Just a few hours left of 2009 here in New York City. We’re going to celebrate with friends in Queens. I was thinking today as I drove back from the church in Syosset how many things changed and happened this past year.
When the year began we had only moved to the city a couple months earlier. Neither Olivia nor I had a job yet and our savings were pretty much gone. I had interviewed at on church, but it didn’t work out — all we could say was, “Lord, do what You will.”
Olivia got a job at a doctor’s office almost right away. I interviewed with another church (that one wasn’t it either!) and got ready to do some temp office work. In the meantime I walked pretty much all the neighborhoods in New York just praying and trying to hear what He was saying for us. (This was one of the most wonderful seasons yet in my walk with the Lord:) I finally got a temp job at an office and then another at the NFL.
Olivia found a new opera coach that turned out to be a great help to her as she gets ready to go to the next level in her career.
I went back and forth as to what the Lord wanted from me…did He want me leading worship in a church?…did He want me to go back into songwriting?…did He want me to pursue business at the NFL and lead worship part-time?
Towards the end of 2009 the Lord revealed what He had here for me. I was called as the worship pastor of Shelter Rock Church on Long Island. I started a couple weeks ago and He’s already doing wonderful things.
So, here comes 2010. I’m beginning to see that I need to stop making all these elaborate plans and just follow Jesus. The Spirit will order my steps. He will lead me on a an adventure that I could never come up with on my own.
Lord, I give You 2010. It is Yours, I am Yours. I rejoice in Your presence and Your ways.
(Check out the archives for more details on all our happenings!)
So these first few weeks at the Church have been a whirlwind. So much to learn about where we’ve been so we can see clearly where to go. The hard part is that there’s a service that happens every week. It doesn’t wait for me to get “up to speed.”
The Lord reminded me a couple of times today that it all does not depend on me. Sure, I’m the one responsible for all the positions being filled and music beieng chosen, etc., etc. But in the end God has called me to this place at this time and the most effective thing I can do with all these needs is ask Him.
He wants to meet my needs. He wants to meet the needs of His Church – the “thing belonging to the Lord.”
The Church is His. I am His. And all I have to do is call upon His name and He will answer.
Sent this out to the email list earlier..
Well, tomorrow it’s official: I’m the new worship pastor at Shelter Rock Church in Manhasset and Syosset, NY (Long Island). The Lord has opened this door and Olivia and I are excited about following Him in this next season of our journey.
We’ll continue to live here in Manhattan for the time being and God blessed with a car for the next while so the commute will be a lot easier!
The job at the NFL was an amazing blessing. I’m so grateful to my boss there. Not to mention it was a pretty cool look into what goes on in a pretty popular sport :).
Thank you to everyone for praying. There’s a new time of hard work and transition starting so I ask you to pray again.
Hopefully, you’ll get lots of new songs and you can also watch the services live here.
Hope you’re having a glorious holiday season so far. God continues to lavish us with His incredible gifts.
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 1 Kings 3:10
I want what I ask of God to please Him. I just want to please Him.
I started reading 1 Samuel a couple of weeks ago and have just kept going because the stories are so good. I’ve made it to Solomon (1 Kings) now and I know there are some major failings coming up, but the beginning of his reign over Israel is unparalleled. Such promise. Such presence of the living God.
Oh to have a desire for wisdom that pleases God.
Oh that my desires please Him.
Oh that the ultimate yearning in my heart is for Him. I believe this pleases Him the most.
And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kings 3:7-14
It took me a long while to get used to playing/singing with in-ear monitors (IEM). I’m sure part of it was my own slow adapting, but there’s still part of me that goes back and forth on their usefulness. As a worship leader, I believe one of my jobs is to respond to what is happening among the worshippers I am leading. The IEMs cut you off from hearing them. Sure, you can have audience mics, but they’re never going to be anywhere near perfect and they are the first things that get cut in a “crisis” situation (you worship leader out there know what I mean).
I remember I was having a conversation with an experienced engineer and he told me that hearing the congregation was not important – that it did nothing more than to build up the leader’s ego. I completely disagree!
There are not many greater privileges than hearing the people of God sing to Him. To hear them cry out to Him. It moves me and I believe it moves the heart of God (See Genesis 18:16-33 (Abraham); Exodus 32:7-14 (Moses)). Why would I want to do anything that impedes this?
All this said, IEMs can be a good tool. You can definitely hear yourself better and if you use click tracks or loops they are an absolute necessity. They can truly improve some musicians’ playing and/or singing. Wedges can make getting a good house mix difficult (especially with an inexperienced engineer) – I am well aware of this. But, there is a lost art to getting a good wedge mix AND a good house mix.
A good balance is to use one ear. You need to trade ears often as you don’t want them to wear unevenly :). I know many don’t advocate this, but some find it to be a good compromise.
The key is not the choice between IEMs or wedges. It is the worship leader/team’s ability to hear and respond to those they are leading. That should have higher priority than the technology we use to hear ourselves.
Olivia and I have been reading through Daniel the last couple of weeks and have been moved by his life and what God did through him and for him. One thing that struck me was when the angels of the Lord came to him, they called him “greatly beloved” or “highly esteemed (NIV).”
To have Gabriel or Michael say this about you, to you, is mind and spirit blowing.
To hear that this is common knowledge in the heavenlies is beyond anything I could even write.
“At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision…”
And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.
And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
This word “beloved” has begun to really impact me. I was listening to a teaching yesterday and the speaker called the listeners “beloved” several times. How amazing it is that the Church is Jesus’ beloved (Ephesians 5:25). His desire and whole heart of love is for the Church. For the Church of which I am a part.
I am His beloved.
Song of Solomon 2:16
My beloved is mine, and I am his.
You and I are the beloved of God…this is so undeserved, so extravagant, that all we can do is turn to Him and praise Him, fall on our faces and worship Him.
Play, sing, worship like someone who is the beloved of the Creator of the Universe!!