Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

It seems that the past few Novembers have brought about a particular rhythm or cycle of winding down to the end of a year, and with that rhythm or cycle comes a time to get away during what is (having lived here for 30 years - in my opinion) the most beautiful time of the year if you live in middle Tennessee.

Last weekend, Karla and I were able to slip away and enjoy one of our favorite places. When we returned home on Sunday evening, we pulled into our driveway to find our back patio covered with leaves! What a breath-taking picture of God's beauty!

As I captured this moment with my camera, I thought about how my photos are reminders of how God blesses. Maybe we should all take more photos. I am convinced they would serve as constant reminders of how richly blessed we all are!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ben Worley Is 18 Today!

Goodness.....our "baby" turns 18 today!!

Here are 18 things I love about you, Ben Worley:

1. The way you keep your room clean!
2. Your shopping sprees to Goodwill for used audio equipment!
3. The way you keep your closet so neat and nicely arranged!
4. The fact that you never fight with your middle brother!
5. That you are never sarcastic!
6. That you bring muffins home from work for the whole family!
7. That you can't remember what instruments you own because you continue to borrow parts from all of them to build new instruments!
8. The way you lead your band!
9. The music you make as a player!
10. The music you create as a composer!
11. The way you act in your brother's films!
12. That you will sit and watch a movie with your Dad!
13. The questions you ask!
14. The way you negotiate things!
15. The fact that a policeman would pull you over thinking you stole a big screen TV only to find out it was your newly constructed audio control console that you built and used for the first time in your show on Saturday!
16. That you play in the Student Praise Band - learning/playing/leading songs that point people to Jesus!
17. That you love your mom and dad and your brothers and your sister-in-law, and your nephew and your grandmother and your aunt & uncle and all of your Texas relatives and whoever else in your family that I forgot to mention
18. That you have lived for 18 years in this same house and brought a ton of joy to our lives!

Happy 18th Birthday, Ben Worley!
(now go and change your Facebook profile for those who might actually believe what you write!)

Oh, and if you have spent time reading this, I will let you figure out which of the above are NOT true.......(my kids aren't the only ones who can be sarcastic......)

BTW - Mom and I are convinced if you shaved your face and straightened out your hair, you really would be Shia LeBeouf........ (but then you wouldn't be Ben Worley anymore!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Be Where You Need To Be

I have had many conversations lately related to people’s schedules and priorities and commitments. After all, it’s the end of summer - everyone is getting back into some sense of school schedule and have moved beyond what is now a 60-day summer.

Karla and I joke how much we hate August. It truly is a useless month. I grew up with school starting appropriately the day after “Labor” Day. In a period of 24 hours, the summer has ended and school has begun because we go from one day of “rest” to the next day of “new teachers/new classes/new beginnings, etc….”

What is the deal with starting school on August 12? Good grief……

When you are in “my line of work” as a person whose success is pretty much totally dependent on the involvement, faithfulness and contribution from “volunteers”…. well, it makes for interesting times to say the least.

It is amazing the number of “things” that people can juggle/maintain/deal with on a regular basis and somehow still find time for some level of commitment to the ministry of the local church.

We have just begun a new “season” of Choir Ministry. I divide up the year into - well, seasons - shorter, more focused periods of time that allow people to pick and choose if they can commit for 8-9 weeks at the 70% level.

Now think about that - 70%. Think about the things you currently spend the majority of your time, money, energy, affection, and allegiance. Tell me how effective you would be at those things at the 70% commitment level?

Before you think I have “lost it” and believe that a person’s commitment to a church choir should not be compared to…..well - quite frankly anything else - well, I agree.

BUT - if we are going to talk about how effective the Choir Ministry is at our church, and how important this ministry is to helping people encounter the presence and life-transforming power of Jesus Christ, then wouldn’t one think we should have at the very least a 70% commitment level?

The vast majority of the people even remotely involved in the Worship Choir Ministry of Brentwood Baptist Church have the best of intentions, do the best that they can given all the pressures of life, and contribute significantly to this ministry.

The most compelling e-mails that I receive from choir members are hands down the ones that tell me that the reasons why they can’t be at a rehearsal or lead on a Sunday morning are because they have to care for a sick relative, the ones who tell me they can’t be at our choir retreat because they are counseling a married couple on the edge of divorce, the ones who are working two jobs to make ends meet, the single Dad who has his kids that night and he needs to care for them, the ones who are serving in preschool ministry instead of the choir that morning because immature parents who said the would serve simply didn’t show up to serve, the uncle who is helping his nephew move into college because that kid’s Dad passed away this summer and that new college student needs a “dad-figure” in that moment …… I could go on and on…..

The people who send those e-mails are telling me a very important and powerful reminder - they are “where they need to be”

All of this is challenging me to ask (as I always try to ask) the right questions, and in this case, maybe the right question we should ask each morning when faced with multiple “places to be”…….Lord, where is it YOU need me to be?

I truly believe that if we answer that question honestly and consistently, then more times than not we will “be where we need to be!”

Saturday, July 10, 2010


This is one of those "what was I thinking?" moments......

Today was my family reunion (my mom's side) in central Texas - specifically in Kyle, TX. Kyle is located on I-35 between Austin and San Marcos.

We should have been there, but we didn't make those plans. Too bad.....

Too bad because my mom would have loved for us to have been there, and THEN......

I forgot that Brad Paisley was doing this - (see photo)

They call is Aquapalooza. Check it out. Brad sets up on the shore of Lake Travis, and the whole dang audience (at least most of them) are enjoying the show from their boats!!!!

How stinkin fun is that?

Sorry I missed out on the family reunion, and sorry I missed out on the Brad fun. I know I don't have a boat, but I might have been able to finagle (how does one spell that word) a ticket or two!!!????

Saturday, June 12, 2010

10 More Things Currently Making HUGE Impressions On My Life

1. This photo of my grandson - a nap after the beach is the best!
2. Karla's new office at church - we actually rode to/from work together last week - WOW!
3. Our new summer intern - Elias Anderson from Liberty University
4. My college roommate, Chris Wommack's visit to Nashville this week!
5. Lunch with David Hamilton and hearing all about his trip this weekend to Californiw to experence the premiere of his latest Disney project this weekend - You HAVE to see -
6. Carol Cymbala (Director of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir) being our guest in Wednesday night's choir rehearsal - but Jason Michael Webb may have "stolen the show"....but then Sister Jean may have made the greatest impression - she is 73 years old, an original member of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, and travels everywhere with Carol as her prayer support and friend!
7. Hearing from someone (this week) for the first time in 33 years!!
8. Lunch with Dick & Mel Tunney - what an incredible ministry team they are!
9. Meeting with a 25-year-old who has one of the most incredible futures ahead of them!
10. Completely fired up about our services tomorrow - June 13

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

10 Things Currently Making An Impression On My Life

1. The song, Come As You Are by Pocket Full Of Rocks
2. My son, Seth's Adventure Now 3 Video Series for Fuge Camps - (60,000 students will witness it this summer!)
3. The song, You Are Faithful by Michael Boggs
4. My son, Ben's Adventure Now 3 Video Series original musical score AND his original musical score for the CentriKid Camps video series entitled, Kitchen Bink
5. Reflecting on getting to spend Mother's Day with my Mom
6. My son, Matt's work ethic particularly related to Flood Relief
7. My pastor's sermon on forgiveness
8. The possible re-scheduling of the Community Hymn Sing
9. The song/arrangement of Lean On Me by Patti Austin - (who turns 60 in August - ridiculous!)
10. Getting to mow Seth/Arley/Elliott's yard - seriously....might be the most therapeutic thing I do each week.....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Platforms - Tony Morgan

I read and saved this back in January. As I re-read it today, I felt led to post on my blog.

This is powerful stuff....and for more on Tony Morgan, go HERE
There are no shortcuts to having a platform. You have to earn it.

No one owes you a platform.

Sometimes someone who is trusted can help you get a moment on the platform, but you still have to deliver to keep it.

The harder you try to have a platform, the harder it is to get it.

If you do what you’re designed to do and you are faithful to stick with it over time, there’s a good chance you’ll have a platform.

Not all platforms are created equal, but all have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of others.

Relationships are the foundation of a platform. If you can’t build relationships, you can’t have a platform.

The person who yells the loudest doesn’t necessarily get the platform.

If you never stop and listen, you probably won’t get the platform either.

If it’s just about you, you don’t have a platform.

You’ll lose your platform if you don’t continue to use it for positive change. You have to move people to a better place.

You’re more likely to leverage your platform if you tell stories that engage both the head and the heart.

You’re more likely to keep your platform if you ask questions.

If people can’t have access to you and your daily life, your platform is probably shrinking whether you know it or not.

Platforms are established over time and lost in an instant.

Lots of people want a platform, but very few are gifted to have a platform and even fewer are humble enough to keep it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 24, 1979

31 years ago on this date, Karla and I said "I do" in front of family members and a small gathering of friends in Dallas, Texas. (we were married before video camcorders were invented,
so a few photos were the best we could come up with to capture the ceremony!)

Our life together has never been boring and always fascinating!

I am thankful for our family, our amazing friends, and our incredible sons.
I am also thankful that God brought Arley into our lives, and now Elliott.

I love you, Karla Ruth - you bring laughter and joy to my life!
Let's see if we can do 31 more years!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Time Stands Still - Part 2

1970 Thomas Jefferson High School Baseball Team - San Antonio, Texas

Coach Arnold is standing at the far left end of the second row.

Can you find me?????

What a fun group of guys - everyone should be a part of team - always!

Time Stands Still

I received a most memorable phone call today sitting at home on a beautiful, (and unusual) warm sunny February day.

The caller ID said Frank Arnold. Realizing that I had written a letter (remember those?) to this person earlier this week, I was not surprised, but then again, very surprised to see that name pop up on my phone caller ID.


I have not had a conversation with this person in 40 years!

Frank Arnold was my high school baseball coach. I graduated high school in 1970.

One week ago, he was "deservedly" inducted into the
San Antonio Sports Hall Of Fame

When my mom told me this, and then was able to get his home address, I wrote him to congratulate him and to tell him the difference he made in my life.

Coach Arnold was a great coach - he believed in me way more than I believed in myself. The longer you live, the more you realize how important people like Coach Arnold are in your life.

What a joy to "catch up with him" over a 20 minute phone conversation.

Today, I truly feel like time stood still - I visualized being on the field as a 17-year old as this man hit hundreds of grounders to me to make me a better second baseman, but more importantly, his demeanor and his encouragement to challenge me to be more than I believed I could be.

He was grateful for my letter. I was grateful for his presence in my life at a time when I most needed that kind of influence.

Thank you, Coach Arnold, and again - congratulations for the honors bestowed upon you - they are well-deserved!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Music Can Become Boring - Jesus Can't

Since Thanksgiving, every time I sat down to write something in this space, I could not think of anything to write. That's just really sad. Not because I have anything important to say or that people are dying to read my blog (wow - narcissism abounds!), but because there is a ton of stuff going on in my life and ministry right now, and I should be writing about it. For whatever reasons, I can't seem to organize the words in sentences in a way that I believe might be the least bit interesting or helpful to another human being.

December was a very busy month (terrible understatement) of Christmas worship services, our Christmas Concert, and then our Christmas Eve Services. I was able to take two consecutive Sundays off (don't get to do that very often!), and now am back at it in a new year.

After 17 years of worship services and ministry in the local church, I can honestly say that 2010 will be my most challenging. Isn't it interesting that I can already see that, and we are only 8 days into it? There are many reasons, and I will try to be more intentional about sharing the reasons why as the year unfolds.

For now, we have new services and a new campus launching in the next 45 days, and so very much to do in preparation for them!

Some wonderful perspective came upon me today from one of my favorite people - Bob Kauflin. His most recent blog post (Reflections On Turning 55) is powerful. I encourage you to read it HERE

Happy New Year!