Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Super Tuesday

I have really become obsessed with politics this year. I have followed pretty closely in the past, but have really had a new found passion to get the right man in office. As a pastor on staff at our church, I can't really tell you who you should vote for. So, let me put it this way: (1) Research each candidate closely. Discover "who" they are as a person..not just who they say they are as a politician. (2) Find the one who's policies best align with scripture and what you believe. Make sure that the things they are passionate about are your passions, as well. Those things you hold most important for our country need to be their top priorities. (3) Don't believe what others tell you about a candidate. Instead, research their issues yourself. I can't tell you the amount of people that have told me one candidate believes this and voted for this, only to find out after researching those topics that those candidates voted the opposite way and supported the opposite approach. (4) Pray. Pray that God will reveal to you the one to vote for. Then, pray for the person you have decided to vote for. (5) Finally, tell others. Urge others to vote for the same issues. Not in a way that will drive your friends and family away. But in a way that helps encourage others to take this thing seriously.

You can find out about most of the candidates by visiting their websites. Most of them are "the candidate name" dot com. Here is a link for one of the candidates, Mike Huckabee . This is just one site to research the candidate. Check him out. Check out what he believes. Check out his issues. Then, do the same with the other candidates.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Conference Time

I love conferences. It is a time for me to refuel, get some great ideas from others who are getting it done, and stay on top of new and fresh ideas, products, and resources for our people. Normally, I try to spread them out through the year. However, two very important ones are lining up, one right after the other. I will be at MetroWest in Ontario tomorrow and Wednesday. I will be back for rehearsal Wednesday Immanuel Choir - BE THERE! But, at MetroWest, I have the opportunity to hang out with other Worship Pastors from the Western U.S. Tomorrow, we are going to Saddleback and will be sitting in on some rehearsals there. I'm pumped about that.

Next week, I will be in Atlanta at METRO . Metro is a conference for mega church Worship Pastors from all over the country. It is an opportunity to be in round table discussions with Worship Pastors who are in similar ministry sizes, facing similar ministry issues, with similar struggles and successes. It is always a great time to discover what is working at other churches, what hasn't worked, and what I may be able to incorporate into the life of our church. I can't wait. I always feel like I'm better equipped for the task God has called me to when I return.

Pray for me. Pray that God will fan the flames of passion that I already have for ministry. Pray for safety in my travels. Pray for my family while I'm gone. And pray that I will be better equipped to serve Immanuel when I return.

Thanks for your prayers! I absolutely love this thing called Worship Ministry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sick Kids

Ella has been running fever since early Monday morning. It has varied between 101.7 and 105.2. The lower temp is where the medicine brings her down to, but after a couple of hours it spikes back up. Please pray for her.

In other news, we are in our second week of preparations for Music California with Travis Cottrell and Max Lucado. Rehearsals went well last night. I'm really excited to get to the point where we know the music well enough that we can freely worship through it. That is always such a sweet time. We're almost there already with a couple of the songs. Just remember, no matter where you are in the process, continually reflect upon WHY you are singing, WHAT you are singing, and WHO you are singing it to. As a result, when you stand on a platform to lead others in worship you are better prepared to TRULY worship. You can't be a worship leader if you are not first of all a worshiper!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The server is back up, and my pics have finally loaded. It's funny that it all timed out to actually be my 300th post. Pretty crazy, huh?

This is me by the tree on the frozen lake that we were ice skating on.

Jody and Me with Shadow and Kelly. These horses pulled us on a romantic sleigh ride through the snow.

This is River Run. We ate, shopped, and spent a lot of time here.

Me and Jody on snowmobiles. It was awesome! Seriously, that's us.

This shows you just how much snow there was. I'm knee deep in it here...waist deep in other places where we didn't have our camera with us. (What are we thinking sometimes?)

Overall, it was an awesome trip. It made our 10th anniversary one to remember. Which is good, since we probably won't go on another by ourselves until the 20th!


A good friend of mine just told me about this video. There's not much that I can say to set it up, except.....get a box of tissue.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

3:16 in Pasadena

I received an email from Travis Cottrell today and he mentioned how excited he is that we are doing the premier with him of his new musical 3:16. It's going to be a great time for the Immanuel Choir as we prepare ourselves musically, but most importantly spiritually, to lead in worship with men of God that I greatly admire and respect. For more information on how you can join us and be a part of the choir, check out The Worship Ministry Website .

I'm still having trouble with those Colorado pics. I'm working on it!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Colorado Pics

I'm sorry that I haven't gotten those pics up yet. Blogger is having some trouble finding the server to post pics. I will try my best to get them posted tomorrow. Thanks for checking back!

Rocky Mountain High

Jody and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in Keystone, Colorado last week. We had a great time and were blown away by how beautiful it was. We kept saying to each other "can you believe places like this exist?" It was amazing. I plan on posting some pictures later today, so make sure that you check back.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Some Good News

It has been crazy getting back into the swing of things over the past couple of days. I loved our time away, but now I have all of these things I feel so behind on. So, on to catching up...

One of my favorite worship leaders of our time is Travis Cottrell . I have learned so much from him, by watching and listening to his music, about what it means to be a worshiper. Our church has really benefited as well, from his song writing with songs like "Jesus Saves" and "Alive Forever Amen". It was an honor and blessing to be able to lead worship with Travis last summer in San Antonio, TX at the Southern Baptist Convention. Needless to say, I was stoked when I got a call from Lifeway Worship Music. They told me that Travis was going to be doing his new musical, 3:16, in LA. In addition, Lifeway said that Travis had given them my name and phone number because he wanted the Immanuel Choir to do the concert with him.

What? Are you kidding me? So, the Immanuel Choir is going to be leading worship with Travis Cottrell in LA on Monday, March 24th. It is going to be in the evening at Music California . We're excited, and have some work ahead of us to learn this new music.

Thanks, Travis! We're excited and looking forward to leading worship with you. There is no greater honor than leading in worship of our Great and Mighty God. Congrats, Immanuel Choir. See you tonight. Now, let's get to work!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Heading Home

We've had an incredible time in Colorado over the past week, but we are headed home today! I am so excited to see the kids. We've never been away from them for this long, but it was a much needed time for Jody and I to spend together. I'm also excited to get back to Immanuel. I really miss our people and serving with them. I can't wait for this Wednesday night's choir rehearsal.

Friends make the biggest difference in our lives. I have to thank Mark and Gretchen Rush for taking care of our "babies" while we were gone. Mark and Gretchen, you have given us a great gift in your friendship, your love for our family, and in this week that you helped us to have. Thank you!

I'll be posting some pictures of our Colorado experience over the next few days. Make sure that you check them out. Check in to this'll be glad that you did.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Playing in the Snow

January 10th, my wife and I celebrate 10 years of marriage. We decided to go somewhere we've never been before, but always wanted to go. We chose Keystone, CO, and we are having a blast. Things on the schedule for this week include snow tubing (it was awesome), ice skating, snow mobiling, some fine dining, and a spa retreat. We've been saving up for over 2 years for this week, and we are having the time of our lives. We really miss the kids, but it has been great to get away...just the two of us. So, the blog will be a little quiet this week...but I'll give you the whole scoop when we return. I may be able to access this computer a few more times this week, so check back.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Because You Asked

Many of you have asked about how to see the video of the Immanuel Choir and Orchestra leading worship at the Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio, TX last summer. Well, you can check out a portion of it HERE . You can choose to view varying songs by going to . There you can click on the "view archives" and choose Wednesday AM. You will find a list of worship times to choose from. I hope you enjoy.

Friday, January 04, 2008


For those who are not aware, my Pastor has started blogging. His goal is to offer a devotional thought for everyday. If you follow his ministry and apply the things you learn each day as you grow in Christ, by the end of 2008 you will be able to look back and see how much you've learned, how much you've grown, and how close you are to the Savior. There is a permanent link over to the right of the page. You can also check it out at ROBZINN.ORG .

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Preparing to Serve

As believers, we are all called to be servants. Our first priority is to serve the Lord. For those of us who are worship leaders, it is easy to confuse spiritual preparation with musical preparation. Let me explain what I mean.

As musicians, amateur or professional, we spend tons of time preparing ourselves for the music in which we are going to lead the church. There are notes to be learned, rhythms to work out, words to memorize, and phrasing to be structured. We work on blending. We work on stage presence. We even work on smiling. With all of this "work", it can feel at times that we have prepared ourselves to lead in worship. However, this is where the enemy can get a foothold.

Although there is a lot of work involved in the musical aspect of worship leading, our primary responsibility is to prepare ourselves spiritually. If we look at the life of the apostle Paul, we see him preparing himself spiritually before he poured into others. In Galatians 1, Paul says that he prepared for 3 years. Some theologians believe that the Lord had Paul in the desert training him, just as He did with Moses, Abraham, and David. The fact of the matter is that Paul prepared himself spiritually.

In John 4:23 & 24 Jesus says, "But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." It's not just the spirit; worshiping out of a relationship with passion and emotion. That is extremely important. But, it is also worshiping in truth; from a spiritual preparation of time in God's word, preparing our hearts and minds and aligning everything we do with His word.

It is not "either/or", it's "both/and". As a worshiper, we must worship in spirit AND in truth. Only then will we truly accomplish that which the Lord has called us to as worship leaders.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tonight's Worship

Tonight at 6pm, we will be having a mid-week worship service together to kick off the New Year. Together we will be observing the Lord's Supper, along with worshiping through song and the study of God's word. It will be a great night of worship and praise. If you're in the Highland area, be here at 6pm. Don't miss it!

When We See Him

Many times while leading worship, I will share a scripture or a thought that helps to better bring into view what we are singing. The danger with music, as with anything, is that when we become very familiar with a certain song, we run the risk of singing from habitual memorization as opposed to from a heart of worship. However, if take just a moment to meditate on why and what we are singing, we are better able to direct our worship to the Lord.

This past Sunday night, we sang an old hymn titled "What a Day That Will Be". For those who are unfamiliar with the song, one portion of the chorus says,
What a day that will be
When My Jesus I shall see
When I look upon His face
The One Who saved me by His grace

I mentioned that I don't know what I will do when I see the face of Christ. I went on to say that I don't know if I will fall to my face, speechless before Him. If I will raise my hands and shout Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. I just don't know. Following that statement, the scripture of John's account in Revelation 1 was brought to my attention by someone. There, we read that John fell to his face as a dead man.

Well, I understand that was John's reaction. And, it is true. That is what God's word says John did. However, if you look at other scripture we see accounts of people seeing the Lord and reacting differently. One such account can be found in Isaiah 6. When Isaiah saw the Lord he saw himself for who he truly was. His reaction was to respond verbally by saying, "Woe is me, for I am ruined. Because I am a man of unclean lips. And I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts."

His reaction was much different than that of John's. With this in mind, I don't know what I will do. It will simply be enough for me to be in the presence of the King for all of eternity.