Thursday, January 29, 2009

What is Worship?

As believers, "what is worship?" should be a question we are constantly revisiting. The question itself holds so many possibilities. I have heard worship described with long definitions full of lofty words and intelligence that I will probably never grasp. However, when speaking of God, worship is simply a relationship.

Now, out of that relationship comes a lot of great stuff. The dedication of our heart's affection and our mind's attention. Our humbly glorifying Him in response to His greatness and His Word. These are the types of things that flow out of a relationship of worship. The fact that we raise our hands and lift our voices in song all in response to WHO God is does not "sincerely" happen unless we are in right relationship with Him.

Check you relationship with the Lord. Has it grown lately? Do you know Him and His word more today than you did previously? If not, all of the things that flow out of that relationship will be greatly diminished. Your praising and singing won't be as sweet. Your prayer life will start to wane. Your passion for spending time with His people will be quenched. And your desire to grow beyond self will be lessened.

If any of these "results" of worship have been compromised lately, it is probably because your "relationship" with God is not as close as it should be.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ready for a Test

Check out this test. Just follow the instructions given on the video. Let me know how you do.

Monday, January 26, 2009


All of us want to believe that our opinion about an issue is the right one. Most of us find great pride in offering a solution that ends up being the best one. However, we have to be careful. Pride is a tricky thing. Soon we can find ourselves thinking that no one else's opinion is valid. We tend to find hidden agenda in other people's point of view, and we believe we have all the answers. Pride causes division. It causes growing programs and successful ministries to be ineffective.

Guard your heart. Always question your motive. In all things, honor God.


I recently found out that someone is recording a song that I wrote. My publisher emailed me and let me know about it a few days ago. Pretty crazy, huh? It's exciting to think that it will be on someone's recording. I've hoped and prayed the Lord would use me in whatever way He would see fit, but secretly I wanted to write songs from my heart and have them impact the Kingdom.

In other news, the headline that Obama and Limbaugh are at odds made me laugh. Is this really news?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Picture is Worth....

I took my family to have pictures made last week. The kids did really well. We were outside, so they were able to run around and act crazy, which is a typical day for us :) So, I'm sure they'll look different in every shot. At one point, Caleb ran off and returned red-faced and sweaty for the next shot. Abby was spinning in circles and her hair became "less than" what Jody had intended when she fixed it. Ella followed the crowd and soon had grass-stained knees and an un-tucked shirt.
All in all, they should be pretty natural shots!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Would Not Have Gotten a Ticket

For those who don't know, I recently made fun of Travis Cottrell for having to attend traffic school. It was a status update he posted on his facebook page for all to see. So, I took the opportunity to take a jab. It now looks like I'll be putting my name on the roll in one of these "traffic schools" in the upcoming months. Let me explain my story:

It's funny how things work together for the final outcome. If any one of these things had been different, I would not have gotten a ticket.

I was scheduled to lead worship at MetroWest, which is a minister of music roundtable conference. I came to the church to pick up a guitar I needed. I chose to refresh my memory on the chords to the songs I was doing, so I took an extra 10 minutes to do that. Had I not, I wouldn't have gotten a ticket.

As I left the church, I began to pull through the mid-campus drive, to exit onto Baseline. Half way through, I changed my mind and turned the car around to exit onto Webster. Had I not done that, I would not have gotten a ticket.

Pulling through the parking lot, there was construction going on. As a result, I had to exit the south end of the parking lot onto Webster. Because I was going out that far down, I decided just to head south to Greenspot. Had there not been construction in the parking lot, I would have exited further up and I would not have gotten a ticket.

Heading south on Webster, I noticed that the road was closed ahead. As I approached the stop sign, the detour directed me to the right. I waited for the car ahead of me to pull through, then pulled up to the sign and stopped. Had the road not been closed, I would not have gotten a ticket.

I turned right following the detour and was immediately pulled over. As the officer approached, he told me his name and what department he was with. He asked me if I knew why he was pulling me over. I said "no sir". He then preceded to explain that I had almost stopped at the stop sign, but that my tires had not come to a complete hault. Therefore, he was charging me with #972455*%@**^$ or something. Or in other words, running a stop sign.

"But, Sir. I did stop" I replied. But, to no avail. He took my license and went back to his motorcycle. Upon returning he said "Now be careful. We've had a lot of issues at this intersection since they closed the road."

So, should I contest it in court? Isn't that just a lose/lose situation anyway? Or, should I just do traffic school and move on? What would YOU do?

I still contest that had I not been born a guy and were some pretty female that started crying when I was pulled over, I would not have gotten a ticket.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I had the honor of spending the evening with the Metrowest guys, Stan Endicott and Rick Muchow @ Saddleback this evening. It was an amazing night. I'm blown away by that campus everytime I go there.

Rick and Stan are amazing and I've made good friends this week. Well worth it.


It is always good to meet with guys who do what you do. This week I am meeting with worship pastors from across the state...and one from Tucson. I am gleaning so much. I love to hear what other guys are doing and to build those relationships. Very encouraging and challenging. Good stuff.

We're meeting @ Fellowship in the Pass in their new facility. Lots of fun!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Where is My Mind?

Here's a list of things that are on my mind at this very moment:

1) I have a 3-day conference starting at 1pm today.
2) I'm leading worship at that conference on Wednesday morning.
3) I have got to get choir rehearsal planned.
4) We have one car. If I'm at a conference, how is Jody going to get the kids from school?
5) They will have to walk. It will be good for them.
6) American Idol starts tomorrow.
7) We are leading a new song in the 2nd service this week called "Say So" by Israel and the New Breed. I want to do something new and fresh with the screens for that song. Hmmmmmmm......
8) Rhonda just came in my office. She's so short.
9) We've got to watch the 24 season premier that recorded last night.
10) Why can I hear everything Eric is saying in his office through my wall?
11) There is a UFC fight this Saturday. I'm watching it. If you want to come, let me know. The first 15 people are in. Bring $5 and we'll buy it and get some pizza or something. Leave me your email address so I can respond with confirmation or let you know if we have too many people.
12) It's a wonder I get anything done at all with my mind going in so many different directions at once.
13) I have too much to do. I need to quit typ.......

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's A Wonderful Life

On January 10, 1998, I married the love of my life; the most awesome woman I've ever known; the most beautiful person I've ever seen. 11 houses, 4 states, 5 churches, 3 years of seminary, and 3 children later we are celebrating our 11th Anniversary. Thank you for marrying me, Jody. You are amazing, and still the most beautiful person I've ever seen. You are the most incredible wife and mother I could have ever imagined spending my life with. Now, onto 60 more!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Caleb has Discovered YouTube

Yes. I know he's only 8 years old. But, since we've begun posting church videos on youtube, Caleb has discovered this world of funny videos. (To all of you who think I'm a horrible parent for letting my child watch youtube, and you know who you are, rest assured we are with him when he's viewing:) I'm sure most of you have seen this video already, but Caleb has just discovered it. And, it has quickly become his favorite online. In fact, he loves it so much, he wants to make his own video response. Hmmmmmm. We'll see about that one.

So, I've embedded the original for you to see and get an understanding of what it is. HOWEVER, Caleb's favorite is actually the remix. So, you can check it out after viewing the original one that inspired the world. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Blog

I still haven't quite figured out why people read this blog, but I'm so thankful that you do. There are regular readers in 12 different states and 3 different countries. In fact, the 30,000th hit was just recorded a few days ago.

Thank you for being a part of my life, my family's journey, and our ministry. I'm humbled and honored that you care so much. Stay faithful!

Preparation is the Key

We are in the midst of an all day staff meeting. Right now we're @ lunch together. I absolutely love our staff. I love hanging out with them.

We're talking about a lot of great things. Much of which has to do with assimilation. Being intentional about pouring into your people, new believers, plugging people into the life of the church and helping to create a desire for them to take ownership in their ministry. Until people feel that they have an intricate role in the success and growth of the church, they are not fully committed.

Wherever you are, and whatever church you go to, take ownership in your ministry. The success of that local body and ministry depends on you and others like you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back in Action

Today was my first day back in the office since Christmas vacation. In one word, it was "insane". There was so much to catch up on. I had 341 new emails, a box FULL of mail, 3 worship services to plan, and I even had a meeting about a meeting that's scheduled for tomorrow. How funny is that? But, I loved every moment of it. It's good to be back.

Tomorrow is an all day ministerial staff retreat. We will be doing a lot planning for ministry approach in 2009. I'm excited about the brainstorming sessions that are planned.

Some good stuff is on the way!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane...I hope

We've been sitting on a plane for over an hour waiting on the toilet to get fixed. A lady with crazy looking chicken hair has a baby that has screamed the whole time. She says it is teething. We think the baby is afraid of that hair-do. If so, that makes two of us. Anyone else love to fly?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Coming to an End

Well, today is our last full day in Georgia. We fly home to Cali tomorrow night. It has been a great trip, but I'm so ready to lead worship again and be with our people. I wish somehow we could combine the two.

We are headed now to The Factory in Franklin, NC. Its a place with video games, mini golf, go-carts, and more. The kids are really excited.

Last night was the first New Year we've spent with family in 11 years. It was so good to spend it together with parents, siblings, aunts and uncles and cousins.

2009 is going to be an amazing year @ Immanuel. I hope each of you have a very Happy New Year. Post a comment and tell me what you did to ring the new year matter how simple or illustrious.