Archive for October, 2007


3 Years

October 29, 2007

I’m days away from being at Sunset for three years.  My experience here is like a snapshot of life in general.  Full of joy, heartache, pain, exhilaration, conflict, resolution, trials, victories and more.  Never a dull week, and would make a GREAT reality show. 

The people here are amazing, and have enriched my life.

Someday Lord willing I plan on writing a book on the lessons I have learned here.  But first I have to put what I’ve learned into practice, otherwise the book will make me look really foolish!


Organ Player

October 26, 2007

Travis This is Travis.  He works at the T-Mobile Kiosk at Clackamas Town Center.

Today…as I walked by with Macy, Travis stopped me and said, "Can I ask you a few questions?"

I said "Sure", and he asked away.  Here is how our conversation went.

Travis: "What’s your name?"

Jay: "Jay"

Travis: "May I ask you what you do?"

Jay: "I’m a music pastor."

Travis: Silence….."What?"

Jay: "A music pastor…..I…do music…at a church."

Travis: More awkward silence…then a gleam of understanding in his eye.."…do you like, play an organ?"

There was a little more conversation, but I could pretty much tell that Travis thought I’d better be heading to pick up my donkey’s from Valet parking, and be getting back to the farm before sundown.  He did have a very weird look on his face when I showed him my pocket pc and told him that I had a data connection, and sling box, etc etc.  He said, "Why do you need that phone when you work at a church?"

"I get a lot of email from my second cousins back East about Tractor pulling contests and cow tipping techniques."  I didn’t say that.

I was so intrigued with our conversation that later I came by and took his picture and left my card and told him I was going to blog about our dialog.  Thus…the above. Travis, thanks for the humor made me realize again how much work the Church has to go to become relevant in the eyes of the average Joe. If you read this, do comment..and I’d love to have you come out to Sunset sometime…heck..I may even switch to T-mobile if you do!


The State of You Address

October 24, 2007

This Sunday the message we are going to hear is the state of the church.  Where are we at?  Where have we been? Where are we going?  This is a crucial message on vision a church needs to hear not just one Sunday annually…but really in bits and pieces all through the year. Good vision brings hope.

Vision is like your car tire that keeps needing filling up for no reason.  Maybe there’s no visible hole, the tire appears fine, but it needs filling to keep running good and in top form, because air just sorta, seeps out.  Vision is the same way.  It seeps, and with it, hope.

In the Worship department this year we are focusing on this mantra, “So they will know Him”.   It’s the why behind it all. It symbolizes our vision. We are remembering that our ultimate goal as worship leaders is to connect people to Christ.  We know that a life without the hope of Jesus….is hopeless…and we are LONGING for people to catch a glimpse of what we know to be true about Him. And we know that the best chance of people knowing Him…is when we are as a ministry loving Him, and loving eachother.  And so we pray, and strategize, and plan, and meet, and practice, and pray some more, and sing, and play, and reach out, and give….not only because it’s our calling and we love to worship Him, but we also do it… “So they will know Him.” 

The state of a ministry, or a church, is ultimately determined, by the state of its people.  The other day I was examining the state of my own heart, asking myself honestly what type of condition was my heart in. Not physically, but my spiritual/emotional/discerning heart.  What about you?  What is the state of you today, of your heart? Can you stop or slow down enough to really think about that?

God..cares about what condition your heart is in today.  He knows that you and I, not only seep, but sometimes hit pot holes and have a blow out, or have our tires slashed, or face the extremes of life that seem to flatten us at an accelerated pace.  He cares. Go to Him with whatever state you find yourself presently in. 

2 Corinthians 16:9a

9 The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

Psalm 73:26 
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

See you in church on Sunday! (for those of you reading this that are going!)


awesome weekend

October 20, 2007


Lot’s of reasons…(these won’t be ministry related..just other life stuff…)

1. I’m finally feeling better..a lot better…and Allison is on the mend.

2. I switched my days off from Monday to I could see what two days off in a row feels like…and…I….love it.

3. Did some fun things with the fam..including the pumpkin patch and Red Robin…Cold Stone, Starbucks…etc etc..

4. My DVD recorder broke…and I got something in the mail from Best Buy saying my service plan for my dvd recorder was about to expire.  (I had forgotten I’d even purchased one!)

5. Michael Sainz found a way for the data connection on my cell phone to connect via blue-tooth to my laptop…thus ensuring internet connection even when away from any wireless signal….oh…and he did this at a coffee shop…where he gave me a free coupon…for a white chocolate peanut butter blended espresso frappucino…


  If you know me at know I am all or nothing…when it comes to being in shape…and lately…the needle has been pegged on…nothing..however I am about to declare another full on switch to all…as I have rescheduled my knee surgery for Jan 9th….Monday I will have exactly two and a half months to do something about it before I become prone (flat) for 6 weeks.

some pics from the weekend…this one at Red Robin…



Me…enjoying a peanut butter cookie at Starbucks…


The fam at the pumpkin patch…


Alli and Mace…101907_063

I wish I could make Macy smile for a picture…



October 17, 2007

Today was not just another day.  Today marked a huge milestone at Sunset where I work..because today Julie Reid tipped her toe back into ministry and leadership, after a long unscheduled break.  (Heart attack, open heart surgery etc).  It’s ironic that what caused the break was her heart…because its heart that she brings to this church in spades.  Most people have no idea the level of Godliness, care, excellence, and service she brings to the table..because she is content to remain behind the scenes with her quiet strength and humility.  But those that work with her know first hand her incredible worth and value. 

So if you felt a little strange today…like something big happened in the universe but you couldn’t quite place what it was….now you know.


rainbow freak out

October 15, 2007


Tonight there was a beautiful rainbow out our back window…..I showed Macy, and her response was….


I thought to myself as she praised God naturally that He probably has a huge smile on His face right now, and I wish I freaked out the same way she did.



October 12, 2007

This was a devotion I wrote for this weeks ministry update for our worship community at Sunset.  It’s called Heart.

Last Sunday I visited Bel Air Presbyterian in California.  Much like our church, they have two different services with two different musical “styles” in each.

Apparently it was communion Sunday across all denominations, a Sunday where Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and you name it all celebrated communion. 

I started thinking about all the different expressions of worship that happen at the same time in different churches.  Prayers, liturgies, dance, confession, hymns, worship chorus’s, scripture reading, choirs, ensembles, solos, praise, testimonies, videos, dramas, offerings, sermons.  I thought about all the different styles and variables that were happening… traditional, contemporary, emerging, loud, soft, organs, electric guitars, acappella, standing, sitting, clapping, not clapping, silence, dark, bright, to name just a few of thousands of expressions of worship that occur in long services or short services, from older generations and young generations, etc., etc. 

I wonder what God thinks of it all as He hears and views the immense variety of expression. Is He looking for that one church that gets the “process… the form… the style” just right; and, are the other churches just wasting their time?  I don’t think so.  While style and form has its importance for a lot of reasons, I think in all the variety God is looking for the heart behind it. He is more interested in the hearts of the people that are reciting the prayers and singing the songs, both on the platform and off. He is looking for people who are honoring Him not just with their lips, but with their hearts. (Isaiah 29:13)


Imagine a community that came together to worship and praise God first, a community that was far more concerned with the heart than the form worship was expressed in. I believe this can be the case at Sunset and I pray toward that end.  

So they will know Him!



October 12, 2007

Just when I forgot what it felt like…the weakness…the sore throat, the chills,  the seizing of the chest cavity, fall sickness has decided to visit me like an unwanted relative.  (I don’t have any unwanted relatives, but if I did it would be like this.)

Often when I get sick I self destruct in other ways too, like not getting in the Word and gorging on ice cream.  O.K. the ice cream part happens in lots of different scenarios, but getting sick is one of them.  Today I am proud to report that I spent time in the Word this morning, and so far today, no ice cream, because I’m too weak too drive anywhere.  If they delivered…..might be a different story.



October 10, 2007

Spent a little time in the Word this morning before my 8:30 is what I wrote to God afterwords.

Titus 1 2 and 3

Catching up God….been many days without getting in your Word. Forgive me, and once again I recognize it is my loss.

What sticks out to me in Titus 1, 2, 3…is when I read that the grace of God is what teaches us to say no to worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.   Not condemnation, judgment, sternness, but the grace of God.

It’s His grace that draws me back over and over again.  And yet once returned…how quickly I move off His grace and onto my own efforts, my determination to say no to worldly passions.  God teach me how to swim in your grace for real life change. 


Interesting song history

October 5, 2007

I’ll never forget when I first learned that many of the sacred hymns were set to previous "bar room" tunes, and what that did to my thinking on secular vs "sacred" music, and how instantly the "text" of a song became way more important than the "style".

What a lot of people don’t realize is that many of our recent and not so recent popular worship chorus’s or hit Christian songs also come from previous songs that most people had no clue were even written….

For example:

What if I stumble by DC Talk…was the theme song of a language class called…What if I mumble.

All things are possible is a great tune…but not many people are aware that in 1968, the American Dentist Association came out with a tutorial video with the hit song on their sound track, All things are flossible.

That’s why we praise Him was a great high energy chorus, that was actually based on a report from the Chicago’s Police Department defense on a case from 1991 called That’s why we taze him.

It only takes a spark was one of my favorite chorus’s as a young child.  Frankly I’m glad that when I was young I didn’t know this songs more troubled origin…It’s lonely and its dark.   I’m not sure I would have found the same comfort in that one!

You put this love in my heart by the beloved Kieth Green…was actually a different song by Kieth before he was a Christian.  He was arrested for minor shoplifting at Walmart, and tried to blame someone else when he wrote You put this glove in my cart.

And finally…This is the air I breathe ushered in a whole new genre of worship music, but had deep roots in our Native American past with its former name, This is the hair I weave.

Just to be sure…there is no truth to any of what I just wrote…..just felt the need to try and write.

Heading to Cali tomorrow with Sainz to see Matt!!