Friday, May 30, 2008

Where in the World is Mark Shook?

Here it is - our crazy little intro to Pastor Mark preaching from Africa:

The Big "D" Word

I want to learn. I want to learn to be a better me. I want to learn the things that God wants me to know so that I can be what He wants me to be. In order to do that, "To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction." - Proverbs 12:1
It says I need to love discipline - love it.
I know there are areas in my life that I am not consistent. I know there are areas that God wants me to learn more things and practice what I am learning in a disciplined manner. The potential for God to get more glory because I am dedicating myself to learn - even if it means that I have to be corrected a lot, well, that makes it worth it. I'll take my lumps so I can learn my lessons, and I'll ask God to show me His perspective on my growth so I will learn to love it.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jingle Thursday

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Am I Evil?

One of the on-going life issues artists deal with is ego. We all have them, but I think artists and musicians especially struggle - even more so if their work is displayed on a stage for all to see.
It is so easy in the choices that I make to have a hidden agenda. "Well, if I do this song I can really wail on it and people will tell me how great I am." I never really process it like that, but deep down I can feel it.
Jesus' brother, James, talked about selfish ambition in his book of the Bible. The Message puts it this way, "As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil." He didn't say selfish ambition is disappointing or being off track or less than the best - he said it's EVIL! Man, that one hurts!
Anything I do or choice that I make that promotes me so that I will receive the credit is evil. This sin is a sneaky one and can slip in before I know it. I will have to keep an eye out for this one.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Friday, May 23, 2008

Astros Game

Friday Morning

Every Friday morning, the worship/production team meets at 9 a.m. to pray and finalize the weekend. I have learned over the years that it doesn't matter how well you plan, somethings always change throughout the course of the week. Our initial planning meeting is earlier in the week, but we always regroup on Friday to finalize and make sure everyone is on the same page.
We also pray for quite a while and get our hearts in tune with what we think God is wanting to say and do in people during the weekend gatherings. Often, I will use this time to refocus the team and accent the "basics" so that we don't get off track spiritually or artistically.

Here is what is on schedule musically for this weekend:
Happy Day - Fee
Hear Our Praises - Reuben Morgan(Cool New Version we just introduced)
Peace - Robbie Seay Band
Live For You - Connersvine
What I Cannot Change - LeAnn Rimes

Oh, and we are taking the Tech Team to see the Astros play tonight. I am hoping to take my video camera and post some footage from that this weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I love technology.

So this afternoon, I am standing in Kroger getting a few things for my wife for dinner, and my cell phone rings. It is Mark, my pastor, which is not abnormal - except for the fact that he is in Rwanda Africa! Man! Right there in the can drink isle I am talking to him cell to cell and he is half-way around the world! He is telling me about some video footage he is going to upload to us so we can show it in worship.
I'm grocery shopping and planning worship with my friend (who is on another continent) all at the same time. Beautiful!

From the wisest man that ever lived.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 5 begins like this: "As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut! Don't be a fool who doesn't realize that mindless offerings to God are evil. And don't make rash promises to God, for he is in heaven, and you are only here on earth. So let your words be few." (vs. 1&2, NLT)
Wow! Not the worship advice I expected from the wisest man to ever live. Solomon didn't talk about bowing down, or singing, or raising your hands, or even confessing your sin. The wisest advice for worshipers is to listen more and talk less!
But, how does this apply to the worship team and/or leaders? Well, BE IN THE MOMENT. Don't just execute your program, but listen. Listen to Holy Spirit. Listen to the people. Watch how God is moving. Say as little as possible - meaning, don't just talk because you have the mic or because you have to make a smooth transition from one song to the next. Verse 1 says that "mindless offerings to God are evil." Heart check: how many times have I just blurted out "worship jargon" mindlessly during a gathering. Don't let phrases like "bless the Lord" or "praise God" become empty time fillers. Lead the worship that is happening right then - in the moment.
I encouraged our team this last weekend to this very challenge. We do three identical services every weekend, and by the last one, it can feel very safe and predictable on stage. But, Solomon has given us wise counsel to always, always listen and engage our minds in how we are leading the people.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Insanely Cool

I saw this today and couldn't believe how cool it is...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And So It Begins...

Welcome to by blog. I hope this works.