Chillin’ With My Creator | Coffee, Jesus, & Journaling

For each of us – our Jesus time looks a bit different. Ya know… that time we take to really connect with the Almighty.

I would so love to claim that time for me being in front of a piano or guitar during worship services – but the truth is.. during that time, I’m at work, albeit very wonderful, pleasing, & uplifting work…but still workI’m totally focusing on chords, improvising, listening to the rest of the band, & occasionally transposing on the spot. I can’t even really listen to music during my time with the Lord – I end up analyzing too much of the compositions – BAH!

My real time chillin’ with Jesus looks something like this – I’ll usually have one of my several journals out at a table, with one of my favorite pens, next to my pocket Bible. And if I’m fortunate enough – I do get to enjoy a tasty beverage (usually a Black Tea Lemonade or a dark roast coffee) during an already sweet time journaling. Emotionally & spiritually, this continually strengthens my walk & I can definitely tell a difference between the days I take time for this and the days I don’t.

… but that’s just me – I know a lot of people who go out running, or listen to praise music, or even just find a quiet place.  Everyone’s relationship with the Almighty looks a bit different.

What’s this time look like for you?

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A Leap Second | On Cursed Ground

Well, we’ve gained an entire second this year and what a second it has been! Of course, I

The Passage of Time

The Passage of Time (Photo credit: ToniVC)

just think they should have added the extra second to the New Year’s countdown in Time’s Square. At least we would’ve noticed it…perhaps.

Scientists say that the earth is spinning just a bit slow & the second is to make up for the time that can accumulate over time to avoid having nighttime during the day and summer in the winter and so forth.

For me, I’m just fascinated by man’s attempts to make tools to fit the creations of God. Even though this may not seem like a”painful toil” (Genesis 3:17), it is still of the cursed (slowly spinning) ground of the Earth AND man is still trying to fit the square peg to the inevitable round hole by having to adjust our tool of time to fit the earthly creation.

If only I could feel that extra second come 5am. Phew…

5 Tips to Make Your Worship Band Awesome Without Being a Virtuoso

1. Record Yourselves!

Audio levels shown on a Zoom H4n while recordi...

Audio levels shown on a Zoom H4n while recording Deutsch: Lautstärkeanzeige des Zoom H4n bei der Tonaufnahme (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That which is most painful will be most effective. The audio recorder doesn’t lie. You’ll hear

the tempo shift, missed notes, things musically that you think work..but actually don’t. It’s all there. Set an audio recorder in the front row (discreetly on a pew if you wanted) or even plugged into the mixing board. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but this will help you identify and fix numerous problems.

2. Rehearse! …

And not just before church either. Things need time to sink in; sleep on it and come back. And while everyone in the worship band has day jobs, it can be tough to schedule an evening once a week. But don’t forget, this is for the King of Kings! It’s a tithe of time, and not even 10% of your week!

3. Worship Bands Have Layers!

The praise and worship band is the symphony orchestra of the protestant church. Only at the climax of a composition should the whole orchestra be playing. And while that’s not completely true for the worship band, still the point is to know when and when not to play. Just because you have 7, 23, or 2 members, doesn’t mean you should be playing at the same time. Also; Playing something simple is often more effective than a flurry of notes (that’s you, guitar players!) Listen to what’s going on around you and play accordingly. …which brings me to my next point…

4. Where’s the Climax?

My composition professor would always ask this whenever I brought in a new composition for review “Where’s the climax…circle it!”As a band, identify where the climax of each song is and what each of you are playing at that point. From there, you can decide what and what not to play | who will and will not be playing when? Listen to some of your favorite songs.. ask yourself “Where is the climax?” You’ll be surprised with what you find. When you’re able to dynamically and instrumentally shape a song as a band, then will you sound tight and together; you will see the congregation respond.

5. Sing For Me a New Song

Whether or not you’re deciding to meet for rehearsals or not, this is an excellent opportunity for the band to come together and make something ‘their own.’ You’re already familiar with lead sheets (the words with the chords over them), so why not type up your own if you feel the calling. Present it to the worship leader if you’re a band member; to pastor if you’re the worship leader. Present it to the band and be creative! It’s a new way to signify to the congregation that good things are happening in your place of worship.