1 Week Left!

20 05 2011

The time is here. Next Saturday, May 28, 2011, is graduation day for New Life School of Worship students. Words and phrases that come to mind are: excited, relieved, bitter-sweet, I’ll miss it, I’m ready to move on, but probably the most accurate emotion I have is “I’m ready”. I’m ready to get plugged back into Lifeway, my home church in Celina, Tx. I almost feel like I’m start fresh again and so I’m ready for whatever God has for me.

For those of you who are reading this blog post who have ever had to move your family you’ll know first hand what we’ve been going through recently. Knowing we have to be moved back to Celina by June 1 there has been a level of stress on our part of needing to find a place to move into when we get back home. Yes I know God has it under control but sometimes my “human-ness” gets the better of me and the stress begins to build. I called a good friend, David Kinsey, who is in the real estate business in town and asked that he help us start looking for a house to rent. He quickly got back to me and said there were a total of 6 houses listed for rent in the whole city of Celina. Not good for someone trying to move in. We had planned for Diana to go home for a few days and spend her time there driving around house hunting. But in a matter of a week, he located a house, gave me his recommendations and went and looked at the house with my mother on our behalf, sent an application to the other agent and today we have a house to move into. Thank you Lord and thank you David. There has been a great opportunity here that God allowed us as parents to take advantage of, the opportunity to teach our children to be prayers. For the last month we have prayed with our kids that God would provide us with a house. Diana even added a few specifics as to what kind of house she was praying for and the kids made sure that those specifics made their way into their prayers too. And because God is so cool and loves giving good gifts to his children all of what Diana was praying for is in this house. Yeah God!

Please keep us in your prayers as we pack up our apartment and make our trek back down to Texas. Specifically as we travel on Memorial Day, for safe travel on the busy roads.

Thank you to all who have made it possible for me and my family to be where God has called us and we shall see many of you very soon.


Third and Final Module

22 03 2011

Wow! Has the time ever flown by. Yesterday began my last module in the New Life School of Worship and it appears to be shaping up to be a great one. On Mondays and Wednesdays I’ll have a very practical Applied Music Theory class where it takes the “head” knowledge of theory and puts it into practice on an instrument, writing band charts as well as charting out vocal harmony parts, and then the Worship Practicum class. This class covers the details of choosing your setlist; what factors you should consider when choosing songs and then towards the end we’ll have to choose a music set (song list) and a band, rehearse and then lead worship for a group of people who will be critiquing and grading us. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my Systematic Theology class and Songwriting class taught by Jared Anderson. I’m thinking that the theology class would be better named the Reading Theology class. The class syllabus indicated we’ll be reading about 750 pages. Ugh. Songwriting… I’m really excited about this one. Out of all the classes I’ve taken here, when it comes to writing songs, I feel mostly like a three legged fish but it is definetly an area that I want to develop. Well that’s all for now. Pray for us if we cross your mind. We’ll be house hunting AGAIN in about 6 weeks and moving back to Celina in 10 weeks. It will be here before we know it.


Rate Your Worship Leader!

12 09 2010
As a service to churches around the world, here is an easy rating system by which to analyze to what degree your worship leader is a metrosexual.

1. Has a faux hawk hair style = +1

2. Has more product in his hair than your wife = +1

3. Has Rob Bell, black rimmed glasses = +1

4. They are not prescription, but just for effect = +2

5. Attends the Catalyst Conference = +3

6. Performs at the Catalyst Conference = +10

7. Owns Puma, Vans or Diesel sneakers = +2 per each pair

8. Wears jeans on stage = +1

9. Wears designer jeans on stage = +2

10. Wears Wrangler or Rustler jeans on stage = -3

11. Has a goatee = +2

12. Wears one of those Castro revolution looking hats = +2

13. Drinks coffee on stage = +1

14. Drinks some kind of coffee you did not know existed = +2

15. Brings a French Press on stage and makes his own coffee during service = +5

16. Has a handlebar mustache = -3

17. Good at Frisbee but hates getting all “sweaty” = +1

18. Has a haircut that covers one of his eyes while singing = +1

19. Owns a white belt = +2

20. Owns suspenders = -3

21. Wears a scarf with a t-shirt = +1

22. Wears a winter knit hat even in the summer = +2

23. You think he covered a My Chemical Romance song last week = +3

24. Drives an Audi or VW, silver of course = +2

25. Uses the words, “postmodern, relevant” or “emergent” nonstop = +2

26. Cringes a little when people say the “H word.” (Hymnal) = +3

27. Has ever said some form of the phrase, “That song is so 1990s” = +1

28. Owns a Grizzly Adams red and black flannel shirt = -2

29. Named his kid after a color or a number = +2

30. References Norwegian punk bands you’ve never heard of = +2

31. Wears a tie = -1

32. Wears a tie as a belt = +2

33. Looks as if he might exfoliate = +2

34. Has a man bag or European Carry All = +2

35. Brings said bag on stage with him = +2

36. Has a tattoo = +2

37. Has a visible tattoo = +4

38. Wife accompanies him on stage and plays tambourine = -4

39. Was formerly in a punk new wave band = +2

40. Knows the names of all the people on the scripted MTV show, “the Hills” = +3

41. Refuses to drink anything but Vitamin Water = +2

42. Your wife ever says, “he needs a barrette for his hair.” = +2

43. Has a nickname with “the” in it, as in “the edge,” = +2

44. Owns every Nooma video = +2

45. Has a soul patch = +3

46. Won’t play barefoot on stage until he gets a pedicure = +2

47. Refers to California as “the left coast” = +2

48. Currently subscribes to Dwell or Details magazine = +2

49. Owns a pair of lady jeans = +2

50. Twitters you from his iPhone = +2

51. His toddler dresses cooler than you = +2

52. He wears graphic t-shirts over button down, long sleeve shirts = +2

53. Ever says “we got a hot mic here” = -4

54. Shops at the Gap = 0

55. Shops at Urban Outfitters = +2

Total: _____?_______

(back-tracking) What we’re doing in Colorado

11 09 2010

I realized that some of you who read my blog may have missed some key info. One minute I’m living in Celina, TX and the next I’m in Colorado Springs, CO. Well for your sake I will back-track a little and get you caught up.

I have stepped down from my job at Lifeway Church as their Worship Pastor to attend the New Life School of Worship in Colorado Springs, CO. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for several years but haven’t had peace from God to pursue it, but rather felt He was saying to be patient and wait for His timing. However, through wise counsel and spending time with God I have discerned it is undeniable that He is saying, “Now is the time!”

The question I’ve been asked most frequently is, “Why?”

A few years ago I was asked the question, “If you could be a professional at one thing, what would you like to be professional at?” My answer was fast and easy. I said, “I want to be a professional worship pastor.” Now, I don’t mean that I have any aspirations of wanting to become the next big thing to hit the Christian music scene, but I do want to become proficient at what I know God has called me to do. Just so we’re on the same page in our definition of “professional”, my definition of a professional is someone who is not only “good” or even “great” at what they do but they understand the “why” behind what they do and can then turn and teach someone else to do it. And not just share some tips and tricks they picked up along the way that only works for them, but to be able to teach successful principles that work for everyone.
I once hear heard Mark Hall (lead singer for Casting Crowns) being interviewed about a project he was collaborating on with Steven Curtis Chapman. He was asked the question, “What was it like working with such a legend in the Christian Music industry as Steven Curtis Chapman?” His answer became my inspiration. He said that working with Chapman he very quickly realized that he was in the presence of someone who was a true “master of his craft”. The scripture in Proverbs immediately came to my mind and has since become a driving force in my life:

“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.”
Proverbs 22:29

With all my heart I want to offer the Lord my very best. I want to be able to leverage the gifts, talents, abilities and desires He has given me to help others find and follow Jesus Christ. I believe that is what being a wise steward is. Being content with mediocrity will not get that job done.

While my mind was still trying to wrap around this idea of becoming a “master craftsman” God prompted me with another verse from King David:

“…I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.”
1 Samuel 24:24

I am reminded of something that happened to Diana and me when we were first married.
After the wedding we, like most people, waited until we were settled in to our new apartment together to open our wedding gifts. Before opening this one particular box we of course first read the card to see who it was from then proceeded to open the box. Inside was a nice porcelain fruit bowl and a matching pitcher. However, inside the pitcher was another unopened card. So, not wanting to miss out on a possible card with money in it I opened that card as well except the “well wishes” were not to me or Diana but rather was to the person who gave us the gift. Yes, we had been “re-gifted!”

If I only serve God with the talents and abilities He gave me and never take the time or make the sacrifices necessary to cultivate those gifts I have really offered him nothing he has not already given me.

Becoming a professional will not come easy nor will it come fast. It will require a lot of hard work and many sacrifices.

The time will come when I stand before God and in response to His Holiness, I will bow before Him and I will lay my crowns at His feet. When that time comes I want to give him a massive crown. I want to say with excitement and anticipation, “God you freely and graciously gave me these abilities to reach out to those who didn’t know you and by your favor and grace I cultivated those gifts and was able to reach many more people.” I passionately want to hear him say on that day, “Good and well done my faithful servant!”

My family and I are on an exciting journey and I hope you will stay connected by subscribing to this blog. We covet your prayers and support.

Jeremy, Diana and family

Our “New Life” in Colorado Springs

17 08 2010

Well we have begun to settle into our new apartment and we are now down to those famous last few boxes. You know the ones that you question whether you should find a place for the stuff or just get rid of it all. I vote to get rid of it! (insert a manly Tim the Tool Man Taylor grunt here)

All of us are still not feeling quite 100%. The locals tell us that it usually takes at least 6 weeks to get fully acclimated to the altitude of the city, which according to the Garmin GPS is approx. 6800 ft. Another adjustment that has proven challenging are the roads around here. At least the multiple directions that they travel. It’s not like our small rural town where for the most part county roads run pretty straight, North and South or East and West. Here, one minute I’m headed North, then East, then North and then the road will actually turn West and eventually back North again. I’m sure I will eventually get my bearings and won’t have to rely solely on the GPS or Google Maps to find my way around.

Last Sunday was our first Sunday to attend New Life Church. It was fantastic! Jared Anderson led worship and the teaching was brought by Pastor Brady Boyd. (Pastor Brady is formerly of Gateway Church in Southlake, TX) He did make a couple of jokes at Texas during his sermon, mostly about the heat. And since it was 104 deg in Celina when we packed our Uhaul truck and 75 deg when we arrived in Colorado Springs, just this once I let him slide. After the service was over my social butterfly of a wife had already met about 100 different people. One couple in particular had just moved back to Colorado Springs recently and was telling us a little of their past and about their children. When they asked where we were from Diana replied, “Dallas.” We figured it was much more recognizable than Celina. They then asked where in Dallas so I said we were from a small town north of Dallas named Celina. The husbands eyes opened wide and said, “I’ve eaten at your Burger Fixins!” The world really is a small place! We drove 800+ miles, attended a new church which runs on average of 15000 people and the couple we choose to sit beside has eaten at our local burger joint back in Texas. Amazing!

Braden, our 6 year old, started 1st grade this week. He’s so excited he get’s to ride the bus this year the long 3/4 mile journey to his school. Cruz will start doing some workbooks at home to prepare him for Kindergarten next year and Mia… well she’ll just be her normal little bossy 2 year old self.

I still have a couple more weeks before my school starts (New Life School of Worship) after Labor Day. I finally received our reading list for Module 1 and hope to get a head start on the book list.

Thank you to everyone who had a part and continues to have a part in this journey that my family and I are on to help others find and follow Christ.

Weekend with the family

27 04 2010

My family and I just enjoyed a VERY relaxing weekend with some good friends in San Antonio, TX. We went to a place called Cascade Falls and toured a natural cavern, which was my first time to be that far under ground, and pretty much just relaxed the rest of the time. We did go to Boerne, TX which is a small town outside of San Antonio and enjoyed a small town square, some football and ice cream. My kids found a fountain and the next thing a I new they jumped in. They had a blast. It’s amazing how little effort or money it really does take to give your kids an unforgettable experience. From now on, forget Disney World, just give them a Motel 6 with a swimming pool and I’m the king of the world. At least for a couple of more years anyway.

[Vimeo http://vimeo.com/11560740 w=500&h=400]


2 04 2010

I love being a dad!