Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday Setlist 12-27-09

This entry is part of the list at Fred Mckinnon's blog. There you can see many other setlist from churches and find out what other services were like around the world.

Here's what we did at Westwood Sunday.

Prelude: I'll Fly Away (Instrumental)
*Not To Us
*How Great Is Our God w/ How Great Thou Art
Welcome / Announcements / Fellowship
*I'll Fly Away
*Jesus Paid It All w/ Oh Praise The One
Offertory Prayer
Special Music - Revelation Song  - Praise Team
Message: Joseph Kinnaird (Student Minister)
Invitation: I Surrender All (New Hymn arrangement)
Closing Chorus: How Great Thou Art (chorus only)

The service was very different than normal. Because of the holidays, I gave the choir and wind section of the orchestra the morning off. So worship was led by the rhythm section and praise team only. I had considered bringing the entire band out of the orchestra pit and onto the stage to give it more of a band feel, but the morning sermon included an 8'X8' tent as a prop. So that idea was put on hold until later.

"I'll Fly Away" is a song I've only led 2 or 3 times in 5 years of leading worship at Westwood. So when we do it, those who enjoy it really get into it. I used it as both the prelude (to help set the upbeat tone for the service) and as the song following the fellowship time.

The arrangements of "How Great Is Our God"  & "Jesus Paid It All" we did are great songs that have helped calm any worship wars that might creep up at our church. They are newer (written within the past decade =) arrangements of older hymns that any generation can connect to at some level. This time we did "How Great..." with a split of the bridge (Name above all names...) and the chorus between the men and women. It sounded great and transitioned beautifully into the chorus of "How Great Thou Art". I love it when the church is worshipping at a level where their voices can be heard, over the music, singing praises to God.

Since the choir was off, I had the praise team introduce "Revelation Song" to our church. The soprano soloist I had planned for the first verse was sick, so I did it myself. That was probably a mistake. Also, many of the praise team members had never heard the song until rehearsal that morning, and that was my fault as well. I should have made sure they all had access to it earlier, but with the rush of the holidays, it slipped through the cracks. Fortunately though, they picked up on it quickly and as we sang it some of the congregation began to sing along as well, so I invited them to stand and sing it with us. I thought it went well for a "first time" song. I have no doubt we'll be hearing it again in the weeks to come.

Our pastor was out of town for the holidays so Joseph, our student minister, spoke. He did a great job teaching about the sins of Achan in Joshua 7. The tent I mentioned earlier was used as a way to demonstrate some of the sins we may think we can hide in our tents. Inside the tent were many different symbols of things that can seperate us from God. It was a very visual message and I thought Joseph did a good job presenting it.

We closed with a newer arrangement of the old hymn "I Surrender All". I love this arrangement, but it always throws our folks who sing parts. The melody is the same as before, but the harmonies are not.

Overall, I thought everything went very well Sunday morning.

Sadly, things did not go quite as smoothly Sunday night when I had us do a favorite hymns service. The crowd blows the dust off the hymnals and calls out hymn #'s they want us to sing. This time they picked a bunch I'd never heard before. Not a lot of fun sight reading old hymns in a microphone. =)

How was your Sunday?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On The Twelfth Day Of Christmas...

OK, I'm a doofus. Somehow I never posted this before Christmas. I saw it in my drafts folder today and realized my mistake. So here, finally, is the 12th in my 12 days of Christmas series, 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life. Maybe, you forgot to get your nerd friend something. Even though Christmas was 10 days ago, it's never too late to give someone this wonderful gift...

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me.

The series LOST on dvd.

I'm sure you're not surprised this made it into my list.
LOST is only the greatest show to ever be broadcast on television. It's better than "The A-Team", better than "The Muppet Show", even better than "Seinfield" (but that runs a very close 2nd.) With the final season starting in 2010, this would be a great Christmas to give someone all 5 past seasons so they can catch up. I considered listing the 12th day's gift as "your nerd's favorite TV show on dvd". But since no show can top LOST, my hands were tied. Some of your nerd friends might already have the past seasons, that's ok. You can always help them upgrade, and get the bluray versions.

I hope I've given you at least one good idea in the past 12 (plus 10) days. Now it's your turn. What cool nerd gift did I leave off? I look forward to your suggestions.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Life Day

I'm speechless. Watch this.
From the infamous 1978 Star Wars Christmas special.
I wonder how they blackmailed the Star Wars cast into doing this.
This is the second worst thing to ever happen in the Star Wars universe.
(The worst is Jar-Jar)

On The Eleventh Day Of Christmas

This entry is the 11th in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

A Netflix Subscription

Whether your nerd likes movies or has a favorite TV show, it's likely he can view it on Netflix. This mail order movie service not only mails our your desired DVD's but now you can also view much of their catalog online via streaming video. I've been a netflix member for many years and absoultely love it. No video store hassles, no late fees, no need to even put on pants and drive to a "red box". Just mail 'em back, and like magic, another one comes to you 2 days later.
I have no doubt you'l be loved by anyone who receives this awesome gift from you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On The Tenth Day Of Christmas...

This entry is the 10th in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
iTunes Gift Cards

When I started this 10 days ago I mentioned that this list was for the nerd/worship leader in your life.  Even if your nerd is not into music, with an itunes giftcard they could download almost any audiobook or iphone app their little geeky heart desired.  So whether they're a fan of The Black Eyed Peas, The John Williams Star Wars sound track, or a Pac Man game for their phone, they can all be found on iTunes.
I can assure you they are there, and they're all great.

Monday, December 21, 2009

On The Ninth Day Of Christmas...

This entry is the 9th in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.
Also, yesterday's post by my 200th post. To all of my readers -  Thanks for putting up with my run on sentences, boring observations, and random weird thoughts.  All 3 of you are greatly appreciated.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
A Powermat

This is the kind of thing I would love to own, but would never buy for myself.
It's a mat that you can lay rechargeable gadgets on, and they will recharge without having to plug them in. Wow! That's pretty cool, don't ya think? Imagine all those miliseconds you wasted everyday pluggin in your gadgets. With the powermat, your pluggin' worries are over. Now you can used those valuable saved seconds to do much more important things that you didn't have time for before like blinking or having a thought. This device is going to change lives, I'm sure. And how much does this time saver cost? Only $89.98 at Target. Is it worth it? Hmm?
Oh yeah, and did I mention that every device you want to charge on this mat requires a $30-$40 battery adapter you have to attach to it. Like I said, cool gift to get. Maybe not so cool to purchase. I mean, come on? Who doesn't have time to plug in a charger?

This invention reminds me of something my favorite comedian, Brian Regan once said. He once had a simliar observation about the inventor of combined PB&J. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On The Eighth Day Of Christmas

This entry is the 8th in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
An addition to a weird collection.

This gift idea requires you to know your nerdy friend or loved one very well.
Most nerds have some kind of collection; stamps, comics, old books, belly button lint, etc.
If you truly love a nerd, then you know them well enough to ask about their collection.
Be warned though, this might mean having to sit through a seemingly endless one-sided conversation about their collection. But if you can mange to stay awake through that, then you'll get to the information you need. You'll learn what item is missing from their nerdy collection. Then you can begin your hunt to find that needed item, that "holy grail".

Here, in case you're having trouble sleeping, is a description of my nerdy collection that few folks know about.  If you feel you know me well enough, and don't want to know the depth of my nerdiness, skip the rest of this paragraph and I'll see you on the other side.  My nerdy collection is G.I.Joe figures. More specifically, 1982 straight arm G.I. Joe's. These are the first series of G.I. Joe's that were released when I was a kid. The earlier ones were 12" tall. These are only 3 3/4". After 1982 all the Joe's were released with a swivel arm and while I had very few of these straight arm joe's as a kid, they were the first one's I had, so I'm kind of fond of them. My collection is nowhere near complete, but since you asked, the one figure I consider my holy grail would be a 1982 straight arm Snake Eyes with all accessories and file card. Go ahead and look it up on Ebay, it's a little out of my price range. But maybe one day, my little nerdy collection will be complete.

So, If you know a nerd, I have no doubt they'd be willing to talk about their collection, and give you plenty of ideas how to help them complete it. Good Luck.

(Also, I know some of you are already looking at the books behind the figures. All I have to say is that when you're married, you have to add books to your bookshelf that you never imagined would be there.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On The Seventh Day Of Christmas...

This entry is the 7th in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Bluetooth Headphones

I can personally vouch for this gift idea. It's awesome. I have these. These are the Motorola S9-HD. If the nerd in your life uses a phone, mp3 player, or stereo with bluetooth capabilities, they've got to have this. They are stereo wireless headphones.
I use mine with my iPhone. I can get in the car, put them on, and have easy access to everything on my phone; music, podcasts, even phone calls. No need to ever take my hands off the wheel.

Yes, I may look a little goofy wearing them, but the benefits are worth any goofy looks I might get.

You can also use them when doing more active activities than driving, but as you can imagine, mine are mostly used when driving.

Friday, December 18, 2009

On The Sixth Day Of Christmas...

This entry is the 6th in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.

On the sixth day of christmas my true love gave to me...

Nintendo Points (or Wii Points)
I have only recently learned about the fun that can come into your life with Nintendo points.
First, I'll tell you what they are. Nintendo points can be used to download games onto your Wii on NintendoDSi. With these points you can download older Nintendo games that are no longer available.
Just a week ago I finally managed to get my Wii connected to the internet. While I do not yet have high speed internet at my house, I have been able to connect at a speed fast enough to download games.
So far I've only purchased 1. I used 500 Nintendo points (about $5) and bought Super Mario Bros.

For about a week now, Ethan, Kristi and I have been playing and loving this old school Nintendo game from 1985. I was afraid that Ethan would get bored of it quickly because of it's lack of cool graphics, but he's actually been just the opposite. He's thought that it is fun to play a game that makes you start over when you die, rather than just saving your game at different points as most games do these days.

So if you know someone with a Wii, give them some old school fun by purchasing them some Nintendo Points. The next games on my donwload list... Earthworm Jim & Dr. Mario.
There's nothing quite like video game entertainment from 1987. (I'm not sure that's a good thing.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On The Fifth Day Of Christmas...

This entry is the 5th in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.

On the fifth day of christmas my true love gave to me...
The Beatles Stereo Box Set - USB Version

Ok, this one gets a little specific. I know not everyone likes The Beatles. I don't understand those people who don't, but I'll acknowledge that they exist. Clearly this gift is not for them. This gift is for people with good musical taste.
In September of this year a stereo box set of The Beatles core albums was released.  It featured all their core albums and many extra features including a documentary DVD. A box set of Beatles cd's would be cool, but what's even cooler is the digital version they released on a USB drive 12/08/09.

No Beatles recordings have ever been legally downloadable.  They have never released any of their songs to iTunes, amazon, or any other companies for purchase via download. So, in response to growing fan demand, they've released a version of their box set on a USB drive. Why would this be a cool gift? It is likely that many beatles fans would burn any CD you got them to their hard drive anyway, right? Save them some time.
Also, it's a cool gift because it's a bit of a collector's item. They were released a couple weeks ago and sold out within a few days. There are currently no more available. If you can find one, you better snatch it up.

They are only sold on the official Beatles website

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On The Fourth Day Of Christmas...

This entry is the 4th in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.

On The fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me....
Fictional Character Statues

Most guys I know had a favorite fictional character as a kid. Whether it was a super hero or a character from a movie, we all had one favorite. Now that we're adults, our society has taught us that playing with toys is inapproptiate. But the nerdiest of the nerdy among us still think fondly of those characters we used to enjoy so much. Today's gift idea gives the nerd in your life a way to enjoy that character without the embarassment of them being caught buying toys or worse yet actually playing with them. You can give them a very detailed, sculpted statue that would look "not too inappropriate" in any home or office. Well, maybe not "any home or office" but mine at least.

Here are a few examples that I know would look nice on my shelf.

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's Christopher Reeve.

"Luke,who's yo daddy?"

The G.I. Joe ninja "Snake Eyes" and his trusty pal Timber. Wearing his original gear from the 1982 version.  The pointing hand can be swapped for a hand holding an uzi. But why would a ninja ever need an uzi?

"Don't make me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On The Third Day Of Christmas...

This entry is the 3rd in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

A Bacon Wallet.

Nothing I can say about the awesomeness of this gift idea can match what the guys at have already said....

"For those of us who bring home the bacon, now we have an appropriate place to put it. The Bacon Wallet is an actual wallet that looks like slabs of our favorite breakfast meat. It's made from faux leather (which is a fancy name for vinyl) and depicts tasty bacon on both the outside and inside. The well-made wallet has plenty of pockets for cash, credit cards, and the phone number of your cardiologist.

Frankly, we can't believe it's taken this long for someone to invent a Bacon Wallet. Everyone likes bacon. Everyone has to put their money somewhere. It just makes so much sense!  A year from now, Bacon Wallets will be as common as sausage cufflinks are today. So get a Bacon Wallet and put a little sizzle in your life!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

On The Second Day Of Christmas...

This entry is the 2nd in my 12 Days of Christmas series. 12 cool gifts for the nerd in your life.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me....
A remote control Freedom Flyer airplane.

Every guy likes airplanes, whether they admit it or not, there's just something cool about a machine that can travel through the air. Most guys I know also like RC (Remote control) planes and would love to have the chance to play with one. But there's a problem. Actually two of them.  One, if you've never driven an RC plane before, how exactly do you learn how to land? Seems to me that the process of learning how to land is really just the process of learning how not to crash. So when your landing education  is not going great.....Wham!.. there goes your new toy, into one huge pile of FAIL! The second problem is with price. There's the issue of the price of said toy and it's replacement parts to fix what will likely get broken the first time you play with it. So while most guys might want to try to enjoy this activity, most do not because the risks are so high.

But, I think I've found a solution. I've found an RC place that repairs easily, is relatively cheap, and is made to crash and survive, the Freedom Flyer RTF. Not only does it look like a fun toy, it's got a fairly entertaining promo video.

The whole time I watched it, I expected the voice over guy to say I could fly it Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Setlist 12-13-09

This entry is part of the blog carnival over at Fred McKinnon's site. Check it out to see what other churches are doing. Here's our setlist from today's service at Westwood Baptist with comments to follow....

Orchestra Prelude: O Come All Ye Faithful (HYMN)

Joy To The World (D-Eb / HYMN)
1st, 2nd, and last w/ key change for last
O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Dm / HYMN)
1st and last verses with chorus repeat at end

Welcome / Fellowship

The First Noel (D / HYMN)
1st & Last verse w/ optional last chours setting for end, no pause into…
You Are My King (D / Billy Foote)
Bridge, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Tag

Offertory Prayer

Choir Special: “Glory To God In The Highest” (From Night Of Alleluias musical)

Transitional Chorus: O Come All Ye Faithful (G / HYMN)
1st V & Chorus

Message: Bro. Steve
Invitation: Just As I Am (HYMN)
Closing Chorus: Go, Tell It On The Mountain (HYMN)
Chorus, 1V, Chorus

Today's service went well. No major hiccups or flaws. As you can see, it was very Christmas carol heavy.
These songs are only appropriate once a year, so they get plenty of rotation during the month of December.
Overall is was a good mellow service. While I would have liked a little more "umph" musically (just due to my personal taste in musical style) I think the songs were helpful in helping everyone to consider the Christmas season, especially O Come, O Come Emmanuel. What a great song.

How was your Sunday?

On The First Day Of Christmas...

Well, here we are, only 12 days until Christmas.
In honor of the classic Christmas carol "The 12 days of Christmas", I will be giving you a different gift idea over the next 12 days for the nerd / worship leader / cool dude in your life. If you don't know anyone that fits that description, I will be willing to accept these items from you. I will serve you in this manner, because I want you to have the opportunity to learn the joys of giving. If I have to sacrifice, by accepting your gifts, then so be it. I'm willing to do this for you, because I care. So here now,  I present the First Day of Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....
A USB powered desktop rocket launcher.

This would make a great gift for anyone that has a desk and pesky co-workers they want to keep at bay. Just imagine, you're sitting at your desk doing what all hard workers do (cruising Facebook) and then here comes the staff accountant asking for your "Quarterly Synergetic Optimization T-Report in triplicate with footnotes." One response would be to say "It's not ready yet."
But wouldn't it be much more fun to click a button on your keyboard setting off a barrage of foam missles at them? Or is it just me?

Includes software, missles, and missle launcher.
You can buy this lovely gift at kleargear. Which is also where I borrowed the pic.

I am not getting any sponsorship from them for this publicity, but I'm open to that if they want to discuss it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Cheesy

Part of my responsibilities at my job is to book flatbed trucks to haul our products. So I get the pleasure (?) of working with trucking companies everyday to book truck and track delivery status of the loads. Usually this is a pretty big headache, but there are times when this position has its advantages.

I do get the occasional free lunch from some of the companies we use, but the best time comes at Christmas. Sometime in years past,  a salesman decided it would be a good idea to give small gifts of appreciation to his customers. Thankfully, other salesmen decided that was a great idea and decided to do the same. So now, every Christmas, salesmen all over the world are trying to butter up their clients with gifts. And thankfully, I'm one of those clients. One very important note, I don't let these gifts influence my decision on future loads, but they sure don't hurt their potential to get my business either.

So, each year I get interesting gifts from some of our carriers. In the past it's been typically pens, calendars, small chocolate trucks, etc. This year, the first gift I received was interesting to say the least. Yesterday I received a 10" X 5" wheel of cheddar cheese. It looked a lot like this

except bigger. I'm really not sure how to react to this gift. I mean, who needs that much cheese? But at the same time...CHEESE IS AWESOME! so I'm thinking, that's really cool. So now, I'm left with the question of what to do with this huge cheese circle. Do I slice it for sandwhiches? Melt it for dipping? Or just open it and practice my sculpting abilities?

Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On Your Mark. Get Set. Go!

I was looking at my calendar yesterday and realized that things are about to get a little busy.
I have 15 Christmas related functions in the next 16 days.
Whew! it's gonna be busy.

Wednesday 12/09 – Choir Christmas Party
Thursday 12/10 - Pictures with Santa
Saturday 12/12 – Aimee's Christmas musical in Chattanooga, TN
Sunday 12/13 - Children's Christmas program Rehearsal 5pm.
Tuesday 12/15 – Church Staff Christmas Party
Wednesday 12/16 – Christmas @ Resonate (Church youth Christmas service)
Saturday 12/19 – Stinson Christmas @ Grandmaw's in Columbus, MS.
Sunday 12/20 Afternoon– Allred Christmas @ Grandmother Dot’s
Sunday 12/20 Evening - Children’s ministry Christmas presentation (Final Rehearsal at 4pm)
Wednesday 12/23 – Stinson Christmas in Woodstock, AL (Also, FESTIVUS for the rest of us.)
Thursday 12/24 – Christmas Eve Communion Service 5:30pm
Thursday 12/24 – Exchange gifts with kids and Kristi, Christmas Eve traditions, etc.
Friday 12/25 – Christmas….
7am View Santa stuff
9am  - Allred Christmas @ Mother & Father in law's.
Noon – Drummond Christmas @ GiGi's.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Three Blind Mice...See How They Run

This is too weird not to share....

So, an hour ago I was sitting at my desk, in my office, at work.
I was on the phone with a customer and looking at some misc blogs online.
One blog I enjoy is written by Jorge Garcia. He's the actor that plays Hurley on LOST (The greatest television program of all time.) I like it because he doesn't say much, but can still be very entertaining. Plus it's interesting to peek into the life of a hollywood actor and be reminded that they're just human too. For the past week or so, he's been posting video clips of he and his friend (girlfirend, wife, roomate? I don't know) and her struggles with the mouse in their house. It's been very funny.

Anyway, so I'm talking to a customer and looking at this mouse blog when I see it. Out of the corner of my eye, a small brown something runs into my office, along the wall, and under the filing cabinet. I know immediately that's it's a mouse. I continue with the customer and try to hurriedly get off the phone in hopes of catching or killing the mouse before he finds a better hiding spot. But no such luck.  Before I got off the phone he darted out from under the filing cabinet and under my desk. That's right. UNDER MY DESK!  NEAR MY FEET! Did I freak? No. I calmly rolled my chair back and tried to spot him. I figured freaking would not be the most masculine response, but at least backing away from the desk would decrease the chances of him attempting to find refuge in my pants leg.

I have now spent about an hour or so calmly looking for this little creature. I've been a little surprised at my own response. While I haven't felt the need to jump up on the desk or anything, I definitely have a good case of the "heeby jeebies".  You'd think that since I weigh approx 300 times what this little guy does, that'd I'd be completely fearless. If I saw this same mouse in a cage, I would likely say "how cute", or even be willing to hold him. But for some reason, that little brown blur that scurried across the floor is much more unnerving than I like to admit.

So, Is it just me or do you think it's a little bzarre that I was reading about someone hunting a mouse when a mouse ran into my office? I'm gonna go now a try to find a blog to read about someone winning the lottery when they didn't even buy a ticket.