Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Variety Show

Last Friday night we had a Variety Show fundraiser for our Student Worship Choir. It was amazing. Our approach was to bring people in by personal invitation. This seemed to work well. Simply throwing out a blanket invitation leaves you not knowing how many to expect. This way, we were able to plan well, which helped the night to flow smoothly.

We raised over $5500 collectively. However, we issued the money based on what the students raised individually. What I mean by that is we didn't set this up like the Obama tax plan. Instead, you got paid exactly what you raised. We didn't do a share holding approach. So, some kids raised $250 toward their trip. Others raised $530. But, everyone had the same opportunity. I think it can only get better in future years.

I'm so proud of our Student Worship Choir! They are gonna rock it out on tour in June. We are doing some great music that I know will impact them individually as well as those who come to the concerts!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Behind the Scenes

We had a behind the scenes look at the Immanuel Choir last night. We encouraged anyone who had ever thought about joining to come check out a rehearsal and see what we do to prepare for Sundays. Eleven guests came! I was excited to see some faces that we hadn't seen in a while, as well as some new ones that were there for the very first time. All in all, it was a night of high energy and a great time of worship.

The Immanuel Choir is gearing up for a concert on April 8 at Immanuel with Travis Cottrell . This is sure to be a great night of worship. Make sure you are here on Wednesday, April 8 at 6pm.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

David Phelps

I'm really excited. Tonight we're at David Phelps' house for a bbq and private concert. How cool is that? He has to be the most incredible tenor (besides Larnelle Harris) that I've ever heard in my life.

Tonight is definitely nothing I could talk my way into in any other circumstance. I can imagine driving up to his house on my own and security telling me to slowly back away from the gate.

So, tonight will be a real treat. I'm so undeserving of the perks the Lord let's me have through others.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I have had an incredible week this week. I'm sorry I haven't blogged. It has been a jam-packed schedule and I haven't had a single moment to let you know what's going on. I am in Nashville, TN at a worship pastor's METRO conference. It is a round table of worship pastors from around the country. It has been amazing.

Last night, we toured the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame, had dinner in the rotunda there, and then had a concert at the famous Ford Theater. The concert was the jazz sax player who played on Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You". Following that, Travis Cottrell led us into an amazing time of worship.

Tonight, we had dinner at the famous Heritage Hotel in downtown Nashville. Following dinner we had a time of worship with Michael Neale from People's Church, followed by Natalie Grant. Again...amazing.

I can't remember the last time I just wept during worship like I did when Travis Cottrell led us. I desperately needed to be led in worship...I just didn't realize it. It is amazing how quickly we can be emptied when giving all the time. I hadn't taken enough time for myself to be filled up. It has been great.

Moments like that just make me so desperate to get back to our people and worship with them. Be ready Immanuel. I am so pumped and ready to go to the next level personally, and as a church. Are you on board?

Friday, February 06, 2009

I absolutely love the people I get to serve with at Immanuel. Tonight, with all the rain and cold weather (at least it's cold for Southern California people) our worship band still showed up for practice. I know it's Friday night, but we need a once a month practice in addition to our weekly practices and it is the only night of the week everyone could agree on. Our band is awesome. We've been blessed with some great musicians, but even more importantly these guys are worshippers.

We're leading worship in Riverside on February 28. It's really difficult coming up with a set-list when you are leading worship for people you don't know. I never know if they are familiar with the newest stuff, so we try to keep it balanced. Here's our set-list for that day:

Everlasting God
Love the Lord
Let the Praises Ring
Jesus Messiah
How Great is Our God (everybody knows this, so it's our safety net)
Jesus Paid it All (Passion)
I Know Who I Am
Revelation Song

Come worship with us in Riverside at Mag Avenue at 8:30am on February 28!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Bumgardner's

We recently had some family pics made. David White , a great photographer friend of ours, shot some beautiful images at a really cool place in Redlands, CA. The house in the background is ours (I wish). He did some really cool things with effects, too. But, no matter how good he is, he could do nothing for my face. I guess I'm stuck with it.

Pour into Your People

Communication is a good thing. Right? Well, in most cases. Unless what is being communicated is not well received. But, that's a different blog for a different day. Here are 3 ways you can pour into others around you and invest in people in your circle of influence:

1) Listen. It has been said that you can leave a conversation having someone say "that is the most interesting person on earth". Or, you can leave a conversation having someone say "that guy made me feel like I am the most interesting person on earth". Don't always feel like you have to talk about yourself. Let others feel important by showing interest in them.
2) Discover what is important to someone and meet that need. For example, if someone's child has made the honor roll, write a letter to them congratulating them on such a great accomplishment. It's difficult to do this on a grand scale. But, in smaller groups, or on an individual basis, it has a huge impact.
3) (Most) Everyone loves birthdays. Make that a big deal to your people. Jody and I recently began hosting birthday parties at our house for our choir members. We invite those who have had a birthday that month to come to our house for a mini-birthday party in their honor. It allows us the opportunity to get to know our people beyond Sunday morning, and it helps them see that you care. And Jody and I care deeply about the people God has placed in our worship ministry. They are the reason we do what we do. Make your people "feel" that important!