Archive for September, 2009


Most Days

September 24, 2009

I have been working on a song lately called Most Days. The song isn’t for anyone, it’s just for me, but I thought I would express some of the heart of it if I can.

I have been on staff at Sunset for 5 years. Before that I was in a full time music ministry for 3 years, and nearly full time 5 years before that. Before that I was in church worship teams, choirs, ensembles and other singing ministries on the side. It has been a long time since I was the person coming to church and sitting in the chair.

The danger of that, is I can lose touch with reality, your reality. But that is not why I’m writing this. Because the other danger is you can lose touch with mine. So the following are some basic and not really thought through thoughts about my reality as someone on staff at a church, some things I think about, struggle with, some things I love about it etc. My point in this is to let you “in” a little to my brain, and in a sense hopefully let you in on others who work in a church as well, as I find more and more the journey we walk can be so similar.

*Most days I’m still trying to figure out life like you are. Most days I feel the battle between my selfishness and God’s spirit so strong that I long for heaven.

*Most days I wonder who I’m not reaching out to enough, who is looking down on me for not reaching out to them enough, and realizing I don’t even reach out to my own family enough let alone my church family.

 *Some days I think I want to do anything but work in music at a church, the wounds you take sometimes don’t feel worth it. But a strong sense of calling, and joy that outweighs the wounds, and relationships that bring life, have kept me in it thus far.

*Some days I actually remember a “normal job”, when I worked construction for years and years, and shake my head about God’s plans for my life, and become filled with gratitude to be doing something I’m passionate about.

*Most days I realize I have so much more to learn, and that when it comes to relationships in some ways each day starts over, and yesterday’s successes don’t mean today I’m off the hook in learning to love people more.

*Some days my motivation “switch” is turned all the way off. God is teaching me the value of showing up in those days, in relationships, in life, and not waiting till I feel “full” to engage. But to also be very aware and let others be aware that my tank is empty when it’s empty.

*Some days I get so tired of the same conversations, about church, about music, about serving, about strategy, about leadership, about community, about opinion, that I want to scream. Other days I can hardly wait to dive into the discussion again and see how God will change us, mold us, use us, transform us, mobilize us, and empower us.

*Some days I feel that my very presence in ministry, has brought more harm than good, that I lack the skills, lack the vision, lack the leadership, lack the heart, lack the stamina, lack the love to bring any value to anyone. Some days God reminds me it’s His skill, His stamina, and His love that matters, and that He has more than enough to go around. Those are good days!!!

I could seriously go on forever, but you won’t read forever so I will cut it here. Hopefully something here was insightful or encouraging or revealing to you this day. Jay


Idol Threats

September 11, 2009


What do you picture when I say the word idol?  Do you see a half naked man (clothed where it counts) with face paint chanting around a fire holding an ancient stone head?   Or maybe for you it makes you think more about whether Ellen will work out on American Idol this year.  The point is today in our culture we don’t think about idols as relevant to our own lives.  That was something people in the Bible or ancient times struggled with.

Why did people worship idols?  It was because they thought the idol could give them something they needed and could not get unless they worshipped it. 

The definition of an idol:

 a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly : a false god

 an object of extreme devotion

 a false conception

Today we can call idols addictions.  That is a LOADED statement, and not one I make casually.  But, the truth is, there are some things in our lives we run to because they promise to deliver something that in the end they never can.  And even though they let us down and don’t deliver, we run to them again. 

God says in Exodus “You must not have any other god but me.”  He says this because He knows He is the only one that won’t let us down, and that He can deliver ultimately on His promises.


God, be my only God, be the only receiver of my worship and devotion.  I long to pour it only your direction and at times feel like it is going anywhere and everywhere but towards You.  Show me both the other gods in my life, and a greater glimpse of your glory so that my heart will be moved to praise You like You deserve.