Now, Mr. Spock

Posted: May 23, 2012 in Arrangements, Compositions

Just a brief update… Today, my hopes were realized when Best Buy offered iTunes gift cards at 20% off! So I bought $200 worth of Apple credit with $160 real dollars. Then, I proceeded directly to the App Store and purchased my very own Logic Pro app. I installed it, and recorded sermon series intros and outros for Transformed Speech and Fearless Faith. It worked like a dream. Everything is so user-friendly. So now, the drums Gary recorded for me will go into Logic, not GarageBand. I feel so much more robust! Oh, and tonight I downloaded ALL the extra 18GB of extra content which is now all installed too! Also, it has a 64-bit mode I can switch on if I need to utilize my extra RAM (beyond the once max 4GB). Since MacBook Pros can currently support 8, naturally, I have twice as much to work with. We’ll see if I ever need it.

This is so awesome. And I have the wonderful praise team from Ridgecrest to thank for it. Their incredible gift, of Gazelle-intense cash, made this purchase entirely possible. So I’mo send a copy of the CD to each of them as a thank you when it is done. Shhh. Don’t tell. (Can you tell I’m thrilled right now?!)

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Let There Be Drums

Posted: May 21, 2012 in Compositions

Gary and I got together a few days ago, set up all the drums and mics, etc. and laid down 7 tracks that I’ll be using as the backbone for the whole record.  That live sound gives something that I’ve been unable to capture alone… life.  And I’m incredibly grateful to Gary for this gift.  Now, I have to find the right MIDI/USB connector so I can get a better sound than what I have live on my Casio Privia into the DAW.  (If you know a good solution, comment here and let me know.)  I’m also selling my MBOX 2 Pro Factory and MBOX 2 Mini so I can roll that combined dough into an Apogee Duet 2 and Logic Pro.  Getting very excited.

Week 1 @/In/Of The Refuge

Posted: May 21, 2012 in Ministry

What an incredible first week.  Although, this would have been incredible for ANY week.  Led worship on Wednesday and Sunday with my new, fantastic friends on the Worship Arts Team, participated in a beautiful baptism service where 7 people demonstrated their faith in Jesus, and got to make a bunch of cool stuff for the church, including a discipleship Motion for OSL, Keynote announcement for Kyria, and cut together the baptism recap video.

There is so much encouragement at The Refuge.  The Lead Pastor discovers and casts the vision God has for the church, then he releases us to serve in our areas with clear expectations and authority to accomplish those “God ideas.”  (Because we aren’t after “good ideas,” but “God ideas.”)  Our drummer keeps sending notes of affirmation, along with the bass players and others.  Others serving with me on the platform will just pull me aside and bless me.  What an environment.  What a refuge!

Although it was a great first experience, leading the church in praise, I know that God has set for me a new path of discovery into more free worship, both as a leader and an active participant.  I’m excited and humbled by it all, simultaneously.  Thankfully, I have people around me who will model, recommend, and promote the forthcoming growth.

Oh, and we finally get to re-enter a focused, intentional discipleship program, Operation: Solid Lives.  Not just Jen and me, but my aunt, uncle and grandmother!  We are stoked!  (All this, AND we got home while it was still light out – even after installing the new 60″ flat screen in the sanctuary, saving 5 hours – just on Sunday!)

All I can make of this is, God knows the thoughts He thinks toward us – and those thoughts and ways of His led us here for all these reasons and more.  We can’t wait to uncover what’s next every step of the way.

God Will Do That

Posted: May 6, 2012 in Ministry

I love that I don’t have to defend myself against injustice or mistreatment. God has already made it plain and obvious. I’m being blessed on my way from the congregation and Pastoral staff in fine form. It is enough for them to hear that God has made a way for us to minister at high levels of leadership again. Everyone gets it, and discreetly shares their candid views about how things could have been different.

I’m glad to have been here. I know multigenerational ministry was possible, and continues to be possible. Now it is time for those who remain to pick up the standard and push for the church they want and will be proud of.

All that is left is for us to enjoy a farewell party and go in peace to a fellowship that is anxiously awaiting our arrival and ministry. We are so blessed.

Erasing Myself

Posted: May 4, 2012 in Ministry

I’m the tech nerd at church. So whenever things change, it falls to me to update things. I’ve effectively deleted myself from the church, piece by piece. From leaving all the files, logins, and even custom made tutorials for how to do aspects of my job, along with clearing my calendars/mailboxes/etc. I am effectively no more.

There is some creepiness to that, but the liberation far outweighs any weirdness. I am happy to put things back to factory spec and allow the church to chart a new course without me – because I know God has set my feet on a new, healthy, and purposeful track. I can’t wait to get started.

This Sunday is my last day at the current place, and I’m looking forward to a worship party in both morning services and a farewell celebration at night. Then it’s off to success again at my new (and hopefully long-term) assignment.

Crunching the Numbers

Posted: April 29, 2012 in Work

If there is one thing plaguing people’s emotional well-being, it is finances.  More specifically, being clueless about the current state of their finances.  This morning, I went to training with my financial mentor, Greg.  I discovered the terrible truth about CD (and savings) rates at banks and how financial institutions like banks and credit unions, etc. use our money to make all theirs, and charge us tons to do it!  Not surprising.  As Greg said, “look at their foyer then look at yours.”  We got updated copies of the Client Checkup Form, which I promptly copied when I got home and placed in the car as we set out for Chuck E. Cheese’s.  I was happy to strike up some conversations with some folks who wanted to become debt free, send their kids to college and discover whether their retirement would actually work when it came time.

My wife, on the other hand… not so pleased.  She has what Dave Ramsey calls the “security gland” that tenses up when money is tight or seems tight.  We had one of those “meetings” about where things were headed in the job arena and how we were going to make it.  It was then that I decided we needed to sit down together again for the family “budget committee meeting.”  I ran the numbers, with her income, my new adjusted income from just the church and all expenses.  Beginning with what we have saved right now, we discovered something… there is nothing to worry about.  I don’t need another job tomorrow.  In fact, I have a good 6 months before we even start to sweat.  As in the past, God has set us up to succeed when we weren’t even aware of it.  Because He is so good!  I’m telling you, things are only going to get better from here.  God has the right income sources for us… and when the time is right, He’ll let us in on the miracle.  Keep checking in… I’ll update you.

Now, what this means for YOU is, ya gotta crunch the numbers and see where you’re at, financially.  You probably make more than you realize AND spend more than you realize.  Both of those can be maximized to help you win with the right focus.  And I can help you with that.  In fact, I believe this is one of the primary reasons I exist, to help people eliminate debt, and create wealth.  All you gotta do is ask and I’m ready to get you where you wanna be.  Do you want to remove debt from your life and build wealth?  Discuss what ails you in the comments section.  Let’s get together on this, people.

How incredible to connect with your drummer friend who is, just this week, gigging at the Venetian in Vegas AND charting out his parts for your recording! Gary, Gary, Gary… So stoked that he is part of this thing. I know the music is just going to spring to life with his masterful skill underpinning it.

So I dug out the equipment and plugged it all in, dialed in the settings for multitrack recording through the BOSE T1 and am quite pleased to have discovered both an easy way to bypass my OSX 10.7 sound issues and BOSE L1 buzz issues in the same evening. (The L1 trim knob can be all the way down to eliminate the buzz, if you use the T1 for your inputs.)

I’ll probably just use GarageBand for this demo recording. ProTools 8 won’t work with Lion and Avid doesn’t think this is a problem. I don’t have Logic Pro yet, but will save towards it… after I secure another source of income. I’m not sure if the T1 or the Apogee Duet is the way to go, but I already own the T1, so I’ll probably start there.

Aaron, funky bass-man, Parker may join us live, but if time works against us, will add his part in post. Worked great on The Harvest is Here! And Sean, I’m too young for this gig, Sooter will add harmony vocals in post as well. All in all, the best people I know and have had the pleasure to know, gig, and worship with. Great guys, all. Can’t wait for you to hear what we create together.

Q: What do you prefer to record with and why?

Posted: April 27, 2012 in Compositions