Monday, October 27, 2008

ummm...yeah... it's like... hmmm?

I've just watched this video and I'm absolutely speechless.
I dare you to watch all 10 minutes of it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Setlist

This blog is part of the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival hosted at FredMcKinnon.Com. Check it out here.

Our services today was interesting, I'll highlight some good and not as good moments...
Orchestral Prelude: Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Hymn arrangement) I wasn't directing this, or even in the room. For some reason the orchestra stopped playing after the verse. I'm not sure why. It probably had something to do with the fact that we didn't rehearse it before hand and they weren't sure why I wasn't in the room yet. It wasn't an unnatural place to stop, it was just unexpected.

Announcements: Here why I wasn't in the room yet. I mentioned last week that I try to keep this part of the service interesting. I entered the service wearing a "Storm Trooper" helmet, with the Star Wars Theme playing loudly over the system. This week we have our fall festival and I wore it to remind everyone to come, be involved and wear a costume if they really want to have a good time. It definitely got a laugh and to put everyone at ease for the service. I think my moment was when I truly thought about how I must look with it on and said "You act like you've never seen a storm trooper in a sweater vest before." Man, I'm such a nerd. So anyway, somehow I transitioned from that to read a portion of Hebrews 10:22-26, and prepared to draw near to God through our worship and fellowship.

*I Am Thine, O Lord (Fanny Crosby, Hymn Arrangement)
*Wonderful Merciful Savior (Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse)
Great older chorus, that I've recently rediscovered (thanks to other worship leaders blogs.) We sang it a month or so ago and it was new to many in our church. They are still responding well to it.

Welcome / Fellowship

*That’s Why We Praise Him (Tommy Walker)
Another older chorus, that's still new to many in our church. This is only the 2nd time we've done it in a year. The bridge (Halle, hallelujah)received a better response that I had planned for, looking back I wish we had sung that a few more times. I could tell singing this really was beginning to resonate with a few people, but I let the knowledge that so many of our members are conscience of songs that seem to repetitive, so I cut it short. Hindsight, yes, it's still 20/20.
*Who Can Satisfy (Jernigan)Octavo version with lots of key changes
Went straight from previous song into this one, focusing on the "worship this King" line. This is a Westwood favorite. It always gets our folks focused on God's Glory, or at least it gets them emotionally charged. Songs with lots of key changes have a way of doing that. Either way, it went well.

Offertory Prayer - I goofed. I didn't see any deacons coming to do the prayer, so I just did it myself. I completely forgot that our Drummer was supposed to handle it. I should have looked at my notes. Oops.

*Choir Special: “Your Grace Still Amazes Me” (Shawn Craig, Connie Harrington) Arrangement from musical "Evidence of Grace". In spite of many errors in rehearsal due to an edit of the music, it went without a hitch. Great duet with choir backup. It was moving, and brought people to their feet in praise. Great job by Richard Cranford & Heather Potts as always.

*Take My Life(Scott Underwood)
Oldie but a goodie that we haven't done in years. Fit in well with Steve's message of being humbled before being transformed. Sang verses Holiness & Brokenness.

Message: Bro. Steve “Healing the Heart: Jacob & Esau (Gen 32:3-16, 22-30, 33:1-4) Theme: God Humbles us before He transforms Us

Invitation: *Take My Life(Scott Underwood)
Closing Chorus: *Victory In Jesus (Eugene Bartlett)
Chorus only, closing celebration song. Very southern, very upbeat. Fun.

Over all, a good service without any major technical or musical hiccups. Facial expressions from some of our more senior members leads me to think they would have enjoyed more hymns, or songs they were more familiar with. But for the majority, I believe this service was helpful in leading our church family members to worship our Father.

Movie Review: The Incredible Hulk = BUY IT!

This is the second movie review I've done on this blog, so I guess I should come up with a system for rating.
From now on, here's my system..
"Buy it" = Great, spend $ on this movie and watch it often.
"Rent It" = Good, spend $ on this movie, but not too much.
"Watch it" = ok, see it on TV if you have the chance, but don't spend any $ on it.
"Don't watch it" = bad, you'll regret it if you spend any $ or time watching this.
"From Justin to Kelly" = Stay away at all costs. If you watch this, not only will you want to jab your own eyes out with a shrimp fork, but your family may be punished based on the Old Testament "Sins of the Father" rule. I'm afraid your kids and grand kids might suffer if it's been discovered you watched this on purpose.

So, on with the review...
I bought The Incredible Hulk on DVD this weekend.
I stayed up until 1:30am watching it Friday night.
I should probably say, I have been a Hulk fan since I was a kid.
I grew up watching the TV show and have even purchased a comic book or two in more recent years.(I think "Graphic Novel" is the proper term now.)

I think my fascination with the character began when I was 4 or 5. I can remember going to VBS at Wilkes Baptist church and one of the college guys dressed up like the Hulk and came to visit our class. I assume he was there to say something about God being stronger than a superhero, or maybe something about the drawbacks of letting our anger control us. Sadly, I don't remember why he was there. I just remember how big he was. How green he was. How real he was. This guy had completely painted his body and hair green and was wearing torn clothes. To me, he was the real Hulk. From then on, I don't think I missed an episode of that TV show until it was cancelled in 1982. That was a sad day for this 7 year old.

Anyway, this new movie was great. It was what I wish Ang Lee's Hulk (2003) should have been. It followed the TV show much more, where Banner is a lone scientist, on the running trying to learn to control his anger, and the hulk. I especially loved the use of the theme song from the TV show and the cameos by Bill Bixby (RIP) and Lou Ferigno. I do still think that computer animation has a little further to go before it is completely believable, but this was pretty close. I definitely give this move a positive review.

Shawn's Review = BUY IT!

I gotta see this

I had a conversation with Joseph today about upcoming movies. I said that there wasn't much of anything coming out that I was interested in.
Correction, I want to see This.

This is directed by and staring Clint Eastwood.
They just don't make movies like this much anymore.
I'll probably invite my Dad. The last movie we saw at the theater together was ConAir.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sunday Setlist

So I recently have stumbled upon some very interesting blogs from worship leaders all over the country. And I have to say, I'm loving reading them. Hearing of the struggles, stresses, pleasures, and celebrations that come with being a worship leader is so encouraging. Starting this week I'm going to blog weekly about our services at Westwood.

So.. This blog is part of the “Sunday Setlists” blog carnival hosted at FredMcKinnon.Com. You can check it out here:
For any who don't know, I'm the minister of music and worship arts at Westwood Baptist in Birmingham (Forestdale), AL. I call our Sunday morning worship blended, which simply means that, in terms of style, we try to balance fairly evenly between traditional hymns and contemporary choruses. We have a bunch of talented musicians at Westwood so we strive to give them all an opportunity to serve. We have a full rhythm & winds sections but no strings. We utilize a praise team and a praise and worship choir.

Here's how this past Sunday went...

Orchestral call to worship - Praise To The Lord The Almighty (Hymn arrangement)

Announcements - I get the pleasure(?) of doing the announcements every Sunday. Am I the only worship leader that has to handle this part of the service? I typically share about some events going on at the church that week that are already written about in the worship guide. But as everyone knows, no one hears about anything unless you say it from the stage. I'm not sure they listen then. But I digress. I try to keep the announcements interesting, but it's not always easy.

1st set:
* Rise Up & Praise Him (Baloche)
* Praise To The Lord The Almighty (Joachim Neander, 1680)
3 verses with key change for last verse. Talk about traditional. Great hymn with great lyrics "Let the "amen" sound from his people again".

Welcome / Fellowship: Bro. Steve - This is the welcome from our pastor, he normally shares a passage of scripture, possibly an additional announcement, a prayer request, and will lead in prayer. He always closes by leading into a typical baptist "hug and handshake" fellowship time.

2nd set:
*Blessed Be Your Name (Matt Redman)
We omitted the bridge on this one, simply because I'm not a fan of the "You give and take away portion. While it is a biblical truth about God's blessings. I don't see a point in the blatant musical U2 ripoff.
*I Give You My Heart (Reuben Morgan)

Offertory Prayer (always led by one of the deacons)

Choir: At Your Feet (Vicki Yoh'e, arrangement from the musical "Sanctuary")

Message: Bro. Steve “Healing The Heart: Leah & Rachael” (Gen 29:15-35)
Theme: Overcoming rejection; being accepted by God

Invitation: The Savior Is Waiting (Traditional Hymn Arrangement)
Closing Chorus: Rise Up & Praise Him

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kids say....

Sometimes, I'm amazed at what my kids will say.

Gavin, our 2 year old, has decided that he is not a baby any longer. Neither is he a "big boy". If you accuse him of being either he will quickly and loudly tell you "Gadin...Man!". Translated: "No, I am not a big boy. My name is Gavin and I am a man. I don't appreciate you saying otherwise." We're not sure why he's decided this all of a sudden, but it sure is funny.

This past Saturday, we all went together to eat at Ruby Tuesday's. Of course, both my boys had to get chicken fingers and french fries (I glad every restaurant serves these items or my boys would starve.) But, as an additionl bonus, Ruby Tuesday's also includes a large chocolate chip cookie with their kids meals. As we finished our meals, the cookies were finally delivered to the table. After a few minutes the waitress walked back by, and seeing chocolate all over Ethan's face she asked him "So how's the cookie?" He looked up at her with a big chocolately grin and here's what we heard " It's terrible!" But he was smiling the entire time he said it. We were all floored, why would he say that? Clearly he was loving the cookie. So still in shock, Kristi asked him "It's terrible? Why is it terrible?" He looked up at her and said "Look at it. It's real soft. It's real easy to tear."
OOOhhhh, Tear-able. We laughed for a while about that one.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

5 Reasons I Love My Wife

In no paticular order, 5 reasons I love my wife.

1.) Kristi knows every word of the original TV theme song from "Transformers". I don't mean just the "more than meets the eye part". She also knows the "Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of... The Decepticons" part.

2.) Kristi's favorite three words: "so's your mama."
I mean it. I hear that phrase from her daily. She's very creative with her use of it.
Example 1 - Shawn: This movie is dull. Kristi: So's your mama.
Example 2- Shawn: This milk is expired. Kristi: So's your mama.

3.) Kristi knows more about the original Star Wars trilogy than I do.

4.) On our first date we had a lengthy discussion of Animaniacs and the genius that is "Pinky & The Brain". We laughed a lot just talking about it.

5.) She's hot.
(Kristi adds: "So's your mama!")

Movie Review: The Love Guru

First I should say that I'm a big fan of Mike Myers. So I really wanted this movie to be great. I thought the first two Austin Powers movies were hilarious. The 3rd was a little forgetable. Unfortunately, this move was worse. There were some very funny moments, but none that were so funny that I felt the need to quote them later.
Also, maybe my sensibilities are just more aware now because I now have kids, but this movie seemed much raunchier than others he's done. My biggest complaint with this movie was that it would take a funny joke and run it into the ground, trying to re-use it again and again.

Although, I must say the scenes with Mike Myers and Verne Tryer were pretty good. My Favorite line was from the Love Guru to Mini me. "I would have invited you to this meeting, but I knew you already had a meeting planned with the Lollipop guild."

So In summary, skip it.
I'll admit that some movies I think are funny now (Anchorman, Dumb & Dumber) I didn't care for the first time I saw them. But I really don't think this will be one of those. I feel confident Mike Myers has plenty of good movies still to offer us. I read recently there are discussion of an Dr. & Scott Evil movie. I'm sure I'll have to go see that one if it happens.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Am I The Only One?

There are two things about me that drive me crazy. Not so crazy that I've done anything to change these bad habits. Just crazy enough that I thought I'd share them with you.

1.) I don't know how to go to bed like a normal person. Ever since I was a child, I liked to fall asleep. Not "go to sleep", but "fall asleep". What's the difference you may ask? Well, I'll tell you. To go to sleep means you've done so on purpose. You have walked to your bed, couch, recliner, or place of your choice with the intention of closing your eyes and going to sleep. You might even lay there for a while until sleep arives. There's not much that I can think of that's worse than laying somewhere and waiting to fall asleep. Instead... I do it this way. I like to fall asleep. That's where you continue to go about doing meaningless tasks such as watching a movie, playing a video game, or even reading a book (yes,I read! until your desire to sleep is so strong it has beaten down your desire and ability to stay awake. This usually means I will fall asleep either on the recliner or in the floor (where I usually sit when watching TV"). If I'm lucky I'll wake up a couple hrs later and shuffle my way to bed where hopefully I'll get enough sleep on a nice mattress that I won't be sore the next morning. So I usually fall asleep around 12:30, and make it to bed around 3am. Am I the only one who does this?

2.) I will do larger tasks that I don't mind doing when I'm supposed to be doing a much easier task that I don't like. Example: My office at home is usually a wreck. I don't mean like a little dusty with a couple of books stacked behind me. I mean like "little boy's bedroom" messy. As I sit here blogging there is a pile of computer cables behind my chair so big, I can't even roll this chair backward. (I'm not necessarily dirty. There's no food or dirt around. It's just very cluttered.) But I digress. I've been meaning to straighten up this office for a while now. To do so would probably take about an hour. Put books on the shelf, paperwork in the file. Computer cables in the box with my other computer stuff, and a quick vacuum (it's sad that I had to google how to spell vacuum) and everything would look fine. But, because I have no desire to clean up, I instead start straightening up then find something like a DVD in the floor and realize "you know, my DVD's should probably be alphebetical on the shelf". So now, instead of being finished an hour later, I've still got a messy office, but al least my DVD's are alphabetical. Am I the only one who does this?

I guess that's all for now. It's midnight, my eyes are starting to burn a little because I'm so tired. Am I heading to bed? Of course not. I must continue to seek entertainment. I'm about to step over the piles of junk in my office, walk to the living room, lay in the floor, and watch the new episode of "House" that I DVR'd yesterday. I'll probably be asleep by the 2nd commercial.

Monday, October 13, 2008

4 Jobs You've Had in Your Life:
YMCA Swimming lessons teacher & Lifeguard (It's true stop laughing!)
After school Daycare teacher (Believe it or not, that didn't last too long)
Movie Rental Store Clerk / Store Manager (Loved it! Would still do it if it paid more.)
Video Production Studio account manager (Cool gig, watching commercials be planned, filmed and edited. I wish I had known how to be a salesman before I took the job. It might have lasted longer. I really stunk at it.)

4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
Star Wars (anyone surprised)
Tommy Boy (Fat guy in a little coat)
Forest Gump (Lt. Dan, Ice Cream!)
Signs (Swing Away)

4 Things you Want to Do:
1.) Lead worship while playing the guitar. (aka: learn to play the guitar)
2.) Go to the Grand Canyon
3.) Read the Bible. (The whole thing)
4.) Run a Marathon / Benchpress my weight (both health related, only count as one)

4 Costumes You've Worn on Halloween:
Casper the Freindly Ghost (5 years old)
Punk Rocker (11 years old)
Darth Vader (30 years old)
Fred Flintstone (32 years old)

4 Songs You Could Listen to Again and Again:
Baracuda by Heart
Papa Loved Mama by Garth Brooks
I'm Amazed by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
Saved by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir (as performed by Westwood Baptist Choir, Kara Kinnaird Soloist)

4 Websites You Visit Daily: (one of the few sites I can visit at worked that is not deemed in appropriate) (got to check my bank account) (e-mail) (not alway clean, but most of the time hilarious)

something old, something new

So I've now committed to blogspot.
I've had blogs in the past on livejournal & myspace, but now I've moved them all here. I hope you don't expect much out of this blog. It probably won't be updated regularly. And it won't always be funny or even remotely educational. Mostly just my barely coherent ramblings. I've copied all my old blog entries onto this one, so that I could easily look back and remind myself of how foolish I am. (Example: I blogged early this year about being hurt by someone who I thought was a friend. I honestly don't even recall who I was talking about.)

Maybe one day I'll look back on all this and see that these adventures all taught me something that helped move me on to greater things, but I doubt it.