Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mark Roach

My copy of Worship Leader magazine came in the mail yesterday and I was pleased to see fellow re:create-er Mark Roach featured on the compilation CD. "As Long As I Have You" isn't my favourite song of his ("You Are" wins that fight) but it is definitely a solid congregational song.

I couldn't find Mark on iTunes but that doesn't mean he's not there - I've been having issues with it since I decided to upgrade to 7.1.1. Silly Canadian.

Sunday, March 25 Recap

The last week of our "Generous Living" series. The last service before our Celebration Sunday on April 1. Two weeks before Good Friday & Easter Sunday. Three or four weeks before my daughter comes.

Needless to say, I am going b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

Here's what we did this past Sunday. Sorry I don't have any deep thoughts or wisdom to pass along. God is so good and we were honoured to be in His presence on Sunday morning and sing praises to Him.

Sunday, March 25, 2007 - "Generous Living"
Proverbs 3:5-6
Beautiful One - Tim Hughes
Lord Reign In Me - Brenton Brown

All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises - Paul Baloche
Open The Eyes Of My Heart - Paul Baloche
Step By Step
- Rich Mullins

Today - Brian Doerksen & Sandra Gage

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Productivity helpers

A few weeks ago I spent the weekend away with my family and some friends of ours up north. Yes, Americans, I already live up north - but we went up north-er! Since things at the church had been crazy busy for a little while, I decided that I would leave all tech gadgets - laptop, cell phone, PDA, etc - at home and "go dark" for a weekend - primarily because I've found that my degree of connectedness is not really related to my degree of productivity.

As an artist and a procrastinator, getting things done is a big challenge for me. I will naturally work on 5 or 6 projects at a time and do them piece by piece rather tha sit down and just focus on finishing one thing. It drives my wife crazy but for some reason that's how I work best.
I've developed a couple of my own systems for making sure that I DO get things done - with all these little things on the go, I'm notorious for forgetting things. At work I have little notes taped to the inside of my office door that remind me to check tomorrow's calendar before I go home. At home there's a little notepad where I write something down as soon as I remember that I need to do it.

I'm also big on finding productivity tools - this year I bought an HP iPaq and that has really been a big help for me because I have my calendar with me wherever I go. It has wifi so if I'm on the road I'm able to check email and sync it with my office Outlook - pretty cool.

Here's my latest in my quest for productivity -

The Action Book was designed by the Behance team and is based on the Action
Method. The four distinct zones on each page provide a flexible template to get
the most out of meetings and everyday brainstorm sessions (see usage guidelines
Your Passion is your work, treat it well. The Action Book's cover is
a unique suede-to-the-touch hard cover. The pages are made of 80lb Premium Blend
paper with a subtle texture (30% post-consumer recycled), printed full bleed,
double perforated, and three-hole punched between both perforations for maximum
The Action Book is part of Behance's Action Method product
line, the first in a series of Behance projects to help creative professionals
boost productivity and make ideas happen. The Action Method was designed to help
us push projects forward by organizing our ideas and focusing on action steps.
An accordion-style pamphlet on how to practice the Action Method accompanies
every product.

I've ordered one and I'll report back when it arrives.. But I'm pretty excited about trying it out.

Anyone else have productivity tools or tips that they use?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sunday, March 18 Recap

We run two services on Sunday morning at OBC and generally both are identical in content. We sometimes will end up running things a little different - an extra chorus here, longer intro there, etc - but normally things seem to flow pretty much the same during both the 9:00 & 11:00 services.

This was not the case on Sunday morning.

After our first service we thought we needed to add an additional song before Earl came to speak. We had a package of two songs and then had planned to do another closing song ("Hear Our Praises") at the end of the service. We decided to move that song and join it in with the pre-message packge.

I'm not sure why or how or what even happened but at a point during "Lord I Give You My Heart" I opened my eyes and people everywhere - from the front to the back, as they say - had their hands raised, eyes closed and were genuinely engaged in worship. I had one of those little "oh, this is going to be fun" giggly moments and kept going through the song. The last bit of that chorus is so powerful - "Every breath that I take/Every moment I'm awake/Lord, have Your way in me" - great lyric! so powerful! so scary to sing it and actually mean it!

And then we began slowly in to "Hear Our Praises" and as we went from the verse to the chorus and then back to the top again, the place just erupted. It was incredible. In my time at OBC I have never heard people sing so loud. I backed away from the mic (which I often do - it's good for people to hear each other singing) and just let the congregation carry the song. We did the chorus at the end a couple of times and all of a sudden the congregation broke out in applause. I got chills. The song was over and I just sort of stood there, a little bit stunned. I wasn't sure what to say - but that's fine, cause we had already just said it. We had entered in to the presence of God and had sung and spoken words of praise and honour to Him. And I got to be there to witness it. What a moment!

Sunday, March 18, 2007 - "Generous Living"
2 Corinthians 8&9

Ancient of Days - Jamie Harvill & Gary Sadler
Forever - Chris Tomlin
Doxology & additional chorus - Traditional & Chris Vacher

You're Worthy Of My Praise - David Ruis
Lord I Give You My Heart - Reuben Morgan
Hear Our Praises - Reuben Morgan

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Today's a good day.

First thing I see when I come in to my office every day -

God saved us and called us to a holy calling,
not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace,
which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.
2 Timothy 1:9


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sunday, March 11 Recap

So I mentioned last week that I was excited about what we were doing on Sunday morning but didn't give too many details. I don't get excited like Perry Noble does, but that's okay - God made us all different.

As we've been working through this series of Generous Living I've been really challenged to think about my motivation for giving - do I give because I have lots? do I give because I expect God to reward me? do I give because I want other people to enjoy what I've got too? Earl's message on Sunday was basically this - we give because we are gripped by the grace of God. Simple. Awesome. Life-changing, no?

So as a picture of this grace being at the centre of what we do, we wanted to set up our auditorium in a way that people would recognize this in our service on Sunday. At OBC we typically share communion on the second Sunday of each month so it perfect with our service this week.

Normally our auditorium looks like this - pretty typical audience/stage setup:

Here's a few pictures of how we did things on Sunday -

Basically we centred the whole room around our communion table. Looking at these pictures it makes me realize that we must be good Baptist - doesn't matter how you set the chairs up, nobody will ever sit in the front row :)

We had our musicians - keys, guitar, drums, bass, one vocalist - on the front part of our stage (you can see me playing keys in the second photo) and then three additional vocalists in with the congregation basically between each section of chairs. I was really impressed with how well our musicians pulled it off - it isn't very easy to be separated like this and be able to maintain a consistent sound throughout the whole service but I thought it went great. Having the vocalists in with the congregation allowed everyone who was seated to have someone to look at.

Instead of using our normal projection, we printed songsheets with lyrics for all of the songs. This made some of our people happy cause they thought it was a step closer to going back to hymnals :)

Here's our songlist -

Sunday, Marh 11, 2007 - "Generous Living"
2 Corinthians 8:1-5
Holy Is The Lord - Chris Tomlin & Louie Giglio
Holy, Holy, Holy - John Dykes & Reginald Heber

There Is No One Else Like You - Robin Mark
Shout To The Lord - Darlene Zschech

Offering - Paul Baloche
May The Words Of My Mouth - Tim Hughes & Rob Hill

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Kinder Egg Surprise Stargate Commercial

This one's for my focus-challenged friend Rich from California..

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sunday, March 4 Recap

Sunday, February 25, 2007 - "Generous Living"
Matthew 6:19-24

Filled With Your Glory - Tim Neufeld
Yesterday, Today & Forever - Vicky Beeching

Everyday - Joel Houston
Better Is One Day - Matt Redman

Blessed Be Your Name - Matt & Beth Redman

I thought our service on Sunday morning was great! I found things to be a bit of a challenge trying to design a service around the idea of investing in things that have eternal significance - treasures in heaven - rather than things that will just disappear and waste away - treasures on earth. One of the things we tried to do with this service was to contrast our daily commitment to Christ while at the same time expressing that desire we have to be with God in heaven for eternity.

We did something a little different this week and included a drama in our service this week. We don't do that very often but as part of our BEYOND segment we used a drama to emphasize the importance of prayer in our lives individually as well as corporately.

The drama was pulled off well and the point was made but we did have a quick little discussion afterwards about how much work went in to preparing something and whether it was worth the impact. We definitely want the impact but we also have to be very mindful of how much time we're asking people to invest in a short segment of a single service. I'd be much more willing to see those hours invested on an on-going basis in one of the ministries of our church.

On another note, I'm really excited about this Sunday - I will try and take pictures and explain as best as I can why we are choosing to do what we are doing this week.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Real Canadians!!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

So we've got this really great thing in Canada called Tim Horton's. For those of you who live in southern Canada (Buffalo, Cleveland, Seattle) you're probably familiar with this incredible cultural institution.

A couple of times a year Tim Horton's unleashed the "Roll Up The Rim" promotion where they give away tons of stuff - and Canadians go bananas for it!!

The CORRECT way to pronounce it - as demonstrated in this video - is to roll the r's. So it's actually "Rrrrrrroll Up The Rrrrim".

We Canadians like being entertained.