Archive for May, 2007

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Dreams

May 30, 2007

Dreams are downright bizarre sometimes.  Case in point.  Three nights ago at about 3:30 I woke up to my daughter saying she had to go potty.  As I gained consciousness…I remembered with vivid detail the dream I was just coming out of. 

Standing in what seemed to be a church setting….I was staring into the face of William Shatner….William who was looking very cross eyed, dizzy, and not doing well at all.  Of course in my dream there was a logical explanation for this…he had just accidentally drank some antifreeze.  Before I could ponder how to help him…..we were traveling on top of a train in the wild west, and now Mr.  Shatner had on a leather mask over his whole head with no eye holes, and a leather sleeve over one arm which was facing out from him….of course to handle the massive eagle which I watched swoop him up into the air and fly for a while next to the train.  It was at this moment that I began to hear my daughter’s voice and I woke up.  Too bad…I hope William recovered and that the eagle was a nice eagle.

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Make the first move

May 25, 2007

Head_butt

O.K. so I know you’ve been there.  You’re in a conflict with someone you love….the conversation has risen to a pretty tense level, neither side wanting to back down.  Secretly, inside, even if you haven’t defined it in a conscious thought, you are craving for the other person to extend a loving word, or gesture.  You are also screaming inside that you wish you would do the same but the pride is choking out any move having to do with love.

If you’re married…who generally does this first?  You or your spouse?  And what happens when one of you does that?  Immediately the tension can melt away, proving right or wrong becomes so less important, and love wins out. 

Who makes this move in your relationship with God?  Easy.  God, every time, no question.  God always makes the first move of love in our relationship.  It’s His example we should follow in our other relationships!  Because really…..when it comes to God verses me…who is always right? And yet He always makes the first move, starting with the cross.

Rom 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were yet sinners…Christ died for us.

So….the next conflict you find yourself in, follow Christ’s example and make the first move to extend love..watch what happens!

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Make the first move

May 25, 2007

Head_butt

O.K. so I know you’ve been there.  You’re in a conflict with someone you love….the conversation has risen to a pretty tense level, neither side wanting to back down.  Secretly, inside, even if you haven’t defined it in a conscious thought, you are craving for the other person to extend a loving word, or gesture.  You are also screaming inside that you wish you would do the same but the pride is choking out any move having to do with love.

If you’re married…who generally does this first?  You or your spouse?  And what happens when one of you does that?  Immediately the tension can melt away, proving right or wrong becomes so less important, and love wins out. 

Who makes this move in your relationship with God?  Easy.  God, every time, no question.  God always makes the first move of love in our relationship.  It’s His example we should follow in our other relationships!  Because really…..when it comes to God verses me…who is always right? And yet He always makes the first move, starting with the cross.

Rom 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were yet sinners…Christ died for us.

So….the next conflict you find yourself in, follow Christ’s example and make the first move to extend love..watch what happens!

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Envy

May 18, 2007

This weekend I am singing at a marriage conference at Good Shepherd. A friend of mine asked if I wanted to sing with him and another gal and help facilitate worship during the conference. We had our practice this week…and both of the singers are VERY talented, and 4 times the singer I am.

The nice Christian way of putting this would be to say how “humbling” this was. The more authentic way of saying it would be that I struggled with being envious. Envious of their gifts. Ever been there?

Envy is an emotion that "occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it."[1] At the core of envy seems to be an upward social comparison that threatens a person’s self-esteem:

Yippee. Thank you Wikipedia, you’ve been quite helpful. I am grateful to you for not posting my picture next to your little definition.

There are two passages that immediately come to my mind, that speak to me and encourage me when it comes to dealing with envy. Colossians 3:23: 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

God didn’t call me to be that person, or use that person’s gifts for His glory. He called me to use my gifts with all my heart, for Him, for His glory.

The other passage comes from Matthew 25…the parable of the talents. It’s long..so I’ll paraphrase. If you want to read it starts on verse 14. I can’t choose how talented God made me. I can only choose what I will do with it. Will I complain and be envious that I didn’t receive as much as the next guy? Or will I take what I have been given and use it to bring glory to Him?

God can and does consistently use and multiply the gifts of “less” talented people to bring glory to Himself. I don’t want to bury what He’s given me. I want to use it. What about you? Concerned that you don’t have what it takes in any certain area that you feel passionate about and someone else does? Question: Who gave you the passion? Who has the power to use your passion combined with His resource and strength? Two choices…use what you have and trust God for the rest…or dwell in envy, bury what you do have and become wholly ineffective.

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I hate goodbyes

May 18, 2007

One of the best things about my job is the people I work with.  One of those people has been Robert Hawthorne..who has led the choir at Sunset for the last year and a half.  Robert is resigning…here is Robert in his own words.

Dear Sunset Community,

I have tendered my resignation as director of New Covenant Choir, effective the end of the choir season on May 20th. What a joy it has been to serve in this capacity over the last year and a half. It was an unexpected appointment to direct the choir, one born out of an immediate need for a director and a calling I felt to serve in that hour of need. After 22 years of music ministry in other churches, the time with New Covenant was clearly the most meaningful. Working with Jay and Julie was a pure delight. As choir director at Southridge High School and the father of two young children, the combination has been more than I can handle. God is calling me to devote my energy at this time to my family and to Southridge. Wendy and I, along with our two children, Hannah and Isaac will continue to worship at Sunset, as we call Sunset our home. What was needed to get New Covenant back on it’s feet has been accomplished. Thank you for supporting me and New Covenant in our ministry.

Yours in the service of Christ,

Robert Hawthorne

It is rare that you get a chance to work with someone with as much care, compassion, and integrity as this man Robert has.  He has taught me so much, and he has taught our choir so much.  I count him as a dear friend, and I am so so grateful that he is not leaving Sunset!!

I am now praying about and searching for what and who God has next for this choir ministry at Sunset.  Whomever God brings will have a strong foundation to build on thanks to Robert.

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Spiritual Life Survey

May 12, 2007

Our church is currently taking a spiritual life survey.  I just took it.  It was convicting!   But it will also be a great tool for our church to take a pulse of where our congregation is at.  It’s completely anonymous.  If you go to Sunset…take a moment and do the survey if you haven’t already.

http://www.a2now.com/survey07

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Heaven smiles on me

May 9, 2007

Recently I have realized I’ve got to do something to get healthy.  No matter what the cost, I’ll endure it.  I need something with vitamins and minerals that I can ingest on a regular basis, to make me healthy and strong.

That’s why I am pleased to announce that I have decided to start drinking for my health, in the form of DIET COKE PLUS!!!!!

431754942_277e595be7_3 With VITAMINS AND MINERALS!!! FIVE VITAMINS AND MINERALS!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  In the history of America there have been 5 great accomplishments, including man on the moon, and the remote control.  Now…bursting into the top 5 is a bubbly, cold little heavenly concoction known formerly as the nectar of the god’s….and now remamed the nectar of the god’s plus…with five vitamins and minerals your body needs.

"Jay, have you lost weight?" 

"Jay, why is your skin so smooth?"

"Jay, is your back straighter??"

"Jay, you look younger!"

"Jay…what in the world are you doing different??"

Many  questions….same answer….

DIET COKE PLUS.   

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When God answers

May 5, 2007

I love my job.  If I were working in construction or mortgages or whatever, I would no doubt still be singing and involved in music so the fact that I get to do it weekly at Sunset is a huge blessing.  I have been praying and searching for months about who God would bring along side me in my role as the work load has greatly increased with the additional service format change that we began at the beginning of the year.

God answered by providing not one, but two people who have joined me weekly to help in what it takes to make Sunday’s happen at Sunset.  Jill Hofer, who has been playing piano for the choir and on worship teams is now helping me with creating charts for the band to read for the songs we play.  She is VERY good at both playing music and charting it…and she has already been a HUGE help to the bands as we prepare the music each week. 

In addition, Aaron Soule who has been drumming for Sunset for 6 plus years, has begun assisting in recruiting, scheduling and shaping the bands as we head into the summer.  He will also be helping to make many things that are already great at Sunset in regards to worship and the arts…better.  His official title is Praise Band Director, and Jill’s is Assistant Praise Band director.   I will post both of their pictures on this post when they send them to me so you can know who these two people are!

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Laughter

May 4, 2007

So many things point to how awesome God is….and to me one of the biggest is laughter and humor.  I’m thrilled that He created the universe, has ultimate power, defeated death, loves me and I could go on and on.  But I’m so thankful that God created laughter. 

I imagine that Jesus is quick and generous with His smile.  And that if He were talking to me now, He would know exactly what to say to make me laugh no matter what.  Much the same way I can do with my daughter Macy when she’s upset. At least until she’s a teenager.  When I think about the people I’m closest to in life, it’s usually people that among other things I can laugh with freely.

This weekend at my church the theme is Life is too short not to laugh a lot.  I’m going to sit in the front row and laugh loudly and obnoxiously the whole service before Ron even finishes his sentences.  Just to support the theme.  Just kidding.

Here is a short list of proof God has a hilarious sense of humor.

*He made our armpits ticklish. He didn’t have to do that.

*Nose hair.  Do we really need it?  If so why do I keep trimming mine?

*Certain baboon body parts, the way penguins walk, and turtle’s necks….I could go on forever about animals.

*Have you ever really just stared at someone’s nose for a good two minutes?  I guarantee you if you concentrate completely on their nose and in particular the nostrils you will eventually laugh.  Images

*He designed our bodies, which means, He designed the fart.

Any more examples of God’s sense of humor?  I’d love to read them!

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Laughter

May 4, 2007

So many things point to how awesome God is….and to me one of the biggest is laughter and humor.  I’m thrilled that He created the universe, has ultimate power, defeated death, loves me and I could go on and on.  But I’m so thankful that God created laughter. 

I imagine that Jesus is quick and generous with His smile.  And that if He were talking to me now, He would know exactly what to say to make me laugh no matter what.  Much the same way I can do with my daughter Macy when she’s upset. At least until she’s a teenager.  When I think about the people I’m closest to in life, it’s usually people that among other things I can laugh with freely.

This weekend at my church the theme is Life is too short not to laugh a lot.  I’m going to sit in the front row and laugh loudly and obnoxiously the whole service before Ron even finishes his sentences.  Just to support the theme.  Just kidding.

Here is a short list of proof God has a hilarious sense of humor.

*He made our armpits ticklish. He didn’t have to do that.

*Nose hair.  Do we really need it?  If so why do I keep trimming mine?

*Certain baboon body parts, the way penguins walk, and turtle’s necks….I could go on forever about animals.

*Have you ever really just stared at someone’s nose for a good two minutes?  I guarantee you if you concentrate completely on their nose and in particular the nostrils you will eventually laugh.  Images

*He designed our bodies, which means, He designed the fart.

Any more examples of God’s sense of humor?  I’d love to read them!