Archive for January, 2011


Delight in the Lord

Now is the time for new goals, new routines, and new dreams. It is the time of year where we make personal, family, and professional goals. As we enter this New Year, I challenge you to set new goals in your relationship with God. We have so many desires and dreams, but do those great plans include God? It’s so easy get caught up in what we want and why without thinking about what God has for us.

One of my favorite verses is Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” The beauty of this verse is that the moment we truly “delight” in the Lord, he BECOMES the desire of our hearts. All other earthly goals fade when we are comparing it to the spiritual or heavenly goals that he has for us. In the morning when I pray for the day, I pray that God might open my spiritual eyes to what he wants me to accomplish. I have these great goals of teaching music literacy and great vocal production, but God has greater things in mind. He wants me to teach His character and to love all of my students with the love that only He can give.

I ask you to take a deep look at your goals for this year. Do they include God? Let him lead you. Delight yourself in the Lord and HE WILL be the desire of your heart. That is my prayer for you this year.


What are you doing with everything God has given you?

Does this prayer seem familiar? Father, I pray that you would give me _______, and that you would give me_______, so I can do ______.
I know that God wants us to ask according to His will but there is also a very important principle that has everything to do with us receiving more. I recently asked myself this question: what am I doing with everything God has given me? I’d like to say that my answer was…everything I can. But the truth is that I can be doing more with what He has given me.

Take a look around and at all the things that God has given you. Are you using every single thing to the fullest? God wants us to be faithful with the small so he can give us more. We are blessed here at CBC with great resources.
It is very humbling and also very exciting to see everything we have to help make an impact in people’s lives. With it comes a great responsibility. My prayer is this…God help us use everything that you have given us the way you intended so that you can entrust us with more. Help us be the best stewards of the gifts that you have placed in us so that people in need can know your love.


Real Ministry

We seem to always be busy…on Monday morning, the stark reality hits me that we have 8 more services this week and we have to be ready. We rush from special project to special project and after a while we begin to feel overwhelmed with the business of each day…when we lay down at night, we feel like we have not had any time to enjoy the day and we begin to evaluate what did we actually accomplish. We sometimes seem to equate activity with spirituality. This is when I am reminded something my Dad used to say : “the most active chicken in the yard is the one that has lost his head.”

If you need someone to explain that…you must be very young or you have never been on a farm.

So, the question today is this…what is real ministry and are we doing it?  I always go back to the basics: did you have time with God today? Did you ask God to give you help with all your decisions? Did you put people over paper? Did you take the time to make a call, go to visit someone in need, or write a personal note to someone who needed encouragement?

Stop right now and ask God to bring your busyness under control and just be His child for a moment. He is your source and you can trust that the direction He takes your day is going to be the best option.


Leave a Legacy

This past weekend I attended a “homecoming” in Gadsden, Alabama at my home church, 12th Street Baptist. I started attending there in high school on my own with my brother and some friends and the music ministry there under the direction of Lynn Madden, then David Prevost, changed the direction of my life. The musical excellence from Lynn encapsulated my music education in high school and the heart of worship David demonstrated ignited a fire in me to discover what true worship is. The strong Bible knowledge and theology and foundational truths I received from my pastor Troy Morrison and countless Sunday school teachers made me what I am today.

We kicked off Kids Choir last week. We began by rehearsing a small group that sang at the Spurs game and I had to shoo some of the older kids out of my classroom to go back to their group. “But we want to stay in here with you…”. Flattering – yes, but healthy – no. My job is to pour Jesus into them, not become the Pied Piper of Kids Choir. Also, Puresound introduced a song I wrote that they will record this spring. Several teenagers told me later “we really like it and we thought that sounded like an Amanda Singer song.” I am leaving a legacy…because someone left one for me.

As you minister to kids and teens in any capacity, the truths you pour into them are forever. The love you show them is forever. The empowerment you bestow on them is forever. In Kids Choir, I let them “teach” each other. I let them lead choreography, or help sing parts, or give a testimony, or pray a prayer of salvation for others to repeat. I strive to grow leaders that will impact their world for Jesus. By the time they leave the 6th grade, I want them to leave a legacy for their younger choir members to follow.

I praise God that my legacy will last long after I’m gone. But a legacy that continues from generation to generation will continue forever, until we stand in front of the throne, worshipping together, worshipping the One whom it was all for.


Quick conversion for bass instruments

Do you have a bari-sax player, but no music for him to play?
Here is a simple and easy method to teach to your Eb Baritone sax players (and trombone players) how to convert trombone/bass trombone music (and even tuba music sometimes) AT SIGHT, which might keep you from having to write them a transposed part:


1) Baritone sax players can use a Bass Trombone (usually a 3rd or 4th trombone) part…all they have to do is change the clef sign from bass clef to treble clef and add 3 sharps to the key signature.

Ex: for a piece in concert G (one sharp in the key signature) they just imaginarily change the clef sign to treble clef and add 3 #s (to 4 #s total). If the trombone part is in a flat key, just subtract 3 flats (ex: concert Eb = 3 flats-subtract 3 flats will put the resulting sax part in C). For “crossovers,” subtract flats and add sharps. Ex: trombone part in F (one flat), the first added sharp cancels out the flat in the key of F, then add two more sharps for the sax. So trombone part in F (1 flat) = sax part in D (2 sharps).

Also remember that the lowest written note that a bari sax can play is a Bb (two spaces below the treble clef). EXCEPT, some bari saxes have a low A key that permits them to play the note 2 ledger lines below the staff in the treble clef (this note corresponds to the low C two ledger lines below the bass clef).
NOW, here’s the other side of the coin: Using the above procedure IN REVERSE will enable a bass trombone player to play (at sight) using a baritone sax part.

So: if the bari sax part is written in one sharp, the trombone player should change the clef sign to bass clef, and SUBTRACT 3 #’s from the key signature. Ex: sax part written in one sharp would mean the trombone player plays in 2 flats. A sax part in 4 sharps would be a trombone part in 1 sharp, etc….
TRY THIS OUT…it gets a lot easier after you do it several times, but it works and should save you some time!


keep you eyes right here.

I am so excited about 2011. I have no doubt God is going to move with great force and momentum and I can feel it around the office as we talk about our vision and dreams for this year. As eager as I am to get going with things, I am already finding myself tempted to fall into a trap.

I have found myself thinking about the things on my desk that I have no solutions for yet. Programs I’d like to improve, teams I’d like to take to the next level, lines of communication I need to work on. I was making dinner Monday night after the first day back at work and all I could do was obsess about what “needed to change” that I had immediate influence over.

You know that hand sign people make when they make a “V” with their fingers and point towards their eyes, and then they point it towards yours, most likely at a moment when you are freaking out or losing focus? And then they say something to the effect of, “I need you to keep your eyes right here.” Well God interrupted my obsessing by pulling that one on me. He thought it was funny, and I did too. But then He got serious.

He reminded me to keep my focus on Him and where He’s going instead of focusing on the things where I think I need Him the most. I love the picture of having my eyes locked on Jesus, but I had to think about what that “looked” like in a practical sense on a day to day basis. The answer seemed simple – make a conscious effort to stay in His presence, and stay connected to Him through His Word, prayer, and worship.

Being the cynic realist that I am, I wondered how staying in the presence of God was going to crank out the 5 set lists that I had to get done in the next few days. To which God humorously interrupted again and said, “you don’t get it. I need you to keep your eyes right here.” And that’s all He had to say. It finally clicked.

If I don’t seek Him first, everything is backwards. I work too hard and get myself into trouble where I end up asking for His help to sort things out. If I would start with running after Him in everything that I do, the rest seems to fall in line with His will, His way, and His timing. I don’t understand it either, but that’s the way it seems to work in the Kingdom of God. Grace always shows up when it comes to the little things. The more I can rest in that the more I can enjoy my grilled chicken with vegetables on Monday nights.


BROKEN RESTORED LOVED – What will be your greatest thing in 2011?

It’s the start of a new year and resolutions are underway. The gym is full, no more tamales, and people are making mental notes of what they want to see happen in 2011.
I was thinking of all the great things that happened in 2010. We found out we were having a baby, one of the highlights for sure. I experienced great things in my career and ministry – like finishing a live worship CD that had been a dream for years, and the list goes on and on. Sure, I had challenges. But looking back, if it wasn’t for those challenges, I would not appreciate the victories. In going into this year I had a thought….”keep it simple and focus on the greatest thing.” What is your greatest thing this year? What is that thing that is consuming your mind and time? We all have things in our lives that represent “the greatest thing,” but what is truly the thing that if we had, we could take on any challenge, accomplish any dream, live a victorious life?


Let me share a few passages with you that talks about the greatest thing – Matthew 22:37 reads, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The truth is when we do this, we love people and experience life the way it should be. Life is full of faith and hope when we are truly loving those around us. 1 Corinthians 13:13 reads, “Three things will last forever-faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
So even though fitness is important, successful businesses are needed, personal dreams lived out are great…the greatest accomplishment, the greatest success, the greatest thing we can do this year is to Love God and Love people more. If we do that, we can enjoy all the accomplishments to the fullest and take on any challenges. I hope this year is the greatest year for you! YOU ARE LOVED.

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