Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I spent most of my absolutely beautiful Wednesday before Thanksgiving in my office that has no windows working away on many different tasks that I thought needed to get done before the Thanksgiving break.

My day had a most wonderful interruption by a brief trip down the hall to our new Chapel where I found David Hamilton and Michael W. Smith rehearsing Christmas music.

This Monday and Tuesday - November 30 and December 1, Michael will give a Christmas Concert in Dallas with the Dallas Symphony conducted by David Hamilton. They needed a place to go over the program prior to their arrival there in Dallas.

Selfishly, what a nice pre-Thanksgiving treat!

I came home early today, and after Matt, Ben, and Ben's girlfriend, Marissa worked diligently all day in the yard raking and bagging leaves (much to the sighed relief of my neighbors in the cul-de-sac who were beginning to wonder if caveman lived next door!), I decided to mow the front yard.

Isn't that crazy to mow the yard at 5:00pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving?

I am grateful for so much this Thanksgiving.

About this time every year, we have what is called our "year-end reviews" at the office. We complete these forms, sit down with our immediate supervisor and go over the "form" and talk about the year. It is always an interesting and healthy exchange that contributes to the effectiveness of me accomplishing what is expected of me.

I listed the following (23) things on my review for 2009 -

1. Celebrated 30 years of marriage
2. Buried my father
3. Knee Surgery
4. Writing - (2) Different Worship Articles for Brentwood-Benson Choral Music Publication
5. Teaching - (5) different sessions on worship leadership at LifeWay Worship Conference at Ridgcrest
6. Consulting - served as consultant to the President of Anderson University in Anderson, SC to help them lay the foundation for a worship leadership degree
7. Co-Producer Annual Nashville Symphony Community HymnSing - becoming more and more of a mission field/outreach challenge and opportunity
8. Hiring Process For New Associate
9. Helped Jeremy Busler with the overall transition from 100% access to him to less access to him "for my needs and the needs of this campus' ministry" while supporting and assisting him in laying the foundation for South Campus Worship Ministry
10. Coached / Mentored Jeremy Busler, Michael Boggs, Shelly Johnson, Jeremy & Maribeth Johnson - established new relationship with Mike Harland
11. Highly Successful Fall Choir Retreat with guests - Dave Williamson, David Hamilton, and Dr. Deen Entsminger - choral professor from Belmont University
12. Highly Successful 09-09-09 Choir Rehearsal with largest choir rehearsal attendance ever at BBC - special guests, Travis Cottrell and Bill Gaither
13. Hosted and taught (3) classes on Worship Choir Leadership at the bi-annual TBC Music Ministry Leadership Conference
14. Established the additional worship service support position of Stage Manager and immediately "grew" the roster of Producers and Stage Managers from 6 to 8 members who are all highly trained and equipped to handle the details and flow of our Sunday Worship Services
15. Coordinated guests and other additional worship leaders - Steve Green, Michael Boggs, David Hamilton, Jeremy Busler, Shelly Johnson, Jeremy & Maribeth Johnson, Kids Choirs, Good News Singers, Mike Harland, Deaf Church-Led Lord's Supper
16. Coordinated (6) different and definitely unique Summer Sundays in the absence of the choir & orchestra - string quartet, bluegrass, VBS-team, 70-piece Orchestra, 4 pianos, David Hamilton & band - jazz morning.
17. Christmas CD - (including for the first time - Kairos and South Campus)
- and all the related mission outreach efforts associated with it
18. Christmas Eve Services - coordinating efforts to "start over with blank piece of paper"
19. Coordinated, documented, and led weekly worship planning meetings keeping all involved and necessary parties "on the same page" with regard to programming, "messages", "must do's", and attempting to stay focused on the main objective of our worship services - to the extent that that was possible.
20. Assisted, supported, and empowered Jeremy & Maribeth Johnson to further the Music Missions partnership with South Africa as they led the 2009 team in March.
21. Continued to help develop the Masi Choir CD project - getting Michael W. Smith and Jars Of Clay recorded on the CD.
22. Through our 2007 partnership between Michael W. Smith and Living Hope, MWS contributed his portion of the royalties from CompassionArt Project - $5,000 thus far.
23. Led Worship Choir through devotional book - Humility - True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney.

At the end of the review form, we are allowed to make additional personal comments.....
I wrote the following that sums up my heart on this day before Thanksgiving:

"Another interesting and often difficult year of personal stuff intertwined with the load that comes with this position. I continue to marvel at what God does since I consistently wonder how things can ever get done in my limited capacity of energy, knowledge, and skills! I am grateful that God has sustained me thus far through year 16 - never in my craziest dreams could I have imagined......and in and through all of this, I still believe we have yet to see God's best work -and at least for me, that's what keeps me going..."

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone who read this entire blog entry!!

P.S. I miss you today, Dad.....

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The longer I do what I do, the more I realize how my work and pace have certain patterns to them. I know that gearing back up in August for the intensity and work load of each Fall is a ton of work with a ton of things always going on.

This Fall was no different.

When we plan for, prepare for, and record our Christmas CD, we have to do that early in the Fall in order to get everything done in time to have CD's by Thanksgiving. Add to that the weekly planning, the planning for current and future growth, and let's just say it pretty much stays crazy.

A few years ago, Karla and I decided we would take a break every Fall right around the time when we have completed the Christmas CD project and it is no longer in our hands with any further deadlines to meet.

This year, for our time away we ventured into some new territory (literally)....

My first ever visit to the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. The closest this Texas boy had ever been to this area was to drive by it on I-40 headed east.

It was a great weekend getaway - perfect weather and gorgeous views.

God sure did good when He created all of this!!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday, Elliott!

My grandson is 2 today - can't believe it!

What a joy to everyone he meets!

So grateful for the time spent with him on Friday.....

love you, E.....