous week), it went very well. Our drama team/vocalist did a great job preparing.

Have Your Way - Charlie Hines
Great song from the Sweetly Broken cd; a little jazz feel. With yesterday's band, we had a good time with it; Scott pulled out the djembe, which I learned to spell, and added a nice flavor.
After the message, we closed with a piano/vocal rendition of Greg Ferguson's Enough, from Willow Creek's Enough cd. That man can write some great songs...

It was a very good day indeed...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

I'm way behind on some other pics that I need to post - but I have to do the Mother's Day thing today. My kids are so awesome...

First of all, David's been desperate for this day to appear for about 6 weeks. He was out with his dad when inspiration hit, and together they chose the gifts for this year. He was so excited, and he kept saying, "Mom, you're gonna love your presents this year!" The pump was primed, so to speak, since he talked about it every day for a month.

After church, we came home and I headed upstairs with the Sunday paper and plans for a nap. I dealt satisfactorily with both. All the ruckus, the smoke alarm and good smells eventually drew me downstairs. My mom and dad came over, and we all had dinner together - which was cooked, all from scratch, by Sarah. Shannon put together cucumber sandwiches; Sarah made grilled chicken, pasta alfredo with fresh mushrooms, fresh broccoli and Greek salad (her time working at Cafe Caturra is paying off - that girl appreciates GOOD food!). Fresh strawberry shortcake was dessert - and it was all from scratch as well.

(Let's just all pause for a moment and say that these kids are AMAZING!)

After dinner, David FINALLY got to present the gifts; first was a cute book with handwritten messages at the end that made me choke back tears.

Next was the one by one opening of the source of David's excitement. The kids gave me themselves:
There was a Willow Tree person for each kid, with specific hair color and size. It was overwhelming; I've long loved these little characters and received a few as gifts, but this, all at once, was really cool. Of course, the REALLY COOL part was David's anticipation. I think, because he bought these with his dad, that it was extra important and maybe even healing for him. Big kudos to dad for helping the kids honor their mom.

I didn't have to clean the kitchen. I've enjoyed the rest of this rainy day. And I'm so glad that I'm the mother of these kids.

(**wiping away a tear**)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hippos And Capos

Overheard between Sarah and David (who are getting along famously):

Sarah: Have you seen a capo anywhere?
David (sounding very much alarmed): What?!?!?!?!?!? A HIPPO????!!!!!!??????
Sarah: No - my capo.

David: You have a hippo?

A capo (short for capotasto, Italian for "head of fretboard") is a device used for shortening the strings, and hence raising the pitch, of a stringed instrument such as a guitar, mandolin or banjo. It was invented by the Flamenco guitarist Jose Patino Gonzalez. Capos are used to change the key and pitch of the open strings of a guitar without having to adjust the strings with the tuning keys. - Wikipedia

Just The Three Of Us

Syd and Dan are gone to band festival.

Shannon is having dinner at her friend's house.

Just Sarah and David and me. This is an unusual occurence, the oldest and the youngest. Generally they don't get along really well

I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity. I'm thinking some hang out time at Barnes & Noble and maybe some ice cream.

(Though that negates my killer workout this afternoon...)

(I'll do it for the kids....)

Prom 2008

My girls and their dates...

Friday, May 9, 2008


I have to consolidate. Along with the updated pic (what do you think? Pretty, eh?) and template, I've got to abandon this idea of maintaining three separate blogs. HELLO!!! You don't have time to clean the bathroom! What were you thinking?

Well, I'm not sure. Except I realize, after a few weeks of this, that I'm starting to feel discombobulated. One place I get to be worship leader/church girl. The other I'm divorce recovery girl. Then here, I'm mom, sister, daughter, friend.

It feels a little bit wrong, to tell you the truth. Schizophrenic. An opporunity (or a temptation) to wear different masks when necessary. I want to be whole, to think and interact holistically.

So I'm leaving the Third Verse blog but keeping that general idea going over here - I'll document church stuff, our services, my challenges in my vocation. And I'll post prom pictures and my twitter updates. Divorce recovery stuff will stay put.

I gotta be me. Just me. Just one.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hitting The Big Time

Dear Internet,

Maida Vale's American Sun is one of the featured cds on iTunes new release page (under the 'folk' category).

I assume that heavy traffic makes this happen. If you wandered over to download the cd, I thank you.


By the way, they documented their mini-tour last weekend here. Some of it is pretty funny.


Proud Sister

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Brother!!!!!

This is my brother's band.

I'm biased, of course; but these guys are good.

And they're just about the nicest, funniest, most decent people you'll ever meet. I had the privilege of playing with them at a local worship conference last year. Amazingly talented musicians.

They've put together a collection of original songs that reflect a lot of influences, from various genres. They've honored themselves and the creative process and assembled some really good stuff.

The album released today. It's called American Sun, and you - yes, YOU - can download it for a mere $7.92 at iTunes, right now. Just click here.

Of course I am shamelessly shilling for my family, but I wouldn't do so if I didn't think you'd like the tunes.

I hope you'll check it out. And, by the way, if you're in Nashville or Chicago, they'll be playing there this weekend.
By the way, Eric - I'm really proud of you...((((choking back sisterly emotion))))
*cross posted on all my other blogs..sorry for the redundancy, just trying to get the word out...