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Here's a handful of......well, what I'd probably call fresh & "eclectic" worship projects I've been listening to as of late. They're not all new, but they're all pretty rich.
Sojourn: Before The Throne
Anglican Mission: The Anima Christi & Prayers of The Saints
NA Band: (Sovereign Grace) Looked Upon
Grace-Midtown: Songs For The City (iTunes link)
Matt Maher: Alive Again
Page CXVI: Hymns I & Hymns II
Trinity Grace Church: Without End
What worship projects are you tuned into right now?
Most read books. Some write them.
Most attend conferences. Some create them.
Most fake intimacy. Some live intimately.
Most love great design. Some design.
Most listen to great music. Some write great music.
Most point out problems. Some solve them.
Most admire beautiful art. Some create it.
Most receive generously. Some give generously.
Most imagine what should've been. Some imagine what can be.
Most criticize. Some create.
Are you a "MOST" or a "SOME"?
Let's stop being afraid of those blank canvases that stare us down and scare the hell out of us.......and let's create.
Can't resist posting this...
In The Naked Now, Richard Rohr asks, "What might a joyful mind be?" A few of his answers:
When your mind does not need to be right.
When you no longer need to compare yourself with others.
When your mind can be creative, but without needing anyone to know.
When you can live in contentment with whatever the moment offers.
When your mind does not need to be in charge, but can serve the moment with gracious and affirming information.
When your mind follows the intelligent lead of your heart.
When your mind is curious and interested, not suspicious and interrogating.
When you do not need to humiliate, critique, or defeat those who have hurt you - not even in your mind.
When your mind can think well of itself, but without needing to.
When your mind can accept yourself as you are, warts and all.
When your mind can find truth on both sides.
When your mind fills the gaps with "the benefit of the doubt" for both friend and enemy.
When your mind can critique and also detach from that critique.
When your mind can wait, listen, and learn.
When your mind can admit it was wrong and change.
When your mind can stop judging and critiquing itself.
When your mind can find God in all things.
May it be. Amen.
Apologizing has become somewhat of a lost art, don't you think? And to a large degree it's understandable because no one likes to admit failure - it's humiliating and when done well, there's no room for pride to stick around. Which is why it's so hard to do! Yet.....you know this as well as I do...apologizing well is one of the most powerful gestures we could ever show another human being.
So here's five quick thoughts on how to do it well.
1. Acknowledge your failure.
"I have failed you. I've let you down. I have done wrong."
2. Acknowledge the impact of the failure.
"I have failed you....and as a result, I know I've caused you a lot of pain....I've put you in a very precarious position.....I have hurt you."
What NOT to say: "I'm sorry you were offended by what I did." NO. That sucks. Take responsibility.
3. Tell them you're sorry.
"I've failed you....and I know it has caused you a lot of pain....and I just want you to know that I am truly sorry."
4. Commit to change.
"....and I'll do whatever I can to make sure that never happens again."
5. Shut the #*($&! up.
This is where we get into trouble. Because the tendency is to add on:
"I'm sorry....it's just that..."
"I'm sorry....but I didn't mean it!"
"I'm sorry...it's just that you..."
No. Don't make excuses. Don't complicate it. Don't qualify it.
Just watched this talk that Elizabeth Gilbert gave at TED last year. It's beautiful and extremely freeing to any of us called to contribute on the canvas of creativity.
Been reading Richard Rohr's latest book, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See. It's truly been one of the most soul-refreshing books I've read in a while.
Rohr offers some great leadership reminders in chapter 21: "What Every Good Leader Knows". There are too many for me to share, but here are a few that I've really resonated with.
Good leaders are:
Some great thoughts & reminders.
Leaders - which ones resonate with you the most?
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this "emotion" is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder, or stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. His eyes are closed.
It seems to me in the light of the Divine Goodness....that ingratitude is the most abominable of sins and that it should be detested in the sight of our Creator and Lord and by all of His creatures who are capable of enjoying His divine and everlasting glory. For it is a forgetting of the graces, benefits and blessings received.....On the contrary, the grateful acknowledgment of blessings and gifts received is loved and esteemed not only on earth but in heaven.
Ignatius of Loyola writing to Simon Rodriguez
Catalyst has been crankin' leadership inspiration and innovation for ten years.
Dang. And a lot of lives have been impacted because of it. Including mine. As a matter of fact, it was at the very first Catalyst Conference that my world was turned upside down as a young leader who was longing for something new and different. It jacked me up BAD. And I'll never forget sitting in the balcony at Northpoint crying my eyes out....knowing that I would never be the same.
Those are two reasons in and of themselves to get to Catalyst in October. Seriously. I love Mike and Jud's hearts. God's hand is on them.
If you're not familiar with their movement called People Of The Second Chance, go check it out and catch the beautiful spirit and heart behind it.
This past weekend we concluded a four-week series at The Orchard entitled, “The Gospel: From a Garden to The City”. This turned out to be a tremendous series that I think God used to impact our community in significant ways.
Rather than being a series focused strictly on the doctrinal aspects of the gospel, our goal was to give sort of a 30,000 ft view of the overarching narrative of the gospel: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration. I appreciate Tim Keller's thoughts on the fact that while there is only one gospel, there are clearly different forms in which the gospel can be expressed. This series was just one of those expressions.
My hope and prayer going in to the series was that it would help accomplish three things in our community: expand our view of the gospel, find and embrace our place in the story, and of course...be led into a greater discovery of the beautiful hope we have in the Cross and Resurrection.
The above logos are all original paintings that were beautifully created by our friend, Sherri Ohler. Each weekend was represented by one of these paintings that each followed the narrative.
Here are a few photos from throughout the series. (Also, special thanks to artists: Maureen Gasek, Julie Vogt, and Lisa Price.)
(Click for larger images)
Really excited about my friend Jeff Shinabarger and the work he's doing with Gift Card Giver! Let's get behind it and help them win a $25,000 grant from Pepsi to fund some of the creative ideas they're dreaming up to take GCC to the next level. (see how this will impact them below!)
It's super easy! Here's the 411 from Jeff on how to help:
Pepsi chooses the winners through voting. To win we need to finish in the top 10 for the month of April! We are already moved up to #34, which is GREAT, but I know as other organizations get their friends on board, we’re going to have to work really hard to stay at the lead.
To give context of the impact, last year we only spent $12,000 and gave $40,000 in gift cards away to organizations and people in great financial need. If we get this grant we can give away over $100,000 in gift cards this year. We have 30 days to get all the votes that we can! This is where you come in.
Thanks a ton for helping us! We can’t do this without you!
Great job to our creative team on the teaching bumper used last weekend in our Gospel series at The Orchard!
It’s not uncommon for us at The Orchard to have various artists participating in our weekend gatherings during our worship and/or teaching time. But this past weekend, I watched God do something that has really stuck with me these past couple of days.
It was the beginning of a new series entitled, “The Gospel: From a Garden to The City”. This first week’s theme was “Creation”, so Mike Jones and his amazing team of musicians and vocalists led our community through several songs that highlighted the beauty and majesty of our Creator. At the same time our weekend artist, Julie, was painting a beautiful depiction of God reaching down from the heavens to humanity.
And man.....the mix of songs, art, visuals, lighting, and the theme of this week’s teaching all flowed powerfully together in a way that undoubtedly impacted many, many hearts.
But one of the things that stood out to me the most was the beautiful and profound way in which God used Julie and her talent as an artist. See, Julie was not just a “supplemental” artist off to the side "doing her thing”. She was a worship leader. A choir conductor! An integral part of the team God was using to accomplish something powerful in people's hearts.
Perhaps we need to rethink how we're using the title "worship leader". If anything, I think it needs to be expanded! While it was evident that Mike and his team were doing an incredible job leading us in worship, it was even more evident that they were simply a part of many worship leaders God was using as well.
Julie was leading us through her passion and painting. Our visual team was leading us through the use of imagery and light. Our audio team was leading us through the mix and balance of sound. But perhaps the most beautiful part of it all was the way in which we, as a community, were leading each other as we lifted our voices in unison and declared the goodness and beauty of our Creator.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
New series beginning March 20/21 at The Orchard Community.