Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday Setlist 12-14-08

This entry is a part of “Sunday Setlists

Here's the set list for the 14th, then some notes...
Orchestra Prelude: O Come All Ye Faithful (Hymn)
Lighting of The Advent Candle: Student Minister's Family
Joy To The World (Hymn)
O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Hymn) - See Notes Below!
Welcome / Fellowship
The First Noel (Hymn)
You Are My King/Amazing Love (Chorus)
Offertory Prayer
Choir Special: “Christmas Angels" (From Christmas Musical Joy Joy Joy)
Transitional Chorus: O Come All Ye Faithful (Hymn)
Message: Bro. Steve - The Gift of Joy (Matthew 2:1-12).
Invitation:I Have Decided To Follow Jesus (Hymn)
Closing Chorus: Go, Tell It On The Mountain (Hymn)

Now the notes..
As you can see it was very heavy with Christmas music that morning.
I was also very distracted that morning. That evening we were presenting our CHristmas musical for this year "Joy Joy Joy". It was the largest production I'd directed in a couple years. 50 voice choir, 30 piece orchstra, drama, ballet , narrators, theatrical lighting. That morning I was definately more focused on that evening and I'm afraid the service suffered in some ways because of it.

First, O Come, O Come Emmnuel.. Where do I begin. In almost 5 years of leading worship at Westwood I don't recall ever having such a train wreck in a song. I was so looking forward to singing this one. It's such a well written and worshipful song. I knew something was wrong when I intro'd it. I had planned to say something moving and inspriing about what it's like to have no hope, then to find out that hope is here. Much like this song does. In the verse, praying for God to rescue Israel ( or us to make it more personal) then rejoicing in the Chorus because Christ has come and is available to all. Instead I think I sounded like a drunk monkey and said something that barely made any sense and definately didn't lead anyone to have any greater understanding of the song or the Savior. It probably would have been just as worshipful if I'd have said "Let's all turn in our hymnals to page # so and so and sing ..." (The worst transition ever used in worship.)
Sadly, it only got worse from there.
We had a powerpoint glitch. We run two different media presentations in our service. The choir and stage folks see the powerpoint which has notes about repeats and key changes etc. While the congregation sees "media shout" with video backgrounds. Unfortunately my miscommunication caused the different presentations to show two different verses on the last verse. As we started the verSE I realized quickly that the stage and congregation were singing two different verses. So I did what I hate doing... I turned around to look at the screens behind me. My folks running the media presentations realized the problem too and both went to black screens. That just left everyone looking at each other and going "huh?". I started laughing as did many others so we just brought the song to a halt. I shared with everyone that I didn't mind when things like that happen because it puts a smile on everyone's face. While that is not an untrue statement, I really do mind when that happens. I hate to be the cause of someone being distracted during worship. (and, Jamie, it was my fault, not yours, but thanks.) We recovered later in the service, but it was definately not pretty for a minute there. I did find it funny that one of may favorite worship blogs had on entry on this "train wreck" topic that same week. It's worth checking out here.

The only other note I have about the service was the transition from The First Noel into You Are My King. We did them in the same key so we jumped right from "Born is the King of Israel" to the bridge "You Are my King". It was a nice transition that led well into us singing the entire song "I'm forgiven because you were forsaken..." .

Definately a low and high point to this service.

Sunday Setlist 12-07-08

Well, It's been a while since I've blogged and people are starting to give me a hard time about it. So I thought I'd go back and catch up on a few things. First a look at the planned set list from that morning, then a little background on the events of that weekend and how that list changed...
The Plan...
Prelude: Orchestra – Angels From The Realms Of Glory (Hymn)
Lighting of the Advent Candle...Church Administrators family.
Angels From The Realms Of Glory (Hymn)
How Great Our Joy (Hymn)
That’s Why We Praise Him (Walker)
Welcome / Fellowship
My Savior, My God (Shust)
Good Christian Men Rejoice (Hymn)
Angels We Have Heard On High (Hymn)
Offertory Prayer - Deacon
Choir Special: Wonderful (From upcoming Christmas musical Joy Joy Joy)
Message Bro. Steve:
Invitation: Softly & Tenderly (Hymn)
Closing Chorus: Joy To The World (Hymn)

Now some details..
The weekend of December 7th was very interesting. I was called Thursday at work and was told that my mother in law had a stomach virus and that it was going to be easiest on everyone if I would stay home on Friday and keep the boys. Now I don't mean just my two. I was needed to keep my sons Ethan(4) & Gavin(2) and their cousins Will(4) and Nicholas(3). Did you count those? 4 kids under all under the age of 4. I gotta admit, it was a lot of fun. Sure I'm not great with keeping the house clean and watching them at the same time and meal times were interesting to say the least. But we had a good time.
Then Friday afternoon, Kristi came hom early from work sick with a stomach virus. Oh No! I really didn't need to be in a sick house. Our Christmas musical was the following weekend and I didn't have time to get sick. Sadly, I couldn't avoid it. Sunday morning at 2am I got sick too. Immediately my thoughts went to the church service for the next morning. What was I to do? I'm fully aware that things can go on fine without me at church, but it's definitely a bit of a hassle on everyone when plans have to change with such little notice. So the next morning at 7am I called my go to guy for such help, Ralph Houk. Ralph has way more experience than I do leading choirs and leading traditional worship. He has a vast library of songs in his head. He's probably forgotten more hymns that I'll even learn. When I called him that morning he immediately knew that something was wrong. I told him I was sick and without hesitation he agreed to lead. I told him there were a couple of newer songs planned and he said he'd figure something out. I told him to feel free to cut them if necessary. Apparently, the cuts were necessary. That morning during rehearsal they attempted those songs (Thats Why we praise Him & My Savior, My God) and I've been told my numerous folks that they both were a train wreck. So they were both cut. I was told afterward that the service as a whole went well. But those same people that said that asked me "Why didn't we worship this morning? We only did Christmas songs." I guess that answered my question from a few weeks back about how worshipful Christmas songs are. For these few folks at least the answer is "not very."

I'm thankful for all the folks at Westwood who are willing to step up and do what is needed when it is necessary.

This entry is part of the blog carnical hosted at Fred McKinnon's website. I encourage you to check out other worship leaders blogs and feel free to jump in and make notes about the service you attended Sunday. It's for all worshippers.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oh The Times They Are A Changin' ?

I'm so confused.

What year are we in right now?

Almost 2009?

Are you sure?  


Unleaded gasoline was only $1.39 in Sumiton, AL this morning.

The toy stores shelves are covered with Star Wars, Transformers, & G.I. Joes

Knight Rider & 90210 are new shows this season on TV. (Although, I'm not sure if anyone is watching. I'm not. I mean, how can you have Knight Rider without The Hoff? Come on!)


I'm gonna go ahead and buy me some parachute pants. I know they'll be coming around again soon too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Microsoft paint" bored

Have you ever been really bored. I mean like reaaaallly bored and you couldn't do much about it. I'm at work. Things are slow due to the economy. All of my files are up to date. All of my work is done. And the phone isn't ringing with any new orders or customer questions. My web use is very limited as is my phone usage. So I've resorted to playing with microsoft paint. Wow! I mean how bored is that? That's pretty bad. Here's my first attempt at MS paint art. Feel free to use it as a desktop background. I know you'll want to.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Newbie Question

I still consider myself a newbie at blogging. So I have a question for all of you...

What is the appropriate way to respond to a comment someone has placed on your blog?
Do you:
1.) simply comment on you own blog as well and assume they've checked the box to received e-mail replys.
2.) Go to their most recent blog and reply to their comment on their blog?

I've seen it done both ways.
Which should I do?