Archive for August, 2011

29
Aug
11

When Do We Eat?

With 4 boys born into the Jones household, this is perhaps the number one question we have heard sounding in our home. Boys eat often and in huge quantities. With only one left at home now, we seem to hear it less – but it is still the question of the hour. The good thing is they want to eat and when they are hungry they will go to great trouble to get to food. Jonathan even drove our car to McDonald’s one time before he had a drivers license just to get a burger and fries.

I often wonder why we seem to lack having an appetite for God. Can you imagine only eating food once or twice a week? That is absurd. However, most Christians go to church once a week and that is all the spiritual food that they receive. No wonder the church seems to be suffering from spiritual malnutrition. When Jesus went to the wilderness at the beginning of His public ministry, He fasted and was very hungry. Satan approached Him and told Him to command the stones to become bread so that He could eat. Jesus replied, “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

I am not suggesting that you stop eating (although at times I need to really slow that down) what I am saying is this: are you getting proper spiritual nutrition? Are you living a supernatural life of power and victory? Are you feasting on God’s word and spending time alone with Christ on a daily basis?

Seek the Lord today and His will be found!!!

24
Aug
11

It’s Time that All Ages Praise

Exodus 20:6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

When you are at a church as big as CBC, the majority of our ministries and methods are specialized and departmentalized. This works really well on one hand because as a staff or even a volunteer, we are afforded the luxury of getting to focus on doing what we really do well and leaving the things we don’t do very well to someone else who does it really well. And since excellence breeds excellence, the church grows because people are drawn to excellence and the church improves because we have a larger pool of excellence to draw from. This is a very good thing.

Seldom, though, do we get to be a part of multi-generational events. I gave up worrying about missing the small church fellowship feeling about ten thousand members ago. But last month, as I sat in a multi-generational recording session, I felt it. I had dear friends beside me and in front of me and several rows over. I had Kids Choir kids that followed me in like I was the Pied Piper and we worshipped together. I thanked God for the teens that were there to praise – that keep their walk with the Lord constant – that have grown into mighty God lovers. I experienced adult choir members that are core CBC worshippers filling up the choir room with yet another round of praise. And I thought to myself “I love these people. I love this church. I love my Savior who binds us all together and is the reason that we sing”.

My parents and my grandparents and their grandparents were of the primitive Baptist denomination. In their tiny communities, church was the defining institution, but more importantly, the Lord was the defining King of their families. I can remember watching my granddaddy lead the hymns – there was no paid music director. He was the postman – the only postman of the community who knew every person in the town – where they lived and how they lived. And every Sunday he led them all in worship. Young and old, poor and poorer (no one was rich where they lived), saints and sinners – they all worshipped together.

I thought about my granddaddy last night. After the session ended, Ray Jones mentioned – not once but twice – that we need to do more intentional multi-generational worship events. We had already planned on featuring the Kids Choirs with the adults in October and our new middle school choir Ignite with the adults in November. We have some Puresound high school choir dates with the adults on the calendar as well. And as always, kids will sing at Christmas and Puresound at Easter. But we will be even more intentional, featuring families and more multi-generational choirs – not just adding a single age group choir to the adults. Who knows? We’ll have to hang children from the rafters and maybe build some temporary staging – don’t know what it will look like or when it will happen, but the Spirit is stirring us. There is a need for us to come together to honor God.

I tell my children all the time one of the reasons they walk in blessing and favor is because of my ancestors. I tell them all the time that they better marry girls with generations of obedience to the Lord backing them up. I pray my sons are listening for my future grandchildren’s sakes. I am so thankful for the legacy that my family has left for me.

What I can do now is continue to teach these future generations the ways that they can worship and the how of how to live. The Spirit is stirring and it’s time to listen.

Ephesians 3:21 To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

22
Aug
11

Guitars, amps, pedals, oh my!

I get asked what gear I use a lot. So I figured I’d put together a rundown of my current setup. So this can be a list of gear you might want to buy, or avoid at all costs if you hate my guitar tone. Either way, here it is:

My workhouse guitar is a G&L ASAT Classic Bluesboy. I’m running that into the Visual Sound – Visual Volume pedal. From there, into a Keeley Compressor (two-knob model). Then, into a Keeley modified – Boss BD-2 Blues driver. Next up is the Keeley Katana Clean Boost. Last up is a Boss DD-20 Giga-Delay with a Boss FS-5U non-latching foot pedal set up for tap tempo (when playing lead, I will sometimes add a Keeley modified- Ibanez TS-8 that is post-delay for extra color).

From here we go into a Lancaster Brutis 15 amplifier (15 watts, Class A). Out of the amp, we head into a custom-made 1×12 EXT speaker cabinet that houses a Jensen P-12N.

In my next blog, I’ll make a list of all the gear I wish I had. Although, you’ll probably get bored after the first 20 pages…

16
Aug
11

Who’s In Charge Here?

Leadership is an interesting subject these days…I was recently in a retail store and an angry customer came in the door shouting “who is in charge here?” I was in a big hurry, but I just had to pause a moment to see the response. Most of the employees in earshot scattered like dust but one young lady walked directly to the man and said, “I am not in charge but what can I do to help you?” Interestingly enough, the manger was standing very close to the action and never said a word. The customer laid into this lady who had responded to him and she stood there with a sense of purpose and dealt with the customer’s issue perfectly. As I left the store, I could not get over the way that this employee handled the situation. She was kind, helpful, confident, and in control. On the other hand, the manger looked fearful and totally disconnected from the situation that could have become very volatile.

So, who was in charge? I can tell you that title does not mean you are the leader. Leadership is earned – not given.  Many times we think that you do not have to act to be the leader…you simply have to speak. Not so. I have sat in meetings where the chairman, pastor, president, CEO, the person “in charge” of the room was not the person of influence. Leadership means you have influence in the situation. My dad used to say, “if you have to say you are the boss, you probably aren’t the boss.”

Jesus was our prime example. When he walked into a situation, people looked to Him. They listened to His words, they watched His interactions with people, and they followed His example. If God has given you a position, He fully expects you to earn the respect of those in your charge. Lead by example and you will earn the respect of those around you.

11
Aug
11

Unconditional Love

My husband and I have recently discovered our first true taste of responsibility: a puppy! Talk about a change in lifestyle! We are learning to multi-task and keep an eye on the dog no matter what we are doing (good practice for kids I’m sure!). We are learning lessons about each other (many of which are quite comical) and of course learning things from our cute little puppy. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is unconditional love. No matter how upset my puppy may be about being in her crate, she is ALWAYS thrilled to see me when I walk in the door. No matter how mad my puppy may make me (and yes, she makes me very mad sometimes) I still love being with her.

It’s amazing to think that many times our relationship with God works the same way. He loves us…no matter how many times we misbehave or break the rules. He wants to spend time with us. And no matter how many times we may think we know what’s best for us, He is the ultimate provider for our needs. It is nice to be reminded that God is my keeper. I can walk through life with confidence knowing that God is in control!

08
Aug
11

The World’s Greatest Job

CBC’s Christmas musical “We Celebrate the King” is now published by Lillenas Music and we recently took a bus up to Kempke Music Service’s summer conference to premiere it. For me it was a “pinch me” kind of moment. As a worship pastor, I have attended many reading sessions, plowing through reams of music searching for new songs. As a composer, I have been known to dream “someday it would really be awesome if I had some music published and we were reading through it.” Being able to present the music live was even better. I had my picture taken next to the stack of books. I was like a tacky tourist and I didn’t care.

We included several kids in the premiere and the energy and charisma they brought was palpable. The kids know how to use their chest voices, they all have great stage presence,  they know what worship is, and they let it rip. It’s unusual to hear and see kids sing like they do and the worship pastors in the room responded enthusiastically to them. You couldn’t help but be taken in by their authentic love for Jesus.

Being with the kids for two days was energizing as well. We played games, we screamed in a thunderstorm when the lights flickered, they entertained the wait staff at Denney’s and sang in pristine three-part a cappella harmony for the. They beheaded a Happy Meal Barbie. Hanging with them will make me forever young. As they sang through four albums of kids choir music on the way home at the top of their lungs I realized anew that my calling was the greatest joy of my life. I am forever grateful to the Lord for the privilege of leading them into His presence, for allowing me to empower them to minister, that I get to teach them to use their gifts for God’s glory.

When I was their age, I was asked to learn a song for the premiere of a Christmas musical somewhere in Houston. I think the name of the ‘cantata’ was “The Glory of Christmas;” the name of the song was “Christmas Isn’t Christmas.” I distinctly remember singing the solo at the event and knowing it was a big deal kind of moment. Little did I know that I would grow up to be a worship pastor that would give a handful of kids the same big deal kind of moment.

Eight of the ten kids are moving on to our brand new middle school choir, Ignite, debuting this fall and I will miss them terribly. I laugh now to think I was afraid that after my own kids graduated out of the program that I might lose some of the passion I have for kids choir. But it’s only getting stronger.  There’s no doubt I will fall in love with the next crop of kids. I will throw parties for them and take them to do historical things and we will laugh together and sing at the top of our lungs, too.

So blessings to Logan and Lillie and Xan and Megan and Andrew and Miranda and Mallorie and Emma. And you will see the Barbie head again.




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