in his presence

December 2, 2009

Was sitting around picking after the Overcomers meeting at New Beginnings church in Irving, Texas.  Eric Jenkins started playing Jason Upton‘s tune In Your Presence.  I’d forgotten how much I love it.  I’m pretty sure it’ll be on the list for Saturday and Sunday worship.



November 2, 2009

I graduated in the bottom 10% of my high school class and wasn’t really planning to go to college at all.  I later did, majoring first in Bible, then computer science, and finally business.

If I had it to do over I’d study neurology.  And music.  My PhD thesis would be something about  the frontal cortex relationship between music and language or music and thought.  The whole topic is amazing to me.  We all know, somehow, that music is special.  We know how music affects our memory and our mood.  But exactly where does that specialness come from?  I don’t only mean “What neutrons are firing when we listen to or create music?” but even more “How deeply did God program music into our minds?”.

Oliver Sacks said, in his excellent book Musicophilia that we acquire much of our musical aptitude in our first eighteen months or so; possibly even pre-birth.  Once we begin acquiring verbal language music is somehow suppressed.  There it lurks as an influence over the deep things of our heart.  I believe it would be worth spending a life grasping how that works.

microphone placement

October 29, 2009

Pointer to a good article by Bruce Bartlet on microphone placement for church choirs.


Klaus Kuehn

June 12, 2009

I live in Rockwall Texas, a smallish town 25 miles east of downtown Dallas.  Although there are people who hardly ever drive into Dallas, I end up going in for a lot of things.

I frequently go in on the 2nd-Friday-of-the-month night of worship at Christ for the Nations.  If you’re in the Dallas area and you haven’t been to these, I highly recommend them.  They’re almost always wonderful and the atmosphere of worship is compelling.

But a day or two ago, Klaus Kuehn, who used to be a worship leader at CFNI, put up a Facebook notice that he was going to do a night of worship at Ridgeview Church, here in Rockwall.  Klaus is one of the most humble, gracious, prophetic, spirit-led worship leaders I know of.  He is 100% about God and 0% about himself.

So it was an easy decision for me – I went to worship with Klaus.  David Elam was playing guitar, Keith Banks on drums, Steve Morgan on Pedulla, uh, I mean bass.  Lauren I’m-so-sorry-I-forgot-your-last-name was singing, and her husband, Klaus’ nephew, came up to sing at the end too.  David led one song, Everlasting, at the end too – the last “official” song before some free-form worship during ministry time.  Lauren led “The more I seek you” (Zach Neese) and did a beautiful job of it.  The five of them made a great worship “team”.

If they had a set list, it wasn’t much of one.  There were a few up-tempo tunes like “I give you glory”, several hymns, and a lot of sweet worship.

I have Klaus’ new CD but haven’t spent enought time with it yet to say too much specifically.  It’s out with Integrity and should be available at all the usual places.  What I can say so far is that it’s all worshipful.  Great to put on during a ministry time or to add to your worship playlist.

worship leading and sin

May 9, 2009

Pointer to a great article from the Consuming Worship blog by Jeff Miller

cfni night of worship

May 9, 2009

Night of worship at CFNI last night was the “CD release party” for the Perfect Love CD, recorded (ostensibly) at the night of worship in February.  It’s a CD/DVD set with 11 songs:

  • Oh Crimson Flow – Josh Hickman and Matt Birkenfeld
  • Glorify Our King – Kristian Baker and Monika Robertson
  • Something So Real – Amsi Hernandez
  • Wonderful God – Denis Campos
  • He Is – Gabriel Allred
  • Blessed is the One – Tom Ewing
  • Perfect Love – Denis Campos
  • All of Me – Denis Campos
  • You Deserve it All – Bethany Stevens
  • You are Holy – Richy Clark/Radiant Worship
  • I Give You Glory – Andres Spyker (originally Te Doy Gloria)

I give you Glory has a lot of energy and is fun to sing (we’ve been doing this at church since Klause Kuehn released his version a year or so ago).  He Is and You Deserve it All aren’t on our list yet, but I’m adding both of them.  Both very worshipful.  You are Holy and Wonderful God are nice well, and we may add them soon.

The CD is ok, but misses almost all the energy from the live session.  It was the most tense cfni recording I’ve been too.  On the accompanying DVD only Jeremy Alderete on bass and a few of the choir members are smiling.  Everyone else has that look someone gets when the dentist prescribes a root canal.  The rule for performing holds true for recording.  Practice until you can do it in your sleep, then get up there and enjoy yourself.  None of the main players were there, and the whole situation seemed to tightly strung.

The DVD also suffers from too many re-dos – it seems like most of the vocal leads, a lot of guitar, and some keyboards and bass.  To facilitate the punch-ins they had to keep house noise and open mics low which makes the recording quite sterile.   In general you hear vocals – far far above anything else – then drums and bass, and then the occasional guitar, keyboards, violin or cello.  Randy Adams might have been forced into this to make it work at all, but it doesn’t work well.  There were about 100 people on the platform and you rarely hear more than 4 of them at a time.

If you have Perfect Love and want to prove this to yourself, compare the enclosed DVD with one of the youtube bootlegs of the same songs.  Yes, the DIY recordings include all the mistakes, but they’re actually easier to watch.  Some of this may be the the video production technique of flipping cameras every 0.5 seconds.

Ok so enough kvetching.  I bought a copy for myself and a copy for a friend, so I couldn’t have hated it all that much.  I like the songs and the people who wrote them.  Probably the night of recording was what turned me off.  I’m sure I’ll be listening to a lot of the songs for years.

cfni night of worship 4/10/2009

April 11, 2009

great night of resurrection-focused worship!  thanks to everyone involved!

tuesday tunes – 3/31/2009

April 1, 2009

Tonight was:

  • King of Majesty – Mary Sampson
  • Consuming FIre – Tim Hughes
  • Lord I Give You My Heart – Reuben Morgan
  • Oh How He Loves Me – John Mark McMillian (done Kim Walker style)

We originally had the Vinyard tune Hallelujah (Shout to the Earth) – (Martin Reardon) on the list, but of the 6 people on the worship team, only 1 knew it.  (I mostly don’t pick the tunes on Tuesday nights, btw).  So we swapped in I Give You My Heart.  It was Tim Hoover’s idea and it went well.  Also, Tim did a great transition between the the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th songs.

The night went well.  Oh How He Loves Me really resonated with Cynthia – who leads the meeting – and the group.  I think it’ll be on my list in two Sundays too.  I’ll be out of town this next Sunday to witness my friend Eugene McBride being installed as pastor of a church in Shreveport.

Have a great and worshipful day!

May Music in Dallas

March 31, 2009

May looks like a good month for music at the Center.

Dave Matthews will be there on the 2nd and Paramore on the 30th

Sunday Recap – 3-29-2009

March 30, 2009

This was the second Sunday in a row where we really didn’t have much of a message and just worshipped and had ministry time.  The set list was:

We played a number of other things, and occasionally sang with them, during the extended ministry time and communion time.  The music all worked well.

We originally had “At the Foot of the Cross” by Kathryn Scott on the list but I skipped it because of the direction God was taking us in worship.  Abby brought it out later and played and sang it during ministry time. Victoria K. (who used to be a regular at COTR) was visiting and came up to sing Misty Edwards‘ “You Won’t Relent”, and Debbie Johnson came up and sang prophetically for a while too.

I didn’t notice the times when we started or ended, but our start was quite late, waiting on our keyboard player (no pressure Abby)