Monday, August 26, 2013

Sunday Setlist August 25th 2013

I blogged yesterday about how I resigned from my position at Westwood this past Sunday.
But I haven't yet told you about some of the other things that happened in our worship service.
Here's what we did at Westwood yesterday...
The theme of the service was Listening to God: "When God closes one door and opens another."
I'm thankful that Bro. Steve focused on that theme and made my announcement so much easier to make.

Orchestra Prelude: Be Thou My Vision (Hymn)
Choir Call To Worship: Lord God Almighty (Speak Your Name)
With trax

*Worthy Is The Lamb (Zschech)
I love singing this one... beginning with "Thank You for the Cross Lord." It just doesn't get much more worshipful than that.

Welcome / Announcements / Fellowship

*I’ll Fly Away (Hymn)
Upbeat southern style, maybe even a little rockabilly

Kidz Praise – All The People Said Amen (With Shawn on solo and Joseph on Guitar)
I had a blast singing this one with the kids (even if the bridge was too high for me.) You'll hear little Alec, I believe he's 4, adding in his own part that he wrote himself. Thanks to my Mother-in-law Karen for the video.

*He Knows My Name (Walker)
*Be Thou My Vision (Hymn)

Offertory Prayer

*Where He Leads Me (Hymn)
1st & Last

Message: Bro. Steve
Invitation: *I Have Decided To Follow Jesus (Hymn

...My Announcement

Closing Chorus: *Lord I Lift Your Name On High (BH#347)
I had this closing chorus planned, but in the tearful state of me and some others in the church, Bro. Steve opted in the moment to close in prayer. That was kind of him. Not sure anyone wants to hear me sing anything while I cry. 


What was your favorite part of your service? 

This post is part of's Sunday Setlist. Check it out to see what other worshipers are doing around the world. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why I've Resigned From 2 Jobs In 3 Days

The title is true. I've turned in my notice at both of my jobs this week. 5 months ago I never would have thought I'd be writing that sentence today. But a lot can happen in 5 months.

In May, I received this email at my church email address.

My immediate thought after reading this was "Sure. I know a couple guys." I clicked 'forward' and sent the email on to some folks I know. I thought that was the end of it, but God had other plans.
A week or so later, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I tried to convince myself that I should just ignore it because I wasn't looking for another ministry position, but God just wouldn't let it go. I was pretty happy with my full time job in industrial sales, and very happy in my part time worship leader position at Westwood.  Why would God not get off my back about this? So I did something crazy. I prayed about it.

For some reason, God led me to send in a resume. There were a number of conversations, interviews, and lots of prayers over the next few months. The whole time I was praying for God to give me a clear sign about what He wanted me to do. I was also praying for clear stop signs if I was moving in the wrong direction at any point.

So last Sunday, I led worship at Northside Baptist and was voted in. Wednesday, I let our choir and praise band know of my decision. Friday, I turned in my notice at my full time job. And today, I tearfully shared what God has been doing in my life with the folks at Westwood.

Here's what I read to them today...
To my dear Westwood family,
In January of 2001, Kristi and I visited Westwood for the first time. Since then Westwood has not only been our church, you all have been family to us. That is why it is so hard to write this letter.
After much prayer seeking God's will, I am announcing my resignation from Westwood Baptist effective 2 weeks from today, Sunday September 8th.
I have accepted a full time position of "Minister of Music and Outreach" at Northside Baptist in Jasper. When I first heard about this open position, I immediately thought of other people who might be interested in it because I was not looking to make any changes. But over time, God would not allow me to stop thinking about it. Since then Kristi and I have diligently prayed for God to reveal His will to us and He has.
I am so thankful for the experiences, relationships, and ministry God has allowed us to be a part of here at Westwood. I feel like this church family has ministered to me and my family as much or more than I've ministered to the church. You were there for us for the birth of both Ethan and Gavin. You were there for us in times of loss, such as when my father passed away. You were also a key part, through every person involved in our Children's ministry, in helping to lead both my boys to accept Christ as their Savior. In addition to all this, the entire music ministry and our Sunday School class has been such a blessing to us.
I will always refer to Westwood as my home church and will always consider you family.
As my family and I head into this new mission field for us, I have 2 requests of you. 1) Will you support us in prayer and 2) will you do me the honor of ordaining me into the ministry, thereby agreeing with me that worship ministry is God's calling on my life?
Thank you so much for allowing me the honor to serve with you these past 12 1/2 years as a member and these past 9 1/2 years as a staff member.
I now know what Paul felt when he wrote
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you."
With love for you all,
-Shawn & Kristi

The next month or so is going to be very emotional. I am excited about the new position. I am excited about what God is doing in my life and in my family. But I am also going to miss my Westwood family and fellow staff very much.

I'll likely be posting a lot more in the days to come, journaling this whole process. As I make this transition, I'm going to invite you to do two things..
  1. If you live anywhere near the Forestdale community of Birmingham, AL and are looking for a home church, you should visit Westwood Baptist. I can tell you, from 12 years of being a member there, that it is a loving and welcoming church that is worth checking out and getting involved in.
  2. If you live in the Jasper, AL area, come join me at Northside Baptist as I get to know that church family and we work to show and share God's love in that community.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Setlist August 11th 2013

This was the plan for our worship service at Westwood today:
Praise To The Lord, The Almighty (Updated Hymn Arrangement)
1st, 3rd, Key Change, 4V, tag (Use Hymn #1 for lyrics and in bulletin)
How Can I Keep From Singing (Chris Tomlin)
V1,C, V2, C, C.

Welcome / Announcements / Fellowship

Down At The Cross (Hymn)                                                                  
Southern upbeat style, 1, 2nd, & Last verses
Mighty To Save (Laura Story)
C,C, B, B, C, C, B, B

Offertory Prayer

Choir Special: Cornerstone (Hillsong)
As Written, will invite congregation to join us towards the end.

Message: Bro. Steve

Invitation: Have Thine Own Way (Hymn)
Closing Chorus: Because He Lives (Hymn)

Chorus Only

I really enjoyed today's worship service. My prayer is that God did too, since that is the main goal.
I think my favorite moment of the morning was when our choir introduced the song "Cornerstone."

It was great. Halfway through the song I turned and invited the congregation to worship with us. Not only did they really sing out, but some people (without being asked) stood and raised hands in worship. I love it when people express their worship in different ways regardless of what the crowd around them is doing. Seeing one lone worshiper stand and sing in the midst of a crowd of people sitting gives me the same thought every time...We should always be willing to stand out in a crowd in our walk with God.

My second favorite moment is not near as serious.
During our fellowship time our band/orchestra played a VERY upbeat and southern version of "Down At The Cross". Toes tapped, people clapped, and people smiled. ( I couldn't think of anything else that rhymed with tapped.) I wouldn't normal describe us as a "southern gospel" style church. But our musicians really know how to let loose when called upon. It was awesome.

What was your favorite part of your service? 

This post is part of's Sunday Setlist. Check it out to see what other worshipers are doing around the world. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Free Bacon, Fun Splashing, & Wet Burgers

I took the day off work Tuesday just to have fun with the fam at our local water park, Splash Adventure. Overall we had a great day.

Our day started out GREAT! I shared this on the book of the faces....

We had a couple of "buy one get one free" coupons that we got online. So we expected that many other folks wold have them as well, making the crowd almost unbearable. We were SO wrong. There was a very small crowd today. We rarely had to stand in line on any slide. It was great.
We learned a few things that day:
1. Most humans are weird looking, myself included. The various stages of undressed humans on display at waterparks is proof of this.
2. If a 9 yr old rides "Upsurge", he will go about this high...
Ethan riding Upsurge

But if you are a 7 year old, and ride with your "more than pleasantly plump" father, you will almost touch the top...

Gavin & Shawn riding Upsurge
3. One might normally complain about the long lines at waterparks. One who would complain might want to consider how much more tiring it is to be able to walk right onto every ride. After a day with no lines, one might feel like he spent the day on a stair master.
4. It's amazing how many used band aids can be found on the ground and in the water at a water park, even with a small attendance.
5. If it begins to storm while you're at a waterpark do these 2 things.
A. Make a plan to cover your burgers and fries as you run through the rain to feed your family. Cheeseburgers are not as good when they are wet. I'm thankful the deli worker thought of that and gave me a tray to carry it on and a tray to cover it with.
B. Wait out the storm. Some of the folks with us waited it out and had the park almost to themselves for the last couple hours. I came home and took a nap. So it was still a win.
After that awesome nap, I've spent most of the evening watching Shark Week documentaries on discovery channel.
Again I'll say, overall, we've had a great day.

What have you learned at a waterpark?


Monday, August 5, 2013

Sunday Setlist August 4th 2013

Been a while since I updated the ole' blog and LOTS has been going on.
I've definitely got some catching up to do. But for now, I'll just talk about yesterday.

Here's a glimpse of our service from yesterday along with some notes and other thoughts about the service.

Crown Him With Many Crowns (updated hymn arrangement)
Open The Eyes Of My Heart (Paul Baloche)
Welcome / Announcements / Fellowship
Sing, Sing, Sing (Chris Tomlin)
Song Of Moses (Aaron Keyes)
Offertory Prayer
Choir Special: “Shine On Us” (Octavo)
Been many years since we've sung this. It sounded GREAT! I love hearing our choir on songs like this and seeing them worship.  
Transitional Chorus: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Hymn)

Message: Bro. Steve – “Listen To God: The Word that speaks to my Heart” (Acts 8:26-40)
Theme: How God uses scripture to guide us.

Invitation: I Surrender All (Hymn)
Closing Chorus: All Hail King Jesus (Kent Henry)

My favorite moments of the morning were watching one of our members worship as we sang the bridge of "Song of Moses" (sometimes the members lead me in worship more that I lead them.) and leading our choir and orchestra in "Shine On Us." The last verse was especially powerful...

Lord, let your love, love with no end, come over us, 
That we may be saved, That we may have life. 
To find our way in the darkest night, 
Let your love come over us.

This post is part of's Sunday Setlist. Check it out to see what other worshipers are doing around the world. 

What was your favorite part of your church service?