Monday, April 18, 2005

What is Worship...???...

I had one of those moments today. The kind of moment that sends a chill down your spine and you feel in the very presence of God. What caused, or more accuartely contributed to this? We were playing Agnus Dei, a song that has been played forever a million different ways. When we play songs like this, I need to sit back and really read the words and think about them. If don't they will just come out and it will be like a machiene running and not worship. We have rehearsed the song played it before, and the same result everytime. Right at the climatic moment, HOLY, everyone is on a different chord, the band falls apart. Rehearsal was no different, horific. But my prayer tonight was different. Not mistake free music, but facilitating an environment for worship. It came time to it, from almost nothing musically (one guitar and one vocal) to a huge hit, of bass, drums, two heavily distorted guitars, and the chill was sent through my body. That is all I ever wanted to acheive as a band, but had a revelation. I wanted it because it was musical excellence and sounds good, and God showed me the real reason for it. Facilitating an environment for worship. When that is your goal, it seems everything else falls into place (you still have to practice and prepare). There is a huge spiritual movement going around our society today. Even non-christians are trying to be more spiritual in their lives. You see Hollywood inventing religions and watch Oprah or whatever and everyone needs to be more spiritual and at peace. I see this same effect taking place in younger generation christians. I have talked to younger christians lately that believe worship to God has to be soft and somber, a very spiritual aspect to it (spirtual in the sense of how I mentioned before, at peace and soft). I have been told that music with solos, or with loud distortion guitar is not real worship. It is worldly and gets in the way of someone's heart opening to enter God's prescence. I think that is non sense. Music enhances and magnigys every emotion. Have you ever tried to watch a scary moment of your favorite scary movie without the music, not so scarry. Have you ever seen a piece put together by a network of a recent champion sports team? Something that is just a game can almost make you cry because the music they put to it magnifies the emotion so much. I belive that is why we use song to worship. IT allows us to open up and let all our emotions come out to sing praise to our creator. If that wasn't true, every church would just replace their worship time with poetry reading prasing the Lord.
The kind of music you like will probably facilitate the best environment for you to worship. If you like country, go get a country worship album, if you like rock and roll go get one, alternative, organ and choir, it doesn't matter. The sound and the music doesn't matter. Third Day's recording of Agnus Dei is amazing, but when listening and worshiping along with it, it isn't the verse, the chorus when I feel closest to God, it is in the guitar solo (be careful that isn't real worship to a lot of people). The music creates the perfect environment for me to enter an intimate time of worship with God. I love Kutless' new worship album (Strong Tower). I get chills every track. It has, musically speaking, hard and soft moments. From rockin', distorted guitars, to nice acoustic moments with great vocal harmonies. You get both in their first track which is an arrangement of "We Fall Down." For me I like quiet moments of just lifting my voice, and then I like climatic huge moments where I feel passionate and my whole body is involved in worship. If you are involved in leading worship, you need to focus on musical excellence, but at the same time we need to check ourselves and see why we are striving for that. Is it for us, or for him? In today's world, their is so much good worship music available to us in so many different varieties of music. You can get classic hymns, or modern rock. We should not knock the way people worship, but embrace it. As I have told you I have been criticized of my worship to hard and showy. I have also criticized the other side as being boring and lacking passion. I think we all need to just embrace our time of worship, and go somewhere that facilitates that environment for you. As long as our heart is right for worship, it doesn't matter if we have a 50 piece band, or a kazoo. It is our heart at the time we enter that worship.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Return of a lost blogger...

Well here we are April 17th, weeks since my last post. For those of you who know me, you know why. Tax season gets a little (ha) busy the beginning of April. But the worst of it is over and life returns to some aspect of normalcy. Nothing great to say right now, just wanted to drop a line to say I am still here. I will get back to posting regularly. And if you know a tax man that managed to have time to blog the past three weeks, tip him extra because he/she is probably in need. Just kidding, see you soon.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Flag Page

At the conference in my last post, I was turned on to I have taken persoanlity tests before, I have read the 5 love languages, but this is extremely pracitcal. It can change teh way you view, treat, and admire your spouse and really anyone. Especially if you are in a leadership position, this can show you what makes the people you are leading tick, and how you can motivate, or destroy them. It breaks the 4 basic personalities down (control, peace, fun, and perfect) as orginally stated (in more sophisticated terms) by the greek philosopher Hippocrates. It goes into much more detail and you get a greater understanding of yourself, AND ESPECIALLY OF OTHER PEOPLE when you look at their flag page. You end up with a flag with five traits listed in order of priority of how important those traits are to make you feel happy, loved, and appreciated. So often we (usually not realizing it) start to tear at other people because their flag looks completely different than ours and they are driven by completely different things. WE go around critisizing people for not being like us. This will give you an insight on how to motivate people and make them feel loved and appreciated. If we go through life motivating people by means that motivate us, we will in a sense motivate nobody. Flagpage is a revelation to what you need to feel loved. And if you look at somebody's flag page and you have critisized those characteristics, you need to step back and evaluate how you relate to that person. I am pretty sure that we are to lift our brothers up, which means encourage and motivate, not try to convert everyone to adapting the same personality traits we have. There is balance among the four traits in this world. Could you imagine a world where only Control people lived. Yikes. There is a way we are wired the way we are, and we need to embrace each other. There is a $10 fee for using the on-line service, but it will be the best $10 you have ever spent. And if you know me personally, let me know and I will send you my flagpage.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The dreaded marriage conference...

With my anniversary being last week, I touched a bit on being a husband. MY wife and I are attending a marriage conference (far from what it sounds like) this weekend. Laughing your way to a better marriage I would recommend to anyone and everyone who is married, whether you think your marriage is great or not. So often our society puts emphasis on change. We need to express our feelings, so we can change the way our spouse treats us. This organization is set out to pointing out bluntly the differences between men and women and learning to understand them, NOT CHANGE THEM!!! Mark Gungor believes most marriage conferences try and make men more like women. We need to realize that God made women and men biologically the way they are for a reason. We need to accept, embrace, and use that understanding to be successful in our marriages. By the way, Mark is also probably the funniest speaker I have ever heard. Order his DVD today and share it with everyone you know. It is about 75 minutes and fun the whole time. And if you get the chance, go to one of his workshops (6 hours), it will change our life! There is no guarantee from the Laugh Your Way organization, but men I can almost promise more and better sex.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Fighting to be heard

I have been thinking a lot about something that my musical backgroud taught me. I work with some young musicians in youth worship. They remind me a lot of myself at that age (13 or 14). Being on stage they just want to be heard. They are not concerned about blending with the rest of the music that is going on. And if the ylearn something cool in the practice room, they are going to use it, whether it fits or not. Reminds me of when I first learned how to play a high A on the sax. I played it every chance I got for about six months. It didn't matter what key we were playing in, during my solo I was going to play a high A. I didn't care what the rest of the band sounded like, as long as I looked good during my solo, that is all I cared about. I would play louder than any other instruments when I didn't have a solo, I just wanted to be heard so people could identify me. It would be like the running back that rushed for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns that is happy even though his team lost. What a road of maturity to becoming a team player. I have a competitive side to me that strives for the spotlight and pressure. I want the ball in the fourth quarter, I want the big solo at the climax, I want the glory for when it succeeds and the blame when it fails. It is really a struggle sometimes to sit back and be a team player. I have never done anything in my life where I haven't taken control and become the natural leader. I am that AAAA personality. I think that is a gift that God has given me, but one that I have been trying to control. There are some things in my life where I work directly under someone. There is one person in my life that I see as a leader that I would follow anywhere. To become a team player for him is easy. 1) I believe there is no way I could ever lead better or even close to him and 2) I have faith and believe in his vision. For him, I would sit in the backstage area and control the smoke machine. No one would ever see me, and I would be the ultimate team player. There are other things that drive me crazy being a support member and not being able to lead. There is one case in particular that drives me crazy. I feel 100% sure I could do a much better job and what is taking place is inefficient and ineffective. I find myself struggling to get motivated to keep on, even knowing that it would all fall apart without me. I have matured to the point that I don't need the attention and the gratification from others. However I still need to feel good about what I do. I believe the Lord has given me such passion and ambition for a reason, now he is probably trying to teach me patience before he can use me to do his work. This has been an unorganized typing of thoughts. If you have made it this far, which I doubt, tune in to my next post which I will have my thoughts in order and my points organized. "The trial of being humble and ambitious."

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Three Years...

Well today my wife and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. We went to eat at my favorite place in the world, Erna's Elderberry House. It is the only 5 diamond restaruant on the west coast. It will be an experience, and expect to pay (about $400 per couple), but it is well worth it. Three years must seem like such a short time to many people. However, I have grown 300 years spiritually and mentally in those 3 years. Many people put importance on becoming a parent, as well they should. returns over 5,000 hits for parenting. What about becoming a husband? Shouldn't you learn to walk before you run? It seems in this day and age that marriage has become obsolete. It is simple to end unlike a child. My wife and I have had hard times in our three years that many people would have called it quits. I don't have any radical advice or ways to change the way our society views marriage, but it ticks me off. All I can say is talk to those single young men like no one ever talked to me. Be a mentour of someone so they can lean on you and you can pick them back up when they fall and fail as a husband and leader of their household. There are few real men left in our world.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I have taken a four day vacation in the middle of tax season. I am paying for it now as I look at my stack of tax returns that have come in during that time. Vacation? I think not. That is what they call it when you take an extended time away from your work. Well I was with 58 Jr High kids (only 22 signed up). So despite all the initial stress of dealing with more than double the amount of kids, and the neighbor getting extrememly angry, we had a very successful event. We prepared over 500 lunches and took down to the highly poulated homeless community in downtown Fresno. The kids were very tentative at first, but were soon running lunches to people with huge smiles on their faces. MY wife took some powerfun pictures and I will have them posted here shortly. Now that I am back in the office after 4 days off I should be refreshed right??? HARDLY! Next time I take four days off I am going to make sure their is a lake or pool, an umbrella, a lounge chair, and a Pina Colada involved! In all seriousness, the event was a lot of work, and stressful, but extremely powerful. All of us (staff and kids) really took a step back and thank God for what he has given us. What he has given us should not be so we may live in comfort and luxury. What he has given us should be resources and tools so we are able to bless others and share the joy of his kingdom.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

JR Outreach Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005


It is 11pm and I haven't begin to think of loss. I have been involved in ministry full time for about 3 days, and my day has seemed to involve counseling those that have been committed for much longer. How does God use me that way? I guess those times I feel guilty about when I was far from the path have become a testimony or warning about what can happen when a 20-something succomes to temptation.
But now my mentor Pat (insert link here to TWO BLONDE BOYS if I knew how they are the link on the right) has talked about loss. I am reminded about 10 years ago when I read about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (yes I am that young it was only ten years ago). What would it be like to watch your own funeral. I have been to a funeral with about 15 people and I have been to one where you had to walk 15 minutes just to get on the church grounds. The latter just happens to be someone who has influenced my life more than anyone thus far. He was my music teacher for 6 years that died of a heart attack at 45. Many only remember Paul as the Crazy young guy who played lead trumpet for Glenn Miller Orchestra and Maynard Ferguson. This is a man that loved his family so much he gave up the "success" he could have reached as a musician and took a job at San Joaquin Memorial whose big band featured 9 members for $18,000 a year. That is what I call a large combo. It was frustrating to hear people I considered men of God only be able to reference his party days of college, as I imagine many people I went to music school could be able to tell about me. Why is it that many people who know you your whole life can ignore the changes you make and still only remember you for the person you used to be. Paul is known for being a great educator. I will tell you being a student of 6 years that as much as the education world thinks her taught about music, their was always a life lesson involved. This post would last forever if I were to list all. I am reminded of something he said in 1996. As great of a runner Carl Lewis was, the Olympic team was worried about him being on the relay team. "You can be the greatest solo performance of all time, but if you do not know how to pass the baton, you are worth nothing." It seemed like 30 seconds of his 15 minute talk was about music. But that is all anyone who ever heard our band would ever think about. He created musicians. I disagree, he taught people how to think like unselfish people, and at the same time how to play great music. I hope everyday Paul had a relationship with Christ so I can talk with him daily about such things in eternity.

Pat quoted Hugh Hewitt and I am afraid if I do not get it exactly right...So forgive me. "Be that answer to as many people in life as possible...Who has had a drastic impact on your life?" PAt if you could help me out with the exact quote that would be great.
So I think about funerals. What would mine be like if it were held tomorrow? I need to look in an unselfish way a stadium with lines down the street with live video feeds all across the country. Not because I am vein, but because if that is reality, I will feel like I have touched as many people as possible and shared the good news of Christ in every opportunity. I think of a funeral as every person that ever saw Christ in your life. How many people would attend? The person who cut you off at Blackstone and Nees??? Maybe the norm is giving the finger except you wave and smile. Maybe the waiter that seems to be having a bad day you don't complain and leave no tip. I don't want the seats at my funeral to be only those whom I have lead to Christ through God. I imagine a scene in which everyone that has ever seen Christ like actions in mine attends. Sometimes I see 15-20 show. Sometimes a stadium full. We need to be living our lives so that when we perish (from the earth not from eternity) there will not be enough space and time for everyone to say their goodbyes. Live everyday as it was your last. Go out and touch people and make the moment you encounter them a life changing experience!!! GO!!!! Make people miss your funeral because it took 3 hours to find a parking place!


The last two days people have looked at me and wondered what is wrong with me. The trees are blooming and I have so much benedryl in my system I am amazed I can put one foot in front of the other. This may be why I don't appear to be "myself" at first glance. I have taken on the project of trying to plan a 24 hour Jr. High event in 5 days. Seems easy enough to a casual observer. But 10-12 hours at the church working to coordinate such an event and get as much donated as possible can drain you. Not to mention a stack of tax returns to come home to (which is the only income source so should not be neglected). Most people would complain about working such hours. I have never felt more alive and utilized in my life. When you lay your head down on your pillow and you have not an ounce of energy left in your body, and you don't need Letterman or the History Channel to help you fall asleep, you know you have had a productive day. IT is a good feeling. So when I lay down to sleep and still feel refreshed and full of energy, I am going to have to ask myself, "Did I give my all today for the Lord and expanding his kingdom." When it is time for bed (on a work day) and I don't feel my knees buckle as I collapse onto the mattress thinking, "I thought this moment would never arrive" I will know I did not give God everything I had that day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

In the beginning...

Well this might only be relevant if it actuall makes it to the blog. My wonderful wife Liege and my friend and mentour Pat have got me going here. As I learn HTML I might be able to have those names have a link. In the meantime my wife has taught me how to edit the links so go check out their blogs until I get a little more comfortable and learn this language of:
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