Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Worship is a Verb

In the “gathering” of believers throughout the entirety of the scriptures, physically involved worship is modeled and encouraged. Many of us who grew up within the church have experienced different “actions” in worship. Christ himself instituted the physical reenactment of his death in communion and resurrection in baptism. Tonight I had the choir share physical forms of worship they have seen in the scriptures or within church practice. Here are some of the actions they came up with:
  • Clapping
  • Dancing
  • Raising Hands
  • Kneeling
  • Standing
  • Singing
  • Testimonies
  • Offering
  • Playing of Instruments
  • Bowing
  • Communion
  • Prayer
  • Baptism
  • Footwashing
John Frame in his book “Worship in Spirit and Truth” says “we may conclude that worship…is something we do, a verb…we can see that worship is far different from entertainment.” (P.1) One of the key elements that separates a “show” from a “worship gathering” is the participation of all believers in community. Enabling and encouraging participation must be our goal.

It is interesting how participation in worship is observed zealously in both charismatic and liturgical traditions yet, outside of singing, mainstream evangelicals have a hard time feeling comfortable with being physically involved in worship.

If you have more physical forms of worship not on the list, leave them as a comment. For now, the “big idea” is that Biblical worship is active worship. I will develop these thoughts further in later devotionals/posts.

You Know You’re Loved When…

…your beloved sister sends you a new t-shirt as a surprise gift only to find out the shirt has the word “DORK” plastered in large letters across the front. In an act of courage I wore the shirt to tonight’s band and vocal rehearsal. Watch out for future dork sightings!

And for my sis, be sure to watch for future postal deliveries. You never know when your little brother might return the love.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Congratulations Zach!

Zach Nielsen, one of our former Worship Leaders at Parkview, recently accepted a position as the Worship/Music Director at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Yes, you read right Albuquerque, New Mexico!

Of course, I am very excited for the Nielsen family. This is going to be a fantastic opportunity for Zach to use his gifts to influence the church in a dynamic way. For the fun of it, I though I would include a picture from the early years of his time at Parkview. Notice the baby face. This post shows Zach in his brand new office (a little cluttered) after spending a year+ sharing an office (a.k.a. “the worship cave”) with me and our administrator Donna Willard.

God bless you and your family Zach as you transition into this new ministry! Don’t forget the Hawks!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Multiple Church Services

Since Parkview is adding several additional services this Fall, I found this blog post by Kevin Hendricks pretty interesting. This was passed on to me by Dan our Communications Director at Parkview. The majority of the post is below, but you can read the post in its entirety here.

- - - -

Question: When should churches add another service?

Answer: When the pews are full.


At least according to Tim Stevens and Tony Morgan of Granger Community Church in Granger, Ind. In their Rev magazine article (adapted from their book Simply Strategic Growth) they argue for a number of ideas for drawing crowds to your church (which I've already summarized), and one of them is adding multiple services regardless of how full your church is.

Let's take a look at why...
  • Multiple services give churchgoers a choice. More choices means it's more likely your church will fit into their schedule. Not everybody works 9-5, Monday-Friday. Some people work Sunday mornings (gasp).
  • Multiple services means more opportunities to serve. If you have more opportunities and more needs, you're likely to get more volunteers. (That's their logic anyway. Frankly, I think this is positive spin on a bigger issue: Multiple services are more work.)
  • Multiple services let you be creative. God forbid anyone should mess with the Sunday morning service. But there's more freedom to experiment with an extra service and try out something new.
  • Multiple services maximize space. What good is empty space on Saturday night? You get the most bang for your space if you use it more than just Sunday morning.
  • Multipe services create unity. Well, not really, but let me explain. 800 people in one worship service aren't getting to know each other, so why insist on having your entire church meet together? Instead realize that church unity happens when members get to know one another on a deeper level, often through small groups, sports, classes, fellowship groups, etc. Multiple services force you to be intentional about creating unity in your church outside of the main services, instead of relying on that main service to do it (which it probably isn't).

Microsoft ipod?

I can’t resist occasionally antagonizing those of you out there who are PC users. All in fun of course! This video is a humorous comparative of how Microsoft and Apple employ different marketing standards when it comes to promoting/packaging their products.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Valley of Vision

Over the next two weeks we are introducing the song “Let Your Kingdom Come” in services at Parkview. It is from the Sovereign Grace Music Ministries new project “Valley of Vision.” The project was inspired by the puritan prayer book “The Valley of Vision.” This is a great CD especially if, like my wife, you love beautifully sung piano ballads with heartfelt contemplative lyrics. These 3-4 songs along with several other songs on the recording have lead me into some powerful moments of worship over the last few days.

We will be doing several of the songs in corporate worship in the future. If you’d like to preview some of the songs and access free lead and lyric sheets you can go here. For a more complete review of the CD you can go to Tim Challies blog here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

CT Cover Story on Calvinism

I saw this posted on the Justin Taylor's blog "Between Two Worlds" tonight and found it quite interesting (though not suprising).

- - -

Christianity Today
has an interesting cover story in the latest issue, which is being shipped this week. The title is: "Young, Restless, and Reformed: Calvinism is making a comeback--and shaking up the church."

Written by Collin Hansen, it's an excellent piece that profiles the Reformed resurgence in the twenty-something crowd. John Piper, Al Mohler, Joshua Harris, Kent Hughes, C.J. Mahaney, and Together for the Gospel are all mentioned.

I'd encourage you to pick up a copy of the magazine at your local bookstore. (I have a hunch it may be their bestselling issue of the year!)

I'll also link to the story when it appears online next week.

(HT: Between Two Worlds)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Be On Time... Lombardi Time

With our new service schedule we have shortened the technical run-through preceding the Saturday service in order to be as considerate as possible to the time every volunteer puts into serving. To make this work; however, it will require people getting to sound-check early so we can start right on time. One of our bass players Andy suggested we all get on Lombardi time. You can get the actual clock here. Maybe the Arts Ministry should get everyone one of these “10 Minutes Early Or It’s Too Late” clocks. The college staff at Parkview used to have the rule that if you were more than 5 minutes late for 3 meetings in a semester you would be required to do an hour of cleaning for each staff member. The penalty produced results with no one ever getting the three strikes. I think for now we’ll just rely on communicating the expectation. Do you have any stories of extreme measures used to keep people on time?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


The Fall 06 choir schedule is finally completed. With the live music venue in the Atrium we will be splitting time in both locations. Remember, the Atrium services will only be a Sunday morning commitment, so that is a bit of a bonus for us all. Rehearsals will continue Wednesdays at 6:15 pm in the Atrium. Weekend services are Saturday @ 4:30 & 6:00 pm and Sunday @ 9:00 & 10:30 am. I will republish a complete rehearsal schedule again in the near future. See you all next Wednesday!

Weekend Services: September 17 (ATRIUM)
Rehearsals – Aug 30, Sept 6, Sept 13

Weekend Services: September 23-24 (MAINSTAGE)
Rehearsals – Sept 20

Weekend Services: October 8 (ATRIUM)
Rehearsals – Sept 27, Oct 4

Weekend Services: October 28-29 (MAINSTAGE)
Rehearsals – Oct 18, Oct 25

Weekend Services: November 12 (ATRIUM)
Rehearsals – Nov 1, Nov 8


Weekend Services: December 3 (ATRIUM)
NO REHEARSAL – Nov 22 (Thanksgiving Week)
Rehearsals – Nov 15, Nov 29

Weekend Services: December 16-17 (MAINSTAGE)
Rehearsals – Dec 6, Dec 13

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bible Study & Discipleship Resources

I am presently applying at Covenant Seminary with plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Theological Studies. Covenant has a well establish distance education program that will work very well with my ministry schedule at Parkview. As I was looking over the website I noticed that Covenant offers numerous free courses through a program called Covenant Worldwide. Here is their mission.
Covenant Worldwide's mission is to provide ready access to grace-centered, high-quality theological training by minimizing the barriers of distance, cost, and language. This mission recognizes our part in stewarding the resources of theological education to the Church, which is growing most rapidly in areas of the world where ministry training is often least available.

Our hope and prayer is that no matter where God has stationed you in His Kingdom or how He has gifted you to serve, you will find that these resources encourage, strengthen, and equip your ministry and Christian walk.
This looks like a great program for those who are incapable to pursue theological training due to location or financial resources. You can see the available courses here.

Here are a couple of other great resources that I use when researching Biblical issues. Are there some other resources you use? If so, leave them as a comment.
  • Biblegateway is a fantastic resource for viewing Bible verses in numerous versions. You can also "word search" in each version.
  • has all sorts of articles on varying theological issues from a reformed perspective.
  • makes available manuscripts of sermons by John Piper. You can search any topic on the main home page.
  • links to numerous Bible study resources here.

Friday, August 18, 2006


After my devotional at choir on Wednesday, Lee recommended the book “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. I had the opportunity to hear Randy speak at the "Worship God 06" conference I attended a few days ago. I have also heard him speak at John Piper's pastors conference. In the most recent talk, he shared some amazing insights from the book about what heaven will be like. All his work is based upon years of Biblical research.

I own his book “Heaven” but have not yet had the opportunity to read it. In light of Lee's recommendation on Wednesday and based on the reviews I have heard, and the content of Randy’s talk, I am sure the book is a must read. You can link to more information about his book here.

Fall Schedule Coming Soon

Today the Fall schedule went gone out to various directors/worship leaders to review and approve. Once I get the thumbs up I will distribute them immediately. I am expecting to have the info to you in a few days.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Worship in Spirit and Truth

Having been a worship leader for 15+ years within the church I have seen a lot of shifts in strategy and philosophy. Within these shifts it is easy to loose our purpose and clarity regarding what we are to be about. It is for this reason that we need to go to the scriptures to regain a Biblical understanding of corporate worship. This really has nothing to do with a style or strategy, but is simply a call to be what God has prescribed for us to be within His Word. Our faithfulness to become a Christ (and cross) centered worshiping church will, by God’s grace, result in what the church in Acts experienced as daily God added to the numbers those who were being saved. Here are a few important reminders for us from a book I am a reading called “Worship in Spirit and Truth” by John M. Frame.

Worship Should be God Centered…
Worship is homage, adoration. It is not primarily for ourselves, but for the one we seek to honor. We worship for his pleasure foremost and find our greatest pleasure in pleasing him. Worship must therefore be always be God-centered and Christ-centered. It must be focused on the covenant Lord.
Worship Should be Gospel Centered…
As in Eden, God’s people hear his word in worship. But now it is somewhat different, for God’s word now tells us of our sin and God’s provision for our forgiveness. Again, we fellowship with God by eating and drinking with him, but that eating and drinking sets for the Lord’s death until he comes. Everything we do in worship, therefore, now speaks of sin and forgiveness, of Jesus’ atonement and resurrection for us. Worship following the fall of Adam should not only be God-centered, but also Christ-centered and gospel-centered. In all our worship the good news that Jesus has died for our sins and is risen gloriously from the dead should be central.
The Importance of Worship…
Redemption is the means; worship is the goal. In one sense, worship is the whole point of everything. It is the purpose of history, the goal of the whole Christian story. Worship is not one segment of the Christian life among others. Worship is the entire Christian life, seen as a priestly offering to God. And when we meet together as a church, our time of worship is not merely a preliminary to something else; rather, it is the whole point of our existence as the body of Christ.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Theology Program

Parkview Friends. The Pastor of Young Adults, Josh Malone is working with Parkview’s leadership to launch the Theology Program at Parkview Church. This is an opportunity for you all to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental doctrines of our faith. For the last few years I have been working through a theology study with some friends and have greatly appreciated how a deeper understanding of God’s word has given me assurance of faith and deepened my walk with the Lord. Undoubtedly this program will benefit you in this and many more ways. For more information you can link to Parkview’s site here. Below is some background information about the ministry.

The Theology Program (TTP) is a program of historic Christian theology (study of God) and apologetics (defending the faith) created with all believers in mind. TTP seeks to give people who may never have the time, ability, or circumstances that allow them to attend full-time seminary the same opportunity to study the rich heritage of Christian truth. Here you will learn theology historically, biblically, and irenically (in a non-combative peaceful/discussion oriented manner). The contents of TTP are created from a broadly evangelical perspective, engaging other traditions in a persuasive yet gracious manner. In short, we seek to help people think theologically by understanding what they believe and why they believe it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Getting Things Done

Over the last six months I have been plagued with an email inbox that I could never get empty and have always struggled keeping on top of the stacks of books and papers on my desk. After reading a post on Between Two Worlds from Wayne Grudem in which he recommended the book “Getting Things Done” I was hopeful that this was the help I was needing to get my life better organized.

Over sabbatical I read the book and I’ve got to say that I was thoroughly impressed by the ways in which David Allen’s book presented a practical plan for helping people become more organized and productive. Since reading his book, my email inbox has been empty and my office is more organized then it has ever been.

If you struggle keeping on top of all the details in your life, or are just looking for some new tricks to up your level of productivity, this is a worthwhile read.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Thoughts on Worship God 06

I am in the process of reviewing all that God taught me over the last few days at “Worship God 06.” Carrie and I both learned so much and enjoyed meeting with God in such a powerful way throughout the many worship sessions at the conference. The people within the Sovereign Grace Ministry Network worship God with great zeal and passion. I have never seen such “charismatic” worship combined with such a visible passion for doctrinal truth. The songs of Sovereign Grace Ministries and Keith and Kristyn Getty contain lyrics that tell deep and poetic stories about redemption and grace. We felt like we were being washed over again and again by the waves of the Word of God.

Every teaching session I attended left me challenged and longing to grow in faith and leadership. In one of the sessions I was challenged to take more seriously the immense responsibility I have to steward the corporate worship experience that I oversee on a weekly basis. In this session Bob Kauflin mentioned how many people will often forget the points in a preached message but will recall and remember the songs we sing. They may sing them in the car on the way to work, after seeing God provide in some powerful way, or in the depths of their sorrow and suffering. What do we want those songs to tell them in these moments of human experience?

In one of the main sessions Jeff Purswell reminded us that the presence of God is made available through the redeeming work of Christ. Our response should not only be gratitude, but also a deep awareness that our craft alone is not capable of drawing people into the presence of God. Worship leaders, singers, and musicians can all breath a sigh of relief. God’s presence in worship is not dependant upon a perfectly packaged program or a cool lighting design! Of course, this is not an excuse to be lazy or unprepared in our artistic offerings, but we should be conscious of the fact that the drawing of people into the presence of the living God does not result from human perfection. It is the work of the Spirit through Christ. What should be our response to this truth? We should eliminate errant thoughts that promote the idea that we are the ones responsible for ushering people in the presence of God. We must also do all we can to put lyrical content in front of people that tell the deeper stories the cross, redemption, atonement, satisfied wrath, mercy, grace, character of God, etc… A simple love song or songs that focus upon our response to God have a place in worship, but must be balanced by songs that display the glories of God in Christ. To not do this is to invite people to admire the Grand Canyon in a picture rather than taking them to the very edge, stepping to the side, and saying, “taste and see that the Lord is good!”

These reflections only skim the surface of what was presented over the last four days at “Worship God 06.” I pray my extensive notes will hold me accountable in the continued process of transforming these ideas into practice. Thanks to Parkview Church for the opportunity to share this encouraging time with my wife over these last days. I also deeply appreciate Carrie’s parents who cared for our five kids, those of you at Parkview who held down the fort in my absence, and the many of you who prayed on our behalf. God was faithful to work in wonderful ways through this opportunity! To Him be the glory!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Special Guest at Worship God 06

Tonight at the conference a very special person introduced song writers Keith and Kristyn Getty from Ireland. The video clip will make more sense if you understand that the conference is put on by Sovereign Grace Ministries. This was definitely a funny moment to remember!

Worship God Update

Hey Friends. Carrie and I are enjoying “Worship God 06” here in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We arrived in Washington DC yesterday around 11 am and took a few hours downtown before heading to Gaithersburg. Last night we enjoyed some inspiring worship followed by a message by Jeff Purswell who serves as Dean of the Sovereign Grace Pastor's College. For a detailed account of the conference, you can read the blog by Tim Challies who is “live blogging” the entire conference in detail.

BTW: I am presently watching news on the terrorist scare in London and watching camera footage of Washington National Airport where we will be departing on Saturday. In light of the situation, your prayers are appreciated! Better get to the airport EXTREMELY early!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Worship God 06

I am entering my last week of sabbatical and preparing to head with my wife to "Worship God 06" in Gaithersburg, Maryland (above is an image of last years conference). This conference is less of a "how to" and more of a "why to." I think this will be a refreshing change of pace after years and years of attending a lot of very excellent "how to" conferences.

I may blog a bit from Maryland with highlights from the conference, but no promises. Until next time!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Faith Makes a Difference

We are in for a challenging and engaging service focus throughout the Fall ministry season at Parkview. Pastor Jeff Gilmore will be leading us through a series in James called “Faith Makes a Difference.” One of the most life changing message series for me over ten years ago was when my mentor and former pastor Tom Nesbitt preached through the book of James. No doubt, as Jeff leads us through this book, lives will be changed for the glory for God. The following is the series schedule:

September 9-10
Faith Makes a Difference..In Suffering
James 1:1-12

September 16-17
Faith Makes a Difference..In Decisions
James 1:13-27

September 23-24
Faith Makes a Difference..In Relationships
James 2:1-13

October 7-8
Faith Makes a Difference..In Our Actions
James 2:14-26

October 14-15
Faith Makes a Difference..In Our Words
James 3:1-12

October 21-22
Faith Makes a Difference..In True Spirituality
James 3:13-18

October 28-29
Faith Makes a Difference..In Conflict
James 4:1-10

November 4-5
Faith Makes a Difference..In Our Attitude
James 4:11-12

November 11-12
Faith Makes a Difference..In Our Finances
James 4:13-5:6

November 18-19
Faith Makes a Difference..In Our Patience
James 5:7-12

December 2-3
Faith Makes a Difference..In Our Prayer
James 5:13-20

* Note that this schedule may be subject to changes in upcoming weeks

Friday, August 04, 2006

Chamber Singers of Iowa City

If any of you singers local to Iowa City are looking for more opportunities to sing in our community, the Chamber Singers are holding auditions this month. Check out the following details.

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The Chamber Singers of Iowa City, fifty member classical choir, will hold auditions for their 2006-2007 season at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Iowa City, on August 14 and 15, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Audition requirements include a prepared, short a cappella piece as well as sight signing and pitch memory. Auditions are by appointment only – call Barbara Schanbacher at (319) 351-3998 to schedule an audition time.

Auditions will be conducted by Dr. David Puderbaugh, Music Director of the Chamber Singers. This will be Dr. Puderbaugh's fourth season with the Chamber Singers. Dr. Puderbaugh is the assistant director of Choral Activities at the University of Iowa, and also an accomplished international tenor soloist and Fullbright scholar.

The Chamber Singers will rehearse Monday nights, 7:15 - 9:30 p.m. at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, from August 28 through May 14. There are three concerts planed for the coming season: November 29, February 17 and May 19.

The Chamber Singers of Iowa City is a nonprofit choir that focuses on choral/orchestral repertory, having recently performed Beethoven's "Mass in C Major," Handel's "Messiah," Haydn's "The Creation," and Orff's "Carmina Burana." Supported by membership dues, donations and ticket sales, the Chamber Singers has been performing in the Iowa City area since 1970.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Playing With the Master

Ignace Jan Paderewski was, at one time, both the prime minister of Poland and a virtuoso pianist. A story is told about a mother who brought her young son to hear him perform. The boy was just beginning to learn the piano and she wanted him to hear a master, so she bought tickets for two front-row seats in the concert hall.

They sat down a few minutes before the concert was to begin. In the excitement of the event, the mother was looking around the large hall, mesmerized by the glitter and festivity. She didn't notice when her son climbed up on the stage, walked over to the piano and sat down on the bench. Suddenly she, and everyone else in the auditorium, heard the tune ‘Chopsticks’ coming from the piano on the stage. To her embarrassment and horror, she turned to discover that her son was committing this sacrilege upon the master’s piano.

Before she could get up on the stage and stop the boy, the master himself walked out from behind the curtains. Paderewski smiled at the distraught mother and waved her back to her seat. He then stood behind the boy, reached around him with both hands and began to play a lovely obbligato to his ‘Chopsticks.’ They were coworkers but not co-equals. We become coworkers with God only when he reaches around the feeble work of our hands with his hands and sanctifies it.”

(Ben Patterson, Serving God: The Grand Essentials of Work and Worship, 159-60)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Saving a Fundamentalist Baptist from Certain Death (or not)

OK, I'm a little overdue for adding some levity to my blog...

Thanks DBoats and Tom for this humorous quip. If you grew up in church, particularly in the Bible belt, you will likely find this quite funny. I am in no way endorsing some of the humorous generalizations within this joke, but think in the humor we can learn something about how doctrinal distinctives can get out of hand, particularly when they are taken to unbiblical extremes within ones belief system.

- - - -

I was walking across a bridge recently. I spied this fellow who looked like he was ready to jump off. So, I thought Id try to stall him until the authorities showed up. Dont jump! I said. Why not? he said. Nobody loves me.

God loves you, I said. You believe in God, dont you?

Yes, I believe in God, he said.

Good, I said. Are you Christian or Jewish?

Christian, he said.

Me, too! I said. Protestant or Catholic?

Neither, he said.

What then? I said.

Baptist, he said.

Me, too! I said. Independent Baptist or Southern Baptist?

Independent Baptist, he said.

Me, too! I said. New Evangelical/Moderate Independent Baptist or Conservative Independent Baptist?

“Conservative Independent Baptist,” he said.

“Me, too!” I said. “Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist or Lose-Your-Salvation Arminian Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist,” he said.

“Me, too!” I said. “Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist or Historical Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist,” he said.

“Me, too!” I said. “Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist or For Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist,” he said.

“Me, too!” I said. “Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist or Strict Separation of Church and State Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist,” he said.

“Me, too!” I said. “Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist or Anti-Disney Boycott Pro-Choice Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist,” he said.

“Me, too!” I said. “KJV Only Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist or Modern Versions Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist?”

“MODERN VERSIONS Pro-Disney Boycott Pro-Life Unashamed Fundamentalist Against Women in Ministry Dispensational Premillennial Calvinistic Conservative Independent Baptist” he said.

“Auugghh!!! You heretic!” I said. And I pushed him over.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Temporarily Back from Sabbatical

I am now back in the office for the week trying to get on top of Fall programming for our new service structure. The addition of another Saturday service and the live music Atrium venue will be challenging, but I feel quite confident that we will see God do some exciting things through this step of faith.

My sabbatical time thus far has been refreshing. I enjoyed using some of my extra time to go with my family to visit friends and family in Chicago and Milwaukee. Most of all I valued the extra time with my lovely wife and children (see picture below). After this week, I will be out for one more week of sabbatical as I take my wife to Maryland for the Worship God 06 conference. I am looking forward joining with Carrie in learning how to more faithfully lead in ministry. She is my greatest encourager (and personal editor) so I think it will be a wonderful time for us to build a stronger vision for a Church that faithfully worships God and seeks to invite more people to a life changing relationship with Him!